Teachers have a particularly unique profession in that they have the ability to positively influence diverse groups of children who will soon become our future CEOs, parents, educators, scientists, and leaders. On a daily basis, serving as a teacher may not seem like a big deal – but we can all look back with great appreciation for the knowledge, dedication, and wisdom they have passed on to each of us.
Because a teacher’s day is long, hard, and stressful, it’s crucial to have all the right equipment and preparation. One simple thing that a teacher can invest in to ensure they’re at their best is a good, quality pair of shoes.
As professionals who are on their feet all day – and possibly chasing down young kids – teachers can definitely benefit from a comfortable yet appropriate pair of shoes. Today we’re going to take a look at the best shoes for teachers.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall: Dansko Women’s Professional Mule
- Premium Product: Aerosoles A2 Women’s Big Ben Dress Pump
- Best Value: Skechers Men’s Segment The Search Loafer
How to Select the Best Shoes
It is well understood, generally, that a good pair of shoes for someone who works on their feet for most of the day is a comfortable pair. But the line between relaxed and unprofessional can be a bit unclear, so it’s vital that we define that line with some buying guidelines for teachers and ideas on what to look for in a footwear product.
The number one thing that you should consider as a teacher looking for new back-to-school shoes is comfort. Think about your average day in the classroom. You probably spend a lot of time standing at the front of the classroom, delivering a lesson, or writing on the whiteboard. There is also a significant amount of time spent walking around your students’ desks, monitoring test-taking periods, and answering questions.
When you’re not in the classroom, you might have cafeteria duty or could be leading your class to an activity. Perhaps you even need to make a quick supply run during your free period.
Whatever details flood your average day in school, there’s a good chance that more than half of it is spent on your feet.
For that reason, it is absolutely crucial to get yourself shoes that are comfortable for you to wear over long periods of time.
Comfort can look different for various people. A young, fresh-out-of-college high school teacher may be comfortable in a pair of practical high heels all day, while a more tenured teacher may need something flat to the ground.
Different grade levels can also merit varying comfort needs. Someone who teachers pre-school or kindergarten may need shoes that allow them to keep up with active five-year-olds, while a middle school teacher probably doesn’t ever have to chase her students around at playtime.
Many teachers like to wear shoes that offer plenty of cushioning. Some shoes have this feature built into their soles, such as sneakers with memory foam, but not all do. To solve this issue, you can also buy supportive insoles to deliver additional comfort that your shoes might not.
Avoid any shoe that is going to put stress on any part of your body. It’s a good idea to do your shoe shopping ahead of time. Try getting a new pair of teaching shoes at least a few weeks before the school year starts. Wear them around as much as you can, and if you detect any discomfort, return them and find something else with plenty of time.
Depending on the school in which you teach, you may have specific guidelines in terms of dress code and what is considered appropriate and professional. Some schools are lax in this aspect and may even allow you to wear jeans on certain occasions, while other schools feel very strongly about the appearance of their employees.
If your school enforces strict dress codes for faculty, do your best to stick with a professional shoe that meets the criteria. Many of these more stringent schools prefer professional clothing, which can include heels, boots, and ballet flats.
Don’t let the words “heels” stress you out – there are plenty of comfortable and practical heels on the market that looks the part without killing your feet, calves, or back, and we’ll get to those in just a bit.
However, if you’re not a heel person and don’t think you can last a whole day in anything higher than normal, you can always stick with the ever-classic flats or flat boots. Loafers also make an excellent and professional choice.
If you work for a less strict school that doesn’t necessarily enforce an extreme dress code, you may have a little more flexibility in the shoes that you can wear. Some teachers like to rock a comfortable pair of sneakers or sandals. Either of these options is sure to keep you comfortable, but they may not demonstrate an exceptionally good sense of style.
Style is in the eye of the beholder, but it is essential to remember that teaching is a professional role and still merits respect and a sense of pride in your appearance.
As a teacher who is likely purchasing their own classroom decorations, supplies, and materials, you probably already know how important a budget is. And, aside from your classroom budget, you likely have a budget of your own that you need to stick to throughout your personal endeavors.
When buying a pair of shoes for the school season, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Quality shoes can make all the difference.
You may find a cute pair of pumps for $10, but how long will they last?
In the same way, those $100 boots may be tempting, but is that price within your allotted budget?
The goal here is to find a quality pair of shoes that are going to last, but that won’t break the budget. It’s all about balance. Buying a cheap pair of shoes may sound good at the moment, but it won’t help you in the long run if you have to replace them before the school year is over. There’s also no need to invest in luxury brands for your job teaching algebra to 14-year-olds.
Plus, you should consider how many pairs of shoes you want to purchase for the school year. It’s unlikely that you will want to wear the same pair of shoes five days each week, especially when considering the weather changes.
Factor this detail into your budget before you set off to the department store or the mall. Again, go for practical. Find shoes that will work with the majority of your professional wardrobe — the more versatile the shoe, the better.
Also, try to invest in different styles. Perhaps you want to buy one pair of heels and one pair of flats so that you can switch it up on days when you’re feeling bold and days when you’re plain tired. If it’s in your budget, you can opt for a winter-geared shoe or a fall boot for a little more diversity.
Finally, look for practical colors. Those red pumps may be the cutest shoes you have ever seen, but how much of your clothing will they match? If you can only see yourself wearing them every so often, they may not be worth it.
Colors like black, nude, and brown are excellent and versatile colors that will match tons of different outfits, styles, and color schemes. Maybe at Christmas time, you can treat yourself to those cherry red heels, but for now, try to stick to smart choices.
Read Also: Best Work Boot Brands
Best Shoes for Teachers
Now that we have talked through some of the things you should keep an eye out for, we can dive into a few examples of fantastic shoe options for you. Take a look at these choices for ideas on what you can buy for your next school year.
For those of you brave enough to rock a high heel in the classroom, this pump is one of the best choices for you. Practical yet stylish, the Big Ben Dress Pump delivers crucial taste without killing your feet.
The heel itself measures at about 3 inches, but it also holds a quarter-inch platform that helps alleviate the stretch from the heel to the toe – ultimately making it more comfortable than heels that do not boast any platform.
The block heel design is sturdy and reliable. Unlike a stiletto heel, this thicker heel helps you maintain your balance as your pace your classroom and hurry to the aid of your students.
Made from attractive suede and featuring a peep-toe design, you can maintain your sense of style and love of fashion without breaking your back or breaking the bank. Perhaps the best element of this pump is the double-padded memory foam insole that delivers a comfortable cushion throughout the day and allows you to stay on your feet longer without pain, sliding, or blisters.
Even those not accustomed to wearing high heels for a solid day will find these shoes comfortable and more than wearable.
- Double-padded memory foam delivers all-day comfort for continuous walking and standing
- Invokes thicker heels for better balance and stability
- Classic look displays style, professionalism, and matches versatile outfits
- Shoes are true to size and provide quality support
- Appropriate for wearing year-round
- The outsole is textured for excellent grip and less slipping
- Heel is a bit high to be suitable for all-day use
It takes a special kind of person to be able to locate the perfect shoe that is fashion-forward, comfortable, and practical, all while remaining professional and unique. If that sounds like something that interests you, then look no further than these Bernie Mev pumps.
High heels certainly achieve that fashionable and professional look, but when it comes to teaching, comfort is also high on the priority list. If 3-inch heels don’t cut it for your comfort preferences, then try these shorter heels (but still heels) in your search.
These pumps let you add a bit of extra height without pushing your limits or setting you up on stilts. The small two and three-fourths-inch heel is girly and cute yet practical and thick, boasting a squared shape that promotes stability and balance for a day’s worth of teaching.
While practicality is important, we can no longer stand to dance around the absolutely fantastic design of this shoe. Completely cover the toe and bridge of your foot is a unique basket weave design that stands out against all other pumps.
The entire woven upper is completely elastic, meaning it will form to your foot for a dependable and visually appealing grip and look. The texture is eye-catching, fun, and different and will certainly showcase your special style.
Additionally, the shoe includes a memory foam cushioned insole to protect your foot and deliver superb comfort as you wear it. The heels also come in several different color options ranging from black and tan to red and navy.
Basically, this heel is perfect for someone who may be a little weary about sporting heels on the job, but who also secretly still want to rock their style.
- Memory foam footbed cushion supports arches and delivers all-day comfort
- Lower heel is practical for walking, standing, and active days
- The unique design demonstrates style and visual appeal
- Several color options let you match your wardrobe for best use
- The slip-on method is convenient and quick
- Higher price point in certain colors
- Shoes may stretch and expand after a few wears
- Elastic upper can cause your foot to slip
One of the best shoes out there for a teacher is one that is reliable, sturdy, and truly comfortable. When it comes to jobs like this that keep you on your feet, you can never go wrong with a solid mule.
The Dansko Professional Mule is a shoe that every teacher will instantly love because of its practicality and comfort. This level shoe gives you about a two-inch heel and features a .75-inch platform, so you do get a bit of extra height here – but without needing the effort that it takes to walk around in a high heel pump.
The shoe is made from 100% leather, giving it a beautiful finish that looks polished and professional. The lovely leather will go with so much of your wardrobe, so these shoes are worth the cost. Not only is the leather upper beautifully made, but it’s also available in a pervasive list of colors.
From classic antique brown to cobalt, red, and honey, the many color options offered lets you showcase your style and match your shoes to your outfits in a way that works for you. Not everyone has the same style, so this shoe lets you decide what color you want to rock.
In addition to style, the Dansko Mule includes several features designed to ensure your consistent comfort. Firstly, you will that that the instep collar is padded so as to provide comfort while walking. Second, the toe box is extra roomy, delivering ample wiggle room, so your toes don’t feel squished into a point.
Finally, the outsole features a rocker bottom, which helps you in propelling your foot forward and absorbing shock. It also gives you fantastic arch support.
All of these details play into this shoe being one of the most comfortable and ideal shoes for teachers. And, unlike a pump or a high heel, this mule has a very wide heel so you can feel stable all day and not fear losing your balance.
- Very comfortable for all-day wear
- Suitable for those who have wide feet as well
- Quality materials last long
- The unique design absorbs shock and support arches for long-time comfort
- The low, wide heel is natural to walk in and maintain balance
- 100% leather comes in a wide variety of colors
- A great solution for those experiencing foot or leg pain
- Shoe style is not always considered “stylish”
- Higher price point
Not all women are fashionistas – and there’s nothing wrong with that! Because everyone has their own style, it’s important to include shoes that focus on practicality rather than their appearance. Appearance isn’t everything, but performance sure means a lot.
The Keen Women’s Presidio shoe has the feel of a sneaker but the look of one with a bit of an upgrade. While some schools may be okay with their teachers sporting Skechers down the halls, others may prefer a cleaner and more professional look.
Keen delivers that look here.
The Presidio shoe is made from 100% full-grain and nubuck leather, giving it a detailed and sharp finish as opposed to a regular sneaker that might feature mesh materials, plastics, and rubbers. They lace up nicely in the front with a classic look that resembles a combination of an oxford with a sneaker.
A full rubber sole with a textured bottom ensures a firm grip as you walk the halls and your classroom. Because of their athletic lean, even rainy days can’t stop these shoes. While they look good enough for the classroom, they feel suitable enough for adventurous field trips and days on the playground.
With these shoes, you’ll feel generous support with a cushioned footbed and collar. This shoe hugs your foot throughout the day and delivers fabulous arch support as well as sole support.
You can order this shoe is a wide range of colors, from classics like all black and various browns to blues, greens, and pinks. Regardless of your color choice, this shoe will still look and feel perfect for the educational setting.
- Athletic style makes the shoes perfect for standing, walking, outdoor trips, rain, etc.
- Available in 25 different color/design options to suit any individual style
- Beautifully designed with nubuck leather for a professional look
- Highly supportive and cushioned materials support arches and soles
- Includes Cleansport NXT for natural odor control
- Durable and water-resistant for long-term use
- Shoes may stretch a bit after some wear
- Spacious toe box can appear bulky
- Laces wear out quickly
I already know what you’re thinking: you really want me to wear Crocs in a professional workplace? Stay with me for a minute here to learn a little more about the products that Crocs makes.
While the most popular version of the Croc that probably popped into your mind is a chunky slide-on shoe often worn by children or women working in their gardens, the cap toe flat delivers a very different and much more appealing look.
Croc’s flats for women look very similar to any other type of professional flat shoe. They are stylish and practical and certainly have that teacher “look” to them.
These adorable shoes are 100% synthetic and are made from the same materials as the typical crocs, but in a slimmer, more attractive flat shape. The designed incorporates a high-gloss toe cap for a touch of flair and style, giving it an elegant look.
The outsole and footbed are highly textured, which gives them an excellent grip on sleek and wet surfaces. While you may not be able to wear your upscale ballet flats on a rainy day, these flats can handle the moisture while still delivering a high-fashion look.
With a one-inch heel, these flats give you the tiniest bit of a boost and offer a curved arch for a little more support than your average Croc. This flat is available in five unique styles, ranging from a bronze and gold combo to red and black.
- A very affordable option for tight budgets
- Materials are perfect for all-weather wear
- Stylish design for professional settings
- Thick and sturdy rubber
- Very comfortable wear for all-day events
- Deliver good arch support with low one-inch heel
- Rubber design can cause your feet to sweat
- Soles tend to start peeling down after long-term use
When the fall and winter months roll around, you can’t necessarily wear the same shoes that you love to sport in the spring and winter. Every teacher can use a good pair of quality boots for the workplace, and Clarks delivers a stylish and functional option for you to rely on.
You can never go wrong with a classic leather look, and that’s precisely what you get with the Delana Joleen boots. Made from 100% leather and textile, these boots look pleasant and professional with full coverage to protect you from the elements.
The synthetic sole houses a two-inch heel for a bit of height that keeps you at a comfortable level. The heel itself is blocky and thick, which makes it easy to walk around on and keep your balance. A comfortable arch automatically supports your feet as you walk, letting you wear them all day long.
Using an Ortholite footbed, this Clark style has a cushioned bottom for ultimate comfort. The shoe is lightweight, making it easy to carry around on your feet with little impact. The short bootie-style height is adorable yet professional, and the zipper on the side gives you easy access to slide it on and off.
Available in four different color options, you can choose the design that best suits your school year wardrobe.
- Very comfortable shoes to wear and walk in all day long
- Thick soles mimic a clog bottom, making them extra sturdy and reliable
- Stylish look is perfect for fall and winter
- Cushioned bottom delivers exceptional comfort
- Lightweight feel
- Shoes do not rub at the heels or ankles
- Too narrow for wide feet
- Do not work with orthotics
- Very wide at the neck of the boot
You can never have too many pairs of boots, even as a teacher. The Born Osha boots deliver an urban-chic style for teachers who are hip and fashionable, yet still want to be able to walk easily around their classroom.
This boot displays a modest heel measuring at just under two inches, making it perfect for leading lessons, directing herds of students, and residing over detention duty. Because the heel is stacked, it’s super durable and gives you plenty of support and stability throughout your hectic day.
Inside the shoes, you will find a lightly cushioned, microfiber-lined footbed. This design provides a bit of additional comfort in every step so you can focus on your work rather than the pain in your feet.
With a rubber outsole, you can feel secure even on cold and wet days. The rubber grips and prevents slipping so you can stay on your feet and out of harm’s way.
Finally, the overall look of this boot is absolutely eye-catching. The distressed design comes in both black and brown and features a fashionable and functional side zipper to go with the buckled strap and knitted tassel.
- Chic and stylish urban look for a teacher to upgrade their outfits
- Comfortable to wear all day long
- Sturdy stacked heel features a rubber outsole for anti-slip
- Lightly cushioned footbed delivers extra comfort
- May require the use of an additional insert for support and comfort
- Sizing may vary
- No collar padding
Ballet flats will always be a timeless and classic option for women’s footwear. It seems that no matter what the occasion is, a ballet flat will always be appropriate. From casual outings to the grocery store to weddings where the bride needs a break from her heels, ballet flats deliver effortless style in major comfort mode.
And that’s what makes these shoes an excellent choice for teachers.
FitFlop’s ballet flats are made from 100% canvas, giving them a flexible and relaxed fit that won’t squeeze your toes or feel stiff. The movable material allows for free range of your foot, so you don’t have to feel like you’re trapped inside a rubber box all day.
The rubber sole ensures that the bottom of your feet are protected from the elements, while the top canvas lets your feet breath.
Though this shoe is classified as a ballet flat, it does feature a unique component. This shoe actually has a two-inch heel in the form of a wedge. The shoe itself looks almost identical to a ballet flat, but it gives you a little bit of height for a touch of class and professionalism.
These shoes, which come in two vibrant colors, are the epitome of comfort, cuteness, and business all wrapped up in one fashionable and affordable package.
- Unique design and color options let you showcase your fun style
- Wedge heel delivers balance and class
- Canvas material has an appealing textured look and flexible movement
- Reinforced toe keeps shoes looking nice for longer
- Very comfortable for long periods of standing and walking
- May need insoles or heel inserts for additional support
- Do not look great with more dressed up outfits
For the male teachers out there storming the classrooms and delivering solid lesson plans, the Rockport Men’s World Tour Classic is an awesome shoe that will have you looking sharp and getting the job done.
Whether you’re the type of guy who prefers a full suit or you’d rather rock a pair of nice jeans and a dress shirt, these Rockport shoes will do the trick.
Showcasing a very classic men’s look, this pair of footwear is made from 100% leather. One of the best things about this design is that over time, the leather materials will conform to the wearer’s foot, giving almost a custom fit with the cost of a custom design.
Both the tongue and the collar of this shoe are padded, which adds to the comfort levels involved in this case. They prevent excessive rubbing, meaning fewer blisters as you walk around your classroom, helping your students every day.
Polyurethane cushioning not only delivers an extraordinarily comfortable feel to the bottom of your foot and great arch support, but it also helps absorb moisture and resist odors. This may not be the most attractive selling point, but after several weeks of use, you’ll be glad for this feature.
Finally, the rubber outsole is thick and durable, ensuring that you get the most use of this fantastic piece of men’s fashion. With several color options in shades of black, grey, and brown, this shoe might become your go-to.
- Leather material gives you a classy, fresh, and professional look
- Cushioned insole, tongue, and collar delivers excellent comfort for all-day use
- Several shades of color let you match your shoe to your preferred wardrobe
- Moisture-wicking and odor absorbing technology will keep your dry and fresh
- Durable construction and high-gripping outsoles
- Tongue seems too short and doesn’t reach the top
- Shoelaces are cheaply made and may need replacing
- May need additional insoles for those in need of more arch support
Some women prefer a shoe that provides a flirty, girl look without the hassle of dealing with heels, straps, and sparkles. Skechers BOBS are the perfect solution, as they give you a no-frills approach to the perfect little girly shoe.
The crochet flat is such a great choice for teachers from this line. While BOBS, in general, are very cute, comfortable, and easy to wear, not all of them have a professional, cute, or girly look. With the crochet design, your BOBS go from comfortable and casual to adorable.
This crochet look can be pair with jeans, skirts, or dresses alike with its lace-like design. The easy slip-on style lets you grab them and go – perfect for when you’re running behind schedule.
The flexible insert lets your foot move in more natural ways, but the wide opening is also compatible with additional inserts, should you need a little extra support. With an outer rubber sole at the bottom, you can walk across a damp parking lot or a hot sidewalk without worrying about your feet.
Finally, the memory foam footbed delivers superior comfort during a long day of standing, walking, and potentially chasing around young students.
- The adorable design is fun and cute yet professional and versatile
- Rubber sole holds up well on various surfaces
- Memory foam insert makes sure your foot stays comfortable
- Slip-on design makes wearing and changing easy
- Crocheted upper allows for excellent airflow
- Does not work with dress pants or business-like attire
- Insoles do not measure up to all standards; may need to replace them
- Sizes run big
If you’re a man who likes the look of a dress shoe but also appreciates convenience and ease of use, then this Skechers model might be the perfect teaching shoe for you.
There are so many dress shoes made for men that look the part, but not everyone wants to mess with laces first thing in the morning or during a busy school day. The Search Slip-On Loafer takes the stress out of the perfect shoe but giving you one that you can pull on and go.
Made from 100% leather, this loafer is certainly quality in appearance. It takes on the look of a fantastic, luxury brand dress shoe for a fraction of the cost.
The rubber sole of this shoe is highly textured and gives you a great grip – perfect for wet parking lots, crowded hallways, and lots of stairs. Its thick design is durable and sturdy, which is great for delivering years of performance in the classroom.
The padded collar ensures that you don’t get blisters from these shoes, while the unique gel-infused memory foam insoles provide you with top-notch comfort that won’t disappoint. Use the pull-on tab at the tongue to get these babies on quickly and get you out the door.
There are four different color options to choose from, and all of them are classy and stylish. Plus, the contrast stitching gives you an extra boost in the fashion department and will complement a suit and jacket or a pair of jeans and a dress shirt.
Tie or no tie, this is the professional shoe for teachers that will leave you comfortable and confident in front of any classroom.
- Very classy and professional appearance to impress students, faculty, and parents
- The slip-on design is convenient and erases the issue of shoelaces
- Thick and heavy rubber soles are long-lasting and gripping
- Padded collar and gel-infused insole deliver high levels of comfort and pressure relief
- Air-cooled technology ensures shoes remain breathable
- Affordable price point
- Some find that the shoes run a bit large
- Colors in order images may appear different in person
When it comes to the noble profession of teaching, there are a few things that can make or break your experience. These can be a particularly difficult group of students, the lack of funds for supplies, and, of course, the wrong pair of shoes.
As someone who is on their feet all day long, it’s important that you find yourself the perfect pair of shoes that serve to enhance your teaching experience – not ruin it.
While we have certainly compiled a solid list of shoes for you to choose from, there are definitely a few products that stand out against the others, and we’d like to put an emphasis on these for you.
For the best overall choice, we feel you can’t go wrong with Dansko’s Professional Mule. While the look of the shoe is fairly basic, the leather materials give it a professional pop. This shoe will go with tons of outfits, and it still gives you a bit of a height boost to work with.
At the same time, the padded instep collar delivers great comfort. The sole of the shoe is not only sturdy and durable, but the wide shape gives you added stability while the rocker bottom absorbs shock.
As for the best premium option, we are big fans of the Aerosoles A2 Big Ben Dress Pump. This shoe delivers such a classic, professional, and practical look and lets female teachers know that you can still rock a heel while you rock a classroom.
Though many teachers will stray away for daring to wear a high heel during such a long day on their feet, we love this shoe because of how much attention to comfort they pay. The double-padded memory foam insole pairs perfectly with the idea of a heel, and even the tiniest bit of a platform alleviates some of the stress from a high heel.
Finally, for the best value, we love the Skechers Men’s Segment The Search Loafer. This slip-on shoe looks the part without costing you an arm and a leg. Men will love how comfortable these shoes are, and the ease of use only gets better when you realize you no longer have to tie your shoes in the hallway.
Reliable and sturdy with 100% leather at this price is a good enough value already, but when you add in the details of the gel-infused, cooling, and pressure-relieving memory foam comfort insoles, you pretty much have a dream shoe for a teacher.
As a teacher, you already have so much on your plate that you have to worry about. The shoes that you’re going to wear for the school year should not be one of those stress factors. Use this list to find yourself the most comfortable, practical, and stylish shoes for the upcoming school year.
You’ll easily conquer the hallways, the classroom, and even after school detention duty with any one of the shoes we talked about today.