Ready or not, the 2021-22 school year is upon us! For most teachers, that means you’re about to spend day after day on your feet for months to come. Teacher shoes have got to be comfortable and hard-wearing, so we asked real educators on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE Facebook group to share their recommendations. Here are their top choices for the most comfortable teacher shoes, from flats and pumps to sneakers and sandals.
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.)
The Best Shoes for Teachers 2021
We consistently hear from teachers, both women and men, who love their Allbirds. They’re ultra comfortable, plus they’re made with planet-friendly natural materials. Teacher Amy M. writes, “Allbirds are the most comfortable shoe on the planet, and I like how they look.”
We recommend: Women’s Tree Breezers (ballet flats), Women’s Tree Loungers (slip-ons), Women’s Wool Loungers (slip-ons), Women’s Tree Runners (lace-ups), Women’s Wool Runners (lace-ups), Men’s Tree Runners (lace-ups), and Men’s Wool Runner-up Mizzles (high-tops)
2. Hot Chocolate Chocolitas
Could there be any teacher shoes cuter than these? They’re comfy on their own but also have room for your own insoles if you need a little more support.
3. UGG Shoes
You’re probably familiar with the ubiquitous UGG boots, but they make plenty of other comfy shoes, too. “They actually sell really cute other styles,” says Krit S.
4. Sanuk Slip-ons
“I’m obsessed with Sanuk’s shoes with footbeds made from yoga mats. Foot heaven! I even got my husband (he’s a teacher, too) into the men’s Sanuk line.” —Tonia K.
5. Clarks Loafer Pumps
“I don’t know what I will do if Clarks stops making their loafer-pump style. These look as good with jeans as they do with skirts and can even pass as a heel on days I need to dress up. They are so comfortable, too.” —Sharon S.
6. Dansko Flats
Teachers love Danskos! “I’ve worn the Dansko brand for many years, and they’re a great option.” —Michele H.
7. Amazon Ballet Flat
Dara K. tried these and really loves the price (under $25). An Amazon reviewer agrees. “I am a public school teacher who stands (and sometimes runs) 9+ hours a day while at work. These shoes are insanely comfortable and did not need any ‘breaking in.’ They fit like a well-worn and loved ballet slipper from the first moment I put them on.”
We recommend: Amazon Essentials Women’s Ballet Flats
8. Lucky Brand Shoes
Kristi B. writes, “I swear by Lucky Brand shoes! All of my teaching shoes are Lucky!” And here’s a 5-star Amazon review: “I love these boots. I can wear them all day at work. As a teacher, that speaks volumes!”
9. Skechers BOBS Shoes
Beth D. says she loves BOBS shoes with inserts. Plus, we love all the different (and affordable) options on Amazon. (Look at that puppy print!)
10. Skechers Microburst
You’re going to see Sketchers on the list a few times, and it’s because teachers keep recommending them to us over and over again. Here’s a great slip-on to consider, backed by this review, “I am a teacher, constantly on my feet. These shoes are perfect for such an active job. They have the feel of a tennis shoe and the look of ballerina flats.”
We recommend: Skechers Microburst
“BZee shoes by Naturalizer are absolutely amazing!!! Not only are they comfy beyond description—they’re also machine washable!” —Kathy H.
12. Keen Shoes
Keens are solid go-to teacher shoes for men and women. If you live in a warm area, you can wear their sandals year-round. Otherwise, keep an eye out for other Keen boots and slip-ons like these.
We recommend: Keen Sienna MJ Canvas Shoes
13. Dream Pairs Pumps
When you need a more formal shoe for awards days or open houses, these low-heeled pumps fit the bill. “Great work to evening shoe, even for a teacher,” notes one Amazon reviewer. “These are extremely comfortable and stylish!”
We recommend: DREAM PAIRS Women’s Moda Pointed Toe Pump
14. Rockport Men’s Shoes
This is a brand that’s long been trusted by many who wear men’s shoes. “All my shoes for school are Rockport. They never let me down.” —John M.
We recommend: Rockport for Men
15. Ollio Oxford
“I’m always wearing these oxfords, and they [are] affordable.” —Roxanne M. They come in multiple colors, and you can dress them up or down.
We recommend: Ollio Ballet Oxford
16. LifeStride Diverse Flat
This real teacher review from Amazon tells you everything you need to know: “I am writing this review as a teacher who walks and stands from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a mask on, teaching active second-graders in the time of COVID. It is great that I don’t have to worry about my shoes.”
We recommend: Diverse Flat
17. Dr. Martens
“I love my (clean and well-polished) Doc Martens,” Olivia C. says. “Very comfortable and as professional as I need to be.” Check out this rave review from Amazon: “I am a 50-year-old female school teacher. I wasn’t sure I could pull off wearing these to work. Let me tell you, these are the best shoes I have purchased in a very long time! They are so incredibly comfortable. I wore Docs back in the 90s. I’m so glad I get to enjoy them again. Buy the shoes! You won’t regret it!”
18. Born Flat
Katie R. works at a shoe store, and she says she always recommends the Born brand of shoe for people who need good support. The Julianne is super-cute and comes in a variety of colors.
We recommend: Born Julianne
19. Earthies Shoes
We’ve heard from many teachers on Facebook that they like the Earthies brand of shoes. Here’s one teacher’s opinion: “I love these shoes! I have plantar fasciitis, and these are the only flats I can wear and not have any pain. I’m a teacher, so I am on my feet all day. I can wear these, and when I go home, my feet feel the same as they did when I went to work. It’s amazing!”
We recommend: Essen Flats
20. UIN Painted Canvas Slip-Ons
Looking for comfy teacher shoes to show off your personality? These come in a huge selection of fun colors and designs. And they’re well-reviewed too: “I absolutely love these shoes! They are uber-comfortable, and I get compliments on them wherever I wear them. I’ve worn them teaching and setting up a classroom and have spent a lot of time on my feet…these did not disappoint me!”
We recommend: UIN Painted Canvas Slip-Ons
21. Crocs Flats
Yup, THOSE Crocs! Turns out they make all sorts of styles that are just as comfy as their well-known clogs. “I have Crocs flats in every color and print.” —Amy C.
We recommend: Sloane Flats
22. Dr. Scholl’s Frankie
“I have arthritis in my hips, sciatica, and plantar fasciitis, and I live in Dr. Scholl’s,” Amy Y. told us. The Frankie flat is available in black, brown, and tan.
We recommend: Dr. Scholl’s Frankie Ballet Flat
Shannon H. likes this line of slip-resistant shoes made for food-industry workers. There are some downright cute styles available.
We recommend: SafeTstep Shoes
24. The Merrell Clog
“I wear Merrell clogs all winter,” shares Brenda W. We can see why! They’re comfy but professional enough for the workplace.
We recommend: Encore Kassie Buckle Slide
25. Timberland Pro
“I like the Timberland anti-fatigue clog,” Denise A. told us. Timberland’s Pro line is meant to protect and support your feet all day long.
We recommend: PRO Riveter
This is another brand that many teachers love and one you can feel good about. These adorable and comfortable shoes are made from recycled water bottles—a lesson in sustainability. Yes, they can be pricey, but teachers do get a discount.
We recommend: Rothy’s Discount Program
27. Vans Leather Slip-on
“My go-to is the Vans slip-on in leather. It’s a weather-resistant sneaker with great arch support that looks stylish and polished but feels like the weekend.” —Chris C.
We recommend: Vans Classic Slip-On Leather
28. Earth Origins
We see the Earth brand shoe popping up again and again for great shoe recommendations, and this is one of our favorites.
We recommend: Earth Origins Anika
29. Alegria Paloma
“My mom swears by shoes called Alegria. They have a slightly rounded bottom to take pressure off your heels. She works on her feet all day and loves them.” —Rachel P.
We recommend: Alegria Paloma Flat
30. Clogs from Klogs
Sandy H. says, “Last year, I bought some clogs from Klogs. They are amazingly comfortable.” This brand is made for nurses, but they make great teacher shoes too.
We recommend: Klogs Mission Clog
31. Converse Slip-ons
Sometimes, you just have to go with a classic. “I’ve tried dozens of shoes, and Converse were finally the fix for me. Now my feet don’t hurt.” —April S.
We recommend: Converse Chuck Taylor Shoreline Sneaker
32. Adidas Cloudfoam
Here’s another classic sneaker that has tons of fans. “Adidas has a comfort line that I love,” says Aimee B.
We recommend: Adidas Cloudfoam Running Shoe
33. Asics Gel-Quantum
If you choose your colors and styles carefully, any shoe can be professional enough for teachers. “I get a black pair of Asics so I can still wear them with dress pants,” explains Nicole B.
We recommend: ASICS Gel-Quantum 360 Shift
34. ECCO Simpil Loafer
“Ecco is a good brand. They’re expensive, but they never wear out and [they] look good,” Renee B. explains.
We recommend: ECCO Simpil Loafer
35. Taos Sneaker
“The Taos Freedom sneaker is so comfortable and has a soft support footbed,” raves Cheryl T. “They come in lots of different colors.”
We recommend: Taos Freedom Fashion Sneaker
FitFlops gained popularity a few years ago as a comfortable shoe that helps keep you in shape. They’ve expanded their line to other styles that are great for school. Erin G. writes, “FitFlops are ALL I can wear.”
We recommend: FitFlops Superloafer
37. Clarks Sneakers
Clarks is another brand that’s on this list more than once. “I love the lace-up sneaker from Clarks so much. These keep me going all day,” swears Krista H.
We recommend: Clarks Adella Holly Sneaker
38. Sketchers D’Lites
Mary L. loves this Skechers style. “I like any of the Skechers D’Lites with yoga memory foam.” The insole makes them comfy for long teacher days.
We recommend: Sketchers D’Lites Me Time Sneaker
39. Vionic Slip-ons
“I have wide feet and plantar fasciitis, and I love Vionic,” Melana K. shares. The brand has a big selection of styles for men and women, and you can even buy their insoles separately to add to other shoes.
We recommend: Vionic North Willa Slip-On
40. Sketchers Go Walks
“Sketchers Go Walks are a good option if you are looking for something less expensive.” —Brenda W.
We recommend: Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk 4
41. Volatile Sandals
Not quite ready to give up your summer sandals? “In the summer, I live for Volatile shoes,” recommends Regina J. “They are cute and comfortable.”
We recommend: Volatile Bahama Wedge Sandal
Here’s another sandal option, recommended by Karin B. “If the weather is permitting, I go with Birkenstocks.” (Heck, go ahead and pair them with socks if you want to!)
We recommend: Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed
43. Dr. Scholl’s Brilliance Riding Boots
If winter comes early in your neck of the woods, these classic boots will get you ready for colder days to come. Bonus: These fit wider calves, which knee-boots don’t always do.
We recommend: Dr. Scholl’s Brilliance Riding Boots
44. Soda Multi-Strap Ankle Bootie
“So comfortable and looks great!” one Amazon reviewer reports. “I’m a teacher and on my feet all day, but these felt great and no issues!!!”
We recommend: Soda Multi-Strap Ankle Bootie
45. Clarks Ankle Boot
Here’s one more Clarks to consider. If you want comfort, this is a brand that teachers tell us, again and again, you can count on.
We recommend: Clarks Tana Ankle Boots
46. Amazon Essentials Men’s Canvas Slip-on Loafer
Sometimes it’s harder for men to find inexpensive, comfortable shoes. That’s why we like these Amazon Basics slip-ons. One reviewer gives them the thumbs-up: “Very comfortable loafers. They’re actually more comfortable than my Sketchers for half the price.”
We recommend: Amazon Essentials Men’s Canvas Slip-on Loafer
47. TOMS Shoes
We hear from teachers how much they like TOMS shoes, over and over. If you watch Amazon, you can sometimes pick up some great deals, too.
48. TOMS Boots
TOMS has more than just its classic slip-on shoes. “I am all about TOMS boots to wear for their comfort, but I also love the buy-one-give-one social-good aspect.” —Katie M.
We recommend: TOMS Boots for Women
49. MATRIP Shoe
If you want to keep it simple and affordable, you might want to consider MATRIP. They come in several different colors and slip on and off in a snap.
We recommend: MATRIP Slip-On Walking Shoe
50. Naturalizer Riding Boots
“Tall boots over pants is my favorite look for school, and Naturalizer’s boots keep my feet happy all day.” —Megan V.
We recommend: Naturalizer Riding Boots
51. Jack Rogers
The Jack Rogers comfort line offers support without sacrificing style. Curved edges and a soft bottom support the heel, perfect for all day wear. Plus, their sneakers are a great, versatile option.
Kengos shoes are unique and comfy. The cork bed bottoms mold to the shape of your feet. Plus, they’re handmade from plants to minimize environmental impact.