Updated: January 22, 2021
Teachers spend long, stressful hours on their feet every day. Comfortable shoes are a must. Sore, tired feet can be a distraction in the moment, causing us to focus on our aching muscles instead of the task at hand. As well, standing all day can cause myriad health issues, including bunions, swollen legs, lower back pain, varicose veins, and even a stiff neck and shoulders.
Unlike a lot of other workers who have to stand on their feet all day, most teachers can choose from a wide range of shoe styles. For instance, they may be able to wear sandals or other open-toe styles, which would be a safety issue for those working in the health-care field. While teachers should have fun and choose shoe styles that reflect their personality, they should also look for features that will keep their feet comfortable all day long.
As the day progresses, our feet naturally swell. To accommodate that swelling, teachers should look for shoes with a spacious upper or one that is constructed from soft, stretchy material. To reduce pressure on their feet and joints, teachers should look for shoes that have a flat outsole, where the entire sole contacts the floor (unlike many dressy, heeled shoes). A flat outsole will distribute their weight more evenly, reducing aches and pains.
At the same time, however, a slight heel decreases stress on the Achilles tendon, reducing pain and risk of injury. Look for shoes with a wedge heel or a slight heel lift, like in some sneakers. Finally, arch support and cushioning in the midsole will help with shock absorption as teachers move around, lessening stress on muscles and joints.