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What are the best shoes for teachers?Today was the first day of school for me.  I am...

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 24, 2011 at 6:21 AM via web

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What are the best shoes for teachers?

Today was the first day of school for me.  I am not used to being on my feet all day!  The three months off must have made my feet go soft.  Thinking about this, I thought I'd draw on the collective wisdom here?

What are the best shoes for teachers?  (I am female).  Brand?  Type?  I typically wear slacks so sneakers won't do it.

39 Answers | Add Yours

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 24, 2011 at 6:48 AM (Answer #2)

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I wore slip-on loafers with a short heel (no more than 1 inch) and crepe soles. I had two pairs, one blue and one brown, that I could alternate to match whatever I was wearing that day.

Because feet are unique to different people, I'm not sure anyone will be able to give you a specific brand or type of shoe. You need to wear whatever works and feels right for you and your feet. For sure, the first day of school is not a good basis for judging any kind of foot wear. Sore feet are part of the required "first day back at teaching" ritual!

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted August 24, 2011 at 7:20 AM (Answer #3)

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I am 6'0 tall so I cannot imagine how you people walk around in ANY sort of heel AT ALL.  :)

I also have a wide foot and high arch. It can be challenging to find shoes that don't look like those of a waitress who works in a truck stop. Also, expense can be a problem.

I've had pretty good luck with Naturalizers.  They have a good selection of flats or near-flats that have some cushioning. I have a pair or two that I paid less than $45 for that are a couple of years old now, have been worn frequently, and are still holding up.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 24, 2011 at 7:46 AM (Answer #4)

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I live in heels. Before teaching I was a bartender and worked in heels. NOw as a teacher, I simply find myself more comfortable in them. That is not to say that I do not kick them off under my desk once in a while : )

As for casual Fridays, tennis shoes work- I am not a heels and jeans kind of girl. At one time I did wear Dr. Scholls (Spelled right??) (my knees were bothering me); they were actually nice looking and really comfortable.

As for my heels, I tend to wear Sketchers. If you haven't tried them...DO IT. They are amazing.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted August 24, 2011 at 8:06 AM (Answer #5)

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One kind of shoe I would recommend against is negative gravity shoes. I had a pair, and after a year's use, I had serious flexibility restrictions in my ankles and toes. My conclusion is that while we may have been meant to walk barefoot or in lovely leather construction sandals--pre-Ice Age--we certainly were not meant to walk at an immobilizing backward slope, though a modest upward slope still allows for joint and muscle flexibility.

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bigdreams1 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted August 24, 2011 at 8:29 AM (Answer #6)

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For me, flats are a MUST. I tried heels a few times, and was nearly disabled by the end of the day.  We are never allowed to wear jeans, so sneakers are out for me...but I tend to like to wear very low-heeled clogs. That way I can slip them off and on very quickly if they start bothering me.

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 24, 2011 at 9:36 AM (Answer #7)

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I don't know if you are looking for specific brands, but I can't imagine life without my Dansko clogs and sandals.  They aren't necessarily the most "dainty" of styles, but they are stylish in their own way and have the most comfortable foot-bed. With pants, they would just fine.  It is no wonder that nurses wear them in white!

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 24, 2011 at 11:59 AM (Answer #8)

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Despite the criticism in Crazy, Stupid Love and the stereotype of the middle aged man I suppose, I still wear New Balance pretty regularly, if for no other reason than I am basically standing on a concrete slab all day and they prevent my feet from hurting at the end of the day.  As for dress shoes, anything with a decently cushioned sole and that doesn't require constant maintenance to look good works for me.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 24, 2011 at 12:30 PM (Answer #9)

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I have been wearing Crocs lately (albeit with socks). I have very sensitive feet and these sandal/shoe hybrids are more comfortable than any footwear I've ever worn. I don't like wearing sneakers to school (too casual), though many other male teachers do so. As I younger teacher, I mostly wore leather casuals and, for a while, Sperry topsiders.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 24, 2011 at 1:02 PM (Answer #10)

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I don't have a lot of shoe brand loyalty; I just have to be sure they have an arch. The Earth Shoes brand is pretty good, and I concur with whoever recommended Dr. Scholl's. I also have a few "no-name" brands of shoes which are comfortable enough to wear on my sometimess 13- or 14-hour days. The first few days are rough on the legs and feet, but it gets better!

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted August 24, 2011 at 4:17 PM (Answer #11)

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I have found the best of both worlds are Crocs wedge heels. At 5'1'' I occasionally like to liik a little taller that the junior students, so these suit me well. Also, as they are that lovely crocs soft foamy stuff my little feet stand the test of a busy day. Last year, I was Croc obsessed. I had the ballet style in 4 colours, wedge heels in 2 and a pair of leather topped lace ups fpr when it was cold.

A word of caution - you do need clean feet and wearing them with socks makes for VERY sweaty feet. What ever shoes you do wear, change them around regularly. Have an emergency comfy pair in the staffroom or office for days when you make a bad choice and are cringing by the end of morning asssembly. You can't concentrate when your toes are tortured!

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pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted August 25, 2011 at 1:21 PM (Answer #12)

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Like #7, I go with clogs. I have three pairs in my classroom, and I spend most of my teaching hours in them, with my orthopedic doc's approval. I also agree with #5 about avoiding the negative gravity type shoes; one of my colleagues tried those last year and would up at the chiropractor's; the chiropractor told her those shoes bring him a lot of patients.

However the best suggestion I can offer is to go to a home goods store and buy an anti-fatigue mat and put it where you stand most of the time. I went to Home Depot and bought a dense, foam type runner that is designed to go in front of a workbench in a workshop, and I put it in the front of my classroom, and it made a huge difference.

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 28, 2011 at 6:08 AM (Answer #13)

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Personally, I like Clarks. They are well-made, comfortable and stylish. When I was younger, I wore heels. Now they kill. However, it's hard to move swiftly through the halls or a classroom (if there is a fight or an emergency) in heels. It is also easier to slip, though I have done this in flats. I would be careful of the sole of the shoe: it might be slippery, or it might catch on the floor so your shoe stops, but your body does not.

I love to look in the window of a chic shoe boutique almost as much as a jewelry store: ironically, I rarely buy in either. Over the long-haul in the face of years of teaching, I think it's important to find out what kind of feet you have. Visit a foot doctor. Lots of people (myself included) have flat feet and never know it. Bunions are a killer: though in some cases they may be hereditary, they may also (can't be sure) be caused by shoes that are too narrow. And I can attest to the pain they generate and the "joy" of corrective surgery.

Comfortable shoes that take care of your feet are essential. Aching feet are almost as distracting as a headache. Go for comfort. The classroom can be painful enough sometimes without added foot pain!

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mrsdewitt6 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 4, 2011 at 3:32 AM (Answer #14)

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For me, it's all about the comfort, seeing as how I'm on my feet all day with 3rd graders.  Brands that I love because of the comfort and cool style that fit MY style: Privo, J-41, and Clark's.

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schulzie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted September 6, 2011 at 7:25 AM (Answer #15)

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I have to have cushions on the bottom of my feet.  Standing all day long on hard concrete or linoleum floors does it damage.  I have found that AirSoles are good for a long day.  Stay away from heels; it will kill your back by the end of the day.  I usually buy black and blue loafers with leather that expands as your feet swell.

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted September 8, 2011 at 7:15 AM (Answer #16)

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First, THREE MONTHS OFF?!?! Where do you teach that you get three months off? My school district is on a modified year-round calendar, and we're lucky to get six weeks off in the summer. We do get more breaks during the school year (nine weeks in, two weeks out), but we haven't gotten a true summer break in years. Teachers start back to school the last week of July, and students start the first full week of August; school ends the first week of June.

As for shoes, it depends on your preferences. I have a bunion on my left foot, so I have to take that into account when I look for comfortable shoes. The two brands that I like best work better in warm weather than in cold weather: Skechers and Crocs; now, I'm not talking about the ugly Crocs you see so many people wearing. They have many different styles that can be worn for any occasion. There's enough give to accommodate my bunion, and there's enough support to keep my feet comfortable all day. A nice thing about the Crocs I wear is that they have a bumpy insole that sort of massages my feet as I walk.

Good luck finding the right shoes!

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kudlacek | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 8, 2011 at 11:00 AM (Answer #17)

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Personally, I discovered the Aerosoles brand. They have flats, wedges, low heels, and are really cute and  amazingly comfortable. At the end of the day my feet are still feeling great! (Hey, I sound like a commercial!) You can order online or search for a store on their website. www.aerosoles.com They even offer a 15% teacher discount. That's how perfect they are for teaching. Good luck!

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rozo711 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted September 11, 2011 at 12:11 AM (Answer #18)

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dr. scholl's are great also clarks makes some great clogs.  they offer a lot of styles so there is definitely one out there that suits you! sketchers has also begun making sneakers that look a lot more like loafers

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jankateaches | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 13, 2011 at 2:45 PM (Answer #21)

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What are the best shoes for teachers?

Today was the first day of school for me.  I am not used to being on my feet all day!  The three months off must have made my feet go soft.  Thinking about this, I thought I'd draw on the collective wisdom here?

What are the best shoes for teachers?  (I am female).  Brand?  Type?  I typically wear slacks so sneakers won't do it.

The best professional shoes I promote for teachers are "Aresoles" or "Dansko". Teachers must have comfortable shoes! People don't realize we are standing on our feet most of the day.

 

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appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted September 14, 2011 at 11:44 AM (Answer #22)

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I live about a 30 minute walk from campus, and walk to and from work two days a week. So I wear very comfortable shoes! I like to get good quality shoes and I find a good way to get them at an affordable price is to buy them on Ebay. Plenty of people buy shoes on sale and then realize they don't fit, so I can often get shoes that have never been worn or worn once or twice for a deep discount. I like Born shoes (they're comfortable, attractive and well made) and since I know my size it is not risky to buy them online in this way. I've gotten shoes that sell for $80 or more for $10. I also like Teva sandals, and Fluevog shoes.

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jcarroll1 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 15, 2011 at 1:07 AM (Answer #23)

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I know when you hear Crocs, you think of the ugly, rubber, slip-on shoes with the holes, however they now have a lot of cute flats that do not look croc-ish.  I am a librarian, and I am on my feet 24-7. These are the most comfortable shoes that are school appropiate in my opinion. Check out the website, and if you live near an outlet mall, there may be a store there. I hope this is helpful!

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted September 17, 2011 at 10:32 AM (Answer #24)

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I have to agree the Dansko shoes are great.  I have a cute pair of black Mary Janes so they look great with pants or long skirts.  Giving a test? They don't squeak when you walk up and down the aisles.  Need to rn up front? Go ahead, you're walking on a cloud. Need to chase a kid? No worries, the skid proof bottoms keep you from slidding.  Though they are expensive, they do last, and so they are a good investment for any teacher.

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 18, 2011 at 4:53 AM (Answer #25)

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Several brands of walking shoe include professional-looking lace-up flats and half-boots. I wear Ecco myself, but Clarke, Rockport and Mephisto are similar. As long as you wear trousers, you can wear sensible shoes. Choose one with a solid technical-style walking shoe sole and supportive breathable upper. Gortex linings are sine qua non in winter.

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ekadi | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 21, 2011 at 12:05 AM (Answer #28)

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Believe it or not Tom's are unbelievably comfortable. They have the cushion and support necessary for a teacher. I am all for them. Toms will look good with anything.

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smartipi | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted September 21, 2011 at 8:28 AM (Answer #29)

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I prefer flats because heels are uncomfertable and too dressy, but wear whatever you find comfertable

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mwmovr40 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted September 22, 2011 at 4:27 AM (Answer #30)

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I do not know if they qualify as "negative gravity" shoes, but about a year ago my doctor suggested I try using Sketcher type sneakers in order to help my lower back.  I have to admit that my legs are tired by the end of the day, as they would be after a good, long walk.  However, my feet do not hurt as much and it has helped my back problem a lot.  I am sure there are other brands out there now that have copied the idea.  A cautionary note: they do affect your balance and it does take a while to get used to them. 

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evelynguy3 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted September 22, 2011 at 11:15 PM (Answer #31)

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I find Naturalizers work great for dress wear. I wear chunky, low heels. However, I had one pair with a medium high heel, that narrowed at the end (not spikes) that were the most comfortable dress shoe I ever had. I have never had a Naturalizer that was not comfortable.

I like the Earth shoes for sandals, but do find they aren't as dressy as I like for work.

Whichever brand, fit is the main thing. If you are not sure how to fit a shoe, consider going to a shoe store that does that for you (will be more expensive). Keys to fit are a wide enough box to not crowd the toes, arch support to match you arch (high, low, etc) and length to give toe room but not allow rubbing. Check heell fit, too. Some who have wide feet in the toe area have very narrow ankles (I do). You may need to check several styles before you find one that fits correctly here.

Once you find a shoe that is comfortable, go back and get several pairs. Choose different colors if desired, but getting a couple of pairs in the same color lets you swap out and prolong the life and comfort. Also, check other styles in that brand, and different brands with a similar style.

Don't be afraid to scrap an uncomfortable shoe and count your losses. Wearing an uncomfortable shoe is the most expensive shoe of all.

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apizzy731 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 25, 2011 at 6:40 AM (Answer #32)

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I love wearing Toms to teach in.  I used to wear heels almost daily to work and now my feet just can't make it through the day.  The great thing about Toms is that there are so many patterns that can be dressed up or down.  It is also a great cause to invest in!  If you don't wear them now, I recommend trying them out!

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted September 26, 2011 at 4:23 AM (Answer #33)

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As a middle school teacher, I did have a specific preference for shoe brands as I had trouble with all the standing teachers do.  For me, Finn shoes from Germany are the best with Aravon close behind.  The Finn shoes kept me comfortable, balanced, and were easy to clean.  I love Aravons, but they are not always the most stylish for the younger teachers.  Whatever brand you choose, be sure they fit well and support you as bad shoes can create both feet and back problems.

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ms-einstein | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:42 AM (Answer #35)

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The brand doesn't matter as much as support. A doctor told me recently virtually everyone needs orthopedic inserts. These can be custom-made by some doctors. However, this doctor said the new devices found in places like Wal-Mart makes orthotics almost as well as any doctor. In the store, you stand on a pad and it makes an image of your foot and suggests the correct fit.

If you're looking for brands, I'd suggest Dansko, Drew and Finn-Comfort.

Good luck!

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smokelessecigs | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 2, 2011 at 6:41 PM (Answer #36)

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What are the best shoes for teachers?

Today was the first day of school for me.  I am not used to being on my feet all day!  The three months off must have made my feet go soft.  Thinking about this, I thought I'd draw on the collective wisdom here?

What are the best shoes for teachers?  (I am female).  Brand?  Type?  I typically wear slacks so sneakers won't do it.

Wear a shoes that is comfortable for you.If you like flat shoes then wear it than pretending wearing a high heels leading you to hurt your feet. If you getting used to flat then wear it and if you are comfortable with high heels then go for it.

 

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figlover | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 3, 2011 at 3:53 PM (Answer #37)

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Never wear flip-flops(Wonder who would anyways)

I don't recommend high heels as they make noisy sounds every time teacher walks in front of the blackboard.

I think black, comfortable shoes with no colorful backgrounds would do.

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swimmy-megan | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 3, 2011 at 9:57 PM (Answer #38)

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flip flops

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s4ukgp | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 8, 2011 at 3:06 PM (Answer #39)

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A black leather formal shoe, with heels is must for me; it goes well with formal dress, bedsides, it gives a simple and decent look which adds to the personality of a teacher.

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valie77 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 15, 2011 at 7:25 PM (Answer #40)

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from a students point of view i think its better (if you are a short personne(no ofense))i would recomend high heels !! because otherwise your students might nickname you shortie or something like that!!!

take it from someones who knows !

but if you are a young beautiful woman stick with sandles, flip-flops... or you might get the wrong image !!!

hope it helps !!!

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blakedicarlo | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 17, 2011 at 6:25 AM (Answer #41)

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anything comfortbale and will not make you look un proffesional

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sweetly23 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 20, 2011 at 11:46 PM (Answer #43)

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i ussually buy a duckhead and clark....

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allbooksfresh | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 17, 2011 at 9:24 AM (Answer #44)

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i wear Air jordans

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katethompson | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 25, 2014 at 11:55 AM (Answer #45)

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This is a question that comes up often in my school. The popular vote for the most comfortable shoe in my school is Toms! I have not been fortunate to get my own pair yet but I cannot wait to get my first pair. A bunch of us have become Fitbit fanatics and are encouraging each other to walk at least 10,000 steps a day so a comfortable shoe is a much. We walk after school too. For a fitness workout shoe, Karhu and Asics are the best I have found for comfort.

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melissa1106 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted August 13, 2014 at 8:40 PM (Answer #46)

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Dr Scholls insoles may be of use to you. You could also look into shoes such as naturalizer because they are very comfortable. Many shoes are now also being sold with memory foam with may be useful. Crocs and skechers also now have non sneaker shoes that are comfortable for people on the go. 

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