As teachers, we’re on our feet constantly, which is why having comfortable shoes in this profession is an absolute must. Whether you’re standing in front of the board, commuting to the school, or rushing in and out of classrooms, teachers need shoes that are supportive, well-cushioned, durable, and breathable.
These basic features will make your workday go far quicker, and will ensure you can teach to the best of your ability because you’re not suffering from aching feet, blisters and discomfort!
We’ve scoured the web to find the best shoes for male teachers, and have put together a handy buyer’s guide containing everything you need to know and consider before you buy. We’ve also considered a range of different styles to fit with your school’s dress code and your own personal preference.
If you’re looking for a smart-casual shoe that can be worn with a range of different outfits, look no further than the popular Bushacre 2 from Clarks. Clarks is a well-known British footwear brand famous for creating comfortable – yet modern and stylish – shoes.
They’re made from 100% leather and have a suede upper, so you can guarantee that they’re not going to fall apart after wearing them a few times.
The gull grain leather sockliner provides plush comfort that molds to the shape of your foot, while the cushioned EVA insole provides all-day shock absorption and comfort.
Styled after the iconic Clarks’ desert boot, the leather welt stitching provides unrivalled sturdiness, while the rubber outsole provides great traction and durability.
Whether you wear these every day or for annual functions, this timeless style is the perfect balance between casual and stylish. It’s also available in a range of neutral and muted colors which are perfect for a classroom setting.
- Leather and suede construction
- Cushioned EVA insole for comfort
- Leather welt stitching for durability and sturdiness
- Rubber outsole
- Full grain leather sockliner
- They may take some time to “break in” and become truly comfortable
If you’re looking for a smart shoe, look no further than this 100% leather slip-on loafer from Dockers. It features “All Motion Comfort” technology to provide outstanding cushioning and flexible construction for long-lasting comfort, and has an EVA sock liner with a comfort gel heel insert to provide shock absorption.
This style is also accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association for quality and effectiveness in allowing for normal foot function and promoting good foot health, but that doesn’t mean it compromises on style.
This loafer has a burnished, full-grain leather upper and a contemporary silhouette that looks smart and modern. It also features a lightweight rubber outsole for maximum traction and prolonged durability. It’s available in a range of widths as well as sizes 7, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17.
- 100% leather
- “All Motion Comfort” technology
- EVA sock lining & gel insert
- APMA approved
- Rubber sole
- Synthetic parts of the shoe may wear away quickly
Sketchers’ Delson Camden sneaker is a contemporary twist on a classic sneaker style and is perfect for a smart-casual look. There are several great features to this shoe. For one, it’s made from textile and synthetic materials that provide breathability and a full range of movement.
The perforated side overlay panels provide an “air-cooled” feel to keep your feet feeling cool all day long. This also makes them particularly suited to the summer months or humid climates.
The bungee laces allow you to slip these shoes on and off quickly, so you don’t have the struggle of tying up laces, which is also made easier by the heel and instep faux-leather pull-on loop accents.
These smart-casual shoes provide all-day comfort, with a padded collar and soft fabric shoe lining, as well as an “air-cooled memory foam” cushioned comfort insole and shock-absorbing lightweight flexible midsole to reduce pressure on your feet.
The flexible traction outsole provides great grip and traction, too.
- Perforated side overlay panels provide an “air-cooled” feel
- Bungee laces and loop accents
- Air-cooled memory foam cushioned insole
- Lightweight midsole
- Flexible traction outsole
- Some people found that the fit runs small
Crafted from 100% leather, these shoes are designed to be sturdy, durable, and comfortable. They have a fatigue-fighting, latex foam footbed that cushions the foot and reduces pressure and fatigue while you’re on your feet all day.
The moisture-wicking mesh lining provides excellent breathability and increased comfort and fit, while the rubber sole ensures traction and grip.
These shoes are designed to look smart and modern, but they’re built like a sneaker, with a low-top from the arch that allows you to walk miles without experiencing discomfort.
They come in a choice of widths, including normal, wide, and x-wide, and a choice of neutral colors too. The Rockport Eureka shoe is great if you want a shoe that provides sneaker-like comfort but in the form of a dress shoe.
- 100% leather design
- Latex foam footbed to reduce fatigue
- Mesh, moisture-wicking lining
- Rubber sole
- Range of widths
- Lace-up style takes longer to put on/take off
While these shoes may be designed for running, the foot-hugging silhouette and sock-like construction provide a great fit and all-day comfort. They also have pillow-soft cushioning to support your feet and a knitted upper that provides a full range of movement.
These are also great if you walk back and forth to work or have to run sports sessions.
These have a chunky “Cloudfoam” midsole with a super-soft insert that alleviates pressure on your feet and provides improved comfort and support.
The rubber sole is durable and provides grip on the slippery, polished concrete surfaces found throughout schools. The mesh material means your feet can breathe easy, too.
This shoe provides out-of-the-box comfort which is great because you don’t have to spend hours breaking the shoe in before it becomes comfortable – as is often the case with leather styles.
- Sock-like construction for a foot-hugging fit
- Cloudfoam midsole for plush cushioning
- Durable rubber sole
- Breathable knit construction
- They tend to run small
If you’re looking for a shoe that can be easily paired with jeans and chinos, look no further than Clark’s Forge Vibe Oxford-style shoe. This classic lace-up is a great casual option for teachers and features 3 eyelets and stitched detailing for a minimalist yet crafted look.
These shoes have a padded collar and tongue and lightweight EVA outsole to provide maximum comfort, and, with an ortholite footbed and minimal linings, these shoes provide maximum underfoot comfort while providing a lightweight feel that’s ideal for warmer weather.
The Forge Vibe Oxford is constructed from 100% leather for Clarks’ trademark durability and comfort and comes in a range of contemporary colors and size options, including a wide fit.
- 100% leather
- 3 eyelets and stitched detailing for a crafted look
- Padded collar and tongue
- Ortholite footbed for comfort
- Lightweight feel
- Some people had issues with sizing – check the size chart before you buy.
Now that we’ve explored the best shoes for male teachers that are currently available on the market, I’m going to help you narrow down your choice and identify the features you need in a work shoe.
There are lots of different materials on the market, and which one you go for depends on the look and feel you want to achieve, as well as your budget. Here are the most popular materials and their pros and cons…
Leather – Leather shoes usually provide the best comfort, as leather “breaks in” and molds to the shape of your foot, providing a soft feel as well as superb durability compared with synthetic leather.
The downside of leather shoes is that they can be more expensive, and you need to take care of them, as they tend to get easily damaged and scratched by regular wear and weather conditions.
Suede – Suede shoes offer a certain style and beauty that is unmatched by other materials, and they’re also great for cool weather as they provide an extra layer of warmth. Suede is soft and lightweight, and molds to the foot for superior comfort.
The drawback of suede shoes is that they get dirty quickly and are difficult to care for. They also come with a higher price tag than synthetic options.
Synthetic leather – while synthetic leather tends to be less durable, advancements in the industry mean that it’s becoming increasingly realistic and comparable to real leather.
It’s also flexible and easy to care for, is cruelty-free and suitable for vegans, and is a lot cheaper than leather or suede.
Mesh – a lot of sports shoes feature mesh material, and this is because it’s extremely lightweight and breathable, and it’s great at wicking moisture so it’ll keep your feet cool and aerated all day long.
The downside is that it isn’t very durable and may tear or rip if you wear mesh shoes a lot, plus it’s not very waterproof.
Comfort is your number one priority when it comes to shopping for shoes for teaching. The last thing you want is to be suffering from blisters or shoes that rub or cause your feet to ache. When you’re looking at potential options, pay attention to the midsole and footbed of the shoe.
Look for a shoe with a cushioned insole that provides plenty of padding around the heel to alleviate pressure on the foot.
If you have high arches, you’ll also want a shoe that provides maximum support, while if you have low arches, look out for a shoe that provides stability and structure.
Many shoes today feature the latest cushioning technology that may consist of EVA or gel-like materials to reduce strain on the feet and put a spring in your step.
If you plan on wearing a shoe every day, it’s important that it’s durable. Pay attention to the brand of the shoe, and go for a reliable name like Clarks, or Rockport. Read through the reviews and see what other buyers have to say about the shoe.
Check the material that the shoe is made from and other features that will improve durability such as the stitching. The soles are another thing to consider – look out for rubber soles as these offer the most traction and the best durability.
While comfort is your number one concern, second to this is the style of the shoe. Personally, for working in a school I opt for a smart casual shoe that can work with a range of outfits. The more versatile the shoe is, the better.
On the other hand, you may prefer a more formal leather loafer style shoe, or even a sneaker style shoe if your school’s dress code allows this. Just ensure that the shoe fits into your wardrobe and that you feel comfortable wearing it.
Also, pay attention to the color of the shoe. Neutral or basic colors such as black, brown, or navy work best and go with a range of other colors.
Most of us don’t think twice about our shoe size, but it’s possible to be one size in one brand and half a size smaller in another. Check the manufacturer size guide before clicking “purchase”, and check out what others say about the sizing.
Shoes of the same size and width also vary significantly due to manufacturing and materials. You should allow 5/8″ room between the end of the longest toes and the end of the shoe, which equals about one thumb width.
It’s also a good idea to try on your new shoes at the end of the day, as this provides a more accurate fit as our feet swell and are therefore bigger in the afternoon than in the morning.
If you struggle to find shoes to fit the width of your foot, there are plenty of brands online that offer wide sizes, which most people in the U.S. require.
Most of us are actually wearing shoes that are too small for us. If you feel like your feet are two different sizes, always opt for the bigger pair. You can always add an insole to the smaller foot, while you don’t want to be cramming your bigger foot into a pair that’s too small.
Things to look for in shoes for male teachers:
- Comfort – arch support/stability; a comfortable footbed
- Durability – ensure the material is good quality and can withstand everyday wear and tear
- Versatility – does the color/style of the shoe go with a wide range of outfits?
- Style – does the style of the shoe fit in with your school’s dress code?
- Traction – ensure the shoe has a durable rubber sole for good grip on the school’s slippery concrete floors
- Ease – ideally you want a pair of shoes you can get on easily when you’re rushing in the morning, and take off quickly after a long day of work
- Breathability – when you’re on your feet all day, you need a pair of shoes that allow your feet to breathe and stay cool
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best shoes for male teachers?
This largely depends on the style of shoe you’re looking for, but teachers tend to love brands such as Clarks or Sketchers as they provide superior comfort.
Any of the shoes on our list would be a good choice, as they provide cushioning and support, durability, and a modern, smart-casual silhouette.
Can a teacher wear sneakers?
This depends on the school you work in and their dress code. Some schools will allow casual shoes like sneakers, while others will be stricter and will require more of a dress shoe.
If you are allowed to wear sneakers, there are a great range of smarter “dress” sneakers on the market these days, which provide the comfort of a sneaker in the style of a smarter shoe. These offer great versatility and can be worn with a range of outfits.
What should a male teacher wear?
This usually depends on the individual school, as each school will set its own dress code for staff. More often than not, schools’ dress codes for male teachers fall under the broad “dress casual” heading.
This means that while jackets and ties are acceptable, they’re not usually required (except at some prestigious or more conservative institutions) and blue jeans and T-shirts are generally not allowed except on the occasional “Casual Friday.”
For most male teachers, their work attire consists of a short or long-sleeved dress shirt with a pair of slacks or dark jeans. If you’re a new teacher, it’s best to check your institution’s dress code before purchasing a whole new wardrobe.
It’s also good to have a few options when it comes to shoes. For example, a brown and a black pair to go with different outfits.
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