I have been working retail since 2009 and my feet have suffered the consequences. From 4 hour shifts to 13 hour shifts on concrete floors, your feet go through a lot. At the hardware store it was casual, so I could get away with some Dr Marten’s boots. At the greenhouse I rocked Dr Marten sandals and eventually some Teva’s. At my new job I need to wear fashionable shoes that are comfortable, but not every job has this restriction. So I’ve decided to create a short list of shoes that people who work on their feet everyday can use. Some will be more industrial, and the rest will be fashionable for people who have more restrictive dress codes.
I am a Doc Marten fanatic, and own most styles from boots, oxfords, and sandals. I have found that there is only one pair of boots that I don’t like, and those are the patent boots, which don’t have an insole. Dr Marten’s is the original work boot for a reason. If you purchase directly from them, you are able to get a lifetime warranty for any repairs! Only issue I’ve ever had was a broken zipper.
The cushioned insoles are basically a godsend and they offer the insoles for sale on their website as well. They do have to be broken in, which is the worst experience in the world, but once they’re broken in, they’ll be your go-to work shoe. They do offer heels, which I haven’t tried, but I’m sure they’re just as comfortable as the boots. If you’ve tried them out, let me know how they feel.
If you work outdoors, or even have a job that makes your feet sweat, these bad boys are the sandals for you. The Teva Tirra (The fourth shoe), which I used while running the greenhouse practically saved my knees. They are designed for hikers and can handle water and dirt. They have more fashionable options which can be beneficial if the hardcore version is a bit too ugly. Honestly the uglier the shoe the more comfortable in Teva’s case. They have a foam sole that is great for walking on uneven terrain.
Now is a great time to buy these as they have sales since it’s after the summer season. I’d buy now and save them for next summer.
Sort of a wild horse in terms of comfortable shoes, but I own a few pairs of platforms from them, and they actually hold up quite well during the day. Sizing can be sort of wonky, but overall if they have a thick enough platform they’re more wearable for long periods. I prefer the Back Offs and Nirvanas, neither of which are available anymore except for resale, but they both sport about a four inch platform.
What makes Jeffrey Campbell’s so cool is that they have ridiculous shoes in different styles and shapes and patterns that make them statement pieces in your wardrobe. They can cost quite a bit, but many sites offer them at steep discounts. I’d recommend going for shoes with platforms that are even all the way across and avoid ones with steep arching heels. Mules (the first picture) are also a great freaking choice as the heel is short and the arch is basically nonexistent.
If you aren’t one for ostentatious shoes, then Dansko is for you. This brand is known for having super supportive shoes. I’m sure you’ve seen the clog style worn by older women now-and-again. These styles are classic in the sense that you can get a rather simple style of bootie or flat that will work with multiple outfits. They’re not for me, but if you work in an office or are a teacher, these are a great option for running around.
They have tons of different styles and are trying to be more modern in their look, matching some of the new styles of boots and booties. Check them out, you never know.
The brand has their comfort style right in the name. They have cushioned soles that will save your feet. They have tons and tons of really stylish shoes that all have their namesakes cushioned insole. If you want a brand that constantly updates their style, but keeps the same comfort factor, Aerosole is for you. They offer relatively consistent sales, so you should never expect to pay full price.
So there you have it! Five brands that may help your poor feet. I know I have suffered quite a bit after wearing terrible shoe choices. If you are more in search of tennis shoes or running shoes, I would avoid Nikes as they’re more for fashion than comfort. New Balance, Reebok, Adidas, and many others are a much better choice.
If I missed any feel free to let me know! I’m always trying to find comfortable shoe options that last long periods of time. Shoes can be comfy for a day walking around, but I specifically try to find shoes that can stand the test of time, a full day working retail. If you decide you don’t want to purchase new shoes entirely, just go for some Dr Scholl’s insoles! They’re inexpensive and can be moved from shoe to shoe so you can keep wearing your favorite pairs. I know that the blister on my pinky toe will thank me. Add any other brands in the comments below.