Student teaching is such an exciting rite of passage. It’s also a perfect time to start building your teacher wardrobe, which definitely includes cool-for-school kicks. I remember when I was a student teacher, I couldn’t wait to start my carefully curated collection of cardigans, dressy pants (the kind you’re still able to sit crisscross applesauce in when needed), dresses that were fun and easy to move around in, and the best shoes for student teaching. I knew I wanted shoes that were comfortable and stylish because I was going to be on my feet all day, moving around the desks, and even trudging through some cold slushy stuff at recess duty. Depending on the season and where you student-teach, you may be looking for some boots to keep you warm, or it may be sandal season (every teacher’s favorite).
I’ve compiled a list of the best shoes for student teaching for all the jubilant new molders-of-minds!
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
1. The Slip-On Mule
We love a slip-on shoe because it takes less time when you are rushing to make that morning meeting. This shoe is right in that middle ground of level of dressiness. You can easily dress it up with a fun pixie pant. You could also wear it with jeans on Friday for a more put-together casual look. Bonus, they are comfortable. A Zappos reviewer says, “Love the price point, the aesthetic, the comfort—all of it.”
We recommend: Slip-On Mules at Zappos
2. The Fun Loafer
These funky loafers will add a pop of color to your teaching wardrobe. Neptune writes, “These are beautiful loafers and they are so comfortable I feel like I’m gliding when I wear them.” Who doesn’t want to glide through their day? I know I do!
We recommend: Loafers at Zappos
3. The Allbirds
We cannot leave out the most requested, best-selling shoe for comfort and style! You get what you pay for with these shoes, and at the end of your day, these puppies will not be barking. In addition to the Tree Breezers, Allbirds has plenty of other comfy options for both men and women. For example, check out our review of Allbirds Wool Loungers.
We recommend: Allbirds Tree Breezers at Allbirds
4. The Birkenstock
I wore these in the classroom and a student said to me, “If you ain’t workin’, you ain’t Birken,” and I think that was a lyric referring to the much pricier Birkin bag, but I still loved the validation . These shoes are so comfortable. Depending on your school dress code, you may find these too casual for you, but I think they pair great with a fun dress! There are more than a thousand positive reviews on Zappos alone. One reviewer says, “They are VERY comfortable and lightweight.”
We recommend: Birkenstocks at Zappos
5. The Classic Kid
These platform sneakers are an absolute staple. Sneakers are definitely in right now. You can dress these up or down. The added platform height makes these a stylish take on classic Keds. One Zappos reviewer writes, “I work at a school that goes on fairly long community walks and my feet were completely fine, no discomfort. Basically, I can’t wait to start buying Keds again—forgot how great they are!”
We recommend: Keds at Zappos
6. The Naturalizer Morrison Sneaker
These sneakers are made for comfort but also deliver style. One Zappos reviewer, Zee, wrote, “I wore these to my kids’ school last week and received several compliments. When I told them they were by Naturalizer, I received a few gasps. The moms couldn’t believe how cute they were! I would highly recommend these shoes.”
We recommend: Naturalizer Morrisons at Zappos
7. The Sofft Nalanie Sandal
These shoes are absolutely perfect for sandal season. They can be dressed up or down and the camel color goes with almost anything. Claire, a Zappos reviewer, writes, “Perfect summer sandal. Looks great with both jeans and summer day dresses. Very comfortable, so they were my all-day work shoe.”
We recommend: Sofft Nalanie Sandals at Zappos
8. The Crocs
I cannot believe these are Crocs! I know your high school students are sporting Crocs with socks throughout the whole school year, but these Crocs are elevated! They have the same classic comfort factor that Crocs provide but with a fun, dressy look. Marlene, a Zappos reviewer, says, “… these are the most comfortable sandal I have ever worn! Plantar fasciitis is not even an issue with these! I highly recommend these!
We recommend: Crocs at Zappos
9. The Pencil Flats
For those teachers who smile brighter when they wear traditional teacher accessories, wear these adorable flats with one of our favorite teacher T-shirts. One teacher wrote about them, “I’m a teacher and on my feet all day. No blisters even on the first day!”
We recommend: Pencil Flats at Amazon
10. The Reebok Sneaker
The timeless design of these classic sneakers makes these shoes cool and comfortable for the classroom. One reviewer writes, “So comfortable!! I have been wearing these since the beginning of September 2x a week for more than 8 hours a day and the cushion on the inside has not gone down at all!! These shoes are amazing for long wear.”
We recommend: Reeboks Sneakers at Amazon
11. The Clarks Boot
These boots are perfect for those men looking for the right shoe to pair with their chino pants. One reviewer writes, “All in all, they’re good-looking, comfortable boots at a pretty reasonable price.”
We recommend: Clarks Boots at Amazon
12. The Chelsea Boot
These boots are all the rage, and for good reason. I ordered this exact pair and can attest to their comfort. These shoes definitely belong high on your list of your best shoes for student teaching. They are easy to slip on and perfect for cold days!
We recommend: Chelsea Boots at Amazon
13. The New Balance Sneaker
These are a classic shoe that I’ve worn as a student and a teacher. They work for men and women. They never go out of style and stand the test of time and comfort. Reviewer Bev said, “Got these for work and I’m on my feet a lot! They perform well! Lite on the foot!”
We recommend: New Balance Sneakers at New Balance
14. The Rockport Heel
These heels are there to support you on those long days when you may be getting evaluated or nights of parent-teacher conferences. Barbara, a Zappos reviewer, writes, “This is the most comfortable pump I’ve ever had, and I don’t generally wear heels—even low heels—because they just aren’t comfortable.”
We recommend: Rockport Heels at Zappos
15. Doc Martens
The ’90s are back and your students are obsessed with them. You may already own a pair of these boots. They are great for both men and women teachers. They’re stylish but not loud and flashy. They just sit back and hang like they know they are cool and they don’t need to be in your face about it.
We recommend: Doc Martens at Zappos
16. The Ballet Flat
No list of “Best Shoes for Student Teaching” would be complete without a classic ballet flat. It would be like leaving a cardigan off a list of teacher wardrobe staples or like leaving coffee off of a list of teacher essentials. These flats are so cute and comfortable. Stephanie writes, “I live in these shoes as a teacher on her feet for 6 classes a day. At first they did feel a bit narrow around the toe box, but after 2 days they broke in and are super comfortable. I feel great after wearing these shoes all day and they are so stylish. I probably wear these 4/5 days a week and they still look great.”
We recommend: Ballet Flats at Zappos