This feature about shoes for teachers is the third in my new Top 10 Shoes for… series. Throughout the series, I’ll be interviewing inspiring women in each of the featured professions about their work shoes. You can also find my top 10 recommendations for fabulous shoes suitable for this profession in the slide show.
If the dress code at your school allows, try this bright "sulphur" metallic. The point gives an assertive edge, while the strap keeps the shoes securely on your feet.
This patent lace-up with its tweed-look print is a twist on classic men's styling. The high shine effect gives this style a hint of femininity.
If you're a teacher who requires a wider fitting shoe, you can still look elegant. Try these black faux suede and rose gold flats for ladylike comfort.
Give your feet a hint of bling without compromising on practicality. These closed-in lace-ups feature jewels atop their shiny metallic uppers.
Struggle to find shoes in your size? This style is for you. The burgundy lace-up is available in half sizes. It also looks great with black and autumn's dark hues.
Always rushing to leave the house in the morning? Slip on these easy leopard print wedges for speed with style.
The colour of traditional British shoe styles. Play with androgynous looks in these wide fit brogues.
Give yourself an emotional and physical lift in these sparkly purple flatforms. Your students will be asking you where you got them. Don't let them steal your style!
These chunky-soled strap shoes look great with skirts, dresses. or cropped trousers. Great for warmer classrooms due to their open tops.
For fans of a paler shade of pink, you'll love these tassel loafers. These slip-ons are easy to get on and off in a hurry, and the chunky sole adds height.
What do teachers want from their shoes?
I asked a teacher with 6 years’ experience all about her footwear.
Meet Sarah Murray
Q. What’s your job title?
A. Teacher of Design and Technology
Q. Do you wear the same shoes to travel to work as you do at work?
A. I commute in London so it depends. I generally try to wear some form of trainer or a flip flop in the heat. But I have to change into a smarter shoe when I get to work.
Q. What do you feel are the most important aspects of your work footwear?
A. I teach design and technology across all the subject areas: product design, textiles, food and graphics. The most important element is comfort closely followed by safety. None of the subjects I teach are based in a normal classroom environment, most are workshop based so I’m moving around constantly. Also due to the kitchen in our school being in a different building I have to run between buildings in a very short time frame. Safety wise I like to wear shoes that cover my feet – especially when I’m teaching Product Design. I constantly dread the day I drop a chisel on my foot! The day I dropped a brand new scalpel and it cut my leg and then embedded itself in my Dr Martens was an eye opener!
Q. Do you usually wear heels or flats at work?
A. I nearly always wear flats. There are numerous reasons. High heels are banned in the workshop and the food room (but not textiles and graphics) but it’s mainly for comfort. I’m also very tall and wearing heels makes me scary – apparently. I also personally can’t be bothered with the extra distance I have to bend to reach the kids’ desks. When I do wear a heel it’s about 1 inch and I get lots of comments from the kids.
Q. Where do you normally buy your work shoes?
I try to buy a decent quality shoe. The most recent places I’ve bought work shoes are Office, River Island, Poetic Licence and ASOS.
Q. Are you able to express your personal style at work? If so, how do you like to show it?
A. I’m lucky that my school doesn’t insist on business wear. We do have some rules – including no trainers. Coming from a fashion background I found this change really difficult to work with. My personal style is an intrinsic part of my personality and having to dress sensibly made me lose a bit of my self identity. Now I’ve been teaching for a while I’ve found a way around lots of the rules. I wear black leather vans. My Dr Martens are black and glittery or bright blue metallic. I plan my footwear around what I’m teaching so if I’m not in the workshop I wear court shoes or a sandal. If I couldn’t wear cool shoes, the type the students always say “I like your shoes miss” I’d really struggle.
To help out all of you hard-working teachers, I’ve selected the very best shoes for your profession that you can just click through and buy. Find my top 10 shoes for teachers in the slide show at the top of the page.
For loads of essential tips on how to find comfortable, beautiful footwear, you can download my book The Shoe Shopping Kit.