Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children. - George Bernard Shaw
Question #91212 posted on 05/02/2018 12:25 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Let's talk shoes.

I work as a substitute teacher on weekdays and a cashier on Saturday, spending 4-8 hours on my feet most days. Needless to say, they hurt. A lot. After two hours.

I've talked to multiple chiropractors and a podiatrist and aside from getting orthopedics (that I can't afford) it sounds like getting a shoe with a cushioned sole is my best bet.

I have tried putting bubble wrap in my shoe (after a coworker recommendation) and it worked great! Three hours of work with only a little soreness before the pain kicked in! Of course, the bubble wrap pops after two hours.

So my question is: What types of shoe linings are the best for cushioning when compared to the feel of bubble wrap/walking on air?

-Miss Frazzled

P.S. Bonus if you can find shoes in a size 2... my small feet make my quest feel almost impossible! It appears that size is for kids, and kids don't need any cushioning, if they shoe stores in my town are any indication.

A:

Dear Miss Frazzled,

Dr. Scholls has some good insoles that may help. They're not the absolute best, but they're probably better than bubble wrap, and cheaper than most orthopedics.

You're also in luck that we live in a day and age where athleisure wear is ubiquitous and there are tons of high quality, very supportive shoes on the market that you can pair with a lot of different outfits. You know the really lightweight, sleek-looking tennis shoes that everybody seems to wear these days (like these)? Get some of those. Nike has a lot of good options, as does Adidas. They probably offer much better support than most "teacher-y" shoes you would find, and if you find some nice looking ones, you can definitely wear them when you substitute teach. I see tons of teachers wearing nice tennis shoes to work, because you've got to take care of your feet! The same goes for when you're working as a cashier. Find some good tennis shoes that fit the dress code at your work and wear the heck out of them (Famous Footwear, DSW, and Zappos all have good options for fairly cheap tennis shoes that still offer support). 

Also, I'm going to give some somewhat unrelated advice and tell you to sit down more when you substitute teach! You do not have to stand for the whole day when you're in schools, and you can still control a classroom when you're sitting down. Pull a table or a tall chair up to the front of the classroom to sit on if you have to be at the front presenting information for a long time; sit down at desks next to students if they're doing group work (this has a lot of benefits, because it also makes you more accessible to students if they need to ask for help, plus it helps keep them more on task, in addition to giving your feet a break); sit down at the teacher's desk if students are doing individual work or watching a movie. Just find ways throughout the day to sneak in as much sitting as possible. 

Finally, I know you said you can't afford good orthopedics, but I would argue that if your feet are in serious pain no matter what you do, you can't really afford NOT to get them. Dr. Scholls can tide you over for a while, but get yourself some quality shoes/orthopedics sooner rather than later. Taking care of your feet is important, and as someone who has had my fair share of foot problems, and coming from a family with a lot of foot problems, I can tell you that life is pretty miserable when your feet aren't doing well. It also gets much more expensive to try to take care of your feet retroactively than it would have been to just take care of them in the first place and prevent serious issues. So seriously, you should make it a priority to find high quality footwear, even if it's expensive, because it's much better (and probably cheaper in the long run) than the alternative.

-Alta

posted on 05/02/2018 1:33 p.m.
You may also want to look into orthopedic shoes designed for youth such as https://www.orthoticshop.com/youth-orthopedic-shoes-footwear/
posted on 05/02/2018 10:14 p.m.
My heart goes out to you, Ms. Frazzled.
This is not an advertisement, but a plea to care for your poor feet. If you are in the Utah County area, please go to Modern Shoe on Center Street in Provo. They will help you get a good quality orthotic insole and find a shoe that is comfortable and durable. If they don't have it in your size, they will order it for you. The store is run by the owner, and they love their customers! They also do their own repairs. A $100 pair of shoes there will make you far happier, and last longer than 4 pair of $25 shoes anyplace else. Your 50 year old future feet will thank you, and you deserve the best!

~ 8.5 EEEE with heel spurs, neuromas, plantar fasciitis, and ankle spurs casused absurdly high arches.
posted on 05/03/2018 11:29 a.m.
Keen's shoes are incredible. I and many of my nursing colleagues wear them for our long days in the hospital. The sole molds to your feet. Your size is not available in the adult range but they offer a wide variety of kids' sandals and athletic shoes in the same fun colors as adults.
And the price is half of the adult cost, around $50. keenfootwear.com, and probably also at Zappos. They are also sold at better quality local shoe stores if you want to try them on.