We all know the pains of long days on one’s feet—it is unavoidable in this this industry.
Whether it’s a full day at the convention center, running around the day before a big event, or a lengthy site visit, leg and foot discomfort seem to come with the territory of the job.
One thing going for us is that style has made its way to the “comfortable shoe” market.
But what pair will really hold up day in and day out? Here are some recommendations from industry peers who have found their go-to kicks that ease the discomfort of a long day.
Joan Eisenstodt of Eisenstodt Assocs., LLC said: “I love my Munros.”
She also advised “rolling one’s feet against an ice-cold soda can throughout the day” to help alleviate foot and leg pain.
Heather Reid, founder and chief executive officer for Planner Protect, Inc. recommended: “Finn Comfort shoes. Expensive, but last for years.”
Reid also suggests to “put legs straight up on a wall for 15 minutes at the end of the day. It will be uncomfortable but will help tremendously through the night.”
Niesa Silzer, president of Details Convention & Event Management swears by Fluevogs. “Some are weird in design, but there are a number that have big wide toe areas and chunky heels, which make them comfy to walk in all day,” she said. “They also have some great flats.”
Silzer also noted that Fluevogs are “expensive, but they last.”
Clint Upchurch, senior experience designer for PRA Los Angeles said: “Growing up in Southern California, the VANS surf/skate shoe culture has been ingrained in me.
“They have a wide range of styles now (not just the checkerboard style that Spicoli wore in Fast Times at Ridgemont High!), and luckily over the past couple years, it has become acceptable to pair a more casual suit with a pair of … VANS!
Monique Louvigny, a freelance event planner and off-site event support provider, suggested Clarks, Easy Spirit, Munros, Merrells and Arche.
“I usually rotate between two or three shoes during a really long day and then plunge my feet in an ice bath when I get back to my room … ahhhh!” Louvigny shared.
“I'm on a 55,000-person conference for a week now and I’ve been wearing my morels with the Spenco toeless socks which helps,” she added in her response to Meetings Today.
Sunshine J. Woodyard, principal, Marketing Sunshine has a whole blog post on comfortable shoes, especially geared toward travel. When it comes to a long day on the convention floor, she suggests these Clarks wedges. “I find that a wedge heel is a nice change for my feet, so I alternate wearing flat boots and wedges. These have a cork base and the footbed is cushy and airy, soft like a pillow,” Woodyard wrote.
“I wore them recently for a 10-hour day doing live social media reporting from a convention center, and I wasn’t even sick of them after walking 25,000 steps in one day!”
Christie Ward a freelance executive producer recommends her go-to shoe brand: Dansko.
Lori Dolan Revilla, event consultant at Events From Lori, also gives Clarks two thumbs up. “I ruptured my plantar fascia two years ago and they [Clarks] are a godsend,” she said.
Deborah Molique, founder of Molique EPS, which specializes in event success for organizations with under 1,000 participants, likes Cole Haan and David Tatev because they are dressy, lightweight, and supportive.
“Since I work mostly national multi-day meeting events, I must still be one of the most professionally dressed people in the room," she explained. "I find dress boots or dress wedges work best because the larger heel gives more long-term support of the foot. I have gotten cleverer and switch out my shoes between day and night events which makes my feet happy.”
What are your recommendations for comfortable footwear on the job? Let us know!