Show shoes

I just got back from a three-day show on marble floors, and despite
my rubber floor mats, my feet really hurt. I’ll pay whatever I have
to if I can get a pair of not-too-ugly (read: not white
workout-type) shoes that keep my feet from hurting when I have to
stand for days. If I have to, I guess I’ll even wear white athletic
shoes! So if anyone can help me avoid a lot of trial and error,
please share your wisdom. I’m sure I’m not the only one with this
problem! Man, getting older is sure a PITA!


I stand a lot, speaking across the county and have a problem with my

I went to this store (they are across the country and you can order

  1. They have an insert $60 that is awesome.

  2. Their shoes are VERY comfortable and are designed to have an
    insert INSERTED (most shoes aren’t). So it’s REALLY comfortable.

  3. I had a custom insert done by them, $249 that goes into ANY of
    their shoes easily. My feet don’t hurt ever and I can walk forever
    and stand.

  4. I even bought their padded socks, even better.

David Geller

PS Shoes are $89-$150 typically.

David Geller

New balancwe:

My favorite model #621, comes in black. They have other styles.
Versatile and value priced, the 621 trainer is especially suited for
low-impact workouts.

Abzorb in Heel & Forefoot: Helps maintain superior shock absorption
and cushion.

C-CAP: Lightweight midsole adds cushion and flexibility. Black full
grain leather upper

I have a mild case of “plantar faciitis”. That’s that heel/arch pain
when you first get on your feet in the morning or have been sitting
for an extended time. This insole keeps me on my feet.

IUAS1000 -

Ultra Arch Support - Offers relief for plantar fasciitis/heel pain,
pronation, arch

strain, or weak ankle complex.

  • Graphite arch delivers ultra-firm arch and mid-foot support for

medium to high arches.

  • Heel cup design is ultra-deep for highest stability and control.

  • Features Abzorb SBS cushioning in the heel and forefoot for
    enhanced shock absorbency and resistance to compression set.

  • Pronounced metatarsal padding relieves ball-of-foot pain.

  • Antibacterial/anti-odor enhancements.

  • Fabric top cover reduces friction and prevents blisters.

I have worn these for shows and spend most of my time on my feet
anyway. they have been great.


PS I do not know any one at, nor am I heavily invested in the Brown
Shoe Company, although my first job was selling women’s shoes. B

Bill, Deborah, Michele & Sarah
Reactive Metals Studio, Inc
928-634-3434, 800-876-3434, 928-634-6734fx

Hi Noel,

I recently purchased a pair of Dansko

sandals (Maxine) and then purchased some closed loafers (Jocelyn)
from the same maker. The footbed is modeled after clogs. I find them
very comfortable for standing for long periods at shows and they have
a simple, professional look. Apparently they are popular with nurses.

Take care,
Donna Hiebert Design

A friend of mine who has a really bad back swears by Ecco. It is an
italian company that makes somewhat expensive shoes. I have a back
problem as well and I wear Clark sometimes. I have a pair of Bruno
Magli that feel like I am wearing gloves on my feet. At first my back
hurt but after one or two days, I can wear these and be on my feet
all day and have no problems. so try Ecco, Bruno Magli or Clarks,

Good luck.


I feel your pain. Two good pair of orthopedic shoes and change shoes
and socks at lunch. This seems to help.


Thackeray Taylor
Rio Grande Technical Support
505-839-3000 ex 13903


I’m on my feet a lot of the day and I wear clogs all the time. Never
have a problem (except for occasionally falling off of them).

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

Dansko. They specialize in clogs (rubber/soft plastic bottom) that
people who must stand on their feet all day (nurses, teachers,
others) swear by. I think they make both men’s and women’s footwear
and they are widely avail able. I am a teacher by day & jewelry
designer by night and I love them. If these don’t strike your fancy I
suggest looking at a website that caters to nurses or restaurant
workers, I’m sure there are other industries that require
standing/walking for long periods, but I know if you search under
nursing footwear you will find comfortable shoes.


Hi Noel

Try putting a box of about 4-6 inches high in front of you when you
stand. Every so often you put one foot up on the box for at least 15
minutes, then switch. This will rest your feet and ease the strain on
the back. I used to work in a book wholesale warehouse with concrete
floors and this really helped.

And please remember to stand straight as I know that when at shows,
especially that are long hours or a little slow, people tend to
slouch a little and this adds to the strain on both back and feet.

At night soak your feet in very warm water with Epsom salts or
baking soda for at least 15 -30 minutes. Dry well then rub in some
hand cream and massage (or get your significant other to) your feet.
I have found this can revive me for an evening of visiting or even
dancing after a day on my feet at a show.

Karen Bahr
Karen’s Artworx
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I like flexible sole clogs by Merrell. I think my new pair of black
ones looks very classy. I got the clog tip from my brother Jack,
also a craft artist who does shows. I also take a small rug or mat
for my floor behind the showcases when working on concrete floors.

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA

I just got back from a three-day show on marble floors, and despite
my rubber floor mats, my feet really hurt. 

I have a pair of Dansko shoes that are wonderful. I was told they
are the shoes that waiters and waitresses often buy. A trade show
regular gave me excellent advice years ago- have 3 pair of shoes with
you, and swap them during the day. It works for me (and I have
problem feet- way high arches and insteps).

I hope this helps.

-Kate Wolf
In Portland Maine, hosting wicked good workshops by the bay.

Try Z-Coils. They have a spring built into the heel which
relieves the pressure when you walk or stand. They are not the best
looking shoes around, but they do have several styles, including
sandals which are somewhat dressy. They are recommended for knee,
back and foot problems. They cured my plantar fascitis (sp?) when
nothing else worked.

If possible, go to a store that carries them, because the sales
people will spend a lot of time to insure they fit properly.

Alana Clearlake

Waiters and waitresses often wear “cop shoes,” which you buy at the
police supply store, which you can’t get into. I’m sure you can get
them somewhere else.

I started wearing Doc Martens when I started teaching jewelry making
– for some reason, there’s like a law, that you can’t teach metals
unless you have a concrete floor. The soles on Docs are at least an
inch thick. They’re fabulous. And comfy, once you break them in.

Other choices: clogs such as the ones made by Birkenstock, they have
a whole line for medical professionals. Very thick soles, lots of
support. And you needn’t get the plastic ones for surgeons for just
rinsing the blood off.

Another one to try would be Dansko, similar to above, perhaps
slightly more fashionable.

No need to look hideous!


Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

Hey Noel,

Now, here’s a topic I can answer with great knowledge and

Here are some of my favs…

“Bjorn”-- awesome shoes, very comfortable. Some of them are much
cuter than others. They are kinda pricey, but I always find them on
the sale rack at Nordstrom’s. These are my favs… I have many
leather thong sandals that I live in in the summer. It’s like walking
on air. I’m not kidding, you have to try a pair on!

“Nike & Kenneth Cole”-- great pairing BTW. Kenneth Cole style meets
Nike soles. Very comfy. They have done everything from the cute
sporty “sneaker”, you know those sneakers you would never run in,
meant for style only. To knee high boots that are beautiful and
comfortable. This line is also very pricey, but really well made and
really comfy. Even the boots have the Nike cushion sole. And they
have regular in-between shoes as well.

“Aerosoles”-- affordable and comfy. They are no longer the “comfy
only” shoe. They are now making really cute styles. I went crazy at
the outlet center and bought some really cute heels which I can wear
all evening without feeling like my feet are going to cramp up. They
also have lots of cute flat styles now too. They are responding to
the trends more than they used to. My girlfriend just bought some
cute beaded ballet flats for her next trade show.

“Mephisto”-- I’m probably spelling this wrong… I’ve never worn
these, but my aunt and my mom swear by them. They do sandals and
closed toe. My mom says they are the closest thing to an orthopedic
shoe she can find that still looks cute. She was a nurse for years
and this is what she wore. I’m pretty sure these are a little pricey
as well.

If she was still a nurse, she would probably save her $$$ and buy…
“Crocs”-- They didn’t have these for my mom 10 years ago. I wear
these for set up and tear down and sometimes in between, especially
if I’m standing behind my display and people can’t see my feet. These
rock! They are cheap and really comfy. They are the most comfortable
shoes I own. That said, they are also the ugliest shoes I own!
They’re in that “so ugly it’s cute” category. I have them in crazy
colors, I figured if they’re gonna be ugly I might as well have

fun with it! I wear these everyday-- all the time. You can slip them
off and on, wear them with or without socks, garden in them. The
black ones are not so bad, they seem to disappear. Also, so many
people are wearing them these days they’ve kinda become trendy.

There is one more brand that I can’t remember right now. If it comes
to me I’ll repost.

I don’t hesitate to spend money on good quality shoes, especially for
trade shows. If your feet aren’t happy, it can not only affect every
other part of your body, but it can also really put you in a bad
mood. Bad moods don’t sell jewelry! And I really like to be able to
walk after a show!

Good luck,
Amery Carriere Designs

Dansko ! The most comfortable…recommended for people on
there feet all day.


have you tried the Crocs shoes? I don’t own any, but everyone that I
know that has them and wear them, swear by them.


Hello Noel,

Guess I’ll speak up. My Birkenstocks are the only thing I will wear
for shows or any other occasion that keeps me on my tootsies. That
includes hours in the kitchen, which has a ceramic tile floor - just
like working on concrete! They’re also de rigueur for tramping
through the Tucson shows… and YES, I’m going! Got my plane tickets
and car reservations made. Yee Haw!

Judy in Kansas

Noel, I have found that Mephisto makes shoes that work for me. I
also can wear Birkenstocks. My problem is a high arch. Several I
years ago found out that my shoe size was correct, but my arch is
high and needs a size larger than the length of my foot would
indicate. So I needed a bigger shoe to accommodate this problem. I
had not had my feet measured since I was a teenager. Most people
I’ve talked to about this would say the same thing. So my first
suggestion is to go to a really good shoe store and get your feet
measured properly. Once I did this, and then bought shoes that
actually fit, most of the foot pain was gone, and I now just get
tired from standing but no real pain. A really good shoe person will
be able to help you with this…

Good luck!


Anything from Easy Spirit is excellent. I wear these nice black high
tops that blend with my pants and I can stand all day and night in
these shoes.

School for Jewelry and the Metalarts
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
781 891 3854

Try Clarks, Merrills, New Balance. It could be your feet have
’spread’ and now require a larger width size. I wear one pair that is
totally disreputable to my workshops. In fact, so bad, the host
presented me with a new pair of the same brand. Love Clarks clogs,
which is my other disreputable pair. OK, lots of ‘accidents’ happen,
and I don’t want to wear my new ones to a workshop, because otherwise
they get nasty stains on them.