Massage therapy is a job that can be very straining on the body. Despite the nature of the profession, while you’re relaxing someone else, your body is taking a huge toll.
Standing on your feet all day requires you to have shoes that will give you support and not ache while you are working. Some people are not aware that there are certain shoes that are specifically designed in order to prevent foot pain while doing work in the massage therapy industry.
Here is your guide to the shoes you should be wearing while doing any labor intensive work, especially massage therapy.
What Should I Look For In Shoes For Massage Therapy?
There are a few key elements of shoes that you should keep in mind while specifically searching for ones to use during massage therapy sessions.
One very important aspect that the shoes should definitely have is arch support. Arch support is important because it will enable you to stand on your feet for longer periods of time without sitting down. This is extremely important in the massage therapy industry especially because you can have long sessions where you won’t get the time to have a sit down break.
Another aspect that is extremely important while looking for shoes to wear during massage therapy are shoes that actually fit. This means trying on a bunch of different shoes so that you find ones that are not too snug on your feet. If your toes are being pinched or you are uncomfortable, you are not going to be able to stand for a longer period and your feet are going to hurt much, much sooner.
You should be looking for shoes that are breathable, as your feet will thank you later on. If you are standing in shoes that have no ventilation, you’re going to run through shoes quicker because they are going to start smelling more easily. It is also important that you get shoes that have proper insoles for the maximum amount of comfort.
The last element that can be extremely helpful when buying a pair of shoes is ease in putting them on and taking them off. This is important because you are not going to want to wear shoes for a long period of time, and once you are finished you are going to want to rip them off. If your shoes are too snug to your feet or have a design that makes them more difficult to get off, you are not going to want to wear them.
Best Shoes: Massage Therapy Shoes for Women
Women’s feet and men’s feet have different needs for style and comfort. This is your guide to women’s shoes for massage therapy, as well as all of the pros and cons of the different options that are available on the market.
1. Sketcher’s Performance Women’s Go Walk Slip-On Walking Shoe
These shoes check off when it comes to comfort and ability when it comes to massage therapy. While they may not look very pretty, they are the ultimate type of comfort. The fabric top makes it very breathable and they have cushioning to make them more comfortable.
It offers the proper comfort and support for someone who is spending a lot of time on their feet. These shoes are definitely a good option for someone who wants to protect their feet while not sacrificing their comfort. They come in a plethora of colors, and they aren’t as expensive as some other options.
Like any other type of shoe, there are a few cons that come along with them. These shoes you may have to order in a different size as they run half a size smaller than normal shoe sizes go.
Here’s the link to purchase them on Amazon, starting at $39.95.
2. Dansko Women’s Professional Clog
When you think about a comfortable shoe, you might not be instantly thinking about leather. However, Dansko’s clogs prove you wrong. These shoes have been specially designed for comfort and flexibility so that you don’t have to worry about straining your feet during a long, hard day of massage therapy sessions.
The shoes are specially designed to slide in and out easily, giving you easy access to your shoes. The additional support that is provided from these shoes is important, especially when you are going to be on your feet for long sessions. Another additional feature of these shoes are that they are slip-proof, making it easy for you to stand upright if you’re working on a slick surface.
These shoes offer the best breathability and have awesome support and stability. They also come in plenty of different colorways.
With all of these pros, there also come some cons with the shoe. You might be stuck wearing them around for a while in order to break them in because these shoes can have a relatively long break-in period. The material can also be somewhat stiff to work in, but once you’ve broken them in, you will have extreme comfort.
They are highly durable and will last you a long time, making it worth every dime! You can find these shoes here, and they start at $79.48.
3. Women’s Walking Shoes Sock Sneakers
These shoes are the key option for affordability. If you are looking for some comfortable shoes to wear during long massage therapy sessions, these are the right option. These are easy to slip on and have breathability panels in order to provide your feet with the ultimate comfort.
They come in a lot of super stylish options and they are super comfortable to whomever is going to wear them. They do not have built in arches, however they do provide your shoe with a sock-like fit. They provide you with a little bit of height, as well as preventing shoes from smelling with the breathable panels. They are also extremely affordable!
There are cons, however. There is no arch support with the shoes and they are not slip resistant. There is also absolutely no ankle support. These shoes, while comfortable, are not feasible if you are going to be walking or doing any athletic activity.
These shoes are available here, and they are the most affordable option starting at just $23.88.
4. Birkenstock Professional Unisex Profi Birki Slip Resistant Work Shoe
As our first unisex option on the list, these shoes have the versatility to work for any type of foot. These clog style shoes make for easy slipping on and off, as well as comfort when choosing what type of shoe you’d like to wear. They come in 3 different color ways, and they are non-slip shoes to prevent any accidents from happening in the workplace.
They are Birkenstock brand shoes, so they have the signature Birkenstock footbed, making them ultimately comfortable. It also provides your foot with adequate arch support, meaning that people with high arches don’t have to worry about discomfort. Their design is casual, but looks sleek and clean in a work environment as well, making them perfect for the massage room.
These shoes do have their cons. They are not squeak-proof, meaning if you get easily annoyed by your shoes squeaking, these are not the ones for you. They also run a size large, so if you are not trying them on first, buy a size up from your normal shoe size. Like every shoe, they have a period of time where you have to let them break in, and that can be unsettling for some, but once they are broken in they are comfortable.
You can purchase these shoes here, and they start at $79.95.
Best Shoes: Massage Therapy Shoes for Men
Now that we’ve covered the women’s section, we can move right along to the men’s. These are all of the best shoes on the market for men that have all the qualities to look for in shoes for massage therapy sessions.
1. Dr. Comfort Ranger Men’s Therapeutic Diabetic Extra Depth Hiking Boot
These shoes might not be the prettiest in style, but they top the charts in comfort levels. These shoes are more likely to be picked up by someone who takes their free time to the outdoors as they double as hiking shoes.
It comes with gel insoles for comfort, and the design on the outside makes it efficient because the laces are non-tie elastic. A positive aspect about these shoes compared to some others is that they run true to size, eliminating some of the hassle when buying. Since they are specifically catered to people with feet problems, they are going to be more comfortable than other pairs when wearing.
These shoes only come in two different colorways, which can be annoying for the people who like to match their shoes to their outfit. Due to the nature of the shoes, they can also be extremely bulky, which isn’t going to be cut out for everyone.
You can buy the shoes here, and they start out at $116.
2. Vivobarefoot Men’s RA II Classic Oxford
If you are someone who values style when it comes to shoes, these shoes are the ones for you. With their sleek design, these real leather shoes are made for comfort and for style. The shoes are extremely comfortable, giving you the ability to wear them all day long and still carry out a professional look. Like the name of the company, these shoes truly have a barefoot feeling to them.
The negative aspects of these shoes are that they are a bit pricey for a shoe, at $150. Since they are real leather shoes, they also can crease a lot easier than regular sneakers or shoes of a fabric material. This also means if you are looking for a wide range of colors, this is not where you are going to find it. They come in 4 different colorways.
Another con is that if you are looking for longevity in your footwear, these are not the ones as the soles tend to wear out a lot quicker than some other types of shoes. In the United States, there is no repair center to bring them to and if you are spending so much on a shoe, that may be an important factor.
You can find these shoes online here, starting at a whooping $140.
3. Dansko Men’s Wynn Casual Shoes
These shoes are infamously used in the cooking profession where being on your feet is an all-day task. Massage therapy is not unlike this, and standing on your feet all day is something you are going to need to prepare for. These shoes are the perfect men’s shoe for standing constantly.
The arch support gives your foot comfort for all day standing, and the footbed is removable. The rubber sole adds a non-slip factor, and they are easy to slide on and off with the classic clog design. They aren’t super fancy, giving you a nice casual style.
These shoes are made out of leather, and if you are looking for something that is going to stretch over time, these shoes are not it. If you think that you will need a larger size than normal, you should size up in these, especially if you have a wider foot. They stretch out a little bit over the first couple of days, but they do not stretch very much.
You can find these shoes here, and they start at just $129.95.
4. Adidas Originals Men’s Tubular Dusk Running Shoe
These shoes are a classic running shoe, providing you with the comfort to run. If they give you enough comfort to run, it’s no secret that they give you the comfort to be on your feet all day. These shoes run true to size and fit exactly as they should. If you are looking for a cheaper option with a lot of fun colors to choose from, this is it.
Some cons are normal with a pair of shoes. These shoes can be uncomfortable for some if your foot is not narrow. They have a pretty bizarre tongue which takes some getting used to and can put a little bit of pressure onto your foot. If you like shoes like these, and you have a narrow foot, these might be the shoes for you. If you are standing for a long time, you should break the shoes in before you wear them out to do a long massage session.
If you want to try these ones out, you can find them here, starting at $79.37.
5. Brooks Mens Ghost 12 Running Shoe
If you are someone who is purely looking for comfort and willing to sacrifice style, these are your shoes. These shoes are extremely lightweight, made for the runner. These shoes are perfect for massage therapists who are always on their feet because of their shock absorbing insoles.
They are extremely soft and secure your foot nicely with the mesh and fabric combination. However, they can be difficult if you’re just going to be standing in one place. These shoes are made for movement, so if you are going to be moving around a lot during your therapy sessions, you will be more than pleased with these.
The shoes aren’t exactly the prettiest looking shoes, looking a lot like the famous Fila Dad shoes. They have a lot of colorways, but if you are looking for something with style, these are definitely not it. You should order them a half size up because they can be slightly narrow compared to other running shoes.
You can find these shoes here, and they start at $84.95.
What material should I spring for?
If you have a choice, the best is anything that is soft to the foot. Leather is a great option if you can find a nice, soft leather that molds to your foot. Another great option is any type of soft fabric, which is going to give you the breathable aspect that is very important for any shoes that you are going to wear for hours at a time.
Is there a specific dress code for a massage therapist?
In most places, no. You just want to wear something that is going to be very flexible so that you can perform the right types of movements on your clients. If you want to go with something a little more sleek and professional, you can opt for scrubs. This is going to make you a lot more comfortable than if you were to wear jeans and a t-shirt.
You also are going to want to make sure your hair is up and out of your face so that you are not on top of a client with your hair hanging onto their body.
Do I need physical strength to be a massage therapist?
Yes! Being a massage therapist requires strength in the upper body to ensure that you’re able to put the right amount of pressure onto spots of the body that need it. If you lack strength in the upper body area, you can look up workouts that will exercise your upper body to give you a bit of an edge.
If you are looking into becoming a massage therapist, you are going to want to choose the right shoes in order to ensure that you are not sacrificing your comfort. If you want to continue with your career as a massage therapist for many years, you have to take the proper care of your body, including your feet.
Now that you know what types of shoes are going to work for you, make sure that you have a good time and enjoy your massage therapy sessions!