Best Shoes For Massage Therapists: Reviews And Complete Buying Guide

Being a massage therapist you need to be equipped with a certain set of skills so that you can perform your job professionally and leave a good experience with your clients in the meanwhile. To start with, massage therapists should talk things over with the client. They need to know the client’s medical history, symptoms, and expectations.

The two of them can work together to find out where the pain or stiffness is coming from. Massage therapists utilize their fingers, hands, elbows, forearms and sometimes even feet to knead the muscles and soft tissue of the body to treat injuries and to promote general wellness. Oils and lotions may be involved. The client may be on a table or a chair. Heat lamps might be used.

best shoes for massage therapists

What Shoes Are Good For A Massage Therapist?

This is a matter of personal needs. Some go barefoot or in stockings, particularly if they use their feet in the massage. For health code reasons, this may not be allowed in some places. Athletic shoes or casual wear is probably best. If you use your feet in massage, you’ll need something you can take off easily. A slip-on clog would be ideal.

The Reviews:

Here are six shoes of different styles for both men and women that we believe might suit your needs as a massage therapist. Comparison shop to figure out which is right for you.

1. Dansko Women’s Professional Clog

Dansko Women's Professional Clog

If you have a lax dress code where you work and need comfortable shoes that can be taken off easily, this clog from Dansko could be what you need. It’s a popular design that comes in many fun patterns. It is quite popular with people who are on their feet for long periods.

Features and Benefits:

It has a synthetic sole that will not scuff floors. The anti-fatigue rocker bottom with energy return will keep your feet from becoming tired too easily. The leather sock lining allows a long-wearing, breathable comfort.

The padded instep collar makes for a comfortable fit. The breathable open-cell PU foam footbed is good for temperature control so your feet are neither too hot nor too cold. The spacious, reinforced toe box gives the toes sufficient wiggle room.

What We Like:

  • The material is durable.
  • The reinforced toe box allows plenty of room for the toes and provides protection.
  • The wide heel delivers increased stability.
  • The steps are soundless.

What We Don’t:

  • These shoes are handmade so even similar pairs may not have the same fit.
  • The shoes are a bit heavier than typical clogs.

2. Dansko Men’s Wynn Slip-On Clog

Dansko Men's Wynn Slip-On,Black,44 EU (10.5-11 M US)

Dansko is a company that seems to know what it’s doing when it comes to making shoes that are comfortable enough to wear for very long periods. The Wynn slip-on is cool yet casual with a rich look and a soft lining. Whether you prefer a smooth look or a distressed look, Dansko delivers.

Features and Benefits:

The shoe utilizes a slip-on design with dual goring plus a padded collar for a fit that is both snug and secure. The smooth leather material gives it a professional appearance that can easily be wiped clean. The removable insole delivers superb arch support and stability to keep the feet in good condition even with heavy use. The midsole is sturdy yet flexible to provide good mobility.

What We Like:

  • The shoes are supportive yet firm.
  • The shoes are very comfortable to wear for long periods.
  • The shoes are very durable.
  • The footbed is removable to accommodate personal orthotics.

What We Don’t:

  • The shoes are not waterproof.
  • The arch support is not the best.

3. ASICS GT-2000 7 Women’s Running Shoes

ASICS Women's GT-2000 7 Running Shoes, 9M, Peacoat/Silver

This is a shoe made with runners in mind but it is so well cushioned that anyone who’s going to be on their feet a long while will appreciate it. The laces mean they will not come off as easily as the clogs but they may be just right for someone who does massage therapy for athletes.

Features and Benefits:

The rubber sole is flexible and supportive. The seamless jacquard mesh upper comes with minimalistic overlays for additional support. The specially engineered, two-layer multi-directional stretch mesh deeply affects the shoe’s improved fit by bringing on extra comfort and security across the top of the foot.

The Asics GT 2000 7 features a premium Ortholite sockliner that provides comfortable cushioning to the shoe while also offering a moisture-wicking platform to keep the feet cool and dry. GEL cushioning and lightweight foam deliver both impact-absorbing cushioning and energy return.

What We Like:

  • These shoes have both rearfoot and forefoot GEL cushioning inserts for shock absorption.
  • The underfoot chassis is made with tooling to subtly guide the wearer’s feet.
  • The fit is true to size.
  • The arch support is great.

What We Don’t:

  • It’s not built for long-distance running…like you’re going to do that while giving a massage anyway.
  • The quality is inconsistent.

4. Brooks Men’s Ghost 11 Running Shoe

Brooks Mens Ghost 11 Running Shoe - Black/Silver/Orange - D - 9.0

As with the ASICS GT-2000 7, these were made for runners but could suit someone who is just on their feet for a long amount of time. Also, the precise, secure fit and responsiveness can be appreciated by anybody. Even if you don’t run in them, you will enjoy the smooth and stable ride.

Features and Benefits:

The specially designed mesh upper provides a vastly improved breathability and necessary stretch. The synthetic overlays are lightweight. A traditional lace-up closure makes taking it on and off easily. The plush tongue and collar make a comfortable fit. The soft fabric lining makes for a supreme in-shoe feel.

The removable foam insole provides a good deal of underfoot comfort and support. BioMoGo DNA is a hybrid of earth-friendly BioMoGo and responsive Brooks DNA, providing softness without sacrificing durability and responsiveness. The segmented crash pad absorbs shock.

What We Like:

  • The shoes are very comfortable and stable.
  • The toe box is wide and high.
  • Though spacious, the fit is secure.

What We Don’t:

  • It’s not great for marathon running, see above.
  • The shoe is a little on the heavy side.

5. Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk Slip-On Walking Shoe

Skechers Performance Women's Go Walk Slip-On Walking Shoe

The Skechers Performance Go Walk Slip-On may look simplistic at first glance. However, the effort put forth and the superior quality characteristics in its design will show you that this shoe may look unassuming but goes the extra mile in providing a huge amount of pleasurable comfort.

Features and Benefits:

The Ortholite insole inhibits odor. Independent circular sensors provide flexibility and feedback for more response while walking. Resalyte cushioning offers protection without compromising responsiveness. These shoes are designed with the person who does a lot of walking in mind.

What We Like:

  • The shoes are very lightweight.
  • They are very comfortable with lots of cushioning.
  • They can accommodate orthopedic inserts.
  • Many people like the solid canvas look.
  • The shoes are very breathable.
  • They have just the right amount of support.

What We Don’t:

  • They are great for walking but not for running.
  • They tend to run a half size smaller than what would be true.

6. Skechers for Work Men’s Cottonwood Goddard Twin Gore Slip-On

Skechers for Work Men's Cottonwood Goddard Twin Gore Slip Resistant Slip On

The look of this shoe is a bit on the formal side but it does not compromise on safety. Not only it is a safe shoe being slip-resistant but also a comfortable one that should keep your feet feeling good all day. The classy look makes it fitting for a place with a rather rigid dress code. Quality and comfort are also important features in this shoe.

Features and Benefits:

The rubber sole is flexible and responsive. The shoes come with a supportive shock absorbing midsole. The memory foam provides superior cushioning for all-day comfort. The dual side stretch fabric panels deliver an easy slip-on fit. A padded collar adds to the comfort.

What We Like:

  • The rubber nitrile offers superb traction.
  • EH safe design.
  • Tested to ASTM Mark II standards.
  • Relaxed and comfortable fit.

What We Don’t:

  • The arch support is not great.

What Do You Need To Become A Massage Therapist?

To be a certified massage therapist you need to attend an accredited, state-approved massage therapy program and earn your degree or certificate. The coursework includes such things as anatomy, medical terminology, massage ethics, body mechanics and physiology. The school’s massage clinic may offer an internship.

The exact exam will vary by state but will include everything in the coursework. Licensing also varies by state. Certification is earned by completing a particular number of clinical hours and an examination. Research the individual laws in your state.

What Does A Massage Therapist Wear To Work?

It should be conservative yet comfortable. No jewelry should be worn as they may hurt the client. While many people in the medical professions like the clean, pure look of white, a massage therapist might want to go with darker colors as they may have to get on the floor or use topical ointments that can stain easily.

Scrubs work, but some prefer athletic wear, particularly if they’re working with athletes. Yoga pants and a flowy top are a bit New Age-y, but maybe that’s what you’re going for.

How Many Hours Per Week Does A Massage Therapist Work?

On average, a massage therapist does their hands-on work about fifteen hours a week. This sounds light, but it doesn’t include administrative tasks such as bookkeeping, scheduling, filing, marketing, basic clean up and so forth. A successful massage therapist may be able to hire staff to help out with such things, but one starting maybe a little stretched out.

How Many Hours A Day Should You Stand?

A minimum of four hours is recommended by experts who decry sitting as the new smoking. (The author does not know whether to laugh or cry at this news.) However, standing for more than five hours can lead to muscle fatigue in the lower limbs.

How Can I Make Standing For Long Periods Easier?

The first thing to do to make sure your feet are in good condition for standing for a long time is to wear the right kind of shoes. They must not be too narrow and should have a sensible heel. Support hose or stockings and a lumbar support belt can also help. Also remember to keep good posture, move around to get the circulation going and stay hydrated.

Does Being A Massage Therapist Hurt Your Hands?

The most common complaints about massage therapists are tenosynovitis, saddle joint injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, and trigger thumb or trigger finger. Physician, heal thyself!

There are exercises you can do with the hands and wrists to keep them limber enough to keep working. Don’t forget to warm up by stretching first. Shake them out, give your fingers a massage. Holding your hands in a namaste pose for a while can limber up the wrists.

Can You Have Nails As A Massage Therapist?

A massage therapist needs to keep their nails short and natural. You don’t want to scratch your client, after all!

Do You Have To Be Strong To Be A Massage Therapist?

This is a job that requires strong hands and decent upper body strength. You need to be able to exert some real pressure to get to those deep tissues.

Physical Requirements Of A Massage Therapist

This is a job that requires standing for extended periods of time and making repetitive movements. It also requires having the full field of motion.


Unfortunately little to no attention is paid to the shoes despite their vital role. Dress right for what you have to do, including comfortable shoes. Your job is to comfort others, but don’t forget your own.


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