Dansko Shoes for Comfort and Support

It seems that everyone has a recommendation for the best brand of shoes. The trouble is that no one brand is going to work for everyone. Working at a shoe retail store, one of the most commonly asked for brands is Dansko. Whether or not this brand is right for someone, that will be for their feet to decide but here are a few of the basics about Dansko shoes for anyone who might be considering trying them.

Dansko is a Danish brand that became available to the public in 1991. The brand was originally created as a shoe for barn work but soon caught on for many professions that require long periods of standing such as bakers, chefs, hair stylists, teachers, medical professionals and retail workers.

One thing to know about the Dansko brand is that they come in European sizes. European size conversions will vary from brand to brand. Generally, for ladies it’s adding 31 to their American size and for men adding 33. This rule isn’t perfect so try on a few sizes to see what fits best. Whether to settle for a slightly bigger size may be an issue since the Dansko brand and most European sized shoes do not come in half sizes.

Probably the most popular style of Dansko is called the Professional. It’s a member of the original line called the Stapled Clog. The Stapled Clog line is known for it’s prominent arch support. While such a prominent arch in a shoe may not be good for everyone, it does seem to work well for many.

Other features of the Professional are it’s slip resistant bottom that works well for restaurant staff, and other professionals in a spill-hazardous work area. The Stapled Clog line also has a rocker bottom that is made to propel the foot forward as one walks.

The fit of the Professional is rather unique. The shoe does have a back on it but it’s meant to fit like a clog. The back is only on the shoe to look professional. The inside of the heel is lined with hard plastic, which is why the heel should not be snug.

There should be a small space even though it is unusual for a correctly fit shoe to slip. Since the Danskos do not come in half sizes this space can be large enough to fit a finger or two in. What matters is if the shoe stays on the foot with minimal effort.
Danskos tend to run wide. This is good for wide feet but not for narrow. The Professional is the only shoe that Dansko makes in narrow. However, the narrow Professional only comes in a select few of the many colors that the style is made in.

Professionals come in several types of leather, including patent, cabrio, boxed, latigo, and oiled. The types of leather vary in texture and appearance (dull to shiny). The Professional comes in felt and denim as well.

Along with choices in leather the Professional comes in an ever-changing variety of colors and patterns. Aside form basic colors they come in shades to match medical scrubs, metallics, pastels and patterns such as plaid and paint splash.

After the classic Professional gained popularity, Dansko expanded into different lines. Along with the Stapled Clog line, Dansko offers several lines including the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate lines, which have a wider base and shorter heel. They also carry the Hampton and Beacon Hill lines that have a narrower base with a higher heel. The Dansko brand is also now making a men’s line, South Street. Men’s sizes are available in the Professional as well.

Although the Stapled Clog Professional is the most well known Dansko, the brand makes a wide array of styles, colors, materials and heels/bottoms. No matter what Dansko is being considered here are the general things to know about all Danskos

There are a few styles of Danskos that do have removable insoles if orthodics need to be accommodated. Check for the Hampton, Bridge Bay and Golden Gate lines.

Most of Dansko’s shoes have a bit of a heel. The heel on Dansko’s shoes is solid and filled in through out the arch to give as much support as possible. However, if soemone cannot wear an elevated heel this may not be the shoe for them.

Dansko’s cannot be resoled. Even though the clog uppers are stapled on, the soles cannot be replaced.

The staples in the Dansko clogs may cause trouble at airports but they are easy to slip on and off.

Although Dansko doesn’t offer narrows in any styles other than the professional, it may be possible to find styles with buckles and ties, which can help hold a narrow foot into a shoe.

Danskos do not mold to your feet. They don’t need a break in period. Some may need a chance to get use to a prominent arch but it should still feel comfortable.

Professionals and a few other styles are made with very hard leather. This can make it hard for shoes to be stretched. It also makes it hard for the feet to breath. It can cause mild sweating and odor. Avoiding wearing nylons with the thicker leather styles can help this problem.

Shoes by Dansko are in the price range of $100 to $150 retail depending on the store.

Even thought Dansko is accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association, if someone is considering the purchase of Danskos and they have serious foot problems, it may be best to discuss what types of shoes are best with a podiatrist. The wrong shoes can cause problems to become worse.

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