The Doula’s Guide to Footwear: Finding the Perfect Pair for Those Long Days (and Nights)
A word cloud with shoe names submitted by doulas as what they wear to work.

As a doula, you’re well-versed in the essentials of your trade—compassion, patience, and the knowledge to support your clients through one of the most significant experiences of their lives. But there’s one aspect that might slip through the cracks until it’s too late—your footwear.

Imagine the scene: you’re hours into supporting a birth or assisting a postpartum client, and suddenly, your feet send out an S.O.S. That’s when the epiphany hits—your feet deserve as much attention as any other tool of your profession.

While there’s no “Cinderella” shoe that fits every doula perfectly, a recent informal poll among a community of doulas revealed some enlightening favorites. Sure, the image attached gives a snapshot of the top picks, but let’s delve deeper into the insights that matter regardless of the brand or style you choose:

Comfort Above All

Your parents were onto something when they emphasized comfortable shoes. Look for shoes that give your toes room to breathe and don’t pinch or constrict. When you’re standing for hours on end, comfort isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity.

Don’t Skimp on Arch Support

Whether you’ve experienced the need for arch support in the past or not, don’t overlook it. Proper support can be the difference between ending the day on a good note or dealing with unnecessary foot pain. And if your favorite shoes lack support, don’t fret—there’s always the option of quality insoles.

Waterproof? Non-Negotiable.

We all know that being a doula can get messy at times. Spills and splashes are part of the job, so having waterproof or at least water-resistant footwear will save you from the dreaded soggy socks scenario.

Washability for the Win

After a long day, the last thing you want is to trail germs back to your home. The doulas in the group shared their tactics—from dishwasher-safe shoes to pairs that can be effortlessly wiped down. Some even swear by shoes that bravely face the washing machine. Hygiene is key, so choose shoes you can easily clean.

A Nod to Compression Socks

While not directly related to shoes, compression socks were a hot topic among doulas. They’re not just about function; nowadays, compression socks come in an array of styles. Who says you can’t add a bit of flair to your functional wardrobe? You can find them at most drugstores, but for an expanded selection, check out specialty running stores.

In the end, the best shoe for you is one that meets your unique needs and preferences. It may take some trial and error, but once you find that perfect pair, it will be a game-changer for your practice.

Remember, taking care of yourself is just as crucial as taking care of your clients. Your feet are your foundation—keep them happy and the rest will follow.

What are your favorite doula shoes? Join our community and share your story. 

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