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The Shoes You Should Be Wearing at Your Next Trade Show

July 01, 2019

The shoes you’re going to wear at your upcoming trade show may not be a very big priority when you’ve got a million other things to plan and think about. However, when you’re sitting in the car or on the plane ride home afterward and realize how much your feet and backache, you may be wishing you had put more thought into it. Rather than throwing a couple pairs that match your outfit in your bag and calling it good, consider some of these tips on the shoes you should be wearing at your next trade show. Your feet and the rest of your body will be thanking you!

#1 Wear ‘commuter’ shoes

Whether you have a long hike to your trade show booth from your hotel, or a quick walk down the block, consider bringing a comfy pair of shoes that will get you to your booth and back. If you don’t pack an extra pair, your team may go straight to dinner afterward, meaning you’ll be stuck in them longer than necessary. Minimizing the time spent in your trade show shoes will be a relief to your feet during those periods of walking before and after your show, especially if you’re wearing heels. Don’t put on your exhibiting shoes until you absolutely have to!

#2 Three-inch max

If you’re determined to wear something that’s still classy and your style while you’re working the show floor, it’s possible. Heels are often a go-to for many women regardless of the atmosphere, but keep in mind that some podiatrists recommend keeping them under three inches high. As mentioned earlier, don’t put them on until you’ve reached your booth so that your feet aren’t already in pain by the time you get to the show. That makes for a long and aggravating day on your feet.


#3 Look for comfort, not cost

Just because you find a pair of shoes that look great and are even on sale, doesn’t mean that they’re a must-buy. If you find shoes on-sale and they fit great, then that’s definitely a win! But if you find a pair that have everything going for them but comfort, just keep looking. Don’t tell yourself that you can break them in before the show, because it’s likely that if they’re not comfy from the start, they won’t ever be. It will never be worth it to get a cheap, decent-looking pair of shoes that put you in pain all day at your show. Shoes are definitely something to splurge on when you’re going to be standing in them all day. Not only do they affect your foot comfort, they also impact your posture, back muscles and more. So, when you find a pair of shoes that look and feel great – you’ve found your winner! Spending a little more means they’re likely to last you longer too, making it a worthy investment.


#4 Test them out before the show and have backups  

Just because a pair fit well in the store, doesn’t always mean they’ll be comfortable at an all-day event. Wear the shoes around your house or to work a couple times to make sure that they really are as comfortable as you’d like them to be. Once you’re at the show and realize that the shoes you thought would get you through the next couple of days are something you never want to touch your feet again, you’ll be looking for another pair asap. This is why it’s great to have a backup pair just in case!

#5 Wear a different pair every day

Wearing the same shoes for multiple consecutive days can take a toll on your feet no matter how comfortable they are. The shoes could begin to wear on certain areas of your feet like your heel or inner edge of your foot, causing blistering. So, don’t assume that just because the shoes you plan on wearing every day are comfortable, that they’ll still be comfortable the entire length of your event. Different shoes allow for different points of pressure in different areas of your feet, decreasing your likelihood of feeling pain over the course of your event.   


#6 Be prepared for the worst

Even if you splurge on some great shoes, find them to be very comfortable, and bring multiple pairs just in case, you could still get a blister after day one. It doesn’t hurt to keep extra padding, antibiotic ointment and band-aids on hand. If you’re prone to getting blisters on your heels, some waterproof athletic tapes are a great preventative to put on your heels and prevent blistering all together.


If you’ve decided that you should probably start looking for a new pair of shoes that don’t make you sacrifice style for comfort, here are a couple shoes recommended by one podiatrist, Dr. Sutera:  

For men:

Touareg Vibe Oxford – a great option for men that look like a dress shoe but act more as a sneaker in terms of comfort

Sullivan Slip-On – a comfy option with great orthotic support, available in three shades

Bruno Oxford – a classic and sleek look that still provides great comfort



For women:

Banks Pump – this elegant and comfortable shoe gives the look of a heel with more of a flat shoe feeling and closed-toe look

Tali Grand Bow Wedge – a great little heel that doesn’t skimp on style or comfort

Vionic Corolina – a fun little wedge designed by podiatrists for comfort and orthotic support

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