All across America in city neighborhoods, suburban shopping areas and in small town Main Street, barbers keep their clients looking their best. Most barbers are in the know of the latest trends, music and neighborhood news. Aside from giving their clients the freshest haircut, the other thing these hair masters know is, what is the most comfortable shoe. Shoes are key to helping these professionals withstand long hours on tired feet.
We asked busy hair pros what their go-to shoe was for comfort. Overall, sneakers are the choice, hands—and feet—down. Many sneakers have Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) cushioning. It is an elastomeric polymer that produces materials that are “rubber-like” in softness and flexibility for shock absorption and recoil bounce. While most hair pros pair their shoes to match their outfit of the day, here are their most reliable picks for all day wear:
Donald Conley, owner of Barberizm The Shoppe, Andis educator, barber to rapping legend Snoop Dogg
“My go to is the Adidas NMD R1 Champs Sports. The upper mesh keeps my feet cool and the foam midsole provides cushioning energy return for comfort. It feels like I’m barefoot."
Van Campbell, owner of V.O.S. Barber Lounge, BabyLiss 4 Barbers ambassador and educator
“I love my Puma Future Rider Displaced Men’s Sneakers. It’s '80s street style meets modern comfort. It has padded nylon uppers with suede and leather overlays, super comfy EVA midsole, and slim outsole for flexible traction.”
Anakin Chan, American Board Certified Colorist and Hair Cuttery ambassador
“Chekich sneakers from Turkey. The expressive colors and comfort are unmatched. The shoes are 100% vegan leather and have unique designs. Sustainability and fair trade are things the company believes in, its philosophy and culture are things I can support.”
Nieves Almaraz, owner of How to Fade Hair Barber School, Wahl educator, 2021 NAHA Men’s category winner
“Chicago is the home of Air Jordan, of course my choice is the Nike Air Max! Produced at the intersection of art, music and culture, this champion running shoe helped define the ‘90s. Leather upper, color combinations and exposed air cushioning make it a classic, but it’s so comfortable, I lace them in a way that I can just pull them on and off.”
Kristi Faulkner, owner of Kristi’s Barber and Styling, Wahl educator
“Billed as the ‘T-shirt for the foot’, my Nike Prestos have a stretch mesh upper for a flexible, lightweight feel. The foam sole keeps my feet comfortable all day.”
Danny Amorim, owner of Klippers Barbershops, Gibs Grooming education director, Andis educator
“I have hundreds of sneakers but the most comfy and a pair I can just dog is my black on black Nike 270. Super comfy, easy to slide on as well once laced and the black makes it easy to clean. Plus these are easy to find, in the meantime I also have this shoe in 6 colorways.”
Cookie Zamarripa, barber at Platinum Fades Barbershop, barber instructor and educator
“I’m diabetic and I need the most support so my feet don’t hurt and swell up at the end of the day. The Yeezy Boost 700 mauve has a leather and mesh upper and gum rubber soles, they are the most comfortable shoe on my feet."
Matthew Ketchum, owner of MR Barbers Men’s Groomery and Barbershop, Gibs Grooming ambassador and educator
“My Jordan 5 Toros are stylish and super comfortable, but I also add Aline orthotic insoles and therapeutic floor mats to help protect my back.”
Tone McGill, master barber and set stylist
“Now that I’m older, I’m more about function, than fashion. Brooks Divide 2 is great for trail running, but it’s also the most comfortable standing shoe. They transition well from inside the shop to outside of the shop.”
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