What's something that every mission has in common? Shoes! No matter where you serve, you'll need to bring some good shoes. Whether you'll be riding buses through the busy streets of Chicago, or walking the dirt roads of Uganda, you'll want to pack shoes that'll get you where you need to go.
There are a few simple features that make up a good shoe. Firstly, the arch support. Have you ever spent an entire day walking around in your Converse or flip flops? Then you know the pain that can result from zero arch support. Since missions require you being on your feet almost constantly, you'll want a shoe that will support your arches to reduce pain. Good arch support keeps your spine aligned, which means less back, hip, knee, and foot pain. That means a happy missionary!
Secondly, you'll need good durability. Look for shoes that are meant to last. Shoes with thick soles and good material will last longer. And remember that you play a role in how long your shoes will last. Make sure to rotate the shoes you wear, and take care of the material (i.e. conditioning leather shoes). That will help guarantee your shoes surviving 10 miles (give or take) every day for 18-24 months.
Lastly, no one wants to walk in an uncomfortable shoe. I made the mistake of only bringing shoes I thought were cute when I served. I got lucky because of Covid, and I didn't walk as much as some. But when I did walk, I paid the price. I promise you won't regret buying the comfortable, ugly shoe over the uncomfortable, stylish one. Comfort is harder to define, so make sure you try shoes on and walk around the room a little. If it's comfortable for you, then that's one you should consider.
There are so many choices when it comes to shoes, so here are a few recommendations from Missionary Mall to help you get started!
For an everyday shoe, try our Dansko Fawna, Dansko Rowan, and Naot Catania. These shoes are all Mary Jane style, and are so cute! All are made of durable materials and are designed to match the shape of your foot. This provides you with the best support!
Elders, consider our Robbins & Brooks Hinckley shoes. They are designed to feel like a running shoe, but without the hassle of laces. These shoes are incredibly comfortable and stylish. They also last those 2 years and more (my husband's have lasted him for almost 4 years!). As an added bonus, they're waterproof!
If you're heading somewhere warm where sandals are allowed, then you need some Dansko Jolenes. These sandals are so cute, and they're built for comfort. They've got some arch support, and they're made of durable leather and rubber.
Called to a mission with snow? Then check out the Cougar Shani. These boots are completely waterproof, and they're meant for -11ºF/-24ºC. They also have anti-slip soles (important if you don't want to sprain your ankle on the ice like I did in Minnesota) and a molded foam footbed for extra comfort.
For the Elders, we have Tactical Research Boots. These boots are meant to withstand harsh conditions, and are also waterproof. They'll help keep your foot and ankle supported through snow and ice.
You may be going somewhere that has a wet season. For those missions, you'll want to take some Dansko Daisies. These booties are completely waterproof, and they have Dansko Natural Arch® technology to keep your feet healthy and supported.
Of course, these aren't our only options. Feel free to browse our website or (even better) come to one of our stores and try some on! Whatever shoes you choose to wear, just remember: "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:15)