The very best shoes for every programmer are comfortable socks. The next best thing is comfortable shoes that can be taken off easily and look professional enough for the manager, with comfortable socks. For programmers, there are usually not very strict dress code, and most developers wear what they find most comfortable.
For girls, I find that pumps work best as they are very easy to take off and make you feel extra good sitting in the office all day long.
When it comes to guys we had to make an extensive research. We have looked at the most respectable programmers like Bjarne Straustrup (C++ guru), Alan Kay (the father of object oriented programming) and Steve Wozniak and younger ones like Markus Persson and the guys from Mojang (the ones who made Minecraft). We have also googled random developers conference images for pictures of developers with shoes. After analyzing what they are wearing we were able to come up with a list of shoes any programmer could buy right now.
|Product||Widest size||Price||Largest size||Overall score|
|Clarks Unstructured Men's Un.Bend Casual Oxford||3E||$95.00 - $170.99||17 US||4,5|
|Skechers Sport Men's Afterburn Memory-Foam Lace-Up Sneaker||4E||$34.95 - $79.99||16 US||4,4|
|ECCO Men's Track II Low Gore-Tex Oxford||M||$209.89 - $220.00||16,5 US||4,5|
|Merrell Men's All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water Shoe||M||$66.49 - $110.20||14 US||4,5|
|Skechers Sport Men's Vigor 2.0 Trait Memory Foam Sneaker||3E||$38.31 - $103.00||16 US||4,4|
|Clarks Men's Portland 2 Tie Casual Shoe||3E||$64.74 - $127.27||17 US||4,4|
|New Balance Men's MW577 Walking Shoe||4E||$49.95 - $86.24||15 US||4,3|
|KEEN Men's Austin Shoe||M||$78.64 - $125.00||17 US||4,4|
|Merrell Men's Moab Waterproof Hiking Shoe||2E||$89.95 - $139.95||15 US||4,4|
|KEEN Men's Targhee II Hiking Shoe||M||$75.77 - $149.99||17 US||4,3|
What we found is that the typical programmer shoes are either leather or textile breathable material, low ankle height, almost everyone had laces that gives you opportunity to loosen the shoes as much as possible. Almost no one had fancy dress shoes. Many had also “all year around” boots which means that they wear them both summer and winter until they fall apart.
Many programmers wear running shoes at work. They are comfortable and breathes, so it’s very nice to have them on all day. Although wearing running shoes for longer periods of time is bad for your feet. So even though you are a software engineer and is sitting at work most of the time, we wouldn’t recommend wearing running shoes.
There are shoes in our research that are both comfortable and huge. For example Skechers come in extra wide 4E width and up to 16 US shoe sizes. Many Clarks casual shoes may be bought in 3E width and up to 17 US size. Also New Balance goes up to 4E and 15 US size.