The flagship Dansko Professional from the Stapled Clog collection is a perennial, swear-by favorite for teachers, chefs, nurses, students, busy moms who spend all day on their feet, and more. (This and many other Dansko styles have earned the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association, and the soles have been certified for traction and slip-resistance.)
However, for some people a perfect fit in this unisex shoe can be baffling and elusive, for a few reasons:
1. Because each shoe is hand-stapled, there can be some variance in fit from one pair to the next in the same size.
2. Although it goes against instinct, the fit at the heel is supposed to be loose: Your heel should move up and down freely when you walk, and you should be able to fit a pinky finger in the space between your heel and the inside of the shoe.
3. The “Euro-fit” means that the forefoot is boxy and roomy, allowing plenty of space for your toes to spread out, wiggle and be comfortable, not feel cramped. For some narrower feet, however, this can feel too loose.
4. People with wider feet or high arches sometimes find that the shoe feels too snug at the padded instep collar.
It would be a shame to deprive yourself of such a treat for your feet. Don’t give up! Here are some tips to help you find a Professional pair that works for you:
Solution to problem 1: Try on several pairs, because sometimes even the slightest sizing difference between shoes can make a big difference on your foot.
Solution to problem 2: If the fit is accurate—that is, long enough and snug without being too snug—chances are good that you’ll grow accustomed to the heel moving with every step.
Solution to problem 3: If the above solution to problem 1 doesn’t help, consider trying the Professional in narrow. Yes, it’s available in a narrow width, too, although not in all leathers or colors.
Solutions to problem 4: Opt for pull-up, cabrio, box or oiled leather models over patent leather, because these will provide a more flexible fit when the shoe warms up and the leather eases slightly from the heat of your foot. If that’s not enough, hang on for a couple of months: Rumor has it that Dansko will be releasing the Professional in a wide width starting in the fall. Hooray!
One final fit tip: This shoe can run a bit short, so you may need to order a size up from your normal size. Remember, they’re labeled in Euro sizes: I wear an 8.5-9 in U.S. sizing (Euro 39), but in the Professional I wear a Euro 40.
Think of me when you’re relaxed and comfortable in your Dansko Professionals! Your feet will thank you.