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37 of the Best Shoes for Sister Missionaries

When you are sending your Sister Missionary out, you’ll want to send her with shoes that are comfortable, supportive, waterproof and will last a looooong time. Missionary guidelines say Sisters should be prepared to walk 6 miles per day or bike 12 miles per day…and they often do more than that! 

Choosing shoes for your sister missionary that can handle the weather she’s living in will make a huge difference for your missionary’s comfort and ability to keep working hard. 

I do feel like there may be some extra challenges in purchasing shoes for Sister Missionaries, because let’s face it…comfort doesn’t always mean style! 

Church dress and grooming guidelines for Sister Missionaries state “Wear closed-toe and closed-heel footwear. Comfortable, flat-soled shoes and boots or shoes with low heels are preferred. Shoes, including winter boots, should look professional and be appropriate for the climate and condition of your mission.

Although these are the official guidelines, missionary presidents have leeway to allow for different shoes for their particular mission. Many hot or extra wet missions allow Sister Missionaries to wear sandals (including open toe and open heel!). Be sure to ask in mission specific pages AND send an email to your sisters mission office (email is in their portal). 

I’ve been combing missionary Facebook Groups to get the most recommended shoes for all different types for missions. Keep on reading to get tips and tricks for buying the best shoes for your sister missionary and to see the best shoes for sisters as recommended by sister missionaries  (and their parents!)

8 Tips for buying shoes for your sister missionary: 

  1. Start your shoe journey by going to a higher-end shoe store and getting your missionary measured, both shoe size and width. Wearing appropriately sized shoes will prevent foot pain and other problems like in-grown toenails. 
  2. If your daughter has any chronic foot issues (flat footed, bunions, ingrown toenails etc) make an appointment with a podiatrist to find out the best options for keeping their feet healthy. 
  3. Prepare for UGLY. HAHAHA! I think it is important to have a heart-to-heart with your Sister Missionary about how COMFORT is more important than appearance when it comes to missionary shoes. Now, I’m not saying that your daughter won’t be able to find shoes that are both comfortable and cute…but I AM saying they might need to sacrifice some style in order to save their feet. Remind them that they can have cute shoes and heels when they are back from their mission. 
  4. Try on shoes in person if at all possible (This can mean at a store or purchasing online and returning them). While at the store, search the shoe name, style and size on both the shoe manufacturer’s website and Amazon to make sure you are getting the best price. 
  5. If you purchase shoes from Amazon, make sure the style and size you are choosing says “Free Return” directly underneath the price. Some shoe companies will charge postage and/or restocking fees. You can also look for shoes that have a toggle switch for “Prime Try Before You Buy.” If you choose that option, you can “Choose up to 6 items and enjoy a 7-day try-on period. You will only be charged for what you decide to keep.” Returning Amazon purchases has become SO easy, with options to take them back to Kohls, Whole Food Markets, UPS stores and Amazon lockers. This is a great option for trying on a bunch of shoes without breaking the bank!
  6. After purchasing, have your daughter wear the shoes, with socks, to wear them in. Home MTC is a great time to have her break in the shoes. (see below for more info about breaking in the shoes).
  7. Lighter colored shoes will show water damage more easily. If your daughter is going somewhere with rain, humidity or snow, you might want to consider purchasing darker colors. 
  8. Shoe care is super important to increase the longevity of this investment. Buy products (and teach your daughter how to use them) that will help keep the shoes dry, clean and waterproof. Read below for recommendations on shoe care. 

How do shoe recommendations differ from mission to mission? How do I find out what shoes are best for my daughter’s mission? 

In the missionary portal after a mission is assigned, there is a list of “Items to Bring” including how many pairs of shoes. Some missions will specify that you can bring sandals and/or rubber or plastic flip flops or Crocs, and snow boots. 

Please look at the list provided by the church in the missionary portal to get specifics about what types of shoes your missionary will need. 

The best way to find out shoes that are working for your daughter’s particular mission is recommendations for missionaries who have served or are currently serving there. I did lots of research and have included product recommendations below from missionaries (and included where they served). 

How many pairs of shoes should I send with my sister missionary? 

Shoes can be a major hangup for Sister missionaries who love shoes but have to live minimally for 18 months. Here is what lots of missionary moms recommend for their Sister Missionary’s shoes

  • 2-3 pair of comfortable, well soled shoes for tracting if in a humid wet area they will need to rotate through shoes so they can dry. 
  • 1 pair of “nicer” looking shoes for baptisms/church days: This is optional, but some Sisters like a pair of shoes that is nicer to have for these occasions!
  • 1-2 pair of athletic shoes for P-day (many missionaries recommend bringing a pair that can get dirty when doing servic on P-day…perhaps an older pair of shoes or less expensive shoes). 
  • 1-2 pair of sandals (if recommended in the mission portal list or approved by mission president)
  • 1 pair of shower flip-flops to prevent spreading of foot disease/warts
  • 1 pair of supportive “slides” to wear around the house (their feet will be sore!)


  • One pair of comfortable, waterproof and warm snow boots
  • One pair of comfortable rain boots 

If your missionary is serving in a humid or wet area, many missionaries are saying they like to have 2-3 shoes that they can rotate through so the other pairs can dry out. A good rule of thumb is two “working” (proselyting/tracting) shoes and one for nice events like church and baptisms.

Many missionaries recommend sending two pair of shoes for P-Day. One pair of athletic shoes and one pair that can get dirty performing service (maybe an old pair of tennis shoes or inexpensive pair). sandals for showering. 

If your missionary will be serving in a snowy area, you will also want to purchase snowboots. 

Some especially hot and wet areas will recommend sandals for Sisters. 

Related Content: How to create a Capsule Wardrobe for a Sister Missionary

What are important features to look for in shoes for an LDS Missionary?

Material: The best type of material for your shoes will depend on the weather your missionary will be in. Shoes made from natural material like leather will last a long time, can be reconditioned to look like new, and will mold to your missionaries feet with wear. However, leather shoes are generally heavier weight than synthetics, not as breathable and require more upkeep. Leather seems to be the best choice for missions with rough terrain that aren’t particularly wet or humid. Synthetics will be lighter weight and faster drying for hot, wet and humid areas. You may have a preference based on how they feel on your foot!

High Ankle/Boots: If your daughter will be tracting in rough terrain and/or there are rainy season and mud, a high ankle boot might be the best choice to keep their feet dry. This is definitely a personal preference…some people do not enjoy wearing high-ankle shoes.

Soles/Traction: Consider where your daughter will be walking and choose shoes with appropriate soles and tread. A missionary who will be walking city streets will not need shoes with deep tread. Alternatively, a missionary who will be walking in a rainforest or on snow will want to have soles that are durable and will help them not slip around. 

Waterproof: The level of waterproofness your missionary will need may vary. I don’t think it is ever *bad* to have waterproofing, but if you have a daughter going to an area with rainy seasons, high humidity and snow, waterproof shoes are a necessity. 

Slip-on/Tie: Check with your mission president or missionaries from that area if your Sister will need to take shoes off in people’s homes. If yes, slip-on might be the best choice. Tie shoes will generally allow for a more specific and tighter fit. Slip-on shoes may be less comfortable in a mission where there is a lot of tracting because they have the potential to slide up and down. 

Insole: If your daughter has flat feet, hammer toes or other foot issues, the shoe’s insole will be important part of the fit. You might want to purchase specially made insoles in this case. Many shoe stores have a Dr. Scholl’s machine that can scan and make custom orthotic inserts while you are in the store. 

Width: Knowing that your daughter has wider width, or thinner feet will play a big part in getting a shoe that fits comfortably. 

Weight: Some shoes will have a more durable and heavy construction. While this means they will potentially last longer, it also means they will be harder to walk around with! They say one extra pound on your feet is equivalent to five pounds of weight on your back!

Unfortunately, shoe weight isn’t always listed so you might need to decide if the weight is comfortable for your Sister by comparing (and weighing) shoes in-person. 

How to know if your missionary shoes are the right size

My first piece of advice is to have your missionary go to a dress shoe store to get her feet measured. Not only will they give you the current correct shoe size, but a shoe store employee can also determine if your daughter has wide or narrow feet. This is a great time to research shoes and determine what brands might work best for your daughter’s feet. Don’t feel pressured to buy right then, though! It is totally okay to get measured and tell them you need to look around more before purchasing. 

Additional ways to know if shoes are the right size: 

  1. Look at sizing chart to make sure that you are comparing apples to apples. Some companies size differently. 
  2. Shoes should be snug, but not painful. 
  3. Shoes should not slip up and down when walking. This is a sign they are too big and should be sized down.
  4. You shouldn’t have pain across the footbox. This is a sign they are too narrow.

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Most Recommended Shoes for Sister Missionaries

Now it is time to share the shoes that have been working great for Sister missionaries in the field. I compiled the answers on Missionary Facebook Pages and have it all in one post for you. 

Best Slip On Shoes for Sister Missionaries

When proselyting, some people will prefer that missionaries remove their shoes, this can get to be a pain when you are having to take on and off your shoes so often. 

Slip on shoes can be a good option for shoes for Sister Missionaries. Just keep in mind that shoe ties will make shoes more custom fit, which might be more comfortable for missions where they are walking a lot. 

LifeStride Slip On Shoes

These shoes are machine washable and are availabl ein both brown and black. They also have medium and wide widths available. Not the prettiest shoe in town but they will get the job done (and go with both dresses and slacks). 

Clarks Cloudstepper Ballet Flats: Clarks are highly recommended by Sister Missionaries. They come in a variety of colors AND have wide widths available. The insole can be removed and replaced with different more supportive insoles if you need it to. These are also ultra lightweight. 

Jambu Erin: For some readaughter these are called MENs but they are clearly women’s shoes. These were recommended by several missionary parents because they are so comfortable (with great arch support) and cute. They can run a little narrow but there is a wide option. 

Best Dress Boots for Sister Missionaries

Boots will keep your sister missionary’s feet dry and they look so cute with dresses or slacks. 

Vagabond Women’s Ankle Boot  This isn’t a brand I’ve heard of before but they came recommended by a few moms. These sturdy boots come in Black and Brown and have an elastic side panel.  

Blundstone Boots: This was a highly recommended boot for Sisters. They are an investment, but they are sturdy, a comfortable heel height and have great support and shock absorption. Some reviewers mention that they are tricky to get on and off the first few times, so you might want to use a shoe horn until they stretch out a bit. 

Dr. Martens Chelsea Boots These are the sturdiest darn shoes and a top recommendation for Sister Missionary shoes! And they are cute as well. They come in black and white and their sole is resistent up to 300 degrees (no melting on asphalt!). The full-grain leather is water resistant and the soles are anti-slip and thick enough to take 18 months of walking. 

Best Wedge Shoes for Sister Missionaries

Wedge shoes can give the look of heels with WAY more comfort. Here are some wedges your Sister missionary might love

NAOT Calathea Wedge Shoes: 

These shoes are sandal like, but also cute! NAOT shoes are a little bit of an investment but they are built to last. 

Dr. Scholl Slip on Wedge These are made for comfort! There are six colors available. They are called a “casual sneaker bootie” and are lightweight. 

Croc Brooklyn Low Wedges: Crocs are such a versatile choice, and are great for super humid/wet climates because they are rubber. There are tons of colors to choose from.. 

Best Mary Jane Shoes for Sister Missionaries

Mary Janes are a super popular option for Sister Missionaries because they are comfortable, on the dressier side and cute! Here are some of the top recommended Mary Jane Shoes. 

Dr. Martens Mary Janes Doc Martens are notoriously STURDY. They make a great missionary shoe. Two caveats…make sure your sister wears them in before heading on their mission (see tips below!) and these shoes are HEAVY. It takes some time to get used to the weight. But they will last her whole mission! 

Dansko Callista Mary Janes 

Dansko shoes are a brand you’ll see recommended over and over again. They have excellent arch support, leather uppers and are so cute! The Callista comes in three colors, Black, Cognac and Tan. 

Dansko Fawna Mary Janes: 

This is another cute Dansko option, with a lower heel. It comes in four colors, brown, dark brown, blue and black. 

NAOT Women’s Mary Janes

NAOT is a high quality shoe that will last a whole mission. This Mary Jane has a cute leather cut out, a velcro closure, is lightweight and comes in black. 

JBU Women’s Bellerose Mary Janes You have maybe heard of Jambu shoes, and the JBUs are a part of that brand. The materials are synthetic (so work well in water), they have a memory foam footbed and great sole traction. They come in 10 colors and reviewers say they feel like tennis shoes! These are highly recommended by Sister missionaries. 

Best Sandals for Sister Missionaries

There are an increasing number of mission presidents that that allow Sisters (and sometimes Elders) to wear sandals. There are some weather conditions that make sandals a better shoe option. 

Dansko Rowan Close Toed Sandals  The Rowan Close Toed Sandal is a simple and classy design. Made of 100% leather and with 8 color options, they are also lightweight and the memory foam footbed makes them a comfortable option. 

Keen Womens Elle Backstap Sandals I LOVE these sandals! Keens are amazingly comfortable and these sandals can also get wet! They come in tons of colors but probably not all of them are missionary approved. 

ECCO Flowt Sandals: Eccos are a brand that are highly recommended for Sisters and Elders. This sandal is comfortable and lightweight, and they have an ankle strap to keep them in place. 

Teva Sandals: Tevas are always another highly recommended sandal for missionaries. If your Sister Missionary can wear Tevas, there are tons of options to choose from. This particular pair is a neutral “shimmer” and has a thicker sole (which means it should last longer for walking missionaries). 

Chaco Zcloud Sandals: Chacos are a waterproof sandal that looks more athletic than dressy. There are lots of patterns to choose from but the Zcloud sandals have an extra layer of comfort. 

Jambu Sandals have been recommended for missionaries in super hot climates because the bottoms don’t melt on the asphalt (apparently that happens?!). These are cute and look so comfortable. 

Hush Puppies Back Zip Sandals: These are one of the most stylish recommended sandal options. They have Strategically placed grooves to encourage even weight distribution and flexibility and will work for church meetings or proselyting days. 

Snow Boots for Sister Missionaries

I grew up in Alaska so I feel like my snowboot knowledge is expert level. Here are my personal favorites AND some that have been shared by other missionary moms!

Sorel Women’s Tivoli IV Tall Waterproof Boot I got a pair of Sorel Boots in Alaska when I was 14. I am now 46 and I wear these boots in Utah winters and they STILL keep my feet warm and dry! 32 year old boots that look brand new and still keep me cozy. I can’t recommend Sorel boots enough! This newer version is so adorable, with waterproof suede, a microfleece lining, tons of insulation and the cutest faux fur collar. They also have an extra durable sole that has great traction. Reviews suggest you size up ½ to a whole size for comfort and to fit thicker socks. 

Columbia Minx Midi Boot: These are similar in style to the Sorels. Columbia boots are extremely comfortable, waterproof, and very durable.They are easy to clean by just wiping off the mud with a wet cloth or paper towel and would make a great boot for Sister Missionaries in very snowy climates. 

Earlde Lace Up Snowboots: These are the number one best seller in women’s snowboots on Amazon. I don’ t have any actual experience with these but they are a less expensive option that has a lot of great reviews. 

Boggs Chelsea Fur Lined Boots: BOGS Women’s Chelsea Boot combines style, comfort, and weather readiness in one adorable pair of boots. These rubber are perfect for rainy, muddy or snowy streets and were originally designed in Portland Oregon so are perfect for PNW Missionaries! The fur lining and super cute color choices make these almost a perfect 10. 

Khomba Shearling Fur Lined Boots: Now these aren’t good for tromping through deep snow, but they are warm and cozy and good for Sisters in an area with minimal snow. They have a short zipper and are easy to slip on and off. 

Skechers On-The-Go Joy Chukkas: Another-non waterproof but cozy boot option, these Skechers are suede on the outside, and faux fur on the inside. Tip from reviewers: Size up a half size and cut the elastics on the side to make these easier to slip on and off. 

You also might enjoy: Everything you need to know about Missionary Care Packages

Rain Boots for Sister Missionaries

Asgard Women’s Rainboots These are an inexpensive and fashionable option. Reviewers say that these are very waterproof, easy to pull on and lightweight. The arch support won’t be as great as other shoes, so you might want to purchase inserts (see below) if they are going to be walking a lot in their rainboots. 

Bogs Women’s Sauvie Slip On Rainboots : These rainboots are a little more spendy, but they are highly recommended by sister missionaries. In colder rainy climates I would recommend going with the bogs fur lined Chelsea (above in the snow boot section). The Sauvies are lightweight, rubber, waterproof and easy to slip on and off. 

Sperry Women’s Rainboots: Besides being ADORABLE, these rainboots also have great traction! 

Sam Edelman Women’s Louisa Rain Boot Another missionary mom recommendation, these rainboots ensure that every seam zipper and elastic is taped and sealed to keep the water out. (Plus they are cute and come in lots of colors). These tend to run big so you might want to size down a half a size. 

Hunter Chelsea Rainboots: Made from natural rubber, these iconic rain boots are 100% waterproof and are made with 100% recycled polyester lining. They come in 20 different colors and can add some color to a rainy day. 

UGG Drizlita Rain boots: The see through version of these are SO unique! This brand has a sheepskin insole and a durable waterproof exterior. They are also very affordable for this brand!

The Best Shower Sandals

These are a must have for showers in the MTC and even in some places in the field. Having these shower sandals will allow your daughter to shower comfortably without worrying about catching a foot disease like athlete’s foot. My son actually wears his around the apartment sometimes too!

Shevalues Shower Shoes: These are quick drying, have holes in the button for drainage and are inexpensive. 

Shower Flip Flops: Flip Flops are much thinner and easier to pack. These also have drainage holes in the soles. Not as sturdy as the shower shoes, but a good choice if packing space is an issue. 

Wotte Shower Sandals: This brand has holes in the top and bottom of the sandals for the best washing/drying access. 

Socks for Sister Missionaries

Lettuce Edge Socks: These socks are adorable and work with dresses or slacks. There are also some colored options. 

No-show, no-slip socks: If you don’t want your socks to show, these are a great option. They aren’t going to slip thanks to silicone heel grips and are sweat wicking. 

Flat Socks: Basically these are washable insoles! They are a great option if your Sister Missionary doesn’t like to wear socks with her dress shoes. They slip into the shoes and then can be washed as often as necessary. 

Wool Socks: Wool is an excellent option for missionaries. It is naturally wicking, warm, and lasts a long time. We sent our Elder with all wool socks and they have worked great to keep his feet healthy. You can also purchase lighter weight wool socks. 

Extra Shoe Products to send with your missionary: 

Once you’ve made an investment in shoes that you hope will last your daughter’s entire mission, you’ll want to purchase things that will help the shoes last as long as possible.

Here are some great suggestions recommended by missionaries and missionary moms! 

Shoe tree to maintain shape

A shoe tree will help keep the shoes in their shape and eliminate creasing. They are also great to keep the shoes looking good while traveling. These plastic shoe trees are inexpensive and lighter than a traditional cedar shoe tree (although they don’t smell as good!) 

Boot Bananas Wet shoes can be a huge problem both for the comfort of missionaries as well as the longevity of their shoes/boots. There are electric shoe  drying options available (but those aren’t the best on leather shoes plus converting the electricity might be tricky) but these reusable Boot Bananas look like a great option. You put them into the wet shoes or boots and the Boot Bananas absorb the moisture and eliminate odor. They do need to be “regenerated often” by putting them in the sun or the oven for 1-2 hours. So they do require some upkeep by your missionary. 

Shoe Deodorizer Charcoal Bags When you only have 2-3 shoe choices, the last thing you want is stinky shoes! These charcoal bags are reusable and really do the trick. They do need to be “recharged” by placing them in the sun for 2-3 hours about once a month. 

Shoe Polish and Care Kit Teaching your missionary about the importance of caring for her shoes is so important! Try and encourage him to make it a habit…brush shoes off after returning home and shine and clean them up every Saturday night. This kit is compact (9” x 3”) and has everything your daughter will need to brush, polish and shine her shoes. 

Mink Oil Waterproofing Gel/Leather Reconditioner If your Sister has leather shoes, this simple application every week will extend the life of the shoes AND keep her feet dry! 

Best Footcare products for Sisters

Many missionaries will be walking far more than they ever have before. Teach them the importance of taking care of their feet so they can continue working hard. Here are the best products to keep your Sister’s feet pain-free. 

First Aid Products for Missionary Feet

Rolls of Moleskin: While you can purchase moleskin that is cut into shapes, a roll (or two!) will be easier to customize to the necessary shape. Just make sure you send along some first-aid scissors (or small scissors) in the checked baggage. This moleskin has adhesive on one side so they can cut out and stick it to skin that is “hot” (feeling uncomfortable but not yet a blister) or put it on blisters when they have them. Moleskin acts like a second skin AND a padding. 

Green Goo Footcare: This product is natural, is a small tube and can help with so many foot problems including cracked heels, blisters, athlete’s foot, fungus, dry feet, ingrown toenails, rashes, and cuts.

Massage Ball for Foot Pain Relief: These help so much for pain relief! As a bonus, it can be used on more than just your feet and is easy to pack up. 

What are the best shoe inserts for missionaries? 

An insert can be used to add extra support and cusion where your missionary needs it. These are not placed permanently in a shoe, but can be taken out and inserted in other shoes (which is great for missionaries who need to alternate shoes!). 

Be sure to look at the size of the inserts you are choosing and read the specifics before buying. Some inserts are to correct problems like high arches or flat feet. If you aren’t sure what type to buy, consider going to a podiatrist or finding a shoe store that has a machine that creates custom inserts. 

Many shoe inserts need to be eased into incrementally…wear them for a few hours one day and then increase the time you are using them. (Home MTC is a great time for this!). 

You might want to send several inserts with your missionary as they will stop being as effective over time (probably around 6 months of missionary walking!). However, they are pretty skinny so you might be able to put them into an envelope. 

Superfeet Shoe Inserts are by far the most recommended inserts by missionaries.  **Buy one size up and then trim to the shoe after you decide to keep them. There are wide versions available. 

PowerSteps is another brand of shoe inserts that is about half the price of Superfeet but also is recommended by many missionaries. 

Dr. Scholls Gel Comfort shoe inserts might not last as long as the other, harder inserts but are super comfortable (and inexpensive). 

Shoe Travel Bags

Another good missionary purchase is shoe travel bags. Not only will they keep your missionary’s shoes from getting dirt on other items in the suitcase, it will also help keep him organized. 

How to Break-In Dress Shoes: 

  1. Have your missionary wear the shoes with the socks they plan on taking on their mission. 
  2. Try out the shoes inside on soft surface: Most companies won’t allow returns for shoes that have scuffed soles. Home MTC is a GREAT time to have your missionary wear their new mission shoes around the house to break them in.
  3. If there are minor “hot spots” where there is discomfort and the shoes are 100% leather, you can use either heat or leather shoe conditioner to help mold the shoe. You can rub the shoes with leather shoe conditioner and then have your daughter wear them. Alternately, use a hairdryer on high heat setting and warm up the shoe upper. Have your missionary immediately put the shoes on and wear them. This will cause the leather to stretch where it is tight creating a better fit. 
  4. Wear shoes in the morning before your feet start to swell. If you start feeling pain, switch to a different shoe for the rest of the day to allow your feet to rest. 

Key Takeaways for Sister Missionary Shoes

It can be so stressful to choose shoes for your missionary, but these are the most recommended shoes for Sisters. I hope this post has helped you narrow down the best shoe options and shoe accessories for your missionary!

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Friday 12th of July 2024

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