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As a teacher — and a mom — I swear by these comfy and supportive $28 sneakers

From working on my feet all day to then chasing a toddler around at home, comfortable shoes are a must.
TODAY Illustration; Courtesy Hannah Hynes

As someone who works with kids, I'm constantly on my feet. I teach during the day and can easily rack up 6,000 steps walking all over school before dismissal. Then, I come home to an active two-year-old who is always on the go, so not much sitting is happening until he goes down for bed. Basically, if I want to avoid aching feet at the end of the day, starting my day with a comfortable shoe is a must; however, I don't want to sacrifice style or my paycheck while finding the perfect pair.

I decided to try the popular Avia Hightail Athletics Sneakers, which are always selling out at Walmart (even now, select colorways are still out of stock). For less than $28, I was eager to see if they would answer all my footwear needs.

Avia Hightail Athletic Sneakers

Walmart offers the sneakers in 10 different color combinations, but I opted for the sleek black and white pair. I ordered them in my normal size (8), and they fit as expected. After testing them out, I could see why these sneakers are so highly regarded. Surprisingly, I didn't need any break-in time and was able to comfortably walk in them right away.

The first few steps felt like I was walking on a cloud. I quickly became accustomed to the extra height they provide and really liked the extra built-in arch support. And although the sneakers look a little chunky, they felt extremely lightweight.

What sealed the deal for me was the comfort factor, which exceeded expectations considering my predicament at the time. The night before I tried these sneakers, I had stepped on glass and cut my left foot. A trip to the ER wasn’t necessary, but my foot was bandaged and sore. Since my typical flats were simply not an option, I slipped on the Avia Hightail Athletic Sneakers — and I felt zero pain. These shoes have so much cushion, I was able to forget about the injury and focus on my tasks at work.

Hannah Hynes wearing the Avia Hightail Athletic Sneakers from Walmart
These shoes have quickly become my go-to sneakers for work and play!Courtesy Hannah Hynes

Aside from the classroom, I also wore these sneakers while running errands, walking through the neighborhood and playing with my toddler at the park. They offered a lot of support and provided a comfortable fit, which might have a lot to do with the shoe's FOM Midsole Technology. According to the brand, this helps the wearer step into "softer landings," while the rubber outsole "provides durability and traction.” I know running around with a child isn't considered a sport (maybe it should be), but I can definitely see why these sneakers might be popular for more athletic activities.