Athletic Shoes

Published on December 29th, 2013 | by Kirsten Borrink


Dansko Shayla Walking Shoe

Dansko Shayla

Dansko Shayla from the Santa Fe collection. Courtesy of

Dansko introduced a sneaker last season called the Elise. It was cute, practical and mostly comfortable with a wide toe box and decent support, but it didn’t look serious about getting out for a long walk with the dogs. So Dansko mixed a bunch of magic shoe seasonings together (Sorona® fabricCleansport NXT® and bright-colored, stain-resistant leathers) in their comfort shoe cauldron and threw in a multi-density cushioned insole with advanced arch support, and a slip-resistant outsole. Lastly, with a dash of sass and a pinch of cheer, out pops the new Dansko Shayla!

Dansko Shayla

Oooo and ahhhh, this is a spunky little shoe. It’s almost as lightweight as your socks, no joke. You should also note that the supportive footbed is also removable so you can wear your favorite pair of orthotics. 

On my walk with Harley, the Wheaten Terrorist Terrier, I appreciated the excellent heel cushioning. While the shock-absorbing soles pounded the sidewalk, my heels felt nothing but cushioning! The uppers, made of nubuck and breathable mesh, allow for bunions and hammertoes–I’m referencing mine, but I’m sure they’ll work for yours too. I decided to test out the slip-resistancy of the Shayla, so walked home on the snowy-icy Illinois Prairie Path with no problem, even when Harley pulled to sniff every other tree trunk. The Shayla would be a great shoe for medical professionals.

I did notice that my big toe joint ached a little at the end of our walk. I attribute this to the flexibility of the shoe forefoot and my dang hallux limitus (big toe arthritis). This is not a rigid sole shoe. But if you like flexibility in a shoe, unlike rocker sole Dansko clogs, the Shayla is for you.

I often wear a 10, but sometimes a 9.5 and found the size 40 to fit perfectly. 

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The Dansko Shayla comes in 5 color combos, Euro sizes 36-43 (5.5-13).

About the Author

Blogger, Wife, Mom, Dog-Lover, Coffee Drinker, Owl Watcher.

12 Responses to Dansko Shayla Walking Shoe

  1. J Stella says:

    This looks like a really great shoe. I hope to try it this year.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Darn! I was really excited until I got to your last paragraph — just curious, what rigid-soled shoe WOULD you recommend for walking?

  3. Kirsten@BarkingDogShoes says:

    Clark's wave!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. Elizabeth Bunce says:

    Those look great! Do you think they have enough cushioning for running, or are they serious about being a walking (only) sneaker? (I have a pair of Naturalizers labeled as walk/run, and they’re fine for long walks, but can’t take the pounding of a run.) Thanks!!

  5. Kirsten@BarkingDogShoes says:


    I’m not necessarily a runner but I do pick up the pace into a jog from time to time. I tried in these shoes and it just didn’t work. They’re not Asics for sure!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Reply from the “first Elizabeth,” LOL! I so wish Clarks Waves fit me — unfortunately, Clarks is one of those companies that does not make size 10.5. To jump from a 10 to an 11 is a huge size difference — one is too small and one is too big. WHY can’t shoe companies make half sizes for larger feet? It just doesn’t make sense, esp when Clarks offers widths!

  7. Sapphires says:

    These are absolutely adorable!!! I have to go see if they come in extra wide to accommodate arthritis in the 1st and 4th MTP.

  8. Susan mallari says:

    My size is 7.5 what size for Dansko shoes should I take.Im interested for shayla shoes and want to use it for work since im a nurse.Thanks.

  9. Christie Armstrong says:

    Great review.
    I have been looking at these. I struggle with shoes, unfortunately a combination of RA, Psoriatic Arthritis and Fibro make for extremely painful days.
    I work emergency veterinary medicine as a critical care tech and have used Z-Coil shoes over the years, I’ve never been able to wear the Dansko clogs without serious pain across the bridge of my foot.
    I saw these shoes in the latest veterinary wear catalog.
    I think I may give these a try and see if they offer the comfort and flexibility that I need.
    Great review!

  10. Karen says:

    I love Danskos but let me warn you about this style. It looks like an athletic shoe but be very careful the soles are NOT rubber like an athletic shoe, they are the hard Dansko “plastic?” VERY slippery in wet surfaces. I have fallen 2 times with these shoes on very little snow. I have actually but these in the donate clothing box in my garage for fear of falling and hurting myself. I have no problems with any other Dansko shoe. These are the only ones that I find slippery.

    • Kirsten says:

      Interesting you say that. After wearing mine for a while, I too felt like there was a hard plastic feel to the sole. I haven’t slipped in them, but don’t wear them as much as I thought I would.

  11. Aimee says:

    Hi, I recently found the Dansko paisley which has a rigid sole for hallux issues. I’m trying to figure out if any other Dansko sneakers have rigid soles. It’s hard to tell from the shoe descriptions. I bought Dansko Helen sneaker before I was diagnosed, so didn’t know about the need for rigid soles.

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