In a profession or pastime where you’re standing all day, your feet suffer the consequences. Standing all day without wearing the best shoes for being on your feet can lead to foot swelling and water retention in your feet.
Not all shoes are fit for standing all day. You need something comfortable with the right amount of support, but not enough to make the shoe rigid.
We’ve done the research and compiled a list of the best and most comfortable shoes for standing all day:
- Brooks Men’s Ghost 12 Running Shoe
- NIKE Men’s Tanjun Sneakers
- Nike Men’s Revolution 5
- Skechers Work Sure Track
- Birkenstock Boston Soft Footbed Leather Clog
- Dansko Women’s Professional Clog
- Naturalizer Women’s Marianne Sneaker
- Vionic Women’s, Avery Pro Slip-On
- Sanita Men’s Textured Oil
- Nurse Mates Women’s Dove Oxford
Shoes That Are Good for Standing All Day
Whether you’re looking for work shoes that are comfortable or want to know what the most comfortable shoes are in general, we’ve got you covered.
The most comfortable shoes typically share several key traits, with a few others that are optional. You want to be elevated off the ground, not have your feet absorbing shock and have confidence that your feet will stay dry. You also want to remain standing regardless of spills and shiny floors.
The most vital part of your shoes when standing all day is whatever cushioning they use. Gel, memory foam, cloud foam, EVA foam or any shoe-specific technology works best.
You need something that keeps your feet raised, well separated from the ground, but won’t compress and flatten while you’re on your feet all day. Any of the best shoes for work and play should have you covered on this point.
Most comfort shoes that don’t pay attention to this need end up sweaty, odorous and crushed inside by the end of the day. They take their role as shoes for comfort too seriously, giving you a cushioned footbed that’s like a spongy pillow. It envelops your feet in soft, squishy goodness, but neglects to add support to the padding.
When you walk, your body feels the impact. Every heel-strike sends vibrations shooting up your body, leading to knee pain, back pain and every ache in-between. You need a pair of shoes that will take this force for you.
Some cushioning is designed to do this, other times it’s the sole that does the work. Either way, something that absorbs shock is vital when you’re on your feet all day.
It’s particularly important in shoes for working. Some jobs that require standing on your feet all day, such as healthcare. Healthcare workers, for example, may have to run to an emergency in the hospital. When you run, your feet take three times your body weight. You can’t keep running for long if your feet are suffering through all that.
Remember, you don’t just need comfortable shoes for standing. You need comfortable shoes for standing, walking, running and those precious few moments of rest you get.
There’s another critical point associated with footwear and running. Many workplace floors are shiny, smooth slip hazards.
The best shoes need to have adequate traction to prevent any slips, trips and falls.
Most shoes with rubber soles will do this, along with most running shoes.
They design the latter for running on all terrains in all weathers. The former is a naturally clingy material and will bump and shudder when dragged across a smooth surface.
Also, look out for the tread pattern. You want a shoe that’s got a degree of ridging on the bottom. A smooth sole on a smooth surface is just asking for trouble.
Even wearing shoes for a few hours immobile can make your feet start to sweat.
Sometimes sweating can be avoided with some help from merino wool socks or merino wool insoles. You can check out the latter in our article, Superfeet Insoles Review. But forgoing those, you need your shoes to work around the perspiration.
The best shoemakers often design shoes to wick away moisture, which is fantastic. Other times all they can do is try to be breathable. There may be a mesh portion or tiny breathing holes in a leather upper. Other times, the uppers will be entirely made of mesh.
With slip-on shoes and clogs, your feet aren’t enclosed, so they may be more breathable than a running shoe depending on their fit.
There are also slip-ons and clogs with mesh uppers to further support breathability.
Shoes should be designed to keep your feet safe and comfortable. So shoes without arch support are virtually useless because they compromise your foot health.
There are three types of foot arches:
- Low arches/flat feet.
- Medium/normal arches.
- High arches.
They each require a certain amount of support to keep your feet steady.
Most shoes will cater to normal arches. Those shoes may also be a good fit for low arches, as they can push the arch back into a normal position.
If you have high or low arches, you should consider looking into custom insoles for the problem. But that doesn’t mean you should forgo looking for shoes with arch support.
Shoes that advertise they have arch support will most likely have superior support than those who say nothing. But just because shoes don’t mention arch support, it doesn’t mean they lack it. Unless it’s a cheap shoe, there will be some degree of support there.
Again, if it’s not enough, try some insoles. Either the Superfeet insoles mentioned earlier, or perhaps some Spenco Insoles?
If you specifically want insoles for high arches, give our article on it a read.
When you’re buying shoes, don’t settle for an assistant telling you, “they’ll stretch out” or “they fit better once broken in.” You need shoes that fit you right from the first wear.
Shoes that fit need:
- Room, length and widthways, in the toe box.
- Not to rub your heel when you walk.
- To not allow your feet to be sliding around in them.
- Not to pinch the sides or tops of your feet.
It’s easy to tell when your shoes are too small, but determining if they’re too big is another issue. Check out our article on how to tell if your shoes are too big. And if you don’t have time to change the size before you need them, here are eight life-saving hacks on how to wear shoes that are too big.
Have you ever tied your laces too tight? It’s uncomfortable, but sometimes you don’t have time to stop and fix it when the tightness starts getting on your nerves.
One way to avoid this lacing mishap is by getting slip-on shoes. There are tons of slip-on shoes fit for standing all day on this list.
If you must have laces, be careful not to tie or lace your shoes too tightly. You want them secure, but not loose. You’ll also want your laces out of the way.
If you have lace-up shoes, but you want to turn them into slip-ons, you can find out how, and other helpful lacing tricks, in our article on how to lace shoes.
Your shoes need to be flexible to move with your foot’s natural movements. The heel should be solid, but the toe area should bend easily. Not so easily that it bends completely backward, but too much stiffness is potentially a painful restriction on your feet.
Running shoes are great for standing all day because they’re designed for constant, hard impact and shock, so they’re more comfortable.
They usually feature a thick sole that’s thinner in the toes. This is to help runners push off the toes and land hard on the heel more easily.
This shape is perfect for people standing all day, as the lifted heel can help propel them forward to walk more quickly and productively with less effort.
It’s often a subconscious motivator.
Reviews of the Top 10 Best Shoes for BEING ON FEET All Day
Brooks Sports is a subsidiary company of Berkshire Hathaway, founded in 1914. The company focuses on manufacturing shoes for a myriad of sports.
Said sports include running, so here we have a running shoe.
The rubber sole is typical of a running shoe, with a thick heel and thinner toe area. It features a bold tread pattern for optimal traction, too.
The shoe has a cushioned midsole with support for neutral arches—this is designed to energize you and will work well during long, exhausting shifts. Your exhausted state paired with the energizing sole may be enough to keep you in a happy, alert middle ground.
Brooks’ Ghost 12’s cushioning is also equipped with a segmented crash pad to absorb shock. This protects your foot, and since it’s a dedicated pad for shock absorption, it lets the rest of the cushioning focus on comfort and support.
The comfort continues the whole way around the shoes with the mesh uppers. They’ve designed the mesh to be as good as weightless on your foot. It stretches with your structure and flexes with your steps, making it doubly functional. Not only is it there to prevent sweaty and smelly shoes, but it’ll help your feet feel good.
A total of twenty-five colors are available for use for any job or occasion, in sizes 5–15. There are some wide, extra-wide and narrow options, too.
- Breathable mesh uppers that move with your feet.
- Dedicated shock absorption pads.
- Lightweight shoe.
- Neutral arch support.
- Their durability is questionable, so they need some extra maintenance and care.
Nike was founded in 1964 and has been a staple in sports apparel and accessories ever since. Everything made by Nike is high-quality and highly trusted, and these Tanjun sneakers are no exception.
The Tanjun sneakers have mesh uppers, for breathability and a lightweight fit. The product is man-made, ensuring its quality is superior to those crafted by machines. The mesh is also fabric lined, which is excellent as some mesh can be irritating if you wear it without socks. (You should never do this, by the way.)
They’re glued to the thick rubber sole, with two inches of buffer between you and the ground. Perfect for keeping your feet supported throughout the long day.
In between, there’s a cushioned footbed to cradle your feet through a long shift. Then, for even more comfort, the shoes have foam-injected midsoles. All this padding should be plenty to absorb shock, keeping the impact of the workday trudge away from the rest of your body.
If you’re someone who wants a wide array of color options, these shoes have 42. They run in sizes 5–15 in half-size increments. There are some wide and extra-wide options.
- Thick, durable rubber sole for protection and traction.
- Extra cushioning for those long, painful hours on your feet.
- Run true to size.
- Lightweight for swift movement.
- Extra-firm, despite all the cushioning.
Nike comes out strong again with another mesh shoe. Only this time it only comes in 12 colors, and sizes 6–15. It runs in half size increments until the final three sizes 13, 14 and 15.
Other than that, it’s very similar to the Tanjun. It has a mesh upper that wraps close to your foot, so it can breathe and feel practically naked. However, the sole is synthetic, not rubber.
There’s a hint of rubber on the outsole. Combined with the synthetics, this makes the shoes durable and flexible, with an excellent tread pattern for traction across most surfaces. The spacing in the tread pattern is also explicitly created for flexibility, letting your feet flex how they’re supposed to naturally. That’s great for comfort when standing all day.
Above the soles is some revolutionary comfort, with soft foam to cushion any blows. It’s not very thick, so it doesn’t add too much weight, but it’s effective.
- Clingy, breathable material for a barefoot feel on top.
- Sole designed to be naturally flexible.
- Great shoe for almost all surfaces.
- Texture on the outer wall is designed to make the shoe lighter.
- Squeaky when walking.
Sketches is the third-largest brand for athletic footwear in the US. It doesn’t just make athletic shoes, but lifestyle and performance ones too. These Work Sure Track are a little bit of all of it.
The leather upper is nicely ventilated with small holes lining either side of the laces. Being leather, the upper is extremely durable. They’re a versatile shoe so they could become your loyal work or hobby shoe for years to come.
You might not need the sturdiness that these shoes provide if you’re a healthcare worker or in a similarly, environmentally tame, profession. But they’re among the best for woodworkers and DIYers who need a little more protection in the toe area, but don’t quite need boots.
The tough rubber soles are slip-resistant, making them an asset in messy situations. This could be a pro for them in the healthcare setting, even if they’re a little too rugged to be needed there day-to-day.
As well as being sturdy, they’re comfortable enough with the memory foam padding they have inside. The padding extends to the tongue, for further comfort and support.
It’s not just the padding that makes these shoes cozy. They have a relaxed fit, paired with molding to your feet upon wear, make these a premium shoe.
These sturdy-soft Sketchers shoes are available in three dark colors, sizes 5–12. There are extra-wide options for every size, including the half size increments. The half size increments run up to a size 9.5.
- Very sturdy for tough jobs.
- Padded tongue for comfort all over your foot.
- Excellent traction and slip-resistant.
- Memory foam, so your shoes feel like new with each wear.
- They run wide.
Birkenstock Orthopädie GmbH is a wildly popular German shoe manufacturer. The sandals it produces are among the most notable in the world. The common theme with every Birkenstock product is the cork and rubber footbed, which shapes itself to the wearer’s feet.
So if you’ve been put off by this male-centric list so far, here are some great working women shoes. In fact, it’s a pair of shoes fit for men or women standing all day.
These are not shoes for construction or other hard-hat professions. However, they’re among the best for healthcare, retail and other workers who stand a lot but whose feet aren’t likely to encounter anything too heavy or dangerous for the most part.
The suede leather upper is tough, to last, but it will not withstand too many hits. The cork-latex footbed atop the synthetic sole is long-lasting and foot-conforming. The shoes should have a natural break-in period because of how the footbeds mold.
However, that may be a downside because, over time, the molded footbeds may harden around the shape of your feet. With proper care and maintenance, you should be able to avoid this happening.
The comfortable slip-ons also adjust to your feet with a pin buckle, for thicker or thinner feet. This buckle also ensures the slip-ons don’t slip off if you move too quickly or your feet get sweaty.
But your feet shouldn’t get too sweaty in these because the back is open, letting air flow around part of your foot. Thus, keeping your foot’s temperature as controlled as possible.
The open, relaxed, comfortable clogs are available in 16 colors from bold to muted. They’re available in sizes 4.5–19.5 for women, skipping sizes 16, 17 and 18. They’re available in sizes 2–17.5 for men, skipping sizes 14, 15 and 16.
There are narrow options for every size.
- Easy to slip on and off.
- Conforms to the shape of your feet.
- Buckle to secure yourself in.
- They run a size large.
Dansko makes comfortable and stylish footwear with a focus on clogs and sandals. Many of these sandals are among the best shoes for standing all day.
These shoes come in sizes 4.5 to 16 and have sleek leather uppers. These uppers are sewn onto the polyurethane sole, showing care has gone into the construction of the shoes.
The soles are visibly curved, revealing arch support in the shoes. It’s a rocker bottom, specifically. In this pair of shoes, the bottoms are designed for shock absorption.
These soles are also thick, providing an exceptional gap and buffer between you and the hard ground. The heel is wide, too, for extra stability. Stability may come in handy when you’ve been standing all day and are about ready to collapse.
On the inside, there’s even more of a buffer with a padded interior and collar. The toe box is roomy and reinforced, adding to your comfort and safety.
There are well over 100 color and pattern options with these shoes, so there’s something for every taste, alongside the comfort, safety and stability of the fine leather clogs.
- Extreme variety, so there’s something for everyone.
- Extra wiggle room in the toe box.
- Dedicated shock absorption.
- Sole and upper are sewn together.
- Could be more breathable.
- Not great for low arches.
Naturalizer arrived on the scene in 1927 and has been renowned since then for a perfect combination of comfort and style.
If you wish for the comfort of the previous shoe’s slip-on nature but crave more security, these Naturalizer sneakers may be your best bet.
The uppers are made of leather and stitched together, then glued to the synthetic sole. This in no way compromises the shoe’s quality, though, nor does the lack of a rubber sole. Synthetic soles always tend to be slightly less naturally gripping, but the tread pattern can do the work.
Admittedly there isn’t a massive amount in terms of padding inside. There’s some, of course, but it’s nothing special, just enough to keep you comfortable.
A considerable aspect of the shoe’s comfort is the lightweight and natural fit. This, paired with a thick sole, should be enough to provide the necessary support when standing all day.
These sneakers come in 33 color and pattern options. They’re available to purchase in sizes 4–12, in half increments up to 10.5. There are narrow, wide and extra-wide versions of almost every shoe.
The exclusions are:
- Size 12—no narrow version.
- Only one (regular) option is available for size 10.5.
- Very light for easy movement.
- Slip-on, so there’s no hassle in getting them on and off.
- Modern, yet classic, for a versatile look.
- True to size.
- Their durability is questionable. You may need to take extra care with their maintenance.
Vionic designs its shoes for stability and support. They’re also made to help alleviate heel pain from ailments such as plantar fasciitis, or just in general.
If you liked the slip-on style of the last pair of shoes, but not the sole glued to the upper, here is a stitched pair.
The stitching is one of the least important features, though—these shoes are podiatrist-designed. They’re made for those who are on their feet throughout the day.
The leather uppers aren’t breathable, but the top of the shoe is very open, fulfilling that purpose. The rubber sole also plays its part in this shoe’s comfort and stability.
Vionic Women’s Avery Pro Slip-On shoes are made to fit the shape of your feet and change with you as you walk. They have a removable EVA footbed, made for motion. They also possess added perks to ensure the quality of the shoe goes uncompromised.
One of these perks is being slip-resistant, perfect for healthcare and food industry workers who may be around spills while walking fast. They’re also wipe-clean, making maintaining the cleanliness of the shoes a breeze when you’re short on time.
Lastly, the shoes are weather resistant. So if you’re walking, you can get to and from work without slipping into something better for whatever weather is beating down that day.
These adaptable shoes are available in 10 colors, sizes 5–11. They go up in half-sized increments up to a size 9.5. There is a wide option for every size except size 5.
Some of the color options aren’t in leather. Some are suede, and some are “metallic” but made of a different kind of leather. Both of these choices are also oil-repellent, along with water and slip-resistant.
- Water and slip-resistant, best for messy environments.
- Weather-resistant so you can wear them any season of the year.
- Made to move with your feet, so they never feel restrictive.
- Hand-stitched, which shows care.
- Can be quite heavy.
- Arch support could be better.
Sanita, a European shoe manufacturer, has been supplying the world with handcrafted professional shoes since 1907. The Men’s Textured Oil shoes are no different.
Many comfortable shoes for standing all day are either athletics shoes or ultra-casual. These shoes are of the more formal variety, so if your workplace has a stricter dress code, they could be for you.
They’re also the best for all-day standing meetings at a formally dressing firm. It’s doubtful anyone will be paying extensive attention to your feet so that they may pass as your usual professional shoes at a glance.
The suede leather uppers are soft and supple, so they don’t trap your feet or compress you in any way. The top is also quite open, allowing decent airflow despite the lack of breathable material or other mechanisms.
Meanwhile, on the sole, it’s synthetic but visibly textured for traction and grip. The shoes also feature pronounced arch support compared to some other shoes on the market. This is thanks to the rocker bottom, which not only supports the arch but propels you forward when you walk.
These beautifully handcrafted shoes are available in three dark, muted colors. The black versions shouldn’t show dirt easily, either, where the grey and brown may hide some shades of stains.
Sanita’s Men’s textured oil clogs come in sizes:
They run true to size and offer no narrow, wide or extra-wide options.
- Suitable as formal work footwear.
- Easy slip-on and slip-off.
- Pronounced arch support
- Not ideal if work includes running.
- Suede is more difficult to clean than leather options.
Nurse Mates manufacturers shoes made for nurses, both men and women’s versions. However, anyone who stands all day can wear these shoes. The fact that they’re made for a standing-all-day profession shows you that they’re some of the best shoes you can use.
One of the first things that stands out about this pair of shoes is how thick they are. There’s a ton of padding in them, perfectly fit to cushion you all day. Sadly, the type of padding is unspecified, and it’s impossible to find out what it is. The Dove Oxfords are no longer available on the manufacturer’s website.
However, the visibility should be enough to convince you that it’s adequate.
Combine the plentiful padding with the thick synthetic soles and the obvious arch support, and you can tell these shoes offer comfort. The leather uppers seem to be genuine leather, too, to withstand the weather as adequately as the soles resist slipping.
The slip-resistant soles stand out with this pair of shoes because nurses know that they need that feature. Many other industries will benefit from it too.
On top of all that, the shoes are slip-ons so you can easily kick them off when you finally sit down after a long day. You can also slip them on quickly if summoned into an emergency.
The shoes are available in the professional and dress-code abiding colors black and white. They run in sizes 5–12 with half size increments available up to 9.5. There are wide options available for every size and half size.
- Catering for workers on their feet.
- Professional color options.
- Extreme padding, especially around the collar.
- Arch support.
- Less effective arch support for high arches.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Soothe Your Feet After Standing All Day?
Here are some quick tips for dealing with foot pain after standing all day:
- Take a bath.
- Soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salts.
- Alternate cold and warm water treatment.
- Get a foot massage.
- Stretch your feet.
- Elevate your feet.
And don’t forget your shoes need care too. Air them out, wipe them down and eliminate any odor that built up during the day. If you need some help, check out our guides on how to clean fabric shoes and how to clean smelly shoe insoles.
Is Standing for Eight Hours Bad?
Standing for so long isn’t good for your feet, or your shoes. The longer you wear your shoes, the faster they’re going to wear out.
Take breaks whenever possible for the sake of your feet. Elevate them, rub them and stretch them as often as possible. As for your shoes, consider giving them a break.
Bring two pairs of shoes to your 8 to 12-hour shifts. Change halfway through. This gives your first pair time to breathe, reform their shape (if you have memory foam/gel shoes) and settle down after a hard session.
Are Compression Socks Good for Standing All Day?
Standing all day isn’t just hard on your feet; it’s also hard on your legs. Luckily, compression socks can improve circulation and reduce swelling in your feet, legs and ankles.
Compression socks make sure your blood circulates, flowing back to the heart. They also help reduce the likelihood of forming clots.
Even when you’re not on your feet but are staying in one position for long periods, compression socks have these benefits. They’re an excellent addition to any wardrobe of shoe accessories.
You’re Still Standing
Standing all day is a pain, and it’s not good for your health. But sometimes it’s necessary because your livelihood depends on it.
The best shoes for standing all day are comfortable, fit correctly and give you the support you need in all the right places. The shoes on this list are bound to do just that, so hopefully, you found a pair you can use.
Please feel free to comment and tell us about what tricks you use when standing all day. Don’t forget to share the article with a hard worker complaining of foot pain after a shift.