Best Type of Shoes for Standing All Day

If your job or daily activity requires you to stand for a long time, you’ll need to look for shoes that are designed for standing or walking all day. Typical tennis shoes or running shoes are not designed for standing all day and may not have the support you need.

Jobs in retail, healthcare, restaurants and more often require you to stand for several hours a day. Forty hours a week over several years can add up and can lead to damage, pain and swelling if you don’t find the right shoes for standing all day.

The best type of shoes for standing all day will have features that offer the most comfort and can protect your feet, knees, ankles and back. Key features are wide outsole, cushioned midsole, sufficient space for swollen feet and toe. It will cost you anywhere from $60 to $200 for a good pair of shoes designed to hold up when standing for 6 or more hours a day.

Finding the right shoe for standing all day may be costly, but when compared to the cost of the pain and potential issues you can have down the line, investing in good shoes for standing all day can pay off.

While they may have a higher up-front cost, shoes made with more durable materials can save you money in the long run. Here’s what you need to know about buying shoes for standing all day, and how to find the best type of shoe that will last even up to 12 hours of standing regularly.

Related: Best Shoes For Standing All Day

Common Problems from Standing All Day

People who stand on their feet all day can experience a wide variety of problems from standing on their feet all day long. Some of these problems can be as minor as tire feet, but other problems can be quite severe and last for years or even a lifetime. These problems may include:

  • Bunions and blisters: painful but treatable conditions.
  • Swollen feet, ankles, and legs: Almost all people who stand on their feet all day have feet that swell by the end of the day.
  • Fallen arches: This often occurs in people who are overweight and stand on their feet all day long.
  • Leg cramps: Leg cramps can occur from standing on your feet all day. These leg cramps can result in night cramps that can affect the quality of sleep of the individual.
  • Varicose Veins: They are twisted bulging veins near the surface of your skin. While in most cases varicose veins are not serious they can be painful.
  • Knee and back pain: Spending long hours on your feet over a long period of time can result in joint pain in your knees, hips, and back. If left untreated this type of pain can stay with you for life, that’s why it’s smart to consider finding your best shoes for standing all day with bad knees.
  • Irritability: The tiredness and pain from your legs and back can leave you feeling irritable and unable to enjoy life even when you are not working. This can affect the overall quality and enjoyment of your life.

What is Considered a Good Shoe for Standing All Day

The best type of shoe for standing all day has enough support that it cannot be easily bent or twisted. According to a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association, you do not want shoes that can fold in half. A flimsy shoe that can bend towards the center will not give you lateral arch support, and shoes that can twist does not provide enough support to keep your foot stable.

Additionally, the inner sole should provide sufficient arch support and also should not be flimsy or easily bendable. It’s a bonus if you can remove the inner sole because then you can add in orthotics or additional arch support if needed.

Standing all day can wear out your shoes quickly because when you stand you typically put pressure on certain parts of your feet, rather than evenly distributed as it is when you walk. This can wear down certain parts of your shoes quickly. So, you may also need to replace the shoes after a few years or depending on your use.

Related: Top 9 Best Shoes for Nurses | Walking and Standing All Day

How Can Shoes for Standing All Day Help You

A large segment of the population actually have jobs where they are required to stand or work on their feet all day some of these professions include:

  • Nurses
  • Retail clerks
  • Cashiers in banks
  • Line cooks, prep cooks, and chefs
  • House cleaners and janitors
  • Dishwashers, waitresses, and bussers in restaurants.
  • Assembly line workers
  • Packers
  • Bartenders
  • Stock clerks
  • School teachers

People in these professions have little time to sit down and rest beyond their lunch hour. In some cases such as line cooks and assembly line workers people on their feet all day have very little opportunity to move more than a step or two making standing in one area even more painful by the end of the day.

Wearing a good pair of shoes for standing all day can help prevent major back and knee pain. “Your feet are the gateway to the rest of your body,” explains Miguel Cunha, a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine.

In fact, prolonged standing at work has been linked to chronic back pain, musculoskeletal disorders, and even an increase in risk for cardiovascular disease. Investing in a good pair and maintaining them well can help you prevent future problems and will offer you more comfort throughout the day.

Additionally, wearing the incorrect type of shoes for standing all day can lead to splayfoot, a condition in which the bones in the foot spread out to widen your forefoot. Splayfoot usually occurs after several years of wearing the wrong shoes. To avoid that, look for shoes with the features listed below.

What to Look for When Choosing

Podiatrists recommend shoes for standing all day that include the following features:

  1. Wide and flat outsole
  2. Cushioned midsole
  3. Space for swollen feet
  4. Good traction

Wide and flat outsole

The outsole, or the exposed part on the bottom of the shoe that contact the ground, should be wide and flat standing all day. This helps more evenly distribute weight and pressure. You also will want a rubber outsole that can better absorb the impact of standing or walking.

Related: Top 25 Best Walking Shoes | The Most Comfortable Shoes

Cushioned midsole

The better the cushioning in the shoes the more cushioning there will be between you and the bottom of your feet. Not every shoe has a midsole. The midsole is an extra layer between the insole and outsole (makes sense, right?).

Having a cushioned midsole gives you an extra layer of suspension and provide more comfort for standing all day. Make sure that there is sufficient cushioning in both the ball and heal of the shoe as you may transfer weight between the two during the day.

Space for swollen feet

Most people tend to purchase shoes that are too small. This is because almost all people’s feet swell during the day. Buying shoes in the late afternoon when your feet are at their largest will help ensure that you have the shoes that fit well.

You want your shoes wide enough that you have space for your feet to fit comfortably. Your feet can swell throughout the day and you’ll want space in your shoes to accommodate that.

According to Healthline, standing all day, especially standing in one place, can cause your feet to swell. You can go shoe shopping at the end of the day after your feet are swollen to make sure the shoe will fit even after a long day.

Good traction

If you’re working in conditions with artificial floors, or where there may be spills, you’ll want a slip-resistant sole on the bottom of your shoes.

The Right Fit

Because feet do swell you are going to want plenty of room in the toe area of your shoe. Shoes with laces will prevent your feet from sliding back and forth in the shoe, which can result in blisters or even injury.

In addition to buying high-quality shoes there are other things you can do to help prevent or reduce some of the problems caused by standing on your feet all day. You can take a few seconds here and there throughout the day to stretch your calve and leg muscles, soaking your feet in ice water can help reduce swelling and pain, and rolling a tennis ball under the balls of your feet can work muscles and relieve pain.

Companies that Make Good Shoes for Standing All Day

The table below shoes brands with shoes designed for standing all day recommended by podiatrists.

CompanyShoePriceReview
DanskoProfessional Clog$MediumRead Review
SkechersSure Track Trickel $MediumRead Review
Nurse MatesDove Oxford$HighRead Review
Cole HaanZERØGRAND$High
ClarksEverylay Romy Loafer$Low
NikeMonarch IV$Low
BrooksAddiction Walker$$MediumRead Review
SauconyOmni Walker$Low
HokaClifton$HighRead Review

Related: 10 Reasons Why Dansko Shoes is Loved by Nurses

Are Running Shoes Good for Standing All Day?

A young woman tying her running shoes.

The worst types of shoes for standing all day are high heels, flip-flops, ballet-style flats, and shoes with a pointed toe.

Although it’s not the worst, running shoes are not recommended for standing all day because they have a snugger fit, smaller outsoles, and come in a fabric that is harder to clean.

While the slim sole of a running shoe assists in running, when standing all day, you want plenty of room for your feet otherwise they will feel extra snug after eight or more hours.

Additionally, the rubber lugs and grooves on the bottom of running shoes apply pressure from underneath which can cause discomfort over several hours.

Furthermore, most running shoes have a mesh upper which can get dirty quickly and isn’t easy to clean on-the-job. A leather upper can wipe clean much easier.

Additionally, many running shoes are designed in flashy-colors and designs which may not be suitable to the workplace.

Is Memory Foam Good for Standing All Day?

Memory foam shoes may be a good option for some people on standing all day, however some people claim that they do not work well for them. Different people need different support depending on their arch type, age and weight. So, while memory foam may work for some, it is not ideal for everyone.

Another drawback to memory foam shoes is that the cushioning may slowly disappear over time as the insole get worn down. The longer you wear them and the heavier you are the quicker they will deteriorate. However, if the insoles are removable you can simply replace that part of the shoe as it wears out.

After You Bought the Shoes for Standing All Day

A few other things to keep in mind when deciding on which shoes to get for standing all day in include remembering to have a break-in period, leaving space in the shoe to accommodate an orthotic and getting the best fit for your arch setting.

Break in your shoes gradually

Brand-new shoes do not come ready for standing all day. It takes about three to four weeks to break in your shoes. The best way to break in shoes is to wear them only for a few hours the first week, every other day. Over the next two weeks, increase how long you wear them gradually. By four weeks they should be broken in.

Have more than one pair

While you’re breaking in a pair of shoes, you’ll need to have another pair to switch it out with. However, you may want a second pair even after both are broken in. Dr. Freidman, a podiatrist based in New York, recommends to always have a second pair on hand to switch out because a shoe’s cushioning can become compressed after six hours and no longer offers sufficient support.

Find shoes or orthopedics for your arch setting

Different people have different arch support needs. Those with a higher arch need a higher support, while older persons will likely have flatter feet and need more cushioning on the balls of their feet. Knowing what type of foot arch you have can help you find the right shoes or at least get the best orthopedic insole for you.

To find out the arch setting of your foot, you can wet your foot and stand on a dry piece of paper. If the wet footprint is most of your foot, then you have low arches. However, if the footprint shoes only some of the foot, or half of the middle section of your foot, then you have high arches. And if the footprint is your whole foot then you have flat arches.

Buy shoes that last

Also consider how durable the shoe is. Will it last five years, or ten? It may be worth it to invest more in a good pair of shoes that can last several years. However, in some shoes the insole can wear down over time so they will need to be replaced regularly.

Key Takeaways

At the end of the day, the best shoes for standing all day will be the ones that fit you will, support your arch and can hold up over time. Not investing in a good shoe for standing can lead to serious health problems over time. However, you may need to try out several pairs before you find the one that works best for you.

Here are some of the key takeaways we covered:

  • Find a shoe that cannot bend in half
  • Make sure to break in your shoes and have an extra pair on hand
  • Shoes for standing all day cost about $60 to $200
  • Running shoes, formal shoes and tennis shoes are all designed differently and not necessarily best for standing
  • Everyone’s feet are different, so shoes that work for someone else may not be best for you

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