If you work a job where you need to be on your feet for more than eight hours a day, you need to take care of your feet. For all my servers and kitchen workers out there, you know exactly what I mean. The wrong footwear can often be the difference between a great day and a bad day — a night of foot, knee, hip, and back pain, or a day well-spent running around.
It goes without saying that normal shoes just won’t cut it, and picking shoes based on physical appearance and price is not always the best way to go. You also cannot necessarily trust one fitting at a retail store to tell you if your shoes are going to do your feet justice.
When shopping for shoes that will help with your endurance during a long workday on your feet, check out our handy tips and suggestions.
What to Look For When Choosing Shoes
Want to get comfy standing all day? Here’s a shortlist of what you should look for when buying shoes:
Make sure the shoes have decent insoles and support.
A shoe without proper built-in cushioning and heel and arch support are like wearing a shoe made of flat cardboard. When you are on your feet the majority of the workday, you are applying a lot of pressure to the sole of the shoe. You want a shoe that can absorb impact on the ground and help support your joints.
Avoid protruding outsoles.
A shoe that has protruding outsoles are great when you hike or play sports, but not for when you’re working. It would be best if you had outsoles that work well on flat and mildly irregular surfaces. Though you want a slight outsole protrusion, you want to keep it at that: slight.
Give your feet some room.
If you put on your shoe and it’s too tight, then it’s a no. A hard no. You need wiggle room for your toes! Exceedingly narrow shoes would only make extended work on your feet painful. Now, this doesn’t mean buy shoes a size too big; it simply means that you shouldn’t buy a shoe that is too narrow for the natural build of your feet.
Do not neglect breathability.
Breathing is not just for your lungs, but for your feet as well. Your feet need a decent amount of circulation to stay cool, dry, and comfy for the rest of the day. Sweaty feet mean uncomfortable friction, blisters, stinky shoes, and an aggravated worker. Purchase shoes that take breathability into account.
Best Shoes for People Who Have to Stand 8+ Hours a Day
Considering our criteria for shoes, here are our top picks for you!
Asics has finally redeemed itself with its latest release of Nimbus shoes. Many were disappointed with the previous version of Nimbus 21, especially with the cushion quality. You might as well have stood on a rock bare-footed.
But with all this critical feedback, Gel-Nimbus 22 got its shoe act together. Not only does the FlyteFoam Lyte Technology make the cushioning way cozier, but the shoe also provided plenty of room for your feet without being too loose—another thing that the Gel-Nimbus 21 failed to deliver. This is possible due to the better engineered upper mesh. All of these conveniences are important ingredients for folks who plan to stand for a long time.
The Ghost 12 shoes are advertised for neutral runners, but can potentially be a good option for people who work in retail or the medical industry. In other words, this shoe will treat your feet right if you have to be on them all day.
The carefully crafted cushion design uses BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT. This means these shoes have just the right level of softness. The shoe is also designed with breathable mesh to give your feet much-needed ventilation. As for the underfoot, it’s durable, yet light. Reviewers have been praising how light-weighted the shoe is, with one of them claiming as if you are gliding on air!
This shoe has all the elements for standing around for a long time. The New Balance FuelCell is light, has ample room for your foot, and a supple midsole. Other than its overall design, the best feature is the soft cushioning from the sole’s new foam compound. If you plan to stand for several hours, your feet practically beg you to have this. The breathable mesh and the shoe’s durability also add to its comfort.
The FuelCell Propel is a great all-around shoe, even for those who simply want to do some light walking or running. It’s also pretty stylish — if that’s important to you.
Skechers for Work Flex Advantage Mcallen (for men)
This slip-on work shoe uses elastic side gores to make kicking off your shoes at the end of the day a breeze. It also is designed with an upper mesh fabric to keep your foot comfortable and cool. Skechers did not neglect the insole! Its cushioning includes luxurious memory foam, one of the best shock absorbers for your delicate feet.
Standing for more 8 hours or more is no longer a problem thanks to the shoe’s 1.25 inches heel. This ensures a balanced weight distribution. Furthermore, the availability of the slip-resistant traction outsole can keep you safe should you happen to walk on wet/oily floors often. This is great for people who work in restaurants or other slippery environments.
Skechers Ghenter Bronaugh (for women)
Just like the previous Skechers shoe, the Ghenter Bronaugh has a slip-resistant outsole so you can walk on slippery surfaces with more confidence. The full upper mesh fabric mesh guarantees breathability, and the rubber outsole provides decent traction.
Reviewers on Amazon who work in the hospitality and restaurant industries give the Skechers a thumbs up. So, if your occupation happens to need you to not only stand for more than eight hours but move around and walk on potentially wet surfaces, the Skechers Ghenter Bronaugh seems to be a great pick.
The Wave Sky Waveknit Mizuno shoes are tailored for neutral runners. That said, most neutral shoes are great for all-around use, whether it’s running, walking, and—you’ve guessed it—standing all day. The Waveknit design gives wearers a dynamic fit and can stretch and hold your feet while remaining cool and breathable.
As for cushioning, you can feel the comfort of the shoe thanks to its XPOP PU foam and Wave Technology U4icX midsole. The midsole is built with two layers of soft foam, which means a better day for you and your feet.
Tired and swollen feet after a hard day of work is not the best way to go through life. Not to mention, continued stress on your joints due to bad footwear can result in bigger pains. Do yourself a favor; invest in a good pair of shoes that can get you through a long workday. Always read the testimonials before you make your purchase, however, especially if you are buying them online. The best way to know if they’ll work for your feet is to, if I may, walk in someone else’s shoes.