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Whether you are a nurse walking around the ER, a construction worker racing around a job site, a server waiting tables in a busy restaurant, a mom chasing her kids around or a business person who spends a lot of time traveling and walking from terminal to terminal, there are multiple benefits of standing on your feet all day, according to science. Compared to sitting behind a desk all day, standing and walking burns more calories, may reduce back pain, and decrease risk of cardiovascular disease.
However, if you aren’t wearing the best shoes for standing all day, you can easily do more harm than good. And board-certified podiatrist Dr. Patrick McEneaney, owner and CEO of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, can attest to this. His patients with the mildest cases come to him with “foot fatigue, or a generalized tiredness as the day goes on,” he says, but many have more severe complaints. One of the most common? Plantar fasciitis, which, in addition to arch pain, can lead to knee pain, swelling in the feet and legs tendonitis and arthritis flare-ups.
“Inappropriate footwear causes or exacerbates over 50% of the conditions I take care of, including acute injuries like sprains and broken bones,” adds Sean Peden, MD, Yale Medicine foot and ankle surgeon and assistant professor of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at Yale School of Medicine. Initially, wearing inappropriate footwear begins with causing additional stress or wear on your feet, Dr. Peden explains. But eventually, “it can throw off the alignment of your entire leg and leg to sore muscles and painful joints all the way up to your back.”
This is why investing in high-quality shoes that properly and comfortably supports your feet should be a priority. “The shape of the foot, your bodyweight, the amount of time you’re on your feet, how narrow or wide the front of your feet are or whether you have a high arch or low arch all play a role in selecting the best shoe,” says Dr. McEneaney. Other factors to consider include your job type and personal style, says Dr. Peden. In the past, comfortable shoes meant for standing all day weren’t necessarily the most stylish. However, many of today’s performance sneakers, tennis shoes, sandals for walking, travel sandals, clogs, flats, heels, dress shoes for men and dress shoes for women, and even high heels are designed for anatomical support, while looking nothing like the orthopedic shoes of the past. Most importantly, they may save your feet from costly interventions later on.
Top Shoes for Standing All Day for 2023
- Best Women’s Tennis Shoes: New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1 Women’s Shoes
- Best Men’s Tennis Shoes: Nike Revolution 6 Next Nature Running Men’s Shoes
- Best Shoes for Work: Hoka One One Bondi SR Women’s Shoes + Hoka One One Bondi SR Men’s Shoes
- Best Shoes for Bad Knees: Dansko Kane Women’s Shoes
- Best Shoes for Nurses: Crocs Unisex Classic Shoes
- Best Slip-Resistant Shoes: Birkenstock Unisex Super Birki Shoes
- Best Shoes for Heel Pain: Brooks Ghost 14 Women’s Shoes + Brooks Ghost 14 Men’s Shoes
- Comfortable Sneakers for Standing All Day: Ecco Soft 7 Women’s Shoes
- Best Men’s Dress Shoes for Work: Dr. Scholl’s Sync Oxford Men’s Shoes
- Most Comfortable Women’s Dress Shoes: Rothy’s The Point Women’s Shoes
- Most Comfortable Non-Slip Men’s Shoes: Skechers Flex Advantage Bendon Work Men’s Shoes
- Best for Standing on Concrete: Carhartt Moc-Toe Work Men’s Boots
- Best Women’s Boots: Blundstone 1351 Chelsea Women’s Boots
- Best for Bunions: Skechers Go Walk Joy Walking Women’s Shoes
- Best Memory Foam Shoes: Saucony Cohesion 14 Women’s Shoes + Saucony Cohesion 14 Men’s Shoes
- Best Men’s Boots with Ankle Support: Florsheim Norwalk Plain Toe Lace-Up Men’s Boots
- Best Women’s Boots with Ankle Support: Sorel Emelie Chelsea Waterproof Ankle Women’s Boots
- Best Men’s Hiking Boot: Keen Targhee III Waterproof Hiking Men’s Shoes
- Best Wedge Sandals: Crocs Brooklyn Medium Wedge Women’s Shoes
- Best Ladies Work Shoes: LifeStride Suki Women’s Shoes
- Most Comfortable Tennis Shoes: Asics Gel-Venture 8 Running Shoes Men’s Shoes + Asics Gel-Venture 8 Running Shoes Women’s Shoes
- Best Slip-On Sneakers: Dr. Scholl’s Madison Women’s Shoes
- Best Diabetic Shoes: Slow Man Walking Women’s Shoes + Slow Man Walking Men’s Shoes
- Best Hiking Sandal: Teva Original Universal Women’s Shoes
- Best Sandals: Birkenstock Arizona Women’s Shoes + Birkenstock Arizona Men’s Shoes
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New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1 Women’s Shoes
Best Women’s Tennis Shoes for Standing All Day
- Sizes: 5 to 12, regular and wide
- Colors: 12 Available
- Special Features: Lightweight, Ultra-cushioned with memory foam insert, Great for people with high arches
The top-selling women’s cross-training shoe on Amazon with over 50,000 reviews averaging 4.4 stars, the New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1 Women’s Shoes seamlessly transitions from the gym to all-day wear, making it one of the best sneakers for standing all day. Not only is it lightweight, but offers an ultra-responsive memory foam insert and a snug upper, keeping your foot in place. It also comes in regular and wide widths, accommodating various foot types. Those with high arches are especially appreciative, dubbing the supportive sneaker a “game changer.” One reviewer writes: “I have always struggled with standing or walking for long periods of time because I have such high arches in my feet and these shoes fix that problem completely. It supports my arch so well I think I finally understand how it feels to have my feet firmly on the ground.”
Nike Revolution 6 Next Nature Running Men’s Shoes
Best Men’s Tennis Shoes for Standing All Day
- Sizes: 6 to 15, regular and extra wide widths
- Colors: Multiple available
- Special Features: Lightweight, foam midsole
The latest incarnation of Nike Revolution running shoe, the 6 offers responsive cushioning and mesh construction for proper air circulation. Reviewers say they fit like a glove and offer firm-yet-not-too-firm support for plantar fasciitis (compared to plusher classic Nike models like the Tanjun). The biggest update to this favorite sneaker is a foam midsole, offering a softer ride to the breathable and lightweight shoe.
Hoka One One Bondi SR Women’s Shoes
Best Shoes for Standing All Day At Work
- Women’s sizes: 5 to 11, regular and wide
- Men’s sizes: 7 to 12.5
- Colors: Black and white
- Special Features: Designed with water resistant, easy-to-clean leather, Ultra cushioned with Hoka’s trademark compression molded EVA midsole
Hoka One One is a brand worth checking out for people with high arches, per Dr. Peden. The Hoka Bondi, endorsed with the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance, is designed specifically for nurses and healthcare workers out of an easy-to-clean, water resistant leather. The work shoe is available in both men’s and women’s sizes, and is ultra cushioned with the brand’s trademark compression molded EVA midsole. This offers a walking-on-the-clouds like experience with every step, making it a great shoe for anyone standing all day, especially people with bad knees. A slip-resistant outsole and ultra-grippy tread preventing slips and falls also make this shoe one of the most popular for medical professionals.
Dansko Kane Women’s Shoes
Best Shoes for Standing All Day with Bad Knees
- Sizes: 4 to 12
- Colors: Multiple available
- Special Features: Green certified
Dansko shoes are very popular among healthcare and food service professionals. “They provide heel support, which takes pressure off the achilles tendon,” Dr. Peden explains, adding that a tight achilles is the main cause of plantar fasciitis (heel pain) and achilles tendinitis. “In my opinion, these are very sturdy shoes that also protect the feet well, both from injury from above (falling equipment, other persons feet) and the bottom (bending stress and ground reactive forces)” he says. The Dansko Kane, a lightweight, backless shoe that offers arch support has become so popular with women that a men’s version launches at the end of June. Made with easy-to-clean over 50 percent bio-based EVA and certified Green, the clog features easy to clean uppers and a removable (and washable!) cushioned footbed designed for shock control. Side perforation prevents feet from overheating and getting too sweaty and Dr. Peden notes that like all Dansko shoes, they offer slip resistance.
Crocs Unisex Classic Shoes
Best Shoes for Nurses on Feet All Day
- Women’s sizes: 4 to 19
- Men’s sizes: 2 to 17
- Colors: Multiple available including glitter and patterns
- Special Features: Easy to clean, Lightweight and durable with ankle strap for support
Healthcare professionals will personally attest that Crocs clogs are great for standing all day. However, in recent years the rubber clogs experienced a resurgence of popularity amongst the general population, and can be found on the feet of everyone from fashionistas to tots. The main pro about these love ‘em or hate ‘em shoes is their extreme size range, available in a women’s size four to 19, or a men’s size two to 17. They also come in a rainbow spectrum of colors. Amazon reviewers are wild about Croc’s: Out of over 87,000 reviews, they earned a 4.8-star average rating. While they might look funny, one reviewer attests they are “the most comfortable shoes ever.” People also love that they are customizable with the help of “Jibbitz” shoe charms, which pop right into most Crocs styles. However, they might not provide enough support for every foot, and those with flat feet might be better off with a shoe with less arch support.
Birkenstock Unisex Super Birki Shoes
Best Slip-Resistant Shoes for Standing All Day
- Sizes: 4 to 17 women, 2 to 15 men
- Colors: Black, blue and brown colors
- Special features: A removable and washable cork insole minimizes odor over time, Non-slip and waterproof
Another ideal choice for those working in a kitchen or hospital, Birkenstock’s Super Birki offers the same anatomically contoured, cork footbed as the brand’s famous leather shoes, but with a waterproof polyurethane shell that protects from all kinds of spills. With safety of the utmost importance, these are non-slip, including grease- and oil-resistant to avoid accidents But best of all is the comfort these clogs provide, even for nurses who spend all day in the operating room. “I was wearing a pair of shoes with little to no support and my back paid for it every day. Not only did these shoes alleviate my back pain from being on my feet all day, I have had absolutely no back pain when my work shifts are over,” writes one Amazon reviewer, who also notes that even over time, the shoes don’t acquire much odor due to their removable and washable footbed.
Brooks Ghost 14 Women’s Shoes
Best Shoes for Standing All Day with Heel Pain
- Women’s sizes: 5 to 13 in normal, narrow and wide
- Men’s sizes: 7 to 15, in normal, narrow, wide and extra wide
- Colors: Multiple Available
- Special features: Offer soft cushioning and neutral support.
Caitlin Fanning MSN, RN, Infusion Room Fox Chase Cancer Center, maintains that Brooks Ghost tennis shoes are the footwear-of-choice for most of the nurses she works with. “With a job like nursing when you are on your feet all the time, after a few years you experience wear and tear. A lot of us have issues with plantar fasciitis. Brooks Ghost shoes are really the most supportive, durable, comfortable shoe for someone who is on their feet all day long,” she says. Dr. Peden adds that they are a good option for people with high arches. Another perk? Since the shoes are available for normal, narrow, wide and even extra wide for men, they fit almost every foot to perfection.
Brooks Ghost 14 Men’s Shoes
Ecco Soft 7 Women’s Shoes
Comfortable Sneakers for Standing All Day
- Sizes: 4 to 12
- Colors: 5 Available
- Special features: Removable insole system to keep feet cool, Ample arch support
If you work all day in an office, retail environment or sales, you might need a shoe for standing all day that is a bit more stylish. The Ecco Soft 7 is a versatile style that pairs well with jeans and sweaters or skirts and blazers. Appropriate for casual office environments and weekend plans, their anatomical footbed helps minimize foot fatigue. Their removable fiber insole also makes them breathable, helping with air circulation. The sturdy rubber base makes them ideal for all kinds of inclement weather. One Amazon reviewer claims she has been wearing her pair for three years, while another maintains she wore them for three weeks straight, averaging 25,000 steps per day. “No chafing, no blisters, no nothing. Fabulous,” she wrote.
Dr. Scholl’s Sync Oxford Men’s Shoes
Best Men’s Dress Shoes for Standing All Day at Work
- Sizes: 8 to 14, normal and wide
- Colors: 6 Available
- Special features: Targeted support in three areas
Comfortable, stylish and budget-friendly, Dr. Scholl’s Sync Oxfords are some of the best men’s shoes for standing all day, especially for professionals, educators or anyone else who wants to add a polished touch to their daily uniform. These provide extra support in three key areas: under the toe, the ball of the foot and the heel. They’re also available in wider widths so bigger feet can have enough breathing room. The best part is they don’t look at all “orthopedic.” In reviews, men call these some of the best dress shoes for spending all day on your feet, even for those who “walk a few miles a day.”
Rothy’s The Point Women’s Shoes
Comfortable Women’s Dress Shoes for Standing All Day
- Sizes: 5 to 13
- Colors: Multiple Available
- Special features: Machine washable, made out of recycled water bottles, Incredibly stylish and versatile
Dr. Peden picks Rothy’s for a great stylish shoe brand for women with bunions or other foot conditions. The sustainable brand, famous for their stylish-yet-comfortable washable shoes made out of plastic bottles, offer lots of great options for men and women. The Point, a simple but elegant point toe flat — think of it as the LBD of flats — elevates any outfit while offering enough comfort for all day wear with an incredibly flexible upper and cushioned insoles. The Point comes in a bunch of on-trend colors and patterns, adding new ones by the season. “What’s not to love? “Feminine, comfortable just plain cute, this style is my go to for everything!” writes one fan. Reviewers suggest ordering a half size up, as they tend to be on the small side.
Skechers Flex Advantage Bendon Work Men’s Shoes
Comfortable Non-Slip Men’s Shoes for Standing All Day
- Sizes: seven to 14, normal and wide
- Colors: black and black/charcoal
- Special features: Constructed out of breathable mesh, keeping feet cool all day long
Those who put in long hours on unforgiving surfaces from hospitals to restaurants find support in Skechers Flex Advantage Bendon work shoe. Their slip-resistant outsole provides stability, while their cushioned insole provides all-day comfort. And, constructed out of breathable mesh, they keep feet cool all day long. With an average 4.5-star Amazon rating and over 12,000 reviews, they are one of the best-selling shoes for men’s healthcare and food services category. “I’m on my feet non stop for 12 to 14 hours,” wrote one reviewer, dubbing them “the most comfortable shoe” he’d ever worn.
Carhartt Moc-Toe Work Men’s Boots
Best Shoes for Standing All Day on Concrete
- Sizes: 8 to 15, normal and wide
- Special features: Constructed out of leather with a cushioned midsole, similar to a sneaker, Removable moisture-wicking inserts are replaceable
Dr. Peden suggests men whose jobs require physical labor, including those who work in construction or landscaping, invest in a high quality work boot. Carhartt specializes in some of the best work boots for men, and their Moc-Toe work boots are no exception. While they offer ample ankle support, constructed out of leather, they are designed with cushioned sneaker-like midsoles and moisture-wicking linings treated to combat odor. They are also more lightweight than the average work boot, and beloved by those with narrow to wide feet and those with foot conditions including hammertoes and flat feet. One reviewer called them “the most comfortable shoes” they had worn in 40 years. Another, a motorcycle repairman, maintains that his pair lasted him one year of daily use. “Perfect fit, comfortable, durable, light, flexible, not too hot….very nice,” he commented. Perfect for jobs in construction or landscaping, these are super durable but still more lightweight than a typical work boot. They’re also available in wide sizes.
Blundstone 1351 Chelsea Women’s Boots
Best Women’s Boots for Standing All Day
- Sizes: 4 to 11
- Colors: 5 available
- Special features: Ample anatomical cushioning and shock absorbing heels
Stylish enough for stomping around the city and designed with enough anatomical cushioning to wear them all day, Blundstone’s 1351 Chelsea style is a great everyday leather boot for women. Designed to disperse shock at the heel strike and reduce stress on the feet, knees and vertebrae, it’s also equipped with steel shanks for extra stability. It’s the perfect all-weather boot for comfort and protection. One Amazon reviewer maintains that when she wears her pair, it’s like “walking on springs.”
Skechers Go Walk Joy Walking Women’s Shoes
Best for Bunions
- Sizes: 5 to 13, normal, narrow and wide
- Colors: 26 available
- Special features: Easy slip on style, Plush cushioning with extra support
Skechers Go Walk Joy, the top selling walking shoe on Amazon with over 56,000 reviews and an average 4.5-star rating, comes in three width options: standard, narrow and wide. The soft, breathable mesh upper is specifically engineered to naturally expand with your foot as you walk. Other highlights include plush cushioning, excellent support and also their light weight and flexibility. “I have feet that are always in pain- bunions, hammer toe, arthritis from prior breaks. These shoes are so comfortable I bought them in 3 colors. When I am walking around the pain is hardly noticeable. I highly recommend,” wrote one reviewer.
Saucony Cohesion 14 Women’s Shoes
Best Memory Foam Shoes for Standing All Day
- Women’s sizes: 5 to 12, normal and wide
- Men’s sizes: 7 to 15, normal and wide
- Colors: Multiple Available
- Special features: Removable insert, Ultra cushioned
Ergonomic and budget-friendly, the Saucony Cohesion 14, available for men and women, offers terrific value. With VersaFoam cushioning technology to absorb impact and minimize pressure and neutral foot position design, the high-quality sneakers provide comfort and support, disturbing weight equally for all day wear. The shoe also has a removable insert, which can be swapped out with orthotics. People of all ages — including daily walkers, marathon runners, people who work 12 hour shifts on their feet — attest to their ease. “Super comfortable shoes at a great price. You don’t have to spend big bucks with more prominent brands to get a really good-looking comfy shoe,” writes a reviewer on Amazon. Keep in mind the memory foam may not be supportive enough for all day wear for everyone, reminds Dr. McEneaney.
Saucony Cohesion 14 Men’s Shoes
Florsheim Norwalk Plain Toe Lace-Up Men’s Boots
Best Men’s Boots with Ankle Support for Standing All Day
- Sizes: 7 to 13, normal and wide
- Colors: Black and brown leather
- Special features: Fully cushioned footbed for all day comfort, Zipper side for easy on-and-off
An on-trend yet classic men’s boot doesn’t have to be off the table when it comes to comfortable shoe options. The Florsheim Norwalk boot has many features signature to the most comfortable shoes for men. Among them: a fully cushioned footbed and durable rubber outsole with Flexsole technology for necessary give. An added bonus? An inconspicuous side zipper for easy on-and-off. From the office to nights out, these versatile boots are a must for every man’s closet.
Sorel Emelie Chelsea Waterproof Ankle Women’s Boots
Best Women’s Boots with Ankle Support for Standing All Day
- Sizes: 5 to 12
- Colors: Multiple available
- Special features: A removable memory foam footbed and layer of micro fleece keep feet warm and cushioned
Looking for ankle support? Just like the brand’s full-fledged winter boots for women, Sorel’s Emelie boots keep your feet stylishly protected in inclement weather. With seam-sealed waterproof construction, extra cushioning and warmth via a removable memory foam footbed under a layer of microfleece and a durable, grippy outsole to prevent slips in snow and rain, these boots offer ergonomic comfort minus an orthopedic look. “I walked 24 miles in these shoes over three days with absolutely no issues,” writes one Amazon reviewer.
Keen Targhee III Waterproof Hiking Men’s Shoes
Best Men’s Hiking Boot for Standing All Day
- Sizes: 7 to 17, normal and wide
- Colors: 3 available
- Special features: Waterproof, High traction grip rugged outsoles
The newest version of one of the best hiking boots for men and women, Keen’s Targhee III keeps feet from getting wet while letting them breathe. A dual density footbed offers comfort even while trekking through uneven terrain. Another plus? A special treatment prevents odor buildup. To top things off, all-terrain rubber lugged outsoles guarantee a high-traction grip for ultimate stability. In addition to comfort, Amazon reviewers hail their “phenomenal craftsmanship.” Also available in a mid-ankle version for added support and in women’s and kid’s sizes.
Crocs Brooklyn Medium Wedge Women’s Shoes
Best Wedge Sandals for Standing All Day
- Sizes: 4 to 11
- Colors: 7 available
- Special features: Cushioned for comfort and raised insole for support
Looking for some added height without compromising comfort? Even those who refuse to wear traditional Crocs will appreciate the Brooklyn Low wedge. Crafted in a sandal style, the lightweight and stylish wedge features soft, flexible Matlite straps that won’t dig into or rub your skin. Deep heel cups and raised insole offer excellent anatomical support. Literide foam offers cushioning for standing all day during warm-weather events. “The best support I have ever had in platform heels, the cushiony squish is just like walking on your own personal little bit of cloud,” wrote one Amazon reviewer. Size up, as they tend to run on the small side.
LifeStride Suki Women’s Shoes
Best Ladies Work Shoes for Standing All Day
- Sizes: 5 to 11, normal and wide
- Colors: Five available
- Special features: Ample cushioning and support
When your job requires you to wear heels, take comfort (literally) in these ultra supportive, trendy heels. LifeStride’s Suki faux leather pump has an asymmetrical strap featuring elastic goring for extra flexibility. The shoe’s footbed offers support with soft cushioning and flexible soles. “No pinching, rubbing, blisters or aching feet,” attests one Amazon reviewer with “chronic pain,” who wore the shoes for over six hours. Unlike the average heel, this one is available in wide sizes.
Asics Gel-Venture 8 Running Shoes Men’s Shoes
Best Tennis Shoes for Standing All Day
- Men’s sizes: 7 to 15 in normal, wide and extra wide
- Women’s sizes: 5 to 12, normal, wide and extra wide
- Colors: Multiple available
- Special features: Gel cushioning in the heel for shock absorption
Our podiatry experts agree that a supportive athletic shoe is a great place to start your search for the top shoes for standing all day, especially if you have flat feet. Asics’ Gel-Venture 8 running shoes offer gel cushioning in the heel area for shock absorption and an ortholite sockliner that molds to the shape of your foot for overall comfort. The midsole increases rebound, lessening the impact of each stride on your body. While these make a great running shoe, the sweat-wicking, breathable materials also make them ideal for an active, on-the-go job. Just how comfortable are they? “I didn’t want to take them off of my feet,” attests an Amazon reviewer, who bought them for running, but wears them all the time.
Asics Gel-Venture 8 Running Shoes Women’s Shoes
Dr. Scholl’s Madison Women’s Shoes
Best Slip-On Sneakers for Standing All Day
- Sizes: 5 to 13, normal and wide
- Colors: Multiple available
- Special features: Anatomical cushioning in footbed offers support for flat feet
Slip-on shoes are more than just a grab-and-go option. If you like the look of Vans, but need something more comfortable, check out Dr. Scholl’s Madison sneaker. A perfect go-with-everything tennis shoe, it also offers plenty of foot support with anatomical cushioning in the footbed and extra padding around the mouth of the shoe. “Very comfortable to have on and walking doesn’t make my lack of arches hurt or blisters start up,” writes an Amazon fan. The best-selling style comes in lots of neutral colors and finishes, so you’ll be tempted to grab more than just one pair.
Slow Man Walking Women’s Shoes
Best Diabetic Shoes for Standing All Day
- Women’s sizes: 5.5 to 11
- Men’s sizes: 7 to 14
- Colors: Multiple available
- Special features: A great budget-friendly option at less than $40 a pair
When it comes to the best non-slip shoes for standing all day, try a style with rubber tread, like Slow Man’s women’s shoes. Stash a pair by the door for impromptu errands or frequent dog walks instead of those less-than-supportive flip-flops you’re used to. Also an excellent pair of ladies’ work shoes for standing all day, as they include plenty of arch support and a roomy toe box. The sock-style design is breathable and flexible. Women with bunions, flat feet and plantar fasciitis all attest to their comfort.
Slow Man Walking Men’s Shoes
Teva Original Universal Women’s Shoes
Best Hiking Sandal for Standing All Day
- Sizes: 5 to 13
- Colors: Multiple Available
- Special features: EVA-foam midsole cushions feet while quick-dry bungee-like cord lace keeps them secure
Because most footwear trends come back around, Teva’s trademark sandal (popularized in the early 1990s) experienced a resurgence over the past few years. Offering similar traction to a light hiking boot with a rugged spider rubber outsole, the fast-drying shoes fare well in the water, making them a popular choice for river rafting, canoeing, tubing and other water sports. The foam midsole also provides lightweight cushioning while a bungee-like cord keeps them secure, making it a great and comfortable sandal to wear all day. One first-time Teva reviewer maintains that after a whole day of walking “had zero blisters or rubbing” on her skin “like some shoes during the break in period,” she wrote in an Amazon review. “There really isn’t a break in period — they’re good to go out of the box. It feels like walking on a squishy yoga mat and the ribbed texture is really pleasant.”
Birkenstock Arizona Women’s Shoes
Best Sandals for Standing All Day
- Women’s sizes: 4 to 12
- Men’s sizes: 6 to 13
- Colors: Multiple Available
- Special features: Wide option available on Birkenstock.com
Birkenstock hasn’t made any major changes to their beloved Arizona style since they arrived in the United States in the 1970s, nor should they. The two-strapped, ergonomic sandal, once strongly associated with the hippy subculture, remains one of the most comfortable sandals on the market. However, in 2015 the brand added new material to the mix, releasing the Arizona Eva, constructed out of a rubber ethylene-vinyl acetate and modeled after the molded, ergonomic cork sole of the OG. Now available in a rainbow of colors and patterns, the waterproof sandal costs significantly less than the leather version, and reviewers swear it parallels in comfort. “I went to the park with my wife and walked several miles over various terrain, and my feet felt great,” writes one Amazon reviewer. “Likewise, I have worn them to work on casual day, and they stand up to all day wear as well. I also took them to the pool with no worries!”
Birkenstock Arizona Men’s Shoes
What to Look for in the Best Shoes for Standing All Day
Here is what you should consider when shopping for the best shoes for standing all day, according to experts.
- The Heel Should Be Cushioned: Certified pedorthist Michael Fishkin, a colleague of Dr. McEneaney at Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, recommends searching for shoes that have proper heel cushioning. “Think about it like a mattress,” says Dr. Fishkin. “When you lay down, it contours to your entire body.” And just like with a mattress, if an insole is too soft, you’ll probably benefit from more support. “Soft and spongey insoles can make your foot work a little harder and create instability, so firmer can be better,” Dr. McEneaney says. While every shoe’s midsole utilizes a different type of foam or cushioning, beware of memory foam, which doesn’t work for everyone. For many people, it lacks the necessary support for all-day wear.
- It Should Have Midfoot and Arch Support: In addition to cushioning, Dr. Fishkin stresses the importance of midfoot and arch support. He explains that “when body weight is distributed evenly, your foot is less apt to fatigue quicker.”
- Look for Moisture-Wicking Materials: Anyone who is standing on their feet all day is likely to break a sweat. Selecting a breathable shoe constructed out of moisture-wicking material will prevent sweaty feet, notes Dr. Fishkin.
- Outsole Should Be Made Out of Rubber: Dr. Fishkin recommends styles with outsoles made out of rubber, as it offers structure that increases the longevity of pairs.
Comfortable Standing Shoes for Different Foot Types and Conditions
You should also choose a shoe depending on your foot type or any conditions you suffer from. Experts suggests the following types of shoes:
Standing Shoes for Flat Feet
Anyone suffering from flat feet should look for wider-lasted shoes, “which means they shouldn’t have an hourglass shape on the bottom,” says Dr. Fishkin. “Instead, they should have a straight-across design underfoot.” These types of shoes offer more space around the forefoot and ball of the foot. Additionally, since people with flat feet tend to overpronate (meaning their feet roll inward as they walk), he suggests looking for shoes that provide enhanced stability and motion control.
Standing Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis, a common inflammatory foot condition resulting in stabbing pain in the bottom of one or both feet, can result from wearing the wrong shoes. However, those who suffer from the condition need to select footwear carefully, says Mike Rushton, DPM, co-founder and medical director of Forward Motion Orthotics in St. George, Utah. He suggests looking for a neutral supportive shoe, which will depend on your foot type. Those with tight, stiff feet, will benefit from shoes with excellent structure and cushioning, but not that are “so soft you’re not finding the ground,” Dr. Rushton says. Anyone with flexible feet should focus on stability in the form of arch support, which will help increase the arch for those with flat feet and encourage high arches to drop to a more neutral position.
Standing Shoes for High Arches
Those with high arches or need extra arch support should look for shoes with built-in, well-padded and shock-absorbing insoles. “High-arched feet are best treated with supportive, softer and more flexible, lightweight types of soles to accommodate the high arch,” says New York-based podiatrist and Vionic Innovation Lab member, Dr. Jackie Sutera. “Avoid rigid, stiff and thin flat shoes. The purpose of insoles and orthotics for those with high-arched feet is to accommodate, absorb shock and cushion.”
Dr. Emily Splichal, a podiatrist and founder of the performance-driven accessories line Naboso, adds that choosing a shoe with a slight heel-toe drop (the difference between how high the shoe is in the heel versus the forefoot) can minimize impact forces and ankle stress. Dr. Sutera also points out that those with high arches also tend to supinate, meaning their weight tends to roll to the outside edge of their feet with each step, so heel counters should be considered. “Heel counters add stability and allow the rearfoot/heel to stay more neutral by blocking pronation (your ankle or arch rolling inward) and supination,” she says.
Standing Shoes for Ankle Pain or Weakness
If you suffer from ankle pain or weakness, ankle support should be a top priority. “High-top shoes are great for additional structure and support to prevent ankle injury,” says Dr. Dan Geller, a board certified foot and ankle surgeon and advisor for Kane Footwear. “Running shoes may not always be the best for folks with weak ankles as some can actually roll you out.” Those who suffer from ankle pain or injuries should always consult a doctor first, but generally look for “a stable wide platform and deep heel cup to stabilize the foot and ankle better.”
Standing Shoes for Knee Pain
While shoes are not going to fix knee pain, the right pair may help alleviate or at least avoid aggravating the pain by getting your foot into proper alignment, offering joint support and diffusing pressure away from the knee, explains Dr. Mark Mendeszoon, a podiatrist and owner of Achilles Running Shop in Pennsylvania. “Just as folks may need eyeglasses to help accommodate with vision, properly selected shoes can accommodate particular foot problems,” Dr. Mendeszoon says. However, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all shoe for those suffering from knee pain. He recommends visiting a running store where someone can evaluate your specific pains and issues to find you a proper shoe and also taking into consideration any other foot or health conditions you have.
Standing Shoes for Back Pain
Similar to those suffering from knee pain, what to look for in a shoe if you have back pain will depend on the source of the pain and also the activity you need them for, says Dr. Mendeszoon. If you get sore after tough workouts or stand on your feet all day (we’re looking at you, nurses), consider investing in a shoe with shock absorption and strategic cushioning — possibly even labeled as orthopedic shoes — which will help relieve direct pressure to your pain points. “Someone with back pain is going to want a shoe that has enough support but with proper cushioning, too,” Dr. Mendeszoon adds. “You want a shoe that doesn’t have a significant heel drop [aka one with an even amount of cushioning from heel to toe] and fits well both in length and width, since achieving proper foot alignment helps prevent all kinds of aches and pains, including in your back.”
Standing Shoes for Bunions
Dr. Glenn Davison, owner of Advanced Podiatry in New York City and New Jersey and a Fellow in the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, emphasizes the importance of finding footwear that stabilizes the foot into the ideal neutral position, where weight is evenly distributed across the foot, for anyone with bunions. High heels are generally a no-no, Davison adds. “A good corrective shoe will stabilize the foot,” he advises, suggesting looking for those that offer arch support, proper cushioning and a wide shoe fit and a roomy toe box. To avoid painful friction, stay away from shoes that have straight or narrow toe beds.
Standing Shoes for Diabetics
Dr. Rushton explains that there are two primary ways that diabetes affects feet. One is neuropathy, in which people experience anything from “odd sensations in the feet, all the way to no sensation in the feet,” or burning, stinging, or cold sensations. The other is “losing protective threshold,” Dr. Rushton says, which could result in an identified injury, eventually manifesting into more severe damage. Dr. Rushton suggests wide-fitting diabetic shoes with “plenty of depth,” so rubbing and chafing that can lead to greater sores and injuries will be avoided. Wide toe boxes and soft shoe interiors and linings are also essential.
Standing Shoes for Heel Spurs
Heel spurs, “a growth of bone on the bottom of your heel,” per Dr. Rushton, grow in the contour of your feet. “If your foot doesn’t have adequate padding beneath it, as you roll forward, you’re more likely to pinch between the bottom of the foot and the ground,” Dr. Rushton says. A cushioned heel and anatomical arch support will help promote healthy foot alignment, so the entire foot will absorb the impact of every step, rather than just the heel.
Standing Shoes for Wide Feet
According to Dr. Bruce Pinker, a board-certified podiatrist and foot surgeon of Progressive Foot Care in New York state, if you feel pressure on the sides of your feet while wearing shoes, then you likely have wide feet. Dr. Pinker suggests purchasing shoes that come in wide sizes. “The width should be snug, but not tight,” he says, while Dr. Fishkin also stresses there should be 3/8 of an inch of space between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. “The forefoot of a pair of shoes should have ample room for toes,” he says, advising you to wiggle your toes when your try on shoes. If your toes feel confined, the shoes are too tight. “They shouldn’t feel like they’re pinching or squeezing the feet adversely.”
How Often Should You Replace Your Shoes When Standing All Day
How often you should replace your shoes when standing all day depends on mileage and usage. “This is not something you should put a number on,” Dr. Peden explains. The best indicator that you need to replace your shoes is often the tread. “When the tread begins to wear down and you lose the traction and grip, it is time to get a new pair,” he says. Also, look at the toe, the seams, and structure of the shoe. “As this begins to wear and break down, you know your shoes are getting to the end of their usefulness,” he continues. Another indicator is that your feet begin to hurt. The quality of your shoe will also determine their longevity. “Cheaper shoes tend to wear down quicker and protect your feet less,” according to Dr. Peden. This is why he suggests individuals who are on their feet all day, splurge on high-quality footwear.
How to Prepare for Standing All Day
After selecting the right type of shoes for your activity and foot type, Dr. Peden explains that conditioning yourself is the next step in preparation for standing all day. “Spend time standing,” he says. “Plan for days off as you are getting used to the extra time on your feet.” And, after a full day on your feet, “expect to be sore for a while,” Dr. Peden notes. “Your body will get used to it. Shifting your weight and using a step is extremely helpful.”
How to Relieve Foot Pain From Standing All Day
If you experience foot pain from standing all day, rest is best according to Dr. Peden. Stretching is also very helpful for tired soles of the feet. “In general you want to be stretching your calf and hamstring muscles. Doing a short yoga session at home — online ten to 20 minute videos, often makes a real difference,” he says. You can also try a foot massager. In general, try and avoid using medication unless it is very painful, he adds. And, if you develop skin issues like calluses or sore/hot spots, soaking your feet and applying a strong hypoallergenic moisturizer or cream like Aquaphor is beneficial.
How We Tested and Reviewed the Best Shoes for Standing All Day
After logging dozens of hours of research and combing through hundreds of customer reviews across several retailers, we tapped several top doctors, surgeons and athletic experts to help us determine the best shoes for standing all day. We also took into consideration the top standing shoes within a variety of workplaces and types of flooring. As new shoes are released throughout 2023, we will continue to update this guide to the best shoes for standing all day to deliver the most up-to-date recommendations and tips to enable you to focus on the workday ahead — and not your achy feet.
Meet the Experts
- Dr. Patrick McEneaney is a board-certified podiatrist, and the owner and CEO of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists.
- Dr. Sean Pedenis is a Yale Medicine foot and ankle surgeon and assistant professor of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at Yale School of Medicine.
- Michael Fishkin is a certified pedorthist at Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists.
- Mike Rushton, DPM, is the co-founder and medical director of Forward Motion Orthotics in St. George, Utah.
- Dr. Emily Splichal is a podiatrist and founder of the performance-driven accessories line, Naboso.
- Dr. Jackie Sutera is a New York-based podiatrist and Vionic Innovation Lab member.
- Dr. Dan Geller is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon and advisor for Kane Footwear.
- Dr. Mark Mendeszoon is a podiatrist and the owner of Achilles Running Shop in Pennsylvania.
- Dr. Glenn Davison is the owner of Advanced Podiatry in New York City and New Jersey, and a Fellow in the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
- Dr. Bruce Pinker is a board-certified podiatrist and foot surgeon of Progressive Foot Care in New York.