If being on your feet all day is part of your job description, we feel for you.
Standing non-stop, after all, is hard work in and of itself. If your shoes aren’t up to the task?
Well, we feel your pain.
Shoes that withstand the stress and strain of standing all day are perhaps the most important part of your daily work wardrobe, and not just any old shoe will do.
But footwear like the Dansko Women’s Professional Tooled Clog and the Clarks Men’s Bushacre 2 Desert Boot will do, and that’s why we rate them at the top of our list of best shoes for standing all day 2017 for men and women.
The shoes on our list aren’t just made for walking – they’re made for standing.
Comfort is everything when you’re on your feet all day. And we think you’ll enjoy the comfort of these shoes right down to your soles.
- 6 things to consider when buying shoes for standing on your feet all day
- Are women’s shoes different than men’s when it comes to standing all day?
- The 6 best shoes for standing all day for women
- The 5 best shoes for standing all day for men
6 Things to Consider When Buying Shoes for Standing on Your Feet All Day
Wide Toe Box – Cramped toes just aren’t going to cut it if you’re going be on your feet all day. Conventional shoes tend to have tapered toe boxes that often force your toes into an uncomfortable position. But a wide tox box comes with many benefits, especially for people with pre-existing foot conditions. Meanwhile, the added space and comfort will lessen the fatigue felt by working your entire shift while on your feet.
Slip Resistant Soles – Your shoes absolutely, positively must have excellent grip if you’re going to spend the day on your feet. And they should provide proper grip whether you’re standing on a dry surface or one that’s been moistened by your colleague’s coffee spill.
Shock-absorbing Outsoles – Hard, unyielding floors are simply Wearing the wrong type of shoes on surfaces such as concrete can easily lead to foot and leg problems. Footwear with the proper shock-absorbing capabilities will benefit your overall health and comfort, and lessen the fatigue you feel at the end of a work day.
Leather is Better – Most people prefer genuine leather when it comes to their shoes, and with good reason. Leather lasts longer, is more comfortable, reduces sweating, and can solve world hunger. OK, so maybe not the latter, but you get the picture.
The Heels – The consensus is that low heels are going to stand up to the rigors of being on your feel all day. Ditto for high heels. Better to choose something with a small heel – from a quarter of an inch to 2-inches – rather than something flat or too high.
Heel and Arch Support – Your heels and arches absorb of a lot of your foot’s stress. Make sure your heels are comfortable and well-supported while learning your arch type is the first step in avoiding buying shoes that won’t provide you with the proper support.
Now that we have some guidelines to work with let’s get down to business. But, first, one last question:
Are women’s shoes different than men’s when it comes to standing all day?
The answer is, yes. There are differences between women’s and men’s shoes. They’re differences that must be considered when you’re looking for the most comfortable shoes:
- Width – Women’s shoes made for standing in all day are built wider in the toe than they are for men.
- Weight – To each his own (comfort) when it comes to the weight of the shoe, but women’s shoes made for standing all day are typically lighter than men’s. Since women have less muscle mass on average, that lightness may provide more comfort. But to each his, or her, own.
There are other differences to consider, including the basic fit, but it can all come down to the preference of the wearer. But, generally, men’s feet are wider than women’s.
OK, let’s really get down to what we’re talking about – ladies first.
The 6 Best Shoes For Standing All Day For Women
You have to love the people at Dansko. At company-wide gatherings – it’s an employee-owned company – celebrations include cupcakes for all. Raise your glass, then eat a cupcake. Who wouldn’t want to work there?
They also have a pretty cool history:
To steal a phrase from one product reviewer, Dansko has ‘launched a comfort generation’ with its clogs, and the women’s professional tooled clog has done nothing to tarnish that reputation.
The Pennsylvania-based company prides itself on it craftsmanship, which includes its ‘Last’ 3D form that determines how each shoe will be designed for a specific person (including you, of course), as well has how it will be constructed and fit. Dansko also prides itself on combining customer feedback with current fashion trends to stay one comfortable step ahead of its competitors.
What’s not to love about a shoe that includes:
- A leather upper.
- Gorgeous design.
- And, naturally, comfort features.
The embossed design helps make a work shoe made for standing look stylish. But then there are the comfort features that Dansko stakes its claim on – from a firm foot and arch support, to shock absorption, to a contoured midsole, a rocker sole, and oh-so-roomy toe box.
This clog is leather-lined, to provide further comfort, while its polyurethane rocker sole provides the kind of traction that allows you to move around freely without fear of slips and falls. With the ample toe box, your toes can wiggle freely (no pinching here) while the heel fit is loose, but not too loose, tight, but not too tight. And all you really need to keep them looking their best is a soft, dry cloth.
If you’re seriously seeking the most comfortable shoes, then the Dansko Women’s Professional Tooled Clog is a great place to start.
- Superior craftsmanship
- All-natural leather upper
- Excellent traction and slip-resistance
- Look great
- Can feel constrictive at the top of the foot for some wearers.
With over 100 years of doing what they do, you can this about Clarks – they know how to make a comfortable shoe.
Their Women’s Wave Trek Sneaker looks good, feels good, and comes with the Clarks’ patented Wavewalk technology that features a curved rocker sole that conserves energy, absorbs shock, and cushions the joints to create an awesome walking experience.
While the Wave Trek Sneaker is ideal for people who are standing on hard surfaces all day thanks to its premium cushioning and shock absorption, it’s also good for city sidewalks, and even for taking long walks in the country (it has a waterproof full-grain leather upper).
A padded collar and tongue provide further comfort and additional cushioning – and keep debris from entering the sole. Let’s face it, there’s nothing quite as aggravating as walking around with a small pebble in your shoe.
Here’s another thing we like (and we think you’ll like): the Wave Trek Sneaker comes with removable orthlolite footbeds. If you don’t like them, you can replace them with custom orthotics that are fit for your feet.
Oh, and don’t forget the soft fabric inner lining that buffers the foot and adds to the shoe’s all-around comfort.
- Wavewalk technology provides supreme comfort
- Unique rocker sole conserves energy as you walk
- Made of natural full-grain leather
- The Wave Trek Sneaker comes with a heel insert that owners have found uncomfortable. The insert is removable, however.
You have to like a company that produces classic, durable, everyday shoes (and more) yet has still been the shoe of choice for reggae artists, rappers, participants in the 1960s Mods vs. Rockers rivalry, and the main character in the ‘Breaking Bad’ series.
That’s Clarks for you, however. The venerable British company, which dates to the 19th century, has developed its own unique blend of style and comfort. You’d expect nothing less from a company that was formed in 1821 to deal in the trades of fellmongering, woolstapling, and tanning in Somerset, England.
Oh, and the question which goes with the answer, ‘A person who deals in hides and skins, particularly sheepskins,’ is: ‘What is a fellmongerer?'”
But let’s fast-forward a couple of centuries and get back to the best shoes for standing all day. Clarks comes into play with its Ashland Twist Women’s Slip-On, which earns high marks in a variety of categories, including those two crucial ones, style, and comfort. Then again, Clarks has always asked the question, “Why can’t you have both?”
With the Ashland Twist, Clarks has come up with what’s essentially an updated version of its classic Mary Jane style. They come with leather uppers that are bendable and extremely easy to wear. Better yet, they look good with a pair of jeans, but also with a nice pair of dress slacks at the workplace.
Besides the comfortable full-grain upper leather, the Ashland Twist comes with a cushioned insole and Mary Jane straps that utilize elastic stretch panels for easy wear and comfort.
What else? It’s in the details:
- 1 1/2 inch rubber heel
- Fabric sock liner
- Lightly padded collar
- Rounded toe
- Rubber outsole for slip-resistant movement
- Stitching detail
Bottom line, you won’t go wrong with the Ashland Twist. It’s comfortable, stylish, well-made, and comes from a company with a tradition that dates to the fellmongering days.
- 1 ½ inch heel
- Fabric sock liner
- Rounded toe for more comfort
- Slip-resistant sole
- May run a little big
Trivia Question No. 1 – How did Crocs get their name?
Answer: Because like a crocodile, they’re good on land or water.
Trivia Question No. 2 – Does Crocs still sell their original shoe?
Answer: – Yes, and about 300 other styles for every season.
It’s hard to forget when crocs ruled the world and as one reviewer put it, ‘fans will tell you that they’re the closest thing to religion that the foot as experienced.'”
It seemed like everyone had a pair: George W. Bush. Mario Batali. Your parents. The lady next door. Your uncle at the family reunion.
That’s not to say that Crocs still aren’t rocking since they strode confidently into the limelight back near the turn of the 21st century. After all, they’ve sold some 300 million pairs since opening for business in 2002.
Critics may have griped about their looks and bold, eye-popping colors, but wearers worshiped at the shrine of comfort that their new footwear provided.
You don’t think they’re awesome? See how you feel after watching this video:
Besides, you can work in Crocs! If you’re looking for the most comfortable shoes, Crocs can come to the rescue. And they’ll come bearing gifts, particularly the Mercy Work croc that’s designed with the stand-on-your-feet-all-day worker in mind.
Here’s just some of what you’ll get:
- A comfortable, roomy fit, just like the originals.
- Durability designed for work environments, like schools, medical facilities, etc.
- Slip-resistant tread
- Enhanced footbed and arch support. The footbed has tiny nubs along it that provide a massage-like feel.
- A heel strap for additional support.
- Plus, they’re odor-resistant (always a plus) and easy to clean.
So, why not be a little different – the people at Crocs revel in it – and make your workday a beautiful thing with an innovative pair of shoes? The kind that belongs on the ‘very comfortable shoes’ list.
- Exceptional durability, great for all work environments
- Heel strap provides additional support
- Slip-resistant thread
- Odor resistant
- Can feel tight for women with wide feet
Alegria wants and promotes happiness. The very word, translated from Spanish to English, means joy and happiness. The Alegria website includes ‘The Secrets of Happiness’ and they describe their footwear as, ‘What Happy Feet Look Like.'” So if they want us and our feet to be happy, who are we to argue? Let them have at it!
Manufactured by California company PG Lite, Alegria can hold its own on among comfortable shoes. First, the line is developed with technical features that promote health and wellness. It’s ergonomic and easy to walk on.
The Paloma Collection is Alegria’s own take on the Mary Jane-style women’s shoe. It takes the classic, traditional style and transforms it into Alegria’s fun but superbly comfortable style.
It’s also a tale of two halves, if you will. The top of the Paloma is an open feminine flat with a leather strap and button detail, while the bottom consists of a thick rubber sole that’s exceptionally cushioned (and great for standing on all day). It’s the kind of comfort that has built loyalty among Alegria’s customers.
The Paloma flat also meets the highest standards for slip-resistance – making them ideal for doctor, nurses, airline attendants, and anyone who earns their living while standing. What else does Alegria offer? A wide color palate that will brighten your day. It’s truly happiness in a lot of different ways, which is the point, after all. It’s in the name.
- Meets the highest standards for slip-resistance
- Traditional but classic style
- Leather strap for extra support
- Velcro on straps may wear down quickly
The story of the Dr. Martens shoe line is the stuff of legends.
In 1945, German doctor Dr. Klaus Maertens injured his foot while skiing in the Alps. To make his recovery more comfortable, Martens designed a shoe with an air-cushioned sole – using old rubber tires – the trapped air in closed compartments.
Well, the idea worked so well that Maertens showed his created to his friend, engineer/inventor Dr. Herbert Funck, and together they designed what would become the famous Dr. Martens shoe. Others, mind you, thought the idea of an air-cushioned sole would be a fad, but little did they know.
But on to the Dr. Martens Women’s 8065 Mary Jane:
Of course, it comes with the aforementioned air-cushioned sole. And, the full-grain leather upper has a vintage look that nonetheless doesn’t seem dated.
Adjustable “Mary Jane” straps have been added to the shoes to provide a secure fit, while the footbed is also cushioned to help you feel like you’re walking – or standing – on air. The footbed also is perforated to ensure good ventilation while eliminating worries of foot odor.
We also like that the sole is slip-resistant and provides good grip and that the leather upper is flexible and adapts to your foot should it swell.
And all this thanks to a skiing accident.
- Air-cushioned sole for supreme comfort
- Vintage look that’s also stylish
- Slip-resistant grip
- Some reviewers say the break-in period for these shoes is too long
The 5 Best Shoes For Standing All Day For Men
Ah, males. There never seems to be an Imelda Marcos among you. Not that you can’t be obsessed with footwear; check out this video on the sneaker sub-culture, but too much of the time you’re slapping on the same old pair of sandals, or an old pair of scuffed, ‘aged’ shoes that your significant other has earmarked for the trash bin.
Not that you don’t care how they feel, or look. Fact is; you probably need to take it more seriously, given that studies have shown that women judge men’s shoes twice as much as men judge women’s shoes. And did you realize that wearing socks with sandals can signify laziness? So put in a little effort and at least ditch the socks.
Then again, others have argued that men can get through life just fine with a certain six pairs of shoes – ranging from white canvas sneakers to black oxfords.
But when it comes to standing on your feet all day, it’s time to get serious. Just as it is for women who stand all day on the job, the wrong pair of shoes can make a man’s workday go sour pretty quickly.
We’ve already covered what the essentials are when looking for the most comfortable shoes, but it’s worth repeating the basics: 1) Slip-resistant; 2) Material; 3) Support. Comfort is, of course, at the heart of it, but that can be filed under both Nos. 2 and 3.
So, using the basics as our foundation, here’s a sampling of the best men’s shoes for standing all day:
OK, so they’re not – technically shoes – but Clarks’ Bushacre 2 Desert Boot is stylish enough for everyday use, and perfect if you spend all day on your feet.
The Buschacre 2 is the latest in the series of Clarks Desert boots as well as the most fashionable. But don’t let their good looks for you; they’re manly, rugged, and able to handle the stress and strain of whatever your job entails.
Another difference worth noting is that the Bushacre 2 has a rubber sole unlike the crepe sole of the original Desert Boots. The crepe soles provide better comfort, but the Bushacre 2 sole is still plenty comfortable and is more durable.
You have a choice of two materials for the Bushacre 2 upper: beeswax leather or suede material. In either case, the upper is extremely lightweight and reduces the strain of standing all day.
Another great feature about the Bushacre 2 Desert Boot is its soft synthetic lining and cushioned footbed that provide excellent shock absorption. Again, it’s hard to beat this kind of comfort if you’re on your feet for the most of your day.
But, again, you’ll like the way these boots/shoes look. They’re perfect for any casual setting and look good with jeans or khakis.
- Extremely lightweight upper
- Rubber sole for additional durability
- Look good
- Tends to run a bit big
Fact or fiction? Skechers is the number two sneaker brand in the U.S., behind only Nike/Jordan.
Fact! After experiencing a couple of bad years in 2011 and 2012, Skechers management buckled down and brought their California-based company up from the ashes to their current spot just a rung below the all-mighty Swoosh.
Now a global leader in high performance and lifestyle footwear, Skechers designs and develops more than 3,000 styles for men, women and children.
You want celebrity cred? Skechers USA, Inc., has it by the boatload. Product endorsees include Ringo Starr, Demi Lovato, Joe Montana, and Kelly Brook. Their Perfomance Division list Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi and pro golfer Matt Kuchar as clients.
Clearly, Skechers didn’t get there by accident. They have a widely varied, affordable product line to go with a targeted marketing plan. Looking for the a nice pair of comfortable shoes? Skechers has you covered.
The Skechers for Work Men’s Cottonwood Goddard Twin Gore Slip On is designed specifically for the man who’s on his feet all day, particularly in an office setting. Casual, but still dressy, they are an ideal combination of style, comfort, and durability. Let’s take a look at all the attributes:
- Electrical Hazard Safe design (now that’s not something you see in every shoe out there).
- Slip and oil resistant rubber traction outsole.
- Full grain smooth leather upper.
- Dress casual design.
- Elastic panels on both sides to provide a comfortable fit, as well as making it easier to slip them on and off.
- Soft fabric lining for interior comfort.
- Removable insole provides cushioning for the feet.
- Shock absorbing midsole.
- Rounded plain toe front.
- Stitching accents.
- Four-eye lace-up front with metal eyelets.
- Padded collar and tongue.
- A topsole trim that’s stitch-accented.
If you’re looking for comfort, as well as work-appropriate style, then the Skechers Exalt certainly is worth considering.
- Electrical hazard safe design (yes, indeed)
- Full grain smooth leather upper
- Padded collar and tongue
- Slip and oil resistant rubber traction outsole
- Run large
- Squeaky on smooth floors
There’s room on this list for two UK shoe manufacturers, Clarks, so don’t step on anyone’s toes.
The first Dr. Martens boots made in England came out in 1960 – it’s a style that’s still in production today – with a color formally known as ‘oxblood.’ Chances are you won’t find it in a box of crayons, but it looks good on boots, nonetheless. By the 1980s, they were even popular among punks and new wave folks.
When it comes to standing all day, however, Doc Martens certainly has something to offer. In fact, the company is legendary for producing comfortable workwear, with a multitude of designs for men and women.
The Gibson 1461 Oxford lace-up shoe are made of high-quality, durable leather, and have both an air-cushion sole and padded liner. There are other reasons to consider these when choosing the cushiest shoes:
- Breathability. The leather lining is made to breathe while it also helps wick moisture away from the skin. Better yet, it helps you avoid fungus and other foot health issues.
- An easy-to-maintain outer finish that’s water-resistant. They come in a wide variety of colors, as well.
- The heel height is 1 1/4 inches, which helps to maintain good posture and relieve pressure on joints in the lower body.
- They’re slip-resistant, even on wet surfaces.
- Exceptional breathability
- Water-resistant outer finish
- Difficult to break in for some wearers
Now back to Crocs. In case you haven’t heard, or seen, the toddling Prince George, son of Prince William and Kate Middleton, was photographed at a charity event wearing Crocs. And – boom! – just like that, one-week sales in the UK jumped by 1,500-percent.
Here’s another Crocs tidbit: They were originally developed as a spa shoe and the first model, called the Beach, was unveiled at the 2002 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. All 200 pairs sold out.
But let’s go a step further and borrow from the classic movie ‘The Graduate’ when Mr. McGuire says to Benjamin, “I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Plastics.” But in our current context, let’s say another word (but just one): Croslite.
Croslite, you ask? Yes, and it’s at the foundation of the Crocs magic. Croslite is a closed cell foam resin that forms itself nicely to a wearer’s feet. For lovers of Crocs, it’s Croslite that gives them the comfortable, non-marking, lightweight and odor-resistant qualities that are irresistible.
It’s not just about how they feel, either. When Crocs developed its CrocsRx Custom Cloud shoe for diabetes wearers, it got the seal of approval from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services – while essentially validating the benefits for Croslite.
In short, Croslite is one word that means a lot to anyone who’s donned a comfy pair of Crocs. Maybe that’s where the notion of a religious experience for the feet – as mentioned earlier – also comes into play.
Which brings us full circle back to the Croc Men’s Tummler Work Shoe, briefly introduced here via video:
The Tummler work shoe is good for a day spent on your feet at the office, yet casual enough to wear during free time – as well as certainly comfortable enough. It’s a slip-on shoe set in an oiled leather upper that provides the classic loafer look. Combine the Croslite midsole with a soft-brushed polyfleece liner for superior, lightweight cushioning. There’s also the Crocs Lock tread for slip resistance.
In short, you have a comfortable, yet stylish, shoes that can withstand the rigors of the workday, but work just as well in recreational settings such as boating or walking. And that’s the Crocs way – being able to market its products to a wide range of customers and needs – not the least of which is those who are looking for nice comfortable shoes.
Besides, if they’re good enough for royalty, they’re probably good enough for the rest of us, as well.
- Superior cushioning
- Crocs Lock slip-resistant tread
- They tend to run small
They may not have been the first to ask the question. But they were the first to do something about it.
‘They’ were Saul Katz and his son, Bruce, who in 1971 were looking to make a mark in the shoe-making business. Their question would definitely be classified in the million-dollar category: Why can’t dress and casual shoes be as comfortable as sneakers?
It provided the light-bulb moment that led the Katz’s to establish The Rockport Company while introducing the first dress shoes with built-in sport technology. They peddled their new ‘kicks’ in a van in the Marlborough, Mass., area before things really took off.
Rockport is even credited with inventing the walking shoe and helping to popularize walking as a form of exercise, as well as a healthy alternative to running. Led by Bruce Katz, Rockport carved out a market niche backed by its own scientific research into the biomechanics of walking. Clearly, they didn’t just talk the talk.
These shoes aren’t just made for walking, but they’re made for standing all day, as well.
Why do they rank among the best shoes for walking all day? Many reasons, to be exact:
- A special walking platform complete with patented Strobel Technology Construction and EVA cushioning. What is Strobel Technology, you ask? Specifically, it describes a specific way of stitching the upper leathers and lining to the insole of footwear. This, in turn, offers a much higher flexibility and strength than many other types of construction.
- A padded tongue and collar. This provides added comfort while helping to protect your feet from excess rubbing (and blisters and other aggravations).
- A durable 1-inch rubber sole that allows you to walk comfortably on any surface.
- A pliable forefoot that provides forefoot flexibility as well as motion control.
There’s more. The World Tour Classics are easy to clean, thanks to a leather upper that doesn’t attract dirt. The full grain leather conforms to your foot over time, while the rubber outsole provides a durable grip no matter what the surface.
It’s hard not to have a Rockport in any ‘comfortable shoes’ list. Obviously, they’re pretty good for walking, too. As mentioned, walking and Rockport go hand in hand – in 1984 the company sponsored an 11,600-mile walk across the country which traversed every state. The walkers wore Rockport shoes, and the entire trek was documented to film.
- Padded tongue and collar
- Superior stitching
- Durable 1-inch rubber sole
- Insoles feel stiff to some wearers
All of the footwear above can help make your decision easier when you’re trying to determine the right shoes for standing all day. In closing, here are a few other things you should consider when shopping for this kind of shoe:
- Choose comfort over looks, but in any of the examples listed here, you won’t have to compromise either category.
- Do not skimp on support and stability.
- If they don’t fit right away, exchange them.
- If you need to use special insoles or inserts, make sure the factory insole will be removable.
- They should have a heel, but the heel should be no more than two inches.
- Finally, let your tired dogs breathe! Ventilation is important!
As always, we hope you find this review helpful. We’d also love to hear from you regarding your thoughts, experiences with any of the shoes listed here, or other shoes you’ve worn while on your feet all day.
Your comments are always welcome.