We’re all encouraged to move around, get off of our behinds and on our feet. It’s excellent advice and necessary for leading a healthy life, but spending too much time on your feet can become grueling.
If you’re someone who spends long hours standing, perhaps because of your job, you need the proper footwear.
We’ll devote this post to reviewing the best shoes for standing all day – including the Brooks Addiction Walker – as well as offering helpful buying hints and ways you can help make the hours spent on your feet more comfortable.
- Before you buy: 8 Things to consider when purchasing shoes for standing all day
- 13 Best shoes for standing all day for men and women 2019
- 10 Tips for how to remain comfortable when standing all day
- Our criteria for choosing the shoes for our review
Before You Buy: 8 Things to Consider When Purchasing Shoes For Standing All Day
One of the most challenging things about buying a comfortable pair of shoes for standing all day is the sheer number of choices. You can find shoes for every design, specialty, and a long list of features.
How to choose the right one for you is the biggest concern, however. The following are some fundamentals that can help make your buying decision easier.
1. Size is always important
A wrong-fitting shoe is never comfortable unless you have a high tolerance for discomfort. Finding the right fit is crucial and must never be overlooked.
- Always measure your feet – or, better yet, have a professional do it for you – before you buy a pair of shoes.
- If one foot is larger than the other, choose a size that best fits the slightly longer foot.
- Don’t expect a shoe that’s snug when you try it on to stretch out to fit your feet. The fit should be comfortable from the start.
- Make sure there’s a half-inch space between your big toe and the front of the toe box when you stand up.
- Try on shoes later in the day rather than in the morning. A person’s feet swell naturally during the day – especially if he or she spends most of their workday on their feet – and a shoe that’s a bit snug in the morning will feel even tighter in the early evening.
2. Lightweight construction
Lightweight shoes are a definite plus if you spend long hours on your feet every day. You’ll feel fatigued sooner with heavier shoes. While a heavy shoe often offers plenty of stability and support, that’s not to say you can’t find the same attributes in a lightweight shoe.
3. Avoid high heels
It’s OK if your shoe has a heel on it, but you want to avoid high heels at all costs. High heels, if worn for an extended period, can cause damage to your ankle, feet, and knees. A heel that’s about a quarter-inch long is ideal.
Comfort is king regarding shoes for standing all day and materials used in the shoe’s construction can make your day a whole lot more comfortable. From leather, to memory foam, to EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) footbeds – all factor into a shoe’s overall comfort.
5. High traction shock-absorbing outsoles
A quality outsole accomplishes a couple of important things: 1) it provides the necessary traction that helps to prevent slips and falls, which make up a large percentage of work-related accidents, and 2) it helps to absorb the shock of each step while making for a more comfortable “ride.”
6. Heel and arch support
People who spend long hours on their feet put a lot of pressure on the tendons and ligaments which make up their plantar fascia (the thick tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot while connecting your heel bone to your toes.
In time, issues such as plantar fasciitis and weakened arches may result and cause plenty of pain. Arch and heel support are crucial for providing long-term comfort and shoes with flat soles won’t offer much in the way of support.
A shoe that’s properly ventilated is one that has a free circulation of air that keeps your foot cool and comfortable. Many top quality shoes also have moisture-wicking properties that help keep your feet dry.
The good news is that it’s easy to find shoes that are comfortable but also stylish. The best shoes for standing all day come in a variety of colors and designs that look good while helping your feet feel good.
Here’s a look at our choices for the best shoes for standing all day.
The 13 Best Shoes for Standing All Day for Men and Women 2019
The Brooks Addiction Walker has the fit and feel of a running shoe although it’s listed as a walking shoe. But no matter how you define it, it’s a shoe that provides all of the necessary features found in a shoe meant for folks who stand all day:
- It features full-grain nubuck leather that has a soft feel which offers plenty of durability and comfort.
- The Addiction features a BioMoGo DNA midsole while providing ideal cushioning and excellent responsiveness with every step you take. It features Hydroflow technology which utilizes fluid-filled pouches inside the midsole.
- The synthetic outsole is wider than on many other walking shoes while offering plenty of traction and support. The outsole meets industry standards for slip-resistance.
- There’s plenty of arch support, another important plus for anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet.
- A breathable mesh lining helps to keep feet cool and comfortable while also providing a more comfortable interior fit.
Many Brooks Addiction wearers report that the shoes helped relieve foot and leg discomfort that previously plagued them. But that’s no surprise given that the Seattle-based Brooks company constantly strives to develop new technology that enhances the walking and running (and standing) experiences of its customers.
- Helps relieve foot and leg discomfort and pain
- Well-cushioned midsole
- Slip-resistant outsole
- Sizing may run narrow
The Brooks Addiction Walker appears in plenty of product reviews and ranks among the best walking shoes for men. But they’re also ideal for anyone who spends long hours standing.
KEEN is keen on developing and producing shoes that work wonderfully in a variety of outdoor settings, or as they put it, “Anyplace without a ceiling.”
That’s not to say that their footwear doesn’t suit settings that have a ceiling – such as a workplace. And their Kaci Full-Grain Slip-On shoe is ideal for anyone who works (indoors or out) at a job that requires long hours of standing.
The Kaci Full-Grain Slip-On has plenty of features that enhance its comfort and also a stylish design that’s suitable for most business casual settings. It consists of 100% water-resistant full-grain leather upper that features a floral pattern across the strap.
All-day comfort comes from the Kaci’s recycled foam footbed, which provides all-day support and comfort, as well as from a compression-molded EVA midsole. There’s also a metatomical polyurethane footbed which is comfortable in its own right, but removable in case you want to utilize your favorite orthotic.
There’s also a breathable mesh lining that keeps your foot cool, dry, and comfortable.
The outsole is synthetic and non-marking and provides excellent stability and traction, even if you work on surfaces that may become slippery (such as nurses often do). The Kaci Full-Grain Slip-On also offers excellent ankle support.
- Made from full-grain leather
- Non-marking synthetic outsole
- Well-cushioned midsole
- Check the sizing – it may run a bit snug
KEEN combines a minimalistic design with superior cushioning and comfort in its Kaci Full-Grain Leather Slip-On. It’s a nice looking shoe that among the most comfortable work shoes on the market.
A shoe doesn’t have to be heavy or bulky to face the rigors of a long day standing. The Skechers Go Run 7 is a prime example; it’s very lightweight, yet durable and comfortable enough for any activity, whether it’s running or days spent in the office.
There’s a lot to like about this shoe, including Flight Gen cushioning that keeps your feet super comfortable without sacrificing responsiveness. It also does a great job of shock absorption.
Further comfort comes from a two-toned knit upper with a gusseted tongue that offers plenty of breathability while keeping dirt and other debris from entering the shoe.
The rubber outsole is durable and has excellent traction. A midfoot strike zone located on the lateral edge of the outsole helps to keep each stride even and smoother.
Meanwhile, the Go Run Ride 7 has a stylish look that stands out favorably in a crowded field of running/athletic shoes.
- Very lightweight
- Durable outsole with plenty of traction
- Excellent cushioning
- Sizing may run small
Skechers has a long line of quality shoes that fit many lifestyles but its Go Run Ride 7 rates near the top of the company’s list and on a list of the best athletic shoes for standing all day.
The Clarks tradition dates to over 100 years ago, so they’ve learned a thing or two about developing and producing comfortable, stylish shoes for men and women. They also remain on the cutting edge thanks to shoes such as their Wave Trek sneaker for women which makes standing all day much less of a pain.
The Wave Trek ranks among the best sneakers for standing all day for a variety of reasons, such as Clarks’ unique Wave technology provides overall comfort while absorbing the shock placed on your feet during day-to-day activities.
The Wave Trek’s insole not only absorbs shock, but also conserves energy while cushioning the joints of your feet, ankles, and lower legs. Clarks added enhanced cushioning to its midsole to provide even more cushioning. If you prefer, you can remove the insole and insert orthotics for additional arch support.
Crafted from rich, weather-resistant full grain leather, the Wave Trek has a fully-padded collar and tongue that add an extra layer of cushioning and comfort.
The Wave Trek features a lace-up design with six eyelets that helps to provide a secure fit. The shoe comes in a variety of colors.
- Well-cushioned midsole
- Waterproof full-grain leather
- Soft fabric lining pampers the foot
- A bit stiff at first
It’s hard to go wrong with anything made from Clarks and the Wave Tek Sneaker is no exception. It offers all the comfort and cushioning you need for a long day.
Speaking of Clarks, they also offer a wide range of comfortable work shoes for men, not the least of which is the Escalade Step.
The latter features a classic, simple slip-on design that still offers plenty of style, and it’s suitable for a variety of occasions – including jobs that keep you on your feet for long periods.
The Escalade Step features a 100% leather upper that’s easy to care for, and has just the right amount of flexibility. It’s also shaped into a square-toe design and you can get it in different colors.
But any shoe that you wear while standing on your feet all day has to be comfortable and Clarks has your comfort in mind with the Escalade Step. The footbed offers plenty of cushioning while the shoe’s leather is sufficiently breathable to keep your feet cool and dry.
The heel’s fit is similarly comfortable without being too snug and also helps to protect you from issues such as blisters.
The Escalade Step’s non-marking synthetic outsole is stable and delivers the kind of traction you need on a variety of surfaces, including those in your workplace.
For an up close and personal look of the Escalade Step, check out this video:
- Comfortable footbed
- Easy to care for leather
- Very breathable
- Some wears say the shoes are a bit noisy
It’s hard to go wrong with shoes made by Clarks. The Escalade Step has a timeless style and a comfortable fit that’s good for many occasions.
Rockport’s philosophy for creating quality footwear includes a couple of key tenets: 1) that no two people, or strides, are alike, and 2) no detail is deemed unimportant in its quest for innovative designs the customers love.
The Cobb Hill Paulette Flat is one in a long line of quality Rockport shoes that combine style and comfort in an attractive design that’s excellent for most workplaces, including those which require you to spend long hours on your feet.
The Cobb Hill’s fashionable design includes a ruched toe box, decorative stitching, and an antique button embellishment with a bungee clasp that helps to provide a secure foot.
But what’s design without comfort? That’s something you don’t have to worry about with the Cobb Hill Paulette Flat thanks to the shoe’s flexibility and lighter weight. A custom-made lining and removable footbed offer plenty of cushioning, while the shoe’s design includes a shockproof midsole that helps make a day spent on your feet comfortable.
Rockport makes it easy to find the right fit thanks to extended sizes and width offerings suitable for people with narrow, wide, and extra-wide feet. The Paulette Flat also has a textured synthetic outsole that’s biomechanically designed to support your natural walking motion.
Another thing we like about these shoes is that buyers have multiple color options from which to choose.
- Lightweight and flexible
- Nice combination of style and comfort
- Suitable for many foot shapes and sizes
- Some wearers say the arch support could be enhanced
The Cobb Hill Women’s Paulette Flat is an ideal shoe for work or any occasion that requires you to spend long hours on your feet. They’re stylish and comfortable.
There’s no reason that a casual or semi-casual work shoe has to sacrifice comfort for design. The Mephisto Cap Vert Slip-On is the perfect example, as it offers the distinctive style of a traditional penny loafer and the comfort and cushioning required by anyone who stands all day.
The handmade Cap Vert Slip-On features a 100% leather upper and French-designed Spinnaker insoles that help your feet remain comfortable all day. The heel measures about a half-inch, which is ideal for suitable shoes for standing, and includes a natural rubber outsole designed for superior traction, support, and stability.
While the Cap Vert Slip-On is less dressy than formal dress shoes, it’s still ideal for business casual wear and even with more formal summer wear.
It also comes in different color options, including tan and black leather.
- Offers great support for plantar fasciitis sufferers
- Distinctive semi-casual look
- Durable and comfortable
- Check sizing carefully
The Mephisto Cap Vert Slip-On ranks among the best work shoes for standing all day for many reasons, not the least of which is its comfort and support. And it’s dressy enough for many workplaces.
The Saucony ProGrid Integrity ST2 is a walking shoe made for standing. That’s not to say it isn’t a quality walking shoe – because it is – but it has all the features necessary for anyone who spends multiple hours on their feet.
What makes it so good? Here’s a look:
- The full-grain leather upper utilizes a forefoot Stretch Zone and top lacing for a comfortable, forgiving fit. Many ProGrid Integrity wearers laud the shoe’s precise fit.
- It’s lightweight.
- A cushioned insole provides additional support.
- The compression EVA midsole covers the length of the shoe and offers responsive cushioning.
- It has a sleeker design than previous versions of the ProGrid Integrity.
- High Rebound Compound technology in the shoe’s forefoot delivers extra “bounce.”
- The Walk-Trac comfort outsole is durable and offers plenty of traction.
All in all, the ProGrid Integrity ST2 is comfortable for all-day wear and also a good choice for anyone who suffers from foot ailments or whose feet become fatigued easily.
- Forgiving, comfortable fit
- Well-cushioned midsole
- Great for indoor and outdoor activities
- Some buyers would like more color options
The ProGrid Integrity ST2 utilizes the same materials and technologies of the original version but combines them in a sleeker design. You’ll like its fit and overall lightweight feel.
There’s something about the slip-on shoe design that appeals to a lot of men and women. There’s the convenience of it, for one, but many people just like its overall feeling of comfort.
For our purposes, there’s nothing wrong with a slip-on design but it has to be able to withstand the often grueling hours some people must spend on their feet. The Rockport Leader 2 Bike Slip-On is just such a shoe.
The Bike Slip-On consists of 100% leather and has a cushioned footbed that offers plenty of comfort over the course of your day. An EVA synthetic outsole provides lightweight shock absorption while reducing foot fatigue. It also offer the traction and stability you need on all kinds of surfaces.
The shoe’s “bicycle” toe offers plenty of wiggle room for your toes – an important factor in the overall comfort of any shoe worn while standing for extended periods.
Another nice feature is the shoe’s anti-microbial textile lining that keeps your feet fresh and dry while reducing and/or eliminating foot odor.
Leader 2 Bike Slip-On wearers appreciate the overall fit of this shoe – a fit that’s neither too snug nor too loose. You also have the option of choosing between a slip-on and classic lace-up design; in either case, you’ll appreciate its comfort and fit.
- Cushioned footbed
- Roomy toe box
- Lightweight shock absorption
- Check sizing carefully
Rockport’s Leader 2 Bike Slip-On incorporates a classy design with a fit that’s comfortable to hold up under the stress of standing all day. It’s lightweight and durable.
The Altra Intuition 4.5 is a running shoe/sneaker designed for everyday use, not just when you’re logging miles on your favorite running trail. That includes any activity in which you spend long hours on your feet.
The 4.5 shares many traits with previous Intuition models but has a variety of enhancements that help make it better than ever. There’s a decoupled heel – which enhances the shoe’s overall cushioning – a modernized mesh upper, and a rubber toe cap for additional protection.
The midsole is also updated, while the Intuition’s familiar rubber outsole is built for high mileage and suitable for running, walking, cross-training and, of course, standing.
The shoe’s overall cushioning is just right, i.e., neither too spongy or too sparse. Even better, the Altra Institution 4.5 features Fit4Her technology designed for the unique features of a woman’s foot. It’s the technology that adapts to the wearer’s natural foot positioning, walking and running form, and toe splay and structure.
Many customers appreciate the 4.5’s wide toe box although it may be a tad much for women with narrow feet. But, in general, the Intuition 4.5 runs true to size and fits the heel ideally.
The soft mesh upper is not only comfortable but also provides excellent ventilation on dry, warm days in which feet can perspire easily.
- Updated features improve an already good shoe
- Breathable mesh upper
- Just the right amount of cushioning
- A bit stiffer than previous versions
No matter what the activity – including hours spent standing – the Altra Intuition 4.5 keep your foot cushioned and comfortable. All in all, it ranks among the best tennis shoes for standing all day.
One of the most notable features of ECCO’s exceptional line of shoes is its Freedom Fit, which ECCO says is different than the fit found on most conventional shoes.
The difference in Freedom Fit – including on its ECCO’s New Jersey Slip-On Loafer – is in its toe box (which is very roomy) and a narrow fit from heel to instep which is suitable for most foot widths. Your toes spread naturally to better support your weight while providing a comfortable walking and standing experience.
But there’s plenty else to like about the New Jersey Slip-On Loafer and reasons why it’s a comfortable shoe for standing all day. The inlay sole includes a vegetable-tanned leather surface, while there’s a soft layer of moisture-absorbent foam underneath that’s treated with Agion to control bacteria and odor.
The absorbent foam helps to push air through tiny holes located in the lining while creating comfortable air circulation around your foot.
The New Jersey Slip-On’s outsole consists of polyurethane, which often lasts two to three times longer than traditional materials. It’s flexible and shock absorbent and requires little or no breaking-in period, and it retains its shape longer to give the wearer the same support each time they wear it.
Another key feature of this shoe – and all of ECCO’s shoes – is the Direct Inject Production process in which an injection of liquid polyurethane shapes both the midsole and outsole for an anatomically-correct fit. DIP helps to give ECCO shoes their characteristic “instant” fit.
- Freedom Fit technology
- Moisture-absorbent midsole
- Fits nicely right out of the box
- Sizing may run a bit large
You’ll pamper your feet with a pair of ECCO’s shoes and their New Jersey Slip-On is an excellent example of footwear that helps you to get through a long day of standing.
Many nurses and others who spend long hours on their feet praise SoftWalk’s Meredith line of shoes. There are plenty of reasons for it, not the least of which is overall comfort.
But SoftWalk also blends style and comfort nicely without sacrificing in either category. The Meredith Clog has a distinctive design – like the majority of SoftWalk’s shoes – but also holds up well to the stress and strain of the workday.
The clog-style shoe features a lightweight rubber sole that’s slip-resistant in even the messiest of conditions, whether they’re in a hospital, restaurant or another workplace that requires long periods of standing.
The leather Meredith clog has a dual density footbed with arch support that cushions every step. It’s also an excellent choice for women who have flat, or misshapen feet that require additional support.
The Meredith line reflects SoftWalk’s commitment to developing shoes that reduce or eliminate foot-related issues such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, overpronation, and knee and hip pain. But SoftWalk also carries a wide range of styles, from sandals to flats to work shoes that feature memory foam footbed for superior comfort.
- Lightweight but durable
- Great arch support
- Nice blend of style and comfort
- Not as breathable as some other shoes
The SoftWalk Meredith clog is ideal for anyone who stands all day. It blends comfort and style, and helps wearers to avoid painful foot issues such as plantar fasciitis.
The Brooks Levitate is another highly-rated running shoe that’s excellent for anyone who spends long hours on his or her feet. That’s no surprise when you consider all that it offers – from the well-cushioned, responsive midsole to a fit that’s nicely snug, but not too tight.
The Levitate 2 rates as a neutral running shoe, which means it’s ideal for runners who don’t overpronate or supinate, but people of many stride types can wear it comfortably.
The shoe’s DNA AMP midsole provides an excellent energy return for runners and is firm and sturdy, an important factor when deciding on a shoe that’s ideal for all-day use.
The Levitate 2 also has a roomy toe box and features a padded tongue and collar for further comfort. The shoe includes an Achilles protector, while its overall design helps keep your feet and stride in proper alignment.
- Firm, comfortable fit
- Cushioning and stability are good for all-day use
- Addition of the Achilles protector to the Levitate series
- Some think the shoe is a bit heavy
The Levitate 2 is a shoe that’s ideal for anyone who’s a runner and for someone who spends a lot of time standing. You’ll love its overall cushioning and fit.
10 Tips For How to Remain Comfortable When Standing All Day
Standing all day takes its toll on your entire body, not just your feet. It can also be a test of endurance that gets harder as the day goes on, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence. Here are some tips that can help you ease the stress and strain of long days spent on your feet.
1. Choose the right footwear
This tip almost goes without saying: if you want to stay comfortable when standing all day wearing the right shoes is a must. Earlier, we discussed some things to keep in mind when buying shoes for standing all day, and we can’t emphasize them enough.
In general, avoid wearing shoes with heels more than 2-inches high. High heels force the body to tilt forward which causes foot strain, knee and lower back pain, tight calf muscles, Achilles tendonitis, and more.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t wear shoes that have no heel because flat shoes put too much pressure on the heel. A heel of ¼ to ½ inch provide the proper elevation.
Also, shoes that are too narrow – especially those that are overly narrow at the toes – compress the toes unnaturally and increase the risk of developing painful foot issues such as bunions. Look for shoes that fit snugly at the heel but provide enough room up front to wiggle your toes. Also, choose shoes that have enough interior support to prevent overpronation.
2. Maintain good posture
Proper posture can help prevent or alleviate many of the foot and lower back issues associated with standing all day. The best posture is one in which you “stand tall,” i.e., you keep your ears over your shoulders and your shoulders over your hips.
Many people maintain a standing posture in which their head tilts forward beyond the shoulders which shifts the body’s center of mass forward. In turn, that increases pressure on the arch of the foot and the muscles supporting it.
3. Keep moving
Even if you’re confined to a small space with little room to move, it’s important to move around to aid circulation while re-distributing the weight on your feet and lower legs. Simply shifting your weight from one leg to the other every 20 minutes or so is helpful and eases the strain.
4. Sit down during breaks
It’s important to give your feet and body a break whenever possible, and that includes sitting down during breaks and for lunch. If possible, sit with your legs elevated during breaks to promote better circulation. It’s not a bad idea to take your shoes off while letting your feet cool down.
5. Use orthotics
Orthotics, particularly custom-made orthotics designed for the shape of your foot and stride, can provide a lot of relief. For one, they keep the muscles of your foot in the correct position by improving posture. For another, they relieve joint stress, support ligaments, increase comfort, while also treating overpronation.
Custom-made orthotics are often expensive – especially those not covered by your medical plan – but some off-the-shelf orthotics provide many benefits, as well.
There are many stretches you can do on the job that helps alleviate the stress and strain that come from standing on your feet all day.
- Stretching your calf muscles is important and an easy calf stretch you can do is to lean against a wall (with your palms placed on the wall) while bending one leg at the knee and extending the other leg straight out behind you. Lean forward to stretch the rear leg for 30 seconds gently.
- Keeping your hips flexible is important for preventing tightness and blood stagnation in your lower extremities. A good stretch is the Figure 8 hip rotation in which you circle your hips in a Figure 8 motion because it helps shift your balance from one side to the other.
- Your hamstrings can tighten while standing all day and it’s important to keep them loose. An easy hamstring stretch you can do at work is to keep your knees slightly bent while sticking your buttocks out, and then rocking back on your heels. Squeeze your thighs together while keeping your knees as still as possible; this stretch should provide instant relief.
7. Anti-fatigue mats
Standing on hard surfaces for a prolonged period places a lot of stress on your entire body, not just on your feet. Anti-fatigue mats, which usually consist of thick rubber, decrease the stress on your feet and legs by providing a more cushioned surface.
8. Compression stockings
Compression stockings offer additional support to the muscles and blood vessels of the lower leg while helping to promote better circulation. You can buy them online, at medical supply stores, and even at your favorite pharmacy.
9. Pamper your feet
There are many things you can to give your feet some TLC during your time away from work, including soaking your feet and lower legs in an Epsom salt bath (the magnesium in the salt can help the muscles relax). You can also alternate a warm salt bath with an ice bath; soak your feet in the ice bath until your feet begin to feel numb.
10. Watch your weight
It only stands to reason: the more you weigh, the more pressure you place on your feet and lower legs. People who are overweight are more likely to suffer from flat feet, fallen arches, severe pronation, and other issues.
Our Criteria For Choosing The Shoes for Our Review
A lot of factors determine whether a shoe is good for someone who spends long hours standing, whether it’s at their workplace or somewhere else. Comfort is, of course, a crucial piece of the puzzle, as well as things like the shoe’s design, the material from which its made, and innovations and technology unique to each shoe.
We also took into account that a quality fit means different things to different people and tried to choose shoes that had a “uniform” fit which was suitable for most every stride.
Among other factors we considered were price, style, and practicality. We like to review products that fit into a wide range of budgets, and we recognized that certain shoes don’t fit in every workplace environment.
We understand your struggle if you spend a lot of time standing. It takes its toll on your feet, legs, back – almost every part of your body – and that’s why wearing comfortable footwear is so important.
Fortunately, you have a wide range of shoe options from which to decide and we hope our review helps inform your buying decision.
We also welcome your feedback. Do you spend most of your days on your feet? If so, what shoes do you wear? Why do you like them?
We’d love to hear from you.