Standing - something we are all familiar with. Often it is not considered an ‘activity’ like running, as we do not associate it with the same dynamic movement or high level of exertion as a full-throttle sprint or jog. However, standing for long hours can certainly be very taxing on the body.
Anyone who has worked in the retail, hospitality or the care sector will know how thoroughly demanding long-session standing can be. These are jobs that exert a continual trauma on the feet, supporting your entire body weight over 8, 10 or 12 hours.
Doing these jobs with inappropriate footwear can be an absolute nightmare. Formal shoes that pinch and cut into the ankles can cause blisters, bunions and extremely misshapen toes. Your feet become extremely strained, most nurses and doctors will be familiar with the desperate need to get home and kick your shoes off after a hard day on the ward.
But if you work in one of these demanding jobs that require you to be constantly upright, what are the best shoes you can buy to alleviate your sore soles? Is there a specific design of athletic shoe that will provide you with the support and comfort you need when standing or walking? How much will a decent pair of work shoes set you back in terms of price?
Well, take a load off your feet and your mind, because we’ve drawn up a list of some of the best athletic shoes for standing currently available, ranging from the most comfortable and supportive to the perfect sneaker for those who don’t want to fork out tons of cash. We also have a buyer’s guide that will help you when purchasing your next trainer, as well as some frequently asked questions.
So what are you waiting for, pull up a comfortable stool and let’s get stuck into our list of some of the top work shoes currently on the market.
Best Athletic Shoes For Standing All Day
OUR TOP PICK
First, we have a sneaker that has a supportive yet lightweight frame with an extremely supple foam midsole that will ensure you can stay on your feet for longer without experiencing the awful pinch and cut of a more formal style of shoe - introducing the Reebok Men’s Floatride Run 2.0 Running Shoe.
Reebok has improved upon previous versions of the Floatride Run, streamlining the supportive frame and delivering a full-coverage outsole which gives you the perfect grip when you’re on the shopfloor or ward.
The upper of this shoe has a very soft heel, whilst having an increased level of lockdown support with an extra eyelet.
- This shoe has been perfectly sculpted to conform to the shape of almost any foot, it is roomy and flexible on the inside, which will allow the toes their natural splay and won’t restrict circulation when standing for long periods.
- The comfort-to-weight ratio of this show is perfectly balanced, working in conjunction with the airy build and plush upper to create a shoe that will practically feel like two miniature beds for your feet.
- A molded sock lining gives your arch that maximum lift, which will be crucial when pushing off on the heel.
- The high-tension rubber outer sole will give you that extra grip, which is perfect when moving of shiny floors or unlaminated wood.
- This shoe comes in the more expensive price range - although you can be looking to spend a few hundred dollars if you want a shoe that will provide you with premium support and comfort.
Now our next sneaker will give those hard-grafting stand-up workers that extra comfort and ankle girding they need during a long shift. Developing on previous designs, Adidas has strived to manufacture a durable shoe with a lightweight build quality - introducing the Adidas Women’s Ultraboost 20 Sneaker.
This shoe has a patented Boost foam midsole with a singular outsole of Continental rubber that brings the support and responsiveness for those particularly active and grueling shifts. This cushioned design will not bottom out after repeated uses.
With full coverage over the outsole of the shoe gives it that premium geometry that spreads the bodyweight of the individual evenly throughout the shoe, reducing the concentration on the usual pressure points of the ball and toe.
- The stretchy upper of the UltraBoost 20 is exceedingly comfortable, secure without being too restrictive, which means that it won’t cut off circulation, keeping the foot softly locked in.
- This cushioned insole of the shoe is not too narrow and will promote circulation in the upper and lower portions of the feet which are subject to pressure over long periods of inactivity.
- The midfoot panel design is far superior to other shoes, using rubber overlays as opposed to the firmer urethane, giving you that support and ventilation that reduce hot spots.
- This is another pricey shoe, but one that also has an array of functions.
Next up we have a running shoe for women that has seen a significant upgrade from the previous model, improving the quality of the midsole as well as the foundational aspects, with a streamlining shape that promotes support for long-standing shifts - introducing the ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 22 Running Shoes.
ASICS has completely redesigned the contours and sole of the Gel-Nimbus, the midsole now has a much more cushioned body, which makes it ideal for standing all day.
Utilizing Flytefoam midfoam and flared sidewalls, the shoe now has an incredibly supportive base that works with, not against, the natural movement of your foot. The capacious upper mesh wraps itself firmly but not uncomfortably around the foot.
- This shoe has a more streamlined design that gives the foot the support and guidance it needs - just because the foot is not exerting itself in the same way as running, the dynamic motion of hurried walking will still require a similar level of hip, knee and foot alignment. This shoe will help prompt that.
- With a much more plush undersole, your foot will be a lot easier to maneuver and this shoe will certainly not impede the flow or restrict the foot in any serious way.
- The mesh makes for a very breathable shoe, which will reduce sweating and chafing that comes with wearing the same sneaker for hours and hours on end.
- Another very expensive sneaker.
Next up we have a trainer that is basically a radical redesign of previous Mizuno models, the Waveknit 3 swaps out the Pebax Wave plate for a two-piece soft foam layer in the midsole. This results in a much more malleable and flexible type of shoe - introducing the Mizuno Men’s Wave Sky Waveknit 3 Running Shoe.
That’s right, Mizuno has decided to balance the firm support of their shoe with an insole area that has a lot more comfort than its previous models. With a PU foam insert on the top, you now have a sneaker that will make sure you’re comfortable during those long shifts on your feet.
The geometry of the outer sole has also resulted in a lot more of a fluid feeling when walking, increasing the grip of the sole on the floor as well as the amount of the surface area that comes into contact with the floor.
- The newer design of the Mizuno Wave Sky is much softer and more comfortable overall. This will certainly help the circulation of the foot, which can be adversely affected when standing for long hours at a time.
- The upper blends the knit with plush lining materials, so that there’s extra comfort for everyday use.
- Some users have complained that the soles aren’t as durable as the previous models of this shoe, often wearing out after just a few weeks.
Finally, we have a sneaker with an extremely plush midsole, with plenty of give in the sides and upper portion and lots of upper room on the insole - this is the sort of shoe you really will want to spend lots of time with! This is one that seeks to avoid pressure points that can result in painful blisters and bunions over long periods - introducing the New Balance Men’s FuelCell Propel V1 Running Shoe.
The outsole of this sneaker is especially segmented to distribute pressure throughout the inside, offering you superb traction on even the most slippery of surfaces. The technology of the foam compound makes for fresh feet even after numerous hours of standing. However, stability is still a crucial property of this shoe, the wide funnel of the midsole keeping the foot central.
- A roomier shoe that is crucial to long hours of comfortable wearing, expanding and contracting with the increase in foot volume as it is pressed down, preventing chafing or aching that can occur after long hours of inactivity.
- The softness of this shoe does not sacrifice the stability around the sides and in the midsole, where support is crucial.
- The bottom of this shoe is made from sturdy rubber that enables you to get a firm grip on whatever surface you happen to be standing and walking on.
- Some users have complained that this shoe runs smaller than the size indicated.
Best Athletic Shoes For Standing All Day Buying Guide
When choosing the correct pair of shoes for those long working days, there are specific design features that you will be looking for that will give you a much more comfortable shift, promoting better circulation and movement in the foot.
A Wide And Flat Outsole Design
You ideally want an outsole that is going to provide you with the maximum amount of ground contact, spreading the pressure evenly. If you are standing for long periods, the lugs in your shoes can cause blisters and cause you extreme discomfort.
A Cushioned Midsole
It goes without saying that comfort is paramount when wearing the same shoe all day. The front and ball of the foot suffer the most pressure over long hours of standing, so those sections of the foot will require the most cushioning, transferring weight between both periodically.
The Upper Should Allow For Splaying
We all know the searing pain a narrow shoe can cause, so make sure that your shoe allows for the natural flattening and splaying of the foot and toes.
Your shoe will need the best grip, especially if you are working on shiny floors, which can cause you to slip and cause injury. Also, if you’re tired after the end of a long shift, your reactions will generally be a lot slower, so you’ll need a solid rubber shoe with lugs to prevent slipping and injury to the neck and head.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Running Shoes Okay For Standing?
Most running shoes will provide the stander and walker a similar level of comfort and support that they do to a running foot. However, this generally only applies to anyone doing an average 6 - 8 hour shift.
For longer shifts, you might want to reconsider a standard running shoe, as most of these contain rubber lugs and grooved separations that apply pressure to the underside of the shoe. These eventually become irritants when worn for 12 hours shifts and can cause blisters. Remember: running shoes are designed for high-impact, short-burst periods of exercise, not long walks or standing.
Should I Choose A Narrow Shoe For Standing?
A narrow waisted running shoe can be very uncomfortable during a long shift, however, a shoe that is loose around the midsection can lead to you not getting the proper support and can cause knee and hip joint pain.
Snugness is important for running but less important for standing shifts, where flexibility and room to splay are essential to improving circulation and reducing soreness.