What to look for in a good walking and standing shoe
Support is also important, says Dr. McEneaney. Rather than going for a shoe that’s the foamy, squishy equivalent of wearing clouds on your feet, he recommends picking up something foamy, yet firm. “[Squishy] shoes feel comfy initially, but they may lead to chronic overuse problems or can actually accentuate preexisting problems,” says Dr. McEneaney. So when you’re shopping, think: “I want clouds, but, like, Hollywood-style clouds that I can actually stand on.”
Lastly, Dr. McEneaney recommends picking something up that has a stiff midsole. “So when you look at the bottom of the shoe, the middle one-third should be stiff and difficult to bend. The more that it bends, the more it’s going to load pressure from the back of the foot to the front of the foot. If the shoe has some more stiffness, it’s gonna load the pressure through the shoe, and take some of that stress off the middle of the foot,” says Dr. McEneaney. You don’t want foot stress on top of work stress… that’s for sure.
Now that you’re equipped with the intel you need, you’re ready for The Great American Pastime. (I’m talking about shoe shopping. Not baseball.) Below, we round up our best shoes for walking and standing all day
The 4 Best Shoes for Walking for Women
This breathable pair of sneakers is perfect for summer—they’re crafted using a light and soft engineered knit fabric, and you can pull ’em on (the laces are optional, even though they’re there) for ease. The best part is that they’re made with FitFlop’s all-day cushioning Anatomicush™ midsoles, which makes them ideal for walking (and standing!). Plus, they come in five different colors (including “Cream” and “Soft Lilac”). All of FitFlop’s footwear has the official Seal of Approval from American Podiatric Medical Association, so the brand is always a safe (and stylish) bet for a comfortable shoe.
I mean, they’re literally called The Walker. And that’s because this ’90s-style all-white sneaker is smartly designed for all-day comfort and stability. These shoes feature a lightweight feel, and durable upper and outsole. You can feel extra good about this choice, since they’ve won the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Approval (aka, they’re APMA certified). You can order these in regular or wide for the perfect fit.
I would never have believed that a pair of flats could withstand a day of walking, but I’m happy to report these Rothy’s do. While I wouldn’t necessarily try to push my power-walking pace in flats, they’re the perfect mix of comfort and cuteness that you crave as you walk among gray office cubicles. Bonus: The material is made of recycled plastic bottles, they require no break-in time whatsoever, and they’re machine-washable! Just FYI: These do notoriously run small, so make sure to size up a half-size.
Clove shoes are designed specifically for nurses—and they don’t disappoint. These super light and comfy sneaks come in many a killer colorway to make a statement with your scrubs. Plus, you can wipe these clean the moment they get dirty.
The 3 Best Shoes for Walking on Concrete
This shoe is called simply “Cloud,” but don’t let the name fool you: This shoe is soft and supportive and uniquely made for all-day wear. They’re also lightweight and ideal for warmer weather (and feature speed lacing, so you can quickly throw them on and go!). On Cloud is known for its unique hues, and these shoes don’t disappoint. Shop colors like leaf and mocha, rosebrown and camo, and ruby and white.
Whether you’re going for a brief jaunt around the block or working overtime, the Brooks Ghost will support your every stride. Although they’re technically running shoes, they’re built to withstand the harshness of roads and concrete with their cushioning and supportive design. In terms of comfort, the Ghost 14 is best in class: with an open-engineered air mesh upper and 3D fit print tech, these sneaks give you the stretch, softness, and structure your feet need.
As one five-star reviewer writes, “I’m a nurse and at times I work 16 hours a day. I decided to try Bondi X and I’m so glad I did. If feels like I’m walking on clouds for my whole shift. I usually have to switch out shoes during a 12-hour shift of being on my feet, but with these shoes, my feet don’t hurt at all after 16 hours on my feet.” Enough said. We’ve written at length about the magic of Hoka, especially why theymake such a good walking shoe. Our senior commerce editor even swears by them for her three-mile dog daily dog walks.
Hoka’s generally run a little bit large, so bear that in mind when you order your pair.
The 3 Best Shoes for Standing
Designed for running, the APL Women’s TechLoom is a dream for standing around all day. The shoe is super supportive, but the foam keeps a low-profile that offers a cool, more luxe look. Other features include: Fabric that’s woven into a single layer for breathability and ultra-stretching, a midsole and outsole that is designed to protect the foot when it makes contact with hard ground, Propelium®, which gives you more bounce and gives the midsole more structural integrity (and thus stretching out the lifespan of the shoe), all vegan materials, and 8mm drop from the heel that puts your foot and arches in a more natural position when you’re walking, running, or standing.
My aunt works full-time as a nurse and she’s been wearing these for years. They’re a favorite to many medical profession—and that says a lot. What makes them so beloved by those on their feet for long hours is their unique design that prioritizes and maximizes longterm comfort. The roomy toe box keeps toes from getting squished or bruised, the PU midsole gives supreme support, and the protective heel counter lets your heel go up and down while still keeping feet stable. Plus, the clog features an anti-fatigue rocker bottom that helps with forward motion, so you kind of feel like you’re being propelled as you go (it’s really cool).
If you’re more of a flats person, this cozy pair of Allbirds is calling your name. Although these don’t offer the most support, they’re cozy and comfortable (the design conforms to all your movements). They’re made of renewable materials, offer odor control, and come in 12 different colors.
The 3 Best Shoes for Walking When You Have Plantar Fasciitis
This sneaker’s silhouette practically screams “support” with its thick sole and soft mesh upper. Every step rocks your forward and delivers you where you need to go next. While it’s definitely on the more cushion-y side, you’ll find that the extra plushness isn’t squishy—rather, it lifts your feet and gives them a nice bounce that makes walking all day much more bearable. Featuring a super grippy Vibram® outsole and debris-resistant mesh upper (this makes it great for outdoor walking, especially when it’s on trails and dirt, hence the name), you’ll be all set with comfort and protection. And bonus: The colorways are excellent.
This sleek slip-on has undercover support that’s well-equipped to help those with plantar fasciitis. What makes this shoe especially great is the Vio-Motion Technology which hugs arches as you stand and walk. This design also helps alleviate heel pain. What’s nice is that, although these have built-in orthotic features, you’d never know it just by looking! These come in seven colors, including a classic black, zebra, and cool olive.
Another great shoe for plantar fasciitis, this sneaker has a thick (the thickest the brand has to offer) midsole that’s ready for your next workout or your next shift. The design hugs heels and has super bouncy cushioning. What makes this pair unique is its flared midsole at the heel which makes for a more stable ride—plus, it’s made to last a long, long time. It’s almost a more slim fit than most, which offers higher performance. Other features include built-in arch support, 8mm heel-to-toe drop for more even pressure throughout, and a breathable material. The Atom is specifically designed to help with plantar fasciitis, heel pain, bone spurs, and fallen arches—you can’t go wrong here.
The 3 Best Walking Shoes With Arch Support
These shoes are designed for the trail, but their arch support (they’re designed for those who have underpronation or neutral arches) also makes them great for everyday wear (they’re also ideal for city walking, so definitely pack these if you’re planning on traveling to a walkable city).
The Skechers Arch Fit is designed with a removable insole system that allows you to dial up the arch support as you see fit. Podiatrist certified, these sneakers were developed using 20 years worth of data in mind, so the research really is on your side for a smoother, more comfortable walk—especially if you have fallen arches.
Slip on your arch support with Nike Phantoms. The breathable flyknit uppers will cool your feet as your day wears on—and true to the shoe’s name, you’ll barely feel them on you. Whether you’re running, walking, or standing, this shoe truly does feel like it “disappears on your foot.” The React tech gives you an ultra smooth ride, and that’s thanks to the foam midsole and strategic cushioning. Plus, the elastic design provides a stretchy but secure fit, so you won’t feel like they’re slipping off your feet whenever you take a step. Lastly, it’s ultra lightweight and breathable, making it a great warmer weather staple.
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