Standing all day long can really take a toll on your feet and ankles. Your knees, legs, and lower back pay the price, too. The best way to offset fatigue and aches and pains is to make sure you wear a good pair of supportive shoes.
But how do you know which shoe is right for you?
There are so many shoe brands and models on the market. Many are designed for certain sports or activities: running, cross training, etc. We have yet to see pair made for “standing all day.” And yet, many of us have this need. So, this article will go over several different shoe models, their benefits, and how they might help you if you are spending all day every day on your feet.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Brooks Dyad 11
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Hoka One One Bondi 6
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Skechers GOwalk Evolution Ultra
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1. Brooks Dyad 11
The Brooks Dyad 11 was designed to be a top shoe for stability and support. It’s great for wide or flat feet, and if you have a custom orthotic, it will most likely fit, too. This shoe has a natural support and a new engineered upper mesh for superior air flow.
The Dyad 11 comes with the Ultimate Sockliner, designed to help your feet feel right at home and provide extra support to your arches and knees. In order to provide a bit more support, this shoe is purposefully designed to be a little stiff. The more support you have, the less your body will tire from standing all day.
BioMoGo DNA is the cushioning technology in the Brooks Dyad 11. It gives you extra cushioning with each step. You’ll feel nice and stable with the wide, dual-arch-pod platform on the underfoot of the shoe. The more stability you have, the less your muscles will have to engage during standing.
Many customers felt the Brooks Dyad 11 fits very comfortably, with the extra space in the toe box and the soft mesh upper that gives the shoe a spacious feel.
- Spacious feel for the whole foot
- Ultimate Sockliner gives extra cushioning
- Heel Segment Crash pad gives extra support
- Extra roomy, wish space for insoles or orthotics
- Not very stylish
- Some thought the toe box was too wide
2. Hoka One One Bondi 6
The Bondi 6 is Hoka One One’s most cushioned shoe. The plush midsole is also made to be durable, so the cushioning will support even the longest days on your feet.
A large improvement to the Bondi 6 compared to previous versions is the rubber outsole. Now made to be much lighter, it will help keep your feet less fatigued when moving from one position to the next. The smooth shape of the outsole was also designed for improved heel-to-toe transition for walking.
The Bondi 6 has a full-length EVA midsole. This assists your balance, not to mention that its super soft and cushioned. Some customers have noted that the support from the midsole seemed to provide more bounce and an energized step throughout the day.
There is also added support in the Bondi 6 with an internal heel counter. This also helps the shoe feel more secure, providing better structure and support for standing long periods. It’s available in a large number of widths too, making it more practical for those with wide feet.
- Exceptional comfort with a plush midsole
- Durable and light weight outsole
- Great support for long periods of standing
- Wide width options
- Some customers didn’t like the width of the shoe
- The extra stability has made the shoe feel stiffer for some
3. Dansko Wyatt
Dansko Wyatt shoes are definitely the kind of shoe that is made for standing or walking for long periods. The Wyatt is made of rich, full grain leathers and is accented with plenty of detail. It’s a casual shoe, but ultimately one of the most cushioned shoes you can find.
There is a triple-density removable footbed in the Dansko Wyatt. This footbed is designed for ultimate arch support. On top of that support, you’ll find the polyurethane midsole to provide a great deal of shock absorbency, which definitely helps minimize knee and leg fatigue on those long days.
Another great feature specifically for being on your feet all day, is the way the outsole of the Wyatt is made. The material is slip resistant on nearly every surface imaginable. So you can feel confident no matter what you are working in and around. The construction of the shoe is also designed for extra stability and support.
A final bonus with the Dansko Wyatt: it can accommodate most orthotics. Therefore, if you need one for standing a lot, it will likely fit in the shoe.
- Slip resistant soles
- Cushion designed to withstand long days of standing
- Convenient removable footbed
- Midsole is very shock absorbent
- A few customers felt they were a little uncomfortable after long periods of use
4. Merrell Encore Q2 Slide
The Merrell Encore Q2 slide is a slip-on shoe – no lacing up in order to secure the shoe on your foot. This is a very convenient design for easy on and off. The leather outer fabric is very smooth and appears sleek in the design. Not made with flashy colors, they have a simple, neutral look.
Within the foot of the Encore Q2 Slide you’ll find a Q Form 2 midsole engineered to assist with proper standing alignment and make standing as comfortable as possible. Although the upper is made of full grain leather, there is a very breathable mesh lining to assist with airflow.
Did you know your foot has three arches? Well this shoe is designed for all three arches, with an EVA-contoured FIT TRI blended footbed. No more aches and pains in the balls of your feet after standing for hours.
Merrell Air cushioning is used in the Encore Q2, and that cushioning helps absorb shock to your legs and knees. The M Select GRIP outsole in each shoe was implemented in these shoes by Merrell to give you extra traction on multiple surfaces, no matter what you are standing for.
- Easy on – off design
- Durable leather upper
- Midsole assists with alignment and comfort
- Superior cushioning for all day use
- Some complain that this new model doesn’t fit as well as previous models
- Because the shoe is made as a slip on, the potential to slip off is there
5. Skechers GOwalk Evolution Ultra
The GOwalk Evolution Ultra line of shoes by Skechers are also easy slip-on shoe without laces. Skechers boasts that they are the leading provider of shoes designed for walking and long days of standing. They have 5 different models in the GOwalk Evolution Ultra line – Reach, Enhance, Impeccable, Intercept and Canyon.
All of these shoe models have very similar structure and design. The Evolution Ultras are enhanced with very light ULTRA GO cushioning that is very responsive to your movement. Plus, the ULTRA PILLARS are high-rebounding, for the utmost comfort during standing.
The insole of the Ultra is made out of an Air Cooled Goga mat, which gives you optimized breathability and cushioning with superior bounce. With the seamless mesh upper, the shoe also wraps around your foot comfortably, so you won’t have any discomfort on the top of your foot during the day.
- Extremely light weight, so wearing them all day is barely noticeable
- Superior cushioning for standing long days
- Breathable and easy to take on and off
- Fit may be too loose for some, causing them to slip off too easy
6. Saucony Omni ISO 2
The Saucony Omni ISO 2 is all about delivering support and stability. This is a shoe meant to appeal to everyone, regardless of their needs. The ISOFit construction of the upper pulls this broad goal off admirably. It makes the shoe easy to lace up, improving stability and how the shoe adapts to natural foot movement.
The support added to the Omni ISO 2 will help control foot movement within the shoes, making standing all day a little better on your feet and legs. This helps lower the chances of blisters or hot spots developing on the feet during the day. The upper also gives plenty of room through the mid and forefoot, making it a good option even for wide feet.
The Omni ISO 2 keeps the same support that Saucony is well-known for, but improves the foam in the midsole. New PWRFOAM adds more cushioning than the previous model. The Omni ISO 2 also received high marks for stability, with a solid heel structure and more pronation control.
The tread on the Omni ISO 2 is also great for all standing surfaces. The soles are very durable, and provide enough support to help you make it through long days on your feet without too much leg and back strain.
- Extreme stability and control
- Superior cushioning
- Roomy enough for even wide feet
- Support that helps minimize foot movement inside the shoe
- The shoe is on the heavier side
- Upper lacing doesn’t work as well for narrow or flatter feet
7. New Balance 1080v9
The New Balance 1080v9 has set the bar on superior cushion with its laser engraved fresh foam midsole. The toe box is also nice and roomy for those with wider feet. However, it has been noted by some that it may be narrower than previous versions.
The mesh on 1080v9 has been improved, minimizing the amount of overlay, which also makes it lighter. Appearance has also been much improved. Added to that, the redesigned jacquard upper mesh has been developed to provide improved support, comfort, and an airier feel so you don’t get tired from standing so quickly.
The outsole of the 1080v9 is made of a very durable blown rubber and has extra grooves throughout to help it flex. The design of the sole provides more support during standing, increasing support to those areas impacted the most, like your arches and ankles.
The 1080v9 has been improved from its previous version by using bootie construction inside the shoe, rather than New Balance’s traditional separate puffy tongue and heel. This has made the inside of the shoe much more comfortable.
- Bootie construction
- Jacquard upper mesh for support
- Sole grooves create improved responsiveness
- Superior cushioning in the midsole
- Not as comfortable for those with low arches
- Low heel has been reported to be uncomfortable for some
8. Brooks Ghost 12
The Ghost 12 by Brooks has undergone a sleek redesign by way of 3D Fit Print. A stylish look doesn’t help with standing, but it’s a nice bonus since the shoe is already very well made. This shoe has a neutral fit and is lightweight, which helps during the day if you are standing and walking.
Common in many of Brook’s shoe designs, BioMoGo DNA, provides the Ghost 12’s superior cushioning. However, in the Ghost 12, it’s also combined with DNA Loft cushioning for a great combination of cushioning and stability that minimizes strain on your ankles and knees.
Extra shock absorbers have been lined on the sole of the Ghost 12, to give you extra cushioning. This is great for being on your feet all day and will minimize tired legs. The upper mesh is very flexible, but provides a structured fit at the same time.
The forefoot of the Brooks Ghost 12 has also been designed with Flex Groves, which make the shoe more flexible in the front. The ability to move your foot as you need to is a good benefit, as your feet and ankles can often get tired when you are standing all day. Flexibility in the shoe will help with that.
- Extra flexible for ease on the ankles
- Heel counter structure make the shoe feel more secure
- Light weight
- “Sporty” look
9. Altra Paradigm 4.5
The Altra Paradigm 4 was developed to be a superior cushioned shoe with as much support as possible for standing long periods of time. Altra upgraded to the EGO midsole, which feels very soft throughout the whole foot. This midsole also gives you extra bounce and responsiveness during those long days.
The outsole of the Paradigm 4 was also improved by integrating a Guide Rail and StabiliPod. This has added stability to the shoe without sacrificing control and flexibility. With the added thickness to the outsole, this also means the sole will last longer, and the support will ease pressure on the knees and hips.
The Paradigm 4 also got an upgrade to the knit upper, to make the shoe more durable. The improvement to the mesh provided better airflow and added support and structure to the top of the shoe.
The toe box on these shoes is also made to provide more room and allow your toes to splay out naturally, making your feet more comfortable over long periods of time. More toe stability improves control and minimizes strain on the legs while standing.
- Extra cushion for improved comfort
- Upper knit provides extra stability
- Breathable and airy
- Roomy toe box
- Thickness of the sole adds height and can be awkward for some customers
- The stability can make the shoe feel stiff
Buyers Guide – What to look for when buying shoes for standing all day
Ultimately you want as much cushioning as possible. Chances are your feet will be worn out and sore in the beginning. You may even end up with blisters if you aren’t careful. The more cushioning your shoes give you, the less discomfort you’ll feel.
Wide design/Ground contact
If you are standing a lot, especially on concrete or in a warehouse setting, a wider sole or base will help with more support throughout the day.
Traction on slick surfaces
Spend enough time on your feet, and you will find all variety of dangers to slipping. Rain when you are loading and unloading. Oils in parking lots. Potholes and cracks in the pavement. Ramps that are a little too steep. Look for shoes that offer slip-resistant soles to minimize accident risks.
Room in the toe area
Feet swell a bit throughout a typical day, and moreso if you are constantly standing or walking. A bit of extra space means your feet don’t get cramped and sore being in shoes all day. In other words, you should be able to wiggle your toes comfortably.
Make sure you select shoes that have an upper/outer material that can withstand long periods of use. This is even more imporant if you are regularly exposed to weather or substances on your feet.
If you are going to be walking or otherwise active, it’s best to get shoes that have laces or Velcro for a more secure fit. Be sure you check with the location you will be standing in all day, if there’s any issue with soles that leave marks or scuffs on the floor.
You may want to consider buying shoes a half size larger than you normally would, as your feet are likely to swell during the day. This is often water retention due to just being in the standing position for so long.
If you need to, definitely get yourself some extra cushioning inserts, or orthotics if you need them. This means the shoe you pick will need to provide a little extra room for your inserts/orthotics.