Wearing comfortable shoes isn't just important for running or other athletic activities. In fact, standing still for a long period of time can be worse for your feet than when you're walking or moving briskly. In this article, we'll recommend comfortable shoes for standing all day, as well as some tips for preventing and relieving tired feet.
Wearing comfortable shoes for standing all day is important because of the compromised muscle function that leads to foot and leg fatigue when these muscles don't get a break from being in a stagnant position. If you have a job that requires you to be standing on your feet for long periods at a time, you're probably well aware of the importance of good shoes.
So, what shoes are best for this type of activity?
The best shoes for standing all day
Cushioned running shoes
Even if you're not a runner, a cushioned pair of athletic shoes, such as the Brooks Ghost, can be especially helpful for people with bad knees. Look for shoes with a slip-resistant outsole and grippy tread to prevent slips and falls, especially if you happen to work in a medical setting.
Lightweight, backless clogs are popular among food service and healthcare workers, as they tend to be comfortable, provide heel and arch support and shock control, and prevent your feet from overheating and becoming too sweaty. Many clogs also offer slip resistance, and look more stylish than other options, like tennis shoes.
Ballet flats can be the kiss of death for your feet if you opt for cheap ones that aren't meant for long periods of wear, especially if you have bunions or other foot conditions. There are stylish options out there that can withstand long periods on your feet, whether in motion or at a standstill, though. Choose flats with a flexible upper and cushioned insoles to keep your feet happy while you're upright.
If your job requires physical labour, such as construction or landscaping, work boots are often ideal because they provide ankle support and typically have cushioned midsoles and moisture-wicking linings to prevent lingering odours. They can also be beneficial for people with wide feet, or those who have conditions like hammertoes or flat feet.
You don't have to sacrifice fashion to be able to rock boots that won't kill your feet. Choose a boot with cushioning and stability to reduce heel-strike shock and minimize stress on your feet, knees, and back. Steel shanks can also provide extra stability if you're able to find everyday boots that have them.
If you prefer a more casual sneaker, the Brooks Addiction Walker 2 offers optimal support and a slip-resistant sole for added protection. It also comes in solid black, which means it won't get dirty as quickly as other colours and will go with almost anything you're wearing.
Cork-sole sandals date back to the 1970s, and today's versions are often made up of rubber ethylene-vinyl acetate, though they model the same look. These waterproof sandals still offer the same comfort and fatigue relief, and tend to come in a wide range of colours.
How to prevent and relieve tired feet
If you have a long event coming up or you're about to start a job that will require a lot of time on your feet, the best thing you can do is prepare. Spend more time standing in the days leading up, giving yourself ample rest, of course.
As for relieving tired feet, prioritizing rest is key as well. Focus on stretching your calf and hamstring muscles, and consider soaking your feet in an Epsom salts bath or investing in a foot massager. All said, with the right pair of shoes and the right balance of strengthening and resting, you can find daily comfort and support for your feet, legs, and body.
Our writer's advice is intended for informational or general educational purposes only. We always encourage you to speak with your physician or healthcare provider before making any adjustments to your running, nutrition, or fitness routines.