How To Find the Best Shoes for Standing All Day

How To Find the Best Shoes for Standing All Day

Why It’s important to have the right shoes

Our feet are the foundation of our everyday lives.  Every good foundation must have the right support.  Most of our lives are spent in shoes.  Anyone can go out and buy a new pair of shoes based simply on how they look, but for the person who is always and always on their feet; good footwear is worth its weight in gold.  However, footwear goes far beyond the appearance that a shoe has on the foot.  Bad footwear can cause injuries or have long term effects on our posture so investing in a quality pair will be beneficial in the long run.

What causes your feet to hurt if you stand all day

There are many different pathologies that can be the cause of foot pain. These pathologies include:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Callous
  • Corns
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Bunions

These pathologies can be a result of not caring for your feet during those days of prolonged standing in conjunction with poor fitting footwear.

What are the worst shoes for standing on your feet all day

When looking for a new pair of shoes, it is important to avoid the following:

  • Pointy or narrow fitting footwear – this forces our toes into an unnatural position and also puts your feet at a higher risk of developing conditions of the forefoot such as neuromas, bursitis or bunions. It can also cause painful calluses and corns due to an increase in pressure around the toes.
  •  High heels – this increases the pressure on the ball of your foot and also causes your ankles, knees, hips and lower back to be misaligned increasing your risk of stress related injuries. The research also shows that women who go from long periods of wearing high heels to being in a flatter shoe or going barefoot develop tight posterior muscles and Achilles Tendinopathy. This is due to that muscle being shortened for a long period of time as a result of the high heels. This can cause many foot and lower limb pathologies.
  • Flip flops or ballet flats – The construct of ballet shoes and flip flops provides very little support around the ankle and along the sole of the foot. This can expose the foot to high amounts of friction, which can cause pain along the bottom of the foot and cause blisters. The lack of support can put the foot in a vulnerable position, leading to potential twisting and sprains of the ankle and overuse injuries. Without proper arch support in ballet flats, wearing them for more than an hour a day can lead to plantar fasciitis and heel pain in people with flat feet. Also, the very thin sole exposes the foot to potential puncture wounds.

How to you prevent pain if you’re on your feet all day

Apart from appropriate footwear, there are other modalities to help prevent you from pain when you are on your feet all day.

  • Strength and conditioning to make sure your feet are nice and strong
  • Releasing the structures in your feet with a ball
  • Orthotics to help redistribute pressures

What are the most comfortable shoes for standing all day

There are many different brands of shoes that will be best for your feet when standing all day for long periods of time. These are also a great walking shoe or running shoe. Some of these brands include:

What to look for when buying shoes

Shopping for shoes is more important than fashion. That said, choosing the right shoe can seem quite confusing. With an overwhelming number of styles, brands and different prices, where do you start?

In addition to helping you feel comfortable and preventing injuries, wearing good shoes can affect your whole body and how you function throughout the day. Here are some tips on what to look for and how to decide:

  • Stiff back / heel counter

Grasp the heel in one hand and the shoe above the heel in the other hand. You should not be able to move the shoe side-to-side around the heel or be able to squash the heel.

  • Small amount of torque

Holding the shoe at both ends, you should barely be able to twist the shoe. This will provide good lateral and medial stability, or a stable platform for your feet.

  • Toe / Forefoot flexion

You want the shoe to flex and roll the way your foot does naturally, to bend where your toes bend. To check, place a hand at either end of the shoe and try to bend it in half. The shoe should only flex where the toes naturally bend, about two-thirds from the back, not in the middle of the shoe.

  • Provide arch support and stability

You podiatrist or an experienced shoe salesman will be able to help you identify the amount of arch support you need based on your foot type. When in doubt, ask your podiatrist.

  • Feel comfortable straight away

It speaks for itself. When first placing a shoe on your foot, it should feel comfortable straight away. You should not need to “wear in” or have to “get used to” your new footwear.

  • Wide and long enough at the toes

Your shoe should not push on your toes or make them curl. They should also not place pressure on your feet from the side, making it feel like your toes are being squashed together. A wide toe box in your shoe is essential for comfort.

  • Heel to toe gradient

The optimal elevation or drop in height from the heel to the toe of the shoe should be approximately 10-12mm. This provides the ankle with optimal range to support the foot and lower back.

  • Removable insole

If your podiatrist has recommended that you wear orthotics, it is important to make sure the insole of the shoe can be removed to allow room for the orthotic. If you have your orthotics with you, check that they fit in the shoe without squeezing your toes or causing the shoe to slip off. In addition, innersoles with a cushioned memory foam insole, innersoles that have shock absorption, non slip and have cushioning and support are also great for when standing all day.

  • Lightweight Construction

Since you spend a considerably large amount of time upright and on your feet, you definitely want a pair of shoes that is negligible in weight. When you stand all day long, the fatigue can quickly compound and turn your small steps into grueling miles. Most workers fall victim to the false notion that light shoes will not offer proper levels of protection. Today, it’s very common to find super flyweight sneakers with a thick, sturdy steel toe cap. Make sure you look for shoes with very light construction to spare your feet from having to lug around dead weight all day long.

  • Durability

Just because your work shoes are for standing or running around all day doesn’t mean that they won’t wear out. In fact, most workers who stand for long hours actually go through more pairs of shoes than people who walk around more. That’s because as opposed to walking where your shoes get the chance to wear out evenly, standing in one spot puts an excessive amount of pressure on certain parts of your shoe. Repeat this stance day in day out, and it’s very easy to see why your shoes will die very quickly. Make sure you purchase work shoes that not only look tough, but also constructed with high-quality materials that are made to last longer. Renown brands offer products that work as hard as you do.

  • Heel and Arch Support

No matter what kind of job you perform, we all know how crucial arch support can be. People who stand all day exert all their weight on the fragile tendons and ligaments that make up the plantar fascia. Over time, this leads to weakened arches and issues such as plantar fasciitis or collapsed foot bones. Studies show that arch support is crucial when it comes to alleviating pain and providing long term comfort and support for people who stay on their feet for extended periods of time. Flat soles are the worst design for standing all day. Ensure your work shoes offer a generous degree of arch support to keep all the stress and pain at bay. Arch support also means less fatigue and more productivity at the end of the day.

  • High Traction Shock Absorbing Outsoles

Your safety should always come first. As we already established, slips and falls are responsible for a large percentage of work-related injuries. No matter your occupation or environment, having slip resistant rubber outsole or full grain leather outsoles ensures that you remain on your feet for the whole day. However, people who stand for extended periods on the job are highly prone to slips and falls due to constant fidgeting and shifting poses. When choosing shoes for standing all day, it is of the utmost importance to make sure they are engineered with the highest standards and a trustworthy grip. Additionally, work shoes for standing all day also need to be highly shock absorbent to ensure that all energy is returned back to the feet. Without a buffer, your feet will only get hurt by the hard concrete floors or other tough, non-yielding surfaces.

  • Extra Padding and Cushioning

This is also one of the most essential features to be on the lookout for if you expect to stand all day. Think about it; would you rather spend all day standing on plain rubber, or soft,cushioning mushy clouds? Ensure that the insides of your shoes are well padded and cushioned to give you a comfortable resting surface. Additionally, you could insist on using gel inserts that not only keep your feet comfortable, but also feeling cool and fresh.

  • Breathability

Since your foot will remain active all day, it pays to have a pair that allows for as much durability as possible. Proper ventilation allows for the free circulation of air that creates a very conducive environment for your feet. Not only does this help keep your feet dry, but it also carries away moisture from your feet as water vapor. Leaving sweat to build up can be really unhealthy for your feet. Ensure that work shoes designed for standing all day offer enough breathability and ventilation for your feet. In addition, having a breathable mesh upper, knit upper or leather upper can also help with the breathability of the shoe as well as aid in the comfort of your feet, especially if you have conditions such as bunions or hammertoes.

How to find the right shoes for you

When in doubt, ask your podiatrist. We are always here to help diagnose, treat and prevent all kinds of foot injuries and are more than happy to help you find that perfect shoe! Also, if you have a current pair of shoes that you are unsure if they are suitable for you, bring them to your consultation for us to assess.

Make an appointment

Make an appointment by clicking on this link: or by calling our Moorabbin clinic at 03 9553 0044, Edithvale at 03 9772 9579 and Malvern East at 03 9021 2067.

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