In the past, we have covered work shoes that are ideal for jobs that have you standing and walking about most of the day for prolonged periods of time. This time, we are going to broaden our scope because a lot of jobs, hobbies, and lifestyles, in general, do not give you a whole lot of leeway on sitting down and taking breaks.
Hazards of Standing All Day
Standing for a particularly long time isn’t too healthy for your feet, legs, and lower back, so you need adequate support from footwear to alleviate that added stress. This goes for all walks of life – from engineers to baristas, from lab techs to avid travelers. Because of this, we are going to run through our list of the 9 best shoes for standing all day, which are more casual and appropriate for multiple scenarios whether you’re standing all day on your feet working in a warehouse, or spending the day working on your garden.
How to Pick Good Shoes for all-day Comfort
Regardless if it is part of your job or just a hobby that sees you having little down-time, you’re going to want a shoe that helps those long hours feel less stressful on your body, so you can spend more time doing what you love.
When it comes to picking a shoe, you’re going to want to focus on two aspects: the midsole and underfoot cushioning. Cushioning alleviates much of the stress you will be experiencing as the hours roll on, as standing up takes a serious toll on your feet and legs.
The hallmark of a good shoe is a solid midsole, this is the part of the sole between the outer sole and the insole, so it’s technically the only part you don’t see with your eyes unless you take it apart. It is also the midsole you’re relying on when standing, so make sure that the midsole is made for lasting durability and is followed up by a well-cushioned insole. By having these two parts accounted for, you can be sure that above all else, you’ll be getting hours of comfort, and your knees and feet will be thanking you down the line.
1. Brooks Addiction Walker
First up is the Brooks Addiction Walker – made from full-grain leather upper with a synthetic sole, this walking shoe from Brooks is engineered to be a very durable and breathable shoe that provides long-lasting comfort and longevity to the wearer. For those of you with wider or narrower feet, you’ll appreciate the fact that Brooks has developed the Addiction Walker with variable feet widths in mind, ranging from narrow to extra-wide.
Internally, the Addiction Walkers have what is known as an “extended progressive diagonal roll-bar”, that helps to support your arch and guide your foot and body into a more natural gait, giving you a more ergonomic motion. This is a great feature if you walk around and stand all day as it will prevent you from building any unhealthy walking postures.
The forefoot area of the shoe has MC Pods – a revolutionary outsole addition that helps keep you stable and well-positioned with every step you take. If you walk or stand in an area prone to liquid spills, these outsoles will have your back, giving you great traction on those tough surfaces.
The midsole features Brooks’ tried-and-true BioMoGo DNA technology, that adapts to your custom stride, weight distribution, and walking tendencies. You get a smooth ride and well-adapted support from this sole, making walking, standing, or running that much easier. Overall, these shoes are a solid pick if you need that durable leather upper and no-nonsense outsole.
The Brooks Addiction Walker is best suited if you’re working in an area that has you standing or walking around in precarious terrain. The comfort you get from the BioMoGo DNA is nothing to scoff at especially as the hours rack up.
While the Addiction Walker is definitely great, there are a few shortcomings. The first being that they look and feel a bit bulky, given how sturdy it is constructed. On top of that, the full-grain leather upper creates a bit of break-in time to reach maximum comfort.
These two hindrances are definitely not a deal-breaker but can be an annoyance if the kind of shoe you’re looking for is one that is perfect right out of the box. These are more of a tough shoe that ‘grows-on-you’ type, with extended use, only making them fit better. Apart from these drawbacks, the Brooks Addiction Walker is definitely one of the best shoes for walking and standing all day.
+ Full-grain leather upper is long-lasting and tough
+ Options for both narrow and wide-set feet
+ BioMoGo DNA cushioning is wonderful for standing all day
+ Engineered to help improve the natural gait cycle
– Feel a bit bulky and heavier than other options
– Need to be broken in a bit before achieving a custom fit
2. Altra Escalante 2.0
Next up is the Escalante’s by Altra. Signature to the Escalante line is the wide toe-box to give your foot much-needed space and natural toe-splaying. These shoes were initially created for road-running but work just as well for mild activities including standing and being idle.
As for cushioning, Altra included the EGO technology in the midsole, with stellar arch support from the foot pods that map the bones and tendons of your foot to keep it naturally rested in the best positioning possible. EGO tech is a dual-natured midsole that gives you a responsive feel yet maintaining adequate softness and firmness for comfort and energy return.
Given that these shoes were made for much harder activities than walking and standing, like constant running or jumping, you’ll find that being idle will be a lot more manageable on your feet with the cushioning in place to keep it comfortable and well-supported at all times.
The upper unit has a Dri-Freeze liner for temperature control, which helps keep your feet cool while standing all day long. You will also find a lace loop attached to the tongue to keep your laces securely in place.
Overall, you’ll find that the Escalante 2.0 is a well-endowed and effective shoe that definitely makes it an attractive purchase if you’re on your feet all day and need a shoe that can cater to your foot’s needs. The shoes are also quite durable given Altra’s reputation as a manufacturer of outdoor goods.
With that said, there are some issues with the Escalante. Firstly, the upper is stiff and can take some getting used to, to achieve a proper fit. Secondly, the toe-box is wide, but a bit short, so this may feel awkward for some who have long toes.
+ Comfortable and aesthetically pleasing design
+ EGO Tech midsole is great for standing all day
+ Lace loops on the tongue keep the laces tightly tucked away
+ Wide toe box, good for toe-splaying
– Upper feels stiff and firm
– Forefoot area is a little bit short
3. Brooks Dyad 10
Now we have the Brooks Dyad 10 – a classic example of putting function over form, as Brooks opted for a minimalistic design with all the exciting features being under the hood. This model has stability and comfort in mind first and foremost, with the BioMoGo DNA cushioning across the insole, and arch pods to increase the stability and smoothness of your underfoot experience.
The Dual Arch Pods are great at providing you with additional stability and support, in tandem with the wide platform, to give you a solid ride and neutral stride. It is spacious and a bit heavier than other more traditional runners, but amazing if you value roominess and comfort.
While the Dyad offers more intriguing color options for those who use this strictly for running and jogging, it comes in some low-key color options if you intend to use them in a more professional setting. Finally, they feature the Ultimate Sockliner – a cushioned and plush experience that serves as the cherry on top in terms of comfort. Overall, these shoes are of great quality, with comfort, security, and stability delivered in spades.
Despite these shoes not being particularly glamourous or awe-inspiring like some run-centric runners, you can definitely tell they still pack a similar pedigree. For some jobs and settings, that may be an issue. If you’re simply traveling and want something casual though, these are great. But be sure to keep in mind your individual use and context for these shoes. The Dyad is also not true to size, and we definitely recommend going a size up, because you don’t want to feel too constricted, but revel in the shoes intended spaciousness
+ Puts function first, has a very comfortable in-foot experience
+ BioMoGo midsole makes for a pleasurable ride for standing around
+ Relatively affordable price
+ Dual Arch Pods help keep your feet stable and in position
– May not be ideal, aesthetically, for every occasion
– Not true to size, need to order a size up for maximum comfort
4. Adidas Barricade
Now we have the Barricade by Adidas – a low-top shoe with a sturdy yet breathable mesh upper. It is also fairly soft, with a stretchable and padded tongue/collar combination, giving you a comfortable and overall enjoyable upper foot experience.
It has a lace-up system to make sure you are able to achieve a custom fit when needed. The upper has a forged mesh design with designated areas of support and stretchiness, giving you a more customized fit that adapts to your movements.
Inside of the Barricade, the cushioning is the Adidas Boost system, feeding off energy you produce and giving it back to you with every step. It also does a wonderful job of absorbing any shock-impact along with it. In the ankle area, Adidas has included the Geofit memory-foam, giving you supreme levels of support and stability. If you’re standing around all day, you’ll surely appreciate the amount of comfort you’ll be getting in these shoes.
The chassis of the Barricade is engineered to give you ample support in the midfoot while easing up and giving more freedom to the forefoot, which enhances your foot’s range of motion and is great for quick movements.
The outsole is made of Adituff compound that wraps around the toe-area and medial foot, preventing any drag and adding to overall protection. Despite being made for sports, these shoes work wonderfully in delivering precise comfort and support for less demanding tasks.
Unfortunately, the Barricade isn’t perfect. No matter how great its support and comfort is, there are some hurdles you have to overcome when buying these shoes. A prominent quirk of the Barricade is the fact that they need to be broken in as the plastic arch must mold over time to your feet’s natural contours. Once it does, these are definitely good shoes for standing for long hours.
For some, a shoe that needs to be worn a bit before doing your less-than-exciting tasks is not ideal or defeats the purpose of getting shoes out of the box and wearing them around for whatever you have to do that day. If that isn’t an issue, and you’re okay with breaking in the shoes a bit in return for ample comfort down the line, then the Barricade is still great.
+ Sturdy and breathable mesh upper
+ Engineered chassis for ideal comfort, movement and support
+ Interior is amply cushioned by the Boost system
+ Features slight protection from the Adituff outsole
– Needs to be broken in for maximum comfort
5. Altra Lone Peak 4
At around our halfway point, we have the Lone Peak 4 by Altra, a company that normally focuses on more trail-oriented shoes. You’ll notice that these shoes are more geared towards those of you who are working in outside environments more so than waiting in lines or doing day to day activities that keep you on your feet.
The Lone Peak 4 from Altra is designed for rougher terrain – perhaps if you’re someone working outside or in a factory, where you’re constantly on your feet and need that extra durability. Inside the Lone Peak 4 is “A-Bound” material – a recycled midsole compound that gives you a resilient underfoot bounce, an EVA midsole foam for durable cushioning, and a TPU layer that disperses impact shock known as Stone Guard.
The engineering principle of the Lone Peak 4 is Altra’s “Natural Foot Design”, following the shape of a human’s foot and being as ergonomically sound as possible. You’ll find that the toe-box is always adequately spaced, giving you a lot of room for splaying. The outsole, likely to be one of the main attractions of this shoe, is the MaxTrac, which uses sticky rubber that focuses on providing grip and durability on the most uncertain of terrain.
Despite being a solid pick for its specific uses, the issue with the Lone Peak 4.0’s, is the fact that they are quite niche. If you aren’t a worker in tougher terrain or a trail goer, these shoes are probably overkill. You don’t need a hardcore shoe like this if you’re working an office job, or traveling around urban areas, and as a result, you would be better off getting something more traditional.
Having said that, the Altra Lone Peak 4 is merely a matter of circumstance and dependent on your situation. If you need a shoe with some offroad ruggedness though, then they are a no-brainer purchase.
+ Upper is tough yet flexible
+ Midsole and insole are both highly comfortable
+ Thick and sticky MaxTrac outsole
+ Large toe-box for toe-splaying
– Fairly niche, only truly useful in tough terrain or environments
6. ASICS Gel-Venture 6
Next up is the Gel-Venture 6 by ASICS which, similar to the Altra’s, are suitable for a bit more rugged terrain. You’ll notice that you’ll get more lateral stability, support, and grip out of these shoes compared to a regular shoe. Yet unlike the Altra Lone Peak, these aren’t completely niche.
The Gel-Venture 6 features a mesh upper that gives an airy and flexible feel to them, with a GEL cushioning system internally to help attenuate shock. There is also a removable sockliner for additional comfort, which comes in handy especially when standing for long hours. Being removable, it also helps to accommodate third party orthotics for people who rely on custom orthotics to get the most out of their shoes.
The outsole is more akin to a trail shoe than a casual walking shoe, which can be good if you’re in need of a good grip and work outdoors, yet don’t want to overdo it will an all-out dedicated trail shoe. In critical areas of the outsole, ASICS has applied High Abrasion Rubber that adds to the overall durability and traction greatly.
Overall, these are great shoes if you take your work seriously and need additional durability, traction, and security. These are some of the best work shoes for standing all day, and they double as comfortable running shoes if you decide to take them out for a spin.
As we just alluded to, picking up these shoes are heavily dependent on your line of work, or how you typically spend your time. If you’re looking for a pair of shoes to work at the office and wait in lines at the grocery store, these might be a bit too much. But, if you work out in the fields, in a factory, or generally spend most of your time standing, then these may be more in line with what you need. Again, like the Altra shoes, they are good at what they offer, but they may not be for everyone. With that said, if you need a versatile shoe, The ASICS Gel-Venture 6 is a perfect choice.
+ Upper is lightweight and breathable
+ Feature gel cushioning for added comfort
+ High abrasion rubber and thick treading increases traction
+ Option available for custom orthotics
– The gel cushioning can feel stiff for some
7. ASICS Gel Nimbus 20
As our list winds down, we have the Gel-Nimbus 20 developed again by ASICS. More in line with what we’ve come to expect from a more casual and comfortable shoe, these feature a wide color variety on their breathable fabric upper.
Internally, ASICS included the duo of FlyteFoam and FluidRide, to give you ample cushioning, bounce-back, and support. The midsole area of the shoe also has reduced weight compared to previous iterations without the need to compromise its integrity or supportive features.
The Nimbus 20’s responsive design uses organic super-fibers built in to reduce packing out that is common amongst lower density, softer foam midsoles. ASICS also implemented Guidance Line Tech into these shoes, enhancing your natural gait efficiency through vertical flex grooving. You should expect a smooth and well-rounded ride when you put these on, and they are snazzy enough to wear almost anywhere regardless of the function.
While being a solid all-around shoe, the Gel Nimbus 20 has its fair share of issues, namely the fact that the toe-box is a little narrow, so you won’t get as much toe-splaying as you may like. Secondly, the arch support is adequate, yet could be better, even though it is fairly well-cushioned overall. Regardless of these quirks, the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 20 are fairly comfortable shoes for standing all day.
+ True to size
+ FyteFoam and Fluidride internals make for a smooth ride
+ Affordable price
+ Guidance Line tech helps promote a healthy gait cycle
+ Variety of color options, appropriate for many occasions
– Toe box could be a bit more spacious
– Arch support is so-so
8. Nike Revolution 4
Our penultimate shoes for standing and being on your feet all day is the Nike Revolution 4, with their minimalistic and sporty look. Despite being made for sporting, as one can tell by its aesthetic, these shoes are very good if you work standing most of the day as they are so incredibly comfortable.
If you’re particularly active, you’ll appreciate the lightweight single-layer mesh that gives you a ton of breathability. The reason we like this shoe so much though is for what it has on the inside. Firstly, it has a soft foam midsole to deliver lightweight and responsive cushioning, followed by underlays in the vamp and toe-tie to offer good support and structure whether you’re in stride or idling.
Secondly, the outsole is great if the environment you work in tends to see a lot of liquid spilling or is generally wet. There is a molded pod design in the outsole with full-length rubber that gives you ample cushioning during standing and walking, as well as traction for those times where footing is precarious.
Overall, the soft foam, underlays, and rubber construction provide good levels of shock-absorption to make this an all-around comfortable runner to be standing up in. There’s no doubt that you’ll be getting quality comfort with ample support and traction for when it matters most. Since they are also fairly low-key in terms of aesthetics, they should be appropriate for most venues and events, compared to other runners that stick out like a sore thumb due to their bright colors or radical designs.
There are two issues with the Nike Revolution 4 though. Firstly, the fact that it isn’t good at taking a prolonged beating on rough terrains. If you are going to double these shoes as actual runners and not just for general use, they may end up breaking down after a couple of months. The other issue is that since these are so sleek and form-fitting, the forefoot section can feel a bit tight if you’re used to a wider shoe.
+ Minimalistic aesthetic makes it appropriate for most occasions
+ Soft and supportive interior thanks to midsole and underlays
+ Outsole is great for slippery environments
+ Engineered for long sessions of being on your feet without tiring out
– Can fall apart if you use them for hardcore activities
– Narrow along the forefoot section
9. Skechers SureTrack Trickel
Our final pair of shoes are the SureTrack Trickel, by Skechers. Compared to the rest of these shoes that are typically more casual, the SureTrack’s are dedicated to more dangerous terrain like electrical fields. If you work around live wires all day, or have to step through them daily, the SureTrack shoes are EH-Safe tested and also comply with ASTM regulations, which means that when you wear them, you don’t have to worry about electrocution as they aren’t conductive in the least.
While this is, of course, the preferred type of shoe for someone constantly around electricity, it may still be useful for those who aren’t but like to err on the side of caution. They don’t look like your typical hard-working boot, but more like a shoe. The upper is made of all-leather to give you great durability and comfort with Skechers adding in memory foam insole and their FlexSole midsole to give you exceptional arch support.
The shoe is exceptionally comfortable to the point that even people spending half the day on their feet do not feel the need to get custom orthotics, as the base product was just as good. The outsole is slip-resistant rubber that works in any circumstance you may come across. Compared to the other shoes that are dedicated to a niche role, the Skechers SureTrack is a lot more accessible and stick out a lot less.
They are designed in a way that they really do just look like a regular shoe, so there isn’t a particular reason to not pick these over any other casual shoe since you get added electricity protection unless that is so far removed from your daily life and you prefer a sleeker shoe. In that case, there isn’t too much of a reason to pick these up for what they offer since you won’t ever be in contact with live wires intentionally, and going with a trendier shoe makes sense.
It is really up to your discretion and whether you prefer the extra safety. As for issues that you can’t argue, the SureTrack typically runs half a size smaller. So when sizing yourself, you should get them a half size up. Secondly, they do tend to run on the narrow side, with no alternate sizing options, which could be a problem if you have wider-set feet.
+ EH-Safe, tested and ASTM compliant
+ Leather upper is durable and protective
+ Removable insole with memory foam topper
+ Included insole is incredibly comfortable on its own
+ Slip-resistant outsole
– Not necessary unless you work with electricity, or prefer its safety features
– Not true to size, best to get a half size up
To conclude, whether you’re on your feet all day looking into microscopes, or serving up a fresh brew, you’re going to need footwear that compliments and supports this lifestyle. Having the right kind of footwear that can keep you feeling comfy for longer is the main goal, as you will remain more productive, healthier, and in better spirits on or off the job. Alternatively, if you’re not looking to splurge on new shoes, you can always breathe life into your old pair of shoes by using aftermarket insoles for work.
We hope that this article was broad enough to adequately cover a wide selection of shoes that could be your potential next pair, regardless of your field of work or hobby. Remember to keep the context in mind, as to what you expect out of your shoe, and what is appropriate for the setting and environment you’re putting yourself in.
Every shoe here is great for standing upright for long hours, but some have some added features or quirks to them that may put them above the rest for your specific circumstance.