The 9 Most Comfortable Shoes, According To People On Their Feet All Day

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by Marshall Bright
Originally Published: 

When you try on a new pair of shoes, the first thing you’ll likely do is take a spin to see how comfortable they are. How shoes feel when we walk in them is important, but a first impression can often be only half the story. Many people have jobs or activities that require cute shoes for standing all day, and how shoes feel when you stand hour after hour can be just as important. Of course, you can’t exactly test out every shoe for a couple of hours. But there are a few things you can look for when shopping for the most comfortable shoes for standing all day:

  • Arch Support: Arch height varies from person to person. Keeping arches supported, is key to reducing pressure on your hips, knees, and back. If you are standing all day in flat shoes, you’ll be at risk for overpronating your feet, or rolling your foot inward, which can cause pain and discomfort. While many people look for shoes with high arches, the secret for less pain isn't necessarily there. Instead, shoes should provide good overall support for the whole foot, keeping arches from collapsing which can mean different arch heights depending on your feet.
  • Cushioning: Standing all day can put stress on your entire foot, not just your arches. That problem can get worse if you are standing on hard surfaces like concrete or tile. Shoes with cushioning, a thick sole, or both will help absorb pressure from the weight of your body and place some distance between your foot and the hard floor. Cushioning does not automatically mean arch support and visa versa, but it is possible to get shoes with both.
  • Ankle Support: Ankle support can also help make standing more comfortable and help you avoid accidents and pain. Most gym shoes and tennis shoes will offer some of this since they lace up higher on the foot. However, sandals with ankle straps can also help provide extra support around the ankles.

If you have chronic foot or lower body pain from standing, it is also good to talk to a podiatrist to see if inserts can also help. But footwear is one of the best places to start for preventing fatigue and pain from standing. Here are your best options:


The Best Overall

A gym shoe with good cushioning is a great comfortable and supportive choice. The Brooks Ghost shoe is a running shoe, but the design that favors stability and support is also good for standing. The shoe is also breathable but still with a thick rubber sole for solid traction. Laces on gym shoes help stabilize your foot and ankle, too.

One fan raved: "I needed comfortable shoes for walking and these have been great. I was part of a walking challenge in March, and these shoes kept me pain free walking over 8 miles per day. I wear them to work all day, as well.”

  • Available sizes: 4.5 - 14 (narrow, standard, and wide widths)
  • Available colors: 26


The Best Lightweight Gym Shoe

With slightly less support than our top pick, these fashion-forward lightweight tennis shoes will look great with casual outfits and are light on the feet. Designed to be a super lightweight running shoe, they still offer stabilizing support thanks to their memory foam insole and padded collar. They also have a slip-on design, which makes them super easy to put on and take off. These sneakers also boast an overall 4.3-star rating from over 16,000 Amazon shoppers.

One fan raved: "I have worn these shoes all day since I purchased them and intend to purchase a pair for my sister and another for myself. Excellent shoe for walking, working in.”

  • Available sizes: 6 - 11.5
  • Available colors: 31


The Best Work Shoe

Cole Haan’s Grand Wing oxfords combine the classic, polished look of a traditional oxford with the soft, cushioning sole of a tennis shoe. The more formal look of this faux-leather shoe makes them great for office settings. However, they include laces (unlike many women’s work shoes), offering more ankle-stabilizing support. However, the cushioning sole has minimal arch support. Consider getting Cole Haan’s Gramercy oxford if you need more arch support, though that sole is less cushioning.

One fan raved: "This shoe exceeds expectations! I only with I could find it more colors/styles. I purchased this shoe for work as I am running from the 1st to 3rd floor often, this shoe is classic and professional while providing function. I normally wear arch supports but with these shoes I don't VERY surprised how comfortable they are!”

  • Available sizes: 5 - 11
  • Available colors: 2


The Best Casual Work Shoe

Dansko’s clogs have long been beloved by people whose jobs involve standing all day, from doctors and nurses to teachers. The thick sole is extra cushioning, but the newer 2.0 design is lighter and less likely to weigh your feet down than the previous version. The shoes are treated, making them easy to clean and non-staining, especially good for people in healthcare, food service, or any other profession who might get messy at work. The contoured sole also gives great arch support. High on the foot, there's a good amount of ankle support, too.

One fan raved: "I am on my feet all day on concrete floors. These shoes provide great support and are comfortable.”

  • Available sizes: 4.5 - 13 (standard and wide widths)
  • Available colors: 33


The Best Canvas Sneaker

Canvas sneakers are an easy, go-with-everything choice from dresses to jeans but they usually also have flat soles with little arch support. While not as comfortable as gym shoes, these skate shoes offer much more arch support and cushioning than most classic canvas sneaker models. The waffled sole, designed to help you grip skateboards, actually has the benefit of providing a layer of cushioning. Slight contouring in the sole offers support, but you can also add an insert for more substantial support.

One fan raved: "I normally wear Converse for work, but the shoes were pinching my pinky toe. I switched to Vans have been able to be on my feet all day with no pinching.”

  • Available sizes: 5.5 - 14.5
  • Available colors: 12


The Best Sandal

These waterproof Teva sandals are perfect for those who spend long hours on their feet outdoors in warmer weather. These full injection-molded EVA sandals offer both comfort and support, and the hook and loop closure makes them easy to take on and off. They're fully waterproof, so they're great for activities like kayaking and hiking, and at just six ounces, they're so lightweight you might even forget you're wearing shoes at all.

One fan raved: "Super comfortable!! Wore them all day at the Disney parks and they were excellent!”

  • Available sizes: 5 - 13
  • Available colors: 14


The Best Ballet Flat

While ballet flats will rarely provide superior support compared to a gym shoe since they lack much ankle support, but there are some brands that sell flats with more cushioning and arch support. If you want a classic ballet shoe look, Hush Puppies's flats are a cult favorite. The sole and heel have cushioning pads, and the inner also has cushioning arch support. And because it comes in more than 30 different prints and color, you have multiple options for multiple work outfits.

One fan raved: "I ordered a black pair and nude pair three years ago and am just now ordering replacement pairs after three years of wearing them to work all the time. I'm on my feet all day and these cute flats have great arch support and were comfortable from the first day of wear.”

  • Available sizes: 5.5 - 12 (narrow, standard, wide, and extra-wide widths)
  • Available colors: 62


The Best Budget Loafer

Made of breathable leather and with a nonslip rubber sole, these office-appropriate loafers feature a memory foam insole for cushioning and support. While they don't offer the most in terms of arch or ankle support, they're a comfortable pick at an amazing price. These are available in more than 20 colors, including metallics.

One fan raved: "They were a perfect fit. I'm on my feet all day, and these shoes were extremely comfortable.”

  • Available sizes: 5 - 11
  • Available colors: 32


The Best Budget Ballet Flat

With a memory foam insole which provides cushioning and support, a flexible sole, and a breathable fabric top, these ballet flats are shockingly comfortable and can be had for a great price. However, some reviewers have noted that they don't provide the most in terms of arch support. And when it comes to ankle support, there's not much. Some reviewers suggest choosing a half size larger.

One fan raved: "I have worn these literally all day, almost every day since I got them. So far they are holding up really well. And they are very, very comfortable.”

  • Available sizes: 5 - 12 (standard and wide widths)
  • Available colors: 5

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