Do you ever have one of those hectic days standing on your feet so long you feel like they’re going to fall off?! Well, you’re not alone; American workers spend an average of 57% of their workday on their feet, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And that’s just the group average; if we break it down more granularly, there are a number of professions that require the majority, if not all, of the workday on your feet. Nurses, for example, walk on average 16,000 steps per day, and wait staff and hospitality workers can walk up to 22,000 steps during any given shift!
You might be wondering what nurses and wait staff have in common, and that would be the need for comfortable footwear that can carry some of the burdens of a long shift. The right pair of shoes can support your body from the stress of standing, absorb shock from the ground, help you avoid slips and falls, and most importantly, feel comfortable when you’re on your feet for hours at a time without the chance to sit down. But it’s not just high-walking professions that need an excellent pair of shoes; as the data point we highlighted above suggests, Americans across all professions are sending the majority of their workday standing on their feet.
Many opt for high-performance running shoes. But running shoes are designed for just that... running. This means they're rated for 1-2 hours on your feet, but after that, they start to lose their foam density and that's when you start to feel pain in your feet move up your body to your knees, hips, back, and joints. They're not designed for long 8+ hour shifts.
So what ARE the best shoes for standing? There are a ton of brands out there all promising to be the best, so we rounded up our top 3 shoes that are ideal for standing and walking at work for prolonged periods of time.
Cloud 5 Combo- $149
Cloud 5 Combo shoes are made from vegan leather and are designed to be lightweight and ready for everyday wear. The Cloud 5 Combo features an inner sock that connects the tongue to the sidewalls of the upper. It looks like your typical running shoe in terms of design and features speed laces as well the option for classic laces, and comes in a variety of colors.
This shoe was originally released as a running shoe, but now is categorized as a lifestyle or standing shoe. In terms of support, this show offers neutral arch support, and even though it has light cushioning in the midsole, reviews from customers online say that it makes a decent all-day standing shoe.
The On Cloud 5 also features signature Cloudtec technology, a collection of pods under the foot that compress and minimize the impact as your foot lifts and touches back on the ground, and Zero-gravity foam that makes them feel light and springy. The downside of this shoe is that it’s not waterproof, so wearing them in the colder, damper months is not recommended. Not to mention, the price tag is a little steep.
Skechers Flex Advantage Bendon Work Shoes– $160
Skechers Flex Advantage Bendon work shoe is designed to reduce the impact of hard surfaces. Their slip-resistant outsole offers stability, while their cushioned insole promises all-day comfort.
Made from breathable mesh, they’re designed to keep your feet cool all day long. The Bendon Work Shoe is shock absorbent and equipped with a foam midsole and rubber outsole. While they feature a classic lace-up design, these shoes are meant to conveniently slip on and off. However, online reviews suggest that the laces do not stretch at all and the upper section is not flexible enough to slip in and out of. Skechers Relaxed Fit® design promises a roomier, more comfortable fit thanks to its Memory Foam cushioning.
While these shoes feature a rubber toe guard to protect against abrasions, some online reviews have suggested that the toe section is weak and tends to dent with any mild impact.
Gales® - $89.95
Gales® put comfort above all else. In 2020, our shoe was designed in collaboration with nurses from around the country to ensure that they could deliver support and comfort all day long.
While the healthcare industry is where we started, Gales® is equipped with a ton of innovative features that make them the best shoes for standing, no matter what your profession. Our shoe features long-term cushioning, continuous arch support, and machine washable Ortholite® insoles. These insoles are designed to maintain and keep their performance benefits, even after being machine washed. These can be easily removed and cleaned to help with moisture management. Gales® also have firm grip soles and are super lightweight thanks to their XL Extralight® technology, which is three times lighter than comparable materials.
Comfort is key, but what makes Gales® stand out from the rest is the low-maintenance features that make them easy to clean. The last thing you need during a busy workday is to stop and tie your laces, that's why we included a snug resistance band at the top of the shoe that holds it in place and mitigates the need for pesky laces. Gales® Antimicrobial and waterproof material can be wiped clean in seconds and dries almost instantly. Gales® were made to handle coffee spills and rainy days, so they can be worn all year long. Comfortable and breathable, our shoe feels like a cloud all day long!
Gales® come in 6 fun colorways, with more being slated for release in 2022 ( be on the lookout for an exciting new color drop in the next few weeks!). They’re available in a wide range of full and half sizes for men and women.
We firmly believe that no one should have to break the bank to be comfortable at work, so we made Gales® available for only $89.95 a pair.
Standing can really take a toll on your body, so the right pair of shoes that ticks all of the boxes are an absolute must. Gales® not only provide incredible comfort and arch support but their simple aesthetic and durable materials take them to the next level.