Best Shoes For Standing All Day 2024

Best Shoes For Standing All Day 2024

Standing for long periods can take a serious toll on your feet, but you can minimize the aches and pains with a pair of comfortable shoes. The best shoes for standing all day—including our top pick, On’s Cloud 5—blend plush padding, flexible fabrics, superior grip and a snug fit. They should also be equipped for the demands of your environment, whether you’re working in a hospital, department store, warehouse or elsewhere.

We talked to a team of podiatrists to find the best shoes for standing all day, including On’s Cloud … [+] 5 style.

Illustration: Forbes / Photo: Retailers

To help speed relief, we consulted a panel of podiatrists for advice, including Dr. Brad Schaeffer at Central Park Sole, Dr. Howard E. Friedman with Suffern Podiatry and Dr. Gary Rogers from the Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic. In addition, Schaeffer shared his own personal shoe recommendations for a variety of scenarios. Whether you need arch-supportive sneakers or sleek, dressy loafers, we’ve rounded up top-rated options from reputable brands. Ahead, the best shoes for standing all day.


Sizes: Women’s 5 to 11, men’s 7 to 14 | Colors: 12 total including Shell/White and Fig/Quartz | Heel-to-toe drop: 7 mm | Materials: 44% recycled content | Weight: 7.16 ounces

  • What’s notable: This shoe is extremely lightweight and it can be worn as a slip-on or laced up. It’s a versatile choice that’s great for the gym, travel or just wearing around town.
  • What could be better: If you’re tough on your shoes, take note: Even though the antimicrobial mesh upper has taped reinforcements, it can still get scraped and snagged.

Swiss athletic brand On is known for crafting high-performance footwear that’s big on comfort and style. The Cloud 5 sneaker features a lightweight design (it weighs just 203 grams per shoe) that’s infused with On’s signature CloudTec padding to reduce fatigue. For this reason, the shoe also earned the top spot on our lists of the best walking shoes for men and the most comfortable sneakers for women. The athletic upper also offers a snug fit to keep your foot in place, but a net-like structure retains breathability so you never overheat. The shoe’s stretchy properties allow you to slip it on and off in a hurry, and it stays secure with a speed lacing system or traditional shoelaces (both come in the box).

What our experts say: “I like that they have a rocker bottom system so they offload pressure from the heel of the foot to the ball of the foot,” says Schaeffer, who often wears this specific shoe to work. “They also provide a good mix of cushion with stability.”

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Sizes: Women’s 5 to 12, men’s 7 to 16 | Colors: 19 total including Sandstone/Cream and Black/Stellar Blue | Heel-to-toe drop: 5 mm | Materials: Recycled polyester, recycled nylon, EVA foam midsole | Weight: 7.3 ounces

  • What’s notable: This rocker has next-level cushioning, great heel and arch support and lots of room in the toe box.
  • What could be better: Some people don’t love that the tongue comes up higher in this iteration of the Clifton shoe, as it can rub at the front of their ankle.

Performance brand Hoka designs its gear with an active lifestyle in mind. The Clifton 9 works for long wears because the symmetrical, protective cushion bed provides support with a compression molded EVA foam midsole and breathable knit upper to keep your foot comfortable. (This shoe is also our top cushioned pick in our tested roundup of the best walking shoes for women.) There’s also a durabrasion rubber outsole for extra traction and mobility. Also great: Hoka has a Fly For 30 Guarantee, which means you can try the shoes for 30 days and return or exchange them, no questions asked.

What our experts say: “This is a solid neutral shoe,” says Schaeffer, who wears this model to work out. “Every step you take—whether you overpronate or oversupinate—this gives you a more neutral landing point to disperse weight properly.”

Sizes: Women’s 5 to 12, men’s 6.5 to 14| Colors: 12 total, including Jet Black and Pink Sand | Heel-to-toe drop: 8 mm | Materials: Synthetic uppers and lining, non-marking rubber outsole | Weight: 10.6 ounces

  • What’s notable: This shoe offers a trifecta of comfortable features: stellar arch support, springy heel cushioning and an airy mesh upper that prevents feet from sweating. The wide variety of colors are attractive and wearable for just about any situation.
  • What could be better: Some say the lacing system comes undone easily.

Salt Lake City-based Kuru engineers its shoes with a special blend of ankle, heel and arch support to ensure an ergonomic fit. Its Atom sneaker has a breathable mesh upper, built-in arch support, rounded heel cups and curved insoles to mimic the shape of the foot. The sole also features responsive tech to flexibly hug your heels, helping to keep your feet comfortable and pain-free.

What the reviews say: Many report that these shoes are game changers for reducing pain, with one reviewer commenting, “I am on my feet all day, I have plantar fasciitis and I have knee and back pain. These shoes have really helped me and I no longer have pain in my feet.” However, some other wearers find them too rigid and don’t love the sock-like fit, saying they’re “too difficult to put on.”

Sizes: Women’s 5 to 12, men’s 7 to 15 | Colors: 9 total, including Black and Gray | Heel height: Not listed | Materials: Synthetic fabric | Weight: 9.5 ounces

  • What’s notable: These shoes have thoughtfully-placed, anatomical arch support, anti-microbial fabric and a stretchable upper that can accommodate width at the bridge of your foot.
  • What could be better: Some say you may have to order a half size up.

Orthofeet shoes are designed with podiatrists to optimize features that keep your feet comfortable. Its best-selling Stretch Knit sneaker has anatomical arch support insoles and an added arch booster pad (that you can take in and out) to help re-align your foot and body posture. There’s also a cushioned, rocker-like sole to improve walking and a stretchable knitted upper that molds to the contours of your feet to take pressure off sensitive areas. This sneaker comes in five widths and has a 60-day wear test return policy.

What our experts say: “These doctor-recommended shoes offers you lots of options with the insoles,” says Schaeffer. “If you have a flat foot they can help support the arch.”


Allbirds Wool Runners

Sizes: Women’s 5 to 11, men’s 8 to 14 | Colors: 7 total, including Natural Gray and Hazy Indigo | Heel-to-toe drop: Not listed | Materials: Merino wool, recycled polyester, sugarcane midsole | Weight: Not listed

  • What’s notable: This style is lightweight and springy, and it has a pulled-together, streamlined look that makes it office-appropriate. Even better, these shoes are machine washable.
  • What could be better: The wool fabric, while stylish, can be a magnet for things like lint and dry grass and leaves.

San Francisco-based Allbirds is all about sustainable, comfortable styles made with natural resources. The popular Wool Runner features superfine Merino wool that’s washable and naturally thermoregulating while the contoured midsole foam is bouncy and comfy. The style, meanwhile, is minimal and sleek, making this pick ideal for work and travel. As an added bonus, Allbirds’s wool production methods support regenerative farming, which aims to reverse climate change.

What the reviews say: Comfort and style are two key benefits of these, reviewers say, with one commenting, “I tell people it’s like going barefoot with support,” and another saying these “could be most comfortable shoes I have ever worn.” But others mention that they’re “too big overall” and wish that these came in half sizes.


Skechers Slip-Ins Work Summits

Sizes: Women’s 5 to 11, men’s 7 to 12 | Colors: Black | Heel height: 1 inch | Materials: Knit mesh, synthetic upper | Weight: Not listed

  • What’s notable: The wide toe box allows room for toes to comfortably spread out, and its grippy sole adds peace of mind on slick surfaces. They also come in medium and wide widths.
  • What could be better: This shoe only has fixed stretch laces, so if you want more adjustability or a tighter fit at the instep, you should look elsewhere.

Skechers have long been known for designing comfortable shoes and the Slip-ins Work Summits follow suit: with a Heel Pillow that holds the foot in place and an air-cooled memory foam cushioned insole, your feet will feel relief all day. It’s also got a slip-in heel panel so you can get this sneaker on and off easily, plus a slip-resistant traction outsole that provides an extra safety layer. The affordable cost is the added bonus.

What our experts say: “These are really easy to get on and off, and as far as support and stability they’re very comfortable,” says Schaeffer. “They’re also fantastic if you work in a medical or healthcare setting.” But keep in mind, he says, that they’re not as springy as an athletic shoe.

New Balance

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v14

Sizes: Women’s 5 to 13, men’s 7 to 16 | Colors: 5 total, including Dark Arctic Grey and Gulf Red | Heel-to-toe drop: 8 mm | Materials: Bio-based foam midsole, rubber outsole, mesh upper | Weight: 7.4 ounces

  • What’s notable: The engineered mesh upper construction offers flex and breathability, and this shoe is also available in four widths—narrow, standard, wide and x-wide.
  • What could be better: For such a popular shoe, it would be nice to see it in more colors.

Known for arch support and comfortable widths, New Balance consistently delivers well-crafted—and well-fitting—shoes. The recently released and extremely popular Fresh Foam X 880v14 features a breathable, recyclable mesh upper that lets your feet stay cool while walking or standing, along with a supportive foam midsole and rubber outsole that prevent slips and trips.

What our experts say: “If you have bunions or hammer toes, a variety of width options is really important,” says Scheffer. “New Balance also accommodates orthotics and inserts well.”

Sizes: Women’s 5 to 11, men’s 8 to 18 | Colors: 5 total, including White Gum and Army Dark Gum | Heel-to-toe drop: 4mm | Materials: Fabric mesh upper, microsuede tongue | Weight: 13.13 ounces

  • What’s notable: The low drop and wide toe box allow toes to spread so you can maintain even footing, and well-placed cushioning and a molded insole keep you comfortable while standing.
  • What could be better: Some say these can be stiff, and many report this company’s customer service is not great.

The Nobull unisex Gum Trainers are designed for gym workouts but are great for all-day wear too, especially for the added traction. The anti-slip gum outsole is specially designed to be flexible, supportive and provide grip for any environment, from slippery to smooth indoor and outdoor surfaces. The toe bumper adds an extra element of stability and the seamless upper is designed to reduce chafing and keep your feet cool, too.

What our experts say: “This is largely a cross training shoe and it’s very stable so you’ll feel secure in it,” says Schaeffer. “It’s good for those who need something that will work for standing and going to the gym.”

Cole Haan

Cole Haan 2.Zerøgrand Wingtip Oxfords

Sizes: Women’s 4 to 12, men’s 7 to 16 | Colors: 3 total, including Marine Blue and White | Heel-to-toe drop: Not listed | Materials: Stretch knit upper, rubber outsole | Weight: Not listed

  • What’s notable: These are both easy to get on and they offer good stability, which can be hard to find. 
  • What could be better: The fit runs on the narrow side, and these aren’t offered in different widths.

Cole Haan is a favorite of many of the podiatrists we’ve spoken with for its shoes’ cushioning and overall fit. In the case of the 2.Zerogrand, this style is dressy enough for a variety of offices (the leather version of this shoe is our the top choice in our Best Dress Sneakers For Men roundup), and it has lots of comfy details hidden within its fashionable exterior. The 2.Zerogrand features plush cushioning, the padded sock lining is pleasantly soft and stretchy, and the next-level ventilation offers great breathability so your feet won’t overheat after long days on your feet.

What our experts say: “Sometimes dressier shoes are very rigid, but Cole Haan has great dress shoes that you can wear without sacrificing support and comfort,” says Schaeffer. “I like this brand in general because you’re able to put orthotics in them to customize support.”

Wold & Shepherd

Wolf & Shepherd SwiftKnit Loafer

Sizes: Women’s 8 to 11, men’s 6 to 15 | Colors: 4 total, including Navy/White and Heather Gray/White | Heel-to-toe drop: 10 mm | Materials: Recycled polyester, leather, rubber | Weight: Not listed

  • What’s notable: Casual and sporty, this style can easily accommodate orthotics.
  • What could be better: They don’t come in half sizes, which can be frustrating to some, and the women’s sizing is limited.

Wolf & Shepherd’s modern, ultra-comfortable designs don’t sacrifice style for practicality. The SwiftKnit is a highly-rated, fashionable pick that’s great for work, weekends and travel. It’s got a removable memory foam footbed, a knit upper with different zones to maximize flexion, support and comfort, and pull tabs to make these an easy-on, easy-off shoe. The heel-to-toe drop makes these more forgiving for many people, as opposed to completely-flat styles.

What the reviews say: Style, versatility and comfort are mentioned often in feedback of these shoes. One reviewers says, “so comfy and easy to put on,” while another says, “I have bunions and a hammer toe and have no pain,” and another comments, “very soft against my skin without socks.” But the lack of width options is a negative for at least one person, who says, “my feet swell quite as the day goes on so a wide would be great.”

Why Trust Forbes Vetted

At Forbes Vetted, our contributors and editors collectively have decades of experience covering footwear topics, which means we’re uniquely positioned to help you make the right purchase that meets your needs.

  • To gain insight on what makes a shoe ideal for standing all day, we spoke to a panel of podiatrists including Dr. Brad Schaeffer at Central Park Sole, Dr. Howard E. Friedman with Suffern Podiatry and Dr. Gary Rogers from the Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic.
  • The co-author of this piece, Leoni Jesner, is an American Council on Exercise (ACE) personal trainer and Pilates instructor.
  • Forbes Vetted deputy editor Kari Molvar oversaw the publication of this piece, drawing on her experience as a fashion editor, health writer, runner and fitness walker. She has researched, tested and written extensively about everything from the best walking shoes for women to the most comfortable flats.
  • We regularly refresh this article to ensure all product information and pricing is accurate. It was last updated in May 2024 by fashion writer Claire Epting.

How We Chose The Best Shoes For Standing All Day

As we assembled this list, we drew upon our robust expertise in footwear to identify reputable brands with a long track record of excellent craftsmanship.

  • We researched current styles that are popular with readers and narrowed down the options based on expert input.
  • Schaeffer contributed several shoe recommendations based on his podiatry background; he also shared which picks he wears himself, including the On Cloud 5 and the Hoka Clifton 9.
  • We paid close attention to additional features that promote support and stability, since these shoes should keep your feet in good shape for hours of standing.
  • Customer feedback was also taken into account; we read dozens of reviews to observe how each shoe performs in real life.

How To Pick The Best Shoes For Standing All Day

Fit, support, materials and lacing systems are all important factors to consider when picking out a pair of shoes for standing all day. Here’s a breakdown on each:


It may sound obvious, but when buying shoes to accommodate lots of standing, first and foremost you want to find what’s comfortable for your foot. “A shoe should not cause irritation or discomfort at all, and you should not have to ‘break it in,’” says Dr. Howard E. Friedman, podiatrist at Suffern Podiatry. “If it’s not immediately comfortable, move on.”

Many brands, such as New Balance, Kuru and Orthofeet, offer shoes in different widths so you can find a more customized fit. If you’re someone who needs orthotics, be sure shoes have a removable liner and try on styles with your orthotics in to be sure they fit on your foot well.

Cushioning And Support

In general, well-placed cushioning at the midsole equals more comfort when you’re spending hours on your feet. You’ll see shock-absorbing foams like EVA, TPU and PEBA listed as components of good standing shoes—they provide springy cushioning, and each has specific benefits such as being lightweight, durable or delivering energy return when walking or running. Look for arch support that prevents feet from collapsing inward and consider shoe models that have heel cushioning that cradles the foot.

Upper Material

When it comes to staying comfortable over many hours standing, breathability is key. Performance mesh and shoes made from thermoregulating fabrics like wool allow feet to breathe and prevent sweating, as overheating can cause hot spots and blisters, Friedman says. In general, you should avoid shoes with uppers made of leather, as they tend to trap in heat.

Lacing System

Lace-up shoes are typically more comfortable than slip-on shoes. “Lace-up shoes are better simply because they’re adjustable and can be modified,” says Friedman. “They accommodate swelling and allow you to lace shoes loosely or tightly in different areas depending on the shape of your foot.” This is especially helpful if your feet are slightly different sizes. Bungee laces can provide support and help shoes stay on more firmly than an elastic-gored slip-on shoe as the fixed bungee can be tied tighter.

What Are The Best Shoes To Wear If You’re On Your Feet All Day?

If you plan on standing for long periods of time, prioritize a shoe that offers plenty of support. Our top pick overall is the On Cloud 5, which has an exceptionally lightweight, breathable design. However, you should ultimately consider your individual foot type when making your decision. Those with a neutral arch can benefit from a shoe with enhanced stability, while a low arch or pronated foot needs a shoe with less flexibility and enhanced motion control. On the other hand, a high arch is best suited to a cushioned shoe with ankle support that keeps your weight evenly distributed through your feet and up your joints.

Should I Size Up When Standing All Day?

Friedman almost always recommends going up a half size so that feet aren’t constricted as they swell throughout the day. However, Rogers says that sizing up is beneficial for some, but not all. “Everybody is different and has a different foot structure,” he says. “Some people may retain more fluid throughout the day, which may require them to choose a bigger size shoe. Or if you pronate or have a flat foot you may need more room for toes to splay and you should accommodate that with bigger sizing.” Whether or not you choose to size up, picking a shoe with laces will allow you to fine-tune your fit.

What Shoes Do Foot Doctors Recommend?

“Look for high quality shoes made with substantial foam and cushioning,” says Rogers. The Orthofeet Coral fits the bill—it’s a podiatrist-designed style with plenty of arch support. For this reason, it’s a great shoe for plantar fasciitis, which Friedman says is the most common problem he sees with people who stand a lot. “It’s inflammation of the largest, strongest ligament in the bottom of the foot, which gets inflamed from pressure and tension,” he explains. Meanwhile, one of Schaeffer’s personal recommendations is the Hoka Clifton 9, which he often wears to work out.

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