The 13 Best Sneakers For Standing All Day, According To Podiatrist Guidelines
You may not think twice about your shoe selection each morning outside of how well they match your outfit. Yet, if you're spending an extended amount of time on your feet each day, you'll likely wish you gave it a little more thought. Selecting a supportive, high-quality sneaker for a long day can make or break your comfort levels and preserve your back, knees, and hips, which are subject to suffer from inadequate shoe cushioning.
Whether you're headed out for a busy day at work or are embarking on an adventurous vacation, being intentional with your shoe choice will give you the arch support and stability you need (while staying stylish, of course).
A sneaker to wear while you're on your feet all day will be very similar to one you might pick for a long walk or really any other physical activity. It's important to support all areas of your foot including your ankle for maximum comfort—especially if you'll be standing on hard surfaces.
"For standing with little walking, a more supportive, less flexible sneaker like a walking shoe is best," suggests holistic podiatrist Robert Kornfeld, DPM. "For those who do a lot of walking on hard surfaces, shock absorption becomes equally important, and most running shoes are designed to ease the impact of the foot on the ground."
Taking into consideration any pronation (the way your foot rolls when you step) will also help when selecting your ideal sneaker. "For patients with pronation problems or flat feet, a varus wedge in the heel and arch-supporting inner soles would be best," notes Kornfeld. However, if you continuously have issues with shoes, particularly with discomfort in your arch, it may be worth getting evaluated by a podiatrist to determine your specific needs.
How we picked.
We selected shoes that will provide optimal support to all areas of your foot, from ankle to arches.
We included sneakers that are sturdy and up for anything, even when you’re on your feet for 9+ hours a day.
We chose sneakers that allow you to stand and walk on hard surfaces while absorbing shock from the ground.
Each sneaker is comfortable to wear for extended periods of time so you never wish you made a different choice.
mbg's picks for the best sneakers for standing:
Best cushioning: New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v12
- Foam underfoot cushioning
- Snug fit
- Runs large
A good sneaker for spending the day on your feet must be highly supportive, and if you like a little extra cushioning in your shoe, this New Balance option is perfect. Fitted with a Fresh Foam insole to keep you feeling like you're walking on a cloud, these snug-fitting, stylish sneakers will hug your foot with midsole mapping to help disperse pressure. If you plan on being on your feet for more than a few hours, this will be your ideal option.
Best affordable: Under Armour Charged Bandit 4
- Runs small
Anyone seeking a budget-friendly yet dependable option should look no further than this more affordable Under Armour pick. The lightweight sneakers offer neutral cushioning to support balance and flexibility with firm material in the heel to ensure your foot stays in place all day. With a rubber sole to help grip the pavement or wherever you may be standing, these sturdy shoes are the steal of the year.
- Neutral stability
If you're looking for a pair of sneakers that you can wear standing around and while on your daily run, the Hoka Clifton 8s are going to be your ideal multifunctional choice. These sneakers are made with breathable mesh so you don't have to worry about your feet sweating up a storm throughout the day. And with EVA foam to help you feel both supported and secure, these versatile sneakers are prepped for any adventure. Not to mention their early stage meta rocker, which will make every step feel bouncy and smooth.
Best for trails: Merrell Embark Lace
- Good grip
- Runs large
It can be difficult to find a shoe that's both environmentally friendly and functional—but Merrell hit the nail on the head with the Embark Lace. With a 100% recycled mesh footbed cover and FloatPro Foam™ midsole, which will feel lightweight and comfortable on your feet all day, these shoes are a great investment with less impact on the planet. An added bonus? They're great for really any terrain.
Best eco-friendly: Allbirds Tree Runners
- Carbon neutral
- Small size range
A stylish and functional sneaker should be a staple in every wardrobe, and Allbirds offers all of this and more. These carbon-neutral shoes are both breathable and lightweight while matching nearly any outfit you could put together—all while featuring a cushioned midsole that will keep your feet supported for the entire day. Our favorite part? They're machine washable.
Best high-support: Brooks Addiction Walker 2
If you want the maximum cushion and support from a sneaker for standing all day or heading out on a lunch break walk, Brooks Addiction Walkers are going to be your best bet. With varying width options for wider or narrower feet, these shoes offer a broad size range and maximum support to avoid wobbling or discomfort throughout the day. This shoe may be particularly beneficial for people who struggle with pronation or supination to help keep things in place while mitigating risk of injury.
Best neutral: Saucony Cohesion 14
- Neutral cushioning
- Heel support
- No option for narrow feet
For people who don't need any special features from their shoe other than optimal support, this practical and affordable option is a solid choice without any bells and whistles. Offering both regular and wide options for the width of the shoe, the Cohesion 14s will make every step feel smooth as you go about your day—supporting not just your feet but your whole body.
Best breathable: Vionic Miles Active Sneakers
- Must be broken in
This sneaker features a podiatrist-designed orthotic alongside cushioned outsoles for a breathable and airy walking (or standing) experience—even if you're just at work all day. While most sneakers can make your feet feel hot and sweaty, especially in the summertime, these lightweight and flexible sneakers allow for plenty of airflow. We'd even deem them the next best thing to sandals!
Best arch support: Kuru ATOM
- Pressure distribution heel-to-toe drop
- Heel-hugging design
- Slim toe box
Arch support is key when it comes to a stable sneaker for hours of wear, and the ATOM has not only a heel-hugging design to keep you feeling snug but also a thick-cushioned midsole. If you have a high arch or need a little extra padding under your feet to get you through the day, this sleek design offers you everything you could need while still being lightweight (with a nonmarking rubber outsole).
- Wide size range
- Breathable fabric
- Minimal color range
A shoe that feels secure is essential when you're on your feet for an extended period of time, and with the adidas PRIMEKNIT textile upper, this sneaker feels like a second skin on your foot. The flexible shoe is excellent if you want something lightweight and stylish that will reduce your risk of slipping with Continental™ Rubber. Plus, they're made with recycled materials so you can give back to the planet.
- Supportive for pronating feet
- Wide size range
- No variation in width
Whether you're a size 5 or a size 12, you can rest assured these sneakers will be the perfect fit for daily wear in a range of colorways. Offering extra cushioning and neutral support and stability, these shoes are ideal for people who walk with even distribution of weight or pronation. FLYTEFOAM® cushioning will make every step feel airy, and taking pronation into consideration can help to reduce your risk of discomfort and injury down the line (which is where the LITETRUSS™ technology comes in).
Best for narrow feet: Nike React Phantom Run Flyknit 2
- Maximum airflow
- Run small
Finding a sneaker that feels secure can be a struggle with narrow feet, but these lace-free Nikes are ready to change the game. An intricate spiderweb-like elastic design works together with the Flyknit upper to firmly lock your foot in place. They also boast foam cushioning to keep things feeling bouncy, for a final design that's lightweight, comfortable, and breathable.
Best slip-on: Skechers Arch Fit
- One width option
We get it, sometimes you don't want to be bothered with the effort of tying your shoes. On those days when you need to run out the door but also want something you know will actually be comfortable, Skechers' cushioned midsole and high-rebound Hyper Pillar Technology™ will give you all the support you need to sidestep the pain of long hours on your feet. The soles of these shoes also offer great traction, so you're no longer at risk of slipping during the workday.
If you're going to be on your feet for an extended period of time, it's important to choose your sneakers accordingly for adequate support and comfort. Taking your ankles, arches, and really all of your foot into consideration when purchasing new sneakers will ensure you're feeling fresh at the end of the day, regardless of what activities you've been doing. One thing you should never cut corners on is your footwear.
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Merrell Readman is the Associate Food & Health Editor at mindbodygreen. Readman is a Fordham University graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in film and television. She has covered beauty, health, and well-being throughout her editorial career, and formerly worked at SheFinds. Her byline has also appeared in Women’s Health. In her current role, she writes and edits for the health, movement, and food sections of mindbodygreen. Readman currently lives in New York City.