If your occupation entails walking or standing all day on hard surfaces, it’s crucial to find comfortable shoes. Some of the most afflicted careers include engineering, healthcare, education and jobs in the service industry.
Walking on hard floors such as concrete can take its toll on your entire body. Doing so for prolonged periods will likely cause strain and harm to your feet and joints.
A good walking shoe is designed to comfortably support your feet and reduce any inflammation caused by rigid surfaces. We’ve rounded up the best shoes for walking on concrete so you can remove some discomfort when you’re on your feet for long periods.
Here’s a highlight of the best shoes for walking on concrete:
Why You Should Wear Special Shoes When Walking on Concrete
Concrete doesn’t offer any padding, making it a pretty uncomfortable surface to walk on. When walking continuously on hard surfaces, you’re at risk of getting severe health injuries on your feet, joints, hips, legs and back.
By wearing poorly fitted shoes on hard surfaces, your shins become exhausted, causing strained muscles and tissue damage. As your knees progressively absorb the shock impact, your kneecaps push against the surrounding bones, resulting in tendonitis and cartilage damage.
People with pre-existing back injuries can worsen their condition if they wear uncomfortable shoes.
Effects of Wearing Unsupportive Shoes
After standing or walking on hard floors for a whole day, your body is bound to feel distressed. Although it may seem obvious to most people, wearing uncomfortable shoes can lead to serious health complications. Below are some of the common problems you’ll find with poorly designed shoes.
Have you ever felt sore in your joints after a long day? This pain is probably because your shoes didn’t have proper shock absorption to shield your feet from extreme external impacts. Your knees, hips and ankles absorb pressure in such cases, leading to joint pain or worsening arthritis symptoms.
It’s best to avoid ill-fitting shoes if you want to steer clear of bunions. This term refers to the bony bump that forms when your big toe continually pushes against the next toe. Bunions are skeletal in appearance and occur at the joint of the big toe, thanks to ill-fitting shoes.
Wearing shoes that squash or compress your feet will make you uncomfortable and make this painful condition worse.
When you wear tight shoes, your toenails experience intense pressure. As a result, the sides of your nails can start growing into your skin. Although you can quickly treat this problem at home, people with diabetes or other health conditions may require medical treatment.
Did you know that athlete’s foot isn’t just common in sportsmen and women? You’re at high risk of getting this condition by wearing uncomfortable shoes. The primary symptom to watch out for is an itchy, burning sensation between your toes and on the soles of your feet.
Athlete’s foot is caused by microscopic fungi, which thrive in a warm, moist environment like your sweaty shoes. A comfortable shoe and some antifungal medication should do the trick.
Blisters and Corns
People whose jobs entail working on their feet all day are at higher risk of getting blisters and corns. This is because such tedious activities put excessive pressure on their toes, heels and soles. Blisters begin to form when your skin rubs against your shoes, causing friction and fluid build-up.
Similarly, the constant friction from wearing too-tight shoes for prolonged periods leads to painful corns on your soles. Fortunately, both conditions are treatable with home remedies.
Every time you force your feet into uncomfortable shoes, pressure builds up on the sides of your toes and feet. Calluses are more common in women who wear high heels. They occur on the balls of your feet due to the pressure of your body weight on a relatively small surface area.
The glaring symptoms to watch out for include a large patch of thick, hard skin with less sensitivity than the surrounding skin.
The culprits behind heel pain are tight shoes and skin bruising due to contact. Even weight gain can result in discomfort and exert pressure on different parts of your foot. It’s crucial to replace your shoes the moment you spot signs of wear and tear.
What Features Make a Shoe Ideal for Walking on Hard Surfaces?
Did you know that an ill-fitting shoe can make or break your day? If you work in a field that entails being on your feet all day, you need a shoe that’ll provide you with the much-needed comfort and support. Below are some of the features to look out for in the best shoes for standing all day on hard surfaces such as concrete.
For every action, there’s always an equivalent reaction. When you walk, your shoes should absorb the shock, also referred to as the ground reaction force. Each continuous motion of lifting and landing your feet as you walk is called a “gait cycle.”
A typical walk entails two smooth peaks—when one foot is on the ground (heel-strike) and the other mid-air (heel-off). In addition to tiring your feet directly, walking also puts pressure on your ankles and knees.
- Vertical force: This occurs when your feet touch the ground in an up and down direction.
- Anteroposterior force: When your body weight shifts laterally between the front and back, it continually connects and disconnects with the ground.
- Mediolateral force: This occurs when you shift your body weight from side to side as you walk.
The above forces make up the downward ground reaction your feet have with the ground. Therefore, wearing shock-absorbing shoes will minimize and, in other cases, eliminate the extreme impact.
The plantar fascia is a thick ligament in your foot connecting the heel to the front of the foot. Its job is to absorb shock impact and support your foot’s arch. Typically, your plantar fascia absorbs any shock waves. However, when you walk on hard surfaces like concrete, this ligament quickly becomes inflamed.
By wearing supportive shoes, your arches will have a comfortable surface to rest on. The shoe will also align your body such that the pressure is evenly distributed.
Quality vs. Value
It’s best not to rely on affordable pricing when going for high-quality products. Such items are often made from sub-standard material, and they won’t last as long. A superior quality shoe should last longer and give you value for your money. Although they may seem pricey at first, the shoes will be cheaper in the long run as you won’t need to replace them as often.
A Good Midsole
All shoes come with three essential parts to guarantee your comfort and protection—an upper, midsole and outsole. The midsole is the space between the part in contact with your foot and the ground. It is the part of a shoe that manufacturers incorporate shock-absorbing and supportive technologies.
High-quality midsoles offer supportive cushioning to walk on hard surfaces. This component will protect you from joint pain and fatigue. However, low-quality midsoles and flat-soled shoes will not absorb or spread out the shock.
A Good Outsole
If you interact with concrete and tarmac in your day-to-day job, then your shoes must be of premium quality. To get value for your money, invest in a shoe with a highly abrasion-resistant outsole. Doing this is essential in ensuring the durability of your shoe.
At the same time, the outsole should also be highly slip-resistant to prevent accidental falls on polished hard surfaces. The treads, which are crucial for creating traction, should improve your stability despite the floor texture.
People working in high-movement jobs spend most of their time on their feet. No matter what, your feet will inevitably sweat due to the constant motion.
Besides offering support, the ideal shoe should come with perforations to allow the free flow of air. This feature ensures your feet stay dry and odorless. It also lowers your chances of getting blisters.
If your feet tend to get hot, check out our review of the best insoles for sweaty feet.
If your job requires walking on hard surfaces, you should get a shoe with excellent cushioning in the footbed, such as memory foam and gel. The shoe should feel comfortable and relieve you from current pain. Construction workers, for instance, should wear safety shoes that also protect them from heavy impact.
Helpful Tips to Help You Find the Perfect Walking Shoes
If you work as a nurse or security guard, you’re probably almost always on your feet. Finding a good walking shoe will shield you from unnecessary back and joint pain. It is essential to note that running shoes serve a different purpose from walking shoes, so you shouldn’t interchange one for the other.
Below are some other crucial tips to help you out:
- The perfect fit: A shoe that fits you well should give you room to wiggle your toes without leaving a gap. Don’t squeeze your foot into a shoe simply because it looks nice. Avoid a shoe that pinches or makes you adjust your walking style. Instead, invest in one that relieves any existing foot pain.
- Prioritize your comfort: Although high-heeled shoes are attractive, they are not suitable for prolonged use. It’s vital to find a shoe that provides you with comfort and support. These features will go a long way in keeping your joints and muscles healthy and safe.
- Patience makes perfect: Shopping typically requires patience, especially when looking for something long-lasting. If you haven’t found your ideal shoes, try out different styles and brands. Doing so will help you find the best shoe for every occasion.
- Check your shoe’s weight: When buying shoes, especially from an unfamiliar brand, it’s essential to do so in person. Doing this allows you to confirm the weight of the shoe before purchasing. For instance, individuals with flat feet might require heavier and more supportive shoes.
- Rest your feet: It’s essential to take short breaks despite having a busy schedule. Even a short rest will give you time to stretch and relieve your body and feet from the continuous pressure of walking all day.
- Aim higher: It’s best to size up by half a size if you’re in between sizes. Experts reveal that the extra room allows you to flex your feet and prevent swelling, numbness and blisters.
- Replace your shoes often: When you work on your feet all day, you expose your shoes to abrasive contact resulting in wear and tear. Your body also undergoes subtle changes over time, so it’s vital to replace your shoes or at least your inserts often.
Reviews of the Best Shoes for Walking on Concrete
Since preferences and styles will vary from one person to another, manufacturers have developed unisex designs to suit everyone. Below is a list of the most popular outdoor shoes for walking on hard surfaces.
These stylish orthopedic shoes are available in four colors, making them ideal for casual all-day wear. Their ergonomic design and high-quality cushioning provide a soft, comfortable feeling to alleviate issues such as plantar fasciitis and heel pain.
Users feel well-supported in the arch, ankles and below the big toe. Additionally, the removable orthotic insoles will ease any foot, hip and even lower back pain. This means that you can replace the insoles rather than the entire shoe when they start to wear out. Consequently, the shoe will be cheaper in the long run.
The comfortable cushioning makes it suitable for people with over-pronation, arthritis and flat feet. These walking shoes come in extended widths to fit wide-footed individuals or people whose feet swell due to diabetes. The wide toe box also ensures the wearer doesn’t get bunions or swollen feet when standing all day.
On top of all of that, the breathable materials and anti-odor fabric ensure your feet stay dry and odorless. This way, you’ll work confidently and comfortably.
- Great arch support.
- Comfortable cushioning.
- Offers relief to hammer toes and plantar fasciitis.
- Provides sufficient support to the entire body.
- Available for men and women.
- Some users complained of quick outer sole damage.
This casual walking shoe by FitVille comes with a rubber sole to offer you much-needed grip as you walk. Rubber soles provide tremendous traction for people working in hazardous environments, like construction sites, metal yards, mines and factories.
The soles are also slip-resistant to boost your confidence as you work in wet or slippery environments. The shoes come with cushioning and breathable mesh panels that allow your feet to stay dry and cool all day. Another bonus is the front and rear end sole, which further enhances comfort.
These unisex shoes are available in five different colors—army green, black, white, gray and blue.
- Firm rubber sole grip.
- Breathable mesh layers.
- Sweat absorbent inner cloth lining.
- Available in five colors for men and women.
- Comfortable shock-absorbing cushioning ideal for all-day wear.
- Extra-wide toe box.
- Provides stability by reducing over-pronation.
- The sizing has been incorrect for some users.
This Reebok shoe comes with impact protection and a rubber sole to protect those working on hard and slippery surfaces. The mesh panels on the upper body promote breathability to prevent odors even after a long day’s work.
Its low-cut design is ideal for all types of outfits, from casual to smart. Unlike typical industrial boots, this walking shoe gives you a sleek appearance combined with maximum ankle mobility. The hard, protective metal alloy is also well-secured to further enhance the aesthetics and ensure the shoe stays lightweight.
The MemoryTech footbed offers cushioning by adjusting to the shape of your foot. Unlike most rigid safety shoes, this construction shoe is extremely light and padded to allow the wearer to move quickly and comfortably. The extra-wide toe box is a final bonus for people with wide feet.
- Firm rubber sole grip for wet and slippery concrete surfaces.
- Available in subtle color to blend with different site wear.
- Lightweight foam midsole for cushioning.
- Extra-wide toe box.
- Well-concealed protective alloy.
- Overall lightweight shoe for efficient mobility.
- Only available in black.
- Some users commented on the shoe’s stiffness.
This rubber sole walking shoe is ideal for those of you who spend most of your time on your feet. Whether you’re going for a casual walk, working or taking part in other simple sports, these shoes will give you a firm grip. Their sleek design marries the fabric’s texture to provide you with a fashionable appearance.
These walking shoes have incorporated the new elasticated lace-up style, similar to a slip-on fitting. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about tripping over your laces or continually re-tying them. Since you’ll be on your feet all day, this lightweight walking shoe comes with breathable and flexible fabric to allow for a comfortable fit.
The insoles provide arch support, giving you maximum support in the midfoot area when walking. Lastly, its lightweight design will help you move faster and effortlessly, keeping you comfortable throughout long days.
- Maximum traction from the rubber sole.
- New lace-up design that’s easy to wear.
- Ultra-lightweight design for fast-paced movement.
- Comfortable arch support insole for all-day wear.
- Breathable, elastic material to prevent odors.
- Multipurpose shoes.
- Available in numerous color variations for your day-to-day casual wear.
- Some users have complained of poor fitting.
This shoe comes with an MD sole that’s lightweight, slip-resistant, flexible and fantastic for shock absorption. The breathable, stretchy mesh covering the upper parts has plenty of ventilation to allow your feet to breathe. The unique stitching plays a vital role in the shoe’s overall aesthetics.
It has an easy-to-slip-on-and-off design, making it ideal for casual wear, walking, traveling, gym activities, etc.
This women’s walking shoe has upgraded cushioned insoles to give you extra comfort as you move.
- Multipurpose shoe for indoor and outdoor activities.
- Enhanced shock absorption rebound.
- MD soles with great grip
- Easy to slip on and off.
- Available in various colors.
- Although the design is easy to wear, it still requires hand use.
- The sock liner can come out when you remove your foot.
Here we have something a little different, and while it’s not a walking shoe, it’s recommended by workers worldwide for long days walking on hard surfaces.
This shoe comes with a thermoplastic sole that’s built for gripping concrete surfaces. The clogs are ideal for working professionals in the healthcare and hospitality departments. Their lightweight and supportive design offers the support required to handle long shifts.
When it comes to maintenance, the Crocs are easy to clean and dry with soap and water. This means you can wear them continuously without needing to wash and dry them.
The shoes come with a thick plastic upper body layer protecting your feet from spillage. The contoured footbeds provide extra comfort while standing and walking.
- Ideal for walking on hard concrete floors.
- Lightweight design for mobility.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Firm grip on wet and dry floors.
- Has waterproof properties.
- Available in various colors and designs.
- Not visually appealing to everyone.
- Not breathable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Get a Free Feet Analysis When Shopping for Comfortable Walking Shoes?
Some stores offer a free foot analysis to their customers. This allows buyers to switch between different brands as they wish. Since companies have varying fittings, a fit specialist will measure your heel-to-toe length, as well as your heel-to-ball distance.
Combined with further detailed information about yourself and the shoe’s purpose, the specialist will advise you on the ideal shoe.
Can I Enhance My Shoe for Further Comfort?
Yes, you can! If your shoes’ inner soles are removable, it’s best to get a medical consultation to find the right arch-supporting orthotics for your feet. People who experience foot pain thanks to medical conditions like plantar fasciitis and arthritis benefit from this. Your podiatrist will advise you between rigid and soft orthotics.
However, if you don’t have a pre-existing condition, you can opt for inserts. Since they don’t require a prescription, they aren’t designed to correct foot problems. Instead, they offer overall foot cushioning and arch support.
Check out our selection of the best inserts for standing all day.
How Do I Choose the Most Comfortable Shoes for Walking All Day?
As previously mentioned, your comfort should be your top priority when looking for a walking shoe. What works for you may not necessarily work for another person. That said, here are several things to consider before making the purchase:
- The break-in period of the shoe. How long will it take you to gain confidence in your shoe?
- Do you have a pre-existing condition, e.g., arthritis, diabetes, etc.?
- Does the shoe have sufficient room for inserts or orthotics?
- Do you struggle with foot supination or pronation?
- Do you need help from a fit specialist?
Why Are My Shoes So Uncomfortable?
If you’ve noticed that your shoes are suddenly uncomfortable, something vital has likely changed. Failure to address these changes can have a long-term adverse effect on your body. Below are the steps to follow to inspect your shoe:
- Start by bending the shoe in half. If it’s easily manipulated, then this means it doesn’t give you any lateral support. On the other hand, a more rigid center means your feet are well-supported.
- Likewise, if the shoe twists easily, it means your foot is not well-supported.
- Check on the inner soles. If they are thin and worn out, it’s time to replace them with inserts or orthotics.
What Is the Difference Between Walking and Running Shoes?
Although many people interchange the two, walking and running shoes have some core differences. The design variants below are what marathon runners and gym trainers consider when buying their sports shoes:
- Shoe weight: A sprint runner, for instance, requires a lightweight shoe to move faster than his opponents.
- Flexibility: Did you know that a shoe’s flexibility determines how it moves with you? Since runners hit the ground with the balls of their feet, running shoes are designed to be more flexible in the midfoot zone. On the other hand, walking shoes have more flexibility in the arch area.
- Cushioning: Since running is more physically demanding than walking, their respective shoes are therefore designed differently. While runners will prefer shoes with cushion support in the forefoot area, walkers may simply need a comfortable and flexible alternative.
Every time you walk on hard surfaces, you expose your body to various harmful situations as well as discomfort. To protect yourself from these issues, invest in the best shoes for walking on concrete and other hard surfaces. These should provide plenty of shock absorbency along with support and comfort. The best shoes for standing all day have to be the Orthofeet Proven Orthopedic Walking Shoes for men and women. They have plenty of cushioning, arch support and shock absorbency, and customers rave about the comfort they offer no matter how long you wear them for.