From sommeliers at five-star restaurants to the construction workers who built the damn restaurant, anyone whose work day involves long hours on their feet will agree:
Standing all day sucks.
Standing all day can wreak havoc on your feet and legs, causing all sorts of physical issues and problems, including swelling, discomfort, increased fatigue and plantar fasciitis.
To make matters worse, the potential problems that arise from excessive standing aren’t limited to your lower body.
In addition to foot pain, too much standing can cause everything from lower back strain and high blood pressure to neck and shoulder stiffness, poor posture and more.
While switching to a job that requires less standing may not be feasible, the good news is that switching to more comfortable shoes probably is.
Wearing the right pair of shoes can make a big impact on your body, and significantly reduce the negative effects of standing for hours on end.
That’s why I’ve rounded up some of the best men’s shoes for standing all day.
And because all jobs have different dress codes and requirements, I’ve organized them based on the type of activity you might be doing, style you might prefer, and floor you might be standing on.
The Best Shoes for Men Who Stand All (Damn) Day
26 Comfortable Kicks to Help You Get Through Your Shift
Best Men’s Shoes for Standing All Day on Concrete
Let’s start with what’s arguably the worst type of floor to spend all day standing on, and the one that will wreak the most havoc on your body.
If you work in any type of industrial environment, chances are good that you spend a lot of time standing on unlined (and unforgiving) concrete floors.
The harder the surface, the softer the shoe that’s required to increase your comfort and reduce your risk of pain and injury.
(And that’s especially true if you have flat feet, in which case it’s especially critical to get enough support.)
Each of the options below comes with a wide toe box that will work well on hard surfaces over long periods of time, and provides enough extra padding to get you through the day.
Most Comfortable Work Shoes ↓
Best Mens Sneakers for Standing All Day
Industrial-strength shoes may be supportive, but they’re not the best choice for every day wear.
If you work in a retail environment or a casual restaurant, coffee shop or bar, you can probably get away with wearing comfortable sneakers or running shoes.
Sneakers and athletic shoes are among the most popular type of comfortable footwear because they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and offer plenty of additional support.
(Scroll down to see my picks for the top tennis shoes for standing all day, a subset of sneakers.)
Below I’ve included options that come with enough cushioning and arch support to make standing for hours on end more bearable.
Best Mens Dress Shoes for Standing All Day
While sneakers provide great support that makes it easier to stand all day, some jobs still require a little more formality.
For instance, if you work in an upscale restaurant, you may have to wear dress shoes, a shirt and tie or even a full suit for hours on end, most of which you’ll spend on your feet.
The good news is that many shoe manufacturers today recognize that your shoes need to both look good and feel good:
They’ve started to make high-quality dress shoes made from full grain leather that are sharp enough to pair with a suit, but come with important features like removable insoles and a durable rubber outsole that make for a more comfortable fit.
Although it’s important to add a quick caveat: while these dress shoes are more comfortable than most, you may still need to “break them in” a bit.
The first few wears might not be the most comfortable, but once you wear them enough to let them adjust to your feet, they should settle in nicely.
Most Comfortable Dress Shoes ↓
Best Men’s Tennis Shoes for Standing All Day
For the stylishly inclined, tennis shoes have become the preferred subset of sneakers.
You increasingly see them at all manner of workplaces, from restaurants and bars to tech startups and even accounting firms.
As a style blogger I’ve sometimes lamented the rise of casual wear, but I have to admit:
The tennis shoe is a great shoe for blending form with function.
When I worked in a business casual office that leaned more “casual” than “business, I frequently found myself opting for comfort and replacing my dress shoes with tennis shoes.
(And I wasn’t even standing all day – I just thought it was a good look.)
A quick note: while sneakers come in all manner of different colors, tennis shoes are usually white, in keeping with the
snooty classic look of country clubs.
Best Men’s Shoes for Walking and Standing All Day
Sometimes standing is only half the battle.
For instance, some jobs might see you logging lots of steps by the end of the day, like working in a big-box retail store where you have to cover lots of ground.
And some events mean you’ll be moving around a lot, like at a family picnic or company retreat that mixes social time with a bunch of activities.
All of which means that sometimes a man needs shoes that will not only keep you on your feet, but help keep you on the move.
The options below are some of the best walking shoes on the market, and should provide a secure fit that works for both long walks and short bursts of activity.
They come with everything from a memory foam insole and padded collar to lightweight synthetic materials that increase shock absorption, making each of them a great choice for guys on the move.
Most Comfortable Walking Shoe ↓
No matter what kind of job, event or task is compelling you to stay on your feet for a long time, after reading this far you’ve hopefully found at least one pair of shoes that will be a perfect fit for your style, situation or workplace.
And while your shift may seem to stretch on for eternity, the truth is it will eventually end, and you won’t always have to be standing. So what then?
When you’re finally able to think a little less about standing and a little more about style, what kind of shoes will you wear to help you look sharp?
My suggestion: these ones.
If you’re looking to step up your shoe game, I recommend checking out the (shameless plug alert!) Irreverent Gent Men’s Shop, where I’ve selected some of the most stylish shoe options for guys.
Because even when you’re not standing all day, you still want to stand out.
Check out the shop to find some great styles, and if you want more than just your shoes to look sharp, enter your email address below to learn about the nine details you need to nail to take your look to the next level.
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More Resources ↓
More Men’s Shoe Advice and Tips from Irreverent Gent:
- The 25 Best Men’s Summer Shoes
- The 8 Most Stylish Type of Shoes for Men
- 17 of the Best Chukka Boots for Men
- The 9 Most Stylish Casual Boots to Wear with Jeans
- The (Absolute) Best Men’s Casual Shoes