13 Best Work Shoes for People On Their Feet All Day, According to Experts

People who are on their feet all day require shoes that are just as hardworking as they are, hence why we went straight to the source to find out the best work shoes. We reached out to nurses and other professionals across the country for recommendations on work shoes that manage to be comfy, supportive, and cute all in one. But before we get into their recs, we also spoke to a podiatrist – that’s a doctor who specialises in the foot, ankle, and leg – about everything you need to know about picking the absolute best pair of work shoes. If you spend a lot of time on your feet and appreciate the feeling of walking on clouds only a comfortable pair of shoes can deliver, keep reading.

What features should work shoes have?

“There are three things to look for in ‘good for you’ shoes,” explains Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, a New York-based podiatrist and member of the Vionic Innovation Lab: shock absorption, cushioning, and arch support. The first two ensure that you won’t end up with aching feet or legs just hours into a day-long shift; look for features like thick outsoles and memory-foam midsoles to cover your bases.

Arch support, meanwhile, cradles your feet throughout the day, which can help you feel more comfortable as time passes. Proper support might even improve your balance and cut down on back, foot, and knee pain, according to a 2008 study. Some running and walking shoes already come with an ideal level of arch support, but you can also look for pairs that have removable footbeds; this allows you to insert your own orthotics, which is especially convenient for people with high arches.

How often should you replace your work shoes?

As much as you might want your cute, comfortable shoes to last forever, it’s not in your best interest to keep them too long, Dr. Sutera says. Ideally, you’ll wait “between eight to 12 months” before picking up a new pair of the best work shoes, she explains. Why? “Shoes with worn-out soles force your foot to land at an increased angle,” Dr. Sutera continues. “This can stress out bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons and can cause sprains, fractures, strains, inflammation, and injury.” Their shock-absorbing abilities also decrease over time. (She compares wearing overworked kicks to eating junk food—it might feel good, but it could be doing you dirty.)

No matter what kind of footwear you have, from lace-up workout shoes to slip-resistant clogs, you’ll know it’s time to invest in a new pair thanks to a few tests. “Put them on a tabletop and examine the soles at eye level,” Dr. Sutera suggests. “Are they even? Are they worn?” Next, flip them over and examine the soles; if the tread is smooth or holes are beginning to form, it’s time to move on. (You’ll thank yourself the next time you’re pulling a 12-hour shift.)

The best work shoes for people on their feet all day: quick links

  1. Best Overall: Adidas Running Ultraboost 22 Trainers, £165
  2. Best Value: Nike Revolution 6 FlyEase Next Nature Trainers, £54.95
  3. Best Sneakers: Hoka Clifton 8 Sneakers, £77.99
  4. Best Clogs: FitFlop Shuv Leather Clogs, £84
  5. Best Unisex: Crocs Classic Clogs, £40

Ready to start looking? These comfortable shoes are the high-quality, high-functionality staples real professionals rely on for breezing through long shifts and clocking thousands of steps a day. They all just so happen to look great with scrubs, too — and plenty of them are even machine-washable, water-resistant, and unisex.

This story originally appeared on GLAMOUR US.

Keep scrolling to shop the best work shoes for healthcare workers and anyone else always on their feet.

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