Finding the Best Shoes for Standing All Day

Finding the Best Shoes for Standing All Day

News flash: your feet love comfy shoes. But did you know your whole body does, too? Whether you're clocking miles, working a 12-hour shift or chasing kiddos, the shoes you pick to stand in all day really makes a difference in warding off all the aches and pains (we’re talking joint problems, knee misalignment, and lower back pain).

The good news is that finding the right shoes can make a major difference when you’re standing for hours on end. But what will make the difference? 

Finding the best shoes for standing all day comes down to four factors: Material, Cushioning, Quality, and Fit

The Materials

We’re big believers that Mother Nature makes the best materials. That’s why we create insanely comfortable shoes and apparel using renewable materials like wool, sugarcane, tree fibers, and castor bean oil—always keeping you and the planet top of mind. So, what does that look like?

Wool is a great material for wicking away moisture while being soft and comfortable. Get that soft and cozy feel all day long (try the Wool Loungers which are especially good for those who stand all day).

Eucalyptus tree fiber: Lightweight, breathable eucalyptus fiber is made with responsibly sourced eucalyptus, and provides breathable, silky-smooth comfort, like you’ll see in our Tree Pipers and Tree Runners. It’s also a thermo-regulating material, meaning the heat from your feet won’t be trapped all day as you work. Compared to traditional materials like cotton, it uses 95% less water and cuts our carbon footprint in half. .) 

Sugarcane is one sweet partner. Found in our SwiftFoam™ and Sweetfoam® sugarcane midsoles, it contours to your feet and provides a bouncy comfort for your long days. Sugarcane is so self-sufficient, in fact, that when it’s processed, its biomass is extracted to literally power the mill and fertilize the next year’s crop.

The Cushioning

One of the most important parts of a shoe’s comfort is the cushioning in the sole—the superhero surface that needs to bear the weight of hours of standing while being firm enough to support your every step. While most manufacturers use petroleum-based synthetics in their materials, our soles take more of a natural approach.

Springy Midsoles Made From Sugarcane

Allbirds midsoles are constructed from Brazilian sugarcane and provide the wear-all-day support you need for standing for long periods.

Contoured and delightfully bouncy, our SweetFoam dual-density midsole (seen in best-selling styles like the Tree Dasher and Tree Runner.) is engineered from raw Brazilian sugarcane, a fully renewable resource that’s soft in all the right spots and cushiony where it counts.

Ready to clock some miles? Our high-performing Swiftfoam midsole, designed for serious cushion and energy return, is ready to propel your every step. (You’ll find SwiftFoam comfort in our lightweight and super springy Tree Flyers, as well as our wool favorites, the Wool Runners, Wool Loungers, and Wool Dasher Mizzles.)

Comfy Insoles to Support & Protect

Our removable insole is made with castor bean oil, and they’re contoured to provide flexible support for every step. These cushy insoles wick moisture and reduce odor, proving yet again that it’s what’s inside that counts. The materials used in this insole emit less carbon than petroleum-based foam.

The Quality 

If you’re on your feet all day, the overall quality of your shoes gets more and more important with each passing hour. The quality of the materials and design all matter.

Plus, purchasing high-quality shoes means they’ll last longer, which not only saves you from buying new shoes several times a year but also reduces the amount of waste going into landfills.

The Fit

How shoes should fit for standing all day 

You're ready to find the perfect shoes, so let's find the perfect fit, too.

  • Take them for a spin: When testing for fit, stand up, wear the socks you would wear with the shoes, and try them out by walking and even jumping. If the shoes slip around when jumping or walking, you may need to go down a size or tighten the laces.

  • Leave some wiggle room: You should have about ¼” to ½” from the tip of your big toe to the shoe. Wiggle your toes around; they should move freely and have breathing room.

  • No slipping & sliding: The heel of the shoe should make light contact with your foot and it shouldn’t move up and down as you walk around (that will only cause blisters). 

  • Go Wide: If you feel pressure on the sides of your foot, you may need to try a wider shoe size. Feet can change their size and shape over time; a shoe that’s too narrow can cause pinched nerves, hammertoes, and corns, so don’t hesitate to go wide if needed.

  • Adjusting for Height: If a shoe is loose across the top of your foot after you’ve tied it, or if you feel pinching, the shoe height might not be right. Your best bet is to adjust the laces or even use special lacing techniques to get your shoes’ height just right.

Other tips to stay comfy when standing all day

Once you get the shoe selection right, here some additional tips for how to be more comfortable on your feet all day.

  • Stretch before and after work. Simple movements can make a big difference in warming up your muscles and working out those kinks before heading to work and after a long day. Try this series of moves: downward dog to stretch your hamstrings and calves; pigeon pose or standing pigeon to stretch your hips, a few upper body twists to warm up your spine, and ankle rolls to prepare your ankles and feet for the day. 

  • Maintain the best posture you can throughout the day. Good standing posture can help ease any muscular and joint pain you feel. Because when your bones are in correct alignment, it means less strain on ligaments and joints and prevents unnatural positioning of the spine. Here are some reminders to help set your back, hip, and knee alignment straight.

    • Stand straight and tall with your shoulders back. Don’t slump your shoulders.

    • Keep your head level and in line with your body. No chin-jutting.

    • Pull in your abdomen.

    • Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet and shift your weight from side to side as needed.

    • Take the wall test from the Mayo Clinic to test your standing posture.

  • Elevate your feet when you’re on break or when you get home. You may have noticed swelling in your feet after spending all day standing. When you are able to take breaks and again when you get home, put your feet up! Raising your feet above heart level will help with swelling and pressure where the blood has pooled in your feet, encouraging some much-needed circulation—not to mention it will feel great!

With the right combo of comfortable footwear, stretching, posture, and ideally a few days off in between, your feet should be feeling better while treading lighter on the planet.

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