If you have a job that requires you to stand and walk on hard concrete for the majority of the day, I would be willing to bet that you initially underestimated the importance of your choice of shoes and therefore spent the first few days at that job rather miserable.
Or maybe that was just me.
Either way, I’ve definitely limped through the last few hours of a shift in my days.
Standing or walking for long periods of time can certainly have an impact on your feet and joints, but standing or walking on concrete floors for hours can lead to excruciating pain. In fact, it can also harm your feet, joints, and lower limbs if you don’t take the time to find the right footwear.
The best shoes for walking on concrete are specifically crafted to support your feet and reduce inflammation in your body that can otherwise result from poor foot support.
In this article, we are going to look at the importance of wearing the proper shoes when walking on concrete all day. Then we will check out some features that you should be looking for in these shoes. Finally, we will go into depth about 7 of the best shoes for walking on concrete all day in 2023.
In this article, we’re going to review the following Shoes for Walking on Concrete All Day:
- Asics Gel-Contend 5 SL Men’s Walking Shoes
- New Balance MID 626V2
- Reebok Work Men’s Athletic Oxford Industrial & Construction Shoe
- Rockport Men’s Eberdon Loafer
- Skechers for Work Women’s Gibson-Brogna SR Slip-On
- Clarks Everlay
- Dansko Women’s Patti Clog
Let’s get started.
Why Wear Special Shoes for Walking on Concrete?
Concrete is unforgiving. It doesn’t provide you with padding or offer any type of “give” when you step on it, making it a very uncomfortable surface to walk on. Walking on concrete for hours on end can lead to serious health risks, including injuries and chronic conditions that can impact your feet, legs, hips, joints, and back.
Wearing shoes that are not accommodating to the conditions of concrete can cause your plantar fascia (the band of tissue running from your heel to the ball of your foot) to tear or stiffen, leading to pain and Plantar Fasciitis.
When you’re walking, every step you take puts an impact on your body–and this impact becomes much more severe if you’re walking on concrete, as this surface can exhaust your shins, leading to muscle pain and tissue damage. Furthermore, the continuous impact on your knees can cause your kneecaps to rub against the neighboring bones, leading to cartilage damage and even tendinitis.
If you’re already injured–especially if you have an existing back injury or pain from poor posture–walking on concrete can exacerbate the injury and overwork your spine’s ligaments, causing pain and severe discomfort.
In summary, walking on hard surfaces such as concrete all day can lead to:
Clearly, if you spend your days walking on concrete, it’s in your best interest to invest in appropriate shoes. Now let’s look at some factors you should take into consideration when shopping for these specific shoes.
What Features Make a Good Walking Shoe on Concrete?
The impact from walking on concrete all day will take a toll on your feet and body, eventually leading to pain and damage. However, with the right shoes, you can reduce the severity of this issue. Let’s look at some of the factors that make a shoe conducive to walking on very hard surfaces such as concrete.
With proper cushioning, you can protect the most vulnerable zones of your feet from the pressure of continuous impact that can lead to fatigue while you’re walking. With cushioning that offers you relief from many painful foot conditions, you can immediately feel protected from experiencing any pain associated with standing and walking on concrete.
The shock absorbency of your shoes reduces the ground reaction force.
Ok, now, what’s that?
Think about what it looks like when you take two steps forward–one with each foot. During this single “gait cycle” that you engage in over and over throughout the day, there are two smooth peaks (when one leg is on the ground and the other is lifted), with the rise and fall of the first peak correlating with your initial heel-strike to heel-off and the rise and fall of the second peak being the heel-off to toe-off of that same foot.
There are three ground reaction forces that happen during this process:
In addition to the pressure you’re putting straight down on each foot as you walk, you’re also putting pressure on your knees, ankles, etc. through anteroposterior (front to back) and mediolateral (side to side) force, which are the pressures applied to various parts of your feet during the motion of your walk.
All three of these components make up the ground reaction force on your feet as you’re walking, which defines the amount of impact your heels have with the ground. Shock absorbing shoes can either reduce or completely eliminate this impact, leading to reduced pain.
When you’re walking, the resulting impact on your body is determined by your body weight and the ground reaction force that’s being put only on the grounded foot. However, while you’re standing still, the ground reaction force is exerted on both feet, cutting the pressure on each foot in half.
All shoes have three parts that each play a unique and key role in their level of comfort and protection: an upper, an outsole, and a midsole. The midsole is the area inside your shoe that lays between the part that touches your foot and the part that touches the ground. The midsole is especially critical because this is where the shock-absorbing and supportive technologies are in the shoe.
When looking for shoes to wear when walking on concrete, you want to find some with a high-quality midsole, as this can make or break your walking experience. Low-quality midsoles can quickly start to flatten after you’ve worn them, and shoes with flat soles can’t absorb or disperse shock, which means walking on concrete will impact your bones, lead to joint pain and fatigue, and could even injure your muscles.
If walking on concrete makes up a large part of your day, your feet will inevitably sweat. If this is an issue for you, look for shoes with perforations or mesh panels that will let air flow freely and keep your feet nice and dry. Sweaty feet can lead to odors, but can also increase your chances of developing blisters.
Concrete is an abrasive surface to be walking on that can easily damage most outsoles, so it makes sense that having an abrasion-resistant outsole is important for the durability of your shoes. Additionally, you want a shoe that offers you the traction that you need to stay stable without the threat of your treads wearing down.
Your plantar fascia typically absorbs any shock as you walk, but when you’re walking on especially hard surfaces (such as concrete), this tendon becomes overworked, which can lead to inflammation and injury.
However, if you wear properly supportive shoes, your arches will be supplied with a surface to rest on, which prevents this band of tissue from stretching.
Having shoes that are properly supportive will also help align the rest of your body, so there won’t be one specific area that is feeling more pressure than the rest.
It’s true that many people look at price first and want to go for the item that will cost them the least amount of money. However, it’s important to take quality into consideration, because if you spend $40 on a pair of shoes that lasts you a month, you just wasted that $40.
Higher quality footwear will last longer and you will get more use and value out of your purchase. These shoes that are more durable will actually end up costing you less money per wear than shoes that are cheaply made.
Now that you know what factors to keep in mind when shopping for shoes for walking on concrete all day, let’s look at the top 7 best options that are on the market today.
Best Shoes for Walking on Concrete All Day
1. Best Lightweight and Flexible Choice: Asics Gel-Contend 5 SL Men’s Walking Shoes
The Asics Gel-Contend 5 SL Men’s Walking Shoes are designed for daily use and are great for men who want a walking shoe that offers a versatile style and dependable durability. If you have to stand or walk on concrete all day, these shoes offer all of the features that are needed to keep you comfortable.
They feature a Biomorphic Fit upper that is made out of breathable mesh material with a synthetic overlay that ensures a light and airy feel. The breathable fabric lining adds to these shoes’ ventilation system while offering a supportive in-shoe feel, promoting all-day comfort. Additionally, these shoes feature an Ortholite® sockliner that gives wearers unparalleled sole support, comfort, and moisture control. Furthermore, they have a laminate midfoot cage that offers optimal structural support.
The heel memory foam in these Asics conforms to your feet to offer maximum personalized heel support–securing your feet while maintaining your comfort. These shoes also offer support by featuring a stretch material that users claim won’t lead to any skin irritation. However, this material does help maintain a snug fit throughout the day without making you feel crammed in the shoe. Further, you won’t need to worry about slipping on the concrete, as these shoes have durable rubber soles that offer a reliable grip.
If you have unique supportive needs, the insoles of these shoes are removable, allowing you to insert your own custom orthopedic insoles. Finally, with the traditional Asics Duomax support system, this option helps eliminate pain by reducing potential stress caused by overpronation (if your feet roll inward as you walk), and supports your foot for a more comfortable day.
Additional comfort features of these shoes include a Rearfoot GEL® cushioning system that provides shock absorption for every step you take and supports a smooth transition as you walk. They also have a flexible sole and a lace-up design, allowing you to control the fit. The laces are both wide and sturdy, which equates to more durability and fewer incidences of the laces coming untied under normal conditions. These lightweight shoes come with a padded tongue and collar, in addition to an AmpliFoam™ midsole, which is engineered to make the shoes durable, yet lightweight and flexible. This midsole also ensures ideal platform adaptability when you’re walking around.
The reasonable price of these shoes, coupled with their durability, make them a solid option for men who are walking on concrete all day.
2. Best For Restaurant Servers and Warehouse/Factory Workers: New Balance MID 626V2
If your job requires you to do a lot of walking on concrete all day, these slip-resistant New Balance MID 626V2 may be the best option for you. Industrial workers of all types report that these shoes allow men to focus on their job rather than on their footwear during their shift due to their optimal cushioning, traction, and support.
This stylish work shoe is disguised as a running shoe and is available in both gray and black, allowing you to pick the style that best suits your needs. The upper is made out of real leather and these shoes feature a non-stick sole that is easy to clean at the end of a long day, which is perfect for people who work in a restaurant or a warehouse.
In terms of its non-slip credentials, the properties of the outsoles of these shoes are tested according to ASTM F2913-11, which means they’re able to provide high-grade traction under a variety of surface and working conditions. The outsoles are also non-marking and oil-resistant, which are two properties that are beneficial in a variety of work environments.
The comfortable foam cushioning and the compression-molded midsole are designed to support the foundation of your body, which prevents you from developing body aches after putting pressure on your muscles and joints while walking all day. The ABZORB crash pad in the heel gives users exceptional shock absorption on impact, and also guarantees a smooth transition as you’re walking. Furthermore, the injection molded EVA (IMEVA) midsoles extend throughout the entire footbed, offering a better bounce than the alternative (compression molded EVA) as well as more responsive cushioning. IMEVA midsoles are also known for their lightweight feel.
While these shoes may be more expensive than others, due to their durability, they can easily last you a year of wear working 40 hours per week on your feet.
3. Best For Safety: Reebok Work Men’s Athletic Oxford Industrial & Construction Shoe
Shoes that are designed for working in areas where the ground is concrete are usually not flexible–however, these Reebok Work Men’s Shoes are both flexible and lightweight, making them “easy” to wear while you’re working. These shoes are made with Sublite foam cushioning, which reduces the feeling of your body weight, making the concrete you’re walking on all day feel like clouds. The EVA technology used to manufacture the soles of these shoes add to the luxurious feel that users enjoy, as does the MemoryTech Massage footbed that molds to the shape of your foot for excellent comfort.
You will be comfortable all day in these shoes, as they are designed with footfuel footbed comfort technology, which is engineered to provide optimal control, comfort, and a boost of energy with each step. Footfuel footbed technology was developed to be used in high performance athletic footwear, as it is shock-absorbing and responds on impact, while supporting your feet. As you walk, the polymers in the footbeds expand, launching your stride with every step. They also have rebound properties that will last for the entire lifetime of the shoes.
In the past, safety toe footwear has been known to be especially uncomfortable. However, with advances in technology and design, this is no longer the case. These Reeboks feature an Alloy Safety Toe, which helps protect you from injuries that can be caused by falling or rolling objects, as well as electrical hazards. Because there are a lot of safety hazards that employees face each day, wearing proper footwear such as these shoes can help prevent unnecessary accidents. The soles of these shoes also keep safety in mind, as they’re made from rubber and feature deep grooves for maximum traction on any type of surface.
These shoes offer a low-cut design that makes walking easy and supports ankle mobility. The stability that they provide come from the medial and lateral webbing, which gives users a “locked-in” fit. However, they still offer proper ventilation, as the upper is made of synthetic material and a fabric mesh, making these shoes feel light and airy.
These shoes offer the responsiveness of a performance running shoe in a slip-resistant work-style shoe. The technology and design were inspired by top athletes, but created for hard-working professionals. These are lightweight, flexible, and comfortable to wear for demanding jobs.
4. Best For Business-Professional Jobs: Rockport Men’s Eberdon Loafer
The Rockport Men’s Eberdon Loafer is a great option for men who need to dress in a professional manner at work, while also needing significant cushioning due to the hard surface of the ground. These loafers are available in black, dark tan, and brown full-grain 100% leather, so they look sharp and you can choose which color you prefer based on your wardrobe.
These Rockport loafers have no laces and offer a slip-on design, making them easy to slip on and off in case you’re sitting at a desk for part of the day and walking in the warehouse during other times. They have rubber soles, so while they may appear to be dressy, they’re tough and can stand up to slippery and hard surfaces. In fact, with biomechanically designed outsoles, these shoes offer stability for all types of unexpected movements because they support your natural walking motion. Their flexibility makes walking a non-issue, whether you have to be on your feet the entire day on some days and for only part of the day on others.
Made using engineered fabrics and materials that softly yet securely wrap your foot, these shoes offer lasting comfort and an immediate perfect fit, as they need almost no time to break in. They feature dual goring insets and a padded collar, which further adds to their comfort. They’re also made in wide, extra-wide, and narrow styles, so there is sure to be an option to fit you well.
This might be the best shoe for you if you have to maintain an “office” look, but you spend a large part of your time on your feet. Every material that went into designing this shoe was hand-selected to ensure lightweight qualities that exceed any functional and durability expectations. The lightweight construction also decreases any possibility of experiencing foot-fatigue on your longest days.
5. Best Choice with Removable Insole: Skechers for Work Women’s Gibson-Brogna SR Slip-On
The Skechers for Work Women’s Gibson-Brogna SR Slip-On offer the comfort and support that you need when spending most (or all) of your day standing and walking on concrete. These slip-on shoes offer rugged durability, while also providing you with the utmost comfort with memory foam insoles and superior cushioning. They also give you the option to remove the insoles if you have orthopedic insoles that are ideal for the shape of your foot.
The shock-absorbing FlexSole midsoles ensure that your joints won’t withstand your body weight throughout the day, leading to pain. Further, due to their solid construction, these Skechers won’t wear down after just a few months of use, bringing you right back to shopping for the perfect shoe. They’re flexible and supremely comfortable, while being lightweight and stylish.
With a leather toe and heel overlay, these rugged shoes are great for a work environment because they will protect your feet from potential hazards. The non-slip sole gives users effective traction, ensuring you stay stable whether there’s a greasy surface that you’re passing through or you come into contact with a spill.
This is a great option for working women who have to stand or walk on concrete during long periods of their day. Offering comfort, style, and lightweight flexibility, these slip-on shoes can offer you everything that’s needed to protect your feet and keep them comfortable at all times.
6. Best High Quality Insole: Clarks Everlay
This oxford-style Clarks Everlay shoe has an athletic-inspired design with a small, 1.5 inch heel to give women walking on concrete all day a small lift. They’re offered in both nubuck and traditional leather, giving women a choice when it comes to style. Many women who have purchased these shoes note that they have received compliments from strangers on their attractive appearance, which is impressive for a shoe that is designed for comfort.
In terms of comfort, these shoes feature an Ortholite insole, which has several benefits, including:
These shoes also have a soft, fabric lining that adds more support and comfort to these already supportive shoes. Furthermore, the leather has a little bit of “give” to it, which allows it to mold to the foot after just a little bit of wear.
The Clarks Everlay have helped women who work on concrete or other hard surfaces finish their long days without suffering from leg or hip pain. Finally, some users especially like these shoes because they feel confident wearing them straight from work out to meeting up with friends for dinner or wearing them to some other type of social setting.
7. Best Choice for Moisture Management: Dansko Women’s Patti Clog
These extremely comfortable Dansko Pattis are attractive and will offer you the all-day support and comfort you need for a long day on hard concrete surfaces. The slip-on style is convenient to put on and off quickly if you need to throw these on even just for a minute to go grab the mail. They come in brown, black, and a maroon/wine-color, so you can pick the style that best suits your needs. The milled nubuck leather is easy to break in and will quickly feel like a second skin to your feet.
These shoes are made out of the traditional “Dansko DNA” material, which are materials that were carefully selected by the original founders of Dansko to promote proper foot, back, ankle, and leg health, so you can walk comfortably for longer than wearing traditional shoes. The Dansko DNA material is a stain-resistant, waterproof leather that’s seam-sealed and has a waterproof membrane to promote breathability and protect your feet from becoming soggy or wet.
The outsole is made out of a long-lasting, durable rubber that offers optimal performance. With slip-resistant airbag® technology, you will be able to feel sturdy in any type of weather that you’re facing. The Dansko Patti Clog is certified slip resistant and accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). The APMA Seal of Approval is only rewarded to products that meet exceptional quality standards and promote proper foot health.
Finally, the soles have a 1.25 inch heel and .75 inch platform, offering great shock-absorption while putting very little stress and pressure on your body.
Final Thoughts on the Best Shoes for Walking on Concrete All Day
Any of these options will keep you comfortable on your feet during a long day walking on concrete, or any other hard surface for that matter. Don’t put your comfort or health at risk by wearing shoes that aren’t supportive enough for this abrasive surface. Rather, look into these stylish options and determine which may be the best for your needs.
Your co-workers will certainly be amazed and impressed by your style and will never suspect that you’re wearing one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes on the market in 2023.