People don’t always give a lot of thought to the shoes they wear for work every day. When shoes are not comfortable or if they cause painful foot problems, that’s when shoe comfort becomes the foremost thought in people’s minds. There are some important things to consider when searching for the most comfortable work shoes like the types of surfaces in the workplace, and the activities that will be done most often on a daily basis. Shoe buyers should consider if they’ll be walking a lot, sitting, or standing in one place to do the job, or if the job requires doing a combination of all three.
The most comfortable work shoes for each situation also depend largely on the flooring surfaces that are present in the workplace. Standing all day on a concrete surface creates different needs for shoe comfort than sitting all day in a carpeted office. A job where a person is doing a lot of walking, or will be walking on slippery, rocky or rough surfaces calls for other comfort and safety elements in the shoes that are chosen to be worn for work.
Desirable Traits in Work Shoes for People who stand a Lot at Work
When people shop for work shoes, comfort of the shoes seems to be the leading factor in their decision over style and looks. At the same time, people don’t want shoes that could leave others to be able to guess their age, shoes with a bulky orthopedic look, or other shoes that might cause embarrassment when they’re worn. This makes certain comfort and style elements the best choices for those who must be on their feet all day.
Workers who need to stand a lot for work also hope to find shoes that will prevent painful conditions like foot cramps, and certain uncomfortable conditions like sweaty, aching feet or toes, or irritating areas of the foot that are prone to being pinched from ill-fitting shoes. Standing a lot at work calls for shoes that are not only attractive looking, but serve a real purpose providing support and all day comfort as well.
Traits that Enhance Shoe Comfort For Women Who Must Stand a Lot
Women who need to do a lot of standing at work tend to go for shoe styles like clogs, flats, small heeled shoes and slip on shoes. For women, the most desirable comfort elements of work shoes include:
– A minimal or small heel – It depends on the workplace, but most women want a ballet flat or clog style for maximum comfort
– Slip on style – This style tends to be the most comfortable for standing all day
– Special features that add comfort and support – Like generous padding featuring either memory foam or soft fabric, soft leather, breathe-ability, cushioning on soles, and padding on uppers
– Slip-Resistant Sole – Especially when standing on hard surfaces all day like concrete, vinyl or marble flooring
– Rocker style sole – These soles are exceptionally comfortable and create stability with added durability
– Foot and arch support features – They give work shoes that anti-fatigue quality and allow a person to be on their feet a lot without discomfort
Features That Make Work Shoes Comfortable for Men Who Must Stand a Lot
Men who do a lot of standing at work require many similar qualities to those desired by women in order for their work shoes to be comfortable. The most common shoe styles chosen by men include slip on shoes, clogs and Oxfords with extra comfort features. Men usually go with business or business casual styles for less physical work, and athletic or rugged work boot styles for more physically taxing work. Special comfort features men may look for include:
– Extra support features – Like padding made from memory foam or soft fabric, thick insoles and arch support features
– Shock absorption features – Since men are often naturally heavier in weight, they may find that extra shock absorption features will make work shoes more comfortable when they need to stand all or most of the day
– Extra room in shoes for orthotics – Men may choose to add extra orthotic features to shoes like gel inserts, special heel fit inserts, or other types of inserts made to enhance wearing comfort
Work Shoe Comfort Aspects for Those Who Do Office Work
One thing that’s common for people who do office work is that there can be a lot of sitting involved. Aspects of office jobs like typing, attending meetings, taking phone calls, conferencing and doing research create an environment in which many tasks are done while sitting. Shoes for both men and women who do this type of work tend to be dressier and more business professional styled.
There are qualities that can help to make dress business shoes more comfortable and help office workers breeze through their day more easily, without ever having to give the shoes they’re wearing a second thought. Women tend to drift towards flats, low heels or even higher heels as long as they’re comfortable. Men tend to prefer loafers, slip on dress shoes or Oxfords. Dress shoes for first class looks combined with exceptional comfort often have these aspects in common:
– Fabric or moisture absorbent lining – This makes the work shoe more comfortable by absorbing perspiration and keeping feet drier
– Liners with moisture wicking properties – Liners that wick moisture away can help to keep any worker more comfortable in the office, and when walking and standing
– Cushioning – This provides extra support for the entire foot as well as specific pressure points, and cushioning creates a more comfortable environment
– Arch supports – For those with foot issues like flat feet, Plantar Fasciitis, or for those who just want extra support in hopes of preventing future foot problems
– Rounded toes for women and box toes for men – Room in the toe area is an important feature to help make work shoes more comfortable. When there is room for toes to move, it will help lessen issues like blistering, hammer toes, bunions or the possibility of developing bone spurs
– Antibacterial liners – These are liners that fight microbes and help to reduce perspiration odors that can happen when shoes are worn for extended periods
People Who Walk a lot at Work Have Different Requirements from Comfortable Work Shoes
There are professions that require people to walk a lot at work, like nursing and medical professions, emergency services, education, law enforcement, retail, construction, security, restaurant and food service, hospitality and factory work. People who do these tasks need exceptionally comfortable footwear to be able to get through their busy days. They may also have special safety requirements they need to have in comfortable work shoes to avoid injury. The most common traits people must have in comfortable work shoes when they must walk a lot include:
– Extra padding and cushioning – This is critical to keep shoes from rubbing feet with the constant motion of walking, to prevent blisters, chafed spots and tired, sore feet
– Skid resistant soles – These are important for people who work in environments that have slippery or dangerous surfaces that must be walked on to get the job done, especially in places where people must be absolutely sure of their footing, like in construction or roofing jobs
– Steel Toes – These can be important for workplaces where there is a chance of something falling on the feet, or moving vehicles and moving parts that could injure the feet if a worker must work near these hazards
– Flexibility – Shoes for those who do a lot of walking at work must be flexible enough to provide walking comfort, yet firm enough to help prevent injury
– Water Resistance – This is important for workplaces with a potential of feet getting wet or for workers who need to work in areas that may be wet. This can include construction sites, factories or landscaping businesses
– Reflective properties – This can be important for those who must work at night or in dimly lighted areas, and who must do a lot of walking while doing their job. Reflective safety features lessen chances for injury, and increase the likelihood of workers being seen in the workplace
– Shoes with athletic shoe construction – Shoes that are designed for the workplace, but have a similar construction and the best features of athletic shoes can be supremely comfortable for those who must do a lot of walking at work.
Work Surfaces are also a Consideration When Choosing Comfortable Work Shoes
Work surfaces can vary so much depending on the occupation a person is involved in. Surfaces can be padded and carpeted, or they can be slick like concrete surfaces, tiled flooring found in retail and educational institutions, slippery and wet surfaces like grass, difficult to traverse places like those covered in gravel, or even heated surfaces like rooftops. Someone working in an office can be walking on surfaces as varied as thick carpeting, or heavily textured, variegated marble floors throughout their day, depending on the workplace.
Differences in work surfaces can make a big difference in the type of comfortable work shoes required. Some elements are common though, no matter what type of surface a person must work on. Feet need to be comfortably cushioned and dry, shoes must fit properly, and feet must also be protected from potential sharp or hot surfaces, or from any hazards that might cause injury.
Good Tips for Trying on Comfortable Work Shoes
Once a person decides to buy a pair of comfortable work shoes, there are a few things to know about trying those shoes on. The most important thing is that people’s feet tend to swell up somewhat during the day, and feet are normally at their biggest size in the late afternoon. This is the best time for trying on work shoes. Make sure there is still room in the shoe despite any foot swelling, and that there is no pinching, rubbing or chafing when attempts are made to walk in them. This helps to provide a good gauge about whether the shoes will be comfortable enough to wear all day at work.
When shoes are ordered online, it’s good to choose a reputable online retailer to buy them from, and a retailer that has an easy, no-hassle return policy. Read through recommendations and reviews from others who have bought the same pair of shoes. If they say things like the shoes are sized small, and they advise going up a half or full size, it’s often good to take that advice. This is especially true if more than one reviewer has left that same feedback.
The Importance of Keeping Feet Comfortable at Work
The average person will most likely spend about one-third of their life working. This makes wearing comfortable shoes for work incredibly important to improve that time and to make it more enjoyable. When a person wears comfortable shoes, work is easier, they’ll be more productive and one’s outlook on life will be improved. Workers will be able to relate to everyone around them better, with a much more pleasant and positive attitude when feet are comfortable in the shoes they’re wearing.
When feet are comfortable, that can also help prevent things like leg fatigue, strain on muscles and tendons, and strain on joints. This is especially true for workers who experience challenges like sore knee joints, which can be a common complaint for people who must walk or stand a lot at work during the day. People who experience these things must have comfortable work shoes to provide the reliable support they need. Once the right work shoes are chosen, chances are that the person wearing them will breeze through their busy workday in comfort and style.