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July 18, 2008 9:34 PM   Subscribe

Shoe filter: I just got a job that requires standing for ten hours on concrete floors. My feet have been killing me by my lunch break. What shoes, preferably with good arch support, will keep me comfy all shift long?

The shoes don't need to be heavy duty or fancy, I just need comfort and probably good soles (since I don't want to slide around on the concrete). Cheap would be nice (under $100 is optimal) but I'll spend if they're really worth it and will last a while. I'm currently wearing a pair of New Balance sneakers, and while they keep my ankles from hurting, the soles of my feet ache between my heel and the ball of my foot.
posted by blueskiesinside to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You need Danskos. According to your profile you're a girl-type - get the Marcelles.
posted by chez shoes at 9:42 PM on July 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding Danskos. I've also had good luck with Duck Head shoes.
posted by Miko at 9:44 PM on July 18, 2008

I wear these among other cushioned athletic shoes.
posted by netbros at 9:48 PM on July 18, 2008

I got some of the ugliest Rebooks I've ever seen when I was a waiter. All black with a strip of white on the sole. But they were comfortable.

If you have any teacher/waiter friends, they would be a great group of people to ask about this.
posted by theichibun at 9:49 PM on July 18, 2008

Nth-ing Danskos, and adding the note that their non-stapled lines do not have the same wonderful arch support and comfort that their stapled clogs provide.
posted by Westringia F. at 10:00 PM on July 18, 2008

I wore Red Wings shoes for years. They took a month to break in properly but once broken in they were good for at least two years worth of comfort. I tried a pair of Shoes for Crews after reading a review of them and they are now my favorite work shoe. They were comfortable from the first day that I wore them and cost 1/3 the price of my old Red Wings.
posted by calumet43 at 10:00 PM on July 18, 2008

After getting a few knee surgeries and having my ankle screwed back together I only wear two things on my feet. Shoes=Rockports and workboots=Red Wing.
posted by sanka at 10:13 PM on July 18, 2008

Brooks Beast.
posted by shoeman at 10:14 PM on July 18, 2008

When I went from a desk job to a standing-on-concrete-all-day job, my feet hurt like hell for several weeks. I got a pair of Red Wings that turned out to be quite comfortable and lasted for years, but what really helped me was bringing a second pair of shoes to switch into halfway through the work day. Eventually my feet adjusted to the demands of the job and I was able to wear any old shoes all day without experiencing foot pain.

Several of the women I worked with swore by their Eastland Stacies for comfort on their feet all day.
posted by Balonious Assault at 10:29 PM on July 18, 2008

They are pricey (mine were a gift), but I swear by my MBT's. I've noticed that many of the medical professionals I've met wear them, and they rave about them as well.
posted by katemcd at 10:45 PM on July 18, 2008

SAS shoes.

I like these for the cushioning, support and breathability. Shoes are a highly personal decision, but I know most airport employees in Houston wear these. I don't know if SAS shoes are available outside of Texas.
posted by abdulf at 11:49 PM on July 18, 2008

Re. the Dansko recommendations above: I wear Dansko clogs all day, every day in my chef job. I recommend that you find a place to try them on before buying (I know Nordstrom's used to carry them, maybe they still do) because they tend to have a narrow fit with a high arch. Mine feel okay now, but they took several (kind of painful) months to break in.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 12:21 AM on July 19, 2008

If you wind up getting an enclosed shoe because of job requirements, a pair of Superfeet inserts turned my steel-toed boots from puppy killers into my favorite foot covering.
posted by notsnot at 2:10 AM on July 19, 2008

You need inserts. Seconding superfeet. Go to a store with salespeople that know what they're talking about. One that specializes in either work shoes, or running and walking shoes. Have them help you pick out the right insert.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 4:38 AM on July 19, 2008

You might also try exercises that strengthen your lower back and lower legs/feet. Feet in particular are neglected in most exercise regimens. I'm a figure skating teacher, sometimes standing on ice in skates 6 hours a day, comfortable shoes not an option. Get your feet and ankles in shape and a lot of the discomfort goes away.

For foot comfort, best shoes I ever found were a Payless ripoff similar to these but with a flat sole. Not good for walking, but if you're mostly standing these are fantastic.

Oh, and I'm buying at least 3 of the shoe suggestions above. Now if only I could figure out a way to attach blades to them.
posted by nax at 5:47 AM on July 19, 2008

I need to refine my answer: a pair of off-the-shelf Superfeet cured my steel-toe boot problem. I "graduated" to hiking boots I wear every day, and for a long backpacking trip I treated myself to custom Superfeet. They build up the insert and vacuum-form it to your individual feet, and it's a whole 'nother level of comfort.
posted by notsnot at 5:50 AM on July 19, 2008

Shoes for Crews are great because they're really meant for working and have great features like anti-slip, etc. that more "recreational" shoes might not have.
posted by sondrialiac at 6:55 AM on July 19, 2008

Try visiting a Walking Company store. They sell Danskos & Earth Shoes (my personal favorite), among others. The salespeople are really helpful and they have this special computerized pressure pad you can stand on to analyze how you stand to help identify the right shoe for your feet.
posted by dreaming in stereo at 7:19 AM on July 19, 2008

2nding getting your back, legs and feet into good shape. As a side note I found that after standing, walking and carrying stuff at work all day and aching in a number of places (including my feet) the best thing I could do to give me quick relief from all these aches was 30mins of exercise...I'd feel like a new person!
posted by koahiatamadl at 9:36 AM on July 19, 2008

Love the Danskos in theory, but here's one data point: they are nice for daily use and for my office job, but when I worked as a cashier and was on my feet for 8 hours a day, my feet hurt worse at the end of it in Danskos than when I wore my plain ol' chuck taylors with gel inserts. I may have weird feet (they felt raw!) but there it is.

Also, I don't know about the soles on concrete or appropriateness at your job, but Crocs are like walking on pillows.
posted by alpha_betty at 9:55 AM on July 19, 2008

These insoles saved my feet. A few people I work with swear by Z coil shoes
posted by get off of my cloud at 12:38 PM on July 19, 2008

I am a great fan of Mephistos. I used to wear them regularly through 36 hour on-my-feet shifts, and though there were many problems with those shifts, foot pain was never one of them.

I wore Dansko clogs for a week during this time after I got tired of hearing people tell me, again and again, that I shouldn't wear "nice" shoes into the hospital. At the end of the day my feet were always burning in pain. In addition, the lower back pain that these clogs produced took several weeks to go away. I do not understand what went wrong, but I can definitely attest that Danskos do not work for everyone.
posted by ikkyu2 at 3:35 PM on July 19, 2008

Don't skimp on socks, either. No point wearing great shoes and awful socks - I tend to spend around $30.00 on a pair of socks, specifically high quality walking socks. I have spent many long days standing upright, and good socks offer some cushioning, wick away sweat and help support your feet. You don't need to spend that much, of course, but don't buy $100.00 shoes and $2.00 socks.

Also, a pair of gel insoles will do wonders, and can help make a pair of average shoes extremely comfortable.
posted by tomble at 7:52 AM on July 20, 2008

I have heard good things about Ecco shoes.
posted by CwgrlUp at 3:35 PM on July 27, 2008

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