Work shoes can have a significant impact on your productivity level as you tackle the duties you need to do on a daily basis. While the footwear can be used to reflect the distinctiveness of your personality, it may be more important to focus on the comfort that the shoes can offer, given the fact that you will spend the better part of the day with them on your feet as you go about the tasks that are part of your job description. Getting a pair (or two) of comfortable work shoes can increase your efficiency in the workplace while ensuring that your well-being is not compromised in the process. While it may be tempting to go for the most popular or the most stylish pair, keep in mind that the purpose of the footwear is to provide comfort and support for your feet while you at work.
Stylishness may be a key feature if you are working in a fashion-related job or can be the main consideration if you can work while staying off your feet (such as a job that you can do while sitting for most of the day). However, if your job involves staying on your feet for the better part of the day – such as medical or health professionals like nurses, teaching jobs, and other service-related jobs – it is crucial to choose a pair that provides long-lasting comfort so you can concentrate on your duties instead of focusing on the discomfort on your feet and legs.
Read on for some tips on how to easily choose the most comfortable work shoes that will suit your requirements.
How to Choose Comfortable Work Shoes
Consider the nature of your work and your workplace when choosing comfortable work shoes
Do you work as a health care professional and need shoes that can stay comfortable while you stay on your feet the whole day? Or do you work in the hospitality industry and are looking for comfortable yet still stylish pairs that will not cause pain? Always keep in mind the nature of your work so you can get the most suitable pair that will provide all-day comfort in your workplace.
Look for work shoes with lightweight profiles
Think of your shoes as extensions of your feet. When you move around your office or other work-related areas, you need the shoes to be as lightweight as possible so they will not hinder your natural movements. Wearing a heavy or bulky pair of shoes can cause your feet to drag on the ground, making you move slower which may affect your productivity. The additional weight can also affect your overall appearance or posture and may result in a sloppy look.
Get to know your correct shoe size
While trying on the shoes can help you pick the most comfortable pair for your needs, it also pays to know your correct shoe size in advance. This can be especially beneficial if you plan on doing your shopping online, which does not give you the freedom to try on different pairs until you get to the one that feels “just right”.
Check out cushioned footwear choices
The saying “no pain, no gain” may be applicable to various aspects of life, but it is not a necessity when it comes to selecting comfortable shoes. Look for shoes that offer padded portions as these pairs can give provide significant comfort compared to the ones that let your feet lie directly against the stiff leather or synthetic materials. Cushioned insoles can cradle the balls of your feet and fight foot fatigue especially when you stay on your feet for hours. Cushioning on the heel and upper portions of the shoe can prevent discomfort when your feet are being rubbed frequently on these areas.
Look for a breathable lining
Shoes that have a breathable lining work to wick away sweat so it does not accumulate on the interior portion. The lining allows air to move into the shoe so that the excess moisture can disperse outwards, so your feet can be kept dry and comfortable all day long even when they are encased in the shoes for long hours. Keeping your feet dry can prevent unwanted odors and fungi from growing inside the shoes so you can enjoy using the pair for a long time without worrying about these unwanted additions to your footwear.
Go for low and/or chunky heels
Heeled shoes for men and women deliver a height boost and can enhance your overall look, but they are not known for being the most comfortable pairs. If you must choose heeled shoes, look for ones that have low heels that are on the wide or chunky side. These types of heels cover more surface areas on the back portion of the soles of your feet. They can provide increased stability while walking or standing compared to thin or narrow heels that can cause you to wobble and may even result in sprains with incorrect movement.
Pick shoes with good ankle support
Athletic lace-up shoes provide ample ankle support, allowing you to move naturally without putting too much strain on your ankles. At the same time, these types of shoes can help keep the ankles stable to prevent sprains and other injuries especially when you are constantly moving throughout the day. More stylish or formal shoe options for work can still have adequate ankle support in the form of straps that go around the ankle area, with the heel cap firmly fitted to prevent unwanted movement that can cause the shoe to slip off or for the ankle to be painfully twisted.
Check for arch support
Work shoes that offer arch support can feel more comfortable especially when you need to be on your feet for the long stretches of time. The arch support is recommended for those with a high foot arch and for people who have flat feet with minimal foot arch. This supportive feature allows you to walk and stand for hours without pain setting in so you can continue your tasks without being bothered by discomfort.
Consider removable insoles and cushioning
If you want to improve on the comfort level of your favorite pair of shoes, you may want to consider removable insoles and cushioning. These add-ons can help you customize your shoes so they can be as comfortable as you want them to be. You can use the removable insoles and cushioning to enclosed shoes so you can customize their fit to suit your preferences.
Look for flexibility on the toe area
While new shoes may require a breaking-in period to become comfortable, it is a good idea to go for pair that bends on the toe area, right where your toes bend as well. This can prevent a great deal of chafing and pain when you walk.
Q: How important is cushioning in a comfortable pair of work shoes?
A: Cushioned work shoes are more comfortable to use because the ample padding cradles your feet to prevent chafing and offers increased support that can stop the pain when you stay on your feet for long hours. The cushioning can also work to absorb the shock from walking or standing up and can stop foot fatigue from developing.
Q: Why are work shoes with low heels more comfortable to wear than the ones with high heels?
A: The thin, high heels can force your calves and foot to stretch in uncomfortable ways, which is the reason why your legs and feet hurt when you use high-heeled shoes for long hours. These heels can also cause you to walk in an unstable manner and may even increase the risk of falling, tripping, or spraining your ankles.
Q: Can lightweight work shoes offer more comfort compared to chunky or heavy pairs?
A: Yes, lightweight work shoes are more comfortable to use because they will not need to be carried around as additional and cumbersome weight on your feet. You can move more freely and quickly when you use a pair of lightweight comfortable work shoes.
Q: What other things can I do to make my work shoes more comfortable?
A: You can use silicone strips (such as heel grips) to prevent blisters from forming at the back of your feet and other areas, which can happen when the stiff shoe material causes chafing on your skin. The silicone acts as a protective barrier that will not hurt your skin.
Choosing the most comfortable work shoes can significantly improve your experience in the workplace. You may even find yourself becoming more productive when you go about your duties while wearing a pair of shoes that allows you to move freely without causing pain even with long hours of use.