In this Guide
Most of us know from experience that standing on concrete for long periods of time is painful. But a lot of us don’t realize just how bad it is for our bodies!
Did you know that concrete is actually exponentially harder than even asphalt? That’s right! So, if you’re standing on concrete all day at work, you’re taking more impact on your feet and joints than if you were walking down the highway. A great pair of shoes is all that stands between your body and endless discomfort!
Whether you’re in a bare concrete warehouse or a space with light carpeting on top of concrete, it’s essential to have shoes that will help you stand up straight all day without feeling pain or discomfort!
We’ve come up with a list of our favorites for conquering concrete, and we’ve reviewed them all here in this guide! There are a few choices for women, some for men, and also a few unisex options for anybody!
Here’s a glance at our all-time favorites, to get you started!
Best for Men
Best for Both
Best for Women
Best Shoes For Standing All Day On Concrete 2018
- Birkenstock Boston (soft footbed)
- Birkenstock Harris
- Dr. Marten’s Vegan 1460
- Dansko Professional Mule
- Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33
- Nike Revolution 3
1. Birkenstock Boston (soft footbed)
The Birkenstock Boston is one of our all-time favorite clogs, for its comfort and versatility. We’re recommending a slightly tweaked version for dealing with concrete! This model has a bit of latex cushioning on top of the natural cork footbed, so it absorbs more impact without compromising the ergonomic benefits you expect from a Birk. They’re excellent for men and women.
They’re based on the very popular standard Boston clog, which is Birkenstock’s best-selling shoe ever! The only Birk’s we can think of that are this ubiquitous are the Arizona sandals. These Boston’s are that popular format, but tweaked slightly to give you a bit more padding. They’re an open-heeled clog, with a rubber outsole, full-grain leather upper, and an adjustment strap with a metal buckle.
They have the same cork footbed as the normal Boston’s and other Birkenstocks. These footbeds are absolutely fantastic for your feet, since they line up your weight evenly so that you can walk naturally. Most shoes have a raised heel, but these don’t. They have a heel cup, strong arch support, and a metatarsal ridge at the front where your toes meet the rest of your foot.
Essentially, they support the way you naturally walk, with support and padding to help you stay comfortable all day. They cork material shapes to your feet as you break the clogs in, so you end up with a personalized fit. These are great for helping you maintain good posture through the workday, and they take pressure off joints and the lower back!
Like any Birk’s, these Boston’s are great for problem feet. The strong arch support helps resolve and prevent plantar fasciitis, and the Boston’s are some of the most-recommended shoes by medical professionals.
The only difference between these models and the normal Boston’s is the footbed. These still have the same cork material and shape, but there’s a thin layer of latex padding on the top. The latex makes them more comfortable out of the box, so it softens the break-in period. It also adds a bit of extra cushion which we think is ideal for concrete!
These are fairly wide clogs, so there’s plenty of room for expanding feet and wide toes to begin with. You can also choose between Birkenstock’s two different width options. Check out their size chart to see which one is better for you (remember to wear socks if you’re planning to have them on when you wear the clogs).
They last a long time. You can wear these clogs for years without any issues! That’s because they’re made completely in Germany, from very durable materials and with excellent quality control.
They stay cool, thanks to the open heel. Plus, the wide toe box allows your feet to expand naturally through your shift as they heat up. Many clogs can’t accommodate that swelling.
They’re versatile. These can be dressed up to match formal work clothes, especially the polished leather versions. Or, you can get a funky suede finish to dress more casually. You can wear them in all sorts of jobs, from hospital work to elementary schools, and anything in between.
These ones don’t have non-slip soles. If you need something with more traction, check out the Boston Professional’s. The natural rubber on these Boston’s does pretty well, but it’s not certified non-slip, so it might not be a great choice for kitchens, for instance.
You have to be sure to get the sizing right. A lot of disappointed reviewers got the wrong size, and ended up with clogs that didn’t fit right. If you’ve worn Birkenstock’s before, just get your normal size and width. If you’re new to the company, check the company’s millimeter size chart to find your size.
Beware of knockoffs! These are very popular shoes, and they’re pretty expensive, so fake versions abound.
You’ll have to break them in a bit, just like any cork footbeds. The leather uppers and cork footbeds will both soften and shape to your feet the more you wear them.
2. Birkenstock Harris
We all love the classic look of a Clark’s leather desert boot. However, they’re murder on the feet and ankles, since they don’t have any arch support or any other anatomical features. These Birk’s offer a similar look with proper support for your feet! They’re an excellent choice for any men who love desert boots but need something more supportive for standing and walking for long periods. They also have extra padding for concrete!
They have the cork footbed that we know and love from Birkenstock. It’s nearly the same as the footbeds in the sandals and clogs, only without the metatarsal bar. That small tweak makes these easier to get into when you’re wearing socks. The arch support and natural foot alignment is still there in spades, though!
They’re an excellent choice for people who experience plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, or other chronic foot pain symptoms in desert boots. All the support also makes them more stable in your stride than other desert boots, which protects your ankles as well as your arches.
They have a lowered heel through the rubber sole, which helps balance your foot evenly, like a normal Birkenstock. By contrast, desert boots from Clark’s and other makers usually have a raised heel which puts pressure on your metatarsal area and makes your stride less stable.
The tweaked alignment means that the toes point slightly upward, giving the Harris boots a funky twist compared to other companies! They’re traditional but distinctive at the same time.
There’s a rubber outsole on the bottom for absorbing the impact of concrete. It’s cut with basic treading, which gives you more traction than smooth desert boots. The natural rubber is also much better at cushioning concrete than synthetic materials that are used in a lot of other companies’ boots.
They look great in lots of different settings. There are a few different finish options, with black and brown leathers being the most popular (there are also some suede options coming soon!). They can be dressed up for formal clothes, or dressed down–much like the Boston clogs.
We also love how versatile these boots are outside the workplace. They’re simply fantastic walking shoes around the town, and they have no problems going off-piste on walking trails and nature paths.
They last for years. The stitching and glue work on these shoes is far, far above average in the desert boot market. The rubber outsole also lasts better than the crepe material used in Clark’s. Plus, because they have better support for natural gait alignment, they don’t wear down on the corners like other desert boots.
The best part is that you can easily swap out the footbeds! They’re not actually glued into the boots. Instead, they nestle inside the sole, so they lift out of you need to add some fresh footbeds! If you just replace the footbeds, you can easily double the walking life of these boots!
They’re made completely in Europe. That’s a mark of impeccable quality control, and high-end materials. The leather is much more robust and supple than the materials you’ll see in a lot of cheaper models.
They’re expensive. Expect to pay between $150 and $200 for a pair of Harris’s. That’s no small investment, but we think they’re more than worth it in build quality, longevity, and most of all–comfort!
As with the sandals and clogs, the cork footbeds take some time to break in. Plan on a week or two of wear before they start to feel perfect.
3. Dr. Marten’s Vegan 1460
Dr. Marten’s boots were some of the first great work boots to hit the market, and they’re still some of our absolute favorites. While they’re not boardroom-friendly, we think their punk, rugged aesthetic is perfect for places with concrete floors. The air soles give you ample cushioning, and the vegan leather uppers are extremely hardy. They’re ideal for warehouses, or any other business casual/casual workplace!
They’re based on one of the best boot designs ever made. The original Dr. Marten’s were constructed specifically to help someone with an injured foot walk around without pain. Then, they took off as a massive hit in industrial Britain. Over the years, they’ve become an incredibly popular staple among people who need something that’s reliably springy, mile after mile.
This vegan version cuts out the animal products used in the original boots, most notably the leather upper. It has a synthetic upper which is more socially responsible for buyers who are conscious of that sort of thing. More importantly, we’ve found that the “original” 1460s have really taken a dip in quality recently. For some reason, the vegan version has a much better track record for durability and quality control. So, we think it’s simply a better buy!
The vegan upper material is actually more durable than leather, too! It stands up extremely well to scuffs, and it doesn’t form creases as easily. Oh, and it’s absurdly easy to take care of. Previous buyers said that even after months of full-time use, they didn’t scuff at all, and only needed to be wiped clean with a wet paper towel.
The best part is that the material doesn’t take as long to break in and soften to your feet. These are close to perfect right out of the box, and they feel even better as you wear them in.
Like their leather brethren, these 1460s have Dr. Marten’s signature air cushioned soles for springy pressure relief. It’s hard to think of any cushioning more ideally suited to concrete! The cushioning doesn’t wear down like foams, but it’s not as heavy as solid rubber. These feel lighter on your feet than other workboots, and they feel just as springy after months of full-time use as they do when you take them out of the box.
The only way you’ll wear down the cushioning is if you manage to wear the soles down to the air pockets! That takes most people years, especially if you’re working on relatively smooth floors.
Speaking of smooth flooring, one huge benefit of the workboot lineage these come from is that they’re slip-resistant! They do extremely well on painted concrete, even when there are spills or wet spots to contend with.
They come in plain black and the distinctive cherry colors. Both come with yellow laces, and a gloss finish.
Even though these are far better than the leather 1460s, Dr. Marten’s overall quality control has really dipped since they outsourced to Asia. Some buyers of both the leather and vegan models had issues with the soles separating from the upper. You can glue them back, but that’s something that didn’t used to be an issue with Doc’s until they were years old.
There are a lot of knock-off’s out there, so make sure you’re buying from a reputable reseller, or directly from Amazon.
They’re expensive. These are some of the best-made vegan boots out there, but some people might have a hard time paying $100+ for something that’s not leather. Think of them as an investment in cushion more than in the upper material!
They have lots of springy cushion, but not a lot of anatomical support. Thankfully, you can easily slip an insert in these. We suggest Birkenstock’s 3/4 Blue Footbeds, or something else that’s easy to pop in if you need more arch support than these provide.
4. Dansko Professional Mule
Dansko’s are about as ubiquitous as shoes get. They’re a staple among hospitality workers, medical professionals, teachers, and workers in just about every other field. They’re also perfect for concrete floors! We think they’re the absolute best rocker clog out there. So, if you’re in the market for a pair, get the Dansko’s!
They’re a comfy rocker clog that’s simple but effective. If you like the feel of rocker soles, they don’t come better than this! The Dansko sole rocks easily back and forth for a smooth, natural gait. It also has a wider heel than other clogs, so it feels more stable with each strike. They’re made to fit slightly loose, so your heel can shift easily around the back of the shoe.
The sole and insole are both shaped for ergonomic support. These have lots of arch support, and they fit like a more curvy Birkenstock. Your feet are close to level, with just a slight heel rise. One of the reasons Dansko’s have become so popular is that they’re great for resolving and preventing plantar fasciitis symptoms and other chronic issues that come from standing for hours.
They’re favorites among people with arthritis and other chronic joint problems, too. That’s a benefit of the rocker sole, which is easy on your joints.
Even though they’ve been around for decades and are based on a very traditional clog designs, these Professional’s have a few modern tweaks that we’re loving:
First, there’s a layer of foam cushioning on top of the cork footbed. It’s similar to the way Birkenstock have added some latex to the Boston’s above. That adds some extra impact protection on concrete floors, which is important because these have a pretty rigid sole. It’s also more breathable, so it helps to mitigate heat buildup.
Next up, Dansko have added some padding around the collar of the instep, which simply makes things more comfortable over the course of the day.
They’re very versatile. Like the Boston’s, Dansko clogs are easy to dress up or down. They look great with loose-ankle jeans, flow-y pants, or skirts. They can be business casual or professional, whatever you need them to be!
There are also lots of styles to choose from. There’s everything from worked patent leather to glossy-finish patterns with bright colors!
Most styles of these clogs are still made entirely in Europe. They have a pretty great reputation for quality and durability, even if they’re not quite on par with Birkenstock’s these days.
They last for years. Most people find that they can get as many as 5 years out of these shoes, sometimes more! The soles are very hard-wearing, and the cushion on the inside doesn’t pack down easily at all.
They’re on the larger side of things. The Dansko’s are a rocker clog, which gives them a much higher platform than something like the Boston’s. If you’re in the market for a low-profile shoe, these won’t fit the bill.
Like Birkenstock’s, Dansko’s are sized on the European scale, and these tend to be a bit finicky. Where Birkenstock’s are very regular, and always line up on their own millimeter scale, it’s best to try on a pair of Dansko’s in person, or order a few pairs if you can get free returns.
They’re expensive–most styles will cost over $100.
5. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33
If you’re a woman who’s looking for a casual sneaker to wear on concrete, these are an ideal choice. They’re made with Nike’s “Zoom” foam material, which is excellent at absorbing shock and returning energy to your feet. They’re stylish, fun, and versatile. If you work in a job that requires to do lots of walking around in a casual setting, we think they’re perfect!
They’re super springy. Nike’s Zoom cushioning is one of our favorite materials in running shoes right now. It’s also perfect for a daily work sneaker! The special foam material absorbs shock incredibly well, so you won’t have to worry about concrete taking a toll on your joints or feet. It also returns lots of energy to your feet, even when you’re walking instead of running.
If you’ve found yourself dragging your feet and feeling tired at the end of the shift, these could be just the thing! Lots of women who’ve used them for work say that they’re an ideal way to keep some pep in your step!
There’s anatomical support built in as well. The Pegasus series isn’t a motion control running shoe, but it has more than enough structure to help most people run smoothly and steadily. For walking, it’s even better! There’s moderate arch support and a heel that’s been widened to help you strike evenly.
The result is a running shoe that straightens your gait without feeling restrictive. So many running shoes can be wobbly when you’re just walking around. These are responsive without making you feel like you’re about to lose your footing. Reviewers said they were great for keeping slight pronation in check, and for easing plantar fasciitis pain!
The all-mesh upper fits like a sock, so it stays in place without feeling pinched or tight in any spots. We like it because it stays extremely cool, and it can easily handle some swelling at the end of your shift.
These are versatile shoes! They’re good-looking enough to take out on the town after your shift, and they’re in their element at the gym or pounding the pavement! If you work in a casual setting, you could easily use these shoes for all your needs!
There are more than 30 different color and style options to choose from!
They last a lot longer than other all-mesh running shoes. In fact, we couldn’t find any complaints about durability with these Pegasus’s!
These are the latest editions of the Pegasus, so they run pretty pricey. You should expect even the cheapest pairs to cost at least $100.
Like a lot of premium Nike’s, the Pegasus’s are imitated by knockoff artists pretty frequently. Be sure to buy from Amazon directly, or from an authorized reseller!
They fit a bit snug, so we generally encourage Nike buyers to size slightly up! A half-size is usually appropriate.
6. Nike Revolution 3
Last up, we have our recommendation for a men’s casual running shoe! These Revolution 3’s were designed for basketball, so they’re right at home on concrete. They have enhanced cushioning and plenty of structural support to keep your feet happy through the whole shift. They’re also workout-friendly, and fashion-forward!
They’re fantastic all-around workout shoes. These are made for people who want one shoe to do everything: running, rowing, lifting, and agility exercises. We like them as work shoes because they’re more stable than a lot of running shoes, but they’ve got more impact absorption and springiness than your average sneaker.
They have enhanced cushioning that’s ideal for standing on concrete, especially if you have to walk around a lot in the course of your shift. These have been designed for runners who need lots of cushion, so they’re more than enough for walkers!
We’re super impressed by the cushioning material that Nike are using in these, too. It’s deep and springy, and it doesn’t pack down quickly at all. You can plan on using these for a very long time!
They have a mesh upper for superior ventilation. Reviewers were overwhelmingly pleased with how cool these stay. That’s just as important when you’re at work as it is at the gym! They’ll help keep sweat at bay, and sooth swelling feet over the course of the day. Like the women’s running shoes we’ve recommended, they stretch easily to accommodate your foot’s natural expansion at the end of the shift.
We also love that these mesh uppers are reinforced with synthetic overlays. They give you some extra structure and improve longevity, but they never feel restrictive.
They’re lightweight. The airiness of these is especially impressive given the density and oomph of the cushioning built into the sole! You won’t feel like your shoes are dragging you down if you wear these to work!
They also have excellent traction thanks to a grippy rubber outsole. The Revolution’s aren’t going to have any problems on concrete, no matter how smooth it is!
They’re great for the gym, and running out on the street as well. Previous buyers used these for all sorts of athletic activities and most thought they were great for everything! They’re simply a versatile shoe that’s great for any fitness activities. Wear them to work, and then go straight to the gym!
A lot of reviewers said they were the most comfortable shoes they’d ever worn. These have a very high rate of buyer loyalty, with many coming back to buy multiple pairs!
They run narrow, so if you have wider feet, you may want to size up. In general, we suggest going up 1/2 a size for any Nike’s.
Watch out for knockoffs! Some buyers who received malformed or uncomfortable shoes were clearly looking at a pair of knockoffs instead of genuine Nike’s, as you can tell from the vast majority of glowing reviews. Always buy directly from Amazon, or from an authorized Nike reseller.
Comparison Table: The Best Shoes For Concrete
# of color options
|Dr. Marten’s Vegan 1460|
|Dansko Professional Mule|
|Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33|
|Nike Revolution 3|
So, it’s decision time! Which of these should you buy?
If you’re a man or woman who wants a comfortable or supportive clog that has a low profile, the Birkenstock Boston’s (soft footbed) are an excellent choice. They’re versatile enough to fit into just about any workplace with concrete floors, although we wouldn’t buy them for a warehouse job where you’re on ladders. They’re our top recommendation for buyers with foot issues, since they’re so therapeutic.
If you’re looking for a smart leather shoe option for men, they don’t come any better than the Birkenstock Harris. These desert boots look fantastic, but they really excel in the comfort department. They bring the comfort of a Birkenstock sandal to the desert boot format! They’re our top choice for men in formal and business casual workplaces with concrete floors.
The Dr. Marten’s are our top choice for people in busy warehouse jobs or similar environments where you want a larger boot with lots of padding. They have long-lasting cushion, and they’ve got a punk sensibility to help you stand out from the crowd. They stand up well to scuffs and being knocked around. We wouldn’t recommend them for a formal setting, though, or for jobs like teaching or nursing. They’re also not ideal for people who like lots of arch support, unless you use them with an insert.
If you’re looking for a sophisticated women’s clog with lots of style and class, the Dansko’s are a very popular choice that we have very few complaints about. They’re comfy, ergonomic, and they have plenty of impact absorbing cushion for standing on concrete. Like the Boston, though, they might not be the best for warehouses or similar environments where you need some more dextrous shoes.
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus is our top casual choice for women who prefer sneakers at work. They’re ideal for ladies who need to “zoom” around all day on concrete, since they’re responsive and energetic. They’re also very fashionable and durable enough to wear all day every day. However, you’re never going to get away with them in a formal setting.
For men looking for casual, springy running shoes to wear on concrete, the Nike Revolution 3 is a shoo-in (pardon the pun!). They’re very cushioned, they have plenty of arch support and stability features, and the mesh uppers stay comfy all day. They’re also as versatile as shoes get, since you can use them for any kind of exercise. They could even be your only shoes, if you don’t need something formal to wear!
When you’re looking for shoes to wear for standing on concrete, here are a few things to keep in mind:
You need plenty of padding:
As we mentioned in our intro, concrete is by many degrees the hardest surface you’ll stand on in your day to day life. Much in the way that running on asphalt can wreck your joints, walking and standing all day on concrete can cause you foot aches, joint pain, and other chronic problems if you don’t wear shoes that can absorb the impact of each step. Look for rubber outsoles, and cushioned insoles made of cork, rubber, latex, or durable EVA foam to cushion yourself against the concrete.
You also need support:
In addition to cushion, you need anatomical support, as you would with any shoe for standing. Your shoes for concrete floors should promote a balanced, even gait, with smooth movement and strong core engagement to protect your back. Look for arch support, a low or nonexistent heel drop, and pressure relief for the metatarsal area.
You may want to think about traction:
Depending on whether you’re going to be standing on carpeted concrete or painted concrete floors, you might need different degrees of traction from your shoes. On carpets, you shouldn’t have to worry. On smooth concrete, or finished concrete, you’ll probably want some extra grip. Look for natural rubber outsoles or certified slip-resistant outsoles to get the best results.
You need cushioning materials that don’t break down easily:
Since concrete is so hard on shoes, it can cause the cushioning in your footwear to crush down quickly. That leaves you with an unsupportive shoe after just months of wear. So, we always look for more durable cushioning materials than your average foam insole and midsole. Natural cork is the best form of cushioning we’ve found for both comfort and longevity. You can also look for air pocket soles, latex insoles, or special foam materials that resist pressure, like EVA.
You should consider your range of movement:
Depending on the sort of work you do, and the workplace you’re in, you’ll need different things from your shoes. If you’re just standing and walking, clogs could be the most comfortable option. If you have to go up on ladders regularly, it might be better to get something with a closed heel. Think about your job requirements as you shop!
You’ll have to match your workplace’s dress code:
This last one is self-explanatory, but be sure to think about the dress requirements and expectations of your workplace as you shop! You want to stay comfortable, but you’ll also want to conform to any reasonable expectations for your apparel at work. We’ve chosen a range of both formal and informal options that should offer something for everybody!
If you like the look of any of our recommendation and want to find out more about it, click on the links in its review! You can check current prices, look at sizing options, and explore your color choices on Amazon! Or, head to our main guide to the best shoes for standing to see our recommendations for all floor types! We’ve got lots more helpful reviews and tips there, just waiting for you.