In this Guide
Any working woman knows how hard it can be to look great all day at work without your feet feeling like they’re going to fall off! So many women’s shoes feel like they’ve been designed to torture your feet, rather than comfort and support them.
Well, we’ve set out to change the paradigm! We’ve set our team of reviewers to come up with a list of the best shoes women can buy to stand in all day. Our recommendations all look great, feel fantastic, and are hardy enough to take the strain of day to day use.
In this guide, you’ll find our in-depth reviews of each style we’ve selected. We’ll show you why they’re so much better than the rest of the market, and help you figure out which one is best for you!
First off, take a glance at our Top Three favorites!
Best Casual Shoe
Best Formal Shoes
Best All Around
Best Women’s Shoes For Standing – 2018 Reviews
- Nike Free Rn Flyknit
- Dansko Professional Mule
- Birkenstock Rosemead Clog
- Birkenstock Collins Boot
- Birkenstock Boston Professional Clog
- Birkenstock Mayari Sandal
1. Nike Free Rn Flyknit
If you’re working in a casual setting and love wearing sneakers to your job, look no further than these Nike’s! They’re fun, stylish, and incredibly comfortable to wear when you’re on your feet all day.
They come in lots of fun color options–more than 30! There are lots of high-contrast pairings, as well as more subtle knit blends. We love having so many options. There’s something to suit any taste, as long as you like sneakers!
They’re super flexible. These Flex series shoes have grooves in the outsole and midsole, so the whole thing acts like a really responsive tread. They move with you better than any other sneakers we’ve seen. That’s ideal for anyone who has to go up on ladders, negotiate stairs, or any other workplace environment that requires careful footwork.
The fly-knit upper fits like a sock, and moves with your foot so that the sole is never out of place. It doesn’t have that restrictive feeling across the top that we’ve felt with so many other running shoes. At the same time, the fly-wires inside keep everything evenly secured, so you don’t feel too loose either. Previous buyers said these felt like super agile slippers, only with arch support and cushioning!
They’re very light. One reason these are so popular as work shoes (as well as running shoes) is that they feel like you’re barely wearing anything. If you ever feel like you’re tired and dragging your feet by the end of a shift, these could be the answer!
They breathe extremely well, too. Reviewers raved about how much airflow goes through the mesh upper. It’s very good at distributing heat and preventing uncomfortable sweat buildup. Since it’s stretchy, it can also accommodate some natural swelling through the shift!
The heel offers some extra stability over other “free” running shoes. This generation has a slightly higher, more rigid heel than the last, and it really helps keep your gait and strike even.
It’s as comfortable as you’d expect from a running shoe. There’s a cushioned midsole, made from a light but durable foam material. There’s also a moderate amount of arch support through the midfoot, shaped anatomically for women!
If you need extra arch support, or a more specific insole, you can easily swap out the Nike insole for an orthotic.
Overall, reviewers thought these felt more like a natural extension of their feet than a traditional shoe. They said that thanks to the lightweight and airy feel, it was like being able to walk around barefoot but with lots of energy and arch support! Buyers who used them for work said they could wear them all day without pain.
They last a long time. Unlike a lot of other all-mesh styles these days, reviewers didn’t report any problems with rips, holes, or other longevity issues.
Oh, and they’re great running shoes, too! You can easily go straight from work to the gym and expect these to serve you equally well in both environments.
They run a bit small and narrow, and they’re designed to fit snugly. We usually recommend ordering half a size to a full size up with Nike’s.
They’re also a bit pricey, since they’re a newer Nike style. Check for sales when you buy!
However, aside from the price tag and Nike’s usual small sizing, we can’t find anything to complain about! Just don’t try to sneak these into a formal office.
2. Dansko Professional Mule
When you think of women’s shoes for standing, Dansko’s are always near the top of the list. They’re probably the single most popular style for women who are on their feet all day, in the hospitality, medical, and educational fields especially. We think they’re a no-brainer to recommend to you!
They’re a comfortable rocker clog with a classic profile. These have a closed back and curved toe box that’s easy to recognize (if you’ve ever looked at what hostesses are wearing at your favorite restaurant, it’s almost certainly a Dansko–they’re that popular!). They fit slightly roomy, with some wiggle room around the heel, as you’d expect from a traditional clog.
The roomy toe box is perfect for anyone who’s ever had issues with their toes being squeezed in other women’s dress shoes. These are plenty roomy, and we don’t think you’ll have any problems getting your toes in with room to breathe.
These clogs also have a wide heel strike which gives them more stability than other styles.
They give you lots of ergonomic support throughout the foot, but especially through the arch. They do have a slightly raised heel, but your feet stay relatively close to their natural alignment.
In the middle, a prominent arch mound keeps your plantar fascia happy, and prevents a lot of the chronic foot pain issues that plague full-time standers.
Many buyers are loyal fans of Dansko’s because they find that the clogs solve posture, back, and joint issues!
Even though they’re a classic style, they’ve been updated with a cooler lining material for better ventilation, and a synthetic sole for better traction.
The leather upper has a reinforced toe box to protect your feet. It’s not a steel toe, but it’s enough to stop falling objects from hurting in most work settings! The toe boxes’ reinforcements also help them keep their shape, where some clogs tend to collapse a bit over time.
They also have more cushion than a Birkenstock. Dansko’s used to be all cork, like Birkenstock’s, but now they have a layer of foam cushioning on top of the foam insole. So, they add a bit more padding for ladies who like that. You’ll still get the ergonomic benefits, but if you have sensitive feet, you might find these more comfy than an all-cork insole.
They look fantastic, and there are lots of styles to choose from. The Professional Mule comes in close to 50 different options! There are patent leathers, fun patterns, bright colors, classic worked leather finishes, and everything in between! So, whether you need personal flair or something to match a uniform, it’s easy to find the right style. We love having so many options, ranging from formal to funky!
They’re made in Europe. So many brands have outsourced their manufacturing these days, which makes quality control inconsistent, and generally results in crappier shoes. These are still made in Italy, and they have a great reputation for quality, workmanship, and durability. Just be wary of knockoffs!
They last for years.
They’re a larger, clunkier shoe. If you’re looking for something sleek and low profile, you’re probably better off with one of our Birkenstock recommendations.
They also have European sizing, and run a bit small. If you can try these on in person before you buy online, you’ll be doing yourself a favor.
Like a Birkenstock, these require a lot of break-in. There’s the cork insole, which needs to naturally wear in and shape to your foot. Then there’s the leather upper, which will soften the more you wear the shoes. So, plan on a week or two of breaking in these shoes before they feel as amazing as they’re supposed to. Some previous buyers were disappointed to have to wear them through the break-in period.
They’re pricey. Especially with some of the fancier patent leather styles, these clogs can easily cost over $100. Still, they’re about on par with a Birkenstock shoe, and they’re investments that last a lot longer than other shoes.
Some of the finishes scuff easily. If that’s going to be something you have to deal with regularly, you’ll want to go for one of the natural leather options, so you can just polish or wax out the marks as you go. That’s harder to do with some of the fun print choices.
They’re not for everybody. These are great for people who want more support than cushion. If you’re looking for a bouncy, cushy shoe, they’re not going to make you happy. We think it’s much more important to look for structure and support when you’re standing all day, but we also understand that some people simply prefer cushioning.
3. Birkenstock Rosemead Clog
These Rosemead clogs from Birkenstock are a fun alternative for people who want a Birkenstock clog, but want something a bit cuter than the traditional Boston model, which is completely enclosed. These have a fun cutout, a strap, and a more effeminate look that goes better with dresses and flowing pants. They’re ideal for teachers, retail workers, and medical professionals.
They’re Birkenstocks. That means you’re getting one of the best footbeds in the world! Birkenstock’s signature cork footbed balances your weight along the sole for a natural gait, and it gives you lots of arch support and metatarsal relief. Cork also gives you some natural cushioning, and wears into your natural foot shape to give you a custom fit and perfect support.
If you’ve got problem feet, or simply want to keep chronic foot conditions at bay, these are a great choice! They do wonders for plantar fasciitis, thanks to the strong arch support, and the roomy toe box prevents issues like bunions as well.
Since they’re so good in the ergonomics department, these Birks also do wonders for your posture. They help to promote core engagement and proper alignment throughout your stride. Many reviewers found that the Rosemeads made a big difference in their knee, back, and hip pain. A lot of people who said they’d always found standing all day unbearable said that these were the only shoes that kept them completely comfortable!
They’re more fashion-friendly than other clogs, thanks to the low profile and cut-out. These are the best for wearing with dresses, in our opinion, and the suede uppers go nicely with floral textures and more casual, summery dresses in particular.
They’re nice and wide, and you can get them in both the standard width and a narrower option, for people who don’t need quite as much room.
They stay cool. That’s thanks to the open back and the cutout around the ankle. Plus, even the solid leather part of the upper breathes naturally, since suede stays cooler than hard leather finishes.
There are a few color options, like an olive taupe style and a plum variety. All the options are versatile earth tones which go with lots of different clothes. Buyers said they wore their Rosemeads with dresses, jeans and shorts.
They’re made in Germany, like all Birkenstocks. If you’re sick of the crappy quality we’ve all come to expect from most fashion shoes, don’t worry! These are at the absolute other end of the spectrum. They have flawless quality control, and both the soles and the uppers are very high-quality.
They last a long time, too! Buyers find they can go for several years without needing to be replaced!
They’re a lot less expensive than other Birkenstock styles. These are available for well under $100.
You’ll have to break in the sole. Natural cork is probably the best footbed material in the world, but it can be a real process to break in. Plan on a week or two of stiffness before these really start to feel like home.
You have to figure out your European size, and it’s best to use Birkenstock’s handy millimeter measurement chart. However, when you figure out which Birkenstock size fits you, their shoes are incredibly consistent!
4. Birkenstock Collins Boot
Leather boots are always a classy choice for women to stand in, but so many of them are just plain uncomfortable. Well, we think these Birkenstock Collins boots are game changers in that department! They look as good as any other riding-style boots, but they’re as comfortable as Birkenstock sandals on the inside! They’re our go-to boots for women right now.
They’re wildly better-made than other leather boots. So many fashion leather boots, even from the most well-known designers, are made very cheaply. They fall apart easily, and the leather just feels thin and fake. These are made with luxurious, high grain leather which you can instantly tell are the real deal. The sole is heavy-duty rubber, so it doesn’t wear down easily or crack like the cheap wood and synthetic soles so many other companies are using these days. All the stitching and glue work is impeccable, and we couldn’t find a single complaint about quality control for these boots!
They have the Birkenstock cork insole inside. It’s almost exactly like the footbed on the Rosemead clogs or Birkenstock sandals, only without the metatarsal ridge. Taking out the ridge makes it easier to slide feet into the boots wearing socks, and you won’t feel like you’re missing anything. Reviewers said that once they wore them in, the Collins boots felt just like wearing covered versions of their favorite Birkenstock sandals!
Like any other Birkenstock model, they’re very ergonomic. While most leather boots don’t have any arch support at all, these have as much as the Rosemead’s we’ve just looked at! They have a lower heel than other leather boots, which is much better for your feet and body. Overall, they have the same balanced, natural alignment that people expect from a Birkenstock.
They’re some of the only boots that will be comfortable for people with arch issues, heel pain, or other chronic foot problems. They support proper posture, which takes pressure off your joints and back, and they’re generally the best balance we’ve found between style and comfort in a boot!
There’s an inside zipper to make it easy to get these on and off.
They’re extremely durable. We couldn’t find any reviewers whose boots were even beginning to wear out, so you can expect these to be walkable for years! You can also swap out the footbed if you wear the included one down!
As with other Birk’s, they’re made entirely in Europe!
They don’t have a lot of traction. These aren’t a great winter boot option, but the rubber does pretty well on smooth tile floors.
They’re a bit pricey. Expect to pay around $150 or more for a pair of these.
As with other Birkenstock’s, they take some wearing in, and they’re never going to be plush. If you have a sensitivity issue like Morton’s Neuroma, for instance, you might not be able to make these work for you. One other option is to swap the replaceable footbed for Birkenstock’s “soft” type of footbed.
5. Birkenstock Boston Professional
These Birk’s are our top recommendation for ladies in lab settings, medical facilities, or busy kitchens. They’re ideal for anywhere messy and unpredictable! They’re slip-resistant, easy to clean, and go well with uniforms.
The simple black or white color choices are ideally suited to restaurant uniforms, hospital scrubs, and lab clothes. They’re not as full of personality as the usual Boston clogs, but they’re easy to clean, and they fit in well without compromising on comfort.
The uppers are made from a leather that’s been treated to be easy to clean and maintain, without sacrificing its softness. We’re very impressed with how soft these uppers are compared to something like a Dansko. Reviewers said theirs wore in beautifully, and were incredibly comfortable. The finish also preserves the leather’s natural breathability, so these don’t get as swampy as rubberized clogs.
Under the leather, there’s Birkenstock’s standard cork footbed, exactly like we saw on the Rosemead. It has strong arch support, metatarsal ridge, and heel cupping for a balanced and natural gait. It’s worlds away from Crocs! Again, it’ll wear in to suit your foot over time, and it provides natural pressure relief for your joints, back, and hips.
The soles are different from the normal Birkenstock soles. These have certified slip-resistant outsoles which are perfect for hospital corridors, busy kitchens, and other more hazardous settings.
They’ve got an incredibly loyal following in the professional world. If you read reviews of these, you’ll find that they’re the shoes of choice for chefs, nurses, and all sorts of people who depend on their shoes to keep them comfortable all day. Once people start wearing these, they almost always stick with them for their careers!
Like a lot of Birkenstock models, they’ll last for years if you take care of them. So, while they might cost more than other clogs up front, you get a much, much longer working life from them. Plus, your feet will be infinitely happier!
Again, you’ll have to wear these in. Both the leather upper and the cork footbed will soften up and shape to your feet the more you wear your Boston’s.
They can easily cost $150. However, they last a lot longer than other work shoes.
A lot of our other recommendations are stylish enough to be your everyday shoes as well as your work shoes. These ones probably won’t be something you wear out shopping or to bars. We’d recommend them for people who want dedicated work shoes.
6. Birkenstock Mayari Sandal
Our final recommendation for women on their feet all day is the Birkenstock Mayari! Yes, another Birkenstock. But, when it comes to sandals with enough support and comfort features to get you through a full day of standing, there’s really no competition! These are some of the most elegant Birk’s you can find. They work with dresses, skirts, skinny jeans–you name it! If you’re looking for a classy sandal to take to work, we think these are the absolute best!
They’re a lot more elegant than some of the more popular Birkenstock styles. These have thinner straps, which are a lot less blocky than the Arizona sandals, for instance. A lot of women are drawn to the Mayari because it’s much more feminine than the unisex styles. They definitely have less of a “hippie” look to them!
They come in lots of color and finish options. You can get plain leather looks, or sparkly gold straps. Whatever you prefer, there are more than a dozen different styles to choose from.
Even though they look more stylish, they’re just as comfortable as other Birkenstocks. They have the same cork footbed, with a suede liner on the top. It has strong arch support, a heel cup, and a metatarsal ridge to keep your feet and body happy! As with all the other Birk’s we’ve recommended, the Mayari’s promote alignment in your gait and proper postural engagement in the core and lower back as you walk.
So, even the daintiest shoes we’re recommending for standing all day still offer you lots of support and relief for your joints and other traditional painful/sore spots! Previous buyers were thrilled to be able to find something that looked like a more traditional fashion sandal, but which could also alleviate plantar fasciitis and other symptoms of long-term standing!
Like the Rosemead clogs, they have Birkenstock’s EVA outsole for traction, impact absorption, and durability.
They come in two widths, the normal (which fits average and wider feet), and the narrow width.
You can usually find them for under $100, which is great for Birkenstock’s!
There are a lot of knock-offs out there, so you have to make sure you’re buying from an authorized reseller or directly from Amazon. A lot of online reviewers who had complaints about these sandals were clearly reacting to knock-off Birkenstock’s with shoddy build quality and poorly-made comfort features.
As usual with Birk’s, you have to break them in. Buyers said they didn’t take very long to become comfortable, though. Most said you’d only need a few days of full-time walking to have them feeling like home!
They don’t last as long as some other Birkenstock’s. Some buyers found that the thin straps broke after just a couple of years, where other Birkenstocks can last up to a decade. A few reviewers also mentioned having cracks in the cork footbed along the metatarsal ridge. That does happen occasionally, but the vast majority of buyers didn’t have any issues with longevity.
|Model Name||Cost||Fit||# of Style Options|
|Nike Free Rn Flyknit||$$$||As expected||40|
|Birkenstock Rosemead Clog||$||As expected||3|
|Birkenstock Collins Boot||$$||As expected||5|
Which Shoes Are Best for Women at Work All Day?
Now that we’ve looked at them all in detail, which of our recommendations should you order?
The Nike’s are a no-brainer for anyone who wants a casual shoe for work. They’re comfortable, fashion-friendly, and you can wear them to the gym or around town as well! The only downside for us is that you can’t wear them in formal workplaces.
The Dansko’s are great for ladies who want a classic clog. It’s hard to argue with something this popular, and if you like rocker soles or patent leather uppers, they don’t get any better than this! Just don’t buy them if you want something sleek or low-profile.
The Birkenstock Rosemead’s are our overall favorite shoe here, because they give you a balance between low-profile elegance and the comfort of a clog. They’re easy to wear with dresses, flow-y slacks, and skirts. We think they’re pretty great, but if you don’t like the funky look, or don’t want to take care of suede, go with one of our other picks!
The Birkenstock Collins boots are fantastic for anyone who wants to wear leather boots as her main shoes. They’re by far the best boots we’ve ever reviewed, and we don’t think there’s any reason not to buy them if you’re looking for an ankle boot! They’re also a great seasonal option that you could alternate with the Mayari’s!
The Birkenstock Boston Professional’s are our favorite shoes for ladies in labs, hospital floors, and kitchens. They’re the best of the bunch at handling messes, thanks to the easy-care uppers and the slip-resistant soles. Plus, they’re as comfortable as any other Birk’s. Don’t expect a lot of personality from them, though. They’re better off as an accompaniment to scrubs or a uniform.
The Birkenstock Mayari’s are the clear summer choice for ladies looking for a lightweight pair. They’re comfy, classy, and much more supportive than other sandals that look this good. Don’t plan on using them in the winter, but we don’t have any complaints about them in warm weather!
Here are a few things to think about when you’re deciding which shoes to buy for standing all day:
Of course, any shoe you buy should look great! Your shoes say a lot about you, so make sure this pair fits your personal style and goes well with the rest of your clothes.
You should also make sure you’re fitting whatever dress code or aesthetic is enforced or encouraged at your workplace. If you’re buying them for a formal setting, it’s not a good idea to get sneakers, for example.
Cheap shoes aren’t good for standing all day. It’s that simple! So, treat your new shoes as an investment in your health, happiness, and productivity. We think it’s worth spending more money on your footwear up front if it prevents pain, tiredness, and podiatrist bills down the line. So, expect to pay at least $50-$150 for a really great pair of shoes. Anything cheaper won’t have the support or durability you need for all-day standing.
A lot of people just think about cushion when it comes to shoes to stand in. That’s important to be sure, but support is much more important! If your shoes just have a flat cushion, you’ll end up wobbling around with sore arches and ankle pain. Plus, the cushier your shoes are, the more you’ll be tempted to slouch or disengage with the rest of your posture.
You need anatomical support to keep your feet happy, your gait stable, and your posture straight! It might seem counterintuitive, but harder shoes that have more rigid arch, metatarsal, and heel cupping support will leave you feeling better at the end of the day than something super springy without those support features. Make sure your shoes have them!
Last but certainly not least, make sure your new kicks are sturdy and well-made enough to handle all-day wear for at least a year or two, if not more! A lot of shoes will break down or fall apart after just a few months if you wear them all through the workweek. So, look for styles with cork footbeds or super durable foam cushioning that won’t pack down. Durability is also one reason we tend to go for European-made shoes for standing, since build quality tends to be a lot better, resulting in a shoe you can get a longer life out of! You want an EVA or thick rubber outsole, heavy stitching, and impeccable glue work in your new shoes.
You can find some more specific tips on our main guide to shoes for standing!
If you like the look of any of our recommendations, all you have to do is click on the links in the review to check it out on Amazon! Or, head to our larger guide to shoes for standing to see more recommendations and reviews!