Best Nike shoes for standing all day

Buying guide

Standing for long stretches may raise some health risks but your footwear can make a big difference.

Last updated: 22 March 2024
5 min read
The Best Shoes for Standing All Day

For the past decade, research has sounded the alarm on the dangers of sitting too much—with some research comparing it to smoking in terms of health risks—but what about standing all day?

Standing all day comes with some downsides, too. For example, a study in the Rehabilitation Nursing Journal notes that working in a standing posture all day can lead to general muscular fatigue, lower back pain, stiffness in the neck and shoulders and sore feet. Another study in the journal Ergonomics found that standing for more than two hours while working can result in physical discomfort and affect your emotional health, too.

Here's the good news: the shoes you wear when you have long bouts of standing can make a big difference in counteracting the effects of prolonged standing. Research in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that the type of footwear worn on the job can make a significant contribution to whether you're preventing problems or fuelling them, particularly when it comes to muscular fatigue and pain.

Style matters and can't be underestimated when choosing the shoes you'll sport all day. There's research on that, too, like a Frontiers in Psychology study about how personal style can boost confidence and self-worth. To maintain your physical and mental well-being, you need to bear other factors in mind. Check out these options for your stretches of all-day standing.

When you want: new innovations, plus loads of cushioning

Nike's Air Max Dn is a great choice for an on-your-feet day. The sneaker features key elements from its predecessors while showcasing a futuristic silhouette. Some of these details are aesthetic—for instance, the Nike Swoosh has an accent on the midfoot rather than on the upper. The real performance head-turner here is the heel unit, which sports four air tubes—two per chamber. Each set of tubes—two at the back at 15psi and two at the front at 5psi—can exchange air, a new, cutting-edge design.

Why does psi matter? Ask your feet. As you move, your feet, ankles and legs need different support and comfort, which isn't possible to achieve in most shoes. Until now, that is: the Nike Air Max Dn's Dynamic Air system creates transitional comfort as you move while still offering stability. With the sneakers adjusting to your motion, you can stand and move all day.

Top example:

Air Max Dn: grab this one quick as it's a fusion between gotta-have-it style and unreal comfort.

The Best Shoes for Standing All Day

When you want: temperature regulation

For your feet to be comfortable while standing all day, they need to stay at a consistent temperature so they don't turn into sweatboxes—which can lead to problems like blisters and hot spots even when wearing socks. This can be challenging if you're in an environment where the temperatures change, like at a hospital, warehouse or big-box retailer that tends to have warmer and cooler zones.

Top example:

Nike Air VaporMax Flynknit: the word you're looking for when selecting a temperature-controlled shoe is "breathable". The mesh upper in all the Nike Flyknit styles has a light, airy feel that provides support and comfort while keeping your feet cool. The Nike Air VaporMax also has a cushioned heel. The entire shoe weighs less than any other model with an Air unit—that's an advantage for preventing fatigue while you're standing for hours.

When you want: to grab and go

If you're in a situation where you take your shoes off and on more than once a day, it's a good idea to wear slip-on footwear. That doesn't mean sacrificing comfort or style, though. Being just as picky about the soles of a slip-on shoe as you would be with lace-ups can pay off in benefits like reduced fatigue risk and more bounce in your step.

Top example:

Nike React Phantom: this one is about versatility, which means you can easily slip them on and still feel the secure support you need for hours of standing. The React Phantom is designed with more foam in the sole, so it has extra cushioning. Yet, the breathable upper keeps it lightweight.

When you want: to stand on Air

Standing all day can mean a mix of movement with plenty of standing and also short stretches of walking, squatting and going up stairs—if you work in healthcare, food service or education, for example. But when there's more standing than anything else, you need maximum cushioning to counteract that. Time to get some Air.

Top example:

Nike Air Max 90: the signature Air unit that's part of this iconic design is all about support and comfort. It was originally envisioned as a way to prevent fatigue for runners (and it still works for that) but it can also keep your feet and legs fresh during long bouts of standing.

Which type of shoes you wear for standing all day depends on several factors, including what activities you choose and, frankly, what goes best with your favourite outfits. The picks on this list can easily tick the boxes for style, comfort and support—all day long.

Frequently asked questions

What type of shoe is best for standing all day?

Having adequate cushioning is key and you also want to look for a breathable and lightweight upper to keep your feet at a comfortable temperature.

What are the best shoes for standing for more than 12 hours?

Consider the Nike Air Max 90 or the Nike Air Max Dn, which offer an innovative way to prevent leg fatigue with long bouts of standing.

Which wide shoes are good for working on your feet all day?

Look at shoes specifically designed for wider feet, such as the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus or the Nike Pegasus 40 By You.

Words by Elizabeth Millard

Originally published: 26 March 2024

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