Concrete is a hard surface for the feet and the rest of the body. The reason is that most surfaces, including trail, grass, and even clay, Pavements can absorb some of the impact when you walk, run, or stand on them. This is helpful because it makes it easier on your body and also helps to protect the pavement from becoming damaged. does not. When you’re on concrete, your body must absorb 100% of the impact itself.
This implies we can’t treat concrete the same as other surfaces. And buying thick, well-cushioned bottoms isn’t the answer. According to the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery, soft, maximalist soles may help you strike the ground harder. This can result in leg tightness, shin splints, and foot position issues. Flat feet over time , knee discomfort, and even back pain are all possible outcomes.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that your body has its own shock absorption and cushioning. When all of your joints are in working order, your feet function as little cushions. When you run or walk, they propel you forward and decrease impact on concrete. We don’t simply want a bigger sole. We want a shoe that allows our feet to function properly while we stand, stroll, and work on concrete for lengthy periods of time.
Recommended Reading: Best shoes for standing on concrete
A Low Heel Drop
A high heel drop is to be found in many modern shoes. This implies that the heel is significantly higher than the ground, with a large toe box. The foot and body are tilted forward as a result of this. We may run faster or lift heavier as a result of this shift.
A heel drop, on the other hand, is terrible for your feet in everyday life. It’s similar to wearing high heels. The Achilles tendon is shortened. Medial arch and ankle mobility are reduced. Your foot’s cushioning ability is damaged. And by shifting your body forward, it affects your posture adversely.
All of this is bad for any surface, but it’s particularly difficult on concrete. It can cause flat feet or high arches, as well as heel and knee discomfort. It can also induce back pain and other hip and leg pains. In a nutshell, high heel drops are not something we want. The maximum drop that is safe to wear is a half-inch. If you walk more than half an inch, you’re essentially wearing high heels on concrete for the rest of your shift.
One important note here. Many of the shoes recommended in this post have substantial forefoot cushioning. The difference between toe box height and heel height in shoes like these is the heel drop. Do not take your measurements from the ground up to the heel. The most important thing is where you place your foot, not how far it travels total.
The medial arch is important for the comfort of your feet. The problem is that, with time, the muscles that support this arch become fatigued. On surfaces like concrete, they tire twice as quickly. The modern world’s flat-foot epidemic is due in large part to this. We spend so much time on concrete that our feet collapse and stay collapsed. This causes sore feet, heel discomfort, and – eventually – ever-thicker soles.
The solution is to search for arch support. High-volume and semi-rigid supportive insoles are excellent. I prefer EVA foam because it maintains its support over hundreds of hours of wear. However, if you walk a lot, you should also seek out arch support in the midsole and outsole.
The midfoot should be positioned higher than the heel, so seek for soles with a little bit of ascent around the halfway mark. Positively, rigid arch frames that assist in supporting this height are excellent. A deep heel cup that keeps the heel below the midfoot is also nice.
Arch support also aids with weight distribution. If you have severe pronation or supination, an arch that is high or low, or a vaulted or flat arch, your weight will be dispersed unequally. The area of the foot that bears the majority of the strain will wear down rapidly. Over time, it can cause significant discomfort and suffering. You distribute your weight evenly and avoid this by using good arch support.
If you spend a significant amount of time on hard surfaces, you’ll benefit from excellent shock absorption. This is why, for jobbers and the great outdoors, I’m not a fan of typical Birkenstocks. That cork sole is wonderful, corrective, and supportive… But it’s time to go with a softer one.
We do not need a sole it really is too thick or too soft, either. These might enhance your striking by reducing tactile feedback. We require a moderately cushioned, moderately supple sole.
There are many different types of modern foam materials. But our team will only test a few of the best ones. Concrete can be improved with a good quality synthetic sole. This is better than using rubber. There are many great synthetic materials these days. I also like gel heel pads and the air cells in some Nike shoes.
Concrete can quickly wear away soft rubber and synthetic soles. We need these kinds of soles, so our shoes are at risk.. If too much of the sole rubs out, the shoes will not be able to cushion, support the arch, or distribute weight properly.
That’s why we’re searching for certain characteristics. First, a sturdier rubber outsole to go with a softer, more cushioned midsole. The softer part of the sole will be prolonged as a result of this. Second – deep, robust treads. They may seem out of place on a hard floor… However, the best walking and standing shoes for all-day use on concrete need them as well. They will protect the main part of the sole and extend its life over time as they wear down.
Third, if at all feasible, we’d want a slip-resistant outsole. These slide less, resulting in reduced friction against concrete. They’re also a smart option because many concrete surfaces – e.g., indoor polished floors – are smooth and slippery.
Light, Stretchy, Breathable Materials
Concrete is a heat absorber par excellence. It makes your feet warm quickly if you are working outside or in a hot environment. If your shoes aren’t breathable, they’ll likely expand. This can compress the foot, reducing cushioning. We need breathability for this reason.
We also require the shoe to be flexible. It must bend and flex with your foot as you walk and stand, absorbing shock effectively. Materials like mesh are preferable. The excellent news regarding this is that you don’t have to spend a lot cash on your running shoes. Even pricey materials, such as thick leather, can be wonderful if they’re properly perforated and feature overlays that allow for adaptability.
Are Running Shoes Good for Walking & Standing on Concrete?
Walking and standing on hard surfaces, such as concrete, are not good for walking shoes. They have a heel drop that inclines your body forward.
It also destroys the suppleness of your ankle and foot, which reduces their natural cushioning effect. Knee discomfort, hip discomfort, painful feet, and worse can all be caused by this.
Consider it this way. Wearing high heels on hard ground all day would seem rather silly, wouldn’t it? If you want to use your running shoes for other things than running, you shouldn’t. Running shoes are meant for running and should only be used for that.
How Can I Make My Work Shoes Last Longer?
The insole is the first component to wear out. Replace the insoles and you’ll extend the life of your footwear. Look for abrasion-resistant outsoles as well, if possible. Many walking shoes include them.