Most people today lead very busy lives, thanks to their very busy jobs. This day and age, digitization has brought us many new sitting jobs. And indeed, sitting too much is one of this century’s greatest problems, since it leads to many people becoming overweight and suffering from obesity related diseases because of it. But even today, still, there are many jobs left where people are required to stand up for long hours every day of the week. Think of nurses, construction workers, retail clerks, hair dressers, police offers, and many other kinds of professionals. I have a standing job myself as a clerk in a flower shop. So for myself as well as all you other standing workers out there, I am putting together this website about standing shoes.
I have once neglected my own foot health by walking around on a pair of favorite flats of mine, that have been long worn, torn and basically gone. I developed foot pain, which led to the beginnings of plantar fasciitis. Instead of screwing around with my worn out flats, I decided to go for a good new pair of shoes. Thankfully, my parents were willing to chip in, since I wasna’t making a lot of money at the time. I needed some therapy in order to treat my starting plantar fasciitis, which I had developed from standing up on non supportive shoes for too long. It took some time and effort, but it totally worked out in the end. My foot pain has gone and thanks to me wearing supportive shoes when I’m working in and around the flower shop, the foot pain hasn’t come back. And I intend to keep it that way.
There are too many people, much like myself, who neglect their foot health. People simply assume that their feet are always going to be therefor them. And they will be, until they’re not. It can happen seemingly out of the blue. One day you are standing comfortably and the next day you are starting to notice some pain. Could be plantar fasciitis, could be any of the other dozens of foot conditions that have plagued mankind ever since its inception.
When you notice pain from standing up, you have to take it seriously. The fact is, it does most certainly not come out of the blue. These types of problems arise over the span of weeks, months, or sometimes even years. You can develop many kinds of foot problems due to standing on sub par support. Sometimes, your weight or inherited genetics will also play a part. But in my experience, 9 out of 10 times your shoes and how you stand in them will play a part in the development of your foot pain.
Causes Of Foot Pain From Your Standing Job
If you are overweight, then that means your body is exerting quite a bit of pressure onto the lower part of your body, by which I mean your lower back, your legs, your knees, your ankles and your feet. As people age, their feet naturally flatten out a bit. This will happen to everybody, because everybody ages. But if you are overweight, it will happen more quickly and the effect will be more serious. Your feet will become a little wider due to the flattening.
You’d think this is harmless, but in reality it has quite some influence on how you stand. The pain in your feet that you get from this, can move its way up to your ankles, knees and lower back. It’s going to affect how you stand. You’ll be completely out of alignment, trying to stand comfortably when your body won’t let you. You’ll take on odd stances to give your painful joints some rest. Awkward, unnatural stances can lead to even more damage to your body in the long run.
If you want to avoid these types of painful problems, then it’s best to lose some weight and thereby make it easier on your feet to support your weight.
Some people are genetically predisposed to certain foot pain conditions. Plantar fasciitis is one such condition. It’s the most well known condition and also one of the most painful ones. But also think about Morton’s neuroma, bunions, bone spur, metatarsalgia, etc.
If your genetics has given you flat feet, then join the club… just about half the planet seems to have low arches these days, including myself. You have to wonder why mother nature ever came up with the idea of giving people feet that are too flat to stand and walk on. I know I have wonder this myself many times. But in the end… it is what it is and we’ll have to deal with it.
Thankfully, we’re no longer living in houses made of mud and worshipping sticks. Thanks to modern day society and all its technological miracles, we actually have footwear that compensates for our inadequate feet. Flat feet (or low arches) are a real drag, since they will make you over pronate. For those of you who don’t know what over pronation is, this is where your feet fall inward and take your legs with them. It’s an unnatural stance, which stresses the knee joints in a direction in which they are not supposed to move.
I’m sure you can imagine this is going to play hell on your knees if you keep walking around like that for years on end, without undertaking any kind of action to actually give yourself some support.
Standing On Bad Shoes
If you are standing on bad shoes, then you are simply asking for it. No pair of shoes is meant to last you forever. Shoes come with a certain outsole thickness, and usually a certain amount of footbed support, or in some cases removeable insoles that can be replaced by better ones. But the shoes themselves are, at some time or another, going to run out of steam. The outsole will wear and there will not be any treads or lugs left on them. The shoes’ support is going to wear down and let you down in due time as well. Sure, you can replace the insole, but what if the shoe’s support in part came from the midsole, which you can’t replace?
If you’re standing on worn out shoes, then you are never going to be standing as comfortably as you can when you did have good support. Even when you maintain your shoes once every month like a good little shoe-carer (is that a word…? it is now!), then they are still going to wear out after a few years of intensive use.
Solutions To Foot Pain From Your Standing Job
By losing weight, you are going to make life so much easier on both yourself as well as your feet. Losing weight usually incorporates getting some type of physical exercise, which will make your body’s muscles stronger. So not only will you get lighter, but you’ll get stronger. It’s a two pronged approach to making your body better capable of standing up.
Your lighter weight will decrease the pressure your upper body exercts on your lower body (back, knees, ankles, feet). Meanwhile, your strengthened muscles will make it easier for you to maintain your stance for hours in a row. For bad joints, it really helps to increase the muscle strength around the joints. Strong muscles can really go a long way ain holding weakened joints together in order to make them stronger.
You’ll last longer this way.
Know Your Strong/Weak Points
If (one of your) parents have had plantar fasciitis at some point in their lives, then that means you’ll have a bigger chance of also developing this foot condition. If you know this upfront, then it’s important that you take steps to prevent it. Because you are almost certain to also get it if you don’t take preventitive action. I’m using plantar fasciitis as an example here, but the fact is that you pretty much every foot condition is genetically inheritable.
Most people know their parents and some of their history. So make sure you know what kind of genetic traits you’ve inherited and take preventitive actions, lest you’ll be dealing with painful foot conditions from standing up at work for long hours, which can take weeks, months or years to treat and cure.
Find Good Standing Shoes
Last but not least, obviously you’ll want to be standing on highly supportive shoes. This is true not only for people who have fallen arches, or even for people who have foot conditions. It’s true for everybody. Even if you’ve got ‘the perfect’ feet, it’s still always a good idea to get supportive shoes for standing up all day long. Now, there is no such thing as ‘perfect’, ofcourse. But what I’m trying to say by ‘perfect’ is that mother nature has blessed you with a neutral stance, which doesn’t necessarily require any support from your shoes.
In a world full of flat footed idiots, there exist people with a neutral stance. These people have neither high nor low arches. They are standing just right, like the human body was meant to stand. They neither over pronate, nor over supinate. While low arches and over pronation is the most common in people, sometimes you encounter a person with high arches which make them over supinate.
Over pronation means the legs tilt inwards. Over supination means the legs tilt outwards. Neither are very good for your knees’ health. So always make sure to get good support for your arch type.
If you’ve got low or high arches, then that means you’re stuck with them for life. You can’t operate something like this. And you also can’t grow a new pair of feet and screw those onto your ankles. The only solution is to get the best arch support shoes for standing up all day at your job that you can find. And if they aren’t going to give you enough support on their own, then make sure that they have removeable insoles, so that you can replace the insoles with something even better.
When it comes to finding good shoes for your profession of choice, it’s best to save up and buy higher priced shoes. In footwear, you really do get what you pay for. If you are paying pennies on the dime for your shoes, then don’t expect them to give you any kind of decent performance. And I haven’t even mentioned the durability yet.
Cheap shoes, think in the $40 – $60 range, are never going to last you as long as shoes that retail for above $100. On top of that, higher priced shoes tend to last much, much longer than cheaper shoes. So if you’re going to shell out for good shoes, consider them a great investment that’s going to last you many years. Leather shoes are pretty much always the best. There is no material on this planet as durable, stretchable and as sturdy as leather. Leather shoes will last a long time, especially if you maintain them well.
What To Look For In Good Standing Shoes?
I’ve already discussed good support. But there are other things you need to look at.
Let’s have a look at them!
This one we already know about. Get both shoes as well as insoles that give you good support.
Next to good support, you’ll want some cushioning. Sounds cushy, don’t you think?
Cushioning not only makes you stand more comfortably, but it can also help you rebound some of the energy you put into your steps, back into your next step. You’d think this is silly and can’t possibly make a difference in how comfortably you are standing and walking.
This tells me you’ve never worn shoes with cushioning before. Just make sure your next pair of shoes for your job is going to be cushy. You can come back later to my website and thank me for it.
For standing up all day long, it helps if shoes have a bit of room. Shoes that leave you room are sometimes also called non binding shoes. This means that the shoes don’t constrict your feet in any way. They have a sturdy form and they will maintain said sturdy form when you are wearing them. An example of a demographic who is a big fan of these kinds of shoes, are diabetics. Diabetics often have foot pain problems due to neuropathy. They require roomy shoes in order to make sure that their situation doesn’t become worse. Neuropathy often leads to numbness, meaning a diabetic wouldn’t even feel it if his foot condition was getting worse due to wearing tight shoes.
You don’t have to be a diabetic in order to wear non binding shoes. If you naturally have swollen feet at the end of the day, either from standing up or simply because you are genetically prone to it, then you can find your saviour in a good pair of roomy standing shoes, that will help you stand up more comfortably during your job.
Nothing is more exhausting then the feeling of sliding around with every step you take. Wear bad shoes for long enough and you won’t even notice that you’re doing it. It’s not like you’ll be slipping across the room like a cartoon character who stepped on a banana peel. It’s way more subtle. But switch from bad shoes to good shoes and you’ll notice a world of difference.
Shoes with a good tread pattern, or even lugs, will go a very long way in making sure that you can stand up straight and take steps with confidence. You can’t have traction on shoes with completely worn out, flat soles. You gotta have a decent tread pattern in them to stand up firmly all day long at your job.