Authored by Adam Sherman
Finding the Perfect Shoes for Walking on Hard Floors
Let’s face it, walking on concrete for extended periods of time can be a killer activity for your feet and calves. Especially when doing day-to-day errands or if you live in a city where walking accounts for up to 70% of your daily routine (Source: Urban Mobility Research, 2019). Such prolonged walking on hard surfaces can exert pressure on the joints up to 1.5 times your body weight (Source: Journal of Biomechanics, 2018).
Do you ever wonder why, after a long day, your feet may be aching? Or do you wake up the next day with throbbing feet? Well, you could be wearing the wrong active shoes for your everyday urban walking activities. When I was in my twenties, I didn't even realize why I was having so much foot pain. It turns out that I was wearing the wrong type of shoes! It took me many years before I finally connected the dots.
Wearing the wrong footwear while on concrete floors can actually inadvertently cause harm to your lower limbs and feet, especially if it lacks appropriate grip. Indeed, concrete is not a flexible material, and this rigidity can lead to swollen feet, aching knees and backs, and stressed joints. We have to take care of our feet; they’re the only ones we’ve got, after all! Most of us take our feet for granted when they feel great. However, we quickly realize how uncomfortable it feels to neglect them once the pains and aches set in. Part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also caring for all parts of our bodies. Doing something as simple as choosing the right footwear can significantly improve foot health and comfort.
The Effects of Walking or Standing on Concrete with Incorrect Shoes
Unfortunately, hard concrete floors are one of the worst surfaces to stand on. Walking on concrete without the right shoe support can increase heel strike impact by up to 80%. (Source: Gait & Posture Journal, 2018). Hence when standing or walking on concrete surfaces for extended periods of time, your muscles, joints and bones can quickly begin to feel the effects. It can especially take a toll on your knees or ankles, as well as your upper body and muscles. Why is that you might ask? Each time your foot hits the ground, the forces of gravity put stress on your joints. So, imagine doing this on hard concrete floors every day. Mud or grass tend to absorb shocks whereas concrete is inflexible and hard in nature so it doesn’t. Therefore, it’s no wonder that people who work on concrete surfaces or stand for long periods of time can develop chronic knee and ankle problems over time.
These stresses and micro-damages can accumulate over the years. These problems can lead to even more issues including a form of arthritis called osteoarthritis, which occurs when the cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. Achilles tendinitis, a condition where you can develop extreme heel & calf pain, can also develop. These are two conditions that can be chronic (happen over a long period of time) and can be quite painful.
Besides, when wearing improper shoes on concrete floors, you can also develop inflammation in your plantar fascia, or the band of tissue running from your heel bone to the ball of your foot. Over time, the inflammation can cause the tissue to tear and stiffen, causing foot pain and a condition called plantar fasciitis.
Image credit: www.bupa.co.uk
Well the good news is that you can definitely prevent these problems just by adapting your footwear to the situation.
A good analogy we can provide is with your car. Your car comes with shock absorbers to absorb the bumps on the road. By absorbing the energy from these bumps, less damage occurs to your car’s engine and your ride tends to also be more comfortable.
It's basically the same logic for footwear. The more your shoes can absorb the shocks that result from walking, the less impact walking or standing on hard floors will have on your joints, bones and muscles . Indeed, every time you take a step, a high amount of kinetic energy enters your body and runs through your legs and all the way to your spine. This is especially true if you do a lot of walking on hard surfaces, such as concrete or cement. Well-constructed shoes have midsoles and outsoles that absorb most of these jolts to your body. You can also look for extra EVA cushioning to ensure your body is well protected.
Make sure you take good care of your feet as, as mentioned before, they’re the only ones you’ve got! Now that we’ve explained the issue and provided some solutions, let’s get to the nitty gritty here and dive into our ace list of the best shoes for walking on concrete.
Key criteria to consider before buying a pair of shoes
Wearing inadequate footwear can lead to foot conditions and frustration over time. Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind some key criteria when you go shopping for a new pair of shoes to walk with on concrete surfaces. To assist you, we’ve listed below few key things to take into consideration:
As you might know, we all have different types of feet. Some of us have high arches meaning they’re raised more than normal. People with high arches tend to suffer more from plantar fasciitis, a condition where the plantar fascia, a ligament connecting your heel bone to your toe is inflamed. This can be very uncomfortable and can most of the time be prevented by wearing the right type of walking shoes.
Some of us don’t have an arch at all (also called flat feet) and some of us just have plain normal arches! Choosing the pair of shoes that matches your arch type, ensures equal distribution of stress and pressure across your foot. Shoes providing the proper amount of support for your foot are therefore a no-brainer.
The midsole needs to be well cushioned so that you can have stable support on your feet. Standing on your feet all day takes its toll and with the improper shoes not only will your feet suffer the consequences, but your joints and knees may also be victims of the lack of support. So, keep those feet happy and get the right cushioning and support for your feet. Whenever I travel, I need to make sure I have shoes with proper cushioning. Walking around a city for hours on end is no joke.
Support those feet by making sure you’ve got enough padding and shock absorbency in your shoes. Believe us, by doing so, you will be doing your knees and joints a huge favor. From my own experience, it's always better to prevent a problem than try and fix it once it's too late. Shoe support is a must, especially the older we get!
Slightly Rounded Toe
You're probably wondering why this is important. When looking for supportive shoes, making sure that your toes have enough room to spread out, means that you are getting equal support on each part of your foot and are evenly distributing your weight across your entire foot. You’ll also be preventing issues such as bunions, blisters or even athlete’s foot from developing! So, keep those toes nice and free, you may not think that it’s important but you actually have a much better posture when your body weight is supported by your entire foot.
Good Stability and Ankle Support
As you can guess, you wouldn’t want your ankles to feel the strain from footwear that doesn’t provide cushioning from impact. Therefore, make sure that your ankles are also well supported in the shoe. Otherwise, you could risk getting heel spurs, which is a bony protrusion caused by repetitive stress from walking or running on hard surfaces. It can also be caused by wearing inadequate shoes that do not support your feet. It can be easy to confuse heel spurs with Plantar fasciitis. As mentioned above, Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which there is an inflammatory process occurring where the plantar fasciitis attaches to the heel. This occurs because of an abnormal stress being placed on it. Things that can cause an abnormal amount of pressure on your plantar fascia include excessive weight, overuse or wearing shoes without a supporting arch. You can, therefore, see why it is so important to have well rounded supportive shoes. Heel Spurs tend to be worse because they will be there permanently whereas plantar fasciitis will subside on its own.
Our top picks for shoes to walk on concrete or for standing all day
Samara Walking Sandals
The Samara sandal is one of the most popular styles from Viakix’s range of outdoor footwear. This pair of sandals was designed to be comfortable and stylish. Viakix’s outdoor sandal has a thick comfortable EVA foam midsole, which provides even more cushioning and reduces the stresses on those joints. The sandal is fully equipped with a shank stabilizer, which absorbs the shocks of cement walking. Everyone needs protection from the elements, like concrete, and these sandals do just that.
The front webbing is made out of elastic webbing with a custom made-to-feel feature that'll fit your feet perfectly. The Samara walking sandals truly adjust to your feet for that comfortable and stable feel. They also have a hook and loop strap so you can adjust accordingly to your true size and comfort.
Some other great features of this shoe include a rugged outsole that is extremely durable and supplies great traction for those on the go. The shoes also feature a midsole that contains a shank stabilizer to provide arch support on any type of terrains. It’s an all-around great shoe that is both fabulous, comes in a variety of colors, and multifunctional.
The Samara sandal will definitely give you the support that is needed to tackle those everyday activities on that cement floor. This ultra-comfortable sandal is priced as low as $54.99! At this price, it’s a real bargain so grab your pair now!
Acadia Hiking Sandals
As a brand specializing in providing supportive and comfortable shoes, Viakix offers a wide range of stylish orthotics. One of the most popular additions to the range is the Acadia Hiking Sandal. Featuring an EVA foam midsole and a high-quality outsole, these sandals will provide you with extra cushioning to help distribute the pressure evenly across your feet. These incredible features will also be helpful in absorbing shocks and protecting your bones, ligaments and joints. These comfortable sandals have soft Velcro straps will keep your ankles and feet stable while you run your errands, walk far distances, or rush to work. They're a great choice to wear anywhere, especially for those of you always on the move. These sandals are here to stay, and have excellent durability. Whether it's summer and you're on your way to the beach, or looking for a sandal you can wear in water, these are the ones for you. So if you’re looking for superior arch support, extreme comfort and stylish look, these sandals will certainly tick all your boxes.
Based on my experience, these shoes are incredible for support, stability, and comfort. No shoe has ever checked all the boxes like the Acadia hiking sandal. They're also waterproof, so I don't have to think twice about wearing them on rainy hikes.
You can grab a pair here for only $54.99!
Cortona Walking Sandal
Just because you're walking on a hard surface doesn't mean you have to give up style. With the Cortona walking sandals, you can walk in style. This walking footwear doubles as athletic sandals and casual sandals that have soft stretchable straps and a thick EVA foam midsole. The ergonomic outsole provides substantial arch support, which is necessary for ground that provides no soft landing like concrete. It's made of durable material that that's waterproof, so you can easily jump in those puddles on rainy days. The weather doesn't have to deter you from wearing these sandals. Better yet, this is a great option if you're a clumsy walker. You don't have to worry about rolling an ankle because these sandals have an ankle strap. With these sandals, your feet, arch, ankle, joints, and knees will be supported and protected. No other sandal has ever tackled all the shoe necessities except for Viakix. I never have to worry about rolling an ankle or having a blister again!
So there you go! Our Best Shoes for Walking on Concrete Guide, tailor made just for you.
We do hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful and informative. Remember to take care of your feet as you only have the two to get you through a long and healthy life. Many symptoms associated with walking on cement can be easily avoided with the right foot care. So go ahead and treat yourself to a comfy pair of new walking shoes! Your feet will thank you for many years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose the right sandals for walking on a hard street?
Looking for the right walking sandals for concrete is important. Sandals with ankle support, good traction, arch support, good cushioning, ad durability are key things to look for in a shoe. Finding the right sandals for walking will protect your joints, ligaments, and ankles.
How often should I replace my sandals?
You should replace your sandals every 2 to 3 years, although our sandals are long-lasting and have high durability. If you wear your sandals on a daily basis, then replacing them every 2 years is a good idea to make sure the materials are of the highest quality as when you first bought them.
What are the best sandals for walking on concrete?
A sandal with a supportive arch is important for flat terrain. If you're hiking on rocky terrain, you'll want a sandal with ankle support and cushioning to protect the arch of your foot.