SolidGuides.com may get a commission when you buy through links on our website. Read More.
Our smartphones and watches tell us the precise miles we walk and the number of steps we take. For many, it’s a lot. Plus, most of it is on hard surfaces like concrete and it is no surprise when we end up with sore feet, tender knees, and aching backs. Ouch!
Your choice of shoes plays a crucial role in preventing fatigue and pain. They are a key part to making your day go smoothly. So, tie your shoelaces tight for a jaunt down our list of the 10 best shoes for walking on concrete.
No Time to Read the Entire List?
Those who work in fields like food service or nursing find slip-ons or clogs are the most comfortable. The Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip On and Alegria Eryn Womens Career Fashion Wedge provide maximum comfort, even on the longest days.
Some, like construction and warehouse workers, may need something a bit more secure. If that is you, consider a lace-up athletic or trainer shoe like Asics Men’s GEL-Contend 5 SL Walking Shoe or Dansko Women’s Paisley Sneaker.
For lace-up security, comfort, plus a steel toe, you can consider the KEEN Utility Atlanta Cool ESD Steel Toe Work Shoe.
For a more professional appearance, you can consider Dunham Men’s Bryce Oxford or the Clarks Women’s Everlay Elma Oxford. These offer more comfort and slip resistance than a dress shoe but can be worn with slacks or khakis for a business look.
Below, we present the 10 of the best shoes for walking on concrete and other hard surfaces.
The Asics GEL-Tech Walker Neo 4 built a large fan base and received a lot of love. Unfortunately, Asics discontinued it to the great disappointment of many. But fear not, the GEL-Contend 5 SL is a great replacement.
This style is fairly neutral and looks a little less like a trainer than some competing shoes. So, it does blend with a variety of clothing styles.
Designed for walking, this shoe is a lightweight, flexible choice. It can withstand the demands of your daily walking while keeping you fresh and healthy. The heel shifts your body mass forward, which reduces strain on your feet, knees, hips, and back.
The breathable upper mesh keeps your foot comfortable and dry. At the same time, the rear gel cushioning and foam midsole reduce the impact of every step. The tongue and collar are also padded for comfort.
Another great design element is the sock liner. It helps with underfoot support and comfort. It is also breathable and removable to aid in keeping your feet and shoes fresh.
For those looking for leather, unfortunately, this shoe is not your choice. It does use synthetic uppers. But the price is affordable and this a lot of shoe for the money. It is a good buy for those who like a deal.
Dansko Woman’s Paisley shoe is more than a sneaker. It looks good enough to wear in many situations. Plus, a Scotchgard treatment provides stain resistance to keep it looking great, longer.
For durability, the uppers are waterproof leather. An antimicrobial treatment on the interior fabrics helps control foot odor. In short, Dankso designed this shoe for everyday use.
The cloth linings are made with a special Dupont fiber. It is breathable and helps with moisture control.
A footbed provides support and it is topped with contoured memory foam. Plus, a built-in arch support keeps you stable. Your footbed is also removable with this shoe. This allows you to insert your own custom orthotics if necessary.
A slip-resistant rubber sole gives you traction to protect against slip and falls. Also, the heel height is a comfortable 1 ½ inch.
The Paisley is available in a variety of colors with subtle contrasts on the toe, collar, and sole. So, it keeps your feet looking good as well as dry and fatigue-free. This is a good choice for any woman who spends extended time standing or walking on concrete.
Quality does come at a price. This shoe is more expensive than some competing products.
The slip-on has become fashionable in many circles. For walking on concrete, the Merrell Encore Gust is a good choice if you prefer this shoe style.
With its refined casual style, this is a slip-on that is ready to go just about anywhere. But it also ensures that each one of your steps is comfortable and safe. That makes this shoe versatile.
The upper is smooth, continuous imported leather. A padded collar keeps things simple in the same color as the upper to maintain an unadorned, clean look.
Inside, an air heel cushion absorbs shock. The EVA molded “foot frame” provides firmness and comfort. Plus, the insole is removable and you can insert your own orthotics if needed.
For traction, Merrill provided a textured rubber sole referred to as “M-Select Grip.” With inclement weather, your footing is much improved compared to dress shoes.
Anyone looking for a shoe a bit more formal than a sneaker or trainer should consider the Encore Gust. The easy on and off of the slip-on is convenient. Plus, it provides comfort for the longest days in workplaces like restaurants or hospitals.
The Glides Calculous is a great choice for those who spend the majority of their hours standing or walking on hard surfaces like concrete. These may be a bit too casual for jobs like construction, but they are designed to pamper your feet.
Skechers uses gel-infused memory foam from the heel all the way to the toe in this shoe. This provides comfort and shock resistance. Plus, a moisture-wicking insole keeps your foot dry and comfortable.
A padded collar is in keeping with the comfortable nature of this shoe. Flexible panels, called goring panels, are strategically located on the upper sides making for easy on and off.
To keep you upright, a textured rubber sole provides traction far superior to any dress shoe. Combined with the composite insole that provides support, your footing will be sound.
You can re-oil the real leather upper to keep it looking sharp. The available colors and subtle accents make this a fairly neutral shoe. It will work in many situations and blend with a variety of clothes.
This shoe also incorporates a “relaxed fit” design for a little extra room. This is in keeping with the comfort priority of this shoe.
One last point, the footbed of this shoe is not removable. So, if you need removable insoles for custom orthotics, you may want to look elsewhere.
If you work long days on concrete or other hard surfaces, the Skechers Work Sure Track may help.
For starters, the outsole meets ASTM 1677 – 96 to equal or exceed a 0.5 coefficient on wet or oily surfaces. That means it is slip-resistant as tested and defined by OSHA. The shoe is also electrical hazard safe as rated by ASTM F2412 – 05.
All that technical jargon means the shoe helps to keep you safe at work. But it is also designed last. The uppers are water and stain-resistant. Plus, an additional padding of leather protects the toe and heel.
As for comfort, even putting this shoe on is easy. There is a heel loop and a stretch top panel to help you pull it on and off. Once on, this shoe is a relaxed fit design that gives you some added room to keep your feet cozy.
Inside, you get a removable insole (you can insert your own orthotics if necessary). It is also topped with memory foam for added cushioning. A padded collar and the moisture-wicking shoe lining also work to keep your foot comfortable.
Another detail that helps make this shoe work for you during long workdays, it is very light. The Work Sure Track is only 9 oz. per shoe, which is lighter than many of the competitors.
Want a comfortable shoe that is versatile? Well, then the Everlay Coda flat is a shoe you need to look at. It is a versatile choice that you can wear with dressier work clothes or dress down with a pair of jeans.
Pleats add a touch of fashion to the upper. Also, a hook and loop strap and flex panels allow you to adjust for a custom fit to your foot. This is an advantage over most slip-ons since you can adjust the tightness to get it just right.
The cushioned rubber outsole has a textured tread. But it is not as aggressive as some competing shoes. So, if slip resistance is a major concern, you might want to look elsewhere. Alos, for those who might be wondering, the heel of this flat is about 1 1/2 in.
A padded collar and goring help to make this shoe comfortable and easy to pull on or off. It also uses an Ortholite footbed. Ortholite is a familiar manufacturer of insoles and their products are known to provide support and protection for your feet.
This shoe provides a “cushion soft” design. It uses both the rubber outsole and Ortholite insole to provide shock resistance with each step. However, this design also uses a fixed orthotic footbed and it is not removable.
The Durham men’s Bryce Oxford appeals to those who require a professional look while working long hours on hard concrete.
Do not let the formal, lace-up Oxford appearance fool you. You can dress this shoe down with jeans. And this shoe features many details that make for a comfortable experience.
Durham strives to provide a size for every foot. As a result, you will find wide and narrow options available for most sizes. A proper fit is a good first step towards long term comfort.
As supplied, the insole has a nylon stability shank which provides good support for your arch. Should you require custom orthotics, the insole is removable.
The heel has extra padding to reduce shock to the body as you take each step. The collar is also padded to prevent chafing at the ankles.
To keep your feet dry and comfortable, the lining is breathable. Durham also states that their shoes are waterproof. Good moisture control means a happy foot.
For use in a casual or formal setting, the Bryce Oxford keeps your feet cool, dry and comfortable. You will look good and be ready for those long days spent on hard concrete.
Limited color selection is a common drawback with most shoes designed for extended use on concrete. Alegria solves that problem with a unique wedge. With a large number of color choices, you can find an Eryn shoe that fits your style.
The leather upper comes in plain colors and styles, or bold. You have lots of choices. Alegria offers no less than 18 color/style choices.
But this shoe brings some nice features, too. The lining is suede leather for a luxurious touch. And the padded collar provides extra comfort.
The inner and outer soles are designed for comfort and shock resistance. The Eryn incorporates a 2-inch heel and a cushioned rubber outer sole. Plus, the sole bottom is textured for slip resistance.
If you have custom orthotics, this is a good shoe for you. You can remove the insole and insert your own.
Alegria’s Eryn will appeal to those who want some style without sacrificing comfort. It makes more of a fashion statement than other slip-ons while providing the same comfort.
One thing to note, the price does vary quite a bit depending on the color/style you choose. Some of the more elaborate designs do get pricey.
Professional looking women’s shoes are not known for comfort, especially when walking on concrete. But Clarks offers the Everlay Elma Oxford that solves this problem.
The Elma presents a sleek, professional look in a women’s shoe that almost seems to be a cross between an Oxford and trainer. But that also means it looks good while providing your feet the protection they need.
A wedge shaped, cushioned rubber sole comes with a 1 ½ in. heel. It provides shock resistance but is also textured on the bottom for slip resistance.
Clarks also provides an “Ortholite” insole, a brand known for comfort. But you cannot remove it. So, if you have custom orthotics, you need to look elsewhere.
The leather upper lacks much adornment, other than some stitching at the panel seams. That is in line with the straightforward, professional presentation of this shoe. In line with that philosophy, it only comes in black.
One of the surprising aspects of this shoe, it is quite affordable. You might expect a leather shoe that looks good with comfort built-in to be expensive. But Clarks priced this shoe competitively and it is a good value.
For those in the foodservice industry, nursing, or similar jobs, comfort is a prime concern. But in jobs like construction and manufacturing, toe protection is also needed. Steel toe boots provide that protection, but they get hot and lack comfort.
Luckly, Keen offers the Atlanta Cool ESD Steel Toe Work shoe. This shoe looks like an athletic trainer at first glance. But it is actually a work shoe, full of protection for your foot.
Of course, the namesake steel toe keeps your toes protected against crushing. But you also have a hard-working shoe designed to be comfortable.
KEEN used mesh and leather on the uppers. This allows your foot to breathe in hot weather. Plus, both of the upper materials can get wet without damage. But the mesh will let water in and your foot will get wet in heavy rain or puddles.
Touches like the easy on and off quick lace system make the shoe convenient. You can quickly snug up the shoe to keep it secure on the worksite. Also, the asymmetrical steel toes give your left and right digits a proper space to live.
A tread on the rubber sole provides good slip resistance. The outsole also raises your heel an ergonomic 1.25 in. and its cushioning provides shock resistance.
The provided insole is comfortable and removable. This allows for cleaning but it also allows for use of custom orthotics.
A torsional stability shank offers another form of protection. It provides a firm stable bed but also allows just the right flexibility for your foot to function. A dual-density EVA midsole adds even more stability.
This is a work shoe with many nice features, but you will have to spend a bit more for the added foot protection. This shoe is more expensive than some competing slip-ons. But if you need steel toes, this is a great option that also provides comfort.
Buying the best shoes for walking on concrete can be a challenge. The market is loaded with choices and they all claim to be the best. It can be frustrating at times.
But you can look for some key features that will help you find the right shoe for you. Fortunately, we have summarized them for you below.
The insole is actually two pieces. A footbed offers support and it is often topped with foam or some sort of cushioning. The added padding on the insole helps with comfort and shock absorption, while the footbed offers support.
It is not uncommon to find additional cushioning at the heel, and sometimes the toe. Of course, additional padding is welcome when you can find it.
The footbed and padding should be removable. This is handy since you can replace them if they become worn.
But it is especially important if you have custom orthotics. You will want to put in your own custom fit “footbed.” If that is you, ensure the insole is removable as it is not always the case even with high end shoes.
Falls and twisted ankles cause more injuries than you think. Your shoes can help to prevent it from happening to you.
To start, you want a shoe with a small to moderate heel. A slight raising of your heel makes you more stable, especially on slippery or rough terrain.
While it may seem conspicuous, a texture or “tread” on the sole helps to improve slip resistance. Also, rubber soles are better than leather. For a shoe intended for use on concrete or other hard surfaces, a textured rubber sole or tread is preferable.
Also, the footbed is critical since it supports points like your arch. This provides stability, but it also prevents fatigue and soreness. Look for a quality footbed, or even consider installing your own if you have sensitive feet. (Be sure to first check that the shoe you select has a removable insole.)
For work, or even a vacation at a large resort, the hours spent walking on concrete or asphalt can be long and numerous. Preventing tired sore feet is an obvious goal, but it is not always easy to achieve.
Look for a shoe with a cushioned outer sole and padding on the inside. This is the best arrangement to absorb shock and keep you feeling fresh.
The footbed is also important. Good support, as just discussed above, is important for stability. But you may also need to replace the supplied footbed with our own custom orthotics for maximum comfort.
The other detail to look for is a breathable inner liner and upper. A comfortable foot is cool and dry. So, make sure the shoe you are considering is breathable enough for your feet.
In general, clogs or slip-ons are usually considered the most comfortable for those who spend the bulk of their time standing or walking on concrete. Just be sure they are snug and not too loose.
Lace-up athletic shoes can work well, too. Lace-up shoes can be tied as tight as you need them. This gives you an edge when slip-ons are a little too loose for some situations (e.g. construction or warehouse work).
Many of the shoes designed for long periods of walking or standing on concrete perform well. But many can be plain or too casual in some situations.
So, if you want to present a more professional appearance, that will be one of your key priorities and it will whittle down your choices.
Today, there are a number of shoe styles marketed for those who spend long periods of time on concrete. So, if you have a specific look or color you want, that will help you zero in on the potential shoes that are right for you.
Also, keep in mind the shoe style impacts its performance. Boots offer support and stability, but they do get hot and your feet often fatigue quicker.
A better choice may be clogs, slip-ons, or athletic shoes, especially if they have a cushioned out sole and padded insole. Lace-ups, like Oxfords, are dressier, but they are usually not as effective for extended times on your feet.
The durability of a shoe can be hard to assess when shopping. But you can look for a few details that will give you a clue.
Leather uppers are often considered a durable choice. Many of the “top” shoes use leather uppers, but not all.
You can also look for exterior padding on the toe and heel. Some shoes have an extra layer, usually leather or rubber, on the toe and/or heel. This does improve the durability of a shoe and is a desirable detail in a shoe that will see extended use on concrete.
Also, check the reviews. These days, there are numerous reviews for just about any shoe on the market. Keep in mind that you will always find some unhappy customers and negative reviews for most products. Just make sure it is not a trend in the comments.