What are the Best Women’s Shoes for Walking on Concrete All Day?

Most people spend their day walking or standing on some form of hard surface. All of us spend substantial amounts of time walking on concrete.

Some women use power walking as their main form of exercise. Fitness walking is a similar activity. These activities can be done on the trail but are more often or not done on concrete.

Last Reviewed on 12 March 2019 - Minor Update - 2nd January 2019 - Updated Image & Products Checked

by Jennifer

When we commute or walk about in the office, we are usually walking on concrete, albeit that sometimes the structure is covered. Unless there is plush carpeting the surface is just about as hard as concrete in the raw.

When we go shopping we walk around town on concrete pavements, asphalt paths and in malls with concrete floors tiled with ceramics or similar hard surfaces.

Historically our bodies were designed to walk on varying surfaces. Our feet may adapt over the millennia but that is not much comfort to you at the end of the working day or after being out all day around the shops.

In short, finding a comfortable shoe designed for walking about on concrete all day will go a very long way to helping our feet ache less and experience less pain.

And if you are a power or fitness walker, then your needs are slightly different but also share many similarities - we have you covered too.

  • ​Walking on concrete surfaces with the wrong shoes or just not wearing footwear that can help mitigate the stresses on your feet from standing all day, can cause chronic problems. some of these include back pain (see Footwear for back pain), foot problems of various sorts & knee problems, swollen legs, hammer toe, painful shins, varicose veins and arthritis in several forms.

The best shoe for YOU for walking on concrete will depend on what activity you are doing. So I have split this collection of great shoes into three activity types.

To save time you can just click the relevant button below to jump to the section that interests you. So go click a button that best matches your intended activity.

Links Disclosure: Some links on this page go to affiliate partners where, without cost to you, we may receive a small commission should you make a purchase.

Mostly Standing Around All Day on Concrete (or other hard surface)

In this scenario your arches are taking all the pressure all the time. You need a shoe that fits you comfortably of course, though a perfect fit is not the prime consideration.

The prime consideration is finding a shoe that has optimal support for your arch type and fits well enough not to rub. There are lots of secondary considerations but all are a long way behind proper arch support.

If you also have a foot shape issue requiring a certain shape of shoe to fit properly without squashing your feet or crushing your instep then this would be of equal importance.

The three best picks in this category are:
Clarks Emslie Vendel Slip-on Loafer
Clarks Juliet Monte Pump
Dr. Scholls Freestep Sneaker

Clarks Emslie Vendel Women's Slip On Loafer

The ​Clarks Emslie ​Warren ​is a shoe to suit women looking for better than average support.

​This is a very comfortable shoe for those of us that have to stand around all day or for use in the office if you cannot change into super casual slip ons.

Clarks are a world famous and long running shoe brand with an excellent reputation which stands for quite a lot these days.

Their shoes are well known for quality and fit and these are no exception - running true to size and available in Narrow, Medium, Wide and Extra Wide width fittings.

I have found that the Clarks fit is a little on the skinny side, and from what I have read many others agree.

But this is a slight sizing issue rather than a major diversion. 

In other words, if you have a normal width foot that is on the loose side of snug in a regular width fitting then these should fit fine.

If you find normal fitting shoes a bit tight and sometimes take the wide fitting shoe then the wide fitting Clarks is what you should get. If you have wide feet then go for the Extra Wide fitting as the toe box is also on the skinny side.

They only come in a medium fitting so if you have very high insteps or very wide feet, they are not going to suit.

The Clarks Women's Emslie Warren is a really comfortable shoe you can wear all day with great support. The 100% uppers and cushion soft ortholite footbed really do their job for you.

The shoe has a smallish heel of around 2 inches with enough girth to make balance easy. As you can tell I am not a fan of high heels - well not unless I really want to put the boat out for some event - and this shoe is a great go to for regular wear.

Get it - you won't be sorry.

​Clarks ​Juliet Monte Women's Pump

The ​Clarks ​Juliet Monte ​is another great shoe from the Clarks stable. With a smaller heel and pump styling it will suit any office ​without compressing your feet with a vice like grip that many other good looking shoes do.

​This is another very comfortable shoe ​for standing around and the same Ortholite footbed and cushion soft technology that is in the Emslie provides the excellent level of comfort.

51% savings
Clarks Women's Juliet Monte
$54.99 (USD)
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​Once again the shoe runs true to size and available in Narrow, Medium, Wide width fittings and three restrained colors.

​​The patent toe cap gives the shoe its dressy look and for a dress shoe it is probably about as maxed out as you will find for comfort.

If you ​are looking for somethiing a little more formal than you can find with sneaker style shoes yet are not over the top to allow for a bit of versatility I think you are going to agree with me that these are a great buy.

​Buy your regular size.

They are available in the color shown, black and a bronzy sort of brown which looks much better than I have managed to make it sound. Go for it!

Dr. Scholl's Freestep Women's Sneaker

Dr. Scholl is another great brand, manufacturing quality shoes.

The Freestep Woman's Sneaker is a comfort oriented, restrained sports style sneaker with a textile top and flexible rubber sole.

The knit upper provides exceptional fit and has very high breathability qualities which help keep your feet dry and together with the fabric linings wick away moisture effectively.

The instep is protected from the adjustable laced area by a well padded tongue and the cushioned footbed provides good support.

The shoe is very lightweight which aids comfort and facilitates wearing all day without your legs feeling like they've been lugging ankle weights all day.

Another great feature is that the shoe is made to be machine washable which makes it a breeze to clean and freshen them up every now and then.

We recommend that you order a half size larger than normal for this shoe.

They are Dr. Scholl's answer to Allbirds but a sizeable chunk cheaper.

They are available in the color shown, as well as several others. Well worth a try I promise.

Out & About All Day Shopping or Work Involving Walking a Lot

In this scenario, your arches will have periods of constant pressure when you are browsing or otherwise need to be fairly motionless. And there will be periods where you are walking about on concrete but otherwise moving normally.

You will also likely be dealing with changes in the weather so will need a shoe that can handle a bit of wet from light rain as well as be breathable in case it is hotter. A bit of a dichotomy!

Here you still need good support for your arches but also need the shoe to be a bit more flexible to handle your walking phases and provide a bit more cushioning to your heel and forefoot area. The fit of the shoe is more important since your foot will be moving around more and therefore rubbing against the shoe surfaces - you don't want blisters.

I am not going to list shoes by rating here as all are excellent. I am listing several styles and hopefully you will find a style to suit you. If you are an overpronator or supinator then you should also check out our specific guides to help with those issues if there is nothing below to suit.

My Picks for the three best shoes in this category are:
Under Armour Women's Micro G Pursuit Sneaker
Brooks Addiction Walker for Women
KEEN Women's Presidio II Walking Shoe

Under Armour Women's Micro G Pursuit Sneaker

The Under Armour Pursuit Sneaker is a shoe to suit women with normal to high arches. The insole support is more significant than most shoes so supporting mild supinators or underpronators.

Normal arched women will also find this shoe comfortable.

The shoe has a breathable upper combined with a modicum of resistance to water but they are not waterproof. 

They are designed as walking shoes and are perfect for walking about all day shopping or doing your regular rounds.

They are slightly narrow in size so make sure you take 5 minutes to measure your feet and get the correct size. 

Go up half a size if you have normal width feet and at least half a size if you have slightly wide feet.

They only come in a medium fitting so if you have very high insteps or very wide feet, they are not going to suit.

​Brooks Addiction Walker for Women

The ​Brooks Addiction Walker is a shoe to suit women with normal to flat arches and overpronators.

​This is an excellent walking shoe that has maintained the design pretty much the same for well over a decade. For good reason too; it's brilliant for overpronators.

But if you are a normal arched women you will also find this shoe comfortable.

The shoe has a ​full grain leather upper which makes it suitable for most wear styles save the most formal.

​It comes in a wide range of sizes and widths so you can get the right fit. Narrow, Medium, Wide and Extra Wide are available.

It is somewhat waterproof, so can handle the odd splash of rain but it won't handle deep puddles nor all day exposed wetness

​It has a renowned midsole support and stability system to help flat arched to normal arched feet have the proper support they need.

The system comprises the proprietary BioMoGo DNA cushioning which is adaptive to your weight and stride This works in conjunction with its PDRB roll bar system to keep the shoe stable and counter overpronation if you have any and is passive if not.

The slip resistant sole is another factor that makes this a really great all purpose walking shoe.

For those who, seeing me refer to the Brooks Addiction Walker as a shoe for overpronators, are sad to be supinators, don't worry.

You can still get the shoe and try out the supplied insoles as some have found they suit - bear in mind both flat footed and high arched feet both need support anyway. It is just the type that often differs but is entirely dependent on individual needs.

And if the insole is not to your taste you will find Brooks have made the Addiction Walker with removable insoles so you can fit your own orthotics.

​And lastly you can grab a pair with velcro straps instead of laces if you have instep issues or need a more forgiving lacing system.

The downside - only three colors and the price - that's about all.

​​KEEN Women's Presidio II Walking Shoe

The ​​KEEN Presidio Walking Shoe is a modern take on the classic Oxford with sneaker overtones. It's a shoe to suit any woman with good support from removable insoles​.

​​The Presidio is stylish and versatile with a low-profile for everyday wear. They are well cushioned with good support coming from the metatomical footbed, designed to cradle the natural contours of your foot.

​The upper is made from premium water repellent leather and the footbed is treated with Cleansport NXT to minimize odor.

​The sole is non-marking so leaves no trace of your light footsteps. They'll be light because the shoe is made with a lightweight design.

​You'll find the natural suede lining luxurious and practical.

Cleaning is a breeze - just use a soft bristled brush to get rid of any detrious and remove any stains using a gum rubber. Rub in circular motions and then brush afterwards.

You can keep the leather nice and supple with an appropriate cleaner.

The ​downsides to this shoe are that they come only in medium width but they do come in quite a few colors.

Power or Fitness Walking on Concrete

If you are a power or fitness walker on concrete then your gait is tending more towards that of a runner. That is to say lots of heel pressure, a quick move through the arch spring stage and a lot of pressure from the toes to keep you moving at speed.

Here the shoe needs to provide more stability as your feet are in contact with the ground and dissipating pressures more quickly.

You need optimum supportive heel cushioning whilst not feeling unbalanced, good arch support as the arches are springing much more often than when standing. You also need good cushioning at the toe area.

The shoe has to fit your foot much better because your foot and shoe are rubbing against each other a lot in each of your many strides. A bit of spring from the midsole design is also a great help.

In this category the best women's shoes for walking on concrete are:
ASICS Gel Kayano 25 Women's Shoe
Brooks Glycerin 16 Women's Shoe

ASICS Gel Kayano 25 Women's Shoe

The ASICS Gel Kayano 25 is quite simply a fantastic shoe for power and fitness walkers.

It has great breathability, good sole endurance and is made for concrete long distance walkers and runners on road surfaces. 

16% savings
ASICS Gel-Kayano 25 Women's Walking Shoe, Black
$134.90 (USD)
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The shoe design incorporates a lot of technology to produce an amazingly good fitting shoe with good room in the toe box.

The midsole, insole and heel area all combine to provide the cutting edge shoe for serious walkers on concrete.

Rather than expand on my explanations as to why you should buy this shoe without hesitation it would be better if you read my full review on the Gel Kayano 25 here.

The ​downsides to this shoe are that they come only in medium width but they do come in quite a few colors.

Brooks Glycerin 16 Women's Shoe

If you have something against the ASICS brand or just prefer Brooks then the alternative to the Kayano is the Brooks Glycerin 16 women's shoe.  

This is another fantastic shoe for walkers in the power and fitness category who walk on concrete roads.

It has excellent support characteristics which provides good results for overpornators but normal arched users are equally well served

With removable orthotics the shoe suits a wide range of people as you can fit your own if the supplied insoles do not give the right kind of support.

Once again there is little I can add to my extensive review on the Brooks Glycerin 16 here.

With a good amount of room in the toe box and built on a last which is true to size you should order your regular size for this shoe.

The shoe comes in several colour and narrow, medium & wide width fittings so you should be able to get exactly the right fit for your foot. 

If you are unsure of your size, because let's face it manufacturers seem to all size slightly differently even between models, then take the time to measure your feet.

Either provide the measurements to the seller or check sizing tables to ensure you get the right shoe size for your feet. 

  • Always buy new shoes after you have walked 300 - 600 miles (depending on your weight and usage of the shoe) in your old shoes.

Whichever shoe you select, always keep in mind that you should feel comfortable while walking in them on all kinds of hostile surfaces and never experience pain or discomfort.

Walking on Concrete?

Women actually walk a little differently to men. Our natural gait is altered by our slightly different hip shape compared to a man and often conditioned by adopting a gait where the hips swing more for societal reasons as well as the way our bodies are shaped.

Phases of Gait When Walking

​Heel Strikes - Weight Transfers to Arch from Heel & Foot Rotates Inwards (Pronation) - Arch Transfers Weight to Forefoot (Supination) - Push Off

Nevertheless, our feet still meet the ground first at the heel, usually slightly outside of centre but this differs between women depending on the alignment of bones resulting from years of growth and use.

As our body moves forward our leg moves to a more vertical alignment to the ground and our foot pressure moves from the heel to the centre of our feet. At this stage quite a few things are happening. 

Most of the pressure from the weight of our body is on the outside of our foot and the arch of our foot flexes to dissipate the pressure. Our foot flattens to a degree dependent on the make up of our feet - less in women with high arches and more in women with flat feet.

The job of the arch is to act like a sort of spring and spread the transfer of pressure over a short time period as the foot arch flexes rather than suddenly which would be the case if we did not have foot arches.  As the arch flattens the foot naturally rolls inwards which is caused pronation.

As our bodies move further forward our leg takes on a forward angle and our weight is transferred towards our big toe and to a lesser degree our minor toes which then help propel us forward. 

What has this got to do with standing on concrete all day or walking on concrete you might well ask?

A lot!

In the first stage of our stride our body weight is pushed onto our heel area. The force is about 50 - 100% more than your static body weight would produce because of momentum. Even more for power and fitness walkers who are walking at a much faster pace.

In the second stage our arches are taking over the pressure and, like a spring, tensioned to support our weight.

In the third stage our toes and the ball of our feet are taking over from the arches.

So you will readily see that people who are walking all day are pressuring the heel, the arch and the ball and toes repeatedly.

People who are standing all day are pressuring the arch area persistently and far more than when walking as the pressure is constant rather than the on off cycle brought about by walking.

Walking on concrete and other hard surfaces all day can lead to pain in the shins because of the amount of force that your muscles and bones must absorb. This causes muscle fatigue and eventually shin splints.

The reason concrete is such an unforgiving surface for your feet to stand and walk on is that it has no give on impact which jars your bones and soft foot tissues.

So how do you select a shoe that is right for you?

  • 1
    Measure your feet using the method we outline. Measure the width and the length.
  • 2
    Your foot size is the larger measurement for each foot.
  • 3
    ​Do this measurement towards the end of the day - our feet swell during the day
  • 4
    Determine what you will be doing when wearing the shoe you are deciding upon
  • 5
    ​Determine your arch type from our handy guide - flat, regular or high.
  • 6
    Decide on constraints as to style - formal needed for office or a special work boot.
  • 7
    Pick a shoe that fits your intended use & arch type using one of our guides.
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