Saturday, April 01, 2023
Common Foot Problems FOOT HEALTH

Why You Have Foot Pain From Standing All Day (With Easy Solutions) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read full Disclosure here.

Standing all day can cause your feet to hurt. Many jobs may require you to stand for up to 8-10 hours a day. The risk of foot pain increases by 1.7 fold when you are required to stand for at least 50% of the time at work (1). When you are standing for this long, your feet are bound to hurt, especially if you are standing on cement. 

When you are standing all day, you may experience heel pain, pain in the ball of your feet, increased swelling, and general fatigue in your feet due to the demands on your body. Standing in one spot without walking can place additional strain on your legs and feet and cause discomfort. 

In this article we’ll discuss why your feet hurt from standing all day, and what you can do to help relieve discomfort. 

Let’s dive in…

1) Flatfeet Can Cause Foot Pain From Standing


When you have a flat foot, your arch collapses when you stand and walk. When you are standing, you should be stable. The problem is that flat feet can cause some instability in your ankle joint and your foot when you stand. You are more likely to roll inwards (pronate) when you stand and walk. 

Pronation can cause strain of the ligament on the bottom of your foot called the “plantar fascia”. You may notice dull, achy pain on the bottom of your feet from standing due to this. You may also notice some knee and hip pain when standing.


Not everyone needs orthotics. However, if you stand for 8-10 hours a day and have flat feet, you would benefit from some arch supports. 

R. Tahmasebi in his study in Foot and Ankle Specialist studied two groups of patients. He studied normal and flat-arched individuals and evaluated their stability when standing using a force plate.

What he found was that the flatfooted individuals had less stability in their feet (2). However, the use of inserts helped improve standing stability and alignment of their foot structure (2).

This is great news because there are a variety of orthotics that you could get that would keep you comfortable when standing. 

If you are going to get over-the-counter arch support I would recommend the Powerstep ProTech insert. This insert has a nice firm arch to it with a deep heel cup and a poron cushion that will help with shock absorption when standing all day. 

These inserts typically last 6 months to 1 year. Make sure to remove your shoe liner (if they come out) before placing these inserts in your shoes.

If you want a more customized insert, you will have to see your local foot doctor to get a prescription for custom orthotics.

Custom orthotics are typically more pricey but they are custom-made to your feet and can last anywhere from 5-10 years depending on how much you wear them.

2) Poor Shoes Could Be Causing Your Foot Pain When Standing

worn shoes

Shoe gear is so important, especially if you have a demanding job that requires you to stand for the majority of the day. 

study done by J. Anderson in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research studied the footwear needs of Chefs and Veterinary hospital staff who stand all day at work. Many of them described achiness in their feet and conditions such as plantar fasciitis.

This study showed that certain parameters (see list below) in footwear should be met to help alleviate pain (3)

  • Comfort: The shoe must be comfortable. This means that shoes should be easy to slip on and should feel comfortable. Hard shoes should be avoided. 
  • Arch Support: The shoe must have appropriate arch support to control pronation and foot fatigue when standing.
  • Fit: The shoe must fit appropriately. Loose shoes can cause injury, and may also cause blisters due to increased friction. Tight shoes can cause painful calluses/corns/ulcers due to rubbing uncomfortably against the skin. 
  • Grip and durability: The shoe should be durable, meaning it should withstand pressure and damage. It should have a hard protective sole. You can also obtain shoes that are water-resistant to prevent falls if you work in areas where the floors may be wet.
  • Weight: Heavy shoes can cause foot pain when standing. Your body has to work harder with each step when wearing heavy shoes. Wearing lightweight shoes that are supportive can help. Your typical running shoe may weigh anywhere from 6-13oz. Lightweight shoes are described as being less than 8oz. 

Shoe fit is highly individualized. It can be difficult to know what shoe to get.

running shoe store

I would recommend that you go to your local running shoe store at the end of the day when your feet are the most swollen to get your feet measured. Bring your orthotics with you so you can test them out in your shoes.

After obtaining measurements of your feet and examining how you walk, they will provide you with recommendations on shoe gear.

You can also ask your foot doctor about what shoes would be appropriate for you. Finding the right shoes is so important to help reduce pain when standing.

Read about How Bad Shoes Can Cause Foot Pain in this supplemental article.

3) Metatarsalgia Can Cause Foot Pain From Standing

Metatarsalgia is used to describe pain in the ball of your foot due to increased pressure in the area. This can occur from ill-fitting shoe gear, tight calf muscles, and overuse.

You may notice a dull and achy pain in the ball of your foot. Metatarsalgia pain can become worse if you don’t address it. 


Remember, metatarsalgia is caused by increased pressure on the ball of your foot. To relieve this pain, you need to relieve pressure from the ball of your foot.

This can be accomplished by obtaining orthotics that have a metatarsal bar incorporated in them to offload the ball of your foot. A metatarsal bar is padding that will take pressure away from the ball of your feet when you walk.

I would recommend the Powerstep Pinnacle plus orthotic for this issue. It has great arch support with a deep heel cup and more importantly, a metatarsal bar that will take pressure away from the ball of the foot. It’s an inexpensive option that can help.

If you are looking for something that’s more custom-made, you will need to see your foot doctor about obtaining a custom orthotic with a metatarsal pad in it that is fitted in the correct location.

However, custom orthotics can be more pricey.

4) Posterior Tibial Tendonitis Can Cause Foot Pain When Standing All-Day

posterior tibial tendon pain

The posterior tibial tendon is the strong tendon that starts in the leg and courses on the inside of your ankle and inserts into the foot. It is responsible for holding up the arch and supporting the foot when walking. It is also responsible for inward motion of your foot (supination).

When you stand for a long time, you may notice a weakening of the posterior tibial tendon. This is likely to occur if you have a flat foot structure. Increased standing without support can cause strain on the tendon. This can cause dull pain on the inside of your ankle and foot, and even swelling. 

If the tendon continues to stretch out, it can tear.


It’s important to wear arch support to help alleviate tension along the posterior tibial tendon. I recommend the Powerstep Protech inserts for this due to their firm arch support and deep heel cup. 

If you have a lot of pain in your ankle that extends up, you may want to wear an ankle brace for a while to reduce pain and inflammation before you transition into orthotics. I recommend the Zenith Ankle Brace.

An ankle brace can help to stabilize the ankle better than an orthotic. You can wear an ankle brace over your socks and can still wear it while wearing your shoes.

If pain continues to persist despite wearing an ankle brace and inserts, it’s time to contact your foot doctor. Physical therapy can help reduce pain and strengthen the tendon as well. 

5) Increased Swelling of the Legs and Feet Can Cause Foot Pain When Standing All-Day

swelling legs

Chronic venous insufficiency can occur when you stand all day. The veins in your legs have valves in them that pump blood back to your heart. When you stand all day, the veins have a harder time pumping the blood back to the heart. 

This can cause pooling of the blood in your legs and your feet. The problem is that swelling itself can cause foot and leg pain. 

Also, with increased swelling in your leg, you are at higher risk of developing a blood clot (DVT). If you experience sudden pain or redness in your calf, you should go to the emergency room, as blood clots can be life-threatening. 

Varicose veins are also common symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency (4). This is due to increased pressure in the veins.  

Related article: Can Dehydration Cause Your Feet To Swell?


To combat swelling in the legs, compression stockings can be incredibly powerful. Compression stockings work at the ankle to help reduce swelling. There are a variety of different stockings that are available. 

Make sure when ordering stockings that you measure your ankle and leg circumference to find out what size you should get. You can start with a compression strength of 15-20mmHg and work up from there if you need it. 

If you struggle to reach your feet, you may need assistance in applying stockings as they are very tight. Wearing compression stockings for even a few hours a day can be very beneficial. Make sure to remove the stockings at night when your legs are already elevated.

6) Floor Surfaces and Mats Can Cause Increased Foot Pain

floor mats

Even the surface that you’re required to stand on can make a difference when it comes to foot pain. Standing on cement floors all day can increase foot pain. 

Floor mats can reduce discomfort and fatigue from several hours of prolonged standing (5).

M. Redford in his study in the American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal studied the influence of floor mats on fatigue when standing.

What they were able to determine was that mats that had some cushioning were beneficial to reduce pain in the lower extremities when compared to standing on hard floors. However, extremely hard mats and extremely soft mats were not beneficial (6)


Most anti-fatigue mats are ¾” inch thick and can be effective. It’s best to try it out for yourself and see if this works for you. Shoe inserts can also help to reduce shock absorption when combined with using floor mats.

If you have mild to moderate flatfeet, you can obtain the Powerstep Protech orthotics mentioned previously. 

Other Tips to Reduce Foot Pain

  • Soak your feet in Epsom salt

Soaking your feet in Epsom salts for 15 minutes a day can be very effective in reducing achiness in your feet. Magnesium sulfate in Epsom salt can help reduce inflammation. 

  • Get a foot massager

Using a foot massager at the end of your day can help significantly to reduce achiness in your feet and also promote blood flow. A foot massager can also help if you suffer from plantar fasciitis by reducing the tightness of the fascia. 

  • Weight loss

Reducing your weight can help alleviate pressure on your ankles and your feet. Increased weight has been associated with certain foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis.

  • Walk around

After standing all day, the last thing you may want to do is walk. However, walking can help improve circulation in your legs and can make your legs feel better. There’s no need to go for a very long walk. You can walk for 15 to 30 minutes a day and this should be sufficient.

  • Stretching

Make sure you regularly stretch your calf muscles. Stretching your calf muscles can prevent tightness. Tightness in the calf muscle can be linked to a variety of foot problems.

  • RICE therapy

When you get home and kick off your shoes, start RICE therapy. Icing and elevation can help to reduce both swelling and pain. Get in the habit of doing this regularly. 


standing hardwood floors

As you can see, a variety of foot problems can occur from standing all day.

Appropriate footgear, flooring conditions, and prevention therapy are needed to help reduce discomfort in the feet from standing all day.

The quicker you understand the problem, the quicker you can take action to fix it. 

Are you required to stand all day? How has this affected your feet? I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below!

If you found this article helpful please make sure to SHARE it. SUBSCRIBE to receive notifications on my latest posts just like this one!

Read more about foot pain in a supplemental article “Outside of Foot Pain- EVERYTHING You Need To Know”.


standing pin


  1. Andersen JH, Haahr JP, Frost P. Risk factors for more severe regional musculoskeletal symptoms: a two-year prospective study of a general working population. Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Apr;56(4):1355-64. 
  2. Tahmasebi, R., Karimi, M. T., Satvati, B., & Fatoye, F. (2015). Evaluation of standing stability in individuals with flatfeet. Foot & ankle specialist8(3), 168-174.
  3. Anderson, J., Williams, A. E., & Nester, C. (2017). An explorative qualitative study to determine the footwear needs of workers in standing environments. Journal of foot and ankle research10(1), 1-10. 
  4. Halim, I., Omar, A. R., Saman, A. M., & Othman, I. (2011). A review on health effects associated with prolonged standing in industrial workplaces. International Journal of Research and Reviews in Applied Sciences8(1), 14-21.
  5. Waters, T. R., & Dick, R. B. (2015). Evidence of health risks associated with prolonged standing at work and intervention effectiveness. Rehabilitation Nursing40(3), 148-165.
  6. Redfern MS, Cham R. The influence of flooring on standing comfort and fatigue. AIHAJ. 2000 Sep-Oct;61(5):700-8. 

DISCLAIMER: The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Vaishnavi Bawa
Dr. Vaishnavi Bawa is a Podiatrist who specializes in treating foot and ankle pathology. LifesLittleSteps mission is to educate the public about foot health in an easy-to-understand manner using evidence-based medicine.
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