How to Relieve Foot Pain from Standing All Day

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Foot pain can happen to anyone at any time. There is not one cause of foot pain. However, a lot of studies point to the root of the problem being a lack of support on your arches.

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to relieve foot pain from standing all day. When your feet begin to ache, take a look at these remedies. These methods, combined with the best anti fatigue mat, can reduce and eliminate your foot pain. 


Stretches to Relieve Foot Pain

Like all muscles that become sore and achy, one of the best things you can do for your feet is to massage and stretch them. If you have acute plantar fasciitis, doing foot exercises and stretching can help relieve the tension on your arches and relax the tensed muscles.

While you can do these exercises throughout the day, it is good to begin your stretching early to help combat heel pain in the morning. You should also make time to do a few of these stretches during the day and again in the evenings after you get home. When you are trying to figure out what to do for sore feet that ache from standing all day, then stretching is a great start for healing.

Pair of feet visible under a blanket

Stretch your Calves

You probably never thought to begin with your calves to relieve foot pain, but that is an excellent place to start. When you exercise and stretch your calf muscles, they help pump blood out of the foot. Stretching your calves can help with heels that hurt from standing too long.

This is important because sometimes blood can pool when you have been standing for long periods of time. The best way to help pump that blood back into your body is with calf raises.

To do this exercise, you will need a raised platform. Nothing too high. A step, parking block, sidewalk, or another sturdy and attached platform will do. Please do not use anything that can be moved easily such as a step ladder, chair, or any other furniture.

Step with your foot halfway on the platform. Make sure the ball of your foot is firmly planted on the ground. Your arch and heel should be suspended over the edge. Use the balls of your feet to lift up your heels so you are standing on your tip toes.

This will make you go up and down on the raised platform. A few reps of this, while holding for five seconds each time, is a great way to stretch out your arch.

You can also stretch your calves this way. Stand up, place one foot out in front of you, and lift the ball of your foot up at an angle. This stance will leave your heel on the ground and focuses on stretching your arch and calf muscles at the same time.

Tip: Use the best standing desk mat around your home and job site to help relieve foot pain!

Rolling Stretch

A rolling stretch is one of the easiest ways to help alleviate sore heels from standing all day. This can be done at home, at work, or if you are a passenger in the car. For this exercise you can use a foam roller, a frozen water bottle, or an ice-cold soda can.

Place the round object on the floor and then place your foot on it. Roll your foot back and forth over the object. Start at the ball of your foot and roll back to your heel.

Try to do this rolling stretch for one minute and then switch to the other foot. You can repeat this a few times each day to help stretch out sore feet muscles. There isn’t a direct answer for how to cure foot pain from standing all day. However, this rolling exercise can bring you great relief.

Big Toe Bending

Staying seated, you can perform a toe pull to relieve foot pain from standing all day. This stretch helps with the muscles around your toes and on the balls of your feet.

Cross one leg and have your knee pulled up. This will put your ankle almost touching your resting knee. Use your hand to hold your big toe and begin to pull it towards you.

When you have pulled it as far as it will comfortably go, hold it for fifteen to thirty seconds, and then release it. Repeat on one foot up to three times before switching to your other foot.

Resistance Stretch

For this stretch you will continue to remain seated. Take a hand towel, or even your own mid-calf sock if you have one.

Place the towel or sock around the ball of your foot and hold on to each end with one hand. This will create a U shape with the item.

Begin to stretch by pushing your foot forward while your hands hold resistance on the sock or towel. The resistance you hold will make your foot stretch out when you push against it.

Similar to normal exercising, you will not see results after just one or two times. To feel the effects of the stretches helping with your feet pain after standing all day, you must do these stretches on a regular and consistent basis.

Ways to Improve Foot Pain during the Day

Since you are encouraged to exercise multiple times to strengthen your muscles and help relieve pain, it only makes sense for you to find ways to exercise during the day. Use simple moves, like calf stretches and sitting stretches, as you can. These will help reduce how much your feet hurt after standing all day.

You can also use these tips and tricks below throughout your work day to help ease sore feet from standing all day. When you stand still, it adds more pressure and potential pain to your feet. So, it is important to find ways to move around a little to help.

Elevate your Feet

When you are able to sit with your feet elevated, this will help restore good blood flow from your feet back into your body. Elevating your feet is also a way to reduce swelling and help reduce foot pain after standing all day.

If you are at home, it is easy to sit down and use a recliner, coffee table, or ottoman to prop up your feet. Use a pillow to help give you a little more elevation and comfort.

If you have a desk job, you can invest in a small footstool that sits under your desk to help. For individuals who have standing jobs, you may need to find creative ways to elevate your feet during the day without interrupting your job.

The best way to do this is to focus on your break and lunch times. If there is a picnic table or lunch table area, you should be able to prop up your feet on the chairs as you sit.

While you may not be able to incorporate foot elevating during your work day, it is okay. Take time to do it in the evenings after standing on your feet all day.

Wear Compression Stockings

These really tight socks can be off putting or make you cringe from how difficult they are to put on. But, if you suffer from chronic foot pain, compression socks can be a huge relief.

Compression socks work by gently squeezing your calves. This helps moves blood through your arteries at a normal rate. This keeps blood from pooling in your feet, which is something that contributes to heel pain from standing too long.

Lay Off the Running and Jogging

While you are dealing with feet that hurt after standing for a long time, it is a good idea to stay away from running and jogging until they heal. If you are a runner, consult your doctor about the best ways to reduce and treat foot pain.

Running or jogging is a high impact exercise for your feet. When you run or jog, you are hitting the pavement with your feet harder than your normally would when you walk. The impact is hard on your feet and can worsen foot pain issues.

Walking is a low impact exercise. It is good for you to walk, as long as you wear shoes that support your feet or have really good inserts.

When you are trying to learn how to treat sore feet from standing all day, exercising, elevating, and wearing the right foot supporting gear is a must.

Add Support to your Feet

When you are searching for an answer for how to stop foot pain from standing all day, you should take time to look at the foundation of where the problem can be coming from. Yes, standing for long periods of time causes foot pain. However, you can help lessen or diminish that pain by choosing the right footwear.

There are two core levels to picking the right footwear to help with sore feet from standing all day. First, you want the right type and size shoe. Second, you want to look into purchasing a good pair of shoe inserts to give you more support.

Let’s take a closer look into what you should be considering when you are shopping for comfort and support for your feet.


Sometimes the biggest difference you can make is to change your shoes. If you are experiencing foot pain, it is a good idea to head to your local shoe store. If you know your shoes are old or ill-fitting, pick another pair off the shelf on your own.

If you find your shoes are not fitting right or if you are having trouble understanding your size, then feel free to ask an associate to help you with sizing and fit. Your foot size can change due to a few different reasons such as pregnancy or getting older.

There are a few different brands and types of shoes you should consider when you are looking into how to help sore feet from standing all day. A few noteworthy brands that offer high reviewed comfort are as follows.

  1. Crocs: These all around hideous, yet trendy shoes, have set the bar high for simple comfort. With the original insole, many people reviewed this shoe as being comfortable for all day use in standing or walking. Some individuals also mentioned this brand helped heal and treat their plantar fasciitis.
  2. Skechers: This brand offers great memory foam boosting soles and a high rated comfort. Sketchers also offers different types of shoes. You can find a pair that will look work-appropriate, while giving you a better fit and built in comfort.
  3. Clarks: This well-known and higher end brand offers a comfortable shoe in a nicer package. Clarks shoes are designed to be sleek and professional looking for the workplace. They also offer a great fit and all-around comfort throughout the day.

These are just a few of many brands that are well known for comfort and support.

While you can save money by purchasing pre-owned shoes, this can attribute to your foot pain as well. When you purchase secondhand shoes, there is a good chance the previous owner’s foot has been molded into the cushion over time.

This will lead to an ill-fitting shoe, since it is unlikely that the shoe will conform to your foot properly. It can also create foot pain due to the lack of proper fitting support and not cradling your foot in the right places as it should.

You can still purchase secondhand shoes. However, take the time to look over the shoes to see how much they have been worn. If there is little to no wear, this is a good shoe that shouldn’t cause any of the above problems. If the shoe shows wear and has an imprint inside of the shoe on the sole, you should opt to put them back on the shelf.

Taking time to purchase good shoes and use the best inserts are a great way to help when you are learning how to relieve foot pain from standing all day.


You may have specific types of shoes you must wear while you are working. If so, there are other ways to add support without having to change or purchase new shoes.

Adding inserts to your shoes is a great way to bring comfort back to an older pair of shoes or to add a second layer of pain-reducing support. When you are shopping for a good pair of inserts to help relieve feet that hurt from standing all day, use these guidelines to find the right fit for you.

Foot Arch Type

Your feet will fit one of three categories. They will either be low arches or flat feet, neutral/medium arches, or high arches. Read the insert labels to determine which type of feet they cater to.

Insole Foot Bed

There are three different foot bed types you can choose from. The type of insert foot bed you will need depends on what you will need it for.

  1. Orthotic Arch Supports: These inserts feather a rigid support plate. These inserts are made to give an arch support that will allow your foot to maintain a healthy and natural form during the day whether you are standing or running.
  2. Cushioned Arch Supports: While this insert type does give support, it?s main focus is to provide cushioning to your feet. This is the preferred insert for individuals who stand on their feet all day.
  3. Flat Cushion Insoles: These inserts do not offer any arch support nor cushion. They are meant to replace or line the inside of shoes. While this is not an ideal item you would be shopping for when you have foot pain, you still need to know about this type of insole so you do not accidentally choose it.

Insert Material

There are a few different materials that are used to make inserts. It is important to know what the materials are and how they differ in what they do to help your feet and provide all-day comfort.

  1. Gel Insoles: These are the most popular type you will find in most stores. Gel insoles are all around best for shock absorption. This is ideal for individuals who perform high impact activities like running, sports, or walking. Gel inserts help decrease foot fatigue.
  2. Warm/Wool Inserts: These wool-based inserts are primarily for temperature control. The wool inserts keep your feet cool in the summer or warm in the cold winter months. While this is appealing, if you are suffering because you are standing too long causing feet to hurt, this would not be an ideal choice. 
  3. Cork Inserts: This type of insert is good for support and offers a layer or two of cushioning. Cork is popular. As you wear these inserts, the heat from your feet forms and molds them into a custom fit for you. Cork is also odor resistant and has a good level of impact resistance.
  4. Foam Inserts: These inserts are best for all-around support, cushion, and pressure relief. Foam is one of the most versatile materials for insoles. Stores offer anywhere from thin layered foam to a deep cushioned or memory foam.

You can also visit Dr. Scholls Custom Fit Kiosk to find out more about your feet and what type of custom fit insert will work best for you. The machine is free to use. However, it only recommends the custom orthotic inserts by Dr. Scholls, which can be a little higher in price.

Unless you choose to purchase a thin insert, then need to remove the insert that is currently in your shoe. This process is easy to do. Reach in and pull it up. There may be a thin layer of glue holding the original insert in. But, it will come up easy.  

Tip: Add the best kitchen mat so that your feet will get some rest while you cook and do dishes.

Learning how to relieve foot pain from standing all day can seem like a hard task. But, when you take the time to learn about what types of inserts will cater to your specific foot type, you will be on the road to relief.

Medicine you can Take to Alleviate Foot Pain

Exercising, stretching, and changing shoes can help. These methods may not be enough to help when you are searching for what to do when your feet hurt from standing all day.

There are different types of medicine that can help reduce swelling, calm aching joints, and reduce inflammation. If you do not want to take medication, you can also try out some natural remedies for relieving foot pain.

Over the Counter Medicine

Over the counter medicine you can get without a doctor prescribing it. Most of the medicines listed below can help you when you are trying to figure out how to relieve foot pain from standing all day.

  1. NSAID Ibuprofen or Advil is a great choice for help with foot inflammation. This pill can reduce any flareups, so your feet have a chance to heal. Just make sure you take the lowest needed dose, since Advil has been linked to stomach bleeding with constant high doses. 
  2. Aleve is another type of NSAID that can reduce inflammation and help relieve pain. When using NSAID medications, it can help with lessen the pain of standing on your feet all day long. 
  3. Acetaminophen such as Tylenol is a good choice to relieve pain. It does not reduce inflammation. However, Tylenol may be a better overall choice for pain relief. The biggest warning for this drug is targeted towards people who drink while using it. 
  4. Pain relieving creams such as Topricin are topical medicines that can be rubbed onto areas that ache. The cream is absorbed by your skin and can lessen pain, calm nerves, and redirect pain signals to your brain.

Make sure you read the ingredients in topical creams before you use them. Some contain steroids and some people are allergic or sensitive to them.

The key to long-term effectiveness is for the NSAID medications to be taken regularly so it gets into your blood stream. This can lessen and begin to heal any inflammation you have. If you are on medication long term, it is always smart to consult your doctor.

At the end of the day, over the counter medicines are easy to come by and can be effective. However, if you are new to certain medications or creams, it is always a good idea to call your doctor. You can also consult pharmacists to see what the best medicine would be for your specific pain.

Natural Remedies

If you choose to go a more natural remedy route, then these ideas can help relieve your heel pain from standing all day.

  1. Massage: Doing it yourself or having someone massage the soles of your feet can help relax the muscles and promote better blood flow. 
  2. Water Bath: Fill two small tubs, one with cold water and the other with water as hot as you can stand it. Place your feet in the cold water, then after five minutes, switch them over to the hot water. Then repeat. This method is called the Hydromassage and will constrict the blood vessels in your feet, which will boost your circulation. 
  3. Use your Toes: Place some pencils on the floor and use your toes to pick them up. This fun way to exercise will help with feet and toe aches by using those muscles to move and stretch.
  4. Soak: You can also soak your feet in warm water with a few drops of essential oils such as peppermint and rosemary. Soak for about ten minutes and then pat your feet dry. If you do not have any essential oils available, brew a strong cup of peppermint tea and pour it into the warm water.

Essential Oils

When you are searching for how to relieve pain in feet from standing all day, you could turn to essential oils. Not just for diffusers, essential oils have multiple life enriching uses.

These include providing pain and inflammation relief. Essential oils are concentrated fragrances taken from petals, stems, roots, and other parts of plants.

These oils are safe to use and don’t normally give any allergic reactions. If you are unsure, test a small area on your skin. The worst reactions from essential oils are hives and a rash.

  1. Lavender: This oil isn’t just for migraines. When mixed with coconut oil, it becomes an anti-inflammatory steroid free cream that can relieve body aches and sore muscles. 
  2. Chamomile: This essential oil contains analgesic properties that can be used to treat headaches, neuralgia, muscles pains, and joint pains. 
  3. Peppermint: When used topically, peppermint has the pain-fighting ability to relax muscles and nerves. 
  4. Rosemary: Use this oil to reduce inflammation and to help with joint and muscle pain. This essential oil is popular for treating rheumatism.
  5. Sandalwood: This essential oil is listed as a powerful pain reliever for muscle pain, skeletal pains, and neuralgia pain. It also boasts to be a good inflammatory fighter as well.
  6. Yarrow: Containing salicylic acid, which is the analgesic part of Aspirin, this essential oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties to help with foot pain.

When you are using essential oils, these concentrated oils can irritate your skin. The best way to use them as topical creams is to mix them with a neutral oil such as coconut oil. This will lower the risk of any skin irritation without compromising the healing effects of the oils.

You also want to read the label and only use a small drop or two of the essential oil. While it can seem like only a small amount, these oils are so concentrated that a single drop can be more than enough to give you pain relief.

When to See your Doctor

While most foot pain can be treated with a mixture of the above information, there are some foot pain conditions that would require you to visit a podiatrist for a check-up.

If you notice you have severe pain in the morning or upon standing after sitting for longs periods, but the pain decreases as you continue moving, then you may have Plantar Fasciitis. This can be properly diagnosed and treated by a foot doctor.

You should also seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing the following:

  1. Have severe pain or swelling
  2. Have an open wound or a wound that is oozing pus
  3. Have signs of an infection (redness, warmth, tenderness)
  4. If you are unable to walk or put any weight on the foot
  5. Have diabetes and a wound that is not healing

If you experience persistent swelling that does not improve after a few days of at home treatment, or any persistent foot pain that does not improve, it is time to schedule a visit with your doctor.

It never hurts to call or visit your doctor if you have new or worsening pain. They can provide information, medicine, or foot stints which can help heal your feet. This allows you to continue to work and enjoy life.

As a rule of thumb, if you are constantly asking the question, “why do my feet hurt after standing all day?” then you should consult a doctor for the answer.


Foot pain is a difficult thing to deal with since we use our feet to get around throughout the day. When you start to have pain in your feet, you need to learn how to relieve foot pain from standing all day. You can get back out and enjoy life.