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Why Your Feet Hurt After Work & How To Fix the Issue

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By: KURU Footwear

Does your job require you to be on your feet all day long? Being on your feet all day can be taxing on the feet and entire body. So, when your feet hurt after work, you might find yourself scouring the internet for solutions. Here’s everything you need to know about foot pain after work.

Long work days can lead to foot fatigue, which makes your feet feel tired and achy at the end of the day. If your foot pain goes beyond the average fatigue, you could suffer from plantar fasciitis, heel spurs or other foot-related issues.

Key Takeaways

  • Long work days can lead to foot fatigue and even foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.
  • Common reasons for foot pain after work include lack of support, standing on hard surfaces, uneven pressure distribution, circulation problems, and existing foot conditions.
  • The signs of plantar fasciitis include stabbing pain near the heel, pain in the arch of the foot, stiffness, and swelling around the heel.
  • To relieve foot pain after work, one can take Epsom salt baths, ice the affected areas, use arch supports, change shoes, and elevate the feet.
  • If the foot pain persists, it is recommended to consult a physician for proper diagnosis and treatment options.

5 Reasons Your Feet Hurt After Work

There are various reasons your feet and ankles hurt after work, and the root of the pain most likely goes beyond being on your feet for hours on end. Here are some common issues that lead to foot pain.

1. Your Feet Lack Support

When your feet bear the weight of your body day in and day out, they are sure to feel achy when your shoes don’t offer the proper support. Work shoes with added support provide cushioning to alleviate and prevent pain in the common pressure points of your feet, like the heels, arches and balls of your feet.

If you notice pain in one of the aforementioned areas, consider switching to a more supportive shoe to work in.

2. Standing on Hard Surfaces

If your job requires you to stand and walk on hard surfaces like tile and concrete floors, your body absorbs all of the energy transferred between the ground and your footsteps, causing shock to your feet, ankles, legs and hips. Not only will the bottoms of your feet hurt after work, but the rest of your body may feel achy too.

Well-cushioned, shock-absorbing shoes will offset the pain associated with working on these hard surfaces. Look for shoes constructed with thick, cushiony EVA or foam midsoles to prevent further foot and joint pain.

3. Foot Pressure Isn’t Evenly Distributed

Do you notice that one foot is in more pain than the other? If so, there may be problems with the pressure distribution from your foot. You may naturally lean to one side over the other, creating uneven pressure on one foot, leaving it susceptible to more pain. To fix this, you may need to be more mindful of shifting your weight so your feet can evenly bear the load.

There may also be uneven pressure within the foot, simply because of its anatomy. Foot supination causes your weight to transfer to the outer edge of your foot, creating structural problems and pain in the foot, ankles and body. If you’re facing this problem, stability shoes with a broad base under the foot can help to correct your step.

4. Circulation Problems

Blood and other fluids should constantly move down and up your legs and back to your heart; however, standing all day can create problems with circulation, resulting in swelling in the feet and legs.

If you’re noticing circulation problems, you can try walking and stretching more, strengthening your feet and legs, elevating feet when resting and wearing compression socks. If the circulation becomes increasingly worse, consult your physician for further guidance.

5. Existing Foot Condition

If you still ask yourself, “why do my feet hurt so bad after work,” you may suffer from an existing foot condition. Plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and stone bruises are the three most common foot-related problems.

If you notice any of the below signs of these conditions, consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment options.

Here are the most common signs of plantar fasciitis:

  • Stabbing pain near the heel
  • Pain in the arch of the foot
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling around your heel

You might have a heel spur if you notice these signs:

  • Sharp pain when first standing
  • A dull ache in the heel throughout the day
  • Inflammation at the front of the heel
  • Heat radiating from the affected area
  • Small bone-like protrusion under the heel

Stone bruises are fairly common and less serious. You can treat them at home with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. You may have a stone bruise if you notice any of the following discomforts:

  • Sharp pain in one area of the foot as if you’ve stepped on a stone
  • Tingling near the bruised area
  • Stinging pain
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How To Relieve Foot Pain After Work

Are you in need of instant relief from your foot pain? Here’s a quick guide on how to help sore feet after work.


Take Epsom Salt Baths

Epsom salt is a proven aid in reducing inflammation. Bathing your feet in an Epsom salt bath can relieve pain caused by inflammation after standing on your feet all day.

For an Epsom salt bath, fill a basin with enough warm water to cover the feet up to the ankles. Add up to three-quarters of a cup of Epsom salt to the water. Place the feet in the bath for about 20 to 30 minutes. Repeat this process daily or as needed to help your feet recover.

Ice the Areas

Just like with your other muscles, icing your feet can reduce inflammation and soreness caused by overworking them. You can easily apply ice to sore feet after work by filling a plastic bag with ice or using an ice pack and then holding it on the affected area for 5 to 15 minutes.

If it gets too cold, remove the ice for a moment and let the area return to a comfortable temperature, then apply the ice again. Repeat icing as needed.

Massage Your Feet

When your muscles are sore you massage them, right? The same principle applies to your feet! Massaging your feet will help with soreness and improve circulation.

To massage your feet, sit comfortably and prop your foot up on the thigh of the opposite leg. You can use a lotion or massage oil to make massaging easier. Begin by kneading the bottoms of your feet and applying pressure to the pain points. During the massage, make sure to pull apart and bend your toes to massage them to prevent the toes from getting stiff.

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Stretches and Exercises To Strengthen Your Feet

When you’re constantly on your feet, those muscles are bound to feel sore. Similar to how you feel less sore after working out the same muscles in your body, your feet muscles will feel less sore when you train them with exercises and stretches.


Toe Extension

The toe extension is a helpful stretch that you can use to relieve pain along the bottom of the foot and the heel. This stretch is especially helpful for those dealing with plantar fasciitis.

How to perform stretch:

  1. Sit up straight in a chair, with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place one foot on the thigh of the opposite leg.
  3. Pull the toes up toward the ankle until you feel a stretch along the bottom of the foot and heel cord.
  4. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat the stretch multiple times and switch to the other foot.

Big Toe Stretch

The big toe stretch can help relieve toes of pain and stiffness after wearing shoes all day. This stretch can help with better mobility and flexibility in the foot.

How to perform the stretch: 

  1. Sit up straight in a chair, feet resting on the floor.
  2. Place one foot on the thigh of the opposite leg.
  3. Using the fingers, gently stretch the big toe up, down, and to the side.
  4. Keep the big toe in each position for five seconds.
  5. Repeat this motion and stretch multiple times, then switch to the other foot.

Achilles Stretch

The Achilles tendon connects the heel to the calf muscles. Keeping it strong can help with foot, ankle or leg pain.

How to perform the stretch: 

  1. Face a wall and place the palms of your hands flat against it.
  2. Bend the knee of the front leg, keeping both heels flat on the floor.
  3. Push the hips forward until you feel a stretch in the Achilles tendon and calf muscles.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds before switching sides. Repeat multiple times on each side.

Toe Splay

The toe splay is an exercise that will help strengthen the muscles in your feet, especially the muscles at the front of the foot, near your toes.

How to perform the stretch: 

  1. Sit in a chair, with your feet resting on the floor.
  2. Spread your toes apart as far as possible, and hold this position for five seconds
  3. Bring them back together.
  4. Repeat this motion 10 times.

Toe Curls

Another option for strengthening the overall muscles of the feet is toe curls, which will build up the flexor muscles.

How to perform the stretch: 

  1. Sit up in a chair, with your feet on the floor.
  2. Lay a small towel on the floor with the short side facing your body.
  3. Place your toes of one foot on the short side of the towel.
  4. Try to grasp the towel between your toes and pull it toward yourself.
  5. Repeat this exercise at least five times before switching to the other foot.

Pick Thinks Up With Your Toes

Practicing picking things up with your toes will work out the muscles on the underside of your foot and the toe muscles.

How to perform the stretch:

  1. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place marbles, a pen or another small item on the floor.
  3. Using only the toes of one foot, pick up each marble and place it elsewhere.
  4. Repeat this exercise using the other foot.
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The Bottom Line

If your feet hurt after work, finding the right pair of shoes will make all the difference in getting you through the workday. Your shoes should offer support, cushion, stability and durability while meeting all your job requirements.

KURU Footwear offers just that. With hundreds of styles to choose from, you can find your perfect pair of work shoes that go above and beyond in keeping your feet healthy and happy, even during those extra-long shifts.

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