Concrete is a ubiquitous material found in many places around us, but it can also present some problems if your feet aren’t prepared for them. If you’re going to be doing work or using machinery that requires heavy foot traffic, then having good-fitting shoes will make all the difference between enjoying yourself and getting hurt.
We’ve compiled a list of seven pairs of shoes specifically designed for use on hard surfaces like sidewalks, roads, and even concrete itself. We’ll walk through how each pair handles these materials so you know what to look for when picking one up next time you hit the pavement.
Note: These recommendations do not apply to running/walking outside or other athletic activities where traction may play an important role (e.g., hiking). Also note that this article focuses entirely on footwear rather than shoe care products, which has already been discussed elsewhere.
Finally, keep in mind that none of these shoes were tested by any third parties — just my own experience with them over several years’ worth of wearing them. With that out of the way, let’s get started exploring the best shoes for concrete!
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The Ghost line has been known for its excellent durability, moisture resistance, and exceptional support
throughout history. It was first introduced back in 2005 and remains popular among runners today thanks to its ability to handle challenging conditions despite being lightweight.
While I’m sure the name conjures images of ghosts and specters roaming about, the Ghost 14s are quite literally ghostly. Their minimalist design allows them to slip onto almost any type of surface with ease, yet their low profile provides ample protection from debris kicked up from below.
For added comfort, they come equipped with a removable sockliner that adds thickness underneath your sole for additional cushioning. Since the socks don’t stay attached to the bottom of the shoe, you can switch out socks whenever needed without worrying about losing them down the side of the building.
Overall, they feel great, perform great, and are very durable. Bonus points: they’re available in men’s sizes ranging from 8.0 to 12.5.
- Great price point for performance
- Water resistant
- None significant
Asics makes some fantastic sneakers, including the Gel Cumulus series. These shoes are perfect for anyone who wants maximum comfort while performing strenuous physical activities.
One thing that really sets them apart is their construction. Unlike traditional running shoes, the Cumulus uses gel inserts instead of foam to add softness and flexibility to every step. Even after months spent pounding the streets, I never felt tired or sore from overexertion because of their unique technology.
Another interesting fact is that these shoes boast double density EVA midsoles for increased shock absorption along with triple density padding in key areas such as the heels. That means they can take hits from sharp objects without breaking or leaving marks behind.
Lastly, they’re extremely light weight and flexible to boot. Despite being known primarily as a runner brand, they also make shoes suitable for casual walks and hikes. All in all, they’re pretty incredible. Unfortunately, they’re currently sold exclusively online.
- Excellent comfort level
- Highly durable
- Multi functional
- Not widely distributed
For those who prefer a wider style, the Skecher Arch Fit might be able to fill that gap. Its rounded toe gives it a bit of extra width compared to others, which can sometimes lead to blisters. However, if you’re willing to deal with that, the arch supports provided by the lacing system could potentially save the day.
Additionally, the tongue portion features perforations that allow air flow for improved ventilation. On top of that, the lace eyelets are positioned slightly higher up on the sides of the shoe, allowing for greater freedom of motion while supporting the ankle properly.
This particular model comes in black and tan colors, so hopefully someone nearby stocks them in your size.
- Blister risk
I’d say the Adrenaline Gts are probably the best choice for those who spend lots of time indoors.
With their cushioned midsole and thick rubber outsides, they’re supremely comfortable to stand on for longer periods of time. Though they’re marketed toward trail runners, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t use them for urban jaunts either.
There isn’t much room for adjustment aside from tightening up the straps a little tighter or loosening them a tiny bit, but that’s likely fine considering the nature of indoor environments. Still, if you happen to live somewhere cold year round, then you may want to skip them altogether and opt for the Adrenals.
Either way, they’re definitely worth checking out.
- Extremely comfortable
New Balance offers four lines of shoes, two of which are specifically targeted for outdoor usage. Among them is the N9000 family, which includes the 990v5s mentioned above. Like the Adrenalin GTS, the N9000s are built to withstand rough terrains while remaining lightweight enough to enjoy brisk runs.
Aside from their extreme durability, they also include high quality leather uppers paired with synthetic nubs for enhanced grip on wet surfaces. You can expect decent levels of comfort thanks to their firm forefoot, plus great bounce characteristics for superior responsiveness.
Speaking of responsiveness, another nice perk is that they feature a thin collar that wraps around the top of your foot to prevent slipping. For those worried about sizing issues, the NB990V5s come in multiple styles ranging from small to extra-large.
Some people believe that the Gel Contends are basically identical to the Adrenals except for minor cosmetic differences. Personally, I would argue that the Contends are a bit easier to break in than the Adrenalins, but that’s mostly based on personal preference.
What cannot be denied however, is that the Contends excel at providing impact protection for quick stops and starts. They also feature thinner, lighter soles that give them less overall mass, so they’re often preferred by athletes whose goals involve agility training over distance running.
To me, the biggest downside to the Contend line is that they appear to lack sufficient grip in comparison to similar models from other manufacturers. Fortunately, they’re available in multiple color schemes, so hopefully someone near you carries them in stock.
- Superb protection
- Not enough grip for some
Reebok knows what it takes to produce a product that performs consistently well across various industries.
Outdoor sports enthusiasts seem to particularly appreciate the company’s dedication to designing shoes that maximize function while minimizing excess bulk.
The result of this approach is the Reebok EverRoad DMX 4s, which combine minimal weight with solid build quality. Thanks to the combination of premium leather and suede overlays, they maintain a classic silhouette that complements nearly any outfit.
Furthermore, the outsides are constructed from ultra-soft polyurethane, giving them superb gripping power while adding bounce to improve responsiveness. Best of all, you get to feel the floor through these shoes, if you are looking to do just that. For others, this might be a negative though.
- Great grip
- Barefoot-like feeling
- Not a lot of cushion
When trying to find the right kind of shoe for working outdoors, there’s no substitute for testing firsthand. The following recommendations should help point you towards fitting into the category of “good outdoor fit,” but ultimately you’ll want to try them out before making a purchase.
Here are three factors to consider when looking at potential candidates.
Whether or not you plan to be spending much time off of the ground, proper tread design plays a large role in overall traction. Most importantly, look for rubber soles made from natural, organic ingredients. They tend to provide better grip than those filled with plastic pellets, though they won’t last as long either way.
This refers to both how well the shoe resists movement while standing still and how smoothly it glides forward without stopping once moving does begin. A lot of people think stability only matters when you start stepping forwards, but it actually becomes more important later on since you’ll eventually be doing things like climbing stairs or navigating uneven terrain.
Look for shoes that feature plenty of mesh panels underfoot for increased breath-ability and comfort during extended periods of activity.
Some brands offer different options depending on whether you wear typically narrow, medium, wide, extra-wide, etc. In general you want something relatively snug across the toes and ball area but roomy enough in the heel to accommodate pronation. Avoid anything too tight due to excessive pressure on sensitive areas.
Our winner for this round-up of most comfortable shoes for concrete is:
why we recommend it
The reasons why this shoe is our winner here is its versatility. Brooks offer endless comfort, durability and support to the walkers. Apart from this, the Brooks offers greater cushioning system that keeps your toes, ball and toes safe and well cushioned. If you like going for a walk or run on concrete and stay comfy at the same time, then we suggest you go for Brooks Ghost 14.