You might not think twice about your shoe selection every morning outside of how well they match your outfit. Still, if you spend a lot of time on your feet each day, you probably wish you had given it a little more thought. Selecting a high-quality athletic shoe for a long day can make or break your comfort level and save your back, knees, and hips, which are prone to suffer from inadequate shoe cushioning.

Whether you’re heading out for a busy day at work or embarking on an adventurous vacation, being intentional with your shoe choice will give you the arch support and stability you need (while still staying elegant, of course).

Our criteria.

A sneaker to wear while you’re on your feet all day will be very similar to one you might choose for a long walk or other physical activity. It’s important to support all areas of your foot, including your ankle, for maximum comfort, especially if you’re standing on hard surfaces.

“For standing with little walking, a stronger, less flexible athletic shoe like a walking shoe is best,” suggests holistic podiatrist Robert Kornfeld, DPM. “For those who walk a lot on hard surfaces, shock absorption becomes just as important, and most running shoes are designed to lessen the impact of the foot on the ground.”

Taking into account any pronation (the way your foot rolls when you walk) will also help you when choosing your ideal sneaker. “For patients with pronation issues or flat feet, a varus wedge in the heel and arch-supporting insoles would be best,” Kornfeld notes. However, if you continually have problems with shoes, especially with arch discomfort, it may be worth getting evaluated by a podiatrist to determine your specific needs.

The take-out sale.

If you are going to be standing for a long period of time, it is important to choose your sneakers accordingly for adequate support and comfort. By considering your ankles, arches, and really your entire foot when shopping for new sneakers, you’ll feel fresh at the end of the day no matter what activities you’ve been doing. One thing you should never cut corners on is your shoes.