I’m A Tradie – Why Are My Feet So Tired At The End Of The Day?

Why Are My Feet So Tired At The End Of The Day

August is Tradies Health Month here in Australia – so we thought we’d help our tradies by sharing our insights in a three-part blog series about:

  • Why your feet get so tired at the end of the day (and what you should do)
  • Why you have calluses, corns and cracked heels (and what you can do about them), and
  • Buying new work boots – what to look for

So without further delay…

Why do my feet get so tired and sore at the end of the day?

If you feel like your workday takes a massive toll on your feet and you’re just waiting to get home and put your feet up – you’re not alone. We see hundreds of tradies every year that are wanting to feel more comfortable on their feet and stop those tired aches. It’s important to remember that the causes of your tired, achy legs can also cause injury if you’re not careful. So what are these causes?

We spend the day on hard surfaces

The ground that many of us will spend the day walking over is often made from concrete, tiles, marble and other hard materials. These can send large impact forces through our feet, legs and muscles as they hit the ground step after step. These forces can cause our feet and legs to ache – while also placing us at risk of doing damage to our bones, joints or muscles.

Softer surfaces, on the other hand, help us absorb more shock and lessen the impact on our feet and legs. While most of us can’t control the surface on which we work, we can control our shoes (see below) that can help minimise the damage.

TLDR – Walking over hard surfaces all day puts a lot of additional stress on our feet, joints and legs resulting in sore legs.

We don’t wear the right shoes

Shoes are much more than a safety tool out on site. They help our feet absorb shock, help keep them supported and stable, and help us prevent pain and injury – from achy legs to ankle sprains and more.

Aside from having the necessary safety features that make your shoes work-appropriate, check that they:

  • Are the right size for your longest toe (it isn’t always your big toe!)
  • Are the right width to minimise painful rubbing
  • Are relatively firm around the ankle for stability
  • Have a strong heel counter (the part of the shoe that sits directly behind the heel)
  • Have some flexibility around the toes
  • Have cushioning to help you absorb shock better
  • Have a removable liner – in case you need orthotics
  • If you need specific advice on the right shoes for your feet and where to get them, book in with our podiatrists here.

TLDR – Unsupportive or ill-fitting shoes are aggravating our foot and leg tiredness.

We are overusing our muscles throughout the day 

The alignment of our feet, legs and our foot posture dictate how we use our muscles throughout the day. When we spend all day every day on our feet, any irregularities in how we walk are amplified over 10,000+ steps. This means that our muscles spend the day being overworked, leaving them tired and achy. 

If you’ve never had a biomechanical assessment that examines your posture, alignment and gait – then you probably won’t know if you have discrepancies between how you should be moving and how you actually are. Having this assessment allows us to identify the immediate problems we can help you solve to help your feet and legs feel better at work.

TLDR – Your foot posture may be causing your muscles to overwork, resulting in aches.

Our gait isn’t as smooth as it used to be 

We all know that as we age, things don’t always work like they used to, and our feet and legs are no exception. Our bones change, our joints get stiffer, our natural shock absorption decreases, and for some of us, the weight on our feet and legs (and the rest of our body) increases. This just means that our bodies can no longer handle the daily forces we put on our feet like they used to – and often they can benefit from a bit of help with some orthotics.

TLDR – The natural ageing process is taking its toll and worsening our aches.

Feeling great on your feet all day

While for some, completing an entire day without feeling tired or uncomfortable seems unattainable, it’s often easier than you think. The first step is to complete a biomechanical assessment with one of our Podiatrists, so we know exactly what’s going on and causing your discomfort. 

From there, we’ll create a tailored plan and start implementing it to see the results that it has on your pain and comfort. We’ll ensure the plan complies with your work requirements and monitor your progress carefully to help you get the best results.

TLDR – We can help you feel more comfortable and less achy on your feet.

  • In the meantime, for ways to help your feet feel better during the day, you can:
  • Alternate regularly, where possible, between standing positions, as well as between sitting and standing
  • Keep an even weight distribution where possible
  • Put a mat down on concrete surfaces where you stand often, particularly if you spend most of your day in one area of a factory
  • Elevate your feet when you get home to help reduce swelling and promote blood flow
  • Massage your feet 
  • Try a foot bath – and add Epsom salts to help reduce swelling, pain and stress
  • Stretch your feet as often as you can – heel stretches, calf stretches, toe stretches and hip stretches
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