Working in a warehouse can be hard work. There are long hours on hard floors and the weather can be awful, no matter the time of year. To best get through all of those hours and remain as energized as possible, you need to not only have a clear mindset but also a good pair of shoes up under your feet.
The proper footwear alone can make your day either enjoyable or make it seem like a slug just to get through. In today’s guide, we will be taking a look at the best shoes for warehouse workers by looking at all the things that go into making a sound decision about them. We’ll the review the top pairs of shoes, or boots, that will help you get through your day as comfortably as possible.
Top Shoes for Warehouse Work Comparison Chart
|Image||Product||Gender||Steel Toe?||Price||Where to Buy?|
|1. Skechers Men’s Mariner Utility Boot||Men||No||$$$$|
|2. Timberland Pro Men’s Powertrain Sport||Men||No||$$|
|3. EVER Boots Men’s Protector||Men||Yes||$$$$|
|4. Dickies Men’s Athletic Slip Resistant Work Shoe||Men||Yes||$$$$|
|1. Skechers Women’s Comfort Flex Sr Hc||Women||Yes||$$|
|2. Dreamcity Women’s Water Shoes||Women||No||$$|
|3. Dansko Women’s Professional Mule||Women||No||$$$|
|4. New Balance Women’s WID626v2||Women||No||$$$|
Warehouse Shoe Buying Guide
Concrete Takes it Toll on Your Feet, Ankles, & Knees
Why does it matter what you wear if you are a warehouse worker? For one, the most obvious answer is because of the concrete floors. Concrete floors, whether you are standing or walking across them all day, do a tremendous amount of damage to feet due to how hard the surface is. This makes it crucial for you to find a shoe that has good cushioning. Cushioning is vital to ensuring that you are happy at the end of a long, hard day on the job. Without an adequate amount of cushioning, you will be left waiting until you get home to throw off your shoes in a hurry. But let’s make no mistake about it: cushioning is not comfort. You can try on a shoe and feel that they are comfortable. Great, right? Wrong. Just because you feel that bit of comfort at the store doesn’t mean they will support you all day. Therein lies what you need to have: a good, supportive, cushioned shoe, or boot, that will help you get through whatever your day throws upon you. Your feet count on this, but that isn’t the only thing. Your knees, too, as well as your hips and back can also be affected greatly. You can avoid a lot of pain, and possible injury, by getting the proper footwear to work in.
The Elements (Especially Cold and Wet Conditions)
One of the first things that warehouse workers will be able to attest to is that the environment around you is ever-changing. Just like the products that are being shipped in and out the doors, the weather, too, can change drastically. Because a lot of warehouses aren’t insulated very well, or even those that have good insulation might have the doors open, the weather can play a big factor in your life as a whole. Hot weather is a bummer because it can make your feet sweat a ton, making you really long for a good, breathable shoe that will allow your body to air out and not leave them soaked all day to cause blisters. But cold weather is another thing that could leave you crippled. You might need something that keeps your feet as warm as possible by retaining as much heat in them as you can get. No matter the weather, it should always play a role in your decision, no matter how silly or trivial it may seem to anyone that has not worked in warehouse conditions.
Boots or Shoes for Warehouse Workers
The choice between a boot and a shoe can seem like a mere style selection to the naked eye, but it should not be about that at all. I’m not a boot person, that much is for sure, but if the job required it and I needed it in order to survive and thrive, then I’d buy a pair of boots. The advantage of wearing a boot on the job in the warehouse will come for those that find themselves standing more than walking. Boots just do a better job at supporting this over time because they are tougher made, heavier, and all-around more durable. However, if you find yourself walking a lot more than standing, then a ‘tennis’ shoe or sneaker will fit your best. Shoes are lighter, and though they won’t be as heavy to offer you as much protection or quite as durable, they will make you thankful for them after you have walked many miles in a day. Of course, maybe you just cherish style and have to have what you like. That’s fine, too. Another thing to consider is the dress code of your workplace. If you have to have a certain type of shoe, then you had better follow protocol, or you could find yourself injured without recompense or even fired.
Steel Toes Shoes for Warehouse Work
The choice over the steel toe is one that you will have to weigh with yourself. Some places of work will simply not require the use of one, while others will very much need it in order to keep everything safe and running smoothly. A steel toe helps you in the event that you accidentally kick something and they can also help if you happen to drop something on your foot. Depending on the weight, though, of that object, you can still have damage done, so you can’t assume they will protect you from all possible harm and dangers. Generally, steel toe features come with boots, but if you look hard enough you might be able to find a shoe that has it. Also, a steel toe does add weight, so if you are looking to be as light as possible, you might want to look elsewhere.
Factors to Consider
Here are a few quick things to look for that everyone will want and need for shoes to do warehouse work in:
Supportive Arch System
You will want to make sure that you have arch support. The best way to make sure you have this is to make sure the shoes are not flat. Flat shoes are also flimsy and they will bend over themselves very easily when you try to bend them. These types of shoes can be disastrous for people with flat feet, but they aren’t good for those with high arches, either.
The midsole is probably the most important element in your happiness with your footwear. And you need to make sure there is cushioning there. If it doesn’t feel good at all when you put the shoe on, you probably won’t feel much better as the day progresses.
Shock absorption? That’s for athletes that run, right? Well, yes, but it’s also for workers as well and is very necessary in keeping you safe and sane. The purpose is for them to displace the shock you have while walking and standing into various zones of pressure, meaning if you walk or stand on a certain part of the foot that you won’t feel it there as much and won’t have those aches and pains as a result.
Even if you don’t decide to go with steel toes, you still want to find something that brings some rigidity to the mix. If you are able to move your feet forward and backward too much, you have sized yourself wrong and need to get a different size. This can cause you to slip or to develop blistering, neither of which will help you stay on the job for very long.
The size of the shoe is crucial and goes hand-in-hand with the above concept. You want to make sure that the fit is snug but not tight. Don’t try to overdo it, either, because you don’t want to be sliding around in them! To get the best size possible, make sure to go try shoes on in person and to do so in the middle or late parts in the day. This will help you get an idea of what they will feel like later in the day at work when you have swollen feet due to standing all day. Also, make sure they are wide enough for you. Some shoes run narrow, and if that is the case, they will not get any better as the day wears on!
Best Men’s Boots & Shoes for Warehouse Work Reviews
Skechers Men’s Mariner Utility Boot
Like with the women’s list, the men’s list is started off with Skechers, only this time it is in the variety of a boot. Coming in just a couple of colors, both of which look rugged and workmanlike- but not in a bad- way these boots also come at a very good and affordable price, something that cannot always be said about boots. One reason they are a little bit cheaper is because they aren’t as heavy and big as a lot of the boots you see on the market. They don’t have the heel that is huge in the back or anything like that, so that helps to cut down on both the weight and the price quite a bit.
The bottom of the shoe is lugged and composed of rubber to help you cut down on any potentially slick moments during the day. The seams are reinforced to make sure there isn’t a lot of tearing going on, while even the shoelaces have metal to make sure that they don’t budge at all. But the shoes aren’t uncomfortable, using a padded collar to cushion the top of your foot and make it feel better. Made of 100% leather, they are easy to clean and won’t stain. They don’t have memory foam, but they do a very good job at standing up all day on concert for you. One thing that could detract you from buying them is that they are not the best for people with proven foot problems, like Plantar Fasciitis. They are also tight for most people as well, leaving some without very much wiggle room. Thirdly and finally, they do make squeaking noises often, leading some to ditch them.
- Good blend of a boot and shoe
- Very good price for boots
- Lugs give added grip
- Not as protective as most boots
- Makes a lot of noise
- Not overly supportive
Timberland Pro Men’s Powertrain Sport
Surprisingly good looking, the Timberland Pro Men’s Powertrain Sport is a good option to go with if you are looking for something that is going to protect you like a boot but is a shoe. The first thing that should be pointed out is the all nylon makeup of the shoe, which makes it much tougher to rip than ordinary leather or synthetics are. On top of that, the shoes have a lot of protection built into them, starting at the toe area, where there is a bit of toe guard there without a steel toe.
However, it does have an alloy safety toe built in, which makes it less heavy than steel toes would, a major boost. To add to that, the soles of the shoes are designed to return energy back to you, making you feel much less sapped at the end of a very long day on the job that saw you stand for hours on end. The one big problem that people might experience with them is that when they do wear out, they wear out in a big way.
So you will have to be prepared after six to eight months to find another shoe, or you won’t have as much comfort. The toe area also is very narrow, too, so that can be a major hindrance to someone that has a wide foot or just like extra room. Lastly, the price is at a premium for shoes, so that is another factor to weigh in your mind.
- Modern look for the workplace
- Nylon extremely tough to rip
- Alloy toe much lighter
- Wears out all at once
- Runs narrow in the toebox
- Premium price to pay
EVER Boots Men’s Protector
If you are looking for something along the lines of a more traditional steel toe work boot, then this is your best bet on our list. The Ever Men’s Protector comes with a steel toe, of course, and also has a steel shank installed in them as well to increase the stability of the shoe underneath you. The polyurethane midsole affords you increased comfort, while the rubber sole of the shoe is both durable and slip resistant, making it good for both water and oil, too.
The shoes are even protected against electrical hazards as well, so that is a big plus that could sway you to buy them. Perhaps the most impressive thing about them is the price, which is extremely reasonable for a pair of boots. You hardly ever see good shoes at this price anymore, let alone boots, so it’s a major win for the consumer if you happen to decide to buy these. Be aware, however, that there are some drawbacks.
The boot cut is six inches high, which will have it much higher on your heel, meaning they will be heavier. This does give you more protection and locks you in more, but it will weigh you down. Another thing to note is that they do run larger than most boots on the market, so ordering online might end up being a little bit tricky as a result of that fact. They also are not waterproof, so that could be a deciding factor in whether or not you want them, depending on the job you have and the specifics that go into it.
- Classic work boots
- Awesome price for boots
- Steel toe and steel shank work in conjunction
- Runs large, so you have to order up
- Not waterproof
- Little bit heavier than shoes would be
Dickies Men’s Athletic Slip Resistant Work Shoe
If you find yourself feeling that the above options are a little too much for you and that you want to keep a lower profile, then this pair of shoes from Dickies could be the answer you are looking for. Coming in at the most affordable price yet, these shoes would be great for anyone in a clean warehouse, or for a manager that just wants something lighter on their feet for the day.
These shoes don’t have laces and are thus easy to slip on, while the soles are slip resistant to keep you on your feet without any issues. They don’t appear to have a lot of breathablility to them, but they do have it present through the elastic gores and fabric lining that wicks moisture from them. These shoes very much underline and pinpoint your comfort as their main goal, and you can benefit from that if that is what you are looking for most of all. But they don’t sacrifice your protection, much, either, using a rigid front toe to go along with the slip resistance to keep you happy and healthy.
One of the issues with these shoes, and you can almost tell it by looking at them, is that they squeak and make a lot of noise. The sole of the shoe also tends to give way, which means they might not be the best for purely standing on. They also are not the prettiest shoes ever made, and that could draw its detractors.
- Good, low price
- Slip resistant
- No laces and very comfy
- Not the best looking shoe
- Makes noise on the right (or wrong) surface
- Sole wears out quickly
Best Women’s Boots & Shoes for Warehouse Work Reviews
Skechers Women’s Comfort Flex Sr Hc
The first pair of shoes to make the list is a pair from Skechers that will leave you very happy if you want a ton of colors to pick from. On top of that, they mostly all look very good and have differing designs to them as well. Aside from the design, they have a lot of functionality built into them. This is accomplished through being breathable as well as giving great traction. Part of that traction is given due to the fact that they are slip resistant.
That might not be a requirement where you are, but it is something that few people would turn down the chance to have because you just never know. In addition to being breathable, they also do a good job repelling water, too, so they could be a go-to if you work somewhere like that. In the midsole is memory foam, and not just any foam. It’s air cooled foam that will not only feel good on your feet but also will make you feel cooler at the same time.
One thing that will offer concern is the fact that they are a little bit heavily weight toward the toe, which is strange because they are without a steel toe. Another reason to possibly not go with them is that they do tend to run small and tight, which is not good if you are planning on trying to buy them online before trying them on first. Lastly, the memory foam is a little bit thin for some people’s taste, so that could prove to be a mountain too high to climb for you.
- Cooling memory foam has dual purposes
- Offers good traction
- Lots of colors to pick from
- Heavy in the toes
- Thin insole
- Runs small and tight
Dreamcity Women’s Water Shoes
If you are working for a place that is a little more lax in their rules and you want something that is a little different and won’t cost very much, then this could be just the pick for you. A shoe that would be great for warehouses with no air conditioning in the summer, these will air you out and keep you dry at the same time due to all of the vents built into them. In addition to the vents, they have a ‘Comfordry” sockliner that they use to not only keep you dry but to also supply you with cushioning, too. If you do happen to get wet, they dry very quickly.
Another big positive that comes as a result of the perforations is that they are very lightweight in nature. But the midsole is manufactured in a way that doesn’t allow them to be too bendy or easy to tear, making it an ideal pair to turn to if you don’t need very heavy duty materials. They are also very easy to slip on, so that can be a real plus for people that want to just put them on and go. Boots can be a pain in that way! Of course, there are downsides to them, chiefly the fact that they won’t offer you as much protection in the event of getting hit or dropping something.
They also tend to pick up debris rather easily, because of the openings, so if you aren’t in a clean area, they might not be right for you. The laces are another concern because they are there for decoration only, so some will be thrilled and others unhappy with that fact.
- Excellent price
- Great for hot days
- Very lightweight
- Not as protective
- Laces only decorative
- Picks up debris easily
Dansko Women’s Professional Mule
if you find yourself working in a warehouse that isn’t as much at risk for things being out of place and dangerous, or you are a manager, then you could look to buy a pair of shoes that are very stylish, like the Mule from Dansko. These shoes have class written all over them and would best be described as clogs. They come in a number of colors with all sorts of designs, but one thing to watch out for is the price, which is rather expensive.
With that said, though, these shoes aren’t going to give you a total lack of protection. The toe box is reinforced and the outsole of the shoes, laced with polyurethane help from falling. The rocker bottom helps dissipate the shocks across the entirety of the foot, too, leading you to feel much better and more comfortable. The heel is also made to be wide to allow you to have more stability while walking.
The footbed includes memory foam to help give both support and cushioning to you as you do your rounds as well, and the shoes are also very easy to clean because of the leather used. Aside from the price, they do take a bit of time to break in. They also larger and wider than they have in the past, so that is concern if you aren’t trying them on in person.
- Very classy look
- Rocker bottom helps with shock absorption
- Wide feet breeds stability
- Quite a hefty price
- Not meant for packed environments
- Takes time to break them in
New Balance Women’s WID626v2
An early warning about these shoes is that depending on the color, you will either love them or hate them because they are too plain. That may not be a problem for you, because you might have to have a certain color, but it could be an issue if you are going for style. Aside from that, these shoes are a good pair of shoes for work that are priced in the middle of the range we have seen so far.
The bottoms are slip resistant, so you will be able to rest assured you will stay on your feet no matter the weather and what is on the floor that day, and the heel is reinforced with their ‘ABZORB’ crash pad. They have cleverly raised the heel ever so slightly to help with this, so if you are a heel striker, you should be glad to know that the impact is going to be dealt with much more evenly throughout the foot.
The front of the shoe is also very rigid looking, and though it’s not a steel toe, you can be glad to know that you won’t be getting absolutely no protection at all. They leave no marks and they are easy to clean and stretch as a result of the use of leather, which is a big win-win. A possible downer on these is that they are a little bit flat. They are better than most, but they don’t offer huge levels of support like some shoes do.
They also can get a little loud when walking in them in certain situations, and for some people that is just not going to work out very well for their sanity. The upper also is prone to tearing after prolonged use, so these might not be the greatest long term option available.
- Heel is reinforced and absorbent
- Leather makes them easy to fit and clean
- Slip resistant
- Can be a little bit plain
- Makes a lot of noise
- Upper has tendency of tearing
Conclusion and Final Warehouse Shoe Recommendation
Finding the right shoe for work can be tough, but finding the right one for warehouse work can be even harder. With so many shoes claiming to be the right one for you, it’s hard to narrow down and find the real answer to your problem. So many things factor into your decision, and making the wrong call can not only prove costly to your wallet or pocketbook but also to your health, happiness, and your longevity on the job. You can prevent that by carefully considering where you are working, what you need, and by making sure that you shoes are fitted correctly!
Frequently Asked Questions About Shoes for Warehouse Work
Can running shoes be used safety and effectively for warehouse work?
For whatever reason, running shoes seem to be the answer to all kinds of footwear problems. But more often than not, they are the wrong answer to the question. Running shoes are not, generally speaking, a good choice for warehouse work. A running shoe is meant to help you move in one singular direction without cutting from one side to another. And they are not made to withstand hour after hour of standing and walking. They just aren’t. Some running shoes might be passable, but generally you will find yourself wanting something just a little bit better when you get home.
What Should I Do if I Have Pain With Supportive Warehouse Shoes?
If you keep finding yourself in the situation of hurting no matter what shoes you are wearing, then you would be ill-advised to not seek out the help of a medical professional. All shoes have positives and negatives that come with them, but if you find that none of them are helping, then there could be another issue going on that you need to resolve with some help.
Is it worth it to pay extra for better warehouse shoes?
In this arena of shopping, the answer has to be a resounding ‘yes.’ While there are many, many areas in which you can find bargain deals, generally it is a bad idea to skimp and save on your work attire, especially as it relates to footwear. This isn’t to say that you can’t find good, reasonably priced footwear, but it is a vital point that you have to realize that you usually can find yourself being happy when you pay for a known quantity. You want quality because you are going to be in these shoes for extended periods of time. They will become as important to you as your hands, so you should take the decision very seriously.
What Kind of Shoes Should I Avoid for Heavy Warehouse Labor?
At all costs, you should avoid anything that has a flat sole. Toms shoes are great and can be very comfy and supportive, but they’d make an awful warehouse shoe, for example. High heels are also a no-go. Sorry, ladies, but you just don’t get any support, and you definitely don’t get any traction from them, either.
How Do I Get My True Fit for Warehouse Boots?
As mentioned earlier, you always will want to try on shoes when you are at your warmest. So either try to do it later in the day, or simply do some exercise beforehand. After that, the next rule to follow is to make sure your toes have wiggle room between them and the ends of the shoes. No matter what kind of shoes you are wearing, you need to make sure you have a thumb or so between them. This way, you can be sure that you can maneuver your toes around, and you can make sure that if your feet do swell that you are happy throughout the entire day, instead of just in the morning.
Are Boots a better option for Working in a Warehouse than Shoes?
Not necessarily, no. Depending on your situation, you might not need a boot. Then again, you might not be able to wear a shoe, so that is also a factor. In the end, you just have to decide which one is best for you. If you are happy with something that is heavier but also more protective, then go with the boot. If not, then you can go with the shoe. Either way, there are plenty of good options to pick from.