Work shoes are built to last and keep up with long, grueling days. Yet, it’s not uncommon that you’ll see footwear that looks sturdy and has great branding, but they wear out quickly or cause pain over time! Here, we’ll let you know how to choose work shoes that are up to the task (and a few examples, too).
What makes a good work shoe?
If you want to know the basics of what you need, “Work Boots, Insoles and You” should be a great starting point. It outlines the four most important factors when choosing your work shoes: work environment, midsole, outsole, and insoles.
Many people disregard the importance of insoles, especially if the rest of the shoe looks sturdy and protective. And even when workers use insoles, they may not be the right kind for the job- gel and molded foam simply don’t cut it.
That’s why we recommend the Orange Full to keep up with your feet all day long. It’s made with rigid plastic arch support to fix overpronation and all the aches that can come with it.
Top Shoes to Consider
Men’s Keen Utility Rockford 6” Waterproof
These boots are meant to handle heavy-duty work outside in any and all weather. The composite toe means it’s great for electricians who can stay protected without the risk of a steel or aluminum toe. It also features:
- Composite toe protection
- Oil and slip-resistant outsole
- No metal! So, it’s more lightweight and breathable
- Leather, waterproof upper
- Plastic shank. This is the layer between the insole and outsole that provides better structure to the boots
- Removable footbed- so you can place your own insoles (hopefully Orange Insoles!)
Men’s Keen Utility San Jose 6” Waterproof Boot (Aluminum Toe)
If you have to lift a lot of heavy objects, these boots may be perfect for you. Here’s a few other reasons people love those boots:
- Aluminum toe protection (much lighter than steel)
- Protection against live electrical circuits
- Removable footbed
- Oil and slip-resistance
- Waterproof uppers
- Odor protection technology
- Available in medium and wide widths
- Plastic shank
Men’s Keen Utility Braddock Low (Steel toe)
For outdoors workers who want a sneaker feel, but the support of a boot, the Braddock Low is the way to go! This one features:
- Steel toe protection
- Oil and slip-resistant rubber outsole
- Water resistant leather upper
- removable EVA footbed
- Medium duty
- Only 1.5 lbs
- Bonus: It’s assembled in America
Men’s New Balance 626 v2 (wide)
These casual sneakers are excellent for people who work in retail or the restaurant business; these are:
- Oil and slip resistant
- Compression-molded EVA foam midsole for comfort (the material in our insoles)
- Leather upper
- ABZORB cushioning technology
- Superior traction
If you don’t know how to choose work shoes, a pair of running shoes may not even cross your mind. These were designed to be long-distance running shoes- making them extremely durable for long periods of standing and walking at work. One of the downsides is that they do not provide any significant toe protection. Still, they have some impressive features:
- Advanced ASICS Gel technology for shock absorption
- Lightweight, cushioned feel
- FLYTEFOAM technology uses an elastomer compound to provide extra bounce to your step.
Wherever your work takes you, make sure you’re ready to take on the challenges of the day with the right support. Each person’s feet are unique, so we recommend visiting a local, independent shoe store for proper foot measurement and consultation. As always, be mindful of your work environment and what your feet need to stay protected and pain-free!