Standing or walking on concrete all day? You need the right warehouse shoes, and this guide is going to tell you exactly how to find them. Enjoy.
For those who have been working in warehouse environments for years, you are well aware of the importance of proper footwear. Having the right shoes makes all the difference in warehouse work. Walking all day on concrete floors takes its toll, but with the right shoe choices you can minimize your risk of injury, improve your comfort at work, and maximize your effectiveness working in unforgiving conditions.
Consistent walking, heavy load lifting, rapid movements, repetitive motions, and the strains of hard surfaces such as concrete and linoleum can take a heavy, heavy toll on workers’ legs and feet. Ultimately, this usually results in inefficient work, and down the line back pain and other injuries.
All these issues are avoidable if you make sure to select the best warehouse shoes and safety shoes for your unique workplace needs.
Our Picks for the Best Warehouse Work Shoes
Finding the best warehouse shoes can be a monumental task to deal with. There is an extensive amount of information out there on what works, what doesn’t, and how none of it matters because everyone’s situation is different.
We've included options with soft toe, composite toe, and steel toe designs. Which one you need is really going to depend on the warehouse environment you're in and the policies of your employer. Our general rule of thumb (beyond obviously hazard industrial environments where you clearly need a safety toe) is that if you are working in areas with active forklifts, then you need a safety toe. Your mileage may vary though.
For this reason, we have outlined a dozen solid warehouse shoe and safety shoe options below for a variety of different factors. We at Shoe Guide are aware that everyone’s unique situation calls for an array of options. Hopefully in this list you can find something that works for your needs and your specific working environment.
Here are the Best Warehouse Shoes You Can Buy:
- Soft Toe: New Balance Slip Resistant Fresh Foam 806 - Men's | Women's
- Steel Toe: KEEN Detroit XT Steel Toe - Men's | Women's
- Composite Toe: New Balance 589 - Men's | Women's
- Athletic Style Shoe: Timberland PRO Powertrain Sport - Men's | Women's
- Best for Walking All Day on Concrete: Saucony Omni Walker - Men's | Women's
- Best Men's Warehouse Work Boot: Timberland PRO Pit Boss 6"
- Best Women's Warehouse Work Boot: Timberland PRO TiTAN 6"
- Memory Foam Footbed for Men: Skechers Afterburn
- Memory Foam Footbed for Women: Skechers D'Lite
- Best for Knee and Leg Pain: Vionic Landon (Men) | Vionic Kiara (Women)
What Are Warehouse Shoes?
Warehouses are some of the most common workplaces on earth. However, they are chock full of extreme hazards, with safety issues abound in all directions. Concrete floors are murder on the feet over time.
Even more so, you are at a high potential for dropping things on your feet, and even facing electrical hazards in the workplace. As such, warehouse shoes with enhanced safety features are a must-have for those wanting the safest experience when working in a warehouse.
Why Are Warehouse Shoes Important?
In many cases, employers have rigorous safety protocols in place to ensure everything goes by the book and OSHA doesn’t crack down on them. Over 70,000 workers in the United States suffer injuries to their feet annually. In many of these cases (over 80%) the injuries are crush-related, caused by heavy items falling.Most warehouse shoes are made with additional toe protection, which helps alleviate these injuries or prevent them entirely. Typically, these shoes have enhanced support as well, keeping extensive standing, walking, and general wear and tear from taking a permanent toll on your feet.
The Best Warehouse Work Shoes - Detailed Reviews
1. New Balance Slip Resistant Fresh Foam 809
If you are on the hunt for a pair of stylish warehouse shoes that can be worn anywhere, and your workplace doesn’t require a safety toe, you can’t go wrong with the New Balance Slip Resistant Fresh Foam 806. New Balance has engineered their “industrial” shoe to ensure men who are on their feet, working in warehouses consistently, have strong comfort and protection for long hours.
These shoes feature a synthetic-upper with no stitching or sewing, allowing for a seam-free and smooth fit, no rubbing issues, and an incredibly simple cleaning process. Additionally, the 806’s come with New Balance’s signature sole midsole Fresh Foam, which offer long-lasting wear with extremely plush support.
Additionally, the outsoles of these shoes feature incredibly slip-resistant lugs, which are arranged strategically based on pressure data from the foot. They gather this from the New Balance research lab, and work hard to ensure both all-day comfort and stability while performing warehouse work.
Pros and cons of New Balance Slip Resistant Fresh Foam 806
As with any warehouse and work shoe, there are going to be innate advantages and disadvantages to their use when compared to competitors. The New Balance Slip Resistant Fresh Foam 806 is no exception to this. Below are a few of the noted pros and cons of these shoes for warehouse work.
These shoes come with an extremely streamlined style, as well as impressive cushioning and strong safety measures, working in tandem to comprise a solid work shoe ready for the long haul.
The overlays on these shoes are no-sew, using a strong glue instead to connect the sole and pieces of the synthetic upper, providing a smooth, streamlined fit.
These shoes have a slip-resistant outsole that has been tested according to ASTM F2913-11 standards, to provide superior traction under various surface conditions
Several of the styles of these shoes are eligible for Medicare reimbursement, perfect for those on a budget who utilize Medicare for coverage.
At times, the glue that connects the pieces of the shoe together can come apart. With no sewing as a backup, there is nothing stopping these shoes from just falling apart. While this is rare, it still has been reported to happen.
Regardless of a non-slip outsole, there are some reviewers who have noted that these shoes don’t do well under a combination of slick surfaces and very wet floors.
Our Verdict on the New Balance Slip Resistant Fresh Foam 806
Overall, we were very impressed with the advantages present in the New Balance Slip Resistant Fresh Foam 806. A slick, stylish work shoe that can be worn out and about, these soft-toe options are ideal for those who work in an environment where safety-toe shoes are not a requirement.
2. KEEN Utility Detroit XT Low Steel Toe
KEEN has been an innovative company from the get-go. Known for being one of the first shoe manufacturers to develop work shoes made specifically for women, their unique way of thinking puts them into the mind of the customer and their own needs, instead of what is best for the corporation.
As such, one of the things they noticed was that the left and right foot are in no way perfectly symmetrical. For this reason, their Utility Detroit work shoe is made with asymmetrical, irregular steel toes, which works to accommodate variations present in each foot’s symmetry.
The toe box of the KEEN Utility Detroit Low Steel Toe Work Shoe is double reinforced. This helps to protect the toes and keeps them from getting injured in the workplace, which happens all too often for those who lack the proper footwear. Additionally, the shoes are comfortable, stylish, and have plenty of space for the toes to move about.
Pros and cons of KEEN Utility Detroit Low Steel Toe Work Shoe
As with any warehouse and work shoe, there are going to be innate advantages and disadvantages to their use when compared to competitors. The KEEN Utility Detroit Low Steel Toe Work Shoe is no exception to this. Below are a few of the noted pros and cons of these shoes for warehouse work.
These shoes come with a removable insole and footbed that they refer to as being “metatomical dual-density”. In layman’s terms, it’s quite comfortable.
With molded reinforced toe boxes and steel toes, you will be very well protected from falling objects and other heavy hazards when working.
The lining of these shoes helps to wick away moisture, and the shape of the shoes helps avoid odor issues that are common after a long day in the warehouse.
While the lining wicks moisture well, the breathability overall of these shoes is subpar compared to some alternatives.
Even though they aren’t high-top boots, these were some of the heaviest shoes on our list of the best warehouse and safety shoes. If you are walking for most of your shift, be wary of this.
Our Verdict on the KEEN Utility Detroit Low Steel Toe Work Shoe
Overall, these shoes were a great all-around option for those looking for a relatively stylish but still workhorse-level warehouse shoe for their day to day. KEEN makes great shoes, so we were not surprised by the outstanding reviews and performance of this work shoe option.
3. New Balance Composite Toe 589
With an impressive EVA insert, as well as New Balance’s patented REVlite midsole, it’s no surprised that the all-day comfort focused New Balance Composite Toe 589 tops our list of the best warehouse shoes with a safety toe.
These warehouse and safety shoes provide extensive comfort and protection, in a shoe that can easily be transitioned from the warehouse to the street in style. Additionally, the composite toe cap in the Composite Toe 589, as well as a highly slip-resistant outsole (with enhanced protection from electrical hazards), combine to ensure this shoe makes any long day on the concrete a walk in the park.
Pros and cons of New Balance Composite Toe 589
As with any warehouse and work shoe, there are going to be innate advantages and disadvantages to their use when compared to competitors. The New Balance Composite Toe 589 is no exception to this. Below are a few of the noted pros and cons of these shoes for warehouse work.
With an EVA foam insert, slip-resistant rubber outsole, and leather and mesh upper, you get the breathability and comfort of a daily-wear shoe, with the durability of a strong work shoe.
These shoes meet both ASTM F2892-18 and ASTM F2413-18 electric hazard standards. This means they provide additional protection underfoot, ensuring there are minimal hazards when trekking across potentially dangerous surfaces. The protective alloy toe meets these standards as well.
The slip-resistant rubber outsole of the New Balance Composite Toe 589 has been tested according to ASTM F2913-19 to provide superior traction under various surface conditions.
At times, these shoes can be sold out in the most standard sizes.
Some have noted that these shoes tend to be a little wider than anticipated through the midfoot. Others have noted that it lacks some additional padding in the toe area, and can be a bit stiff throughout.
Our Verdict on the New Balance Composite Toe 589
Overall, it should be clear to see why the Composite Toe 589 topped our list of the best warehouse shoes with a safety toe. They are an all-around great pick, and as we have stated time and time again here at Shoe Guide, it’s tough to go wrong with a New Balance shoe, even in a warehouse environment.
4. Timberland PRO Powertrain Sport EH (Electrical Hazard)
The Powertrain Sport from Timberland is one of the strongest models for avoiding electrical hazards when working in the warehouse. While we wouldn’t go as far as to call these shoes “exciting”, they definitely are innovative for work shoes, especially seeing a sport shoe from boot-focused Timberland.
These shoes are surprisingly lightweight for alloy-toe shoes, and have an overall very light design. And this is all from Timberland, one of the top companies in the work shoe market. The leather upper and high-value alloy toe provide extensive support and plenty of avoidance of injuries as you go about your day.
The inside of these shoes is made from textile materials. These not only better accommodate the feet, but also let you have proper foot ventilation, to avoid the issues associated with sweat. The design of these shoes are casual, though, while remaining safe and comfortable, and providing the protection necessary for the hardest of jobs.
Pros and cons of Timberland PRO Powertrain Sport Alloy-Toe EH Industrial & Construction Shoe
As with any warehouse and work shoe, there are going to be innate advantages and disadvantages to their use when compared to competitors. The Timberland PRO Powertrain Sport Alloy-Toe EH Industrial & Construction Shoe is no exception to this. Below are a few of the noted pros and cons of these shoes for warehouse work.
The comfortable insoles and interior of the Timberland PRO Powertrain Sport Alloy-Toe EH Industrial & Construction Shoe provides extensive support day after day.
Strong breathability ensures that there are no issues with sweat and moisture as your day wears on.
The Timberland brand is well known for its safety and warehouse shoes, and this option, regardless of its different look compared to most Timberland boots.
Compared to many other Timberland shoe options, we were somewhat surprised to find that these shoes were not waterproof.
These shoes are not as electrically-sound as we would expect.
Our Verdict on the Timberland PRO Powertrain Sport Alloy-Toe EH Industrial & Construction Shoe
Overall, if you are looking for a solid, safety toe warehouse shoe that doesn’t have the feel and weight of a boot, but still has the comfort and durability to last month after month, look no further than the Timberland PRO Powertrain Sport Alloy-Toe EH Industrial & Construction Shoe.
5. Saucony Omni Walker
Getting the ideal pair of warehouse shoes when you work in, say, an Amazon warehouse, moving boxes and walking 20+ miles per day, can be difficult. One of the best soft-toe shoes that we have found that truly fits the mold for long-distance warehouse workers on concrete is the Saucony Omni Walker, which has already been a focus of our Best Walking Shoes guide.
These shoes have extensive benefits to users, including impressive levels of cushioning, and stability centered in the heel, providing a balanced, safe stride for the wearer, perfect for long shifts spent walking on concrete. Additionally, a Walk Trac outsole patented by Saucony is long-lasting, durable, and provides a slip-resistant and smooth walking experience.
Pros and cons of Saucony Omni Walker
As with any warehouse and work shoe, there are going to be innate advantages and disadvantages to their use when compared to competitors. The Saucony Omni Walker is no exception to this. Below are a few of the noted pros and cons of these shoes for warehouse work.
The Saucony Omni Walker comes with an asymmetrical sole, common in Saucony running shoes. These provide a far more biomechanical fit for the wearer, and assist with heightened comfort.
One of the most impressive additional features of these warehouse and walking shoes from Saucony are the premium sock liner, providing extensive comfort, as well as breathability over long days.
With responsive rubber and EVA compound construction, the Saucony Omni Walker provides ample support and cushioning in all the right places.
If you suffer from flat-footedness, these shoes are great. However, there have been many reports that these shoes cause pain for those with extremely high arches.
There are some reports that, after a little bit of wear, these shoes started to squeak, which is not ideal for both concrete and extensive walking.
Our Verdict on the Saucony Omni Walker
Overall, despite a few potential disadvantages, if you find yourself on concrete walking extensively as part of your warehouse job, and safety toe requirements are not in place at your place of work, you can’t go wrong with the Saucony Omni Walker. There are options for men and women, and come at a solid price point for what they offer shoe owners.
6. Timberland PRO Pit Boss 6" for Men
Timberland says it best in their overview of the Pit Boss: “The Timberland PRO 6" Pit Boss Steel Toe is everything a work boot should be: Safe, tough and really comfortable. These boots aren't anything if they aren't tough. Go ahead, just try to wear them out.” If you need a durable, long lasting, but still affordable work shoe for warehouse related work, it’s hard to go better than a Timberland, and the PRO Men’s Pit Boss is the cream of the crop.
These shoes come with a stellar nubuck leather upper, providing long-lasting wear and impressive comfort. Additionally, their metal eyelets, cast-metal top hooks and standard lace-up design provide a secure fit that remains snug for the entirety of a workday. Added comfort comes from the padded collar and tongue, and durability is second-to-none with coveted Goodyear welt construction.
Pros and cons of Timberland PRO Men's Pit Boss 6" Steel Toe
As with any warehouse and work shoe, there are going to be innate advantages and disadvantages to their use when compared to competitors. The Timberland PRO Men's Pit Boss 6" Steel Toe is no exception to this. Below are a few of the noted pros and cons of these shoes for warehouse work.
If you’re looking for an incredibly long-lasting steel toe work boot, you can’t go wrong with the juggernaut that is the Timberland PRO Men’s Pit Boss.
These shoes come with Removable, open-cell polyurethane footbed with antimicrobial treatment for comfort and odor control, as well as cambrelle fabric lining with antimicrobial treatment for enhanced odor control.
A PU midsole offers durable underfoot comfort, and a lightweight nylon shock-diffusion plate provides support and torsional rigidity.
If you are on your feet moving a lot or spending extensive time walking, these shoes may give you a hard time. They are rigid, don’t have much give, and are very heavy.
There are many reports of the heavy duty soles squeaking randomly, especially after getting wet.
Our Verdict on the Timberland PRO Men's Pit Boss 6" Steel Toe
Overall, if you are looking for a solid work boot with a steel toe and the ability to last for years of hard use, you can’t go wrong with this option from Timberland.
7. Timberland PRO TiTAN 6" for Women
Timberland is known for their incredibly long-lasting, hard-working boots. However, for women who want a lightweight option, and prefer boots to alternative shoes in the warehouse, Timberland has a great choice for you with the PRO 6” TiTAN for women. These are by far some of the strongest boots on the market for warehouse working.
These shoes have an upper made from dark leather, with an upper that is six inches in height, and additional padding at the ankle and tongue. Another bonus of these shoes is that they are completely waterproof, which is surprisingly not common with warehouse shoes. Additionally, these shoes come in full and half sizes at just about any point you might need them for proper fit.
They come with mesh liners, which work to channel sweat away from the feet, as well as an antimicrobial treatment, which helps to keep the feet dry and comfortable. Additionally, polyurethane midsoles provide cushioning, which is durable and lightweight. Also, there is a nylon shank in these shoes, which provides support and rigidity. These shoes are alloy toe-capped, which decreases overall weight.
Finally, the outsoles are classic Timberland Pro rubber, offering slip-resistance, heat-resistance, and resistance to both abrasions, electrical hazards, and oil.
Pros and cons of Timberland PRO Women's 6" TiTAN Alloy Toe Work Boots
As with any warehouse and work shoe, there are going to be innate advantages and disadvantages to their use when compared to competitors. The Timberland PRO Women's 6" TiTAN Alloy Toe Work Boots is no exception to this. Below are a few of the noted pros and cons of these shoes for warehouse work.
These warehouse shoes for women come with a light TiTAN alloy toe-cap, which is incredibly protective on the toes.
If you need extensive protection, there aren’t many warehouse shoes that provide the level of protection that you will get from these options.
Moisture wicking inner liners and waterproof leather uppers ensure water stays out and sweat stays out as well.
One of the most common complaints with Timberland boots in general is that the laces aren’t really long enough. We wish these shoes came with longer laces.
If you are wanting a good budget buy, stay far away from the Timberland PRO options, as they are some of the most expensive options available in our list of the best warehouse shoes.
Our Verdict on the Timberland PRO Women's 6" TiTAN Alloy Toe Work Boots
Overall, if you’ve got a good sized budget and are looking for the perfect warehouse boot for women, you can’t go wrong with this incredible offering from Timberland. Although a bit heavier than some alternatives, these shoes will last for well over a year of long distances.
8. Skechers Afterburn Memory Foam for Men
If you’re on your feet in warehouses for long periods of time day in and day out, you likely know the benefits of a thick memory foam footbed. This is where a warehouse shoe like the Skechers Afterburn will come into play.
These shoes are an incredible value for what they offer warehouse workers. They are made from a variety of synthetic and leather materials, as well as thick rubber soles, working together to ensure a strong combination of style, support, and comfort.
The memory foam insoles of the Skechers Afterburn are composed of a surprisingly high quality foam for Skechers products. While the longevity leaves a little bit to be desired, these insoles are removable and replaceable. Testing revealed that these shoes are perfectly supportive and comfortable over long timespans, ideal for extensive shifts and time spent on your feet.
Pros and cons of Skechers Afterburn
As with any warehouse and work shoe, there are going to be innate advantages and disadvantages to their use when compared to competitors. The Skechers Afterburn is no exception to this. Below are a few of the noted pros and cons of these shoes for warehouse work.
The synthetic composites and leather uppers of these shoes make them surprisingly long-lasting, perfect for warehouse related work conditions or extensive time spent on your feet.
With supportive mesh overlays, padder collars for additional ankle comfort, and an incredibly thick memory foam footbed, these shoes are some of the most comfortable on our list.
Replaceable and removable insoles mean that these shoes can last as long as the soles and uppers will last. Insoles are typically one of the first parts to fail on work shoes, no matter how high quality.
Regardless of their longevity and features, these are some of the most affordable work shoes on our list. If you don’t need a safety toe and comfort is a priority, these should be a strong consideration.
While relatively long-lasting, the removable insole doesn’t last forever. They will typically need to be replaced every few months, which is an unexpected additional expense.
If you need a specifically non-skid outsole, or need a safety toe, these are not going to be the shoes for you. Additionally, it should be noted that they are surprisingly bulky, as most Skechers shoes are.
Our Verdict on the Skechers Afterburn
Overall, if comfort is your number priority, and you are on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the Skechers Afterburn. While there are a few drawbacks, there are plenty of feature-rich aspects that make these warehouse shoes a great pick.
9. Skechers D'Lites Memory Foam Lace Up for Women
One issue that can be had with the above reviewed Skechers Afterburn is that it is a warehouse shoe made for men. While women can convert the sizing of the Afterburn to meet their needs, there needs to be a good warehouse shoe that fits the unique needs of a woman. Enter the Skechers D'Lites Memory Foam Lace-Up Sneaker.
These shoes are the classic Skechers style with more modern features and amenities. Made of “trubuck leather”, these shoes have a fabric upper, a casual look, and mesh fabric overlay accents and contrast stitching. Additionally, there is an air-cooled memory foam insole to ensure your comfort levels stay on the up-and-up hour after hour while working in a warehouse.
Added features include smooth, synthetic trim around the edging, and side panels that vent for additional breathability throughout long days. Comfort is enhanced with more than just the insole, there is also a light, shock-absorbing high-support midsole, as well as a flexible rubber traction outsole. With its 1.25-inch built-in heel, these shoes lift you up and ensure you can work comfortably day after day.
Pros and cons of Skechers D'Lites Memory Foam Lace-Up Sneaker
As with any warehouse and work shoe, there are going to be innate advantages and disadvantages to their use when compared to competitors. The Skechers D'Lites Memory Foam Lace-Up Sneaker is no exception to this. Below are a few of the noted pros and cons of these shoes for warehouse work.
These are by far the most cushioned, supportive warehouse shoes for women. With an air-cooled memory foam cushion-comfort insole, you will be able to work without pain.
Despite the bad rap that Skechers have gotten over the years for being “cheap”, these shoes have passed the test of time for longevity and durability in tough working conditions.
The Skechers D'Lites Memory Foam Lace-Up Sneaker are by far some of the most affordable warehouse shoes for women we have found.
A lack of safety toe makes these shoes essentially useless in a warehouse situation
While durable, and while affordable, these shoes are also very chunky and not streamlined well enough. As a result, they feel like you are wearing boots in a package that should feel like sneakers.
Our Verdict on the Skechers D'Lites Memory Foam Lace-Up Sneaker
Overall, if you are a woman looking for a great warehouse shoe and don’t fall into the constraints of needing a safety toe, you can’t go wrong with the Skechers D'Lites Memory Foam Lace-Up Sneaker.
10. Vionic Landon Pro and Kiara Pro
Landon Pro for Men
Kiara Pro for Women
If you suffer from knee and leg pain, you know the agony that can come during and after a long shift spent working in the turmoil and constant movement of a warehouse environment. As such, there is usually a solution that can be found from the ground up: your warehouse shoes. If you aren’t in a workplace that requires safety toes, and you have the budget to put a focus on your leg health, we highly recommend the Vionic Landon as your primary work shoe.
Marketed as a “slip-resistant professional sneaker”, the Landon by Vionic is a leisure, all-day lace-up that is perfect for warehouse work. It comes with a slip-resistant and durable rubber sole that alleviates knee and leg pain and provides consistent workplace comfort when you spend hours every day on your feet under solid, unforgiving terrains.
Pros and cons of Vionic Landon
As with any warehouse and work shoe, there are going to be innate advantages and disadvantages to their use when compared to competitors. The Vionic Landon is no exception to this. Below are a few of the noted pros and cons of these shoes for warehouse work.
These shoes come with Vionic’s patented “Vio-Motion support”, their proprietary biomechanical technology that works wonders on overall foot, leg, and knee health.
The all-day comfort provided by these shoes make them the ideal option for workplaces not requiring a safety toe, with a very deep heel cup set back to provide enhanced stability and comfort.
These are some of the most stylish warehouse shoes we reviewed, which is surprising as they are orthotics, which are generally not known for being stylish!
If you work in a warehouse setting that requires you to have safety toe shoe options, you are going to be out of luck with any of the shoes Vionic makes.
These are some of the most expensive shoes on our list of the best shoes for warehouse work.
Our Verdict on Vionic Landon
Overall, if your budget allows and you suffer from knee and leg pain, especially after long periods spent standing or walking on hard surfaces, you can’t go wrong with the Vionic Landon as your go-to work shoe.
Alternative Option for Women: Vionic Kiara Pro
The Landon is a shoe made specifically for men, with male-focused issues at mind to alleviate. However, women are in no way out of luck! The mirror image of the Landon for women is the Vionic Kiara Pro. It offers similar features, and is just as stylish as the Landon, but with a female focus.
Best Warehouse Shoes Buyer's Guide
If you’re on the hunt for a strong pair of shoes for working in a warehouse, there are plenty of things that need to be considered. From knowing what to be on the lookout for to an array of questions, you and your shoes are going to be spending a lot of time together, so it’s important to get as much information as possible to make a proper, informed decision.
Things to Look for in Warehouse Safety Shoes
There are plenty of things that you need to be on the lookout for when weighing your options for a strong safety shoe. From comfort to toe protection, durability, stability, and safety, there are features that weigh more heavily than others when doing your due diligence. Below, we dive into these in detail.
High levels of comfort for extended standing time
Standing on your feet day in and day out can take quite the toll on your back and joints, and especially the feet. There are quite a few factors that play into the comfort level of good warehouse shoes. Some of the most important are midsoles, insoles, fit, padding, and moisture control.
- Midsoles: The midsoles of good-quality warehouse shoes are manufactured to assist in alleviating fatigue, while also keeping the feet comfortable through long shifts. Many are made from EVA materials, while others are company-specific proprietary materials. These materials assist by providing bounce-back when walking, as well as cushioning when standing.
- Insoles: Most warehouse and safety shoes come with very supportive insoles. These support the feet, provide cushion, and help with enhancing comfort. Some have additional support in the heel and/or arch area. Some can also be removed, which means they can also be replaced if they wear out.
- Fit: Ensuring your warehouse shoes have proper fit is probably one of the most important comfort-focused things you can do. The laces need to hold the foot in the shoe without slipping from the heel. Additionally, there needs to be some toe wiggle-room to keep from cramping.
- Padding: Having warehouse shoes that dig in thinner areas, like in the heel or under the laces, can be severely detrimental to comfort. For this reason, keep an eye out for a pair of shoes that has extra padding in the tongue and/or ankle. This stops this discomfort.
- Moisture control: Sweaty and hot feet can quickly cause foot conditions and blisters. Some conditions that can be problematic include fungal infections and athlete’s foot. One way to alleviate this is to get a pair of warehouse shoes with breathable liners and uppers. This serves to wick moisture from the feet, as well as controlling problematic odor that can build up over time.
Strong toe protection
The toes represent the most vulnerable part of the foot for injury. Each foot has 26 different small bones. Over half of these bones are located in the toes. Having proper protection for these delicate body parts is crucial. With warehouse shoes, this protection typically comes in safety toe caps. In fact, many workplaces that have running machinery around require these safety toe caps when working.
It should be noted that there are multiple different types of material that these toe caps can be comprised of. Some of the most common are alloy, steel, and composite. Here is what makes these three different:
- Alloy toe caps are relatively new to the workplace shoe scene. They offer similar protection levels to steel toe caps, and are usually made from materials such as titanium and aluminum. While alloy toe caps are usually thicker than steel alternatives, they are also 30% to 50% lighter. This makes them ideal for sneaker-type work shoes versus work boots. They also bend upon impact, but still do an incredible job for protection.
- Steel toe caps have been a mainstay in work and warehouse shoes for decades, and for good reason. Their strength and durability is very difficult to match. Sure, steel toes can be dented a bit by heavier falling things, however the protection offered is still second to none. They do have their downsides, though. For example, if you do a lot of walking (for example, in Amazon warehouses, etc), heavier steel toe shoes will bring about fatigue far faster than alloy or composite alternatives.
- Composite toe caps are made from high-tech materials such as carbon fiber, kevlar, plastic, or fiberglass. These toe caps have no metal in them, which makes them ideal for workplace situations where electrical hazards may be common. While they are advantageous in many ways, they tend to be bulkier and lighter than alternatives.
One of the considerations that need to be taken into account is the level of comfort provided by toe caps. For starters, your toes should not be hitting the front of the caps. On the other hand, they shouldn’t be so far back that the caps fail to provide adequate protection from hazards.
You can easily check if your toes are in the proper location by putting on your warehouse shoes and squatting down. When squatting, the base of the toes should be sitting behind the flex point (where the shoe bends).
Durability, stability, and safety
There are definitely some features for safety, durability, and stability to be on the lookout for when looking for a solid pair of warehouse shoes. However, it’s important to inquire with your employer regarding their safety requirements to see if there are any specifics that you need to be on the lookout for. Some of the most common factors include electric hazards, non-slip capabilities, and overall durability.
- Electric hazards: You might or might not come in contact with significant electric hazards at your workplace. If you find yourself facing this, having shoes rated for electrical hazards is important. These types of warehouse shoes will keep you safe by protecting you from open circuits. Typically, these shoes won’t have any metal inside them (steel toes, etc), and the soles will be made of rubber.
- Non-slip capabilities: if you want to ensure your shoe is non-slip, be on the lookout for outsoles with solid tread. Another good buzzword to keep an eye out for is “slip-resistant”. Warehouse shoes with non-slip capabilities will ensure you don’t take a dive on a tiled or cement floor.
- Overall durability; Simply put, it is important that your warehouse shoes or warehouse boots are made to last. Remember, these should be considered an investment in your body and your health. As such, you should purchase the highest quality shoe that your budget allows.
Frequently Asked Questions about Warehouse Shoes and Safety Shoes
While safety shoes and warehouse shoes may seem like a simple, easy decision to make, there are going to be questions, as with any purchase that will stick with you for a year or more. Below are some of the questions we have seen and received as they relate to warehouse shoes.
How often are safety shoes required in warehouse environments?
Doing warehouse work puts most in high risk of having heavy objects falling onto your feet during an incident. Add in electric shock hazards, sharp objects like nails or screws left on the floor which can penetrate the shoe soles, and more, and warehouse environments frequently require warehouse shoes.
While the chances that safety-minded footwear will be required when working in a warehouse, it’s important to get the full story and requirements from your employer.
What should I look for when walking on concrete floors all shift?
It’s true, concrete is highly unforgiving on the feet, especially after long periods spent walking and standing. For this reason, you want to ensure that your warehouse shoes have ample, thick cushioning. Additionally, it’s important to look for durable soles, as well as uppers that will not wear out quickly with extended use.
Are there other safety precautions I should take?
This is entirely dependent on your workplace. Some warehouse work, for example with smaller, local companies, have relatively lax safety requirements. When this is the case, use your judgment and do your due diligence to ensure your feet stay safe, secure, and attached.
Comparatively, there are other workplaces, for example larger corporations with armies of safety personnel, who have far more stringent safety precautions. We have even seen some safety manuals with entire chapters on footwear! When this is the case, follow those guidelines to a tee.
What are the best shoes for working in an Amazon warehouse?
This is up for debate, as Amazon has a variety of requirements for safety and security of warehouse employees. Some employees have mentioned receiving a 30% discount off Skechers shoes for Amazon warehouse workers. If so, that price decrease would bump warehouse shoes such as the Skechers D'Lites Memory Foam Lace-Up Sneaker for women, or the Skechers Afterburn for men, close to the top of the running.
What should I avoid when selecting warehouse shoes?
There are plenty of things that should be avoided when you are looking to obtain the best pair of warehouse shoes for your individual needs. As ridiculous as it may seem to need to say this, don’t wear heels in the warehouse, please. No, we aren’t discussing stilettos, however blocky-style heels that are over two inches will be unstable and uncomfortable.
Style is not something that needs to really be considered when looking for a good pair of shoes for warehouse work. Sure, it’s nice to have good-looking footwear, especially when working all day around others. However, style doesn’t protect your feet, and crutches never look stylish. Save the style for chill times, and choose proper work shoes for comfort and safety features.
Our final thoughts
It should come as no surprise that warehouse work comes inbuilt with pressure and extreme strain put on the feet day in and day out, as well as the potential for injury. It doesn’t matter if you spend all day on an assembly line, or walk 20 miles through an Amazon warehouse, or spend your days loading and unloading heavy equipment or boxes, things happen. For this reason, it’s crucial to pick a pair of warehouse shoes or boots that are not only comfortable, but meet required safety standards for injury prevention.
Of the 12 picks we have selected above as the best warehouse shoes for 2020, our clear favorites were the New Balance Slip Resistant Fresh Foam 806 and the New Balance Composite Toe 589. Yes, New Balance seems to grab a spot on just about every guide we create. This isn’t due to any kind of bias, they just make great products.
However, don’t discount the other shoes we have reviewed as the best options. Everyone’s situation is different, everyone’s workplace is different, and knowing the steps needed to get the perfect warehouse shoe for you will make all the difference in your comfort level, safety, and your overall work experience.
We hope that this guide has been useful and informative. Feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts on which is the best warehouse shoes. We at Shoe Guide would love to hear from you!