Looking for the right shoe or boot for a warehouse job? When you know you’re going to be spending a long shift on your feet on a hard concrete floor, choosing the right footwear can make or break your day (and your feet!). When choosing the best shoes for warehouse work, there are a few things you’ll need to consider, like whether your employer requires the following:
- A safety toe made of steel, composite, or an alloy
- Non-slip soles to help prevent accidents
Plus, you’ll want to think about what’s important to you as well. You’ll need a shoe or boot that fits correctly and is still comfortable after long hours standing, lifting, or walking around. When your day can vary from taking inventory at your desk, moving a pallet, or loading up orders, you’ll need flexible and comfortable warehouse work shoes that are up to the task at hand and as versatile as your skill set.
Tips for Choosing the Right Warehouse Work Boots or Shoes
If you’re torn between whether you want a work boot or a shoe, learning the benefits of each can be helpful. Here’s some advice from the pros that wear them day in and day out:
Consider buying two pairs of work shoes or work boots and alternating. Your feet will most likely be sweaty after a long day, and not letting your boots dry out can cause more than just stinky feet; it can also create hot spots, breed fungi, and leave you with sore feet. You may even want to alternate between different shoe or boot models so you’re not pressing on the same sore spots each shift. After all, if the majority of your job is on your feet, developing issues like plantar fasciitis or tendonitis from uncomfortable or poorly fitted footwear is the last thing you need.
Warehouse work can include tasks such as restocking, accepting and processing orders, counting inventory, and preparing items for shipping. You may even be responsible for loading boxes into trucks or operating heavy machinery. Make sure your footwear is versatile, flexible, and protective. If you know you’re going to be spending a lot of time squatting or kneeling, you may prefer lower cut shoes over 6” work boots. If you work in an unheated warehouse and spend the day standing on cold concrete, you might prefer a warmer pair of boots.
Non-slip shoes in a warehouse are crucial and, if possible, you should opt for a pair that are both oil and slip-resistant. When you’re dealing with heavy packages and need to be agile while loading and unloading deliveries, a slip can be disastrous. Make sure you choose footwear with a good outsole that can keep you on your feet and won’t break down quickly.
Do You Have to Wear Steel Toe Boots in a Warehouse?
Whether or not you have to wear safety toe footwear in a warehouse, manufacturing, or industrial job is up to your employer. Different occupations and regulations may affect whether you’re required to wear a steel, composite, or alloy toe boot or shoe for protection. Even if your employer doesn’t require it, you may prefer to have that extra layer of safety when you’re working with heavy packaging and machinery. Saying that, this doesn’t mean that you must choose boots – some shoes also have safety toe options!
When Should Safety Toe Shoes Be Required?
When an employee is working in an area where there is danger of rolling or falling objects, objects that can pierce footwear soles, or electrical hazards, they are required to wear protective footwear, according to OSHA. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration helps set the standard to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for U.S. workers. OSHA can also require that employers pay for personal protective equipment (PPE) in some cases, which can include safety shoes or boots. If you think you might be eligible, have a discussion with your employer to see if they can help cover the cost of warehouse work shoes or boots.
What Are the Best Shoes for Working in a Warehouse?
Trusted by real working people, these are the most popular picks when looking for the most comfortable, best safety toe shoes (or boots) for warehouse work.
- The Warehouse Won Series – For when you need safety features like slip-resistance and safety toe but prefer the comfort and casual look of your favorite sneakers, there’s the Warehouse Won series of canvas work shoes. Designed for warehouse work but stylish enough to wear off the clock, this series is completely non-metallic and available in both low-and mid-heights.
- T800 Series non-metallic shoe – Although these are non-safety toe shoes, they have an oil-resistant and slip-resistant outsole and are completely non-metallic, so they won’t trigger security screening devices. The mid-height version gives you additional ankle support, and you can also opt for an Oxford shoe if you prefer a lower cut.
- Crosstrek Series BBP Waterproof Oxford Hiker with Composite Toe – These Oxfords are waterproof, blood-borne pathogen penetration compliant, and are complete with a composite toe. Plus, they won’t set off security screening devices and they’re polishable, so you look professional and ready for the job at hand.
- Crosstrek Series Waterproof Safety Toe Mid Cut hiker – When you’re in the market for something a bit more rugged, these waterproof hikers are durable and make great non-slip shoes in the warehouse with a composite toe for added protection.
- Crosstrex I-MET2 Series Slip-on Oxford Safety Toe – For ultimate protection on the job, these shoes are lightweight, yet still incorporate a metatarsal guard with a composite toe cap to help shield your feet from accidents in the workplace.
- Gen-Flex2 Series Composite Toe – These rugged composite toe warehouse work boots are slip-resistant and equipped with a polyurethane footbed for extra comfort. They don’t conduct electricity and are a great choice for high-security worksites when you need non-metallic footwear.
- T800 Nano-toe Oxford Shoe – All of the T800 series make great warehouse work shoes and offer the flexibility of a trainer with the protection of a work boot. Complete with a nano toe, breathable membrane, and flyknit uppers, these shoes are super comfortable and completely professional.
- Thoro-flex Slip-on Safety Toe – When you want something easy to slip on, these oil, slip, and puncture-resistant shoes are made from full-grain leather with a cushioned footbed. Take on the day in comfort, with the added reassurance of a composite toe.
- V-Series Safety Toe Boots – With a SHOCK ZONE footbed, these steel toe boots are tough, durable, and comfortable. The rubber outsole and oiled nubuck leather help protect your feet while still looking classy enough to wear out on the town after the job.
- Thoro-Flex Series Composite Toe Pull-Ons – These slip-on boots are lightweight, flexible, and have a slip-resistant outsole with a SHOCK ZONE footbed for all day comfort.
- American Heritage Wedge Steel Toe Boots – No list is complete without the American Heritage Wedge series. These classy, comfortable, and tough boots are a fan-favorite for a reason. They’re up to the job, no matter what your trade or occupation, and you can still wear them to dinner afterwards.