Anyone that works in a warehouse understands the importance of proper footwear. Concrete can be an unforgiving surface, and combined with the onerous work may take a heavy toll on your legs and feet.
There is the constant walking, the occasional rapid movement, the heavy load lifting, and the repetition of it all. Then there are the numerous hazards to consider.
Warehouse work is particularly labor-intensive and mentally draining. With the wrong pair of warehouse shoes, you could be making a long shift particularly unbearable.
You may become inefficient at your job, though the repercussions for your health are even more troubling. Once back pain sets in, there is little reprieve. Not to mention your feet should anything fall on them.
For those long hours and shifts on your feet, you need to prevent damage to your body. Hard concrete can certainly take its toll underfoot yet with the best warehouse shoes you can find some protection.
The best warehouse shoes can also help with leg or back pain and provide support. You can also enhance your effectiveness and reduce your risk of injury.
Best For All-Round Design
A solid, dependable choice for warehouse pickers is the Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot. Look in any warehouse, and you will likely find a pair of Caterpillar work shoes.
This is because the brand understand heavy machinery and know how to build shoes which are ideal for warehouses. The Second Shift is no exception, with a heavy-duty Goodyear welt construction, which we liked in our experience of this product.
There is also ample arch protection and a non-slip design with a T3 rubber outsole. Of course, there is also a steel toe cap as well as electrical protection up to 600 volts. All those safety features aside, these are also incredibly comfortable with Climasphere technology for breathability.
- Climasphere Technology – A breathable insole helps keep your feet comfortable
- Goodyear Welt Construction – A solid construction for durability yet one that allows for flexibility
- T3 Rubber Outsole – For wet surfaces, you can feel confident with a T3 rubber outsole for excellent traction
- Steel Toe Construction – Reliable toe protection from a steel toe construction
- Time To Break In – The Goodyear Welt Construction is durable yet can take a while to break in
Best For Steel Toe Cap
For an all-round warehouse shoe for protection and comfort, few can beat the Keen Utility Men’s Atlanta Steel Toe Work Shoe. Every feature is designed expertly, even the steel toe caps are asymmetrical, which we liked in our testing of this product.
For slippery surfaces and wet conditions, you can be assured by a totally waterproof leather and mesh design.
Working in a busy warehouse environment may mean bending and twisting your feet, you will still be supported with a torsional stability shank. An EVA insole provides stabilization and makes these warehouse shoes an ideal choice for long hours. There is also plenty of arch support to reduce any discomfort.
- Asymmetrical Steel Toe Caps – Though it may not look it, these work shoes come with excellent toe protection from asymmetrical steel toe caps
- Waterproof Leather And Mesh – A stylish design also hides a completely waterproof leather and mesh construction
- Torsional Stability Shank – Keeping you stable while your feet twists is a torsional stability shank
- EVA Insole – Added comfort and stabilizing from an EVA insole
- Heavy – With a steel toe cap and a durable construction, these warehouse shoes can feel heavy
Best For Alloy Toe Cap
The Timberland PRO has been designed for industry, making it ideal for warehouse pickers. Though there is an alloy toe cap for protection from falling objects, that usually leaves you susceptible to electrical hazards. Not with underfoot protection which will keep your feet safe from open circuits.
These are also a pair of the most durable warehouse shoes due to rip-stop nylon protection, which we liked in our testing.
You should be wearing these all day and not feel a thing, mainly down to anti-fatigue technology. Exceptional shock absorption comes from a jagged outer heel which is thicker than the competition.
This one feature also helps with traction and slip control when combined with a slip-resistant outsole. With a fashionable design, these even look good while protecting you.
- Alloy Toe Cap – Protect your toes with an alloy toe cap
- Rip-Stop Nylon Construction – For durable design, few materials can beat a rip-stop nylon construction
- Jagged Outer Heel – A thicker, jagged outer heel is ideal for shock absorption during a long shift
- Slip-Resistant Outsole – Protection from any nasty slips comes from a slip-resistant outsole
- Anti-Fatigue Technology – Ensure your feet keep comfortable with anti-fatigue technology
- Time To Break In – You may want to wear these around the house as they take time to break in
Best For A Safety Shoe
For the safest warehouse shoes, you should be looking for a steel top cap. The Timberland PRO Pit Boss For Men has a roomy toebox which has met the rules set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
A traction grip is also ideal for working on slippery surfaces, with added electric shock protection for good measure. You need little more peace of mind than that.
There is also great comfort from a removable sock liner to prevent the risk of blisters, which we found really beneficial in our testing. A PU midsole and removable footbed also keep you supported and comfortable. Timberland appreciates the impact that working in a warehouse can have, so they included a shock-diffusion plate too.
- Steel Toe – Meeting ANSI standards, the steel toe cap is safe and roomier than most toeboxes
- Removable Footbed – An open-cell polyurethane footbed is removable, so you can insert your own
- PU Midsole – Durable comfort underfoot from a PU midsole
- Removable Sock Liner – Less chance of blisters with a sock liner that prevents chaffing
- Shock-Diffusion Plate – Feel less of the impact with a shock-diffusion plate
- Rigid – Though these are exceptionally safe warehouse shoes, they are rigid and the soles can squeak
Best For Walking On Concrete
If it is comfort you are after, consider the Adidas UltraBoost 5.0 DNA. These have been dubbed by many as the ‘most comfortable sneaker of all time’ and with good reason too.
UltraBoost technology was initially for runners yet Ultraboost DNA is a pure comfort shoe. Not only that, a Primeknit upper will keep your feet comfortable and cool, which we liked in our testing.
At just 11.5 oz, you would be hard-pressed to find a more lightweight warehouse shoe which can make a real difference during a long shift. You may also be able to find your favorite color as this shoe comes in many colors and styles.
This is the ideal warehouse shoe if you are committed to working on concrete yet do not need any safety features.
- Ultraboost Technology – Offering great comfort is UltraBoost technology, which makes these ideal for long hours on a concrete floor
- Primeknit Upper – Breathable material from the Primeknit upper reduces the risk of sweaty feet
- 11.5 oz Weight – These are truly lightweight shoes
- Variety of Colors – Though you are best not thinking about color co-ordination, you may find these in your favorite color
- Not A Safety Shoe – These shoes do not include toe caps or any significant protection for working in a warehouse
Finding the best pair of warehouse shoes has a lot to do with the sort of environment you work in. If you are facing electrical hazards, then look for a composite toe cap to prevent electrical conductivity. Should there be a danger from falling objects and forklifts, then a steel or alloy toe cap is ideal too.
There is also the issue of a wet floor, which can be protected against by slip-resistant shoes and grip-traction outsoles.
The material used in the warehouse shoe can also contribute to how heavy it is which can weigh you done on a long shift. Look out for a torsional stability shank to keep you upright when you have to twist and bend your feet.
Above all, you should be looking for a pair of warehouse shoes that can provide all-day comfort for those long shifts. That can be achieved with an EVA midsole or removable sock liner to prevent chaffing and thus stop blisters from occurring.
You may also forgo the safety features and simply opt for a warehouse shoe for optimum comfort, though that would depend on the warehouse.
Working all day in a warehouse and spending most of it on your feet can be tiresome and exhausting. That constant movement can take its toll on your legs and feet, though having the best warehouse shoes can help. For comfort, you want a pair of shoes that include a thick insole and the right padding for your feet.
You will know what the right amount of padding is by seeing if they slip off during a shift, as the protection should cover the entire shoe. The feeling should be snug but not nipping as this could create hot spots.
The insoles are particularly important when it comes to enhancing the comfort of your warehouse shoes. You may even want to invest in a separate pair to get the right fit, in which case find some shoes with a removable insole.
The most ideal insoles will be thick, but not to the extent that they prove uncomfortable while walking. There should be a bit of give and even weight distribution to prevent fatigue. Typically, warehouse shoes will be heavy-duty and come with a thicker padded area specifically for shock absorption.
If you require arch support and heel protection, then the insoles can help with that too. You may even find the shoes more comfortable and a better fit if you replace the insole, and a lot of brands design their shoes for that feature.
A medicated insole can then be inserted for the correction of specific issues that a warehouse picker may suffer from. If you do have prescribed medicated insoles, then look for warehouse shoes with removable insoles.
To relieve discomfort and fatigue, consider the midsoles of the warehouse shoes. This concerns the area between the insole and the outsole, which can be crucial. Specifically, you should be looking out for an EVA midsole for extra cushioning around the most delicate area of your feet.
Once you put on the warehouse shoes, you should feel a certain bounce which will help you when walking.
Padding is also important in the ankle and on the tongue to prevent the warehouse shoes from digging in. If you are continually having to check your heel or unloosening the laces, then you should consider new warehouse shoes. The last thing you want during a long shift is a blister, as that will only make it harder to bear.
A pair of warehouse shoes that are built with breathable, moisture wicking material will keep your feet dry. Look out for breathable liners and uppers, which can also control any foul odors that will be uncomfortable for you and others.
Without that feature, you could soon be faced with sweaty and hot feet, which can also result in blisters. Further, issues can include fungal infection and athlete’s foot.
You could also find warehouse shoes with specific technology to combat bad odors. This is something you can test simply by wearing them all day and leaving them out for a while. If they still smell fresh after a couple of hours then the technology is doing the job.
Much like construction shoes, warehouse shoes use safety toe caps to prevent significant injury. A warehouse picker has to face several hazards during each shift. These can include falling packages onto the feet, or simply stubbing a toe against equipment or forklifts.
As the toes are the furthest out, they require the most protection. While warehouse shoes should offer protection for the entire foot, the toe area is the most vulnerable. That is why a safety toe cap is included, and three main materials are used. These include steel, alloy, and a composite.
The traditional choice for warehouse pickers, and those in other similar labor-intensive occupations, is the reliable steel toe cap. These are made from heavy-duty steel for extra strength and durability, which has been a feature for generations.
Though a steel toe cap can be dented, that still means your toes have been kept safe. However, that protection comes with an added weight which can make itself known on long shifts.
For a similar level of protection, opt for an alloy toe cap. These are typically made from strong metals such as titanium and aluminum. The differences between these toe caps and that of steel are that they tend to be thicker yet lighter. They will still dent and bend like steel, yet you may find that the shoes are a bit bulkier.
Finally, there are composite toe caps which are made from lightweight materials including Kevlar, carbon fiber, and plastic. If you thought alloy toe caps were bulky, then composite toe caps are similar, though they are very lightweight.
The main difference to consider with composite toe caps is how they protect you from electrical hazards like open circuits. If the prospect of an electrical shock is a live one in your warehouse, then opt for a composite toe cap for that extra safety.
Once you have decided on your toe cap material of choice, it is best to try on the shoes. You may find that the right material simply does not feel comfortable because of the toe cap design. You may also find that as your feet swell towards the end of a shift, the room in your toebox is significantly reduced.
A warehouse picker spends hours on end working on a concrete floor. That can certainly take its toll on the knees and heels, so find a pair of shoes with shock absorption. This could be a specific insole or simply a feature that the manufacturer makes clear.
This is particularly important if you suffer from knee, back or hip pain as a thicker sole can reduce the impact.
Working on a solid concrete floor can also be slippy when wet. Finding the best warehouse shoes can be a case of looking for slip-resistance to prevent a nasty fall.
You should also consider shoes that have an outsole featuring a solid tread for added stability. An aggressive thread pattern is also recommended, as these are particularly good for traction.
Considering the long hours you are likely to undertake as a warehouse picker, you need a pair of shoes that will last. These should be an investment into your protection at work, and your health, so finding a durable pair makes sense. That could mean a steel toe cap or durable material such as leather, these shoes should last for years.