Most retail workers spend a lot of time on their feet on the concrete floor, and this can be incredibly uncomfortable after a while. Many retail workers do not wear shoes with arch support with cushioned thick midsole. Standing all day in impractical shoes can damage your toes and cause problems for the tendons and ligaments in your ankles. Over time, this can lead to poor posture and chronic pain. If your employer values the health of his or her employees, then he will consider appearances vs. safety, and let you choose comfortable, smart looking shoes.
Some stores require that their workers wear a particular kind of shoe, but if you’re lucky enough to work somewhere that has a relatively relaxed dress code, then you should choose comfortable shoes to wear to work. Work shoes and boots are designed for standing and walking all day on the cement floor and could be considered the best shoes for retail workers. You can buy work sneakers that are predominantly black and look reasonably smart so that they won’t stand out too much with the rest of your uniform.
New Balance 626 Cross Training Work Slip Resistant Shoes
Another great pair of New Balance work shoes for men is the New Balance Trainer 626. The 626 is designed to provide all-day comfort for people who train a lot or are on their feet all day long. The 626 comes with New Balance’s signature ABZORB® foam that has a phantom lining construction and reliable and supportive leather upper. The 626 also have a new Slip-resistant outer sole that features a uniquely new pattern that improves traction on most hazardous surfaces. With a total weight of 11.9 oz., the 626 are one of the lighter work shoes in the market today.
The Cushioned running shoes that are designed for running and walking are an excellent choice for retail workers (if no overpronation). However, if you aren’t allowed to wear running shoes you can achieve a similar level of comfort with slip-on leather shoes if you replace the insoles with thick, padded ones or gel ones. The right kind of shoes for your needs will depend on your own foot and your natural gait. Someone whose feet naturally pronate will need a different shoe than someone with a flatter feet and overpronation gait. The best thing to do is try a few different shoes and insoles until you find something that gives good support for your foot. Another option is to visit your local New Balance store for proper fit and evaluation of your gait. They will recommend a pair of shoes according to your foot problem. Stay away from high heels unless your employer demands them. Also, stay away from “barefoot” shoes.
Barefoot walking and running is great if you ease into it and if you spend a lot of time on soil or grass, but if you are standing for a long time on a hard surface then you will probably find that barefoot style shoes leave you tired and achy quite quickly. Custom-fit orthotics that supports your transverse, lateral, longitudinal and medial arches is a good choice – and they are worth paying a premium for. Once you have worn them for a few days you will wonder how you ever lived without them! Custom fit orthotics doesn’t just prevent supination and pronation, they promote good posture and reduce the pressure on your joints, promoting good body alignment and reducing fatigue. They can be expensive but they are worth every penny, and in the long term they will probably save you money because they will stop you from needing to take as many sick days, and they will stop you from feeling so tired, so you’ll be able to enjoy your time off! Find out more which shoes are best for orthotic inserts by clicking here.
Other Ways for Taking Care of Your Feet
If you work in a stockroom, try to wear cross-training shoes that will allow you to climb ladders and carry heavy loads with ease. If you work on the shop floor, wear shoes that are comfortable to walk in. If you spend most of your time standing, see if you can get a soft carpet or an Anti-Fatigue Mat installed behind the till to take some of the pressure off your feet.
Right Shoe Brands
Many different shoe brands are good for people that spend a lot of time on their feet. Here is a quick look at some of the best shoes for retail workers. The New Balance 608 cross training shoes are ideal for stockroom workers and are nice for people who walk around a lot too – especially if you buy insoles for them.
Timberland PRO Titan 6″ Waterproof Safety-Toe Work Boot
Timberland PRO Titan 6″ Waterproof Safety-Toe Work Boot are smart enough that you can wear them on the shop floor, and also pretty comfortable. However, it’s important to note that soft-toed shoes aren’t ideal for carrying heavy loads. Your bosses may want you to wear safety footwear if you’re going to be moving stuff around the shop.
Taller, bigger people, may prefer the Nike Vomero series – this has several different width fittings. Nike has a friendly policy regarding returns, so you can try your shoes on and return them if they don’t fit well enough. This is a neutral shoe that provides some cushioning but is not too soft. It is quite light, so it is good for doing a lot of walking in, but it may not provide enough support for someone with a very high arch unless you buy an extra insole for it.
The Neutral+ is a shoe that has a lot of cushioning in it and that was designed for improved shock absorption. If pronation is not a worry for you then this is a good choice. However, if you want something a little sturdier and that provides good ankle support, try the Ecco Track 2 Gore-Tex Hiking Boots. These boots are quite bulky, but that could be considered a good thing – they don’t look like trainers. If you’re going to be on your feet all day, rushing from the till to the stock room, moving items around, pushing trolleys and walking both in the store and outside in the parking lot then hiking boots will keep your ankles supported and your feet warm and protected.
Many other shoes are good for retail workers. The above is just a small selection of the best shoes for retail workers. There are women’s brands for most of the shoes listed above, and they offer similar cushioning and protection. Women may struggle to persuade their employers to allow them to wear running shoes instead of high heels, but it is a battle that is worth fighting.
If you do work somewhere with a strict dress code, try to take regular breaks where you remove the impractical shoes. Sit down when you can, and engage in regular stretching to protect the muscles in your legs. Pay attention to your posture, and consider taking a yoga class or something similar to improve your flexibility and core strength.