If you are working in retail you could be on your feet literally all day. You want to know the best shoes for retail workers and we are here to help.
Working in retail is hard. The rigors of the job mean having to stay on your feet for hours and being in the wrong shoes could become agony.
You want the most appropriate shoes for appearance but mainly so you can do the job comfortably. A lot goes into making shoes suitable for retail.
The way the shoes fit, the material they use, and even your foot type all need to be considered.
The last thing you want is a pair of shoes that make a difficult job almost unbearable. They may match the description for suitable work footwear.
They may even look comfortable yet if they make your feet hurt then they are not fit for purpose. Put simply, a lot of shoes are not well made and they certainly are not suitable for retail work.
Finding the right shoes for retail can be exhausting. It can also be embarrassing if you have to sit down during the day before you are wearing the wrong footwear.
That’s why we have created a guide for the best shoes for retail workers. Put your feet up, take a break and find the right shoes for you.
Best Shoes For Retail Workers Reviews
Best For Budget
For a shoe you can rely on, Skechers hits the mark. You would expect that from an award-winning brand that really knows how to design shoes. As they have been since 1992.
With an inconspicuous black appearance, the Equalizer Persistent and Go Walk Joy are ideal for retail and will look good with uniforms and jeans.
With a memory foam insole, total comfort is achieved and these may feel like you are walking on clouds.
The performance is formidable for such an unobtrusive pair of shoes. These are synthetically made to ensure you will be able to wear these shoes for years.
Even if you are in them all day at a time. As well as feeling comfortable, you should also feel safe with a traction outsole.
Those retail floors can get slippy so get a pair of shoes that you can depend on. That comes from a design that puts floor workers at the heart of it.
Best For Running Shoes
ASICS running shoes are great for retail simply because they look after the specific conditions of your feet. The Gel-Kayano 26 aids those who tend to put pressure on the outside edge of the foot.
The design actively reduces impact with Flytefoam Lyte Technology that acts as a cushion. They also encourage a natural gait via the Impact Guidance System that provides extra support with specially-designed linked components.
These are for retail workers who want to feel looked after. The Hyperflite soles are so much lighter than the competition and bring a springy bounce to your step.
A Jacquard Mesh Upper is formed from breathable material and a sock liner provides cushioning then wicks away moisture. Feel the benefit from encouraging your natural step and gait with ASICS Gel-Kayano.
Best For Value
For an iconic sneaker as your retail shoes, consider the New Balance 990v5. The 990 has been going for three decades so you can appreciate that it has been designed well.
Simply looking at it is looking into a heritage design. It is a versatile look that works well in retail or when running.
These sneakers are built for comfort including an ENCAP midsole for continual support from a polyurethane rim and lightweight foam.
Your ankles will be protected too with a dual-density collar foam wrapped around them. They are also built to last which is what you want if you are working in retail.
Dependable too thanks to a blown rubber outsole looking after each movement. They are great on the way to work, during your shift, at the gym, then all the way home.
With reflective striping, they will even look after you in the dark.
Best For Warehouse Workers
When working in a warehouse, you need to feel secure. You need to be in a pair of shoes that are designed to keep you safe.
Not only are the Saucony Cohesion Running Shoes comfortable but they include features all-around your feet. From a slip-resistant elastic sole underneath to a cushioning heel at the back.
The design is flexible which is great for working in retail, for a gym workout, and running. The brand has been around since 1898 and you can tell they have learned about athletic biomechanics.
Such expertise in engineering systems helps maximize your performance so you only need to do your job.
Best For Slip Ons
When you think of Vans, you probably imagine skateboarders. Vans have had a popular design for years yet it is worth considering that skateboarders are out there all day.
Just like you, out on their feet for hours on end. Of course, the Vans are versatile yet they are also great for everyday, all-day use in a retail environment.
The thick outsole may be flat but sufficient shock absorption makes up for it. That cushioning should also see you through the door after your shift without your feet aching.
A waffle pattern also provides great grip to prevent sliding on a slippery floor. To top it off there is a padded collar and tongue for that extra sense of security and protection during those long days.
The right pair of shoes for retail workers will be comfortable, lightweight, and provide all the support you need for a long day. Shoes that use breathable material can also reduce a lot of potential discomfort throughout a long shift. With your shoes being barely noticeable, you can concentrate on great customer service.
Be warned. Shoes that fail to fit can result in blisters, swollen feet, and even a painful back after only a few hours. Not ideal if you are expected to be on your feet all day. Ensure you get the best shoes for your retail work by checking which features apply to you.
Foot Type and Arches
Various types of shoes can be worn in retail, depending on the dress code. You could be expected to wear smart shoes if you are customer-facing. A simple pair of black slip-ons should do the job and still look inconspicuous.
Working in a warehouse should bring more leniency as to how colorful and bright your shoes can be. A pair of running shoes can provide great support for your aches too. This may be ideal if your warehouse work is more active than simply standing on your feet.
You may have a normal arch which means that your feet can comfortably distribute any impact from standing or walking all day. A high arch would require support and some extra cushioning due to your feet not touching the floor. There is also a flat arch where your feet are completely on the floor in which case a flat outsole is fine.
If you are going to get your feet measured, request that the contours on the bottom of your feet be checked too. Looking after the arches of your feet will also provide support for a long shift. You may want to have an analysis performed on your gait too to give you an all-round idea of the best retail shoes.
Like the foot type, the appearance of your shoes can be determined by the retail store you work in. You can expect running shoes to be appropriate for working in a sports store.
In a warehouse, you could get away with the appearance yet you should still make sure that the shoes are durable and comfortable. In a high-end store, you will likely be expected to wear dressy shoes and leather is a great, durable option.
The material of your shoes can make a big difference in how comfortable they will be. You need to find a material that is most suitable for your retail work.
Leather shoes are tougher than most and are also the most durable. They also tend to look more professional which will be expected if you are out on your feet in a boutique. Especially if you are expected to be impressing customers with your appearance.
As a material, canvas is soft and lightweight but not very durable. Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) is good to look out for if you need shock absorption and slip-resistant shoes.
What the material lacks in durability, it makes up for in how lightweight it is. That makes them ideal shoes for shop assistants, waiters, and waitresses who find themselves moving around quite often.
A lot of the cushioning from a pair of shoes comes from the insole and memory foam is a useful feature to look for. The comfort of a bouncy insole to absorb impact can make an all-day shift seem less daunting and less painful.
If you work in a retail job that requires you to work outside in a busy environment, you need shoes that will prevent you from slipping. A rubber outsole goes a long way to ensuring traction and slip resistance.
While wearing flats such as Vans all day may seem comfortable, you should consider a slight heel. This is primarily for support as your soles may suffer in utterly flat shoes for hours on end. Even half an inch could make a major difference.
Ensuring you have the right size of shoes that fit just right is vital if you are going to spend all day in them. The size you believe your feet currently are may be incorrect. That may be strange to consider yet you should insist on getting your feet measured in-store.
If your shoes are too big there is more danger of slipping and even falling. If you need to walk at pace you need to be confident that your feet are not resembling those of clowns.
Too small a size and your feet struggle to breathe. That could result in blisters and swollen feet if they become too hot and sweaty.
So you have had your feet measured and you have picked a pair of shoes, ready to get to work? Not quite. Take the shoes home and wear them for a few hours to check. Your ankle may slip or they could generally feel too tight which would prove painful during a long day.
Working in retail means you will require a pair of shoes that are going to sustain a lot of wear. If it is durability you are wanting then invest in some leather shoes. These are comparably heavier than canvas shoes but will certainly last longer.
Making sure your feet are comfortable all day when working in retail largely depends on the cushioning. Shoes with lots of cushioning will help absorb the sizeable amount of impact you could endure otherwise.
This is especially important if you work in a warehouse and find yourself standing or walking on concrete all day. Most of the cushioning comes from the insole.
Ask if your shoes contain memory foam as this will provide comfort and soften any impact that you would otherwise endure. Your heels and ankles are also an important area of your feet to be cushioned.
Spending all day on your feet adds up to a whole lot of stress. The best shoes for retail workers are likely to be lightweight and full of support.
Reduce that stress and tension by picking a lightweight pair of shoes such as running shoes. These are made synthetically with breathable material. If they prove comfortable for running, they should be great for retail work.
Frequently Asked Questions
How important is the right pair of shoes for a retail worker?
Retail work can be exhausting, stressful, and even painful. It can be made even harder in the wrong pair of shoes. With a pair of shoes that are comfortable, breathable, and, more importantly, fit well it can make a huge difference.
If you are expected to be on your feet for hours on end then you will want a pair of shoes that you can barely notice. They should leave the wearer only worrying about being able to concentrate on their job.
What are the best ways to prevent your shoes from being painful in retail work?
Aside from having your feet measured for the right pair of shoes, there are even more measures you can take. You could buy a separate pair of insoles to ensure that your arches are fully supported.
Changing your shoes during the week can help your feet and back as even the best pair of shoes may stress you slightly. You could also use a massage ball to reduce tension and boost your circulation.
Use a massage ball a couple of minutes before and after a retail shift could make a big difference.