Best Shoes For Retail Workers

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 For Budget (Men's)
Best For Budget (Women's)
Best For Running Shoes (Men's)
Best For Running Shoes (Women's)
Best For Value (Women's)
Best For Value (Men's)
Skechers Men's Equalizer Persistent Slip-On Sneaker, Black, 12 XW US
Skechers Women's Go Walk Joy Sneaker, Black, 8
ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 26 Midnight/Grey Floss 6 D (M)
ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 26 Running Shoes, 8.5, Metropolis/Rose Gold
New Balance Women's Made in US 990 V5 Sneaker, Grey/Castlerock, 8.5 Wide
New Balance Men's Made in US 990 V5 Sneaker, Grey/Castlerock, 8.5
Skechers Men's Equalizer Persistent Slip-On Sneaker, Black, 12 XW US
Skechers Women's Go Walk Joy Sneaker, Black, 8
ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 26 Midnight/Grey Floss 6 D (M)
ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 26 Running Shoes, 8.5, Metropolis/Rose Gold
New Balance Women's Made in US 990 V5 Sneaker, Grey/Castlerock, 8.5 Wide
New Balance Men's Made in US 990 V5 Sneaker, Grey/Castlerock, 8.5
$54.95
$44.99
Price not available
Price not available
Price not available
$184.95
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Best For Budget (Men's)
Skechers Men's Equalizer Persistent Slip-On Sneaker, Black, 12 XW US
Skechers Men's Equalizer Persistent Slip-On Sneaker, Black, 12 XW US
$54.95
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Best For Budget (Women's)
Skechers Women's Go Walk Joy Sneaker, Black, 8
Skechers Women's Go Walk Joy Sneaker, Black, 8
$44.99
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Best For Running Shoes (Men's)
ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 26 Midnight/Grey Floss 6 D (M)
ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 26 Midnight/Grey Floss 6 D (M)
Price not available
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Best For Running Shoes (Women's)
ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 26 Running Shoes, 8.5, Metropolis/Rose Gold
ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 26 Running Shoes, 8.5, Metropolis/Rose Gold
Price not available
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Best For Value (Women's)
New Balance Women's Made in US 990 V5 Sneaker, Grey/Castlerock, 8.5 Wide
New Balance Women's Made in US 990 V5 Sneaker, Grey/Castlerock, 8.5 Wide
Price not available
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Best For Value (Men's)
New Balance Men's Made in US 990 V5 Sneaker, Grey/Castlerock, 8.5
New Balance Men's Made in US 990 V5 Sneaker, Grey/Castlerock, 8.5
$184.95
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Best Shoes For Retail Workers Reviews

Best For Budget

Skechers Men’s Equalizer Persistent Slip-On Sneaker

Skechers Men's Equalizer Persistent Slip-On Sneaker, Black, 12 XW US

 

Skechers Women’s Go Walk Joy Walking Shoe

Skechers Women's Go Walk Joy Sneaker, Black, 8

 

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.

Pros

Black Appearance – An inconspicuous look that is ideal for retail
Durable – Synthetically made to provide long-lasting performance
Memory Foam Footbed – So soft you may forget you are even wearing shoes
Traction Outsole – Resistant to slipping for reliable performance

Cons

Mesh Loses Form – Over time, the mesh can lose its shape


Best For Running Shoes

ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 26 Running Shoes

ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 26 Midnight/Grey Floss 6 D (M)

 

ASICS Women’s Gel-Kayano 26 Running Shoes

ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 26 Running Shoes, 8.5, Metropolis/Rose Gold

 

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.

Pros

Impact Guidance System – Encourages your natural gait with linked components
Flytefoam Lyte Technology – A lightweight midsole that acts as a cushion
Jacquard Mesh Upper – Breathable material which provides great support all day long
Hyperflite Soles – 55% lighter than standard EVA foam offering a springy bounce

Cons

Firmer Footbed – Firmer than previous models which are comparably less comfortable


Best For Value

New Balance Women’s Made in US 990 V5

New Balance Women's Made in US 990 V5 Sneaker, Grey/Castlerock, 8.5 Wide

 

New Balance Men’s Made in Us 990 V5 Sneaker

New Balance Men's Made in US 990 V5 Sneaker, Grey/Castlerock, 8.5

 

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.

Pros

Heritage Design – That classic running look known globally
ENCAP Midsole – Lightweight foam and a durable rim for all-day support
Dual Density Collar Foam – Offers protection and support for your ankles
Ortholite Insole – Increased stability and comfort

Cons

Tight Laces – When the laces are put through the tongue the sneaker can become too tight


Best For Warehouse Workers

Saucony Unisex-Adult Women’s Cohesion 11 Running Shoe

 

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.

Pros

Slip-Resistant – Feel secure working in a warehouse with a slip-resistant sole
Flexible Design – Great in retail but also in the gym and out running
The Grid System – A stability and cushioning system based on the sole
Elastic Sole – Slip-resistant and developed to enhance your comfort

Cons

Lack of Waterproofing – These shoes are best worn indoors as there is no waterproofing, great for warehouse workers


Best For Slip Ons

Vans Unisex Class Slip Ons

Vans Unisex Classic M US (5, Black/Black, Numeric_5)

 

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.

Pros

Trendy Design – Comfortable with that classic, lightweight design you can wear away from work
Shock Absorption – The thick outsole is flat yet looks out for you with shock absorption and a waffle pattern
Padded Collar and Tongue – For added protection and security

Cons

No Arch Support – A flat outsole is expected yet you can miss the support from running shoes


Buyers’ Guide

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.

Appearance

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.

Material

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.

The Insole

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.

The Outsole

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.

The Heel

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.

Fitting

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.

Durability

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.

Cushioning

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.

Weight

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.