It is important to measure your foot size (if you haven’t already) before you order shoes online or visit your favorite shoe store. Visiting the store in the afternoon or evening is recommended as your feet change in size and tend to swell at the end of the day. If you don’t know your foot size, then have a store assistant determine your foot size for you. Bring the socks and insoles you’re going to wear during your shift to ensure a comfortable fit. Or you can check out this video to know how to determine your foot size if you want to buy the shoes online.
If your work involves a lot of walking, then go for more flexible shoes. Flexible shoes have been proven to prevent pain and fatigue, as well as strengthen foot and leg muscles. A good way to know if the shoe is flexible is when the toes bend upward.
A good way to know if the shoe offers ample support is by lightly twisting it. If you feel a slight resistance, then the shoe offers good support.
Keep in mind that work shoes with steel toe caps do not stretch, so look for wider work shoes with plenty of space in the toebox for maximum comfort.
Work shoes are typically made of nylon and/or leather. Nylon is a synthetic fabric often used as sneaker upper. Why this particular fabric? Well, it’s because nylon is sturdy and lightweight. Nylon fibers can be woven into a mesh that allows air to penetrate the shoes’ interior. Nylon mesh is sometimes used alongside leather to ensure that the shoe is breathable.
Leather is another material used as a work shoe upper. Cheaper work shoes are made of synthetic leather, while higher-end shoes are typically made of nubuck. Leather, in general, is sturdy and easy to maintain. They are comfortable, and in the case of Oxford work shoes, very versatile.
There are three types of toe cap protection being offered by work shoe manufacturers: soft toe caps, steel toe caps, and composite toe caps.
Of the three, soft toe caps offer the least amount of protection. Because of this, some employers prohibit their workers from wearing soft toe work shoes. The upside, however, is that they are comfortable and affordable.
Steel toes, on the other hand, is the gold standard when it comes to workplace safety. Work shoes with good steel toe caps can protect your toes from falling heavy objects, sharp objects, and punctures. But work shoes with steel toes are not as comfortable because they do not stretch as soft toe shoes do. These shoes are also quite pricey.
Composite toe work shoes combine the comfort offered by soft toe shoes with the protection offered by steel toe shoes. The downside is that they are pricey, too.
The options can be daunting for those looking for the best work shoes for men for the first time. To get things started right:
- Take accurate measurements of your feet. The design will be stiff, with little room for stretch, especially if your shoes have a steel, composite, or alloy toe. You want to start with a close but not too tight fit. Consider measuring them near the end of the day, after you’ve walked and your feet have swollen slightly.
- Consider what you’ll be wearing with your work shoes. This includes the socks you choose and whether or not you wear orthotic inserts.
- Put them on. If it’s your first time wearing work shoes, lace them up and walk around the store to get a feel of how they feel. Otherwise, if you buy something online right away, you may have to go through several rounds of returns.