No shirt, no shoes, no service. Sometimes your shoes don’t seem as important as the shirt and the service, but don’t be fooled. The type of shoes you wear to work can make a huge impact on your quality of work and your safety.
In some jobs, not wearing the correct shoe could result in a terrible injury. Here are a few safety considerations to keep in mind when you’re choosing your worksite shoes.
Whether you are working as a waitress, electrician or cook, the comfort of your shoe makes a big impact on the quality of your work. Never settle for a shoe that’s too small because the store doesn’t carry your size. Don’t pick a shoe that rubs your foot the wrong way just because it’s the least expensive or the most fashionable. Next to safety, comfort should be a top priority when choosing your worksite shoes.
Depending on your line of work, toe protection may be more or less important to you. For truck drivers, this may not be high on your shoe priority list. However, for construction site workers, having toe protection may mean the difference between a functional foot day in and day out.
If you’re carrying heavy loads or using dangerous tools, you have your choice of steel, aluminum or composite toe shoes. While steel-toed shoes may be most protective, they are also the heaviest and coldest to wear. Aluminum can be a warmer, light-weight option for those climbing and working outdoors. Composite toes are even lighter and can be used for employees who aren’t working with incredibly heavy metals on the job.
If you’re a cook you’ll need kitchen clogs, which have anti-skid bottoms to prevent slip-and-fall accidents in the kitchen as food and liquids fall to the floor.
Construction worker employees, on the other hand, should look for boots with ladder treads that can strap on tight and provide grip while climbing.
For those working in landscaping, farming, firefighting logging or other professions that operate on uneven terrain, a deeper tread boot is best for traction and stability.
Just like a good, old-fashioned pair of rain boots, rubber is the best outsole material for slip resistance — just make sure you’re taking comfort, toe protection and insoles into consideration too.
If you’ve found the perfect shoe with poor insoles, cushioned inserts may be a solution for you. In any case, it’s important to ensure that your work shoe has proper insoles for support.
In jobs that require you to stay on your feet all day, look for insoles with adequate arch support. That means high arch support for those who have high-arched feet and a deep heel for those with flatter feet. Choosing a shoe that distributes your weight most evenly will prevent accidents and sore feet.
You can also choose from other insoles elements that may be helpful in your job, such as moisture absorbing insoles.
If you’re injured
Workers’ compensation is available for any employee who is injured at work across the country so that you can cover your day-to-day expenses while recovering. A lawyer can help you understand if you have a qualifying condition and what amounts you may be entitled to while you are out.