The Right Shoe for the Job: How to Choose Work Shoes | Triad Foot & Ankle Center

The Right Shoe for the Job: How to Choose Work Shoes

Your ability to earn a living largely depends on your feet, especially if your job involves a physical aspect such as standing or walking for long periods of time. Virtually every job requires some activity on your feet (even if they just get you from your desk to the water cooler and back). Injuries and ailments that keep you off your feet can also keep you from working, which is why taking care of the foundation of your body is so crucial.

According to the National Safety Council, there are around 120,000 job-related foot injuries, with one-third of them involving toe injuries.

Protective footwear is essential to ensuring that your feet are protected on the job, but not all work boots and shoes are created equal. Because the work environments from one job to another can be vastly different, it’s important to get the right shoe for your working environment.

A pair of men's/unisex knee-high black 20-eyelet safety steel-toe lace-up combat/ranger boots in matte leather

Falling and rolling objects, cuts and punctures: Look for shoes with steel toes. Metatarsal guards, metal foot guards and puncture-proof inserts and shin guards are also recommended.
Picture of a couple of dirty old used millitary boots and a gasmask

Chemicals and solvents: Choose shoes with synthetic stitching and are made of either rubber, vinyl or plastic.
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Electricity/High Voltage: Shoes with rubber soles and insulated steel toes that don’t have heels are advised.
a pair of heavy snow boots on white background, low angle perspective

Cold temperatures: Moisture or oil-resistant insulation that repels water, as well as insulated socks, is best for those working in extreme cold temperatures.
Firefighter boots through the use of fireman in Thailand on white background

Extreme heat, flames and hot surfaces: Look for overshoes or boots that are made of fire-resistant materials.
A doctor wearing protective medical scrubs and feet coverings.

Sanitation: Overshoes or plastic booties are advised.
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Slippery surfaces: Choose non-skid shoes that have non-slip rubber or neoprene soles.
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Wet environments: Lined rubber shoes or boots, or shoes made of silicone-treated leather are best for people working in wet environments.


Proper foot care is key in staying productive at work, and it starts by having the correct work shoes. If you happen to sustain a foot-related injury while at work, immediately report it to your supervisor and administer any first aid that may be needed.  You should then visit a podiatrist to determine if any further treatment is needed.

For more information about foot health or to schedule an appointment with one of Triad Foot Center’s podiatrists, please click here to request an appointment.


Disclaimer: The information and other content provided in our blogs, videos, or in any other content or linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For a full disclaimer, please click here.