Work Shoes for Men: A Guide

On average, people are at work for about 34 hours a week. If you spend most of that time on your feet, it won’t be long before you start to feel the effects. 

You need the right pair of work shoes for men to help you cope with the hours you spend standing up. If you pick ones that are too small or too large for you, it can cause some serious damage. 

It’s also nice to have shoes with special features like slip resistance and water resistance. 

These are only a few things that you should keep in mind when you’re shopping around. Check out this guide to learn more. 

Types of Work Shoes

Before you head to the store to pick out a pair of men’s work shoes, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the different types available to you. 

Athletic, casual, and service shoes all come with their own merits and are suitable for different jobs. 


When you shop for Nike kicks, most of those are going to be athletic shoes. They pack all the comfort of tennis shoes. 

They have a cushioned midsole and mesh uppers that help with breathability. They’re perfect if your job has you on your feet all day and you’re allowed to dress more casually.


If you work in an office setting, you’re going to need to have a nice pair of dress shoes. These are your loafers and oxfords.

You don’t have to sacrifice safety for aesthetics when you buy dress shoes. Some of them come with handy features like electrical protection and non-slip soles. 


Those who work in a restaurant setting can’t get by without a pair of service shoes. You won’t have much of a choice in terms of color. Most styles only come in black. 

The reason why they’re a good choice for cooks and waiters is that they’re non-slip. They also have a comfortable midsole to help make the hours you spend on your feet as bearable as possible. 

Types of Toe

The one thing that sets work shoes apart from sneakers is the toe. If you deal with hazardous conditions day in and day out, you’re going to need to reach for steel-toed boots. 

If you drop something heavy on your foot, you’re not going to feel the impact too much. They’re not the best option when you’re dealing with extreme temperatures, though. They can become uncomfortable. 

They’re also heavy and annoying to deal with if you have to go through a metal detector every day. 

Composite-toed shoes aren’t quite as durable as steel-toed ones, but they provide some impact resistance. They’re a bit lighter than steel as well. 

If you’re looking for a material that provides the same protection as steel without making a metal detector go off, alloy-toed shoes are going to be your best bet. 

Picking the Right Size 

One of the biggest hurdles that you have to overcome when you’re choosing work shoes is finding the right size. 

If you pick boots made with thick leather, you can expect some discomfort, but they shouldn’t hurt. That’s a sign that they don’t fit. 

Make sure your toes have plenty of room at the front, but not too much. You don’t want your heel rubbing against the back of the shoe. That’s a recipe for blisters. 

Another thing to note is that when you’re shopping for work shoes, you should go in the evening. It’s during that time that your feet are at their largest. 

Special Features to Look For 

No matter if you’re using your lightweight work shoes in an office setting or at a construction site, there are dangers you may come across. 

It’s good to think ahead by opting for features like water resistance, puncture resistance, electrical protection, slip resistance, and heat resistance. 

Water Resistance Vs. Waterproof 

Many people use the terms water resistance and waterproof interchangeably, but they’re a bit different. 

Water-resistant shoes have a coating that repels water. This feature can’t help you if you submerge your entire foot in a puddle, though, and the coating tends to wear down as time goes on. 

Waterproof shoes are made with materials that keep water out in general. You’ll never have to worry about soaking your feet. 

Electrical Protection 

Even if you’re a professional electrician, accidents can still happen.

That’s why it’s important that you have shoes that offer electrical protection. They’ll keep you safe from high voltages as you work

Puncture Resistance

If you’ve ever stepped on a nail, you know why we’re telling you to get a pair of work shoes with some puncture resistance. Getting pierced in the bottom of your foot doesn’t feel good. 

These shoes have steel built into the footbed that will stop anything pointy from getting through.  

Slip Resistance 

Again, if you work in a restaurant, you can’t get by without slip-resistant shoes. They’ll keep you on your feet when you step in oil or water. 

Heat Resistance 

Those who work in extreme temperatures might need shoes with a bit of heat resistance. 

They’ll insulate your foot and stop you from feeling the heat quite as much. These shoes will also keep their shape no matter how hot things get. 

Choosing the Best Work Shoes for Men 

No matter what kind of setting you work in, you need to fit yourself with the best work shoes for men. They’ll keep your feet safe from common workplace hazards and allow you to stay comfortable as your day drags on. 

For more tips that will help you dress for workplace success, feel free to explore the rest of our blog. 


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