Being on your feet all day is hard work no matter what you do. And when you work in retail, the demands on your feet and body are even higher. Doing that much standing and walking around takes a serious toll, so it’s important that you wear the right shoes.
When you’re shopping for a comfortable footwear, you need to look for shoes with the three “S’s”: Support, slip-resistance, and sturdy construction.
How to Choose Right Shoes If You Working On Your Feet All Day
It’s important to know the functions that will best protect your whole foot, and that means the ball, forefoot, arch, and heel. Having proper support and the right fit are key to ensuring your arches and fascia (which is the tissue that runs along the sole of your foot, connecting your toes to your heel) are fully supported. This will also help keep your ankles from rolling (pronation), absorb the shock from the weight of your body, and provide spring and stability.
Fit: Length, width, and arch
Of course, we all know that we should buy shoes that fit, but what does that mean, really? For one thing, all feet are different. Different lengths, widths, shapes, contours, and height of arch. We all have different gaits, which puts different measures of stress and strain on our feet, tendons, muscles, joints, and bones of the ankles, legs, hips, and back.
So, it’s critical that you know the size, shape, and contours of your feet exactly and then find the shoe that fits your feet the best. It goes without saying that you need a good measurement–both width and length.
You also need to know how much arch support you need.
We all need it, and retail workers who are on their feet all day need even more.
So, you need to know if you need a little bit, a standard amount, or a lot. Supporting your arches with the right amount of cushioning, whether gel, memory foam, composite, cork, or some other type of material, is key.
If you can get your foot examined and sized by a professional, great; do it. If not, and you’re not sure about the height of your arch, you can perform a self-test at home.
Dip your foot into a bucket of water, and then step onto a piece of construction paper or cardboard. Step away and examine the print you leave. Can you see mostly the toes, ball of foot, outside edge, and heel? Then you have a relatively high arch. If you can see almost all of your foot in the print, then you have very low arches.
‘If you can see your entire footprint, you have flat feet. Based on this, choose the arch support height that correlates appropriately to ensure you get the proper amount of support.
Measure both of your feet the same way. It’s very common that people have two different sized or shaped feet. Sometimes it’s just a matter of a few millimeters (less than a half inch), but it can be up to a size. If one foot is slightly bigger, size up for your pair. You’ll probably want to add supportive inserts, which will close any gaps in the slightly smaller foot. If one foot is vastly larger or smaller than the other, get the size you need for each.
When to Shop
When you go shopping for shoes, pick a store that has a lot of options so you can try on many pairs that have varying levels of support and widths if you need it. Also, be mindful of the time of day.
If it’s first thing in the morning, or you live in a cool climate, there’s a good chance your foot is going to be slightly smaller than it will be later in the day. If possible, shop later, after you’ve been walking around for at least part of most of the day.
This will ensure your feet have had time to heat up and stretch out, so you can shop for exactly the right fit. If you go too early in the morning, you might end up with shoes that are too small.
What to look for
Bring the socks, or socks of the same weight, with you that you’ll most likely wear on the job. Get measured by a professional salesperson. Walk around in the store a lot. Wiggle your toes.
Make sure you have enough room within your toes and between the end of the shoe and the end of your toes so they have room to move around. Make sure they feel really comfortable.
Just because a shoe is the right size and provides the right amount of arch support, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to like the way it feels on your foot. Listen to your body and pick the pair that feels great to you and is going to support you for long periods of time, meeting your individual demands. Check out the soles. Make sure they are constructed well and are made of a high quality anti-slip material.
When it comes to high quality shoes that are supportive, sturdy, and slip-resistant, there is good news: you have a lot of choices. More people than ever are coming to realize how important good shoes are to the health of your feet and whole body, and shoemakers have answered with excellent options. Here are a couple of the best.
Best Shoes to Wear for Retail Job Models
New Balance Slip Resistant 626v2
This definitive work shoe is available for both men and women. Specially designed for people who are on their feet all day, this is a workhorse. The aptly named foam cushioning they use is called ABZORB, and it’s hard to beat for the level of shock absorption, support, and pillow-like comfort it provides.
The lining is lightweight and the uppers are leather. They’re extremely durable and the outsoles are designed specifically for traction, so you’ll be well protected on wet or slippery surfaces.
It comes in multiple widths and has built in stability control.
Dansko Women’s Pro XP Slip Resistant Clog
I used to always wonder why every retail worker, nurse, doctor, and foodservice professional I saw was wearing Danskos. Then I bought a pair. Now I know. The reasons are many.
They’re amazingly comfortable, and fit and support your foot like a glove with an arch support. They give your feet and toes room to move around and your heel the ability to do what it’s supposed to do inside a shoe.
They also grip the ground with incredibly effective traction. They have a padded instep, and the rocker bottom is designed to stave off fatigue. The footbed is made of memory foam for ultimate support and cushioning.
This is the definition of all business and one of the best shoes for retail manager. I also love that they are made from high quality leather, they come in fourteen different colors, and they’re also available for men.
Earth Shoes Clover
If your job requires you to wear a somewhat dressier shoe, you prefer the look and feel, or you’re looking to take your comfort from day to night, Earth brand puts out some of best women’s dress shoes for standing all day.
The Clover is a classic mary jane with updated styling. The overlapping layers of leather on the toe give the shoe flare and elegance, with the small metallic studs over the closure bring a hint of elegance.
They’re lined in ultra-soft leather, and the footbed is made of a multiple density latex cushioning. The heel is double padded and the arch support is reinforced.
Shoes for retail workers provide the utmost shock absorption and arch support, and are some of the most comfortable shoes you’ll find. All of this, and they look great to boot.