Looking for a good pair of work sneakers
April 18, 2007 8:31 PM   Subscribe

If all goes as planned I'll be working at a Frito Lay distribution center near my house and they recommend a good pair of durable thick soled shoes for work. Right now I've just got a standard pair of white Adidas sneakers that are going to need replacing. I'm looking for some some recommendations from shoe connoisseurs or more experienced people working in a warehouse setting.

If it matters I've got flat feet and wear about a size 10.5 to 11 (US). I'd prefer to keep the price reasonable (under 100$) and not need to order them online but if thats my only option I can. No boots either please.

I have been looking online but I'd prefer people who've had experience so I don't go through lots of pairs before find the right ones for me.
posted by Sgt.Grumbless to Shopping (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My mother was a waitress (on her feet all day, walking and walking), and used to like Easy Spirit shoes. I believe she wore those or good sneakers when she quit waitressing and went to work in a warehouse. When I worked in a warehouse myself, I used (cheap) sneakers and tore my feet up for the first month or so, but toughened eventually and painfully. (Boots get heavy fast).
posted by dilettante at 8:41 PM on April 18, 2007

If you don't want to go the sneaker route maybe try some Rockports. They have sneaker-like loafers and casual shoes with the air suspension that really are quite comfortable for long days on your feet. Most of their models are under $100. Most department stores have them and some malls in larger cities have Rockport outlets. You could try them on in the store and check online for a cheaper price for that model.

not a Rockport marketer, just like 'em alot
posted by Burhanistan at 8:44 PM on April 18, 2007

When my brother-in-law worked ground crew for an airline, he liked to wear a kind of lug-soled low-top Skecher laceup, similar to a Doc Marten Gibson oxford but lighter.
posted by padraigin at 8:50 PM on April 18, 2007

It was asked on here before and someone said Shoes For Crews. I'm fortunate to have a store here in Vegas. They are relatively inexpensive and probably the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned.
posted by hammerthyme at 8:57 PM on April 18, 2007

Maybe chips aren't heavy like the stuff in the warehouse I worked in, but unless you know that, I'd reccomend something steel-toed. There's a myth that it's worse to get your foot run over by a forklift or truck in steel toes than in regular shoes, but it's just a myth. They also definitely help when somebody drops a case of whatever on your foot. Steel-toed doesn't necessarily mean big clunky work boot, either, there are some fairly comfortable ones. My friend has a pair of steel-toed converse (low boots, not canvas chucks) that always looked comfortable to me, but the converse webpage is a flash monstrosity.
posted by agentofselection at 9:08 PM on April 18, 2007

Go in or call up the Frito Lay human resources department.

I worked in a warehouse and they gave us a discount on special incredibly comfortable and durable shoes. And the women in human resources knew where to buy them and gave out the vouchers for the discount.

If Frito Lay doesn't have such a program call up human resources at other nearby similar businesses.
posted by cda at 9:09 PM on April 18, 2007

Drive around the hospital district and look for a shoe store- the one that sells to the medical staffers. They're on their feet all day. The shoe store with the best shoes for being on your feet all day is usually in the hospital district.
posted by Doohickie at 9:46 PM on April 18, 2007

Great everyone, thanks for all the suggestions, I never thought about the steel toed shoes either. Since Pepsi owns Frito Lay we ship soda too and that might be a little heavier than the chips. cda thanks for the suggestion about human resources, I'll give that a look into next time I go home.
posted by Sgt.Grumbless at 10:35 PM on April 18, 2007

i recommend Die Hard steel toe shoes. My dad bought me a pair when i started working for UPS and they were comfortable and durable and fairly inexpensive. I think you can still find them at Sears.
posted by ms.jones at 10:50 PM on April 18, 2007

You want Shoes for Crews. Amazingly ugly (although apparently they have some nicer styles now), but amazingly comfortable.
posted by rossination at 11:50 PM on April 18, 2007

I'd suggest visiting a Red Wing shoe store, if you have one locally. They have all kinds of work shoes, from special boots for welders to shoes for warehouse people on their feet all day. Very well made, comfortable, available in all kinds of widths. There are definitely cheaper options, but not many that are of better quality.
posted by Forktine at 4:04 AM on April 19, 2007

if you don't need foot protection, all the nurses and doctors at the hospital where i work wear dansko clogs and crocs clogs. danskos are good, but i really love the crocs--they are incredibly comfortable (if a bit ugly). a lot of chefs wear these brands as well.
posted by thinkingwoman at 5:38 AM on April 19, 2007

On your first day, wear old sneakers or hiking boots or something. Look at what your coworkers are wearing, and then get some of those.
posted by box at 5:45 AM on April 19, 2007

Red Wings. Probably more than $100, but you'll never have to buy another pair in your lifetime.

Plus, Made in the USA.
posted by unixrat at 6:19 AM on April 19, 2007

I had a wonderful pair of Doc Marten steel-toes, that were very comfortable for concrete floors in production environments, but expensive. The problem I think you'll find is that safety + durability + comfort is hard to find for under $100. If safety isn't an issue at all, New Balance athletic shoes are nice and inexpensive. You can also purchase custom inserts to shape the shoe contour.
posted by mrmojoflying at 7:29 AM on April 19, 2007

I spent 4 years working retail (bookstore) and it was New Balance sneakers that saved me. I got some at a sporting goods store, and they were around $60. Later I got a better pair from a New Balance store, and they were ~$110. I also wear a men's 10.5, as does my general manager. He's the one who recommended New Balance, and he's got way more years in retail than I put in.
posted by booksherpa at 8:20 AM on April 19, 2007

I've done this for 5+ years now, and tried damn near everything. The best I've found? Skate shoes. Something like DC or Etnies. Plenty of support, and the super-padded sides and tongue keep me from feeling like I've got 90-year old knees at the end of the day. They're almost indestructible, too.
posted by The GoBotSodomizer at 11:13 AM on April 19, 2007

Do yourself a favor and get some Red Wing steel toe boots, you'll thank yourself later. They are expensive up front but my last pair has been through a few years of 10-Hour day Concrete demolition/replacement jobs, they have had hot asphalt dropped onto them, they have been hit with a compressed air hammer multiple times and I still use them to stand on a concrete shop floor for 8 hours every day.
posted by prostyle at 11:24 AM on April 19, 2007

Go to a police uniform store and the what the cops who pound a beat wear.
posted by KRS at 11:48 AM on April 19, 2007

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