View Full Version : Sore feet

Steven Green
04-23-2012, 7:04 PM
I hope some of you guys can offer some suggestions as to footwear. I lost most of my toes in the military back in 70. I've managed to get along at work and at home buying good shoes and boots. Lately however with arthritis coming on strong and age as well my feet are really screaming. What would you buy if it were you for working in the shop? I'll have wood floors soon but I'm on concrete for the time being. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

David Weaver
04-23-2012, 7:21 PM
I would have running shoes. i've never had any other type of shoes as comfortable as good running shoes. they don't offer you any protection on the top of your foot, though, so you'd have to decide whether or not that was OK.

Things may have changed now with steel toes and other boots, but back when I worked in a cabinet factory, we had to have steel toed shoes and we worked on concrete. I never had a day where my feet didn't feel smashed down by the end of the day, regardless of the brand.

Matt Meiser
04-23-2012, 10:51 PM
Cushy rubber mats. I have a mix of good industrial ones, cheap shop mats, and the interlocking kind sold by Harbor Freight, Sams, etc.

All work well. The interlocking kind are the least durable and lightest so they tend to move around (not to be confused with slipping--they get kicked, etc and moved.) The cheaper shop mats are smaller sized. I've got one GOOD one my dad bought and gave me because he didn't need it. Its probably 1/2" thick and very cushy. I've got it in front of my bench were I stand the longest.

Crocs without holes also add additional padding but proably aren't orthopedic doctor-recommended.

curtis rosche
04-23-2012, 11:11 PM
some of the really pricey redwing boots?

i cant say anything as to arthritis since im too young for that. but my shop is concrete and just about everywhere i worked has concrete floors. i put on ALOT (almost 100lbs, but im workin my way back down) of weight in the past two years and had to find shoes that wouldnt make my feet hurt after standing all day and also made my knees not hurt, i currently wear rockports sneakers, my girlfriend says they are so ugly even the amish wouldnt wear them, but they are more comfortable than anything else ive worn

the ones i have used to be my stepdads, he would buy them at a store up in maine that had a bunch of the older models. i have about 5 more pairs of his unworn waiting for me when i wear out my current pair,,, here is the closest i could find to what i have on their site

http://www.rockport.com/pro-walker-7100-mens-shoes/m7100milprowlkr,default,pd.html?dwvar_m7100milprow lkr_color=m7100milprowlkr_black&start=49&cgid=mens&prefn1=refinementColor&prefv1=Black&dyncatsale=null&dyncatnew=null

or its this one,
http://www.rockport.com/cooper-mens-shoes/cooper,default,pd.html?dwvar_cooper_color=cooper_b lack&start=82&cgid=mens-footwear-categories-all-mens-shoes&dyncatsale=null&dyncatnew=null

Gordon Eyre
04-23-2012, 11:42 PM
I'm with David, a good pair of running shoes do the job. I am 78 and so I understand some of what you are going through.

Bill ThompsonNM
04-24-2012, 12:27 AM
If you want some top of foot protection, companies like Converse and many of the running shoe companies now make boots on running shoe lasts with carbon fiber hard toes. I'm on my feet all day and they're much more comfortable than older steel toed boots.

Larry Edgerton
04-24-2012, 6:22 AM
Running shoes do not work for me. I used to be a Redwing wearer for thirtyfive years, but due to the price started looking at options.

I have a new favorite. Belleville Boot Company makes boots for the military and I have a pair of their desert boots. They have better ankle support than the Redwings. I have broken four toes at one time racing motorcycles so have a vague idea of what you are going through with balance, and I think this would help you. They are cool, vents in the lower section and GoreTex in the uppers, very light weight, an incredible speed lacing system that is very fast and the price is right. $115 dollars a pair, and made in the USA.

I wear a pair of Dr. Shoels gel insoles in all of my boots. I have broken 63 bones in my life, many in my legs/ankles/feet so am not without pain as I get older. Finding shoes that work is tough, but these boots have been a pleasant surprise. My feet feel so good that I can now concentrate on the pain in my knees.:rolleyes:


Jerome Stanek
04-24-2012, 6:50 AM
I like my Red Wing boots. I can get them from a place in Amish country that is a lot cheaper than a Red Wing store. I have heel spurs and they are one of the boots my Doctor recommended.

David Weaver
04-24-2012, 8:17 AM
If you want some top of foot protection, companies like Converse and many of the running shoe companies now make boots on running shoe lasts with carbon fiber hard toes. I'm on my feet all day and they're much more comfortable than older steel toed boots.

Thank goodness someone came up with something.

When I worked in the cabinet factory (Aristokraft - forget woodworking, it was definitely not like a woodworking job), there were a lot of loaded carts and heavy things that were either heavy because they had hundreds of parts on them or because the carts themselves were heavy. Steel toes saved my toes on one foot one day when I was driving back and forth from a door building to the finish building (hauling the doors). The carts carried probably 100-200 doors depending on the size of the load, and were welded steel (they were heavy themselves). I forgot to lift the bridge between the loading dock and the truck one day and pulled a cart out of the truck, and as soon as the wheels went between the truck and the dock (where the bridge was supposed to be) the cart went right on my foot. I literally stood there for a minute - pinned by my toes! They would've been smashed otherwise. There was enough pressure that I couldn't get away, and someone had to bring a pallet jack over to get me loose.

I don't have anything like that in my shop to worry about, though, so I use old running shoes.

I always wondered back then why so little attention was given to comfort, at least in the boots that were in the $100 range, which would be closer to $200 now. People had gel insoles, rubber foam insoles, whatever, all everyone did any time someone got a new style of steel toes was flock around the person with the new shoes and say "are those comfortable?". After a couple of days, the answer was always no. We didn't get paid enough for people to generally buy something like really good quality redwings, at least I felt we didn't, and as much as you'd have to walk there - and in the course of the day, you walked a LOT, you didn't want too much weight either.

Too many factors fighting each other, I guess.

Rich Engelhardt
04-24-2012, 8:29 AM
Concrete will sap the strength out of your feet/legs in no time flat.
Even the thin cushion provided by linoleum or vinyl tile works wonders towards being a barrier between your feet and the concrete.

Boots with heavy and deep cleated soles are the way to go.

Ladders are another work surface where a good set of stiff soled boots make all the difference in the world.

I won't even try to kid you that getting used to the weight of a pair of heavy boots doesn't take time. Just ease into it and let your muscles work up to the extra weight.

My boot of choice is no longer made.
Kinney Shoes had an excellent hiking boot at one time that only ran about $90.00.
I managed to wear out the first pair I bought in about 10 years of constant hard daily use.
I still have the second pair & now that I'll be spending more time on my feet, I'll have to dig them out of the closet.

Running &/or jogging shoes just don't cut it for standing on concrete.
You need something heavy that plants your feet soildly on one spot.
Running/jogging shoes are too light. They're great for moving across concrete, but not for standing on concrete for any length of time.

John Coloccia
04-24-2012, 8:34 AM
Have you seen a podiatrist? I'm sure they must deal with stuff like this all the time.

David Weaver
04-24-2012, 11:07 AM
I'm confused by why a shoe good enough for moving across concrete wouldn't be good enough for standing. Whatever has the most vertical support and cushion would be what I'd want. Running shoes usually have good arch support and good cusion, probably as good as anything.

At the factory (I was there 3 years), the first year, there was no steel toe requirement. After that, I guess the insurer tightened things up and you had to have eyewear and steel toes in the factory no matter what you were doing. Everyone in the place wore some form of cross trainers or running shoes (on concrete) before the mandate to steel toe shoes. That's one of the reasons it was such a groaner when we had to go to steel toe shoes, because everyone was used to running shoes, and we liked them - nothing is perfect on a concrete floor, but I didn't ever feel like my foot was flattened into a pancake like I did after we had to go to boots.

Greg Portland
04-24-2012, 1:16 PM
I find the shoes from Keen to be very comfortable. I've also used a set of White's Packers (http://www.whitesboots.com) with a steel toe for about 12 years now and the high arch support makes a big difference (to my feet). These are custom made boots so they can handle any size/fit issues you may have with the missing toes. They are pricey but the longevity and repair-ability of the boots makes the lifetime total cost of ownership worth the initial expense.

For the shop, go to Harbor Freight and buy some foam mats to place @ each work station, these make a huge difference.

Jerome Stanek
04-24-2012, 1:20 PM
Where I work the fellows have steel toed athletic shoes don't know where they get them from. I where Red Wing steel toe shoes

Dave Lehnert
04-24-2012, 4:28 PM
I am a big fan of Rockport shoes.

Something cheaper I just got was this shoe from Bass Pro. They call it a water shoe but you would never know looking at them. Like some of the reviews say, They are very Comfortable. Softest feeling shoes I have ever put on. I got them in store on sale for $49.

Jerry Thompson
04-24-2012, 6:14 PM
I'll second the Podiatrist recommenation. If you lost your toes in the military it would seem you could see one at a VA facility. I am an RN and do not feel you would be well served by purchasing off the shelf footware no matter how well made. They are made for folks with most if not all of their toes.
Thank you for your service to our country.

Steve knight
04-24-2012, 7:12 PM
Find a good shoe store (hard to do) one that spends time fitting and understanding your problems. it makes a huge difference when someone knows the shoes.
I liked keens but the soles wear way too fast and it has been getting worse as they get more comfortable. I bought their industrial boots and shoes and they do hold up but I found after a few days that the steel toe was causing problems as they are really too small but the non steel toed ones would stretch enough.

Jim Matthews
04-24-2012, 9:49 PM
I keep a pair of Crocs at the bottom of my stairs.

They're easy to slip on, and can be vacuumed when I collect too much sawdust.
Coupled with a rubber horse stall mat, they extend my shop time about two hours.

I've got all my toes, but there's not much remaining in my left knee.
Get a couple of the gel chef's mat (http://www.amazon.com/Sublime-Imprint-Anti-Fatigue-Nantucket-Cinnamon/dp/B003BYRDK2/ref=pd_sim_sbs_hg_1/191-0755580-6212750) to keep in front of your workstations - they'll insulate your feet from the cold, too.

Mac McQuinn
04-24-2012, 10:08 PM
They're pricey although the SAS line are very comfortable for me, light, very supportive and they last. Second and much less expensive would be the Rockport World Tour Classic. Very light and supportive. I worked on concrete for 34 years and at the end of the day hips, knees and feet all suffer. A hot shower and putting on the right shoe (and Socks) for you....priceless.
Good luck,

Rich Engelhardt
04-25-2012, 7:44 AM
I'm confused by why a shoe good enough for moving across concrete wouldn't be good enough for standing
I'd love to be able to tell you why - but - I honestly don't know myself.
I spent 6 months working on concrete floors at Builder's Square as a sales person, where I was always moving around.
I was transferred to a new store that was opening and promoted to management.
During the store setup, as part of managment, my job was to direct other people - which meant a lot of just standing around in one spot for hours on end.
That went on for 12 straight weeks. We were required to work 7 days a week from 7am until 11 pm.
After a few days of that - wearing regular running shoes - my legs/feet gave out.
I switched over to the boots for the rest of the time and had no more problems with my legs and feet.

After the store opened and my duties returned to a more mobile variety, I went back to the running shoes.
Any time a long day of just standing on concrete was comiing up - such as inventory, where again, I did a lot of standing and little moving around - I'd go back to the boots.

Brian Kent
04-25-2012, 10:18 AM
I agree with the VA podiatrist recommendation, and my comments are an afterthought. I have all my toes and I just have feet that are growing older along with the rest of me.

I decided to try Red Wing boots. I went to a couple of stores and tried on many pairs until I found the style that fit me exactly. When I wear them I find my feet feeling better rather than worse at the end of a work day.
Dr. Sholls running shoes have been very helpful for me. I see they have some boots, but don't know if they are work or dress boots.

David Weaver
04-25-2012, 10:42 AM
I'd love to be able to tell you why - but - I honestly don't know myself.

After the store opened and my duties returned to a more mobile variety, I went back to the running shoes.
Any time a long day of just standing on concrete was comiing up - such as inventory, where again, I did a lot of standing and little moving around - I'd go back to the boots.

Fair enough, ultimately you have to do what feels good regardless of what anyone else says. One thing is for certain about running shoes, they don't offer lateral support like boots do, and they don't protect your ankles or toes. My dad's got ankles that roll easily (he claims from having broken one and spraining the other several times), and he's down for the count each time he rolls one. He will always wear boots if there's a chance of that.

Charles Wiggins
04-25-2012, 12:28 PM

I'm a big guy, who recently developed plantar fasciitis. I've been wearing Reebok Crosstown DMX (http://www.amazon.com/Reebok-Crosstown-DMX-Mens-Sneakers/dp/B001CO41GM) walking shoes for over ten years and they are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn and the only thing that feels remotely OK when the fasciitis flares up. I have a friend who is a teacher and drummer who also wears them an swears by them.

Hope this helps,

Gary Max
04-25-2012, 1:15 PM
Another vote for Crocs----- been wearing them for two years after wasting a bunch of money on "good shoes". Just make sure they aren't knock-offs.

Steven Green
04-25-2012, 11:20 PM
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I wore Redwings for 50 years and still have a couple pair. The problem is aging damaged merchandise with the feet and having not much left for a knee as icing on the cake. I think the podiatrist is where I'm going. I've had mixed results with the VA as have a lot of Vets. The other problem with them is the nearest decent facility is 3.5 hours north of here. I'd hate to make that trek on any kind of a regular basis. I tried what's called a shoe filler that was custom made by them years ago and we found that it wore a hole in the end of my foot. My wife had me go get a pair of Keens and aside from some new shoe soreness they seem to be worth a shot. Thanks again for the good thoughts and wishes

Myk Rian
04-26-2012, 9:09 AM
I wear Sketchers. Very comfortable shoes.

Scott T Smith
04-26-2012, 11:07 AM
Steven, I'm in the shop on concrete for many hours every day - usually at least 4 and often times for 16 hours. Because I live on a farm and may be working with logs, wood, metal, etc, at any given time, for me steel toed boots are mandatory.

A few years ago I started experiencing a lot of ankle and knee pains. After trying out a lot of different options, I have found two different steel toed boots that alleviate the problem. The first set is by Carhart, model number 3904. These are 8" boots, have a lug sole but with some type of dense sponge rubber incorporated into the sole. They are not inexpensive - about 170 bucks a set. I have two pair, and alternate them every day, leaving the pair that I wore that day on a Peet boot dryer until the next evening. Usually I can get 3 years or so out of a pair of boots, wearing them almost every day.

The other boot that has worked well is a Redwing 6680 model; however it has not proven to be as durable as the Carharts.