Best Work Shoes for Big Guys

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best work shoes for big guys

Do you have the type of job where you plop down on the sofa utterly exhausted after each day of work? One where you’re constantly on your feet, moving around, or doing manual labor? 

I worked construction for more than a decade so I know what a hard day’s work actually feels like.
 
These days, I’m in the office a lot more but I still recommend the same shoe and that’s the Keen Utility Men’s Flint Low Steel Toe Work Shoe which you can see on Amazon by clicking here.
 
Not only are they super comfortable and breathable, but the shoes also come with some sweet safety features and are made of quality leather. Like I said, I still wear these steel-toe shoes even in the office and they’re my go-to shoe. 
 
I know as guys (and big guys at that), we usually aren’t the type to care much about what we wear, let alone our footwear. But with intense jobs like ours, we really do need to focus on taking good care of our feet. 
 
“Work shoes” have different meanings to different folks based on their professions of course, and while this article will be focused on the big guys doing big jobs, these bombproof shoes will work in just about any profession. 
 
In fact, I still wear a pair of solid steel toes even when I’m working in office simply because they give me the support I need. 
 
As big or fat guys, we have to adjust every day based on our size. We have seatbelt extenders, extra-long bed frames, specialty clothing stores, and more. So, why should our shoes be any different? 
 
Our feet are longer and bigger than the rest of the population’s feet. Not only that, they are wider, too. 
 
Feet are the foundation for your entire body (and all the weight you carry), so they must be supported with the correct footwear. 
 
Not only is comfort important, but wearing the appropriate shoes can prevent long-term damage, like joint pain and muscle problems. 
 
When you are looking for the right pair of work shoes, pay special attention to the fit, cushioning, support, durability, and stability. 
 
We’re going to cover big guys need to look for but if you just want to see the list of our favorites you can check them out here:
 

My Top Recommendations

  1. Top Pick: Keen Utility Men’s Flint Low Steel Toe Work Shoe 
  2. Best On a Budget: Skechers for Work Men’s Shoe 
  3. Best Waterproof: Wolverine Men’s W04821 Buccaneer Work Boot 
  4. Best Hybrid for the Office: Orthofeet Avery Island Oxford Shoes 
  5. Best for Electrical Work: Reebok Work Industrial and Construction Shoe
  6. Best Steel-Toed: Timberland PRO Men’s Pit Boss Steel-Toe
  7. Most Sturdy: Irish Setter Men’s 83605 Work Boots
  8. Best for Intense Work: Carhartt Men’s Composite Toe Leather Logger Boot

Buyer’s Guide and Review Criteria

Fit

Your shoes have to fit right, plain and simple. Too tight and you will be annoyed at the pinching all day. Too loose and your foot will slide around uncomfortably.

When I was younger, my parents used to use “the sock” solution for ill-fitting shoes. They would tell me if my shoes were too big I should wear thicker socks to make up for them. And they told me if my shoes were too small that I should cut the feet out of my big sister’s stockings and use those for socks.

I’m sure they meant well, but neither of those solutions worked that great.

I have a better suggestion – just get the right size from the start!

At our age, it is unlikely that our feet will grow (or shrink). Even if you lose or gain some weight, your foot size won’t change much (if at all).

Cushioning and Support

Your foot is the foundation for the rest of your body. Think of it this way, if the slab beneath your house was poorly supported, how would you expect it to hold up the entire structure?

Not only do your feet support your entire body and weight, but they also protect other parts of you from injury. Your back, knees, and neck will be more comfortable if you are wearing cushioned and supportive shoes.

If your feet are happy, the rest of your body will be happy, too.

Durability

There is nothing worse than investing in a pair of shoes, only to find out the quality is just not there. I hate it when I think I found the right pair and they fall apart on me a few months later.

The work we do is intense and our shoes have to be up to the task just as much as we are.

Pay close attention to the materials that comprise the shoe. Look for premium fabrics and high-quality laces, soles, and construction. I can tell you that every shoe on this list passes the quality test. 

Stability

Keeping your foot in place securely is one of a work shoe’s most important jobs. Not only that, but safety features are important, too.

Depending on your work, you might need added stability features like steel toes, anti-slip soles, or snap closures instead of laces.

Best Work Shoes for Big Guys

Top Pick

Keen Utility Men’s Flint Low Steel Toe Work Shoe

(3274)

Pros

  • Work for a variety of manual labor jobs
  • Can double as footwear for personal or the casual office 
  • Generous opening at the ankle
  • 100% leather 
  • Added safety features like steel toe
  • Removable padding 

Cons

  • Not designed for work with electricity 

My go-to tried and true work shoe for big guys is this super comfortable and breathable option from Keen. 

They will support you on a variety of intense job sites including, construction, landscaping, transportation, maintenance, manufacturing, or distribution at a warehouse. They are so comfortable that you can even make them your weekend or “off the clock” shoes. 

I will say, they do not meet the specific safety standards for electrical work, so if you are around live wires, you will want a shoe specifically for that type of work.

The generous 12” opening at the ankle will accommodate larger legs. If you need more room, the laces are easy to adjust to fit your needs. 

Any product from Keen is built to last and these boots are no exception. The 100% Nubuck leather and rubber sole combo can last through whatever elements you throw at them. 

Some nice safety features are the steel toe, slip-resistant heel, oil-resistant sole, and the standard safety metrics. 

For your comfort, you have the option to remove the metatomical dual density EVA foot bed and make the shoes even more lightweight. 

I’m lighter now but I wore these shoes while walking around at 400+ pounds and I can tell you that they handle whatever you throw at them. 

You can check out the latest price and read some of the more than 3,000 reviews on Amazon by clicking here

Best on a Budget

Skechers for Work Men’s Felton Slip-resistant Relaxed-Fit Work Shoe

(17126)

Pros

  • Reinforced stitching
  • Fashionable look that takes you from work to home and everywhere in between
  • Can double as running or walking shoes
  • Comfort features like padded tongue, memory foam, and soft fabric
  • Shock-absorbing midsole
  • OSHA-compliant 

Cons

  • Made of synthetic leather 
  • Not water resistant or slip-resistant 

This shoe just missed the top spot because it is not quite as heavy duty, but is still a solid choice for most working guys. But don’t take it from me, this shoe option has over 16,000 positive reviews on Amazon. 

With reinforced stitching, the all black look is not as flashy as some other work shoes. The style will allow you to make an easy transition from work to wherever you are going next. In fact, they make a great choice for walking or even running. But I wouldn’t make them your regular jogging shoe and instead, you can check out my favorite running shoes for big guys here

Skechers did not skimp on the comfort, cushioning, and support features with this model. You will love the padded tongue, memory foam padded insole, and soft fabric lining. 

Additionally, the midsole is made from shock-absorbing material to keep your foot supported. 

The long-lasting construction is also OSHA-compliant, so your employer will know this footwear is stable and durable enough for your tough job. 

Check out the latest price on Amazon by clicking here

Best Waterproof

Wolverine Men’s W04821 Buccaneer Work Boot

On Sale ($26.05 OFF)
(829)

Pros

  • Flexible fit that’s still durable
  • Moisture wicking mesh moisture material inside
  • Cushioned foot bed
  • Won’t let your feet get wet
  • 30-day comfort fit guarantee 

Cons

  • Only available in one color 

Wolverine’s motto is “fearless for over 135 years.” These work boots stand by that mission with solid, waterproof construction.

The unique Wolverine Contour Welt construction technology provides an extremely flexible fit. It guarantees the boots will last for the long haul while also making them supremely comfortable. 

The interior wave mesh moisture material contains moisture wicking lining to keep you cool even on the hottest work days. 

You will get your much-needed cushioning and shock absorption with the removable, full-cushion foot bed. This is very important for us hefty dudes!

Additionally, the Wolverine boots are oil, water, abrasion, heat, chemical, and slip-resistant. You won’t have to worry about getting your feet wet at all because the rubber sole and waterproof grain leather keep those feet dry even in standing water and puddles plus you won’t have to worry about slipping. 

If you aren’t sure these are the work shoes you need, you can rest easy knowing they come with a 30-day comfort guarantee. 

Read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here

Best Hybrid for the Office

Orthofeet Avery Island Oxford Shoes

(390)

Pros

  • Transition easily from the worksite to the office
  • Cushioned heel and orthotic insoles to help you step comfortably
  • Roomy design for your larger feet 
  • Can help with other foot related issues and discomfort
  • Come in extended sizes and extra wide widths
  • 60-day money back guarantee 

Cons

  • Not as sturdy as other work shoes because of the design

Sometimes our jobs mean we have to be in the field for part of the day and report to the office or see customers at other times of the day. When that happens, it’s way easier not to have to pack two pairs of different shoes. With these Avery Island Oxford shoes, you only need one pair. 

They are comfortable for being on your feet all day but don’t have the same look as typical work shoes. The all black, streamlined look can easily go from one place to the other.

Featuring a gel heel cushioned sole and premium orthotic insoles to help your step, you get plenty of support and stability in these shoes. The thick rubber is great for shock absorption and supporting your arches. Your toes won’t be squished either thanks to the roomy toe box and adjustable lace design. 

These shoes will even help with other foot issues you might be experiencing from your size like bunions, plantar fasciitis, over pronation, and swollen feet. 

Since they come in extended sizes as well as wide and extra wide widths, there is a size made to fit you and your larger frame. Don’t forget about their 60-day money back guarantee!

You can check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here

Best for Electrical Work

Reebok Work Men’s Rb4041 Industrial and Construction Shoe

(215)

Pros

  • Electrical protection 
  • Flex grooves that move with you
  • Memory foam material that molds to your feet
  • Athletic, active shoe design and look 
  • Lightweight
  • Slip-resistant sole 

Cons

  • Not waterproof or oil resistant

If you do electrical work, these shoes make a good option because they feature electric hazard protection to provide workers with a double source of protection from live circuits, wires, or other highly charged electrical equipment. 

Besides the electricity safety features, the shoes are super comfortable. They feature full-foot flex grooves which means the shoes move with you, not against you. Additionally, you will love the memory foam footbed that adapts to the contours and pressure points of your unique feet for a personalized fit. 

The low-cut leg opening makes the work shoes look athletic and fit like your usual tennis shoe which also gives your ankle maximum mobility. The shoes are very light, meaning you can move freely without feeling weighed down. 

Although not water proof, the Reebok work shoes feature a slip-resistant sole for safety in damp conditions. 

You can learn more and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here

Best Steel-Toed Boot

Timberland PRO Men’s Pit Boss Steel-Toe

On Sale ($26.98 OFF)
(17056)

Pros

  • Comfortable while protecting your feet from outside damage
  • PRO 24/7 comfort suspension technology for extreme durability
  • Meets safety requirements set by ANSI
  • Made from 100% genuine leather

Cons

  • Not waterproof

This work shoe from Timberland is everything a steel-toe boot should be. It’s safe, tough, and very comfortable for all day wear. 

The Pit Boss’s PRO 24/7 comfort suspension technology is a unique comfort system that will meet the demands of any worksite all day, all the time. Wearing these shoes will keep your feet from getting tired while protecting your arches and joints. 

They meet ANSI safety standards as well as being slip and oil resistant. 

These shoes are built to last. Made from 100% leather, the heavy-duty construction and design will handle rough conditions without being torn or damaged. 

You can learn more about these boots and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here

Sturdiest

Irish Setter Men’s 83605 Work Boots

On Sale ($14.89 OFF)
(4542)

Pros

  • Comfortable materials for walking all day 
  • Extra padding and pull loops for easy on and off
  • High quality materials and leather
  • Meet electrical safety standards
  • Heat resistant up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit 

Cons

  • Not very breathable and your feet can get hot
  • Not waterproof 

When it comes to sturdy, no worries about keeping your feet safe work shoes, these boots are the ones you need. 

Not only are they durable and like armor for your feet, but they are actually comfortable for all day wear. The cushioned midsoles and foot beds will feel like you are walking on clouds (not hard, abrasive surfaces at the worksite) all day long. 

The extra padding around the leg opening and pull loops on the back mean you no longer have a wrestling match to yank off your shoes at the end of the day. These little features make a big difference. 

Although not waterproof, there is good traction on the soles to keep you from slipping.

The quality of these work shoes is unparalleled. They are made from top quality leather and will last the test of time.

Safety is also a huge factor in these shoes. They are suitable for electrical work and meet ASTM F2413-11 safety standards. Additionally, the outsoles are heat resistant up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit to protect your feet from dangerously high temperatures. 

You can read more reviews of these work shoes and check out today’s price on Amazon by clicking here

Best for Intense Work

Carhartt Men’s 8” Waterproof Composite Toe Leather Logger Boot CML8360

(470)

Pros

  • Snug fit keeps your feet feeling secure
  • Waterproof 
  • Cushioned insoles and heel stabilizer to protect your joints
  • Extra high and thick shaft to secure your ankles 
  • Rugged soles with grip features for added stability

Cons

  • The tightness can cause issues with bigger guys
  • Need some time to break them in for the best fit 

When your job requires you to be out in the elements or on extremely rugged terrain, you need a work shoe that will last just as long as you do. Carhartt’s footwear is made for these types of jobs. 

The snug, but comfortable fit keeps your feet feeling secure. There is nothing worse than wondering if your shoe will actually do its job. With these, you have security and stability you can feel. 

The waterproof membrane means these shoes will last through not only wetness but snow and ice as well. 

They are extremely comfortable because of the cushioned insoles and heel stabilizer to protect your Achilles and other joints. 

You will probably notice how high up this boot goes on the ankle. That extra height and thickness keep not only your feet but your ankles safe, too. The high arch support gives your entire body extra stability as well as a greater rebound spring to keep walking easy. 

The outsoles feature a rugged design meant to give you the extra grip you need. If you are working on mountain sides, hills, or other uneven landscapes, the grip will keep you firmly in place. 

If you’re interested in learning more, you can see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do I need to worry about tying the laces too tight?

A lot of work shoes have laces because they keep your shoes on securely while allowing you to customize the fit. You should always tie the laces tight enough to keep your foot securely in place, but still with room for your foot to breathe.

If you take off your shoes at the end of the day and notice an imprint on your foot from the laces, they are probably too tight. 

Additionally, keep in mind that laces can sometimes be a safety hazard. Remember to double knot and keep the “bows” of the laces from getting caught beneath your feet. If they are too long, they could cause you to trip.

You could also trip if your shoelace accidentally comes untied. Double knotting usually guarantees this won’t happen. However, glance down at your feet regularly to ensure the bow is secure and in place. 

Should I put gel inserts in my shoes to make them more comfortable?

Insoles can make shoes with insufficient padding more comfortable and bigger guys usually need more padding in shoes. 

Inserts can also provide additional support if your foot shape doesn’t fit quite right in the style of shoe you select. Additionally, they can give an older, worn-out shoe new life and make them last a little bit longer until you are ready to part with them. 

I also use inserts to try and extend the life of the shoe if the standard insole is a bit worn out. My favorite all-around insole is the Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx which you can see on Amazon by clicking here.

Conclusion

When you think of clothing that affects the good of your entire body, shoes probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind but they really are very important- especially for big guys that need extra support.
 
Comfort, protection, and stability all start with how those feet of yours are feeling. And trust me, after a long day working, your dogs are probably BARKING!
 
Take the time to get the right footwear and protect your feet. When you do so, the rest of your body will follow suit and thank you.