I recently tried over 25 safety toe work shoes and had the ability to evaluate them on many things, including comfort. To me, the shoes that used memory foam insoles provided the most comfort under my foot. The Skechers Cankton memory foam steel toe shoes were by far my favorite due to the thick memory foam insoles that they use.
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These are our choices for the best memory foam steel toe work shoes:
- Skechers Work Cankton Steel Toe Athletic Work Shoe (click here to view)
- Reebok Work Men’s Zprint Steel Toe Athletic Shoe (click here to view)
- Reebok Work All Terrain Work Low Cut Steel Toe Safety Shoe (click here to view)
- Reebok Work Men’s Astroride Athletic Work Shoe (click here to view)
- Fila Memory Reckoning Work Steel Toe Shoe (click here to view)
- *Women’s* Reebok Work Astroride Athletic Work Shoe (click here to view)
- *Women’s* Fila Memory Reckoning Steel Toe Work Shoes (click here to view)
I feel like the Skechers Cankton steel toe shoes are the most comfortable steel toe shoes on the market today. I was actually a bit shocked when I tried them for the first time just how comfortable they really were.
What makes them different? I felt like the memory foam insole was thicker and softer in these Skechers Cankton shoes, and overall felt like the shoe provided the most under-foot comfort. But, to be clear, I felt like all the shoes on this list provide more under-foot comfort when compared to an average work shoe.
Here I am wearing the Skechers Cankton, Reebok Zprint, Reebok All Terrain, Reebok Astroride, and Fila Memory Reckoning safety toe work shoes (more photos later in article):
Again, all of these shoes are very comfortable. In fact, I could see myself wearing any of these shoes to work everyday and feeling very good about the comfort of the shoe.
But the Skechers Cankton steel toe shoe, in my opinion, provided by far the most comfort out of any of these shoes, and the most comfort out of any low top work shoe that I tried (Reebok Zprint was my second favorite).
In this article I want to take a closer look at my favorite memory foam steel toe shoes so you can find an option that fits your needs. I also want to discuss a few things to consider when buying these types of shoes, and what your best options might be to help maximize comfort.
Disclaimer: Please understand that we reviewed these shoes to get an accurate understanding of weight, comfort, and features. We did not test the crush resistance of any of these shoes. Because we do not know your job, we cannot guarantee that these shoes will meet the safety demands of your job. Not all steel toes are the same. Always verify the safety shoe meets the safety requirements of your job prior to purchase.
Best Memory Foam Steel Toe Shoes
Skechers Work Cankton Steel Toe Athletic Work Shoe
In my opinion, these Skechers Cankton shoes are the best low-top steel toe shoes on the market today. These shoes provide the most under-foot comfort I’ve ever felt in any work shoe (I’ve tried approximately 30 different shoes for steel, composite, and soft toe). I was absolutely shocked at how comfortable these shoes were.
If you’ve read any of my articles detailing Reebok work shoes, you know that I love them because they are always lightweight and have great comfort under the foot (and have several memory foam options). Well, these Skechers Cankton shoes have even more under-foot comfort than the Reebok work shoes that I have tried.
Yes, these shoes have memory foam insoles that cushion all parts of the foot. I love all types of memory foam insoles, but these are the best I’ve ever tried. In the video below, I tried to capture just how soft and forgiving these insoles are:
If you are someone who stands on your feet all day and need some relief, these are a great option. Again, out of all the low-top work shoes I’ve ever tried, these are the most comfortable. The memory foam reduces the impact stress both under my toe pad and under my heel.
This is the current price of these Skechers Cankton memory foam steel toe shoes available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shoes also have a lot of padding around the tongue and collar, which adds comfort but does reduce breathability to some extent.
What is the drawback to a shoe like this? Well, first of all, this shoe is a bit bulkier than other options on this list. If you really want a work shoe that is like a running shoe, then I’d probably stick with either the Reebok shoes or the Fila shoe. This Skechers Cankton shoe is a bit heavier than those other shoes, but overall the weight wasn’t too bad (my size 12 weighed 1.30 pounds).
That extra weight can be a good thing for some of you. I’ve found these shoes to be a bit sturdier than other low top work shoes. Although these shoes are low-top, they don’t feel like flimsy running shoes and they have a wider, more relaxed fit. But they are still very flexible like an athletic shoe:
Overall, this is just a great work shoe, especially for those of you standing on concrete all day long who need some relief. The under-foot comfort for these shoes is not matched by any other shoe that I have tried. Although these shoes are sturdier than running shoes, this is still a work shoe best used on smooth surfaces for light-duty work.
Click here to buy these Skechers Cankton memory foam steel toe shoes available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). In my experience, these Skechers shoes fit true to size, and have a more relaxed, wider fit than some of the other shoes on this list, so if you have wide feet, these might be your best option.
Reebok Work Men’s Zprint Lightweight Steel Toe Shoes
No, Nike steel toe work shoes do not currently exist, but if you have ready any of my material on low-top work shoes, you will know that I am a huge fan of Reebok work shoes. Although I think the Skechers Cankton shoes are the best low top steel toe work shoes on the market today, these Reebok Zprint shoes were another very good option, and I think there are some situations where these shoes make more sense.
First of all, these shoes are lighter in weight than the Skechers Cankton shoes. These Reebok Zprint shoes only weigh 1.15 pounds per shoe for a size 12 men’s regular (compared to 1.30 per shoe for Skechers).
What also jumps out about these shoes is the breathability. If you are working in a hot climate and need something that won’t trap heat, I think these are your best option. In the picture below, I tried to capture just how breathable these shoes are. When I hold them up to the light, you can see through these shoes:
And not only are these very lightweight and breathable, I thought these shoes had the second best memory foam insole. In fact, these shoes have a unique take on memory foam insoles.
These Reebok Zprint shoes have memory foam insoles that also have groove pods that help relieve stress off the bottom of my foot (Reebok calls this insole “MemoryTech Massage”). In the video below, I tried to capture just how soft these Reebok MemoryTech Massage insoles are:
This is the current price of these Reebok Zprint memory foam steel toe shoes available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Overall, these shoes have the comfort and flexibility you’d think of in a work running shoe.
If you are looking for a lightweight, ultra-breathable shoe that allows your foot to breathe in a hot work environment, then I think these are your best option.
What is the drawback here? Like most types of lightweight steel toe work shoes, these are not built to take a beating. Yes, these shoes have a toe overlay for abrasion resistance, but the lightweight, flexible design won’t be a good fit for rugged work, and overall I felt like the Skechers Cankton shoes were better reinforced.
These shoes are for those of you who are working on smooth surfaces in hot environments and need something ultra-breathable and lightweight. They have a flexible design that will remind you of an athletic shoe.
Click here to buy these Reebok Zprint low top steel toe shoes available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). In my experience, these Reebok shoes fit true to size, but do have a narrow fit common of athletic shoes. If you have wide feet, I’d recommend ordering wide sizing. To read more, visit my article about the best steel toe shoes for summer.
Fila Memory Reckoning Work Steel Toe Shoe
I was actually a bit shocked how much I like these Fila memory foam steel toe shoes. If I’m honest, I’d say I had very low expectations for these shoes before I tried them in part due to the lower price point that I bought these at, and also because Fila is not a major workwear brand.
But after trying them, I came away thinking that I could definitely see myself wearing these shoes everyday. I think the thing that shocks me the most is the amount of under-foot comfort these shoes have.
I was expecting a cheap insole that felt stiff and uncomfortable. These shoes actually do use memory foam insoles which made these shoes more comfortable than most other low-top safety toe work shoes I have tried.
In the video below I tried to capture how soft and forgiving the memory foam insoles are for these shoes:
My point for comfort is this: for the price point I bought these at, I am honestly shocked that these shoes offer as much comfort as they do. Not only do they have the memory foam insoles, but overall this was also a lightweight design.
This shoe weighs 1.21 pounds per shoe for a size 12 men’s regular, and it is very flexible, and feels like an athletic shoe on my feet.
Another thing that jumps out about these shoes is the slip-resistant grip. Now, to be fair, I haven’t put these through scientific testing for slip-resistance, but I feel like the grip of these shoes is better than other options on this list.
But it’s also fair to remember that the lower price point of this shoe means production costs were likely lower, which may affect the long-term durability. Don’t expect these shoes to take a beating like a pair of premium work boots. Over time, I expect the memory foam insoles will begin to lose their responsiveness, just like many other types of memory foam insoles.
These shoes do have toe and heel overlays to provide some additional abrasion resistance, but I still recommend using these mainly as indoor shoes, or for light-duty outdoor work on a smooth surface. Factory floor, yes I’d use these shoes. Landscaping on rough terrain, for me, no I would not use these shoes.
Overall, I am pleasantly surprised with the total package of these Fila memory foam steel toe shoes, when you take into account comfort, performance, weight, flexibility, affordability, and comfort. To read more, visit my article about Fila Steel Toe Shoes.
Reebok All Terrain Steel Toe Work Shoes
I really like these Reebok All Terrain shoes. I think these are some of the most versatile athletic-style work shoes on the market today. They have a lightweight, comfortable design that makes them great for indoor jobs, but they also have a more advanced outsole that allows them to take on certain outdoor terrains as well.
These shoes use Reebok’s “MemoryTech” memory foam insoles. Although I tend to like Reebok’s “MemoryTech Massage” insoles better (used on the Reebok Zprint shoes we discussed earlier) these insoles are also very soft and comfortable. Here’s what they look like:
This is the current price of these Reebok All Terrain memory foam steel toe shoes available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Like the other Reebok shoes on this list, these shoes have the comfort and flexibility you’d think of in a running shoe.
These shoes also have a bootie-style fit around the ankle, meaning there is not a separated tongue. This is helpful because if you use these shoes outdoors, it reduces the chances of debris slipping down inside the shoe.
Even though these shoes are built for a wide range of terrains, I would still recommend using these shoes for light-duty work. They do have some abrasion resistance around the toe that can help reduce scuffs and bangs, but don’t expect these shoes to hold up as well as durable work boots.
Click here to buy these Reebok All Terrain memory foam steel toe shoes available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). In my experience, these Reebok shoes fit true to size, but do have a narrow fit common of athletic shoes. If you have wide feet, I’d recommend ordering wide sizing. To read more, visit my article about the Reebok All Terrain Steel Toe Shoes.
Other Memory Foam Steel Toe Shoes to Consider
- Reebok Astroride Steel Toe Work Shoe – This Reebok Astroride work shoe is available in both men’s and women’s version, and have a comfortable design that includes memory foam insoles and a lightweight foam midsole that helps control the overall weight of this shoe. A toe overlay helps add a little abrasion resistance, but these are best used for light duty work. Click here to view both the men’s and women’s versions of this Reebok Astroride work shoe at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
- Fila Memory Reckoning Women’s Steel Toe Work Shoe – Fila does offer their popular Memory Reckoning shoe in a women’s version. This shoe does have a memory foam insole and has a flexible athletic design that provides lightweight comfort on the foot. Made with “CoolMax” technology to help control, to a small degree, the overall temperature inside the shoe while you work, and might provide a little relief on those hot work days. Click here to view these Fila women’s memory foam steel toe shoes available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
4 Things to Consider When Buying Memory Foam Steel Toe Shoes
I found all five of the men’s styles on our list to be very flexible. The Skechers Cankton shoes were probably the least flexible, but overall they still had reasonable flexibility and didn’t feel stiff. The Reebok and Fila shoes were all extremely flexible.
Here I am bending these shoes for flexibility:
(order: Skechers Cankton; Reebok Zprint; Reebok All Terrain; Reebok Astroride; Fila Memory Reckoning)
Memory Foam Replacement
As I’ve said throughout, I love memory foam insoles. I think they provide the most under-foot comfort. But one thing you do have to consider when buying memory foam steel toe shoes is these types of insoles will eventually flatten out and lose their responsiveness.
This can be a problem because your shoe may feel very comfortable for the first couple months after purchase, then begin to lose that under-foot comfort as the memory foam insole wears out. What can be done about this?
Some insoles are removable and replaceable, so that may be an option depending on what shoe you choose. Also, this is one reason I like the Skechers Cankton shoes – I feel like their memory foam insoles are thicker than the memory foam insoles in other shoes.
But ultimately, this is a drawback to using lightweight steel toe work shoes. They won’t last as long as premium work boots. There is a sort of trade-off: you get a lightweight comfort, but the materials breakdown faster than work boots.
For many jobs, it is important that your low top steel toe shoes have extra abrasion resistance on the toe and heel to not only provide a little extra protection to your foot, but also to help the material of the shoe hold up over time. For example, here’s what the toe overlay looks like on my Reebok All Terrain shoes:
Overall, I felt like the Skechers Cankton shoe provided the most abrasion resistance around the toe, but regardless, abrasion resistance won’t be a strength of any type of low top athletic work shoe. Here is the toe of my Skechers Cankton shoes:
Yes, low top steel toe shoes with memory foam insoles may be appealing because they help relieve some stress off your feet during a long day of work, but as I mentioned earlier, expect these types of shoes to lack durability. Textile uppers reduce weight, but they won’t hold up long term like leather.
On these types of shoes the upper is attached to the outsole using a glue or cementing material. This also helps reduce weight, but don’t expect glue to hold up forever. Lightweight foam midsoles also reduce weight, but won’t offer long term comfort like a leather or rubber midsole you’d find in a premium work boot.
I say all of that to just remind you that there are pros and cons to wearing low top memory foam steel toe shoes for work, and just make sure these types of shoes make sense for your job. If you work in a rugged environment, athletic-style work shoes are not always a great option. These shoes are almost always best used for light-duty work.
That said, if you are spending long work days on your feet on a factory floor, these types of memory foam steel toe shoes can help provide relief. Because they are so flexible, they also make sense for those of you who need to react quickly on the job, and want a responsive work shoe that isn’t stiff.