Most new Amazon employees experience some sort of foot pain in their first few weeks of working in the warehouse.
This pain might be accompanied by swelling of the feet, cracks, corns, calluses and blisters.
Parts of the feet that rub against the inside of the shoe, i.e., toes, heels and ankles are particularly vulnerable.
While it does get better with time, for some associates, foot pain is a struggle they have to endure each day they work at Amazon.
In fact, it is quite common to see associates limping out of the building after a hard day’s job.
In severe cases employees develop plantar fasciitis where the pain continues even when associates are away from work, e.g. when they go to bed or early in the morning.
Causes of foot pain among Amazon workers
Associates working on the Amazon warehouse floor stand and walk for hours during their shifts which might cause fatigue and pain in their feet.
Associates with flatfoot are also more likely to suffer foot pain as their entire soles touch the floor of their shoes while they are standing or walking.
Poor quality shoes are another major reason for foot pain complaints. Most steel toe shoes are quite heavy and hard on your feet which can add to the pain.
Avoid wearing heavy steel toe construction boots like the ones shown below. They only make your job harder (believe me, I learned my lesson).
The area of the warehouse you work in will also affect the degree of pain you go through while working at Amazon.
For example, associates who work ship dock and waterspidering go through more foot pain than those in other paths due to the constant heavy lifting they have to do.
Other foot pain causes include not getting enough rest and excess body weight.
How to prevent and heal foot pain
Foot pain does not have to be unceasing throughout your time working at Amazon. It is possible to prevent, cure or bring it to manageable levels by following a few practices:
1. Invest in a good pair of shoes and inserts
Good warehouse shoes will protect your feet by cushioning your soles from the hard floors. If your management doesn’t mind associates wearing athletic shoes on the floor, get the Adidas Ultraboost shoes for men or the Brooks Ghost shoes for women.
If your site requires wearing steel or composite toe shoes or boots, then take advantage of the Zappos at Work program where Amazon gives you $110 credit to buy shoes and insoles from Zappos.
Many Amazonians hate Zappos work shoes because of how they look and their weight.
However, if you do a little research, you can find some gems. These shoes are lighter and look decent.
Another option is to wear steel toe covers on top of your regular shoes. You can find nice ones on Amazon. Some Amazon warehouses even give them out to associates.
Still, some facilities prohibit them so make sure to talk to your safety department first to be sure!
2. Wear cushioned cotton socks
It’s very common for your feet and toes to hurt when wearing steel toe boots because of their hardness and weight.
Work boots are particularly hard to break in which exacerbates the problem. If you have to wear Zappos shoes at your site, consider getting cushioned cotton socks.
They have extra padding on the toes and heels which protects these parts of the feet from rubbing against steel-toe boots.
3. Use mink oil to break in your boots
The stiffness of your boots can be a factor in making your feet hurt. To hasten the process of breaking them in, consider slathering them in mink oil before wearing them next time.
4. Massage your feet regularly
Foot massage is a tried and true method of easing foot pain. For non-serious cases of foot pain, you don’t need a professional and you can do it yourself.
You can even find foot massage rollers on Amazon that help alleviate soreness and improve blood circulation.
5. Loose weight
According to podiatrists, excess weight is one of the leading causes of foot pain. Too much weight increases pressure on your heels causing problems like tendinitis and arthritis.
Luckily, working at an Amazon warehouse is a great way of whipping you into shape!
6. Seek professional help
If you have health insurance, seeing a podiatrist (“foot doctor”) is a worthwhile investment.
Even with insurance, expect to pay a minimum of $100 to $200 to get your feet checked by a specialist.
This method may involve a little more time and financial investment but is one with the best chances for making your pain go away for good; like with everything, you get what you pay for.
A podiatrist can prescribe medicine, perform surgery or create custom made insoles for your feet.
If you can’t or don’t have the time to see a podiatrist, there are online services such as Upstep that ship you custom orthotics by mail.
Some Amazon associates quit over foot pain. This is mostly common in people who’ve never worked a physically demanding job before.
My advice to you is to be patient and wait a month or two because there’s an adjustment period for the pain to subside.
Don’t give up too soon!