Like many woodworkers, I have a shop with a cement floor. The rubber mats that I have strategically positioned around the work space help reduce the stress on my feet quite a bit, but when I spend a long day standing in the shop I experience achiness in my feet and fatigue in my legs that detracts from the woodworking experience. I’ve tried various hiking boots, tennis shoes and cushy inserts, but until now I have been less than satisfied with all of my attempts at finding comfortable footwear for standing all day.
Recently I received a tip to try a shoe called the “Jungle Moc” by Merrell. This slip-on shoe provides a soft but durable sole, and exceptional arch support which combine to deliver great support for my feet when standing on a hard floor. When I tried them on I found them to be quite comfortable right out of the box, and I decided to give them an extreme test of a full 8 hour day standing in the shop. I was thrilled to find that my feet were not nearly as fatigued as they normally get with other shoes after this much standing, and by the next day I was ready to get out in the shop and do it again.
I liked the Jungle Mocs so much, in fact, that I bought another pair to wear outside of the shop. The first pair that I picked up had a suede exterior texture, which I quickly learned worked like a wood dust magnet. So, for my second pair I chose the camouflage pattern which features a smooth surface that repels dust and other shop debris quite well. At $80/pair they are not cheap, but since they have given me so much relief I don’t mind paying that much. I believe that these will give me a boost in both comfort and endurance in many activities, but I am particularly pleased by their ability to extend my shop time.
If you’ve got a favorite form of footwear that helps you get more shop time and less sitting time, let us know in the comments below.
Merrell Jungle Moc, $80 http://www.merrell.com/ 800-288-3124
does it work with diabetes dennis
I have worn these for years and as the uppers wear down they get left at the back door for running out to the yard or trips to the dump. I have a pair for working in the house or shop and a pair for outdoor everyday use. I can’t remember when I bought anything else
Been using them for 4 years, best that I have tried
Loved the golf shoes, these look nice.
I’ve owned several pairs of Merrell walking, hiking and running shoes, and have always been very happy with them. I will try these Jungle Mocs in the shop and likely for just everyday use. I’ll probably go with the more expensive leather uppers, just to avoid the sawdust cling thing. Thanks for the tip!
After losing two toenails in two years, I decided that I needed better toe protection than flipflops. (I spend the winter in Florida.) I bought some fisherman sandal Crocs and that solved that problem, plus they have a extremely comfortable sole. They clean easy and they are also great to drive in because of the two density sole. They really work…I couldn’t find the ones I wanted at Crocs.com, but Sports Liquidator had them on sale.
where store sell them
I would like to know more about the jungle Moc
Does anyone feel steel toe shoes are beneficial to wear in a shop. I feel they provide some protection from dropping heavy or sharp objects but I haven’t found anything as comfortable as the shoes you are mentioning here.
I don’t think that steel toe shoes are common in a hobbyist wood shop environment, and perhaps only slightly more common in a commercial shop. The trade-off is safety over comfort, and as the risk of foot injury is probably low to moderate overall in a woodshop, it seems that most woodworkers look for shoes that product good support and comfort for long stretches of standing. I’m a huge fan of these jungle mocs. I just replaced the pair shown in this article with the exact same style, and I got a year of heavy use out of them so I was pleased.
I can vouch for their comfort and endurance as I have worn them as a professional woodworker for years!
Just retired and didn’t want to bend over and tie shoes. I bought two pair of these and love them. These are my go to shoes for everything but weddings. I bought a new waterproofing spray made by Rustoleum and it works great on these shoes. Thanks for the tip.
thanks for the idea on the waterproofing spray. I end up wearing these a lot as walking shoes and that would be a nice upgrade!
Here is a project that might come in handy for those days where you need to go to a wedding: http://local.wordpress/long-handled-back-saver-shoe-horn/. 🙂
Does anyone know of a pair of boots or shoes like these that are steel toe design?
Hi, Bill. Thank you for your comment. Sorry, but we haven’t seen them in steel toe.
Try Keen brand. Most of their shoes are made in Portland Oregon, and they have steel toe, aluminum, and composite toe. They also have utility that do not have the safety toe, but their trademark is a thick protective rubber that comes up over the toe. I tend to drop things on my toes or stub into things alot, so I really like this feature. These shoes are also great for standing or walking on cement all day. I love my Merrill mid-high boots, but I also really like the Keen boots. I work part-time in an old-fashioned shoe store, and the Keen’s are outselling Merrill, RedWing and Wolverine. Check out their site at http://www.keenfootwear.com, they have great sandals too.
George, This note is to update you on shoes for the shop. I ordered a pair of Martino shoes through Sears. These are made in Quebec, Canada and are on sale for under $80 this week. On the first day I wore them for 7 hours on concrete floor and they are more comfortable than even the LL Bean shoes I mentioned. The shoes are waterproof, are well made and will last a long time. I also ordered a pair of boots from Mellow Walk which came this week. It’s an excellent boot but much too good for the shop. They will be my primary outdoor footwear.
Thanks for the update, Mark. Good to know.
Christopher. . . Small world. . . Al and Ralph opened the Englewood surplus store in mid-fifties -’56?- on the west side of Broadway directly across from the current location with 18 pair of used over-alls.
The uppers do get ugly but that’s OK.
Thanks for the idea about adding a new insert. . .
After seeing this article I bought a pair. The “jungle” model wasn’t available so I got the other model. I haven’t found them to be too bad as far as being a “dust magnet”. They are surely more comfortable than sneakers in my garage shop. I’d buy them again!!!
Just go my Jungle Mocs and what a great shoe for the shop. My feet are happy happy happy.
Thanks great, Donald!!! Thanks for letting us know!
If you’re near a DSW, they sell for just under $70. They also ship.
Let me also say, I do not drag my feet and am very easy on my shoes.
Thanks, Tom. I am tough on shoes and I trash soles on street shoes pretty regularly. It will be interesting to see how these hold up.
The sole seemed to maintain it’s firmness. . .the tread wore out.
Good to know. Thanks, Tom.
For about 15+ years I have been wearing Merrells and currently have 5 pair in my closet. . . the Jungle Moc is my favorite, but the soles do not last very long. I used to get them at the Army Navy Surplus Store in Englewood, CO. Now I get them at REI. I also like Red Wing shoes.
Do you wear out the traction on the soles, or just find that they compress and lose their support? I can’t imagine wearing out soles in the shop, but the compression is an interesting question that I’ll be looking to answer over the next few months as I am wearing these a lot.
I have bad feet, so I switch out the supplied insoles for a pair of heavy duty arch supports. I find that the shoes become unbearably ugly (paint, concrete, drywall mud, sawdust, grout, thinset) long before they actually “wear out”. My wife lets me keep one ratty pair for yard work and the like, but she makes me buy a new pair and toss out the oldest pair periodically. If I buy a pair of these slip-ons, I suspect I’ll have to wear them in the shop from now on, and always leave them in the shop so I don’t track sawdust in.
That seems odd. I have been wearing Merrells for years and when I was working in the trades, in work that ranged from site prep and foundation forming to finish woodwork and kitchen installation, I trashed the uppers but never wore out the soles. I guess that it depends on what you are doing. Bought mine at the same surplus store as you by the way.
I’ve been wearing these for years. They work well as Paul describes them. I have a water proof pair that work great in rain and light snow.
Great shoe… and they come in wide sizes!
Cables do not carry 13 EE
George — If you have a Cabela’s nearby, check their shoe department. I bought mine about a yeard ago at Cabela’s in Green Bay. Great shoe!
George, my best shop shoes were made by “The BootMakers” from L.L.Bean. These shoes are made in Italy. They are quite heavy compared to shoes made in China but I need good shoes because of a leg problem. I find that shoes from China and similar ones last about 2 months before the support and form are gone. Another shoe I like is made by Mellow Walk, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Their shoes are primarily safety shoes but are sturdy and comfortable. Lastly, San Antonio shoes (SAS) are made in San Antonio, TX and are comfortable but might be too soft and expensive for shop use for some. North American shoemakers are almost all gone now but these two, SAS, and MW, are worth whatever we have to pay to keep them in business.
Thanks for the info, Mark. These look like some great options. I like the look of this one from Mellow Walk: http://www.amazon.com/Mellow-Walk-Patrick-Safety-Comfort/dp/B00OQP46VO/ref=sr_1_1?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1414192550&sr=1-1&keywords=mellow+walk+shoes. I’ll see how the Merrell’s hold up. If only 2 months, I’ll be quite disappointed and I might try a pair of MW. If I get a year out of the Jungle Mocs with regular use, then I’ll consider them a good value.
D2Darwin, I’d be interested to hear how you feel that these compare with Rockport and Cabelas. I know that both of these are great shoes as well. Oldcardinal, the company is based in Rockford, Michigan and this particular shoe is manufactured in China.
I am a school shop teacher for over 26 years on of my professors told me to inverst in good shoes as I will be on on my feet all day which was some of the best advice I got. I have been using either Rockport or Cabelas’ walking shoes or oxfords and have been very happy with them. I see that Cabelas also has these shoes available so might buy myself a school set so when I wear my boots to school I could slip these on.
From Paul…I’d be interested to hear how you feel that these compare with Rockport and Cabelas. I know that both of these are great shoes as well. Oldcardinal, the company is based in Rockford, Michigan and this particular shoe is manufactured in China.
where is this shoe made ????
From Paul…The company is based in Rockford, Michigan and this particular shoe is manufactured in China.