Best Shoes For Pharmacy Technicians: Stand Comfortably Throughout The Day

As a pharmacy technician, you are basically the Igor to the licensed pharmacist’s Mad Scientist. (Frankenstein’s assistant was actually named Fritz in the 1931 Universal film and he worked alone in the novel, but the trope is there.) You count the pills, you answer the phone, you deal with the customers, you keep the records, you take stock, you do it all standing up and make sure you don’t accidentally pick up anything marked Abby Something.

Kidding on the last one. (Unless you do have a customer named Abby Something.) But, feet sore from standing is no joke. One pharm tech on Reddit came up with an amusing way to avoid foot pain on the job. First, you request a stool and a thirty-minute meal break. Next, you get fired and replaced. Spending your unemployment days face down in bed wallowing in despair will leave your feet feeling rested.

This user’s humor was rather dark, but not inaccurate. The meal break is usually a given, but you need a doctor’s note to get the stool. Even if you’re not allowed a stool, there is a way to keep your feet legs and veins (yes, veins) from getting completely destroyed.

best shoes for pharmacy technicians

Standing All Day at Work?

There are young pharm techs who see nothing wrong with putting in their eight hours on their feet but there are old pharmacists who learned the hard way what this can lead to. Doing most tasks on your feet at varying shifts can do more than just tire out the feet. Those old pharmacists have years of wisdom that make them indispensable but they also have dark blue swollen knots all over their legs. This is the ailment commonly known as varicose veins that we will discuss later.

The Reviews:

There is another item besides compression socks and gel inserts you need to prevent needing to be prescribed painkillers yourself. That is to start with shoes that are comfortable and supportive. These are all shoes that have proven effective among many pharmacy workers.

1. New Balance Men’s M420v3 Running Shoe

New Balance Men's M420V3 Running Shoe, Black/Thunder/Silver Mink, 13 4E US

New Balance is a shoe recommended by many pharmacists. It’s an athletic shoe but is also suitable for standing for long periods of time. No one like New Balance knows how to take care of feet. When your days ask a lot of you, you ask a lot out of your shoes. New Balance like their name says will help you balance everything out.

Features and Benefits:

The rubber insole is flexible and shock absorbing to provide a smooth ride. The insole is removable for convenience. The outsole is slip-resistant. The full-length ACTEVA crash pad absorbs shock to make standing and walking for long periods more bearable. The synthetic upper is made out of a permeable mesh for breathability.

What We Like:

  • The support is superb.
  • There is a lot of cushioning to make this shoe very comfortable.
  • The shoe is lightweight.
  • They are slip-resistant.
  • The shoes are breathable.

What We Don’t:

  • They run a bit on the small side.
  • There’s a bit of a break-in period.

2. Shoes For Crews Ollie II

Shoes for Crews Men's Ollie II Black 8 M US

Shoes For Crews practice the Five S’s of shoes; Safe, Supportive, Slip-resistant, Steady and Stable. Their Ollie is a cool, simple slip-on that does more than it looks like it’s capable of. It may look uncomplicated, not even having laces but it’s really what’s on the inside that counts here. These shoes are great for people who have to stand for long periods of time.

Features and Benefits:

The water-resistant leather upper keeps the foot dry. The strategically located ventilated openings aid in keeping the feet nicely cool. A protective membrane lining aids in warding off hot liquids. The gusseted tongue is there to keep out dirt and other foreign material.

The fully removable textile insole delivers complete underfoot support and comfort. The decreased trip hazard zone allows for a fluid movement in even the most slippery of environments. The superior slip-resistant outsole further protects the wearer from slipping.

What We Like:

  • The shoes are waterproof.
  • They are slip-resistant.
  • The fit is true to size.
  • There are no laces to retie or trip over.

What We Don’t:

  • It is not at all good for wearing in cold environments.
  • The sole is not connected securely.

3. Dockers Ashford Men’s Chelsea Boot

Dockers Men's Ashford Chelsea Boot

Here is a classy dress boot that is more comfortable than it looks. The handcrafted details and innovative comfort zone technology combine form and functionality to make an ankle covering boot that is as utilitarian as it is graceful. These shoes are great for someone who is on their feet a lot but would like a neat and polished appearance.

Features and Benefits:

The Latex footbed provides an exceptional all day long-lasting comfort. The fusion footbed located in the forepart adds an extra layer of dual density cushion. The rubber sole is flexible and shock absorbing.

The cushioned sponge EVA heel pad offers additional support. The one of a kind Comfort Zone Technology comes with three zones of comfort. A steel shank makes the shoes supportive.

What We Like:

  • The boots are well crafted.
  • They are very comfortable.
  • They are warm boots, suitable for cold environments.
  • Slip-on design means no laces to retie or trip on.
  • The style is very versatile.

What We Don’t:

  • There is not much in the way of traction.
  • They are a little hard to put on and would benefit from a pull tab.

4. MOZO Men’s Grind Slip Resistant Canvas Sneaker

MOZO Men's Grind Food Service Shoe, Black, 12 D US

These shoes are originally designed for kitchen workers but they should work for pharmacists. The jobs are similar to each other. They both require being on one’s feet for a long time while mixing things together. The only difference is if a cook mixes the wrong things together probably no one will die. At any rate, these shoes will get you through your tough day.

Features and Benefits:

The elastic gives the shoe all the convenience of a slip-on but there is the option of lace should the wearer desire an adjustable fit. The three-hole arch ventilation makes for ventilation. The traction is slip-resistant.

The shoes come with a pair of gel insoles for further cushioning. The waxed canvas upper makes the shoe waterproof. The elastic goring in the tongue makes a snug yet comfortable fit. A durable rubber toe cap protects the toes.

What We Like:

  • The canvas upper is both lightweight and flexible, making it easy to walk in.
  • The sporty and sleek design makes a shoe that looks good while working hard.
  • The shoes are slip-resistant.
  • The shoes are very comfortable.
  • The soles are stitched on rather than glued so they will stay in place for a long time.
  • The shoes are very supportive.

What We Don’t:

  • The canvas upper frays more easily than it should.
  • The sizing can run large. It is recommended that you order half a size down
  • They cease to be very water-resistant after the wax coating wears off.

5. PF Flyers Men’s Center HI Sneaker

PF Flyers Men's Center Hi Sneaker

This high top sneaker from PF Flyers is a true American classic. It is not only comfortable and casual but safe and stable. These are a favorite among skateboarders, baseball players and other athletes due to PF Flyer’s promise of “Run Faster, Jump Higher”. If your goal is to stand longer, the Sandlot Center could be for you.

Features and Benefits:

The signature ridge wedge insert is for extra comfort. The outsole is non-marking. The trademarked ribbed toe bumper is there to protect the foot. The textile linings are breathable for cool comfort.

The insole is removable for convenience and comes with a rigid PF Wedge® for stability. The diamond-patterned rubber outsole has good traction and is slip-resistant.

What We Like:

  • The shoes are very comfortable.
  • The grip is excellent even on damp surfaces.
  • The shoes are more durable than they look.
  • They are breathable.
  • The bumper can protect the feet from sudden impacts.

What We Don’t:

  • They run a bit on the narrow side.
  • They take a while to break in.
  • The arch support is only so-so.

How Do Varicose Veins Develop?

Varicose veins are a result of gravity being a harsh mistress. The purpose of blood is to provide oxygen to all of the tissues. The heartbeats and blood flow through arteries to get where it needs to go. Unoxygenated blood runs through the veins back to the heart for more oxygen. After a while, the blood may have a hard time working against gravitational forces to flow back from the legs.

The vein becomes weak and unoxygenated blood starts to build up. This causes little blue bulges to form. After a while, those little blue bulges become big blue bulges. When they start getting so big, they compress nerve endings, you have more than just not looking good in a bathing suit to worry about.

What You Can Do To Prevent Varicose Veins

If you try to prevent varicose veins while you are young, you won’t have to worry about it when you are old. The best and easiest way to prevent varicose veins if you must be on your feet a lot is to wear support socks, also called compression socks.

These socks are made of a strong yet elastic material that will give your veins a bit of a boost. It will put just enough pressure on your calves to urge the blood to flow upwards. Wearing these socks long before you get varicose veins will keep them from forming.

You may want to wear gel inserts along with your compression socks. While the veins are being encouraged to bring the blood where it needs to go, the gel insert provides a layer of cushioning for your feet.

You may also want to watch your weight as varicose veins tend to be a big problem for people battling obesity. One Reddit user suggests five grams of beetroot crystallized powder mixed with water to be taken before every shift. Will this work for you? It can’t hurt.

At the end of the day, take care of yourself. Soak in a warm bath, get a massage and above all, remember to stay hydrated. This may seem frivolous, but it is actually very important. Many pharmacists do not realize how fatigued they are until it becomes a real problem.

A lot of people in this job just go on autopilot and forget they have physical needs that must be tended to. Some pharmacists forgo breaks to catch up on work. This practice may seem conscientious but it can lead to real trouble.

Take for example a scene from the perennial holiday classic It’s A Wonderful Life.  Friendly neighborhood pharmacist Mr. Gower is too bereaved by the recent death of his son to notice that he has poisoned a sick boy’s medicine.

A young George Bailey points out the mistake, saving a boy’s life and keeping Mr. Gower out of prison. It doesn’t take bereavement to make a mistake. Anyone who is just too tired to concentrate can make an error that could prove deadly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_PX_UuMAdU

Conclusion

How would you promote foot care to a patient? Would you tell them how to practice good foot hygiene? Would you advise them to alternate their shoes? Would you educate them on treatment options? Chances are you would. Perhaps you need to take a little of your own good advice. Whatever you might advise a patient to do to keep their feet healthy, you might consider doing yourself.

This can keep you standing up and doing your job for a very long time. Hopefully, at least one of the brands listed above might be what you need but you are encouraged to get two pairs so you can alternate. Get the right shoes, practice the same healthy habits you would expect from a patient and your feet will thank you.

References:

  • https://www.pharmacytimes.com
  • https://www.indeed.com/forum/job/pharmacy-technician/Why-becoming-certified-pharmacy-technician-is-not-worth/t153029
  • https://www.ashp.org/Pharmacy-Technician/About-Pharmacy-Technicians/Pharmacy-Technician-Career-Overview
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmacy_technician
  • https://www.ashp.org/Pharmacy-Technician/About-Pharmacy-Technicians/FAQs
  • https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/opinion/qa/qa-lets-talk-foot-care-with-patients/20203026.article?firstPass=false
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