Best Shoes For Mail Carriers: Top Picks & Ultimate Buying Guide

You are about to read an internet first that nearly vanished into the ether. This is most likely the only place on the internet you will find a comprehensive list of the best possible shoes for mail carriers. The truth of the matter is, the United States Postal System is a dying institution. Between the internet and competition with other courier services, the United States Postal System is all but defunct with several offices just closing up.

It is an institution that has been around since July 26, 1775, making it not quite a year older than the United States itself. It is one of few government agencies mentioned in the United States Constitution and given explicit authorization. The first postmaster general was none other than Benjamin Franklin himself.

The first mail carriers rode perilous journeys on horseback and were sworn to secure their deliveries under lock and key. Considering there was a war going on and the enemy was determined to intercept messages, this could not have been easy. Things have changed since then. There are no Redcoats accosting messengers at the point of a musket.

Horses have long since been replaced with little blue and white trucks. Air travel, computers, and every other conceivable modern technology have been embraced by the USPS to further their purpose of delivering goods and communication.

Benjamin Franklin was a man of science and sometime inventor himself and no doubt would have marveled at such technology. Still, considering that such technologies have made the postal system almost obsolete, one wonders what Franklin would say were he alive today. Aside from “Help! Help! Get me out of this box!”

best shoes for mail carriers

What You Should Look For in a Pair of Mail Carrier’s Shoes

They, of course, need to be black. They should be supportive with shock absorbency. Even if you spend most of your time in a truck, those steps you do take add up and could be in less than ideal environments.

That also means waterproof shoes with non-slip soles are always a big plus. Also, get two pairs. To lengthen the lifespan of your shoes and keep them fresh smelling you should alternate shoes.

The Reviews:

Here it is, the internet’s one and only top five compilation of best shoes for mail carriers. Even Buzz Feed doesn’t have one. Number three will b-b-blow your mind. (Or maybe it won’t.)

1. New Balance 706 Walking Shoe

New Balance Men's Walking Shoe

What kind of shoe is best really varies from one person to another, but here is a shoe that has a little bit of everything a mail carrier could ask for in a shoe, including the little green tag. It is a well-cushioned shoe with adequate durability, being engineered for the moderate speed walker.

Features and Benefits:

The polyurethane midsole offers lightweight cushioning plus a set that resists compression. The top-quality foam insert provides high density, open-cell foam that softly conforms to the shape of the foot and disperses pressure.

The polyurethane outsole delivers lightweight durability. The leather upper is breathable. The thirteen-millimeter drop is optimal for people who do a lot of walking. The ABZORB cushioning in the midsole wick away moisture.

What We Like:

  • The shoe is comfortable and easy to walk in.
  • The shoe is roomy.
  • There is ample cushioning.
  • The shoes break in easily.
  • The shoe is very flexible adding to ease in walking.

What We Don’t:

  • The rubber wears down easily.
  • They run small.

2. Reebok Postal Express Shoe

Reebok Postal Express Shoe - Men's Work

Reebok isn’t just for basketball anymore! They make shoes for the mail carrier now. These shoes will get you through a long day on your feet. Reebok is best known as a job for play, but this type is here to work while providing superb cushioning and shock absorption.

Features and Benefits:

The lMil-33 moisture-wicking lining keeps the foot comfortably dry as does the patented waterproof GORE-TEX® membrane. The PI-1000 cushion insert with shock eliminator heel cushion is soft, absorbs shock and is removable for convenience. The Maxum-Lite polyurethane outsole is lightweight yet durable.

What We Like:

  • The shoes are resistant to slips, oil, abrasions, and chemicals.
  • The shoes are comfortable.
  • There are no metal pieces.
  • There is no break-in period.
  • The fit is true to size.

What We Don’t:

  • The sole is not well attached to the shoe.
  • The laces need to be more flexible.

3. Bates Lites Leather Lace Up Chukka Boot

Bates Men's Bates Lites 6 Inch Uniform Leather Chukka

We all go a little mad sometimes, but these Bates will keep you from going mad with foot fatigue. These boots will not cave under pressure and will work just as hard as you do. Bates started out as a manufacturer of dress shoes in 1885. Today, they make shoes for the working person who has to look sharp while they’re at it.

Features and Benefits:

The Goodyear welt construction makes a solid and durable boot. The outsole is non-marking and lightweight. The insert is cushioned for comfort and removable for convenience. The lining is breathable. The rubber sole is supportive yet flexible. The Dri-Lex lining keeps the foot dry.

What We Like:

  • The shoes have an agile build making them easy to move in.
  • The boots are lightweight.
  • The boots are comfortable.
  • They are easy to polish.

What We Don’t:

  • The laces are flimsy.
  • The stitching is not as solid as it could be.

4. Thorogood Men’s Soft Streets Series 6″ Waterproof Insulated Sport Boot

Thorogood Men's Soft Streets Series 6" Waterproof, Insulated Sport Boot

Here is a classic in the work boot industry just as dedicated as any postal carrier. This trusted brand has been around since 1892 and their flawless craftsmanship has just improved with age. These will keep your feet warm without weighing you down so you can make it through your workday with some energy to spare.

Features and Benefits:

The upper is made out of waterproof leather that will keep your feet sufficiently dry. The direct injection construction makes the shoe flexible with good traction and durability. The comfort weave lining makes the shoe comfortable.

The insole is super-cushioned polyurethane for lightweight cushioning and the footbed is removable for convenience. The midsole is a lightweight polyurethane.  The outsole is fabricated with soft streets dual-density polyurethane. The seams are sealed for further waterproofing. Insulation makes the boots warm.

What We Like:

  • The boots are waterproof.
  • The boots are warm.
  • They are very comfortable.
  • There is no break-in period.
  • They look good enough to be worn out of uniform.

What We Don’t:

  • There are some issues with the construction.

5. TINGLEY 7500G Orion Overshoes with Gaiter

Sometimes the only thing better than a good pair of shoes is two pairs of shoes. These overshoes are designed to go over your shoes for extra protection against the elements. These are perfect for snowy or icy environments. They may look like they were designed by the Michelin Man in his goth phase, but they work!

Features and Benefits:

The sturdy nylon upper along with a lightweight polyurethane midsole plus durable TPR outsole makes for a heavy-duty performance while keeping the feet from getting tired. The 840 denier nylon with polyurethane coating is not only waterproof but durable.

The inside is roomy enough for even the largest of work boots. The gusset is extra wide to make it easy to take them off and put them on. The hook and loop closure can create a customized and adjustable fit. The instep strap likewise is adjustable. The deep lug delivers superior traction.

The polypropylene foam liner offers both cushioning and insulation. The reflective accents enhance visibility in low light conditions. A heel counter stabilizer prevents rolling.

What We Like:

  • The boots are lightweight.
  • They are stable.
  • The studs will not spark, break, corrode or rust.
  • The buckle is easy to use even while wearing gloves.
  • The overshoes will keep your feet dry and warm.

What We Don’t:

  • The studs can scratch floors and so should not be worn indoors.

The Mail Carrier’s Dress Code

The quaint 1950’s image of Mr. Postman walking down a suburban road (and occasionally being asked to wait a minute) is all but disappeared. Most mail carriers prefer to drive and most roads today aren’t pedestrian-friendly anyway. Add to that the fact that Mr. Postman could very easily be an MS Mail Carrier.

Still, there are situations such as visiting an apartment complex or office building with a mailroom where the carrier has to get out of the truck. The postal service creed is still in effect. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” That means a shoe that can handle all kinds of weather conditions.

The United States Postal Service wants their characters to be safe but also to look sharp. Mail carriers can only wear shoes approved of by the postal service. They can be identified by a tag with “SR/USA” printed on it in green. Black leather is preferred. Those working security are required to wear shoes buffed to a glossy shine. After a ninety-day probationary period, a new mail carrier is given a clothing allowance to pay for shoes and other uniform necessities.

Some offices don’t really care what you wear, as long as it’s black. However, you may be surprised at the job by a route examiner. The first thing they will want to look at is your shoes, which had better have that green tag. If a supervisor does not like how you are dressed you will be forced to clock out and not come back until you are dressed to suit regulations. Also, if you are injured on the job and not wearing USPS approved shoes, you may be denied your worker’s comp.

Remember to Take Care of Yourself

There is a joke that the typical mail carrier’s lunch is a can of Red Bull and some ibuprofen. Do better than that! Fuel up properly. Keep yourself hydrated and cut back on the sodium. If you run into a dog, remember that running will just make them want to chase you and four legs beat two.

Hold still, let the dog know you are neither predator nor prey. When you walk, keep it at a brisk pace and switch your bag to keep one side from sagging from the weight. On rainy or snowy days, keep your steps measured.

Conclusion

The United States Postal System is not yet dead. But they’re not exactly doing the Highland fling either. Today’s mail carriers will gamely soldier on, making sure everyone gets their coupons from Burger King and magazine subscriptions.

With even bills getting paid on-line these days and other services taking up package delivery, there isn’t much else left. The mail carrier no longer has to be on the lookout for Redcoats, but the weather and plain exhaustion will always be the postal carrier’s bane. Look for the green tag, and you have found the perfect traveling companion.

US Postal Service Statistics

From Visually.

References:

  • https://www.govexec.com/management/2017/08/beyond-rain-and-snow-postal-workers-must-also-worry-about-their-shoes/140434
  • https://postaluniformsblog.com/best-walking-shoes-for-postal-workers
  • https://about.usps.com/publications/pub100.pdf
  • https://about.usps.com/manuals/elm/html/elmc9_011.htm
  • https://www.indeed.com/cmp/United-States-Postal-Service/faq/is-there-a-dress-code-for-the-assessment-appointment?quid=1b9rk2qb05neucca
  • https://www.indeed.com/cmp/United-States-Postal-Service/faq/is-a-uniform-for-a-city-carrier-associate-provided?quid=1bo38gigfas0jdll
  • https://forum.federalsoup.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=60025#post696607