I recently made a career pivot to only working when I feel like it because my back still hurts from working 7 days a week.
Back in the day barbershops and salons used to be equipped with anti-fatigue mats; those round cushiony mats encircling the chairs are to alleviate pain and soreness from barbers and stylists feet, legs, neck, and back. They are a rarity to see nowadays, I even experienced one employer tell me he would not buy them because they didn’t fit the aesthetic of the space. Depending on the severity of your pain you can address this with your local workplace safety board or try these 3 footwear alternatives.
1. ASICS GEL QUANTAM SERIES
With multiple styles and colorways to choose from in men’s and women’s sizing, these shoes offer proper support levels for those with high, low, and flat arches. The gel soles absorb shock keeping your legs and ankles aligned.
Prices range from $85 – $200 and you can find a pair you like on asics.com.
2. NEW BALANCE 990v5
Not your dad’s New Balances. These redesigned 990’s feature dual density collar foam for ankle comfort and support as well as the midsole cushioning features lightweight foam for all day support. You can also select the appropriate width.
Get ready to shell out $185 for these on newbalance.com, well worth it.
3. DR. SCHOLL’S WORK INSOLE
If you’re dead set against dropping your hypebeast Instagram worthy outfits, at the very least consider an insole in your Jordan’s or Doc Martens. The ruggedness is designed for standing on hard surfaces all day. These insoles feature massaging gel that alleviates pressure on your feet.
$13 seems like nothing when it comes to the comfort of your feet and alleviating back pains for the rest of your life. Hit up drscholls.com to cop.
Remember that alignment starts at the root. The best defense against pain is preventative.
While the anti-fatigue mats might not be a deal-breaker for keeping barbers in shops now, there are definitely some red flags that will have your staff walking. Here’s a guide to keeping barbers employed in your shop. Don’t forget to check out our entire section dedicated for first time barbers.
Photo via New Balance