How To Choose The Locker You Need – Lockers With Legs Or Lockers Without Legs?

You are here because you have a question on whether to order lockers with legs, or without legs. We hope the tips found in this guide and tutorial will help you find the type of locker that meets your needs. So are lockers with legs more solid and sturdy than those without legs?  Let’s take a look…


A typical locker which was assembled directly from the factory. (Notice that unless specified, it automatically comes with legs.)

Remember, lockers of any type need to be anchored. It doesn’t matter if they have legs, don’t have legs, are big wall runs, single set, three-tier, four-tier, five-tier, etc.—All lockers should be firmly anchored and never be completely free standing due to safety and liability issues.  This doesn’t matter if they are school lockers, gym lockers, sports lockers, or ANY other type of locker imaginable–all need to be securely anchored. 

It is also important to understand that most pre-manufactured lockers that are stocked and available for quick shipping are manufactured with legs, and if the contractor (or client) is installing them on a concrete or fabricated existing base, then normally the legs are cut off or removed after they are built/manufactured at the plant. If this is your situation, remember that when placing an order as this could lengthen the lead time and there could be an additional charge for this service.  Otherwise the lockers will arrive with legs in tact and/or you will need to remove the legs in the field after arrival. 

NOTE: Most lockers that are pre-made and stored in warehouses for quick ship are made with legs in tact.  Production lockers are made specific to the order.  So if you know that locker will be mounted on a base provided, then you can order the lockers without legs.

Lockers without legs: Usually these types of lockers are installed when the facility has a raised concrete or wood base. One question we receive frequently is; “will cutting the legs off make the lockers more stable?”

Unfortunately the answer is “no.” Whether the lockers have legs or not, the legs do not give/nor detract from any type of structural integrity to the lockers.


Basically there are two bases to be considered for lockers without legs. One is a “Zee” style base. It is used when a line of lockers are raised for usability, or the legs were removed for one reason or another. The Zee-base can be four inches high (which is the standard) or can go as high as even up to six inches. These bases with the Zee design allow for a toe kick at the locker front letting users enjoy a closer access to their locker and the contents securely stored inside.

NOTE: A Zee base does not sit flush with the front of the lockers and are designed to allow for a one inch to 1 1/2 inch toe kick underneath.  These come in 6 foot sections with a splice system for quick installation. The Zee bases are available in 4′ and 6′ high options, with 4″ being the most popular.  Integral channel bases sit flush with the front of the lockers but are only available on “All-Welded” types of lockers.

Zee Base

Row of single tier with a 4″ raised Zee base

Another base for legless lockers is the “toe kick” type, offering the user a certain amount of toe space under the bottom of the locker and is not flush with the locker front itself.

Herriman High School - project

Here the “toe kick” is clearly seen on the corner of the red locker.

Either of these bases is important to have because they raise the locker several inches off the ground and greatly improving access to the lower section or lower tiers. Be sure to know which base suits your unique user’s needs.

Lockers with legs: Normally these are used in facilities that are already built and where a concrete base cannot be easily added. Legged lockers are usually referred to as “free standing” lockers and normally are thought not to need any type of anchoring system. This is simply false and inherently dangerous!


Notice the pre-drilled hole on the back legs which we will discuss later.

It is always recommended that even if the lockers appear to be free standing, and the back of the locker is against a wall, that it should be anchored using either an anchoring angle or the legs are anchored with a piece called a locker foot. Both increase the safety of the lockers.

Floor anchors

Schematic of a typical locker foot.

Manufacturers also sell optional front and end base covers for legged lockers which “pop in” between legs to provide a uniform and “clean” look.  These covers give a plush, uniformed “finished look” that give long runs of lockers a smooth, unbroken appearance.

Anchoring: An effective anchoring system for either style lockers is the anchoring angle. This is placed inside the locker approximately in every third locker and again prevents shifting and toppling over onto the users. This bolts the locker bank directly to the wall.

Penco - anchor on wall

Penco tutorial on anchoring lockers to a wall.

Using a locker foot anchoring system is recommended on front legs only since most lockers have a pre-drilled hole on the back legs. Bolts placed through these holes can mount the locker securely into the floor to prevent shifting, as well as toppling over.

How low can you go? Remember that when selecting a three-tier, four-tier or five-tier locker set-ups without legs (and it is not mounted upon a base) those poor individuals whose lockers are on the very bottom are subjected to a lot of bending over and being very low to the ground.  Having a base—any type of base—greatly improves the user’s experience in accessing that lower locker.

In fact, by installing a bench in front of those lower locker tiers has been a proven and easy way for the user to gain access to the lower tier without struggling.

Aluminum Locker Room Benches

Remember that benches can significantly increase the accessibility of low, bottom lockers.

Other things to think about: Now if your facility wishes to cut down on the cleaning under lockers then even if the lockers you select have legs, a “closed style” base can be inserted between the legs when the lockers are installed or added well-afterwards. This prevents dirt, dust and lost items from finding their way under there as well yet still raise the lockers with, or without, a pre-made base to install them upon.

Penco - Anchors, Zee Bases

An example of a closed style base and how it works.

However there are situations where lockers need to have open legs in order to meet certain codes. (i.e.; Meat packing house lockers whose legs must be raised 16” above the floor according to code in order to facilitate effective and thorough cleaning are such types.) It is a wise idea to think about the different codes your organization must adhere to before ordering.

Conclusion: Since we work with professional contractors who anchor lockers using one, or even several of the methods mentioned above, we recommend lockers with legs or without legs always be anchored. Remember that, especially as you hear the familiar; “I don’t want lockers with legs because they are unstable.” Lockers without legs also need to be anchored securely—just like those lockers that have legs.

Now we have perhaps provided you with a few ideas regarding bases, options and various anchoring systems to think about before your next purchase. The choice is entirely yours.







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