How Do You Go About Choosing the Best Work Boots?

If you need a pair of work boots for optimal productivity and comfort, you have to go for the best types and brands. There is no doubt about it – good boots will ensure you never suffer from blisters, discomfort, or even dangerous situations such as chemical spills. Standing on your feet all day means that you need to get high quality shoes for the job. The last thing you want is to go home with blisters or painful feet. A bad boot also increases one’s likelihood of suffering from foot injuries at the workplace.

The choice you make in boots depends on many factors, including safety features. Furthermore, the regulations of your company and various other organizations such as OSHA are crucial factors to consider. Perhaps you want a pair of boots that are comfortable for long day use. The consumer market has many different boot types and its good for you to go the correct brand for your needs.

Getting Started

Before you buy a new pair of boots, use this guide to help you make an informed decision. It’s important to note that organizations such as the Occupation Health and Safety Australia (OSHA) and Safe Work Australia have specific regulations for work gear. According to these organizations, employees have to put on the correct work gear to reduce the likelihood of on the job injuries.

More so, various parties play a significant role in the majority of work boot designs on the market today. These regulations are all set up to ensure that work boots are not only comfortable but suitable for workplaces with hazardous environments.

In any profession where boots are part of the norm, getting a good pair is crucial. The side effects of failing to wear the right boots can be adverse, including issues such as ankle pain, knee pain, foot problems, and more. Instead of tempting your wellbeing and health with ill-fitting boots, ensure that you go for quality work boots. Consider these tips:

  • Start with the correct socks- put on the boots with correct socks, to avoid choosing boots that won’t fit. Use the socks that you would typically use when going to work.
  • Always try both boots at the same time – trying on both boots ensures that you confirm the quality and fit of both pairs of boots. The last thing you want is to go back home with one deformed shoe and end up at the store the next day.
  • With your boots on – try hopping, walking, and raising the knees. These are all predictive movements that will help reduce the likelihood of injury when working.
  • When walking, the boots should be comfortable. It’s best to get a shoe which has a little bit of space for the toe and heel, especially if you have to stand all day. Furthermore, the insulation on the shoe should also be comfortable and without adding weight to the shoe.

How Do You Know if It is the Right Fit?

There are various ways through which you can tell whether boots are of the correct size. The size of the boot is essential to ensure your feet stay comfortable all day long. Perhaps the most critical factor to consider is to choose boots slightly larger than the size of the foot. The feet tend to enlarge throughout the day, especially if you have a profession where you have to stand on your feet all day or carry heavy materials.

If your feet are size eight, consider, going for size nine boots. Why? A Slightly larger boot still fits comfortably and provides additional space for your feet. Thus, you are less likely to suffer from discomfort or painful feet. You may have to go for a professional measurement process if you have challenges in finding the correct shoe fit.

Test the length of the footwear by sliding your foot forward. Your toes should make contact with the front section of the boot. Then, bend the knee forward. You will know the length if suitable when there is enough space for your index finger in the back of the shoe. Ensure that you perform this test for both boots:

  • The boots should be flexible at the ball of each foot. Avoid going for boots that bend at the arch, because such boots are not comfortable.
  • The boots should flex at the ball of each foot. Never choose a boot that bends at your arch because it means it does not offer adequate support.
  • The muscles and bone in the feet may expand as the day progresses. Thus, consider testing out the boots in the evening once you are done with your tasks.
  • The size of the boot should be compatible with your foot structure. Heavy boots are likely to lead to blisters, or even compromise your job performance.

Which Type of Work Boot Should You Go for?

There are several types of work boots available on the market, with each serving specific work purposes. For instance, the steel toe boots are suitable for workers who want added protection for the toes and shoe section. Also, if you tend to work in cold conditions such as outdoors during winter, then you will have to go for the insulated boots.

Some boots are even constructed to help prevent electrical hazards. The zip sided boots are common among law enforcement and marines. This type of boot has the same appearance as a conventional boot, except for the zipper on the side of the boot. Furthermore, the elastic-sided boots are also referred to as Australian Workboots. You can even decide to go for military boots, which are not only suitable for the battlefield, but also for workplaces where you have tasks outdoors.

A common shoe type for most workplaces, such as in chemical industries, is the steel toe boot. It’s a durable boot that features a reinforced protective structure made using steel. The role of this structure is to protect the foot from high impact items or chemical substances. It’s a type of safety wear. The best part is that most safety gear today are available in different styles, including clogs and sneakers.

What Features Should You Look For?

Work boots have many different features that you should consider to ensure they suit your needs. Among some of these critical factors to consider include:

  • Height – the height of the boots depends on the nature of your profession. For instance, if you are a linesman, its best to go for tall and lightweight boots. Also, these boots would be suitable for people who work in deep woods or as fire brigades. On the other hand, shorter boots tend to be cooler and lighter, which is why they are suitable for all-round use.
  • Material – boots can be made using various types of materials, including rubber, nylon, or a combination of these materials. As far as the soles go, the common materials are either EVA or TPU. Usually, it all boils down to your specific preferences. That said, it would be beneficial if you consider your particular work needs before investing in one specific material. For instance, a rubber work boot is ideal for those who work in slippery environments, while nylon is suitable for those who want lightweight shoes.
  • Water-resistance – consider this feature if you are likely to work outdoors or in wet places. Waterproof boots ensure your feet stay insulated and dry at all times. Wet boots, especially in the inner section, can have various adverse effects. Not only will it affect your productivity, but it could also lead to unpleasant odors and even fungi development.
  • Weight – the weight of your boots can have a significant impact on your ability to move and be productive. That said, boots are usually heavy due to additional features such as insulation, sole material, and more. Thus, you will have to find a break-even point for all these features, especially after evaluating the requirements of your professional work.
  • Safety features – Safety is also crucial when choosing work boots. If you work in places with electrical equipment, chemical substances, sharp metallic objects, or more, then safety boots are imperative. There are various types of safety features you can consider for work boots. The common ones, including steel toes, reinforced rubber or leather, insulated inners, and more.

Finally

The list above is a guide for some of the popular factors to consider when buying work boots, and it not exhaustive. You may have to consider more, mainly if your workplace or organization provides specific recommendations for investing in work boots. With the best work boots, you are sure of optimal productivity and comfort when working. The best part is that work boots don’t necessarily have to be stylish.

As you shop around, you will find several options available when it comes to work boots. The best type for your needs might not necessarily be suitable for the next person. Thus, choosing work boots is best left as an individual process to ensure the best results.

Sarah Shawman

is the webmistress of Footwear 4 Workers.

She started this website out of displeasure with the fact that there are so few good online resources especially dedicated to the 99%: working people. Having suffered from work related plantar fasciitis herself, she set out on a mission to help others.

She updated this page on and will continue to update it as time goes on.

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