Best Way to Find The Right Boot For My Job
There are a lot of boots online, but you need to wear the right pair for full protection and comfort. Since all boots will say they provide that, you have to set down criteria so you can find the best pair that protects you from different mishaps. Here is a detailed guide.
Table of Contents
Find The Right Boot : Some Prior Decisions
Who Needs Work boots?
Work boots are exactly that, footwear meant for work. You can wear dress shoes for office work, but for construction sites, factories, deserts and other rugged locations, you need boots that are built for these. If your work involves heavy equipment and objects, you need a good pair of work boots.
If your work involves lifting heavy stuff, you have to wear steel toe boots. These are so common in work boots that the two have become synonymous. But there are actually different types of ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) rated safety boots.
- Steel: Steel toes do a good job of protecting your toes. However, they can be a nuisance in work sites with metal detectors. Steel is also affected by temperature so your feet could feel cold in the winter and hot in the summer.
- Aluminum: Aluminum is similar to steel, but they’re thicker. They don’t conduct heat like steel does, but some say they’re not as effective as steel in providing protection.
- Composite: These boots are made of Kevlar, plastic or carbon fiber. These boots don’t react to temperature, so it isn’t going to make you cold in the winter or warm during summer. The protection level is also equivalent to steel.
A metatarsal guard is a piece of leather that is situated over the boots’ laces. It extends all the way to the boot’s full length. While the steel toe protects your foot, the metatarsal guard protects the upper part of your feet. If you work with heavy objects, nails and welding tools, you will need metatarsal guards.
Metatarsal guards also protect the laces from high temperatures that could lead to burning. This also ensures the laces don’t get cut, exposing your feet.
If you work in a ranch or have to adjust your laces often, a metatarsal guard will be more of a hindrance. A metatarsal guard also adds weight to your boots, so that’s another factor to consider.
Two Pairs of Work Boots
Ideally you should have two pairs of work boots, one for summer and one for the cold season. While there are some all-season boots, specialized boots are more practical.
During the cold or rainy season, you will need waterproof boots, with a temperature range of -20 to 60 F ideal. However, waterproof boots are impractical during the summer and you’ll be better off with non-insulated boots.
Where you live and work also makes a huge difference. If you work in a dry environment, you’ll do fine with thinly layered boots. Working in a hot environment also means you’ll be more comfortable with low insulation boots.
Boots and Soles
There are soles designed for heavy duty work. If you climb ladders a lot or do a lot of heavy lifting, look for boot soles that are durable and nonslip.
If you’re a logger or work in rugged terrain, you need soles with deep treads. This will give you extra stability even if you’re always on the move.
- Rubber outsoles : They are very common, and they’re used in manufacturing as well as construction. There are many types of rubber outsoles however, so you should go with the one you’re comfortable with.
- Thermo Poly Urethane (TPU) outsole: TPU outsoles are most suited for those who work in rugged terrain. These soles have a tight grip. These soles are also lighter than rubber, so they’re more convenient.
Work boots are made in two ways, cement and welt.
- Cement Construction: it means the upper part of the boot has been cemented onto the sole. This makes the boots lighter, but you cannot replace the soles when they wear out.
- Welt: welt constructed boots has the inner sole and upper stitched and held by a strap. Welt constructed boots are durable and easy to repair.
Tips for Buyers
- Make a list of the features you need from work boots. Use this as your guide in deciding what to buy.
- Your feet swell throughout the day. For this reason you should shop for shoes during the afternoon when your feet are at their largest. This might not seem like a big deal, but if you’re on your feet a lot, the slightest breathing room makes a huge difference.
- Always wear the thickest socks when fitting boots. This is the only way to ensure you will be comfortable while at work.
- Protection for your feet and toes are important, but so is comfort. If the boots feel tight, get another pair.
- Always take care of your work boots. They will come with instructions for proper care and storage. Follow these and your work boots should last a long time.
- Do not wear worn out or cracked work boots to work as you won’t get maximum protection.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is the difference between a regular boot and a work boot?
Answer: Work boots have steel toes to protect your toes from heavy impact falls.
Question: Are steel toe work boots more expensive than regular boots?
Answer: Some work boots are more expensive, while others are meant for budget buyers.
Question: Do work boots need special type of cleaning?
Answer: Work boot maintenance is no different from regular boots, i.e. oil and conditioning is necessary.
Question: How do I know if the boots are durable?
Answer: Buy only from reputable brands, and always try the boots first. If you’re not comfortable, you can always get a refund.
If you’re an office worker, you can wear just about any type of shoe, but if you work in a tough environment, you will need more than the average shoes or boots. Hopefully this guide has explained everything you need to know about choosing the right pair of footwear.