Finding the right boots for your line of work can be a tricky process. With such a wide selection to choose from, it can be hard to know what’s worth your money and what’s not and what will actually keep your feet safe...and what won’t.
Here are some of the most common questions you should consider when looking for a quality pair of work boots!
What are some of the safety features I should look for in a work boot?
Depending on the kind of work you do, you could benefit from certain boot safety features.
Steel-toed boots, composite boots, and metatarsal guards are designed to keep your toes protected against falling objects. There are also specially designed boots for different working environments:
Depending on your job, look for features like;
Overall, it’s important to consider what kinds of tasks you’ll be doing so that you can invest in the right kind of shoe!
How long should a pair of work boots last?
Well-made custom work boots can last you several years. You can add even more years to them if you get repairs when needed. Many inexpensive boots have a shorter lifespan since they are held together with glue rather than stitching. A quality work boot offers more support and often more of the safety features mentioned above so, if you can, it’s a good idea to invest in a good pair rather than skimp.
How do I know when to replace a work boot?
Since there’s no strict rule about when to replace boots, it’s a good idea to know how to read the signs of wear and tear.
Signs of work boot wear and tear:
- The steel on your steel toe boots is showing through the material
- Material is wearing thin,
- The leather is cracking or separating,
- There’s discoloration
- The outsoles are (the part that makes contact with the ground or rough terrain) is damaged or wearing down
Are waterproof work boots worth it?
If your job is in a wet environment most (or even a lot of the time), your boots should be made of waterproof leather and have soles that provide a lot of traction. Of course, there are more casual boots made to repel water, but these might not provide the best support for those who work on their feet all day.
Constantly wet feet can be dangerous so make sure you have the protection you need.
How can I tell if a work boot is truly slip-resistant?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a standard for shoes that are labeled “slip-resistant”.
To see if they’re legit, check the soles- the treading should be made of circles or hexagons. The outsoles shouldn’t be flat either; some extra grooves and roundness can add a whole lot of traction. When you try them on, the soles should feel rubbery under your feet, not hard or rigid. Finally, if you can, test it out on a wet, slippery surface.
Do I need steel toe, composite, or metatarsal guard work boots?
It all depends on what you do all day.
Steel toe boots are the most widely used for toe protection. Steel lasts way longer than the carbon fibers and plastics used in composite boots. Both are designed to shield your toes against falling objects.
Though, some workers will opt for composite boots since they’re lightweight and won’t set off any metal detectors (this can be helpful in some jobs).
Metatarsal guards, whether internal or external, protect more than just the toes - often the whole top side of your feet.
What is the difference between oil-resistant and slip-resistant work boots?
Oil-resistant boots can be readily cleaned up after being exposed to an oil spill. The soles are often made of oil-resistant rubber or polyurethane and have the same treading patterns as slip-resistant boots. The difference is that the leather or material of the upper and sides is designed to be unphased by oil. Slip-resistant boots are not treated to repel oil.
What are chemical-resistant boots made of?
Many of them are made from mostly rubber. Sometimes, protective materials like polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride or other blends are used as coating.
How important is ankle support in a work boot?
If you’re on your feet all day, good ankle support is necessary to prevent ankle injuries from falls and overusing your achilles tendon. Keep in mind that some boots can be tight around the ankles, so you should always try on new boots at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen. The last thing you want is for your new pair to cause discomfort and chaffing!
Also keep in mind that heavy work boots can tire you out faster, so try to aim for a nice comfortable, balance when it comes to ankle support.
Can I use an insole in my work boot?
Of course! Not only can you add them, but it’s recommended.
Which Insole is best for a work boot?
Our Orange Full is ideal for work boots since they usually have removable liners. When you’re on your feet all day, you need insoles (like ours!) that target overpronation, which is the main culprit for many chronic injuries and pain. Keep your feet happy while you work all day. Make sure you have the right boots and that those boots have the right support!