Does your job expose you to hazardous conditions on a regular basis? Having the best shoes for work can be a crucial factor in your job effectiveness and safety.
Since occupational hazards vary by field, the most fundamental thing to remember when selecting the best working shoes for yourself is one size doesn’t fit everybody. This article will show you how to choose the shoe that works for you from among the best work boot brands.
These are the basics you need to remember when perusing through top rated work boots to find the best match:
- Safety: Whether you need the best shoes for working on concrete, or the best cold weather boots, whether you’ll be working with electrical appliances or you need metatarsal protection at a construction site, each job has its own hazards that only specific work boots can protect from. Getting the right work boot for your job will ensure your safety in the field to a considerable extent.
- Durability: Do the work boots sustain themselves under harsh working conditions? Do your homework on the boots you’re looking to buy and choose them only after you’ve verified that they can hold their own.
- Weatherproofing: If your work involves direct interaction with the elements, you’ll be wise to buy work boots that shield your feet from harsh weather. Insulated boots will keep your feet warm while waterproofing will keep them dry.
- Fitting: Select a boot for the above features, but also make sure that it fits! The most comfortable work boot for you with adequate safety, durability and weatherproofing is what you need to go for ideally. A boot that doesn’t fit well is useful for all its other features since you won’t be able to work in it for long.
A dependable pair of work boots that make your work safe and comfortable are definitely worth the initial money. However, it doesn’t mean you should go for a pair that is decked with unnecessary features. If you aren’t sure about the work boot specifications for your profession, check your employee manual.
As far as the question of where to buy work boots is concerned, you can get them from anywhere that is most convenient – online retailers, Amazon, eBay, retail outlets and so on. The more important thing is to choose the correct one.
Work Boot Safety Features
Above everything else, safety is undeniably the primary feature of good work boots. However, if you are, for instance, a construction worker, your safety needs will be vastly different from those of an electrician. It is important to understand the kind of conditions you’ll be working in before you head out there. Why is this so?
Remember, safety comes first always. Having the right work boots can make all the difference between saving and losing your toe, and keen even prevent fatal injuries. You can’t predict what is going to happen in the field so you should prepare as best you can.
However, with so many good work shoes available with an assortment of safety features, it can get difficult to decide between the ones you need and the ones you don’t. Generally, it is smarter to have more safety features than necessary instead of the opposite. Employ your judgement to ascertain the work boot safety features you’ll require.
Here is a simple overview of the most common safety features found in work shoes:
- Safety toe: This one is perhaps the most discussed safety feature in a work boot – and a steel-toe boot serves more purposes than just kicking butt! If your profession is lumber work, carpentry, or construction, safety toes in your work boots are absolutely necessary.
Basically, whenever your work involves a scenario where heavy objects might possibly fall near you, the sensible thing is to wear boots with safety toes since they can save you from a serious foot injury. However, there are safety toes have different kinds too:
- Steel toe
- Aluminum toe
- Composite toe
Even though steel/aluminum safety toes are much more appropriate for heavy duty professions, they have a serious disadvantage. If your profession has you spending lots of time braving the elements, the metal safety toe becomes a conductor. Working in harsh climatic conditions will cause the hot / cold temperatures to be transferred directly into your boots by way of this conductor, which will make for a rather uncomfortable experience – which is the opposite of your original aim to have the most comfortable work shoes possible. Having said that, aluminum and steel toes can withstand higher crushing impacts as compared to their composite counterparts.
Composite safety toes are normally composed of plastic, fiber or Kevlar, and are great for those who spend most of their working time in the outdoors. And then there is the added bonus of composites not triggering any metal detector alarms!
- Puncture plate: If your work involves construction or has you traversing rubble, debris or demo zones, your work shoes must have puncture plates if you want them to be the most comfortable work shoes for your job. Without these, you’ll be risking serious injury if you accidentally step on a nail or glass chip that might be laden with tetanus!
There can’t be a worse reason for having to quit work early than a nail in your foot. Fortunately, puncture plates are common features in work boots which will keep your soles intact. The puncture plate is present in between your midsole and insole and provides extra support besides shielding from pierces and punctures.
They may not be a requisite for every profession, but work boots that have them are a sensible purchase just for the added safety since you can’t be certain when you may step on something that could injure your underfoot.
- Outsole Grip: Grip is essential for maintaining a proper foothold. A pair of work boots possessing a firm grip will ensure that you stay the right side up as opposed to boots that lack it. This is significant since more than a third of all life taking construction accidents occur due to a fall or
It’s all about traction – there are endless possibilities in the workplace where a slip/fall can result in a serious injury. A lot of workers have to balance themselves on uneven surfaces and metal roofs. Even worse, oil spillages and precipitation considerably increase the risk of slipping!
So how do you stay clear of slips and falls? Obviously, being aware of your surroundings is the most crucial steps towards ensuring your safety, but in certain scenarios you’ll need the right gear to be safe from such an incident.
There are several outsole varieties available in the market today that provide varying degrees of traction. For instance, Vibram® is famed for its high performance rubber outsole which is excellent for rugged worksite conditions, and is a part of many high end work boots like Magnum’s Halifax 6.0 – which incidentally happen to be one of the best waterproof work boots in the market as well! The best kind of outsoles incorporate notches that enhance the wearer’s ability to grip ladders and halt instantaneously.
If you’re an offshore engineer working on an oil rig or some other industry that puts you at risk of chemical exposure, Thermo Poly Urethane (TPU) outsoles are suggested for their resistance to abrasion, chemicals and oil. Not only is TPU lightweight, but it is built to sustain a greater amount of punishment than the standard rubber outsole.
- Electrical resistance: Does your work involve live wires and other electrical dangers? If that is so, you should protect yourself against an electrical shock from bottoms up.
Firstly, stay clear of aluminium or steel toe boots if there is any electrical risk in your profession. A composite toe will be the only option for you since it won’t put you at any risk of any electric shock and there will be a very low risk of a static shock since it is composed of plastic materials.
Plenty of work boots are also made with materials that are naturally electricity resistant such as rubber components. Make sure that you check the work boot specs for your field to ascertain whether electrical proofing is required or not.
If you’re looking for the best value for your money, it’s a good idea to assess the boot boot’s construction before you finalize the purchase. A rubber outsole can be affixed to your boot in some ways, and every variation comes with its own advantages and disadvantages in the context of price and durability.
Many of the best workboots have outsoles that can be re-soled – these top work boots also tend to be the most durable. If your flat sole work boots weren’t re-soled, even a tiny hole or tear would require you to replace the whole boot, unless of course, you’re OK with some sediment/liquid gathering under your foot.
- Cement attachment: A work boot with cement construction has the outsole directly attached to the upper using an adhesive. Even though these boots typically cost less than boots having other kinds of outsole attachment, they do tend to fall apart much quicker.
Besides this, these soles of these boots cannot be simply replaced by a cobbler. However, if your requirement is the best slip on work boots for small time activities such as gardening, the low cost alone can make them a worthy investment.
- Blake Stitch: When a Blake stich is used to secure the outsole, the shoe is made in a way that the upper is a perfect fit with the insole and the outsole. Next, the upper, outsole and insole are linked together by a single stitch that holds the work boot together. This way of attachment is normally quite strong, resulting in a tough bond between the boot’s layers.
It is possible to re-sole boots bound by a Blake stitch, but a special machine is needed and the re-soling itself can get quite expensive. This form attachment has a construction that is simpler than a Goodyear welt so boots that have it are at a price point that is between the costs of boots with cement attachment and boots with the Goodyear welt.
- Goodyear Welt: You just can’t phase out the classics. The Goodyear welt is the oldest type of boot construction and holds the boot together better than the other two kinds. As the name implies, this boot construction is made via a welt. Special thread made to bind shoes is sewn through the insole, upper, and welt. Following this, another stitch is used to fix the welt – this stitch also serves as the anchor that holds all four shoe layers together.
If the outsole of this type of shoe becomes worn out, changing it is quite simple. The outsole can easily be taken apart from the shoe and a new one connect to the boot’s welt. Due to its high durability and simplicity of replacement, shoes of this kind of construction are frequently present in the best work boots reviews.
Regardless of whether they are standard high end work boots or the best work boots for flat feet, weatherproofing is an essential feature. No one likes to slosh around in waterlogged boots. And obviously, frozen toes aren’t a major turn on either. This is why weatherproofing your boots is essential to a comfortable working experience. When your job takes you to a particular area, it is easy to assess the weatherproofing features you’ll require keeping your most durable work boots that way.
- Waterproofing: All quality work boots need to be waterproofed to make sure they stay in good shape, and also since you never know when your job will expose you to a puddle or running water. Not only do waterlogged boots feel uncomfortable, but they also put you at a risk.
Moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria, and if you work in wet shoes the whole day, a bacterial infection can be a very real threat. The moisture weakens and deteriorates skin tissue and can result in conditions such as ringworm. Many of the best boots are waterproof, but you can apply waterproofing treatments if needed.
- Insulation: Having cold feet (pun unintended) can be a bother for most people, but for professionals who have to spend most of their time outdoors, they can become a downright distraction. As a rule, the best rated work boots for us are the ones that feature insulation to keep your feet snug and warm so you’re better able to focus on your work.
Insulated boots will make your job comfortable if it is in the cold outdoors, for instance, your landscaping boots must have some form of insulation if the area you’re working in has experienced snowfall. But if your job sees you working in seriously harsh weather such as a blizzard, good insulation will be a downright necessity.
Maximize your comfort
If you have a full day of work or work long hours, you’ll need comfortable work boots to make sure your feet don’t collapse under the strain. Even though safety features and weatherproofing are very important, ensuring that you have the most comfortable shoes for your job is vital to keeping you in good spirits and focused on your job.
Whether you’re looking for the most comfortable steel toe shoes for men or comfy work shoes for women, the fit is one of the chief factors you need to assess. The fit for a work boot is of even greater importance than that of casual footwear since you’ll probably be spending a longer period of time on your feet wearing the former as compared to the latter.
When testing on the work boots, see if there is any pinching or hot spots since it is unlikely that these areas of prominent discomfort will grow less with time. Don’t be hasty in buying your work boots, make sure you get the best possible fit so you have the most comfortable shoes for standing all day.
If you really want to buy a work book that doesn’t make a perfect fit for you, you can always try to improve it’s fitting using one of the best work boot insoles. Flexibility
The majority of work boots are made out of leather, and one of the features of this material which make it so apt for its purpose is flexibility. Leather boots adapt to the shape of your feet, especially when you’re breaking into them initially. The parts of your boot which see the most movement will be the ones that become the most flexible with time.
To get maximum flexibility from your work boots – which means greater comfort – you should periodically moisturize them using a conditioner. There are guidelines all over the internet on how to do this.
The work boot’s support is a result of several factors working in conjunction to comfortably hold your feet. The outsole, puncture plant, shank, midsole and insole all have an impact on the boot’s overall support.
By using the best insoles for boots, you can enhance the support of your shoe and greatly reduce any blistering / discomfort you were experiencing. Midsoles are often underestimated in their impact on the boot’s support when the contrary is actually true. Materials such as EVA foam ensure cushioning to keep your feet as comfortable as possible in your work shoes.
Purchase boots suited to your line of work
- Work boots for cold conditions: If you’re often working in cold climates, opt for work boots that provide extra insulation to keep your feet warm.
- Work boots for wet conditions: Is there are a greater likelihood that you will be getting a bit wet during your work routine? If this is so, go for work boots that are highly waterproof. No one likes having to spend a whole day in waterlogged boots.
- Work boots for slippery conditions: If you work on hard, slippery floors, or there is a risk of oil spillages, go for boots that have enhanced traction on their soles – this could possibly save your life one day.
The majority of work boots come with excellent sole traction nowadays, but there are some amazing steel toe Timberlands which will work for those who want the absolute best in terms of tractions.
- Work boots for heights: If your work involves time spent up ladder or climbing, you’ll need preferably lightweight work boots that allow for easier movement. They must have defined heels and sole topnotch Light work boots are also highly comfortable and prevent fatigue.
- You’re continually on the move over irregular terrain: If your work has you moving around often on unpredictable terrain, select a boot that has extra foot support e.g. metatarsal work boots.
- You have long shifts: If you’ve got long shifts, you’ll need to have comfortable work boots. But if there is also hazard involved, then you’ll obviously have to purchase shoes with features such as safety toes e.g. loggers boots. Chippewa work boots are a good place to start in this case.
- Your feet are attacked from every side: If there is a greater chance of injury from debris, sparks, concrete, nails, etc., the boot must have ultimate protection be they men’s or women’s construction boots. Look for anti-puncture support, safety toes, ankle support, a tough outer skin – the whole nine yards – if this is the case.