Choosing The Right Work Boots
If you spend the majority of the working day on your feet, then you’ll be familiar with the aches and pains after a hard day’s graft. Although working at a desk is likely to cause back problems, working on your feet can cause many more gruelling issues. Issues that all begin with the feet. Due to this, it’s important to ensure that your feet are protected in the best way possible to avoid problems further down the line. The last thing you want is for your social time to be affected due to not taking proper measures with your work life.
Luckily, with the help from the correct pair of work boots, you can enjoy comfortable days at work without the worry of becoming injured. Find a pair of work boots perfectly suited to your job and you’ll never go a day complaining again!
Consequences Of Wearing The Wrong Footwear
Before we begin, it’s important to know how wearing the wrong footwear can affect your health. It’s easy to choose a pair of shoes for fashionable purposes, but when it comes to work, you’re going to need something durable that doesn’t cause the following:
Athletes foot: Athletes foot is a common fungal infection which can become annoyingly itchy and red. This infection is triggered by moisture, meaning you’ll need a pair of waterproof boots if you work in damp conditions to avoid this.
Corns: Corns are hardened layers of skin, formed by intense friction. They are usually caused by shoes which are too tight or shoes which aren’t suited to the activity you’re doing. This highlights the importance of finding a shoe which has breathing room and uses materials that are tailored to your working environment.
Torn ligaments: If you’re putting a lot of strain on your feet and wearing unsupportive shoes, sprains and torn ligaments are likely to occur. Not only is this very painful but it will put you out of work in a worst-case scenario.
So, if you can’t tell already, it’s time to put away the generic walking shoes and find a pair of boots that’ll make work life far easier than ever before!
What To Keep In Mind When Choosing The Best Work Boots
You’ll be surprised to discover just how many variations of work boots are out there. Before you even begin trying some on, you need to establish what features you need to look for and why you need to look for them. For example, there is no point in getting a boot with flimsy material if you typically work with heavy equipment such as cordless drills and chainsaws all day. You need to protect yourself, and boots with thin materials will result in broken toes on this occasion!
Ask yourself before you begin your boot hunt:
- What weather conditions do I work in?
- Am I at risk of dropping heavy tools on my feet?
- Does my job involve strenuous activity?
- Do I face the risk of electrocuting myself?
- How often do I work with sharp objects?
Now, these may seem like rather dramatic questions, but your answers will play a huge part in the selection of your work boots, as you will discover below.
Types Of Work Boots
Here comes the fun part: choosing your very own pair of work boots. This decision should be pretty simple once you understand their differences and key features, so read carefully. Remember: your safety is always a top priority and, unless you’re a model, work is not a fashion show!
Steel toe cap: If you’re looking for the ultimate pair of safety boots, then it’s highly recommended that you opt for steel toe cap boots. If you hadn’t guessed already, these boots have a steel cap at the top of the boot, meaning your toes are protected in the unfortunate case that you drop a heavy object on them.
Soft toe: Soft toe boots are perfect for the jobs which require a lot of movement and have low-risk levels. With soft cushioning and smooth material, you’ll never feel restricted while working.
Waterproof: There are many trades which operate outdoors, meaning wet weather conditions are likely to be on the forecast at some point in the year. Ensure that you purchase waterproof boots to avoid dreaded fungal infections which can worsen over time.
Insulated: In relation to harsh weather conditions, the feet often get forgotten about when arctic temperatures hit. It’s easy to wrap up in a few extra layers, but that doesn’t stop your feet from being at risk of frostbite! Invest in a pair of insulated winter boots and you’ll be thanking yourself next time everywhere starts to freeze over. Hypothermia won’t be knocking at your door when you’re wearing insulated boots.
Uninsulated: On the other hand, sweaty feet are not ideal when the climate is far warmer. If you work in typically warm environments and will be keeping your feet on the move at all times, uninsulated boots will be your best friend. They may not be as cosy as their insulated cousins, but they are still just as durable and let workers, both indoors and outdoors, enjoy the reassuring feeling of having safe feet.
Electrical safety: For those working with high voltage electrical equipment, electrical safety boots are a necessity. The sole is made from non-conductive material, usually rubber, meaning it will prevent you from completing a circuit if you were to receive an electrical shock. The danger of coming into contact with these volts is too high to ignore, so do not enter a dangerous zone without these boots.
Puncture resistant: Many working sites, building in particular, have sharp objects scattered on the floor. Although it’s important to keep work environments neat at all times, this can sometimes be unavoidable. Even the smallest of objects can be the sharpest – the last thing you want is a puncture in your foot! Not to mention the immense pain from treading on the object with your whole body weight. If you run the risk of treading on sharp objects, ensure that your work boots are puncture resistant. These boots have sturdy soles which can take the impact of sharp objects.
Finding The Perfect Fit
We’ve all been through the tedious process of finding a pair of shoes that actually fit, but there is no feeling quite as satisfying as finding that perfect pair! Luckily for you, you get to experience this satisfying feeling all over again, as you won’t be getting away with ill-fitting work boots. It’s important to remember that your work boots are not a fashion accessory; they are there to provide you with safety and comfort while being durable at the same time.
It may take you a few, or few hundred, pairs of shoes before you find ‘the ones’, but don’t give up until you get there. The time spent searching will all be worth it once you get through a comfortable working week without an ounce of pain! Essential factors to look out for include ensuring that the boot is snug and doesn’t slip at the heel, you feel comfortable when walking, and pain isn’t caused to the balls of your feet. The balls of your feet need to fit perfectly in the widest part of the shoe.
Lastly, make sure that your toes have plenty of room, or you’ll be back buying a new pair of shoes and complaining that your feet have grown before the next payday even arrives!
The All-Important Accessories
So, you’ve chosen the right pair of work boots for your job and you’re ready to wear them. There’s just one extra thing to think about. Give your feet the protection they deserve with some added accessories. Don’t worry – we don’t mean the blingy keychain type. We mean the comfort is key type.
You may think that owning the perfect pair of work boots is enough, but there’s one little extra investment that’s worth making. Team your boots up with a pair of work socks and you’ll be walking on clouds! The type of work socks you choose will depend on your choice of boots, but in common cases, most workers tend to wear thick thermal socks or slightly thinner compression socks.
It’s also always worth carrying some blister plasters around with you, especially for the first few weeks of wearing your new boots. It’s completely normal for boots to rub as you wear them in, so your blister plasters will provide quick relief in this situation. Simply place them on the area causing friction and you’ll forget all about it!
Enjoy Your New Boots
When chosen correctly, your work boots will last you years. They are designed to be durable, meaning unlike your fashionable shoes, they’ll take a lot of wear to ruin. Don’t be afraid to pay slightly more for your work boots than you tend to pay for standard shoes – you’ll never have to buy another pair again! This worthwhile investment will provide you with comfort, safety, and happiness. No matter what your occupation may be.
- 10 Tips for a Good Shoe Fit!, OnHealth
- The Various Types of Work Boots, Which one Suits your Job?, Hix Magazine