By Rehan Iqbal
You need work boots for your job, so you go to your local shoe store and browse from its limited supply. Most people think that there are only a handful of choices on the market, so they don’t realize that there could be many features on which they’re missing out.
Of course, you know the basics of work boots, such as steel toes, slip-resistance, and safety options. Still, there are many others that you probably don’t know exist and aren’t utilizing. This could mean that your boots aren’t comfortable.
When it comes to work boots, most people don’t think of comfort. They’re looking for the right specifications and whether or not there are steel toes. Still, you have to wear these all day, and might even wear them for 16+ hours, depending on your shift.
If you need toe protection, you can now find aluminum-toe boots. They’re thinner and lighter than steel, but they are still durable and strong. Plus, you have a bit more room in the toe area.
Those who want even lighter footwear can choose composite-toe boots. They are made of plastic, carbon fiber, or Kevlar. Generally, they offer protection against light impacts and bumps and might not be suitable in all situations.
Memory foam work boots are all the rage now. They conform to your foot and provide cushion and support while you walk or stand.
Do you work in conditions that are damp or moist? Many times, work boots aren’t waterproof because manufacturers don’t see a need. You may not always be around wet areas, but anything can happen. Finding a pair of work boots that are waterproof ensures that they don’t get ruined if you have to work outside in the rain or there’s a spillage at work.
Many work boots are made from cloth-like materials to be lightweight. Still, leather could be highly beneficial if your job requires you to be around mud or sludge. Cloth is going to stain and needs to be scrubbed immediately. With leather, you can let it dry and then brush it off. Cleaning your boots may not be an initial concern for you, but after a while, you’re going to want to clean them fast so that you can move onto other things.
Newer work boot models now come with metatarsal shields. The top of your foot is prone to getting hit by falling items at work. Standing and walking for long periods can also cause compression issues. With the shield, it protects that area of the foot. Plus, they are built into the boot and are flexible enough to bend and shift while you walk. Therefore, they feel just like your foot.
Most men and women who need work boots don’t often think of the style. They are there to serve a purpose. Still, there is no harm in looking your best. You can find boots with stripes, multiple colors, and metallic designs. If you have to go grocery shopping after work, you can still look good and feel comfortable walking around.
The biggest problem many people have is that their feet smell from wearing work boots all day. In the past, you had to sprinkle foot powder in the shoes and hope for the best. This is particularly true if your feet sweat profusely, or you worked in damp or hot conditions. However, newer models can control foot odor and have a built-in antimicrobial treatment. More modern technology can regulate temperatures within the shoe to keep the foot dry. Also, some work boots have a mesh lining, which can also channel some of that moisture to control odors. You don’t feel it inside the shoe, but it is there to help.
Many times, people don’t think of rigidity as a feature, but it is essential. You never know when you’re going to twist an ankle because you’re rushing. If the upper part of the boot isn’t strong and resilient, it could cause an issue. However, you don’t want the boot to be too rigid because then it is going to feel tight and could restrict movement.
There are seemingly endless buzzwords when it comes to work boots that are resistant to something. For example, they should prevent abrasions, resist heat and chemicals, stop slips, and much more.
You never know when you might drop a knife or another sharp object. Clearly, you do not want to cut your boots because that can damage the foot and the footwear. Abrasion-resistance is available with many types of work boots.
There is also heat- and chemical-resistant footwear. Every job site isn’t going to need it, but it can still be helpful in certain conditions. Plus, you don’t have to stop and change shoes if you’re going to be working in a new area.
Do you work in a high-security area? If so, you may dislike the fact that you have to remove your shoes before and after each shift to ensure that you aren’t carrying weapons. It’s a hassle that most people don’t need.
Of course, you can choose to wear another pair of shoes without metal and carry in your work boots, but that means getting to work early to put them on when you get there.
It’s possible to find non-metallic boots now. They are still considered safety shoes and can even have added toe protection against impacts. However, they use composite material instead of metal and don’t conduct cold or heat.
When it comes to work boots, you might be out of the loop if you haven’t bought them in a while. There are a variety of new features that many manufacturers now offer. These can help you feel more comfortable when working long shifts and can keep your feet safe, too.
The ones listed here aren’t the only features available. However, they are some of the most popular with people in a variety of working environments. Consider your options before you purchase a new pair of work boots and have happy, comfortable feet.