Footwear

What Is It?

Wearing protective footwear on a job site has been common practice for decades. If you are work in an industrial environment, such as a construction zone, you need to protect your feet from potential injury. The most common form of footwear protection is a steel-toe boot, which has a protective reinforcement in the toe which protects the foot from compression or from falling objects. Many job sites require their workers to wear steel-toe boots to meet certain insurance or safety requirements. While they are referred to as “boots”, they can also look like clogs or sneakers. Some are even quite formal, which is perfect for supervising engineers or other important visitors to the job site.

How To Buy

Before you buy a pair of steel-toe boots or other type of protective footwear, you want to first make sure they are comfortable. The last thing you want is to purchase a pair of shoes that are uncomfortable, especially if your job requires you to stand for extended periods of time. The best way to do this is to go to the store, try them on, and walk around in them for a bit. You want to make sure your boots have ample toe room, and have enough room for thick socks or special arch supports. When tied up, your boots should feel snug but not tight, particularly around the ankle and heel. For extra protection and support, try to buy high-cut boots instead of low-cut boots or regular sneakers. Once you have purchased your boots, you will want to maintain them. Use a protective coating to make them water-resistant, and inspect them regularly for damage. If you are working with electricity, you need to make sure your boots do not have any tears in them, as you could potentially be electrocuted.

working boots

Pros and Cons

Obviously, there are many advantages to protecting your feet with safety footwear. An injury to your foot could keep you in bed for multiple weeks, which means you won’t be able to work, which in turn means lost wages. It is important to buy the right size of boot, however. Steel-toe boots will not stretch, so you always want to buy them a tad bigger than usual. Still, you don’t want to wear boots that are too big, because that could also be a potential safety hazard. Lastly, steel-toe boots do not make you invincible. Always proceed with caution, especially on construction sizes. A 600 pound rock or crate will still do significant damage to your foot, regardless of whether or not you are wearing protective footwear.

Brands and Cost

There are many different brands of steel-toe boots to choose from, and at the end of the day it ultimately comes down to cost and comfort. Timberland produces one of the best pairs of waterproof work boots on the market, and they require no break in period. They also have a reputation of being very durable. Keen also produces some excellent work boots, although they are a bit heavier than others on the market. If you are looking for a high boot, the Danner Men’s Quarry GTX boot is the best choice. It also uses memory foam which helps make them incredibly comfortable to wear. In terms of cost, you should be able to find a decent pair of work boots for under $150, but if you want the best of the best, you may have to pay well over $200.