If you’re shopping for work boots on a tight budget, you might be tempted to settle for the cheapest option. Work boots are an investment, though. Their purpose is to offer protection and support throughout long days of work. By skimping on quality, you will only be hurting yourself. Do your feet a favor and follow these tips when shopping for your next pair of work boots.
Find the Right Fit for Your Feet
No matter what job you need to tackle, a pair of well-fitting boots is vital. If you already own a pair of work boots, think about how your feet feel at the end of the day. Do your toes feel pinched? Is your instep aching? Do the balls of your feet hurt? Are there blisters on your heels? Any of these things could be a sign that your shoes are the wrong size.
When you’re shopping for a new pair of work boots, try out a few different sizes and widths to find the right fit. The fit should be snug enough to prevent shifting but roomy enough that your toes don’t feel cramped.
Pick Snake-Proof Boots for Ranch Work
Snake-proof boots aren’t necessary for every job — but they can be a lifesaver if you work on a ranch or farm. Look for SnakeGuard boots from Justin, which feature Emtexglobal puncture-resistant backers, or Chippewa’s VIPERCLOTH® options. Of course, ranchers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from this feature. Consider them for any activity that keeps you close to nature or other jobs where puncture-resistant boots could come in handy.
Buy Tactical Boots for Emergency Response Jobs
From police officers to paramedics, those who work in law enforcement or emergency response will benefit from a good pair of tactical boots. Look for boots that are flexible, lightweight, and durable. A side-zip design will make it easier to gear up, while shock-absorbing features can improve comfort. Weatherproofing, slip-resistant outsoles, a moisture-wicking lining, and cushioned insoles are also noteworthy perks.
Choose the Right Safety Toe to Prevent Injury
If you work in construction, you’re familiar with the risks posed by building materials and other heavy objects. Safety toe shoes were invented with these dangers in mind, and today, workers have several options to choose from. Steel toes tend to be the cheapest, but they are heavier and offer less insulation from extreme temperatures than boots featuring other materials. Safety toes made from alloy materials are lighter, while composite options offer better insulation and electrical resistance. To protect the rest of your foot, look for boots that also have a metatarsal guard.
Consider Other Worksite Hazards
Heavy objects may not be the only hazard you face at work. Think about the conditions at your work site, and research other safety features that could come in handy. For instance, if you work with or near electrical wiring, shock-resistant soles may be in order. Those who work in wet or snowy conditions may need more insulation and weatherproofing, while those in hot climates may want breathable materials. Fire-resistant, oil-resistant, and chemical-resistant boots are also available.
Finding the right pair of boots can make a huge difference in how you feel at the end of a long workday. Make sure the boots you pick are up to the challenge.