- in Safety
Worksite safety starts from the ground up, so it’s important to choose the best work boots that provide support and comfort no matter how long your working day is. Work boots are just as important as the tools used to complete the job, think of them as a tool that helps protect you from workplace hazards, discomfort and weakness.
Sometimes it’s easy to jump online choose the first pair of steal toe work boots that you find, however there is more to safety than just safety features. Yes – steel toes and ankle support are vital, however workers are quick to overlook comfort features when choosing work boots. Just because it’s work, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t feel good; It’s crucial that you wear only the most comfortable work boots that match your specific job requirements.
Manufacturers are busy producing new work boots every day and it’s important that you understand exactly what you need, to help you find the best pair of work boots for your specific needs. Your feet are your foundation and if they are not comfortable it makes it very hard to focus on your job and that is unsafe.
Start by checking with your safety manager or supervisor to see what features are important to your job and you can also check the OSHA guidelines for information to help you select the right work boots that meet the safety requirements. It’s a good idea to learn the different terminologies like, steel toe, composite toe, metatarsal guards, etc. There are several heavy duty materials that manufacturers use to create outsoles that are long-lasting, slip-resistant and protective.
Making sure the boots fit your feet correctly is the most important part of choosing comfortable work boots. Your feet should not be squeezed tightly inside the boots, rubbed raw with sores or blisters. Boots that are too tight can cause several different foot disorders including in-grown toe nails, blisters, corns, etc. Leather boots will stretch a little bit and conform to the shape of your foot but a steel toe boot will not stretch and if it is tight, it will always be tight. Choosing the right size boot is extremely important for all-day comfort and most manufacturers offer features like regular or wide width, so if your boot is too tight, try a wide width boot.
Keep in mind that with lots of work boots, you are required to ‘break them in’ which is a process whereby the tough boots mold to your foot shape after a day, to a week’s worth of use.
Important points to consider when shopping
- Feet usually swell a little bit during the day if you are on them most of the day, shop for work boots in the afternoon or early evening. If you try on footwear when your feet are a bit swelled, you will know that they will feel comfortable during your longest days.
- Bring a pair of socks that you typically wear to work so that you can easily determine how the boot will fit with them on.
Protection is important but comfort is also extremely important because you do not want to have sore feet that distract you from doing your job.
- Most manufacturers offer comfort features to support their performance and safety improvements like, anti-microbial insoles, lighter, more asymmetrical steel-toes, and additional padding. All of these extra features will make your feet comfortable in and outside of your boots.
So remember, no matter what industry you work in, you should consider comfort a safety factor, just like you would consider steel toes a safety requirement. When you feet hurt – you hurt all over and become fatigued, and when you’re tired you become more prone to injury.