Work boots immediately bring a picture to mind of steel toe boots or rubber, tall boots. And, although they can look cool, they’re not always the most comfortable on foot. In truth, work boots were made with the primary intention to protect the foot of the worker. Especially in the case of a steel toe, the boot is made to withstand weight in case of something dropping on it.
Painful Boots Can Damage the Foot
But the fact that they were made to protect the foot can sometimes mean discomfort. Plantar fasciitis, which is foot pain that can be caused by improper shoe wear, is painful, and, according to WebMD, it can take 6 to 12 months for the foot to get back to normal. People may also develop heel spurs, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, is common amongst folks who already have plantar fasciitis.
By getting yourself the right work boot for your personal situation, you can avoid the pain that you never needed to suffer from, to begin with. If your current boots are causing you pain, it’s time to change them. Workers can’t afford to stop their daily routine because of foot problems, which shouldn’t have happened in the first place. While finding the right footwear for work can be a matter of trial and error, below are a few recommendations. Keep the following in mind when purchasing new work boots.
Look for a boot that fits your heel like a glove. What this means is that the heel shouldn’t move around almost at all, and it most certainly shouldn’t separate from your foot when walking. It also means that you feel comfortable around the area of the heel. This is important because when you walk around for work, if you feel the heel not appropriately cushioned, it can become a problem.
The sole isn’t the only part that should be comfortable. The heel is just as important. Especially for the person who is a “heel first” stepper, the heel must feel at ease when walking.
Steel toe boots are the most popular for this because they protect the toes. While steel toe can take a little while to get used to, it’s the ultimate protection for the top of the foot. There are other types of protective toe shoes, not all made of steel. But, whether steel or not, look for toe protection that gives you comfort at the same time.
Toes have to be comfortable and have a certain level of mobility, although not too much. The top of your foot has to breathe to prevent other discomforts, such as itching. Start by looking to see if your favorite brand has work boots. If they do, begin there. You may be surprised how many seemingly cosmetic brands also make shoes for the everyday worker.
Work boots can be stiff, especially when brand new. Over time, they’ll contour to your foot for comfort and flexibility, but this will have to do with the material.
Some boots are made of rubber and leather, which both give a certain amount of flexibility in the long run. Look for a boot made for constant use, and to be flexible. The last thing your foot needs is for your shoe to remain as stiff as new for as long as you own them.
Waterproof Shoe Wear
If work requires shoes to be waterproof, look for the combination of a waterproof and electrical hazard certified shoe, if possible. Since the worksite is likely to be damp, it’s essential also to be protected against electrical shock. But, if there’s no chance for electrical currents, then simply an excellent waterproof shoe will do.
The Sole of the Shoe
Arguably, the most significant protection workers need in a shoe is protection against slip accidents. A slip-resistant sole means having extra protection from your shoe when you’re not aware of spills. Added to water slips, there are also oil and other hazardous materials that may make conditions slippery. Having a slip-resistant shoe is a plus in places such as a construction zone, or an environment alike.
A second important aspect of sole protection is the thickness of the sole. This will help with protection against stepping on nails or glass.
Picking the right work boot goes beyond a matter of preference and looks. It’s about safety in the worksite and the health of your foot.
Look for a shoe that will adhere to your work conditions, is an asset in your work environment, it’s comfortable, and helps you prevent foot ailments by giving you the support you need.