Choosing the right footwear for your next job can be a challenge. Depending on the type of work that you do and your work environment, your footwear can make the difference between a good day and one associated with sore feet. Knowing what to look for when deciding on work boots or other footwear for work can go a long way toward identifying the features that will provide you with both comfort and safety.
As you search for the right footwear for your job, be sure to focus on the following attributes:
Nothing is more important to consider than safety. It is the most critical aspect of your next work boot. Choosing the right type could save you some toes, or even your life, but it isn’t easy to decide what is necessary and what is overkill. So, here is a quick rundown of the safety features:
Steel Toe: If you work in the lumber, carpentry, construction industries, or any job in which heavy materials could fall on your foot, steel toe shoes are a must.
Composite Toe: Composite safety toes are made of carbon fiber, plastic, or Kevlar, and are especially suited for those who work outdoors.
The insole, midsole, shank, puncture plate, and outsole all contribute to sturdy support in a work shoe. The insole plays the biggest part in preventing blistering and other discomforts, so make sure you’re buying shoes with high-quality insoles.
Comfort, fit, and flexibility
If you spend long days on your feet, you need comfortable work boots. When you are trying on the shoes, make sure they fit properly. If you already feel pinching or hot spots in the store, it will only get worse over time. Work is hard enough without the distraction of sore feet.
One other consideration: Leather gives boots their flexibility, and it conforms to your feet after repeated use. Don’t take a chance on any other material.
Insulation and waterproofing
If you spend most of your workdays outdoors, you’ll want to make sure your feet are warm and dry. Insulated work boots will make working in the coldest temperature bearable for your toes. And waterproof work boots will save your feet from moisture and the bacteria that is attracted to it.
Slips and falls pose a significant hazard in certain jobs, and quality work boots with an excellent grip can help to prevent many of them. High-performance rubber outsoles make it easier to grip a ladder and stop quickly.
Thermo Poly Urethane (TPU) outsoles are abrasion, oil, and chemical resistant. TPU is lightweight and designed to withstand more wear and tear than other rubber outsoles. These outsoles are highly recommended for those working in the oil and chemical industries.
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