Tips On How To Make Steel Toe Boots More Comfortable
One of the most common concerns with construction workers wearing steel toe boots is that the shoes are uncomfortable, especially when they have to be on their feet the entire day.
While the shoes are tough, they don’t need to be uncomfortable.
To help you out, here are some of the tips you can use to make steel toe boots more comfortable the entire working day:
Buy a fitting work boot
This is the first step as there is no way you can be comfortable when you wear a work boot of the wrong size. You should avoid steel toe work boots that are too narrow as they will be uncomfortable.
At the same time, you should avoid huge boots as they will trigger too many movements resulting in hot spots and blisters.
When making the purchase remember that the steel toe boots have a thick steel toe cap and steel shank that is puncture resistant at the bottom.
This means that when you order boots at your regular measurements, you will end up with safety shoes that are too short or too narrow.
To avoid this, order boots that are a little bit larger than the ones you regularly wear. If buying the work shoes at a physical store, ensure that you try and walk in them in the store.
If you notice any issue, don’t buy the boots as they will be problematic later on.
When it comes to length, go for full size higher boots as they will prevent your feet from being crammed or rubbed the wrong way.
Break in the steel toe boots
The reason why your shoes are uncomfortable at the job site is that you haven’t broken them in. Most workers make the mistake of buying the shoes and wearing them straight to work. This is wrong!
Before you wear the boots the entire day, wear them a few more times at home. You should start by wearing them a few minutes to an hour every day so that they can get used to the stretch.
Your feet also get used to the material used in making the footwear.
Ways of breaking in the work boots
There are many ways that you can use to break in the boots. Some of these ways include:
Cold water treatment: As you might have guessed, you need cold water to do it. You should pour cold water into a Ziploc bag and seal it. You should then place the bag inside the boots and place them in the freezer overnight.
The water will turn to ice, expand, and stretch the boot. In the morning, you should remove the boot from the freezer and allow the ice to melt before you remove it.
The stick method: To stretch the boot using this method you need to insert a broom or mop stick into the work boot. You should point the stick towards the area where the boot pinches.
You should then firmly bend the boot over the stick so that the leather stretches at the affected area. To tell whether the boot has been stretched, you should see a slight outward discolouration. When bending the boot, avoid overdoing it as you risk tearing the safety shoe.
The oil method: The oily process requires you to use Mink oil or any other leather conditioner to coat the outside of the work boot.
You should focus on the pinching area. After applying the oil, leave the boot overnight. The oil works by softening the boot; thus you have a comfortable shoe to wear.
Hot water method: This method is common in the military. To break in your shoe, you need to immerse the work boot into a bucket of warm water and let it sit there for about 30 minutes. Once the shoe has been saturated, get rid of the excess water and wear the boots for about an hour.
To give the shoe the full stretch, you should wear the boot with socks. Remember to waterproof the work boots to protect them from getting damaged. You can also buy waterproof work boots.
Tips to consider when breaking into the work boots
- To have an easy time breaking in the shoes, you should buy fitting shoes. Refer to the above tips to buy the right units.
- You should always buy the boots a week or so before you need them. This is to give you enough time to break them in.
- If you are suffering from feet problems such as long nails, in-grown toenails, or other issues you should avoid breaking the boots as you risk hurting yourself.
- While the above work boot break-in methods give you results in one day, you should aim at gradually breaking in the shoes (you should do it for at least a week). This way you don’t risk damaging the shoes. As rule of thumb, you should never heat your boots directly—they can catch fire, for heaven’s sake!
Wear steel toe socks
Due to the steel cap at the toe area, many workers complain that they are uncomfortable when working. If you are having some pain, you should consider investing in good quality steel toe socks.
These are units that feature extra padding in the toe area thus providing you with enough cushion that ensures that you are comfortable the entire day.
Thick socks prevent your feet from contacting the boots; thus you don’t have to worry about blisters. there are plenty of these socks on the marketthat you can go for. Some of the best ones include:
Fruit Of The Loom Men’s 6 Pack Heavy Duty Reinforced Crew Socks
The socks are heavy duty and designed to go with your favourite pair of work boots. To ensure that you are comfortable when working, the socks are made from a soft blend of cotton and polyester yarn. The units also feature a durable cushioning that provides you with a softer landing.
The socks also have spandex that is knitted throughout. This should give you peace of mind that the units will mould perfectly to your feet giving you a comfortable and streamlined fit.
To fight the odors that might result from wearing the shoes for a long time, the boots have antimicrobial properties in the sock yarn that neutralizes the toughest odors thus ensuring that your socks stay fresh the entire day.
The last thing you want is buying the socks, and they wear out after only a short time. Not with these. These socks have a reinforced sole that doesn’t get damaged easily.
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Carhartt Men’s 2 Pack All-Season Steel-Toe Sock
They are known as the working man’s socks. They are not only made by a reputable company; they are also made in America thus you can have peace of mind as they are of high quality. The socks are made from premium, soft cotton that provides you with breathable comfort.
The entire sock is cushioned for the padded protection that you are looking for at the work site. The engineered arch support provides you with a secure fit which enhances your comfort.
For the shoes to reduce the chances of blistering when working, they are made from abrasion resistant fibres. This comes in handy when you are wearing your new steel toe work boot that you are trying to break in.
Sweating at the work site is common. These steel toe socks are made in a rugged style that fights the odors resulting from the sweat thus keeping your boots smelling fresh the entire day.
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Working Person’s 8766 White 4-Pack Steel Toe Crew Socks – Made In The USA
Just like the Carhartt work socks, these too are made in the USA thus you can be sure that they will not only give you the comfort that you are looking for, they also will last for a long time. When you buy the socks, you get 4 pairs that you can alternate.
Many people associate the white color with weakness but not with these bad boys. The units feature an extra thick padded heel and toe that is tough and provides you with the comfort you need when working. The padding also plays a vital role when it comes to the durability.
The socks are made from a blend of cotton, spandex, and nylon. These materials that not only ensure that the boots are comfortable and long-lasting, they also make it easy for you to clean them. For your information, the socks are machine washable thus you don’t have to struggle washing them with your hands.
For the socks to fight odor, they are made using odor-fighting technology; thus you don’t have to worry about struggling with a strong unpleasant smell when working.
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Since the boots have a tough bottom, the regular insoles that they come with can sometimes be too small; thus making you uncomfortable. If the current boots are uncomfortable to wear, consider installing premium steel toe insoles.
All you need to do is head to your local store and make the purchase. For ideal results, ensure that the new units have excellent arch support. Insoles with perfect backing even out the pressure in your foot eliminating any form of pain that you might be experiencing.
Some of the insole options that you have include:
Dr. Scholl’s Comfort and Energy Work Insoles
These bad boys are designed for people who work on hard surfaces such as on concrete and other areas that require you to stand thus experiencing a lot of discomfort and fatigue in both your legs and feet.
The unique thing about the insoles is that they are designed using massaging gel technology and extra cushioning that absorbs the shock thus keeping your comfortable.
When on your feet the entire day, the most affected part is the arch area. These units provide you with contoured support to these areas which increases your comfort levels.
The cool thing is that these insoles fit all types of work boots. You only need to trim them to the shoe size.
How to use the insoles
If your current insoles are removable, you should remove them and place the new insoles in place. If they are too big, you should trim them along the outline. Once you are done, you should insert them into the shoe (with the shoe gel-side facing down.).
To get the most from the insoles, you should replace them every six months, or at the first signs of wear.
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Timberland PRO Men’s Anti-Fatigue Technology Replacement Insole
The units feature a unique anti-fatigue technology that takes advantage of the inverted cone design that helps the insole to absorb the shock from your feet and return energy to the key zones of your foot. This comes in handy in maximizing support and reducing fatigue when working.
The insole is also contoured which ensures that you have maximum support at the key pressure points and impact zones such as the heel and ball of the foot.
The units also feature an ortholite top layer that provides you with premium comfort and moisture management that keeps you comfortable the entire day.
The outlast top cover, on the other hand, provides you with temperature regulation and antimicrobial odor control.
The unique and dynamic arch design adapts to all shapes of feet; thus you don’t have to worry that you will buy the units and they won’t provide you with the comfort that you are looking for.
Since they are made from synthetic materials, you should replace them every six months, or when you notice them starting to wear out.
When placing the new insoles, you can remove the old ones or put them together. It all depends on the comfort levels you are looking for.
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Take good care of the safety boot
There is no way you will be comfortable if your work boot is improperly maintained. To be comfortable when wearing the work shoe, take good care of it.
One of the things you should do is to clean the steel-toed boots regularly. You should make it a habit to remove any mud on the shoes as soon as you are from work. If you are working in a salty area, use mild water and vinegar to get rid of the corrosive salt.
Another thing you should do is to condition the boots. In addition to the conditioner maintaining the elegant look of the work boots, it also ensures that the leather lasts for a long time.
The cool thing is that there are many conditioners on the market that you can go for. You only need to choose the one that is ideal for your boots.
Apply a bandage
If you are wearing the socks and you are still feeling some pain when you wear the work boots, you should consider wrapping a bandage around your foot. The bandage functions as additional cushion thus you are comfortable when working.
As you can see, there is no reason to be uncomfortable when wearing steel toe work boots. In addition to the above tips, also consider rotating your safety shoes.
This calls for you to avoid wearing the same work shoe over and over. You should have two or more pairs that you alternate. This way you not only look good and comfortable, but you also ensure that the work boot lasts for a long time.