If you are an ironworker, plumber, or construction worker, you have to wear steel toe boots every day. The shoes are tough and heavy, and many people complain about fatigue at the end of the day.
Due to the issues that come with the shoes, you must be wondering whether wearing steel toe boots every day will wreck your feet.
Wearing steel toe boots every day will wreck your feet when you wear the wrong shoes. These are cheap and of poor quality. Ill-fitting shoes can also be counted as wrong work shoes.
You also will be wearing the wrong shoe if the shoe is of the wrong size. According to Dr. Neal Blitz, a foot surgeon in New York, when you wear a shoe that is too big, your foot doesn’t bend at the shoe’s breakpoint where it’s meant to, and the arch support will also be at the wrong place.
This leads to flat feet, inflammation, and plantar fasciitis.
So for you to be comfortable wearing steel toe boots the entire day, you need to buy high-quality shoes. They also need to have a proper fit.
What should you consider when buying comfortable, steel toe work boots?
This is crucial as you will be wearing the shoes every day. As a rule of thumb, avoid shoes that are too narrow or short. You also should avoid boots that are too big as they will trigger blisters and hot spots, especially if you have to be on your feet the entire day.
We are going to discuss more about finding fitting work boots below, so keep reading.
When you are in the store, both cheap and premium work boots might look the same, but after wearing steel toe boots for years, I can tell you that they are like night and day both on comfort and durability.
To get the most from the work boots, buy those made from high-quality material such as leather or good textile linings. You also should ensure the work boot has good stitching.
You also should pay attention to the boot construction. Stitch down and welted boots are built to last, and you can restore them as many times as you want. You can also resole direct or cement constructed boots.
If working with concrete or in areas that are hard on the soles of the shoes, go for shoes that allow you to resole the shoe easily.
Regardless of your working conditions, the last thing you want are boots that allow water in. If you are plumber, construction worker, or working during the rainy season, you should be ultra-cautious about the waterproofing abilities of the work shoe.
Since you will be in your shoes the entire day, you want shoes that allow in the air regardless of whether you are working indoors or outdoors. Poorly insulates shoes tend to be too hot, especially when working during the summer.
To prevent your feet from sweating and being uncomfortable, go for those with Thinsulate or shearling insulation. Do you struggle with sweaty feet? Try out shoes for sweaty feet.
The height you should go for depends on where you will be working. Longer boots are often bulky and uncomfortable, but you should wear them when working in the deep woods. If not working in these areas, you will be better off with shorter work shoes.
You will be wearing the shoes every day so you should go for the best quality, light work boots. Decades ago, people associated heavier boots with better support and comfort, but this is no longer the case.
Nowadays, many companies are making top quality light work boots with better arch support.
You must pay attention to the work boot style. Work shoes come in plenty of styles that include: contemporary hiker styles, traditional moc-toe style, or ironworker style.
The style you go for depends on your preferences or work requirements. If working for a company, the company will advise you on the allowed style.
How should steel toe work boots fit?
As someone that will be wearing steel toe boots every day, the fit of the work shoe is vital. When you are in the store, take your time and ensure that the shoe gives you the perfect fit. Some of the things you should look out for to have the right fit include:
You need to pay attention to two lengths: the length of the boot itself in regards to where the toe sits and the length of the shaft and quarter.
It’s normal for a steel toe boot to feel short due to the steel toe at the toe cap. Many people will tell you that you should buy a boot that is half a size larger if the toes feel tight at first, but don’t rush to doing it. Remember that with time, it’s normal for steel toe boots to widen due to the stretching of the leather.
Work with the seller and buy a shoe that will be fitting and comfortable for years to come.
When it comes to shaft length, it’s all about a matter of personal preference. Choose the length that works for your work.
The flex point of the work boot should adequately line up with your foot. When you walk, the shoes bend around the toes, creating creases or lines, especially in older footwear. This is the flexpoint, and if it’s misaligned, you will be uncomfortable when working.
When you are walking, you shouldn’t raise the heel from the sole. With an ill-fitting shoe, the heel will rub against the back of the boot, causing blisters. You can also easily tip over your own feet when working.
To avoid injury and ensure you are comfortable, you must have heard that you should have enough room in the toebox. While this is true, there is no defined size of the room that you should have.
One of the mistakes you can make is to go for a work shoe with a small toe box as it will rub your feet and cause calluses. As long as the toe box is large enough that your feet aren’t under a lot of stress, you are good to go.
The type of your foot hugely influences the right arch. Do you have a flat foot or high arch foot? If you have a flat foot, you should go for a boot with some arch support. If your foot has a well-maintained arch, you don’t have to bother with a boot with arch support.
If you don’t know your foot type, step on a brown paper bag with wet feet. If the footprint is flat from the heel to toes, you have flat feet. If the arch and the inner sole don’t leave a mark, you have a good arch.
If you have flat feet and your favorite boots don’t have arch support, you should get yourself orthotic soles that will provide you with the much-needed support.
Tips on how to get the most from your work boots
One of the primary reasons people complain about uncomfortable work boots is due to poorly maintained shoes. Luckily, there are several things you can do to keep your boots in top shape. Some of these things include:
Rotate the shoes
You can’t have just one pair of work boots. In addition to the one pair wearing out fast, it also tends to smell. You also will be bored by the shoe fast.
To avoid this, have at least two pairs. This way, you can alternate the boots. This way, the shoes will last for a long time. You also will be giving them enough time to dry completely between uses. As a result, you are comfortable and productive in your work.
To enjoy wearing shoes, buy work boots with different designs, preferably from different companies.
Keep the boots clean
Once you are back from work, clean the shoes using a stiff brush. If there is mud, don’t let it sit on the shoes overnight. Remove it immediately. Use a stiff brush and take care you don’t get the boots wet. If working in salty areas, get rid of salt using vinegar and water.
Dry the shoes
After cleaning the shoes, let them air dry by themselves. To avoid damage, avoid drying the boots with excessive heat. For speed drying, remove the insoles.
In the event the boots get soaked as you are cleaning them, fill them with wads of a newspaper that will draw out as much moisture as possible.
Use good quality conditioners
For the leather to stay healthy, you need to keep it conditioned. Before you apply the conditioner, ensure the boots are clean and dry. There are plenty of products you can use. You can use oil-based treatments such as Mink Oil, SnoSeal, Redwing Boot Oil to soften the leather.
If working in wet areas, use Silicone or PTFE treatments such as Graingers or Nikwax to waterproof the shoes without softening the leather.
You can wear steel toe boots every day without damaging your feet, but you have to buy good quality work shoes.
For you to be comfortable when you have to be in your boots the entire day, ensure that the shoe has strong arch support. This way, you don’t have to worry about pain in the hips, knees, and back. T
he arch support gives you a stable foundation that ensures you are comfortable and productive in your work.