By Jayden Mark
Since the inception of the first work boot, we have come a long way towards achieving a truly injury free working environment. Industries from all over the world can now comfortably say that the rate of worker injury and accidents have drastically reduced. However, there is one minor issue that we cannot afford to overlook. And that is comfort. Even with your favorite pair of steel toe work boots on, comfort levels tend to be a tad unsatisfactory. We all agree that today’s leading manufacturers have made all attempts to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible.
But then again, a work boot is still a work boot; built for rough conditions and harsh, unforgiving environments. You just can’t expect a heavy duty, steel toe work boot with a robust metatarsal guard to be as comfortable as a pair of loafers or sneakers now, can you? Your job requires you to wear a steel toe boot at all times. So, how can you ensure that the relationship between your steel toe and your foot is very healthy and conducive? Here are a couple of quick tips on how to make your steel toe work boots more comfortable.
Buy a Quality Steel Toe Work Boot
One of the gravest mistakes that people make is to go for cheap, substandard steel toes that barely have a name in the industry. Even if you just need a pair of steel toes for a few hours or a couple of times a month, poor quality should never be an option. But if you wear work boots for about 5 to 12 hours every single day, then you really can’t afford to compromise on your safety. If you want a great safety boot, you should be prepared to pay over $100 for a well recognized brand. Trust me; you won’t be thinking about the $40 you saved when a concrete slab comes crashing down on your cheap ass boot and breaking your foot in half.
Make Sure the Steel Toe Boot is Long and Broad Enough
Another classic mistake that workers from all sorts of occupations make is to purchase the same size work boot as they would a standard shoe. You have to remember that a safety boot is crammed with a thick steel toe cap and a puncture resistant steel shank at the bottom. If you buy a steel toe boot at your normal measurement, the chances are that you will end up with a shoe that is too short and too narrow.
For the length, try going a full size higher to prevent your foot from being crammed and rubbed the wrong way. Blisters on your heels are a sign that your boot needs to be longer. For the width, this can be a little tricky for most. Since steel toe caps tend to be thicker, getting a broad toe boot is always preferable. In fact, the entire shoe should be a size wider to ensure that you have enough wiggle room around the toe area. The fit will be crucial to your comfort and performance as well.
Wear the Proper Socks
Oh yeah, I bet you didn’t see that one coming. Like most workers, you probably grab the cleanest (or closest) pair of socks you can find and dash off to work. What you don’t realize is that a good pair of socks that are designed for steel toe boots can actually make all the difference in the world. You could be wearing a brand new pair of $500 luxury work boots, but without the right socks to match, they will feel like a cheap pair of old sneakers. Don’t be too scared of shelling out even $20 for that perfect pair of work socks. Socks made for steel toe boots can be identified by their extra thick padding that is built into the toe and heel area to provide additional cushioning and a snug fit. Trust me on this, once you find that ideal pair of socks, you’re never going back to thrift socks.
Use After Market Insoles
In our previous articles, we already established that each and every person has different types of feet. Others have particular conditions that make it that much more difficult to wear normal shoes. Since you are mandated to wear your steel toe work boots every day, the only other option you have is buying after market insoles to customize your boots. Aftermarket insoles provide you with all the superior comfort and support you need to wear your steel toe boots confidently. If you are particularly choosy about the type of insoles you wear, you need to ensure that you buy steel toe boots with removable insoles. This way, you can incorporate your favorite pair of insoles with your premium, custom aftermarket insoles. A decent pair runs for about $20 – anything below that is a waste of time, money and precious comfort.
There are literally a thousand other ways that you can use to ensure your feet feel comfortable in tough, steel toe work boots. However, it is highly imperative to ensure that you also observe care and maintenance practices every single day. Keeping your boot well cleaned and in tip top shape will ensure that it provides you with years of consistent service as well as extremely high levels of comfort. By following these tips and many more out there, you can actively make your work boots comfortable and extend their longevity too.