If you work in a profession such as construction, manufacturing, or logging, you know the importance of a good pair of work boots. It’s part of your uniform.
If you’re buying a new pair of work boots, you may wonder how tight or loose they should fit. How your boots fit is one of the most important things to consider when buying work boots. Boots that are too loose will not provide adequate support for your feet and ankles, while boots that are too tight can lead to several foot problems, most notably plantar fasciitis and blisters.
So, how loose or tight should work boots be? Although there’s no exact answer to this question, the answer falls somewhere in the middle. Work boots should feel secure overall, with a little breathing room.
In this article, we’ll discuss how tight or loose work boots should be to ensure you remain comfortable and safe at the work site.
A properly fitting pair of work boots is imperative to protect your feet, ankles, and lower back from injury. People who wear work boots are often on their feet for several hours a day, and, if they work outside as lineman, loggers, or ranchers, they may have to navigate uneven, rocky, and hilly terrain.
Because of this, it’s important to ensure your work boots have ample cushioning and support. Whether you’re working on concrete, dirt, mud, or uneven surfaces, work boots should provide adequate security, traction, and protection for every step you take. However, if they fit too snug, painful blisters can form from repeated rubbing against the surface.
A lack of cushioning and support, meanwhile, can cause several foot problems, including heel spur issues, microfractures in the bones of your foot, and plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue that runs on the bottom of your foot, connecting your toes to the heel bone. Plantar fasciitis is often caused by repeated pressure on the arch of your foot, typically caused by being on your feet for extended periods.
Another sign your work boots are too loose is if your feet move too much inside them. This can create unsure or unsafe footing when you step.
Work boots should fit securely but not too tight. Find the happy medium between having your feet secured in the boots while ensuring they’re comfortable since you’ll be wearing them every day, sometimes for 8 to 10 hours at a time.
How to Find a Pair of Work Boots That Aren’t Too Loose or Tight?
When shopping for a properly-fitting pair of work boots, sometimes you just need to go with your gut. Find a pair of boots that provides some resistance, but at the same time, not too much.
When you try on work boots, wear a pair of socks that you will wear with your work boots while working. Most workers wear thicker socks to provide their feet and ankles with extra support. If you wear a pair of thin socks when trying on a pair of work boots, they might feel too tight when you wear a pair of thicker work socks with the boots for the first time while on the job.
When trying on boots, lace them up tightly and walk around the store. You may even consider jumping or running in them. Always try on both boots.
A few points to consider when finding the right fitting pair of work boots include:
Do Your Feet Slide or Move?
Make sure your feet are secure in the boots and don’t slide when you take a step. If your feet slide or move too much, they’re too loose. Although a little bit of movement is OK, any significant movement is a sign you need a tighter pair.
How Much Room Do Your Toes Have?
If they feel too scrunched, then the boots are too tight, which can lead to painful blisters, bunions, pinched toes, and other foot injuries – not to mention poor comfort. Too much toe movement may mean the boots are too loose, though. A good rule of thumb is to give your toes about an inch of room in front of them.
What About the Sides of Your Feet?
The same logic applies here. Finding that happy medium where your boots don’t feel too tight or too loose will provide you with a pair that is both comfortable and secure. Ensure that the sides of your feet do not feel any excessive pressure.
How Does the Heel Feel?
Your heels should feel snug and supported without them feeling too cramped or being chafed. When you walk, the heels shouldn’t lift up.
Are the Ankles Supported?
Don’t forget about your ankles. You need them to be comfortable, too, especially when you’re doing your job. A simple trick is to stand on the sides of your feet to see how much ankle support the boots offer. Also, slowly roll your ankles in your boots to ensure they are secured but aren’t constricted.
Can Tight Boots Damage Your Feet?
Tightly fitting work boots are not only extremely uncomfortable, but they can damage your feet and cause painful injuries. Some of the most common problems associated with wearing tight boots include: