By Jayden Mark
It can be frustrating when choosing which work boot style to choose. We can choose between a pull-on, slip-on, or a lace-up work boot. No work boot style is superior to the other when considering job type safety, work environment, and personal preferences. We do think it is essential to understand the differences and select the best type of work boot based on our specific needs.
So, when selecting a good work boot, all three designs are essential to consider, and knowing their differences will make choosing the right work boot easier. Please read further for helpful suggestions on determining the best work boot for you.
What are the Differences Between Slip-On, Pull-On, and Lace-up Work Boots?
To understand what work boots may be best for us is to understand the differences between work boots and why one style may be better for our work environment than another.
What are Slip-on Work Boots?
As the name implies, slip-on work boots easily slip on for ease of use. They typically are slightly larger than lace-up boots for ease of slipping and may have additional room in the shaft and tee box due to the slip-on design. Slip-on boots come in various styles depending on the job site safety requirements. For example, some may have composite toes while others may have steel toes for more hazardous working conditions.
The slip-on work boot is known for its ability to slip on or take off quickly. In addition, these work boots usually differentiate themselves from pull-on work boots due to the neck of the boot. The slip-on boot is a low-neck boot fitting around the ankle and is perfect for specific work environments, while the pull-on boot functions similar to slip-on boots but is usually a mid-calf work boot. And, of course, the lace-up work boot requires tying or untying laces for putting the boot on or taking off.
What are Pull-on Work Boots?
As you would expect, these boots do not have laces, are designed to be easy to wear and remove in a short amount of time, and are mid-calf with an 8-inch shaft. These boots are favorites on oil rigs where oil rig workers may need to pull on or off their work boots often.
The pull-on boot is designed to have the proper fit and is in the right shape to hold the foot securely, and may have a steel toe box when required for the work environment. Depending on the work hazards and environments, the pull-on work boot provides a comfortable fit with a durable and rugged design.
What are Lace-up Work Boots?
Lace-up work boots offer superior fit and ankle protection due to using adjustable boot laces to secure the boot. This boot style is favored by construction workers, steel workers, electricians, and in work environments with hazardous debris or requires a lot of climbing, especially on ladders. By adjusting the fit and snugness of the boot, the lace-up boot is the most effective work boot for protecting the ankle, which is very important in work environments with a lot of debris on the work floor to navigate around.
Due to the snug fit, the lace-up work boot tends to be comfortable to wear all day and can prevent rubbing blisters on the feet in the workplace that may require a lot of walking, especially on concrete floors. In addition, in particularly hazardous environments, such as working in electrical, welding, or heavy manufacturing, the lace-up boot may provide a superior fit for safety and reinforced foot protection. Interestingly, it is essential to ensure that tie lace-up boots are properly laced. Lacing your work boots the right way will ensure you will have comfort and safety in the work environment and, as a bonus, not require re-lacing during the day to keep tight. Also, loose laces can be a safety hazard by accidentally tripping on the laces or the laces becoming entangled in machinery.
How to Choose the Right Work Boot for the Work Place?
Now that we better understand the differences between work boots, how do we select the right boot for our work environment? There are several factors to consider for the right work boot depending on the workplace environment and preferences.
In work environments where there may be requirements for removing the work boot often during the day, quickly slipping the work boot off and back on is a huge consideration. In this scenario, a slip-on or pull-on work boot is much easier and more comfortable to wear throughout the day and is the obvious choice. However, note that slip-on and pull-on workboots are better suited for light-duty work. Some of the work environments better suited to slip-on or pull-on work boots are:
Lace-up work boots are better suited for :
Safety and Protection
Along with comfort, work boots are designed for the protection of your feet and vary depending on workplace safety requirements. As a result, some work boots that are perfect in one work environment may not be the best choice in a different work environment. Some safety features to consider when selecting the right work boot for your particular workplace are:
Slip-on and pull-on work boots safety features :
Lace-up work boots' safety features :
Top-Rated Slip-On, Pull-on and Lace-up Work Boots
We hope by now you have discovered there is no wrong choice, but more of what is the best choice for your particular work environment. These are some of the highest-rated work boots available today.
Slip-on/Pull-on Work Boots
Lace-up Work Boots
Men's Work Boots
Women's Work Boots
If the workplace has the potential for a foot injury, selecting the correct protective footwear is crucial. These considerations include:
For more detailed answers, refer to the OSH Answers section for Foot Comfort and Safety at Work for additional protective footwear recommendations.