With so many choices available, it’s hard to know what the best boot or shoe is for you. We’re here to help.
Comfort is key
Your boots have to be comfortable. If they don’t feel good, it won’t matter how protective they are if you don’t want to wear them. Most people’s feet swell as the day wears on – when trying on footwear try to do it around mid-day or later. Spend time walking around in them while you are in the store, and make sure there’s wiggle room, especially with a steel-toe.
Indoors or outdoors?
A good rule of thumb (or is that toe?) is if you’ll be primarily working indoors, a softer sole and close-packed tread is best, and a broader tread with a firmer sole is better for outdoors. If you’re working in wet conditions you’ll want to look for waterproof and slip-resistant features.
Cold weather wear
If you’ll be outdoors in the winter months, or work in a cold environment, ensure your footwear is properly insulated to protect against the cold. In particular, look to see if the sole has insulation or if the boots come with a propylene liner. Wear wool socks to keep your feet warm and dry.
Steel toe or no?
Steel-toe boots are great for protection against impact or compression events like falling objects or crushing from heavy objects. Protective caps can also be made from non-metallic composites that are just as safe and durable.
Metatarsal shoes do the same thing that toe caps do, except they protect the top of your foot from drop hazards, so they’re perfect for jobs or activities that involve heavy lifting.