Feet First: choosing the right work boot for you

Work Boots

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.

We put safety first

We carry a wide range of footwear designed to keep you safe, no matter what you need: puncture-resistant, electrical or chemical-hazard. Head over to our online store to find the shoe that fits.

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How do I make sure to get the right size?

To measure your feet:

  1. Get a blank piece of paper, a pencil and a tape measure.
  2. Stand with one foot on the piece of paper, and have most of your weight on your foot to simulate walking.
  3. Holding the pencil perfectly vertical and perpendicular to the paper, mark a line at the back of your heel and at the tip of your longest toe. Also mark a line along each side of the widest part of your foot.
  4. Measure length and width to the nearest 16th inch and subtract .20 to .25 inches, or .50 centimetres, to account for the width of the pencil.
  5. Find your corresponding size in the charts below.

A couple of tips to get the perfect fit:

  • Measure your feet later in the day as feet normally swell and can become up to half a size bigger in the evening.
  • Measure both feet and use the measurements of the biggest foot. Many people have feet that are different sizes.
  • Wear the same type of socks you will generally be wearing on the job when you measure your feet.

Here are some general guidelines to assess fit once you’ve received your new boots:

  • Try on new boots towards the end of the day.
  • Walk around in a clean environment for a couple of hours to make sure the boots are comfortable.
  • Try boots on both feet, as many people have feet that are different sizes.
  • Boots should fit snugly around the heel and ankle when laced.
  • The inner side of the boot should be straight from the heel to the end of the big toe.
  • The boot should grip the heel firmly.

Measuring apparel for proper fit

Size X-Small Small Medium Large X-Large 2X-Large 3X-Large
Neck - Inches 13-13.5 14-14.5 15-15.5 16-16.5 17-17.5 18-18.5 19-19.5
Neck - Centimetres 33-35 36-37 38-39 41-42 43-44 45-47 48-50
Chest - Inches 30-32 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 50-52 54-56
Chest - Centimetres 76-81 86-91 97-102 107-112 117-122 127-132 137-147
Waist - Inches 27-28 29-31 32-34 36-38 40-42 44-46 48-50
Waist - Centimetres 68-71 73-78 81-83 91-96 101-106 111-116 121-127

Hint: For the most accurate results, measure yourself in your undergarments.

  • Neck: Measure around the base of your neck, inserting your forefinger between the tape and your neck to allow ease in fit.
  • Chest: Measure around the fullest part of your chest, keeping tape firmly under your armpits and around your shoulder blades.
  • Waist: Measure around your waist, slightly below your natural waist, where you normally wear your pants. Insert your forefinger between the tape and your body to allow ease in fit.
  • Sleeve length: Bend your arm slightly. Measure from centre back neck, across your shoulder, down to your elbow, down to your wrist.
  • Hip: Measure around the fullest part of your hips, inserting your forefinger between the tape and your hip to allow ease in fit.
  • Inseam: Measure a similar pant that fits you well. Measure along the inseam, from the crotch seam to the bottom of the hem.

Between sizes?

If your measurements are in between those listed in the size chart, pick the next larger size.