Purchasing the best work boot for your needs is an important decision that can affect your safety and even your job performance. Poorly made work boots can result in severe injuries at worst, and at best can cause discomfort. Nobody likes to be in pain, and when you are putting in a hard days work the last thing you need is for your feet to hurt. Great boots are like great tools. You get what you pay for. A good pair of steel toe work boots is one of the best investments you can make in yourself.
Two crucial questions to ask yourself before purchasing a pair of steel-toed boots are “What” and “Where”?
What Are You Going To Be Using Them For?
If you are a hobbyist who is going to be building a deck and needs a solid pair of work boots to keep your toes protected you are going to need a different boot than someone who is around heavy machinery all day. If steel-toed work boots are a requirement at your workplace or industry you should take the time to find out the exact specifications before you shop, so you know what you are looking for.
Where Are You Wearing Your Boots?
If you spend most of your time on outdoor job sites, the type of boot you get will directly correlate to your location. In warm climates, you don’t need extra warm liners, or cold weather rated boots. You will want something lightweight and breathable but still able to protect your feet.
In the North, however, You should think about how cold it’s going to get out on the job site. Cold feet are no picnic, and neither are feet that are soaking wet. For climates that get a lot of precipitation, a water-proof style and a boot with adequate insulation are both equally important.
If you live in a region where the weather fluctuates from season to season, It’s a good idea to have two pair of work boots, one for warmer weather and one for cool.
Of course, if you work indoors, the climate is not going to be such a factor. But your work environment will be. Hard concrete floors are hard on feet, so shock absorption in a boot is something you will want as well as ankle support.
Some Important Components Of Workboots
Outsoles are an essential part of the boot, and they absolutely must be slip-resistant. Some workplaces require specific materials, so you should check with your HR department to find out the specs before you make your purchasing decision. The outsole is the bottom of the boot. Commonly, this made of rubber, which is generally oil-and slip-resistant. Polyurethane outsoles resist abrasion and are very long lasting. They are also typically chemical resistant, they resist splitting and are a bit more lightweight than rubber outsoles.
Midsoles are made to provide stability in the boot and to help disperse weight. A lot of work boots you see on the market advertise an EVA midsole. EVA stands for “ethylene vinyl acetate.” It is a lightweight and flexible foam type material that provides cushioning.
If you need steel-toed boots to perform your job, chances are your workplace is prone to hazards and injuries, so you want to make sure you get the right boot for the job. You should check with your HR department or employer to find out what type of boots they recommend or require. Steel toed boots are ASTM rated so you will want to make sure that you are purchasing the correct safety toe based on your working environment. For more information, you can read about ASTM ratings for protective footwear at occupational health and safety online.
Another term you will come across while boot shopping is Goodyear® Welt Construction.
What This means is that the upper and inner sole is stitched together with a leather strip called a ‘welt.’ Then, the sole is stitched through the welt. Not only does this make the boot more durable, but it allows boots to be resoled to extend their usefulness.
Let’s Review Ten Top Choices For Steel Toe Boots In 2018.
These lightweight work boots by KEEN feature patented asymmetrical toe protection designed to keep your toes safe and comfortable on both the left and the right sides. Ideal for a variety of job sites, they are breathable but waterproof. A natural, snug fit in the heal mimics the feel of hiking boots while the larger toe box allows your toes to spread out naturally so they avoid cramping up. They have waterproof leather uppers, rubber soles, and an oil and slip-resistant non-marking outsole. Reflective webbing is built in for added safety and visibility.
Weight: 3 lbs.
Color(s): Brindle/Slate Black/Gargoyle-Bossa Nova
The Wolverine Floorhand has a durable steel toe that meets ASTM standard construction. It is 100 percent leather with a synthetic sole and features lightweight cement construction. A slip-resistant rubber lug outsole helps you to keep your footing in slippery situations safely. The full-grain leather upper is waterproof so your feet will stay dry. The footbed is fully-cushioned, and moisture-wicking mesh lining helps keep your feet comfortable.
Weight: 1.76 lbs.
The Cat 2nd Shift is a staple work boot at job sites everywhere. These boots have a full grain leather upper that features Climasphere sock liners and Goodyear welt construction. The slip-resistant rubber outsole will keep you on safe footing at all times. They have a padded ankle and an oil resistant outsole.
Weight: 2 lbs
The KEEN Utility Detroit are over-the-ankle work boots lined with hydrophobic/hydrophilic material for extra breathability. They are made from waterproof nubuck, and a waterproof, padded, topline provides excellent ankle stability for a good snug fit. The footbed is specially designed with comfort for your toes in mind. These boots offer ASTM-rated protection from electrical hazards, and their anatomic design has a left and right shape that works to safeguard against crush injuries. A non-slip rubber outsole prevents slipping.
Weight :3.2 lbs
Color(s): Black Olive/Brindle
These versatile boots from Carhartt offer superior electrical protection against contact with circuits of 18,000 volts or less under dry conditions. They meet ASTM Standards I2413-11 EH Carhartt take safety seriously, and these boots were created to be slip-resistant, heat-resistant chemical resistant, abrasion resistant, and oil resistant. They are constructed of brown oil tanned leather, Goodyear welt construction rubber outsoles, and a PU Strobel pad with PU cushion insoles for comfort. FastDry Technology keeps your feet comfortable and dry on the job.
Weight: 2.19 lbs
Color(s): Dark Bison Oil Tanned
These tall, Steel-Toed, Muckboots are perfect for outdoor chores. Constructed out of 5 mm neoprene, they provide flexibility. Comfort and superior waterproofing. The adjust to the contours of your feet to prevent chafing and blisters. In addition to their shock absorbing and heat retention properties, they have an EVA midsole for cushioning. Their sturdy outsole offers excellent traction on slippery surfaces.
Weight: 7 pounds
These wellingtons from Carhartt are made from oiled and tanned leather, with a durable 11-inch long upper that gives maximum protection and coverage in dirty work environments. abrasion-resistant Cordura is combined with the leather for extra durability. Direct attach construction providing these boots with a flexible fit. They are shock-absorbing and oil and slip-resistant due to their Dual-density polyurethane outsoles. Ortholite insoles offer plenty of cushioning to keep your feet comfortable. They are also chemical-resistant.
Weight: 2 lbs.
These classic Doc Martinis are extra wide and feature durable construction, safety protection, and a high-quality outsole. The upper is constructed of Industrial-grade leather. They have a Padded tongue and a padded collar. Their sock liners and interior lining have moisture wicking technology for long-lasting comfort. These Docs also feature Goodyear®-welt construction for lasting durability. The tread of the Non-marking rubber outsole is designed to prevent slipping.
Weight: 4.8 lbs
Color(s): Black Industrial Bear/Black Soft Rubbery
These Georgia Boots lace-up work boots are durable and lightweight and feature a full grain leather foot and 8-inch leather shaft. They are unlined and have an internal padded collar and a Steel toe rated at ASTM F2413-05, Class 75 (this is the best available impact and compression strength) Made with Repairable Goodyear welt construction; they have a round toe and a one ¼ inch heel. They also feature an EVA midsole and moisture wicking linings / The outsole has excellent anti-slip traction.
Weight: 2 lbs.
Color(s) Brown/Soggy Brown
These Condor work boot outsoles are constructed with a proprietary sole construction process called ed AM-TECH® Direct Soling Technology, making them exceedingly durable. They have a 100% Leather upper and a steel toe that is ASTM F 2413-11 certified. They feature a flexible and ultra cushioning and polyurethane midsole that provides superior comfort for your whole work day. A polyurethane outsole renders them oil, slip, and abrasion resistant.
Weight: 2 lba
Tips To Remember
By now, you should have a better idea of what you are looking for, and we will conclude with a few tips to remember when you are shopping around for steel-toed work boots.
- We can’t stress enough that you should do your research beforehand and find out what your workplace is going to require from you for footwear.
- If you are going to be trying on boots, shop in the late afternoon or evening. Feet do swell during the day and are often more uncomfortable at the end of a long work day. Putting on a new pair of boots that is comfortable for you after being on your feet all day is a safe bet that they will work best for you.
- Wear a pair of socks that you-you would typically wear while working to ensure that you get an accurate portrayal of how the boots are going to feel.
- Speaking of socks, make sure that you have the right kind of socks for the job at hand. Socks are an essential and often overlooked part of your whole work boot experience.
- Make sure that your boots are comfortable for you. You will be wasting money on boots that cause foot injury or problems. And remember too that everyone’s feet are different. What works for your coworker may not be your best option.
- If you find a great pair of boots that are a perfect fit and have all the features and specifications you need, write down the exact size, brand, and all other pertinent information about them (you can even take a photo) and check online prices on a marketplace like Amazon before you purchase from a brick and mortar store. It is likely you will be able to find a better price by ordering online.
- Take care of your investment by storing your boots in a clean and aerated spot. Treat the leather with oils and cleaners that will maintain it and prevent damage.