When selecting a new pair of work boots, technicians should make sure they fit well and are comfortable, plus have the features applicable to their work, which could include a safety toe, water resistance or puncture proof foot-bed.

The importance of choosing the right work boot

July 9, 2015

When selecting a new pair of work boots, the most important feature to look for is comfort, say officials with Redback Boots USA (www.redbackboots.com), the North American exclusive supplier of 100-percent authentic Australian work boots and safety footwear. “Almost every manufacturer today offers the same features, but what really sets apart the good from the bad is how your feet feel at the end of the day.”

Heavy duty shoes or work boots are required on most maintenance jobs when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole, they note. Depending on the job description, an employee may be required to use protective footwear that is OSHA/ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) certified to cover safety toe impact compression and oil, acid and slip resistance; be puncture proof; and have electrical hazard ratings.

FIT QUALITIES

“A proper fit accounts for the natural expansion of the foot upon ground contact so the foot is free to move and work the way nature intended it to,” explain Redback Boots officials. Technicians should be advised that when getting fitted for a new pair of boots, they shouldn’t just grab the same size they have been wearing for years, but rather, should try on a few sizes.

Some of the main qualities to look, they advise, are width, weight and anatomic support.

Width – “Having a wide toe box to accommodate toes without pinching or friction – call it toe wiggle freedom – is ideal.”

Weight – Direct inject manufacturing is a footwear process that incorporates air into the midsole, and the more lightweight the boot the better, the officials say. “Some boots can weigh up to 7 lbs, and carrying around the extra weight all day will become tiresome.”

Anatomic Support – An ergonomically-engineered foundation provides arch support and cushioning to reduce wearer fatigue when on the feet for extended periods of time.

“Make sure the boots have a nice snug feel with minimal heel movement,” stress Redback Boots officials. “Boots that are either too loose or too tight can be uncomfortable and unhealthy to the feet.

When choosing Steel Toe footwear, they recommend choosing a half size larger to accommodate for the cap in the toe. Boots with non-slip outsoles will provide safety and greater resistance against oil, grease and other slippery surfaces at work.

FEATURES

Once a boot is found that fits and is comfortable, the next consideration is deciding on the features that are applicable to the work, Redback Boots officials say. These can include a safety toe – steel or composite; water proofing or water resistance; and a puncture-proof foot-bed.

“Avoid buying cheap or discounted shoes because the materials and workmanship are inferior and will wear out more quickly,” they say. “Sub-par products can also cause problems such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, corns and long-term knee and back problems.”

CARE

Technicians who take care of their footwear investment will pay off in the long run,” say Redback Boots officials. Boot care includes using a preservative on the leather, brushing away any debris, letting the boots air out at night and, if they get wet, changing out the insole.

Your day-to-day operations are driven by the goal to keep the fleet running efficiently, and safely and maintaining technicians’ health and comfort is paramount to achieving this,” the officials conclude.

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