In some occupations, work boots must be worn for safety and health reasons. Work boots have to be tough, but they should also be comfortable, because they will be worn for long hours on the job. Before buying a new pair, it’s a good idea to learn how should work boots fit so you can get the most comfortable pair to wear at work.
There are some things to watch out for when buying a new pair of boots. Apart from knowing how should work boots fit, you should focus on interior features like arch support and cushioning. These make work boots more comfortable and also help prevent health problems and injuries.
How Should Work Boots Fit?
When buying a new pair of work boots, you should make sure that they will be a comfortable fit. While the exterior needs to be tough enough to protect your feet in all kinds of working conditions, the inside should be comfortable and provide both support and cushioning. Before making a decision about buying a new pair, you should learn the answer to the question “how should work boots fit,” to help you make the right choice.
The best way to find out if work boots fit right is to try them out. Finding the right fit can be very important, because you will be wearing these boots for long hours on the job. A pair of work boots that fits right can keep you comfortable and prevent any health problems affecting your feet, joints and areas like the knees and back.
What to Look for When Buying Work Boots
In certain occupations, OSHA and the US Department of Labor require work boots to be worn if there are risks of injury to the feet in the work environment. Work boots can help protect feet from accidents and injuries, and well fitting work boots can help you stay comfortable through a long workday.
Ill-fitting boots can lead to greater pressure on the joints and bones, causing long term health problems. These could range from chronic pain in trouble areas like the back and knees to shin splints. Well fitting work boots can also help individuals who have problems like arthritis and flat feet to stay comfortable while working long hours on their feet.
For all of these reasons, it’s a good idea to know how should work boots fit and also what to look for when buying a new pair. In terms of comfort, too, the right fit can make a difference. Boots that are too small will pinch your toes and instep, while loose boots will give you blisters and hotspots on your feet. Work boots that fit right should offer support and comfort as well as protection. This means they should have arch support as well as a comfortable foot bed.
Arch support is essential for work boots and for daily comfort as well as long term health. By reducing the pressure on the ligaments that connect your toes to your heels, arch support keeps your feet comfortable. It also helps to prevent plantar fasciitis; a condition that causes acute pain in the heels.
In terms of long term health, arch support promotes correct alignment and prevents the development of problems like chronic pain in the back, hips and knees.
Work boots should provide cushioning as well as arch support. Cushioning is like suspension for your feet and reduces the impact of every step you take on the heels and balls of your feet. Many work boots that have good arch support don’t provide much cushioning. However, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort and can add cushioned insoles.
When choosing cushioned insoles, pick a pair made from breathable materials that will work away sweat. Medical grade insoles may be a good choice and will last a long time.
Weight, Insulation, Waterproofing
There are many differentkinds of work boots, and you need the ones that match your needs. With older boots, the heavier ones had better arch support, but now you can buy lightweight ones with good support as well. Lighter shoes are easier to wear all day and less likely to cause problems like blisters.
Insulated boots are necessary for winter use if you will be working outdoors. In the summer, boots with mesh uppers will keep your feet cooler. Waterproof boots will keep your feet dry in rainy weather, but they’re less breathable and uncomfortable to wear in the summer.
Finding the Right Fit
The only way to tell if a work boot fits right is to try it on, and check for the things that tell you how should work boots fit. When trying on boots, wear the same socks that you will wear at work. This will help you find the right pair that fits.
Also, keep in mind that your feet swell during the day, especially if your job requires you to stand or walk for a long time. Trying out boots towards the end of the day will help you find a pair that fits comfortably even when your feet are swollen.
It’s also good idea to try a few styles for comparison and then check them against your list of how should work boots fit. Here are some of the things that tell you how should work boots fit for maximum comfort and safety on the job.
1. The Flex Point
The flex point of a boot is the place where it bends when you walk. This should line up correctly with the balls of your feet. In shoes and boots that have been worn for a while, you can see lines and wrinkles along the flex point. Misaligned boots can hurt your feet and cause long-term problems.
As with all shoes, work boots should be just a little longer than your feet. You may be familiar with the method of testing this by prodding the front end of the shoe to see of there is about an inch of space between the tip and your big toe. This can be a little difficult to do with steel toe boots, but there is another way to check.
To check for the correct length in work boots, slide your foot all the way to the front of the boot and bend your knee forward. There should be enough space between the back end of the shoe and your heel for your index finger to fit. You should check both boots for the right length.
Work boots should fit snugly at the heel and your heel should not rise up from the shoe bed when you walk. Some sideways sliding is usual and may be part of the design. A close fitting work boot can help prevent accidents and injuries, so the heel is an important part of how should work boots fit.
Laces should not be too tight for comfort, but they should hold your foot in the shoe and keep it from sliding. Loose shoes can cause blisters and painful hotspots. They may also upset the wearer’s balance and cause an accident.
5. Try On Both Boots
When trying on work boots, you should try both simultaneously. Once you’re wearing the boots, try walking, doing knee lifts, bending your knees and other movements you might make at work. You can check for ankle support by rolling each ankle in turn and by standing on the sides of your feet.
How to Care for Your Work Boots
Once you’re found the right pair of work boots, you have to keep them in good shape. One way to do this is to actually have two pairs and to use them both interchangeably. This way there will be time for the pair that is not in use to dry out. You can help boots to dry out by removing insoles and letting them dry separately. Putting newspaper inside boots will help dry them faster by pulling out the moisture.
Leather boots need a little more care and cleaning. Mud and salt are not good for them and will dry out the leather. Remove mud with a stiff brush and salt with a diluted mixture of vinegar and water. Leather conditioners will keep your boots supple and comfortable and increase their life.
Oil-based conditioners will make the leather softer than you want. Silicone or PTFE leather conditioning treatments like Nikwax or Grainger’s will add waterproof protection without softening the leather.
Work boots have to be tough on the outside to protect your feet from workplace accidents and injuries. A comfortable interior with arch support and cushioning will ensure a good fit. Comfort matters when your job requires you to spend long hours on your feet, standing or walking.
A pair of work boots that fits you right provides more than comfort. They can prevent serious health problems with your feet and also chronic pain in trouble areas like the lower back, hips and knees. Learning how should work boots fit will help you make the right choice when buying your next pair of work boots.