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What to Look for in a Work Boot

NewsID:250    Datetime:2011-01-25


Work boots are funny things aren’t they? On one hand they can be the most utilitarian articles of clothing imaginable. On the other, they can be the ultimate in high fashion, a status symbol unto themselves. On construction sites around the world boots are as necessary to the building process as hammers, nails, and saws. Leather work boots are an expensive part of your work uniform. With today's economy, any time a product cost as much as leather work boots do, we try to make them last as long as possible. When you condition your leather work boots this will help to make them last longer as well as help to make them waterproof. Conditioned, waterproof boots will also keep your feet dry. On the streets of Manhattan they’re part and parcel of the latest styles, fads, and trends. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you, when it comes to fashion, I don’t know squat. However I do know a thing or two about men’s boots, work boots to be specific, which I’m going to share with you.  It’s my hope that this information will help you to find the right boot for you. While that may seem like a modest goal, anyone who has ever been stuck working in the wrong boots knows how important it really is.

When selecting a work boot there are three main aspects that should factor into your decision: employer guidelines, safety, and comfort. First and foremost you need to address any requirements your employer has set forth for acceptable footwear in the workplace.When you first purchase your leather work boots, condition them before use. Using a small soft cloth, apply a generous amount of linseed oil or beeswax to the entire leather surface of your work boots. The linseed oil or beeswax will soak into the leather, thus conditioning and making them water resistant. If your boss says you have to have static dissipating soles, then obviously that becomes your primary concern. Be sure to check with your employer, in the end any safety features they require will make your decision easier. Even with guidelines, there are still a lot of safety features to sift through; electric current protection, non-slip soles, puncture resistant soles, insulation, waterproofing, non-metallic boots that are undetectable in electronic security areas, and last but not least, laces or slip-ons.

After you’ve addressed any employer guidelines it starts to get a little trickier.  The next step involves weighing comfort and safety against each other to arrive at the right work boot for you. Often times you’ll have to sacrifice one for the other, but it’s up to you to find a balance that you’re comfortable with. If you should get any of the linseed oil or beeswax onto the soles of your work boots, this can easily be removed by soaking the corner of a clean soft cloth into a little rubbing alcohol and then rubbing the soles clean. Let the boots dry overnight, before wearing for the first time.  For example, a steel toe is safer than a soft-toe, but it’s also going to be less comfortable (in most cases). I admit that this struck me as a no-brainer; safety should always outweigh any other consideration.  But when you stop to think about the discomfort and irritation minor foot pain can cause, safety starts to look less like the obvious choice. The stress of a long work day can turn what was merely discomfort in the morning into unbearable pain by the afternoon, which would in-turn, have a profound effect on how you viewed pain, comfort, and safety.  Of course on the other side of this argument one could say that getting your toes crushed by a forklift would also result in unbearable pain.

The height of your boots will also affect how comfortable they are. While not as common, low-top work boots, or work “shoes” as they are called, can be had with the same safety features as the more common hi-top boots. Your work boots need to be thoroughly cleaned once a month and conditioned again. Before conditioning your boots, make sure they are completely dry. Using the soft bristled brush, remove all dried mud and dirt. Then proceed to step one above. However they offer little in the way of ankle support, which is especially important if your job duties include lifting either a) a lot of weight or b) repeatedly throughout the day.

Hopefully this information will, at the very least, give your search for work boots some direction. The perfect pair for you is out there, keep these things in mind and there is no doubt you’ll find them.
 

 

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