Work Boots: All You Need to Look For When Buying a Pair
Wearing protective clothing while working in the construction field or any other heavy industry field is not optional. Regardless of how cliche it sounds, it really can save your life or protect you from injuries. Hence, you should start with the basics: buying a pair of sturdy work boots. You should keep in mind that buying a pair of work boots is not the same as buying a pair of everyday shoes for walking or running. There is a huge difference. You wear work boots for protection and not for looking great and leading a lifestyle.
Also, work boots must fall in line with the appropriate standards and at the same time they should be comfortable and offer adequate support. At the end of the day, they should protect you from incidents including stones and sharp nails piercing your feet, heavy objects falling on the feet, electric shocks or sprains and fractures due to slips and falls. Injuries might happen also from a careless use of heavy duty construction equipment and vehicles. In order to avoid these kinds of injuries, there are things you have to pay attention to when buying work boots.
To begin with, you should carefully choose the type of toe cap. Always buy work boots that have either steel toes or composite toes, both of which are OSHA-approved. They will provide protection against impact and electrical hazards. The steel toe caps contain protective reinforcement made of steel and provide the best puncture protection while being shatterproof at the same time. If you work in construction, this type is made for you. On the other hand, the composite toe caps are made from materials such as plastic, carbon fibre and rubber. They weigh less, have a better electrical resistance and regulate the temperature because of the insulating properties. If you walk a lot during work hours, lift heavy objects or work in a colder climate, they are a perfect choice.
Next feature to look for when you buy work boots is slip-resistance. The most common workplace injuries happen because of slips, trips and falls, thus owning a pair of work boots with slip-resistance can help you maintain your everyday safety. There are three types of soles that provide this feature and among the most popular ones are the rubber outsoles which utilize the rubber’s natural gripping property and make the boots resistant to abrasion, oil and slips. Then, the TPU outsoles, which are made from thermoplastic polyurethane, make the boots durable and resistant to splitting, abrasion, oil and chemicals. Finally, the EVA midsoles which are made from ethylene vinyl acetate offer flexibility and stability for support.
In conclusion, the way in which the boot is made and how the sole is attached to it is a big deal. It can be done with a direct-attach or cement construction which fastens the upper part of the boot to the sole by using molten rubber. They are best for light-duty jobs and in workplaces where you have to be on your feet all day. The other construction type is welting which is a more labour-intensive method that uses a tough strip of leather called a welt, rubber or plastic to stitch the upper part of the work boot to the sole. They are considered superior and great for walking and climbing in cold and wet climates.