Aside from brand, style and price, there are a number of different factors to consider when looking at work boots for yourself and your team. Here are some tips from the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society and the Pedorthic Footwear Association.
Get the right fit. It may seem like a time-wasting step, but getting a professional shoe fitting for you and your team will save you time and money down the road. Ask about high-top boots that lace half-inch to one-inch of the full length of the lace row for a secure fit. You may also have one larger foot that should have a different fit than the other foot.
Consider the following specs:
- Outer shoe: Materials to protect from chemicals or sharp objects
- Toes: Steel or composite
- Heels: Heel counters, a wedge bottom sole or puncture-resistant for stability and arch and ankle support
- Soles: Slip-resistant and stable for uneven surfaces
- Lining: Leather and moisture-wicking (Keeps feet dry and free of blisters and corns.)
- Insoles: Shock absorbent and removable for cleaning or replacement
Take them for a spin before buying. Are they comfy the first time you try them on? Don’t anticipate them feeling better after breaking them in. Wiggle your toes. They should be free to move around but not a lot of pressure.
Are you wearing the socks you plan to wear? When are you trying them on? Your feet may flatten out by the end of the day.
Once you’ve bought them, clean them daily and encourage your employees to treat them like the investments they are. Dirt and debris can erode the material.