A great pair of work boots plays a crucial role in your tradie career! But are you wearing the right boots for the job?
This article is going to discuss what makes a boot right for you in accordance to your trade. Whether you are an electrician, plumber, welder or concreter there is a boot that is best suited to your line of work. Obviously, you want a work boot that is going to be comfortable and secure throughout your work period and not every boot is going to achieve that. Hence, why it is important to test out different shoes and find one that is right for you!
There are countless brands out there and ones we stock such as Steel Blue, Mongrel Boots, Blundstone, Oliver and Redback. All having their rightful place in tradie industries. There are countless types of soles such as PVC, EVA, TRP, PU and ABS. And then there are all the different safety attachments you can have on a boot such as safety toes and scuff pads.
We know… there’s a lot that actually needs to be considered when buying a work boot and it really shouldn’t be that complex. But, if you want to be comfortable on the job and get longer out of your boots then all those things need to be taken into consideration.
To make it easy we have identified 6 really easy tips to achieve this.
So, here’s 3 extremely helpful tips to help you stop playing Guess Who with your shoes.
Tip 1: Learn what Sole you need in your boot.
Previously, we have written another Blog, “Do your work boots have sole?” which briefly explains what all the different types of soles do for your boot. This identifies what they do and how they function.
TRP Bottoms are a rubber bottom that offer high levels of slip resistance. This creates a safe boot option if you’re always up and down ladders or working on roofs.
PU Bottoms are water resistant, flexible and comfortable. This makes them really easy to wear across most trades. They make boots extremely versatile hence why they are in used in many boots on the market.
PVC Outsoles offer a high level of strength in boots. The outsole offers scuff resistance and is super lightweight. This outsole is really good to look at if you’re in building or construction trades.
EVA Outsoles offer high levels of shock absorption. So, they are a really good material if you are doing highly intensive work on your feet.
BPU is essentially a better version of PU. It’s a more resilient material and is more weather resistant then your regular PU Soles. These are a better option for someone who regularly works outdoors.
TPU Outsoles are another version of a PU boot sole. It’s a very strong, all-rounder. TPU outsoles highly resistant to most oil types and chemicals whilst also being heat resistant up to 130ºC. This type of sole is also highly resistant to cuts and tears and maintains a high level of slip resistance. So, if you’re a plumber this may be something to look into.
ABS Outsoles are relatively new to the boot market. It’s a type of plastic which is durable, tough and doesn’t contain nasty toxins. They offer similar characteristics to the other boot soles. However, they have poor weather resistance and aren’t good for working outdoors.
The boot sole is going to be the most important part of your boot for both comfort and safety combined. So, boot soles are definitely the first thing you should consider when lining up your boot for the job.
Tip 2: Just like people, boots have different Characteristics and Constructions
If you’re in a trade such as plumbing and are commonly working in cold, damp conditions then you are likely going to need high-top, insulated boots that are also water resistant. The last thing you need in a job like this is thin footwear.
Alternatively, those who work in warm weather conditions are going to be in need of a lower cut, non-insulated work boot, that breathes really well.
Whether you want your work boots to have steel toes or not is entirely dependent on the hazards you commonly encounter in your trade. Generally speaking it is a good option to have in your boots, however it isn’t always needed.
Another useful characteristic to ask about your boots is in the stitching.
“Are they made with a stitch-down construction?” is the question you want to be asking, and you want the answer to be YES! ‘Stich-down construction is a method used by boot companies where the upper is sewn directly into the outsole. This results in an extremely durable boot.
There is also ‘cement construction’. This is where the upper and outsole are glued, instead of stitched together. This is a more affordable option, however not as durable.
Lastly, there is ‘direct attach construction’ where the upper and outsole are molded together. This forms a boot that’s waterproof and very durable.
So, just like you would be playing Guess Who! Ask the questions that will win you the game…
“Are they insulated?” (if you need them to be)
“Are they a High-Top?” or… “Are they a lower-cut?”
“Are they made with a stitch-down construction?”
Obviously, the questions you need to be asking will change depending on your needs. But, the most important thing is to be asking the right questions. Because you really don’t want to be working in the wrong gear.
Tip 3: What makes up the fit of the boot?
We can’t stress enough how important it is to have boots that fit properly. However, there are quite a few internal and external features that will change how the boot fits.
When trying on your boots, make sure that you wear the socks that you would typically be wearing when at work. Thermal socks are a lot thicker than compression type socks. So, the fit of the boot is going to be completely different between the two.
There as certain factors you need to add into the equation. A well fitted boot should provide you with:
- A cozy fit in the heel,
- Comfort through the instep,
- Zero pain at the ball of your foot; and,
- Room for your toes.
This will provide you with good ankle support, and no discomfort through the arch of your foot. If you experience any discomfort when trying on the boot then you should just move onto the next option. The last thing you need is a boot that doesn’t fit you right.
At Boltons we offer a wide variety of boot options for every industry. So, when you’re searching for your next pair of boots feel free to browse our store and check out what we have to offer. You can also get 10% off all footwear and industrial workwear through our E-Deals for Tradies system.
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