Spending all day or night on your feet, working hard day in and day out is tough enough as it is. But doing it in work boots that fit wrong, offer no support, and are plain uncomfortable makes it that much worse.
Not only do your feet ache after a long day, but the wrong work boots can lead to other health issues, too. These include things like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and knee or hip pain. The long-term effects of wearing the wrong work boots should not be ignored.
However, by figuring out what to look for in a comfortable pair of work boots, you can vastly improve your short-term comfort as well as your long-term health outlook.
Choosing the Proper Fit
If your footwear does not fit properly, you have no shot at being comfortable. Wearing boots that are too small crowds your feet. Boots that are too big means too much movement and probably blisters and hot spots.
In terms of length and fit, a good test is to make sure the width of your index finger fits between the heel of your foot and the back of the shoe. When you tie the laces, it should firmly keep your foot in place without sliding.
The boots should flex at the ball of your foot, not at the arch. If they flex at the arch, you will not have the proper support.
When trying on boots, make sure to simulate the conditions you will be working in. Your feet will swell as the day goes on, so you want to ensure the boots fit comfortably then, and not just when you start out.
And do not forget to try both the left and right boot. Each of us has one foot that is slightly larger than the other. If you only try on the boot on the smaller of your feet, there is a chance the other one will not fit properly.
Extra Arch Support
Finding the right arch support can make all the difference in the world when it comes to comfort. Although some of us are keenly aware of our arch and needs, many overlook this important factor. The proper arch support will help deal with issues like plantar fasciitis and tendinitis.
Arch support helps relieve the pressure on the ligament that connects your heel and toes. It also spreads the impact on your foot and helps evenly distribute your weight as you walk. This reduces the amount of pressure on the ball and heel of your foot.
By choosing the right arch support, you will ensure a stable foundation for your foot.
Besides comfort and support, protection for your feet is the most important quality to look for in a pair of work boots. In fact, if your job offers potential dangers to your feet, OSHA and the U.S. Department of Labor require your employer to ensure your footwear protects you.
In terms of protection, the number one feature is a protective toe. Historically, this comes in the form of steel-toe boots which help protect your vulnerable toes from objects falling on them. The problem with steel-toe boots is that they make your boots heavier and less comfortable. Thankfully, many boots now offer a composite-toe that offers similar protection, but at lighter weights than traditional steel toes.
Choose the Most Comfortable Boots for Work
With this article, as well as our guide on How to Choose Tactical Boots, you can select a pair of work boots that will provide you with the ultimate in comfort, durability, protection, and support.
5.11 Tactical offers a wide selection of work boots for law enforcement, EMS, fire and rescue, and any other job. Let us help you find the right work boots so you can be more productive, more comfortable, and enjoy your hard-earned relaxation time after work.