If you’re new to trade jobs likes construction, live tech, or roofing, chances are your new boss has told you that you need to have the correct work boots when you enter the job site. These might be steel toes, non-slip, or water resistant boots depending on your job needs, so the first thing you should determine is exactly how your work boots will be used before you go out and buy your first pair.
By making the appropriate decision, your footwear will last longer because it will be in total sync with the environment you are working in. Although the lifespan of your work boots is not set in stone, picking shoes that are right for your job also means that they will last you longer. Here is what you need to know first.
Choosing the Right Work Boots for the Job
Since every job is different, it’s only natural to assume that there isn’t a set of boots that works for all of them. Below are the key factors you should consider when choosing your pair of boots.
Tall boots are more difficult to put on than shorter boots and are generally heavier and hotter. They tend to work well for jobs in forestry or logging as they protect you from muddy terrain and keep bugs from flying up your pant legs. Shorter boots tend to be adequate for most jobs that otherwise don’t benefit from having added height.
Since you’ll be wearing your work boots anywhere from eight to ten hours most days in fields like construction, their weight is crucial to your comfort. High quality boots can be very heavy so if you don’t have a specific need for them, generally a crepe wedge outsole will do the trick for pavement work while reducing the weight you’re carrying on your feet.
If you’re going to be working outside a lot and your region’s climate is partial to a lot of rain, you’re going to want to keep your socks and feet dry for an extended period of time, so water resistant boots are a must.
Steel Toes are necessary for many job sites that utilize heavy equipment and are generally heavier than most work boots. There are alternative options made out of composite materials rather than steel but if you’re working with a lot of steel beams and heavy wood, you’ll be grateful for your steel toes when something inevitably falls and lands on your feet.
For workers that work outside through the colder months, insulated work boots are your best friend. Stay warm, dry, and happy with a pair of insulated boots in the winter, but don’t wear them as the temperature rises, as they’ll become highly uncomfortable fast.
Why You Should Break In Your Work Boots
Every new pair of boots needs to be worked in before you wear them for extended period of time, otherwise you’ll find that by the end of the week your feet and legs will be aching and may even be cut up and blistered. Simply, no boots are a perfect fit immediately for the wearer, which is why breaking in work boots gradually is so important for you to be comfortable and get the most out of your purchase.
The Real Lifespan of Your Work Boots
There are many factors that go into determing how long your work boots will actually last, such as how often you use them, the type of weather conditions you face when wearing them, and the material composite of your specific boot, but by having a greater understanding of what instigates the deterioration of your work boots you can better prepare yourself to maintain them well and increase their lifespan.
There is no set expiration date for work boots as it wholly depends on how, where, when and how how often you use them, and what they’re made of as well. The lifespan of your work boots is also up to the way they are manufactured.High-quality, brand work boots with sturdy construction, good stiching, strong laces and reliable soles will naturally last longer than generic work boots. In fact, a well-made boot can last even double or triple as much as a mediocre one.
How to Know When Your Boots Need to Be Replaced
If you have a favorite pair of work boots that have served you well over the years, letting it go can be difficult. However, even the best footwear gets damaged past the point of no return, which means you need to upgrade to a newer make and model. Here are some telltale signs that you’re due for a replacement in the work boot department.
If you’re noticing the midsole of your boots is beginning to warp and wrinkle, it means they have been susceptible for substantial heat, moisture and wear, so you’re due for a new pair before it gets any worse.
When you first bring home your boots, they should sit flat on any floor or surface. If you’re noticing that they favor any particular side, it means your balance and alignment are off, and it’s time for a new pair of boots.
You definitely want to make sure that you have good traction with your work boots at all time, especially if you’re someone who climbs ladders or scaffolding regularly. If you catch yourself sliding at any time, be safe and replace your boots or their soles.
If you’re starting to notice part of your boots coming through the outside, you definitely need a new pair as they’re likely more damaged than they appear.
The most important thing to consider when you're in the market for new boots is what you will actually be using them for. If you don't need steel toes or insulated boots, don't get them. Find the boot that suits your needs and you'll stand a greater chance of keeping your boots in top tier condition for as long as the manufacturer intended them to be.And if your boots have started to reach the end of their lifespan, don’t drag them along and hope they won’t deteriorate any further. They most certainly will, so know when it’s time to let them go and invest in a new pair.