how should work boots fit, image of man putting feet in boots

How Should Work Boots Fit? Determining the Sweet Zone for Extended Daily Wear

Every job has a specific uniform that must be worn, like healthcare workers and those working retail jobs considered essential. But one thing most have in common is you have to have the right type of footwear. An important question you need to answer to is how should work boots fit.

Lets face facts, long hours in ill-fitting boots hurt. They don’t just cause foot pain, either. Your back, legs, knees, hips, and neck all pay the price for boots that don’t fit. Not to mention, you can develop corns, calluses, and all manner of foot health problems.

So, let’s get to the bottom of this:

How Should Work Boots Fit?

The short answer is they should be comfortable, protective, and suitable for the job. They should have enough room for your feet to swell as the day goes on, but not loose enough to cause friction blisters.

But there’s more to it, of course.

brown work boots with a lens flare

Work boots aren’t like other pairs of shoes. It’s not about how they look, or where they hit your ankle. You want to measure your feet, every time you buy new boots. Yes, every time. That assures you can get the right size for you.

It can be challenging to find the pair that will work for you and fit into your budget. When trying on boots for fit, keep the following recommendations in mind:

1. Wear the Right Socks

It’s a good idea to wear socks with your work boots, as this is another way to keep your feet comfortable throughout the day. Plus, it will keep your feet from getting stinky and wet if you sweat while at work.

When you’re looking for work boots and trying to determine how should work boots fit, wear the socks that you will be wearing at work to try on the boots.

2. Try the Boots On

Before bringing the boots home, it’s a good idea to try them on. This way, you can ensure that they are comfortable and fit the way they should. This will also save you the hassle of having to go back to the store to return them or get another pair.

3. Move Around in the Boots

When trying work boots on, do some different moves in them. This includes walking, hopping, standing still, crouching, and lifting your foot. Think about all of the different movements you do at work and then replicate them with your new boots.

This will give you an idea of how they will feel while you move at work and let you know if they are going to fit the way they should.

You’ll also want to test how much ankle support the boot has. To do this, you’ll want to stand on the sides of your feet. If the boot has good ankle support, this task should be hard to complete. If your foot rolls easily, you’ll need to find something that keeps your ankle in place.

Things to Keep in Mind for Fit

As you are doing the different movements around the store to test out the boots, there are some things you need to keep in mind. As you walk, your heel should not slide out of the boot or rub against the back. If it does, this could cause a blister to form, which will be incredibly uncomfortable.

In addition, your toes should have about an inch of room at all times, and they shouldn’t slide forward and hit the front of the boot. There also shouldn’t be any painful pressure on the sides of your feet. If you experience any of these issues when trying boots on, you’ll need to get another pair.

4. Check the Tongue

When you have the work boots on your feet, check to see how the tongue feels. Make sure it lays flat against your foot, ankle, and shin and that it doesn’t have any rough stitching or other elements that will rub or dig into your flesh.

5. Check Your Feet

After you have done these tests with the boots to determine how they fit, take them off and check your foot. You’ll have to remove your socks for this step. If you see any red spots, this is an indication that the boot was rubbing on your foot. If you have to wear these shoes for up to 8 hours a day, this redness can get worse and may turn into a blister.

Some Other Things to Keep in Mind

If you have wide feet, you’ll need to find boots made specifically for you. If you try to shove your foot into a boot that is too narrow, this can cause of lot of discomfort. In addition, you don’t want to go a size up to find a boot that will fit your wider feet. This could lead to heel slippage and your toes sliding into the front of the boot. Again, these are things that will cause discomfort and blisters as you wear your boots.

If you spend your day on your feet to do your job, you don’t want to be in pain. This can make completing your job incredibly difficult, as well as lead to long-term issues. That’s why it’s so important to find work boots that fit you correctly. These are an investment, so take the time to find the right pair.

Different Types of Work Boots

In addition to finding a work boot that fits correctly, you’ll also need to find one that is best suited for your job. There are different types of work boots, and they have different features for various safety needs. Below are the types of work boots that you can get for your job:

Steel Toe Work Boots

Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot, Dark Brown, 10.5 M...

These boots have a reinforced steel plate at the tip of your boot that protects your toes from falling object or being compressed while you are working. They are often used at construction sites and in factories where heavy machinery is used or there is an increased risk of things falling onto your foot. (Steel Toe Caterpillar boots pictured above can be found here.)

Composite Toe Work Boots

Carhartt Men's 6' Rugged Flex Waterproof Breathable Composite Toe...

These are similar to steel toe boots, but instead of having steel in the toe, they utilize a combination of plastics or carbon fibers to keep your toes safe. They are often lighter and more flexible than steel toe boots. They don’t offer as much protection, but they won’t set off metal detectors. If this is something you worry about with your job, then this is the best boot choice for you. (Carhartt men’s composite toe boots pictured above are here.)

Insulated Work Boots

RefrigiWear Men's Barrier Lightweight Insulated 9-Inch Brown Leather...

If you work in an environment that gets cold, then you’ll want a boot that is insulated to keep your feet warm. This boot contains a low bulk insulation that traps and warms air while also wicking away moisture. (RefrigiWear insulated 200 gram Thinsulate work boots pictured above are here.)

Waterproof Work Boots

Ariat Men's Workhog Pull-on Waterproof Pro Work Boot, Aged Bark/Army...

If you work at a job where you have to walk through puddles of water or there’s a chance your feet could get wet, you’ll want to get a pair of boots that are specially designed to keep water out. This will ensure that you don’t develop issues with your foot, such as fungal growth. Many of these boots also come with insulation to keep your feet warm. (Ariat water-proof boot pictured above can be found here.)

Slip-Resistant Work Boots

Fila Men's Memory Breach sr-m, Black/Black/Black, 10 M US

For these work boots, the soles are made from soft rubber and have a specially designed tread that reduces the chances of slipping on slick surfaces. These can be worn in a variety of different places, including in restaurants, at car washes, or in factories where water or other liquids that make the floor slick is an issue. (The Fila slip-resistant work boots pictured above are here.)

Puncture-Resistant Work Boots

Timberland PRO Men's Boondock 8' Composite Toe Puncture Resistant...

These boots have a plate between the bottom of the shoe and the insole that stops any sharp objects from going through the boot and into your foot. These boots can protect you from nails and glass. These can be worn at construction sites or by roofers to prevent sharp objects from puncturing your foot. (The Timberland Pro puncture-resistant boots pictured above are here.)

Find the Right Work Boot Fit

Work Boots in front of a chair

When it comes to finding the right work boot fit, the first thing you need to consider is what type of boot you will need. The main job of these boots is to protect your feet, and every job has a different requirement. If you aren’t sure which one will be the best, ask your coworkers or boss what type you should look for.

After that, you’ll know when the work boots fit right by trying on different pairs. Remember, they shouldn’t squeeze your feet and your feet shouldn’t slide around on the inside. They should also allow you to walk and move freely without causing discomfort when you move. Since you’ll be on your feet for most of the day, they should also offer support.

Finding work boots isn’t difficult, and they can be found in stores and online. It’s always a good idea to try boots on before you buy. That way, you will know for sure how they feel and be able to consider different pairs to find the one that fits the best.

The Bottom Line

Every job has a required uniform, and work boots might be part of that outfit. When trying to answer the question of how should work boots fit, the answer is that they should be comfortable as well as protective and suitable for the job you have to do. The rest is up to you.

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