Footwear Safety – a Buyer’s Guide to Choosing Proper Work Boots

How often do you think about your feet? They provide the base (literally) of almost everything you do. Yet, people tend to make them an afterthought, especially when on the job.  

This is a mistake. Proper footwear can make the difference between a good day and a bad day at work. More than that, the right work boot represents an important piece of safety equipment. In that way, your footwear can also mean the difference between life and death, or at least an important tool to avoid serious injury.  

You may think that’s an exaggeration, but feet represent a major cause of workplace injuries. Government statistics indicate that 60,000 foot injuries happen each year. Each injury typically keeps the worker out for five days and cumulatively account for about $600 million in production losses.  

More than that, ignoring your feet can lead to issues elsewhere. Bad footwear can impact your posture, contributing to back and hip problems. Clearly, finding the right work boot is a crucial decision.  

But how do you do it? How do you find the perfect work boot for you? Here’s a guide to shopping for footwear to keep you productive and keep you safe.  

Functionality  

Work boots are all about, well…the work. You have to make sure that they can help you get the job done effectively. At the same time, they act as crucial safety equipment. You need your footwear to counteract the biggest risks you face during your shift.  

With that in mind, look at the details of your job. Use this as a guide to making a list of features that would help you most. Here are some factors to keep in mind:  

  • Toe Type 
  • Slip Resistance  
  • Water Resistance  

The functionality will provide the baseline of what you’re looking for. Once you have your minimum requirements filled, you can take other factors into account.  

Comfort  

Comfort may seem like a secondary consideration. But, in a way, the concept represents its own safety concern. Wearing uncomfortable boots through a long shift can lead to repetitive stress injuries. At the very least, it can make your workday unpleasant.  

Here are some central aspects of comfort to drive your consideration:  

  • Know Your Size: Make sure your boots fit you properly. It usually pays to have your feet measured by a professional to get a good match.  
  • Think about Weight: Lighter shoes make it easier to move around…though you have to make sure they have the safety features you need for your job.  
  • Consider Temperature: If you’re working outside in the cold, having a warm boot is crucial. On the opposite side of the spectrum, something breathable is nice in the hot weather.  
  • Don’t Forget about Socks: Socks play an important role in comfort as well. You can have the perfect boot, but without the right socks, you could still suffer.   

Price  

The prices for work boots vary dramatically. For instance, Sketchers puts out a steel-toed work boot that you can often find for less than $50. Meanwhile, other brands can easily approach the $300 level 

Don’t assume that the more expensive boot is the better choice. There isn’t a one-to-one relationship between increasing price and increasing effectiveness. At the same time, you shouldn’t get cheap about safety. Know what you need to have and look for a cost-effective way to get it.   

Durability  

Having the perfect boots doesn’t mean much if they don’t last. Products that break down quickly can become a safety hazard (not to mention an expensive chore to replace).   

You’ll likely put a lot of miles on your work footwear. As a result, you have to worry about their ability to survive the wear and tear. When you pick out your boots, research their long-term value. Read reviews and try to figure out which ones will last the test of time.  

Having the right safety equipment is critical to avoiding injury and improving your productivity. To reach your potential, you also need the right employer. Partnering with a strong recruiting agency, like LaborMAX, allows you to find companies that are dedicated to protecting you and to maximizing your potential.  

Join a Safety Minded Team 

Contact LaborMAX Staffing to discover how they can help you find the ideal placement, or browse our open opportunities today.