When the word “boot” comes to mind, in some cases, people think only of heavy-duty, sophisticated types.
Boots are footwear types, and like footwears, they serve as protection for the foot against the harshness of the environment, regarding temperatures and ground textures. They also help ease movement and prevent your feet from injuries.
The above paragraph explains what and ideal boot or footwear should be. Therefore, for whatever purpose, if your footwear fails to check any of those boxes, it’s not ideal for you.
I am going to be talking about all boot types, especially those I have owned over time, so that you don’t compromise on your comfort while you pursue fashion trends. There are different boot types for different purposes, and some are so specific that when used inappropriately, they tend to cause discomfort, thereby defeating their intended purpose.
What Activities Do I Need A Boot For?
I understand that we might not all have the financial capacity to buy different boots for different activities, but I need to stress its importance here. Most times, it’s not just about the support the boot provides, but your own personal health too; especially when you’re about 20 years old, your body is still growing. If you force your soles into a boot that doesn’t work for you in a particular activity, it might end up damaging your feet’s balance for life . . . I know that from experience.
So, let’s say you are into hiking, tennis and exercising like me, but you have a low-budget for shoes, you could use the same boots for soft-core exercising and tennis, but you would need another for hiking. I’ll also have you know that using the same boots for more than one exercise is bound to reduce its life span, so it might not be the most economical option afterall.
Is This Boot The Right Size For Me?
Apart from being the right spec for the kind of activity under consideration, your boots must be the right size for you. By this, I don’t mean it containing your feet, but enough to make you comfortable while you use them. You need to ask yourself these questions to make sure the pair is the right size for you.
Do they have the proper length for my feet?
If they are not, you would have to wiggle your toes into them. Apart from causing blisters, this compromises your balance. A major function of the toes is to provide balance for you. If your toes are not comfortable, any form of activity you plan on doing, even walking, would become more difficult, even if you fail to admit it to yourself.
So, make sure you have enough toe space, just enough to make them comfortable, and not too much that your boot looks ridiculously longer than your feet length.
Are they the proper width for my feet?
The width is just as important as the length and you cannot just compromise on this. The sides of your feet are also responsible for support, and if they are forced into a smaller size, you would lose your stance eventually. You also have to make sure it’s not too wide, to ease your movement too.
Do they give me the support I need?
Some people have high-arced feet, while some just have flat ones. If you’re fortunate to be in-between, you wouldn’t have as much problems getting the right boot for you. In most cases, sales personnel measure your feet to know where it exerts the most pressure, and then based on these kinds of personal information, you would be able to get the best boots for your money.
In addition to this, if you have a pair of shoes that don’t provide enough support for you, you could buy a pair of in-soles and use them in your boots. This also applies to you when you don’t find a boot with enough support when you go shopping, a pair of insoles could be just what you need to get comfortable.
General Buying Guide For The Best Boots For You
So far throughout this post, I have talked about support and comfort, but these aren’t the only considerations for the best boots for you. Some very important others include;
The kind of environment or weather you need them for:
This goes a long way to affect the material used in the manufacture of the boot. If you need them for work, and the environment there is always very hot, then you should tailor your needs according to that specification so that you don’t end up with a cooked foot. For rocky environments, or those with irregular structures, you might want to go for something stronger, down to the soles, so that your feet don’t share in the boot’s stress.
With that in mind, in different sections of this website, I have provided
more information on shoes that fall into this category including snow boots, hunting boots, rain boots, work boots, hiking boots, etc.
The Brand’s consistency:
The best boots are manufactured by brands that have remained super relevant on the market not just because of their ads promotions, but because of their consistency in delivering different boot specs that meet a variety of needs ion different activity requirements. Some of the brands that make the best boots include; New balance, Columbia, Merrell, Timberland, Skechers, Keen, and Ahnu. If you know exactly what you want, choosing your specifications under any of these brands will never leave you disappointed.
The kind activity you need it for:
Apart from the environment, the pressure you exert into it from the kind of activity you need boots for will also determine the kinds to go for. There are different specifications for hiking boots, trekking boots, combat boots, etc, and reading about them by clicking on the links provided would help you make better choices concerning them.
It’s a misguided notion that the best things are the most expensive. However, with the proper guidance that I would be providing you on this website, I’m sure you would find something that works well for you and fits within your budget range.
Research has shown that the feet tend to swell increasingly through out the day. With this in mind, it would be best to go shopping for your boots in the evenings or late afternoon. If you can get a perfect fit then, you wont have a problem through out the day while your work.
PS: I wrote this summarized guide to increase your curiosity with regards to the different boot types and how to get the best of them. To find out more about the different categories, go through the menu provided above.
Best Work Boots
Normally, the term “best work boots” normally depict steel hard highly impenetrable heavy boots. Now, that doesn’t really sound comfortable.
A 2012 study has shown that this kind of mentality comes from the fact that most users are more concerned about preventing external danger, over the comfort they feel while wearing work boots.
Well, that’s about to change.
From personal experience, I can tell that it’s not that most people don’t have the time to pick out the best work boots that provide them enough comfort, it’s just that when it comes to work materials, most people, especially men, are just more focused on their tasks than their personal health.
Safety footwear, in this case, work boots are very essential as they are tasked with the protection of your feet and toes. Apart from that, they help maintain stability and improve your traction on different surfaces in your work environment.
However, for traction and stability, your feet need to be as comfortable as possible to that your stance isn’t compromised.
How To Find The Best Work Boots For You
Though there might be a general definition for the best work boots, labeled the ideal work boots, but when it comes to personal items, you have to choose what works for you. However, since I can’t possibly review different boots based on every personal configuration of different people, I would rather point out the important features you might want to have on your work boot.
1. Toe Protection:
I’m sure you’re very familiar with that sharp pain you feel when a heavy object falls on your toes, or you hit it against your bed’s pillar. At your workplace however, depending on how lucrative your job can get, you might want to have the best toe protection on your shoes to avoid falling victim of the hazardous circumstances surrounding you.
There are three basic types of toe protection regarding the materials used. However, the strongest type doesn’t necessarily mean the best for you. Apart from being an add-on to shoes, they can also be bought separately and used on your normal shoes, at protective attachments.
Steel Toe Protection:
This type of toe protection is literally made of steel. It is the heaviest type, and also the most compact. While this traditional choice is very reassuring against feet injury from impact of loose debris at your work place, it has the highest conduction property among all types.
This means, it conducts electricity and temperature at a significant rate. However, as long as your bare feet itself doesn’t make contact with it, you’ll be safe from the electrical conduction, not so much from high temperature though.
Some of the best boots brands that feature Steel toe protection include;
- Timberland PRO Direct Attach 6″ Steel Safety Toe Waterproof Insulated Boot
- Timberland PRO Women’s 72399 Titan 6″ Safety-Toe Boot
- Skechers for Work 77055 Cankton Athletic Steel Toe Lace Boot
- KEEN Utility Men’s Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe
Alternatively, if steel toe protectors for boots pick your fancy, here are some brands you could try out;
Aluminium Toe Protection:
The use of Aluminium offers users a lightweight option as an alternative for the steel type. This works better for workers who have a lot to deal with than to be bothered by the weight of their boots. It is also thicker and meets the ANSI/ASTM safety standards.
However, the lightweight specification is only complementary of the kind of work you need it for. In some scenarios, you actually need heavy boots to be able to work. So, make sure you actually understand the nature of your job before you choose.
Some for the best boots brands that feature Aluminium toe protection include;
- Men’s Durham AT ESD Work Boot
- Men’s 83604 6″ Aluminum Toe Work Boot – Irish Setter
- John Deere Men’s Waterproof Met Guard Work Boot Aluminum Safety Toe
- Skechers for Work Women’s 76485 D’Lite Slip Resistant Enchant Work Shoe
Composite Toe Protection:
These types are made of carbon fiber, Kevlar or even plastic. They are also lighter than the steel types, but thicker than the Aluminium types. Composite materials are completely inductors, and as such do not allow the transfer of heat or temperature. This works mostly if you work in an environment where conduction might be an unhealthy risk. Since this type meets the ANSI/ASTM safety requirements, you won’t have any problems with them.
Some of the best boots brands that feature composite toe protection include;
- Men’s Edge LX Nano Toe Work Boot
- Caterpillar Men’s Argon Comp Toe Lace-Up Work Boot
- RB864 Reebok Women’s Stealth Zipper Safety Boots
2. Metatarsal Guards
Apart from the toes, the upper part of your feet needs to be protected from heavy objects that might fall on them while you work. This doesn’t necessarily add to the weight of your boot. However, having a really authentic guard increases your safety level by more than 30%.
On the market today, there are different sole types meant for different work environments. While they all might be long lasting, protective and slip resistant, they also have a number of differences that work for different user specifications.
By understanding this, you stand a better chance at making an informed decision on which type to go for.
- Rubber Outsoles:
Rubber is oil, slip and abrasion resistant – as such is the most commonly used material for boot
outsoles. Vibram is a high performance runner sole type, which has found its applications boots for rugged terrains as it provides a significant amount of traction of dry or wet surfaces.
However, manufacturers make their own proprietary rubbers these days by adding performance and safety attributes to them.
- Thermo Poly Urethane Outsoles:
These types are like designed with extra toughness even though they exhibit the rubber features including oil, slip and abrasion resistance with an addition of chemical resistance. They are more preferred in chemical factories or chemically induced environments.
Apart from the general purchase considerations provided in the earlier part of this post, these features should be taken into consideration when you want to get the best work boots.