Choosing the right tools for the job starts from the ground up. A good pair of work boots can change the way you take on jobs. Comfortable, supportive boots make workers happier. Happier workers perform better. Better work leads to promotions. But, we’ll get to that later — for now, let’s talk work boot shopping tips.
1. What’s the Gig?
Image via Flickr by speedoglyn1
What does your job require you to do? If you’re going to be working outside in the cold, consider insulated waterproof boots. If your job has a safety policy, check to see if you need steel-toed boots or non-slip soles. Some places even have color requirements, so check for that, too. Once you know the boundaries set by your job, you’ll know where to start looking.
2. Choose Your Style
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Once you know what you need your boots to do for you, you can focus on what style of boot you’d like. You can find slip-on boots or lace boots. Choose between high-tops and low-tops. Are you a square-toe or a round-toe guy? Whether you’re looking for cowboy boot-style pull-ons or classic leather lace-up work shoes, the options are bountiful.
3. Go for Comfort
That being said, it’s not all about looking cool on the job. You need boots that will keep you comfortable for the long haul. If you have high arches, make sure you get a boot with high arch supports. Test out the insoles of several pairs to see which are more comfortable for your feet. Some boots have additional padding that helps you stay on your feet longer than others. Make sure the boots use good leather that can breathe and form to your feet. If you’re not comfortable, you’re not doing your best work.
4. Read Those Reviews
After finding a great-feeling, comfortable pair of shoes, it can be incredibly frustrating when they fall apart six months later. A good way to find out how long your boots will last is reading reviews from guys who already bought a pair. If they say don’t buy them, you probably shouldn’t buy them.
5. Take Them for a Spin
Even after you’ve done your research and decided on what boot to wear, it’s important you test them out to make sure they’re a good fit for you. Try them on in the store with the socks you plan on wearing when you’re working. Walk around, perform movements you might make on the job, and roll your ankles to test their support.
If your heel rubs against the back or slides up — put the boots back on the shelf. Make sure you have enough room for your toes without sliding around inside the boot. Working with ill-fitting boots can do real damage to your feet.
If the boot fits and meets all your criteria, then congratulations! You’ve found a pair of boots that will make your work life easier and more comfortable.