Safety boots are an essential part of any safety conscious individual’s equipment. That is, if you want to be fully protected and avoid injury at work or on the job. The first step in finding the right pair for you is ensuring they fit correctly and feel comfortable enough to wear all day long. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to do that – we’ve listed them below.
How should work boots fit
Make sure that your foot size matches the size of the safety boots. If your boots are too small, they can pinch and leave blisters; if they’re too big, your feet will move around and you’ll feel less stable.
The safety boots should fit comfortably and firmly even if they feel stiff. The best way to break-in new rubber boots is by wearing them around the house or on some other non-dangerous errand.
The tops of the boots should stay above ankle height, even when you’re walking up stairs or bending down. If they’re too short, you won’t be able to keep your ankles covered when you’re working.
If the boots are too tight on your calves or shins, they’ll impede blood flow. This can lead to aching and numbness in your feet and legs.
You should also make sure that there’s no extra space between the tongue of a safety shoe and your foot. If there is, debris could get inside the shoe.
If you’re wearing a safety shoe with a soft top, make sure that you can’t pull it back from where it meets your ankle. Your foot should stay firmly in place inside the shoe even when you take a step or lean forward.
At the same time, you should be able to move your toes freely inside the boot.
Here are a couple more ways to test whether your work boots are the right size for you
1. Make sure your boots aren’t too loose by performing a ‘pinch’ test. When you slide your foot into the boot, make sure it’s snug and that you can feel each toe pushing up against the front of the boot.
2. Step down on a firm surface with one foot at a time to see how much give your boots have.
3. Do a ‘roll’ test: roll your ankle back and forth to make sure you don’t feel any movement in the boot’s sole or the upper part of the boot, which is called the vamp.
4. Bend your knees slightly and lean forward slightly at the waist – if the top edge of the boot digs into your skin or the boot loosens up, then it’s not the right size.
5. Make sure there is enough space for you to fully flex your foot at the ankle without applying too much pressure to your toes. This may seem obvious but many people fail this test by assuming that having a little bit of room inside their boots will be comfortable, but it usually takes a few days of wear for them to become more comfortable.
6. A boot that is too loose will allow more dirt and water into the boot. They can also come off if you step in your foot while working with heavy machinery, causing accidents on the work floor.
7. Your toe should not be pressing against the front of your boot when you stand up straight. Most boots come with removable insoles so you can add an additional insole to prevent your toes from hitting the front of your boots.
8. You should expect a little bit of ‘stretch’ in any new pair of boots, even if they’re already broken in, so don’t worry if they feel slightly snug at first.
It’s important that safety boots fit your feet snugly but not too tightly. The right pair will stay firmly on your feet while providing adequate support. Make sure to test the boot after it is broken in to ensure the best results for you personally.