At the close of a demanding day, you yearn for a sense of fulfillment. Exhausted, yet content, and prepared to tackle another day. However, spending an extended day in ill-fitted boots can lead to a strained back and throbbing legs by the time you clock out—if you can even last that long.
Indeed, not every work boot is created equal. But identifying the ideal protective footwear for prolonged hours on the job becomes a simple task once you discern what to look for.
What difference do work boots make at work?
Whether you don work boots on a daily basis as part of mandated PPE or merely utilize steel-toed boots for infrequent site visits, high-quality footwear yields numerous benefits. Paramount among these is your personal wellbeing, followed by the assurance that you are suitably prepared for all eventualities.
In Australia and New Zealand, safety footwear must adhere to the certification requirements specified in AS/NSZ 2010.3, the standard that governs PPE in both regions. If the boots you are considering do not meet this certification, they should be disregarded immediately. Without certification, you expose yourself to the risk of impact and compression injuries, or the boots disintegrating prematurely. These are merely the standard risks. If there are additional safety prerequisites such as electrical insulation, anti-static characteristics, or penetration resistance, any form of risk-taking is absolutely unacceptable. Further information about safety footwear testing and certification requirements can be found at CertMark (this link will redirect you from our site).
The source of your knee and back discomfort may not be age-related. Safety boots are designed to absorb forces of up to twice your bodyweight with each step. Ergonomically designed work boots are lightweight and provide cushioning, which minimizes fatigue and enhances productivity.
Steel Blue, as the first safety boot manufacturer to receive endorsement from the Australian Physiotherapy Association, provides men’s and women’s work boots equipped with innovative technology. This ensures all-day comfort and guarantees durability. Our boots aid in preventing stress-related injuries, particularly in areas such as the spine, knees, ankles, and hips. More on this will be discussed subsequently.
You may initially consider opting for cheaper steel cap boots. However, if you find yourself replacing damaged boots every few months, then the cost-effectiveness of such a choice becomes questionable. Determining which pair of new boots will prove the most durable can be challenging. However, as you continue reading, we will provide guidance on what to look for to ensure your footwear will withstand the rigors of your job.
Selection process: The key factors to consider when procuring new work boots
The starting point should always be the safety features. It warrants reiteration: if your safety boots do not conform to AS/NZS 2010.3 standards, they should be replaced without delay. The certification requirements assess:
- Impact resistance
- Compression resistance
- Upper/outsole bond strength
In most industries, toe protection (impact resistance) is non-negotiable. There are several protective materials available, with steel caps being the most prevalent. However, composite materials are gaining popularity due to their reduced weight.
We have taken safety a notch higher by designing a graphene-enhanced safety boot, robust and durable enough to withstand the most severe mining and resource operations.
Upon searching for new boots, you may come across additional safety technologies and attributes such as:
- Electrical insulation
- Anti-static properties
- Water resistance or waterproofing (hydrophobic)
- Penetration resistance
- Metatarsal guard
- Chemical resistance
- Slip and oil resistance
Consider the potential hazards that could arise in your line of work. It’s not necessary to be an oil rig worker to require oil-resistant footwear or a dock worker to need hydrophobic safety boots. However, it is imperative that you have protection in all scenarios.
Design: Lace-up vs side-zip vs pull-on
Numerous safety boot manufacturers present a variety of boot designs. None is categorically superior to the others. Nevertheless, lace-up boots usually offer enhanced ankle support, unless pre-existing injuries render laces uncomfortable.
Pull-on boots are more convenient to put on and take off, thus making them particularly favored for higher boot fits. Side-zip boots typically provide a balance, combining the convenience of easy wearability with the stability of a snug fit. An alternative could be a hybrid model, such as our new Argyle Zip boots, which feature both laces and a zip for dual adjustability.
Expert advice: Opt for the boots that provide maximum comfort. However, bear in mind that lace-up boots generally offer superior ankle support on uneven surfaces.
Sustained comfort guaranteed
Work boots are engineered to be robust and durable, but this pertains only to the exterior; there’s no justification for your footwear to be uncomfortable, even on the most taxing days.
Comfort can be a challenging criterion to evaluate in a store. Steel cap boots often require a break-in period, but if they remain rigid beyond a few days, enduring the discomfort is not advisable.
Ensure that the vendor offers a return policy for your new work boots should they not meet your standards. Steel Blue boots include a 30-day 100% comfort guarantee, reflecting our confidence that you won’t encounter a more comfortable safety boot elsewhere.
Expert advice: Give your new boots a test run. If they cause discomfort or lead to fatigue and pain, don’t hesitate to return them and select a more suitable pair.
Quality of construction
At best, shoddily constructed boots are a mere inconvenience. However, if they begin to slip or disintegrate, they quickly escalate into a significant safety hazard for both the wearer and others. Opt for work boots that are designed to withstand prolonged use. This entails:
- Utilization of high-quality materials both internally and externally
- Adherence of the upper and outsole bonding to AS/NZS 2010.3 standards
- A substantial manufacturer’s warranty (Steel Blue boots include a 6-month warranty)
- Specific design for your profession, rather than generic safety footwear
- Durable laces, zips, or pull-on tabs
Similar to your daily tools, it is worthwhile to invest a little more in work boots. Over time, this minor additional expenditure equates to longer durability, enhanced protection, and sustained comfort – invaluable attributes that are difficult to quantify.
Expert advice: Seek a lengthy manufacturer’s warranty. This is indicative of the safety boot manufacturer’s confidence in their product’s resilience under trade conditions.
Discover your ideal fit at any one of the 750+ Steel Blue outlets across Australia.
We aim for you to shop with confidence when seeking new safety boots. If you remember our key advice, you are well on your way to finding the perfect safety boot that caters to both your feet and your professional needs.
By visiting any Steel Blue outlet, you have the opportunity to try boots specifically designed for your trade and receive guidance from a safety footwear expert.
Rest assured that you are selecting a pair of high-quality, locally manufactured Steel Blue work boots, equipped with all necessary safety features to facilitate your work. Our 30-day, 100% comfort guarantee and a 6-month manufacturer’s warranty serve as additional benefits.