Protect your feet with the right pair of work boots.
When you’re on the job, it’s important to keep your feet safe. Whether you’re working construction, a factory or the farm, protecting your feet and toes is a must. Work boots are as important as any other tool you use on the job. When you’re wearing the right work boots, you’ll be able to work comfortably and safely. Here’s what to look for in work boots.
ANSI & ASTM Work Boot Standards
Work boots are made to meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards. These voluntary standards are meant to protect workers, by providing guidelines on job-site protective gear. You will also find work boots are rated by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Both ANSI and ASTM are consensus standards, upheld by various industries.
When you’re looking for the right work boots for the job, you’ll find that the boots will come with an ASTM approval. Work boots will have ASTM standards of F 2412-05 or F 2413-05. Work boots are also tested for compression and impact. Impact is measured by dropping an object onto the boot from a certain height at a certain speed. You’ll find that work boots will come with an I/50 or I/75 rating. Boots with an I/50 impact rating can handle up to 50 pounds on impact. Boots with with an I/75 rating will protect your toes from objects weighing up to 75 pounds.
The compression rating is measured by how much pressure the toe cap can withstand before breaking or cracking. There are two ratings for compression: C/50 and C/75. A rating of C/50 means the boot can handle the pressure of 1,750 pounds. A rating of C/75 means the boot can withstand the pressure of 2,500 pounds.
Before you buy work boots, find out your job’s protection requirements. Assess any possible hazards in your work place. Look for exposure to heavy machinery that could possibly impact your feet. Also be aware of the elements you’ll be exposed to.
When you’re looking for work boots, the majority of what you’ll find will have a safety toe. The safety toe is meant to protect your toes. Safety toe caps are made from steel or composite material.
A composite toe is made from a variety of materials, including carbon fiber, fiberglass and plastic. These work boots are lighter than steel toe boots. Composite toe work boots are meant for those who have to walk through metal detectors constantly during their work day. This includes security workers, airport workers and nuclear plant workers. They’re also meant for those who can’t have metal in the workplace. Composite toe work boots are known to be more comfortable, because of their light weight. They will not protect your feet as well as steel toe work boots if you’re working with heavy machinery. A chainsaw or grinder will be able to cut through the composite toe.
Steel toes are meant to protect your feet from compression and impact. Steel toe boots are made for a variety of jobs. Electricians and construction workers commonly wear steel toe boots. If there is a chance that a piece of heavy equipment could impact your foot, you’ll want to wear steel toe boots. You’ll especially want steel toe boots if you’re going to be using heavy machinery, such as a forklift. Steel toe boots will also protect your feet from cutting equipment, such as a chainsaw. While steel toe boots are slightly heavier than composite toe, many workers wear them for better protection.
Outsoles & Midsoles
You will also want to consider the type of outsole your work boots have. Different materials are meant for different types of work. Your job may require you to have a certain material for the outsole of your work boots.
If you’re going to be working in varying conditions, you’ll want rubber outsoles. Rubber outsoles are great because they are typically slip-,oil- and abrasion-resistant. Rubber outsoles will help you stay on your feet.
Work boots with TPU outsoles are similar to rubber outsoles, only more lightweight. They are typically chemical- and oil-resistant. TPU outsoles are a long-lasting option for your work boots.
Staying comfortable in your work boots is also important. EVA midsoles help evenly distribute your weight every step you take. The flexible midsoles provide cushioning for your feet to provide maximum comfort.
Keep Your Work Boots in Shape
Work boots are an investment. They require proper care. When you first buy your boots, you’ll need to break them in. Use mink oil to soften the leather. You can also wear them around the house for a couple days before wearing them to work. Using different leather treatments and water repellents will help keep your boots in working shape. Also remember to store your boots in a dry area to preserve the leather.