Steel toe boots are also called safety shoes, steel-capped boots or safety toe boots and they are long-lasting shoes that have protective reinforcements in the toe and sole. The reinforcements prevent injury to the foot from punctures through the soles or heavy objects accidentally dropped on the foot.
The reinforcements have been traditionally constructed from steel but they can also be made from thermoplastic polyurethane or a composite material. Steel toe boots have been found to be useful particularly in the construction industry and other industrial environments.
These kinds of shoes or boots are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for work places where there is a strong chance of injuries to the feet. To be acceptable by the OSHA, these kinds of safety boots should comply with the appropriate standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
Steel toe boots can be worn comfortably every day and they could last for a long time if the user takes care of them properly. For those who often have to work in wet environments, waterproofing the shoes can be an option to ensure that these boots will prevent cold temperatures, water and the rain from getting in.
They should be worn with work socks that have the proper thickness to prevent calluses and blisters from the hard edges. The fit should be somewhat loose to provide some room for the feet to expand after a long day of work or when the feet become swollen as a result of a lot of physical activity.
When purchasing steel toe boots, buyers can choose the models with cushioned collars if they plan to wear the shoes for long periods of time or when they prefer extra comfort. They should remember to select shoes that are broad enough if they have wide feet. Enough arch support should also be provided.
And during the selection process, buyers need to try them on to check for flexibility, which permits some movement within the footwear. If the boot is constructed from leather, it may require sometime before the leather will adjust to the feet and vice versa.
Users of these boots will need to clean and refurbish them once in a while, depending on the state of this type of footwear. It is not advisable to let mud and dirt to accumulate because it would be more difficult to clean the shoes if the dirt and the mud have already hardened.
Water and a stiff brush may be the only things that are required. However, if there any stains that are difficult to remove, saddle soap that is compatible with the material used for the boots can be applied. After cleaning, a waterproof conditioner can be utilized, and after the boots have dried, shoe polish can be used.
Proper Work Boot Sizing
Work boot sizing is an important factor to consider when planning for the clothing of workers. A good pair of boots is vital for many blue collar workers and the type of shoes will depend on the kind of work performed. For example, for construction workers, steel toe boots are vital because of the dangers posed by falling objects and the presence of sharp objects that could be stepped on by the workers.
For those who normally work on surfaces that are slippery, the boots will have soles that have much better grip that normal boots. Thus, the basic types of work boots are the steel toe boots, electrical hazard boots, water-resistant or waterproof boots, thermally insulated boots and slip-resistant boots.
Meanwhile, work boot sizing is very important for workers because of the need to search for the perfect fit for every worker, although this is actually impossible. Aside from the fact that our feet get bigger as the day progresses, no two feet are exactly the same.
An easy way to determine a person’s boot size is by looking at his current pairs of shoes. This will be a good indicator of the work boot sizing that is close to what is ideal for him. Another way to determine this is to actually measure the feet as instructed by the maker of a foot measurement chart. Based on the measurement of the length that spans the back of the heel to the front of the biggest toe, the shoe size can be determined by looking at a chart.
There are many popular brands when it comes to work boots. These include Doc Martens, Rocky, Dexter Fargo, Caterpillar, Red Wing, Timberland, Wellington, Michelin and Ariat. It should be noted that the work boot sizing for most of these manufacturers are exclusively for men. However, some manufacturers, like Rocky, Timberland and Ariat, offer work boots with sizes appropriate for women.
Aside from work boot sizing, it is also important to check on its characteristics. Some are appropriately designed for hot and dry summers while others are designed to be waterproof. Then, there are combination boots where nylon mesh and leather are combined although the water-resistant characteristics are reduced when compared to boots that are entirely made of leather. Leather boots provide substantial support for the feet and have strong resistance to water. However, boots made of leather are less breathable and they are harder to break in.
Work boots may also be constructed from man-made materials and rubber. These are important factors to consider when choosing the proper boots because the construction and materials affect the boot’s waterproofing, durability, flexibility and weight.
Boots may use the stitch-down construction where the upper component is sewn to the outsole. This allows the replacement of the sole if it gets worn. Meanwhile, cement construction boots are cheaper because the upper component is glued to the outsole. But the most durable construction is the direct attach system in which the outsole and the upper part are molded together.