Work Boots: What to Know Before You Buy

work boots

Work boots are important for both comfort and safety while you are on the job. If you are on your feet many hours each day, your footwear can make a big difference. Boots that are not comfortable can sap your energy and, over time, harm the health of your feet. That’s why it’s important to know what to look for when you’re ready to buy a pair of work boots. The primary function of good work boots is to keep you safe. The specific features you need will depend on the nature of your job. The following are some features that you may need in work boots. Safety features should meet the requirements set by OSHA and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Safety Toes

Protecting your toes is essential for any job where you are exposed to machinery, falling debris or other potentially hazardous elements. Toes may be reinforced with steel, aluminum or a composite material. Steel toes are the most popular type of toe protection found in work boots. Aluminum toes are a more lightweight option, while composite toes may contain materials such as carbon, Kevlar, plastic or other non-metals.


Sturdy work boots should have well constructed outsoles and midsoles to protect your feet. There are a number of materials that can serve this function. EVA midsoles cushion the feet and help to keep your weight evenly distributed throughout the boot. Steel midsoles are often worn by construction workers and others who need extra protection.

Outsoles are important when you work in an environment that is slippery. Rubber outsoles are especially helpful at protecting you from slips. This can be useful in many work settings, including restaurants, garages, hospitals, factories and warehouses. TPU outsoles are a more lightweight alternative to rubber and are often used in work settings where hazardous chemicals are present.

Protection Against Electricity

If you are an electrician or work in any type of environment where you need protection against electricity, you need EH or electrical hazard boots. These are boots that are insulated against electrical currents. There are several types of footwear that serve this purpose. If you work near live electrical currents, you need non-conductive boots that provide protection against ground currents. If there is static electricity in the environment, you will need boots that are anti-static. Workers who must handle explosives, on the other hand, must wear conductive footwear with static-dissipating qualities.

Size and Comfort

In addition to having the necessary safety features, it’s essential to find boots that fit comfortably. It’s best if you can try on boots before purchasing them. If you are shopping online, you can always try on similar boots in a store to get an idea of which sizes and materials are most comfortable for you. When trying on boots, wear the same type of socks you’d normally wear at work. It’s also best to try them on later in the day, as people’s feet tend to expand slightly during the day.