These boots were made for safety, that's what they're gonna do…
If you've ever put on a pair of steel-toed shoes, you'll know that they can fit like a glove - or like a ton of bricks.
But no matter how good or bad a pair of work boots feels the first time you wear them, if your job requires that you wear steel-toed shoes, you have no choice but to put them on; workplace safety depends upon it.
OSHA states that it requires foot protection "where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole, and where such employee's feet are exposed to electrical hazards."
OSHA does not consider steel-toed shoes to be hazardous for electrical tradesmen, as long as the conductive portion of the shoe is not in contact with the foot and it is not exposed on the shoe's exterior.
Industries most in need of good foot protection
Chemically-resistant steel-toed and shanked shoes and boots are required foot protection in many high-risk industries including
- law enforcement
Choosing the right footwear is important for maximum protection and comfort. All steel-toed footwear should provide the following basic features:
- durable leather construction
- rubber outer sole that is resistant to puncture, slip and oil
- chemical resistance
- insulated lining
- electrical hazard protection
Not only must steel-toed shoes protect the tops of your feet, they must protect the soles of the feet as well. An anti-skid, lightweight, polyurethane outer sole that resists chemicals like fuel and oil, abrasion and heat exposure is integrated into the safety boots.
An internal, padded cushion insole absorbs shock and impact, and a moisture-wicking lining allows perspiration to escape, keeping the feet dry.
The key to enjoying your steel-toed shoes is getting a pair of quality work boots in the right size. Slippage caused by your shoes or boots being too large will cause calluses on the feet. Be sure to get a pair that isn't too snug, either, as footwear must provide enough space for air to circulate between your feet and the shoes / boots to prevent heavy perspiration. (Boots are usually one size up from your regular shoe size.)