June 07, 2017
If like most of us, you are on your feet for over eight hours a day, finding the most comfortable work boots available is a high priority. Indeed your feet will let you know if you don’t find the best work boots possible, especially when you pull off your steel capped boots at the end of the day. Australia’s hot, hard climate and matching working conditions mean wear and tear on steel capped work boots is high and comfort paramount.
Many people claim they have the most comfortable work boots ever, but this is the reality – we all like different things and feel comfortable in different work boots. For some people comfort is linked to the weight of their boots, for others it is underfoot cushioning, still others rate ankle support highly. After 10 years of selling work boots, and fitting thousands of pairs of steel capped boots on feet of all types I have identified seven things to look for when trying to find the most comfortable work boots for your feet. At the end of this article you will even find my suggestion of the Steel Capped work boot I have found to be the most comfortable work boots.
So what are the important things to look out for and to consider?
Good support underfoot is critical and the first element to boot comfort. There is a huge difference between a thin footbed and a thicker more supportive footbed. Most footbeds are made from poly urethane, generally people find the better footbeds have a more pronounced arch support and thicker support layer which is still soft and spongey. So if you are looking to replace the footbed in your current boots, it is essential to look for these features. For under foot cushioning we recommend (click here to view) ….
Arch support is possibly the feature that can make the most difference to boot comfort but it is also contentious. Most people need arch support and prefer boots that offer arch support, however some people have sunken arches or flat feet and feel the pressure of arch support is uncomfortable. Conversely people who benefit from good arch support rate it as the most important factor in boot comfort. Good arch support can assist with lower back ailments. So understanding your feet and their individual needs in terms of arch support is very important. Arch support can be maximised by a good footbed and also by good foot shape in the inside of the shoe. For arch support we recommend (click here to view) ….
Every time your heel hits the ground it sets the pattern for your stride and walking style. As the first point of contact for your foot, it needs to be comfortable. A sore or bruised heel is something many people have had at some stage and can be very painful. Having a well-supported heel strike to minimise impact on your heel is an important factor is determining the most comfortable work boots. Many steel capped boot brands recognise the importance of heel strike comfort and have a poron plug of cushioning inserted into the base of the boot under the footbed and at the heel of the boot. This is a feature worth looking out for if heel strike comfort is critical for you. For heel strike support we recommend (click here to view) ….
Most boot wearers value a lightweight boot highly, mostly because it makes the boot so much easier to wear. Women in particular value boot or shoe weight as an information comfort feature, because heavy steel capped boots can be very uncomfortable especially over time. People who need to run and move quickly also value lightweight boots. Composite toe, airport friendly boots are the best way to achieve lighter weight boots, although some steel capped boots are noticeably lighter than others. For a light work boot we recommend (click here to view) ….
Steel caps found in all compliant steel capped work boots have to meet Australian standards and as such meet particular specifications. There are however some steel capped moulds that are made to be a wider fit. Most of the better quality steel capped work boots found in Australia are quite a wide fitting, but the cheaper boot brands may just meet the standard required and not exceed it, so please keep this in mind when trying on cheaper work boots. For a wide fit boot we recommend (click here to view) ….
For some people boot comfort is automatically tied to higher ankle support. For boot wearers with weaker ankles or lower back issues a boot with ankle support is essential to comfort. Most steel capped boots are available in one of two heights – ankle height which just covers the ankle (typically 5 lace points high), and mid cut height boots approximately 10cm higher (typically 7 -8 eight points high). For ankle support we recommend (click here to view) ….
Finally, a correctly fitted boot is possibly the most important factor contributing to the most comfortable work boots you can wear. A nice snug fit that is not restrictive or uncomfortable in any way is what your steel capped boots should feel like. An overly loose fit or a fitting that is too tight leads to blisters, foot irritation or worse. Therefore, a correctly fitted boot is tightly linked to great boot comfort.
So with all of these factors taken into account, which are the most comfortable work boots available in today’s market? There are many genuine contenders for this crown – great boot brands including Oliver, Steel Blue and Mongrel. Depending upon which of the 7 factors outlined above are most critical to you, will determine the best boot to suit you.
My verdict on the most comfortable work boot is clear. I like the Australian made Mongrel Ankle 261020 and 261050 Steel Capped Zip Sided work boot – because they are light, have great ankle support and supportive under foot cushioning, as well as being available in sizes that fit most men and women quite well.
Check out my review of these boots and get yourself a pair today, your feet will thank you.
Copyright 2018 - Theworkwearspot.com.au