Choosing the right pair of boots for public safety use is extremely important. A good pair of work boots can make all the difference in how you feel at the end of a workday. Aching feet, sore leg muscles and potential back pain are issues that no one wants to deal with on a daily basis.
What are the benefits of choosing the right pair of boots?
- Personal comfort
- Better work enjoyment
- Increased performance
- Reduction of work related injuries – foot, leg and back pain
- Career longevity
You may have never thought about your work boots this way, but the reality is that your choice of footwear is a vital component in making your workday a success.
As you shop around for a new pair of boots, keep these attributes in mind.
- Fit and Comfort
- Intended Use
- Performance and Durability
Shopping for new boots can be overwhelming, but if you think about your daily work activities you can use the above attributes as a checklist.
Don’t get overwhelmed. Just think about what your daily routine is. What activities are you involved in? What regulations do you need to abide by? What do you expect from your footwear?
Fit and Comfort
First and foremost, finding boots that fit – and fit comfortably – is absolutely key. This is the footwear you’ll likely use for eight demanding hours a day (and likely more), week after week after week. You want your feet to be comfortable. Comfortable feet equal comfortable backs.
Choosing the right size is the first step. Don’t purchase boots that are too small or too large. It’s good to try on the shoes with the actual socks you intend to wear with them.
If you found a pair that you like, walk around in them. Do a quick sprint or some knee bends to see how the shoes react to different activities.
Does the shoe have a cushioned sole? Is it easy to put on and take off? These are simple but important questions that will affect your buying decision. Remember, fit and comfort are based on how you feel. Accept other opinions, but try the shoes on.
The second thing you want to consider when shopping for new boots is their intended use. What do you do at work? How active are you? Are you a city cop or a volunteer fireman in a rural district?
Thinking through what your daily activities are will influence the style of boots that you buy.
If you have a desk job, a traditional dress uniform oxford is probably the better choice for you as it will provide the needed comfort your daily routine requires. The other option to consider is a more athletic and work oriented oxford that is part tennis shoe and part work boot.
If you’re looking for boots, here are some things to consider:
- Does your boot need to be waterproof or water resistant?
- Do you need steel toe or composite toe protection?
- Will you require an insulated boot?
- Do you need a quarterboot or full sized boot?
- Will a shoe with metal affect your activity?
It’s important to understand the need for steel toe protection. If you worry about things or people striking your toes during the workday, then consider steel toe boots.
However, if you routinely go through metal detectors and other security checkpoints at airports, courthouses and other governmental buildings perhaps a composite toe would be a better choice. Composite toe boots can offer nearly the same protection as a steel toe boot, but are lighter weight and are more ‘friendly’ to metal detectors.
Performance and Durability
Once you’ve thought through how you’ll use your boots, you may want to consider how they will perform during your daily duties. This is less about what you will use them for and more about how you will use them.
This is also a good time to read through reviews of boots, paying attention to what others have said about them. It makes good sense to read both the positive and negative reviews. After reading through the reviews you’ll have a better sense of what is important to you. But again, remember, footwear is personal and opinions are subjective. Try to form your own opinion based on as much information you can get.
Here are some further things to consider:
- Does the boot allow for ‘easy on’ and ‘easy off’?
- Will they be slip resistant on wet floors, steps, pavement and terrain?
- Are they easy to keep clean?
- Do they offer shock absorbing padding – for walking and occasional running
- Are they lightweight?
Your boots are going to be used for a variety of activities, from mundane routines to challenging conditions. Do you need a boot that can take a beating? Do you need one that’s lightweight, but can withstand the rigors of public safety?
And lastly, you must consider value. To do that, you need to determine what the boot is worth to you verse how much it is going to cost?
When contemplating value, consider:
- How much does it cost?
- Am I going to foot the entire bill myself? (yes, pun intended)
- How often will I use the boots?
- How long do I expect them to last?
- What am I sacrificing if I don’t purchase the right boot?
Overwhelmed? You shouldn’t be. Most of the decision-making process is subconscious and intuitive. Your personal tastes balanced with your work requirements will lead you in the right direction every time. Yet, you are making an important decision and it’s always best to gather as much information upfront as you can.
At Galls, we want you to find the work boot that’s right for you. If you have any further thoughts on choosing the right boot or other work footwear, please let us know in the comments below.