How Should Work Boots Fit
Buying a new pair of boots can be an exciting, but expensive endeavor, especially when it comes to footwear designed for specific needs like work boots.
Work boots are by far the most difficult type of footwear to figure out, and plenty of customers end up returning their boots when their feet start to ache. Well, you won’t be one of the crowd once you know how work boots should fit.
Pay attention to the Flex Point
The flex point of a boot should line up properly with your foot.
When you walk, your shoes bend around the toes, and it’s not uncommon to see creases or lines in older footwear from this. That’s your flex point, and if misaligned in a work boot with a steel toe, it can cause major discomfort rather quickly.
With length, there are two areas to keep in mind. The length of the boot itself in regards to where your toe hits along with the length of the shaft or quarter.
Steel toe boots may “feel” too short due to the extra material in the toe cap. While you have to consider the thickness of the socks you plan to wear, you don’t want to jump the gun and buy a half size larger if the toes feel a little tight at first. Boots have to be broken in and leather stretches, steel toe or not.
As for the shaft length, this is a matter of personal preference, and most boots are in the 6” range. The placement of the “back stay” and foxing can make a difference around the heel; especially on boots with mesh uppers.
When walking, your heel should never up from the sole although a degree of sliding is acceptable and even expected in some cases.
If the fit is off, your heel will rub against the back of the boot which can cause blisters or an accident when you trip over your own feet. Work boots are made to keep your feet safe, not cause accidents, so always pay close attention to the fit around the heel.
Always wear proper socks
We can’t stress this point enough; always think about your socks. You don’t wear boots barefoot, so consider the style and thickness of the socks that will adorn your feet.
The best work socks for boots are going to be thicker than an athletic sock or even winter socks in some cases. You may not always be able to test them with the work boots beforehand, but you can think about the socks and compensate for looseness to a degree.
Things to keep in mind when trying on boots
When in doubt about a new brand or boot, check the manufacturer’s official sizing recommendations.
While we have grown accustomed to generic sizing charts, you may be surprised at the accuracy some manufacturers use to hone in on your size. Companies like UGG can take use your old Nike’s as a reference to find the right fit.
If you can “try before you buy” we highly recommend walking around in your boots of choice for more than just a few seconds.
People have the tendency to strap on boots and wiggle their toes before taking a few steps and making a decision. If you spend a little more time in the boots, you will quickly find out how they truly feel. You don’t want to find those dreaded red marks on your feet after a few days of use once you get home.
Do you wear insoles in your regular shoes?
That is definitely something to consider as some insoles can change the way a shoe fits. This could tighten up a loose boot or make one with the perfect fit too tight if you’re not careful.
Feet are funny and are known to actually expand towards the end of the day which is key when it comes to how a work boot should fit. Keep this in mind when shopping for boots as what’s loose in the morning may feel constricting by the end of a long workday.
If you do happen to purchase boots that are a little too big, have no fear.
You can fix that by using thicker socks or even insoles. Sometimes a combination of both may be required although our best advice is to exchange them for a proper size if possible.
Your feet feel every step you take throughout the day, so it’s only right you take care of them. Boots can be tough to take for some folks, but they can feel as comfortable as an expensive pair of tennis shoes if you follow our tips and find the right fit.
Whether shopping online or at your local mall, remember your socks and don’t be afraid to simply say no to a pair of boots if you are unsure of how they’ll fit. Your feet will thank you for it later.