BOOT FITTING GUIDE: How to choose new work boots to maximise comfort and fit
When it comes time to buy a new pair of work boots, you’ll probably have a wish list of wants and needs. You might want them in sand, rather than black leather. You might need a steel toe cap or a TPU outsole.
But at the top of any checklist for anyone purchasing a new pair of work boots should be comfort. After all, you’re going to spend a long time in these safety boots, most days, and if you buy quality work boots and treat them well — you’ll be wearing them for a long time.
So, what should you look for in a new pair of boots to ensure they’re as comfortable as possible? In this guide, we’ll give you some pointers to help you make the right choice.
Try before you buy, whenever you can
We always recommend going into a store and physically trying on any pair of boots you’re planning to buy. This ensures the boots feel as comfortable to wear as you’d expect, and that you get the correct fit.
It also means you can talk to the retail assistant and take advantage of their expertise (including getting the right fit). All authorized Steel Blue distributors have been trained to fit our work boots to ensure you get the right size boot.
Please note: If you can’t get into a shop to try on our boots, remember that Steel Blue boots sold in the US have the American sizing on the sole of the boot; you can find your relevant local sizing using our handy conversion chart.
Why measuring your feet really matters
A properly fitted work boot is important for good foot and overall body health. So, how do you get a true fit?
- Foot size changes over time, so remeasure your feet every time you buy a new pair of boots. Don’t rely on the fact you’ve always worn a certain size.
- Your feet are likely to be slightly different sizes. You want to fit your boots to the larger foot.
- Your feet naturally expand during the day and can swell in hot weather. Go shopping for new footwear in the afternoon.
- New boots should fit when you buy them. Don’t go for a tight pair of boots assuming they’ll stretch over time.
- Measuring the width of your foot will tell you if you have wide feet. Steel Blue boots sold in the US are available in both medium and wide widths.
Boot fit advice from professional physiotherapists
So, what should you be looking for when you’re trying on a new pair of work boots, to ensure the comfort and fit are right?
We asked our partners at the Australian Physiotherapy Association for their advice. Here’s what they recommend:
- Wear socks. When you’re trying on boots, wear a pair of socks — ideally, the kind you will generally wear with your boots every day. This will help you confirm the correct fitting. (We’ve got more info on socks below).
- Try both boots. A common mistake is to try on one boot and not the other. Be sure to try on both boots at the same time (it’ll make the next step more effective).
- Give them a road test. Once you have the boots on, try doing a few activities to test the fit. Try walking around and bending in the boots. Get into a few positions that you would normally get into at work every day to test not only the fit, but how comfortable the boots will be.
We’re really proud of the fact the Australian Physiotherapy Association has endorsed our boots.
What to look for when testing new work boots for comfort
While you’re road-testing your boots, there are a few things you should pay particular attention to.
- Your heel does not rub against the boot.
- Your foot is not slipping or coming out of the boot.
- Your toes do not hit the end of the boot or the in-built steel toe cap (boots with a toe cap should flex at the ball of the foot when correctly fitted). There should be about a centimeter between your longest toe and the end of the boot.
- You’re not experiencing any pain anywhere on your feet.
- You check your feet for any potential pressure points (if there is pressure, you need to try a different sized boot).
- That if you feel extra width is required to make the boots comfortable, you choose a boot with a wide width.
We do our best to ensure every pair of Steel Blue boots is as comfortable as possible. Our Trisole® Comfort Technology is specifically designed to cushion, cradle and support the entire foot.
Our comfortable work boots are also specifically designed to protect your ankles, knees, hips, and spine from stress-related injuries. They’re designed to support you to be at your best, time and time again.
Our patented Ortho Rebound® Footbed, which is included in every pair of Steel Blue boots, is uniquely designed to mold to the exact shape of your foot, supporting your arch and reducing foot fatigue.
What you need to know about ladies fit work boots
At Steel Blue we understand that men’s and women’s feet are anatomically different. That’s precisely why we’ve designed work boots especially for women.
Our women’s work boot range includes a shorter ankle length and smaller instep to make them more comfortable and a better fit for a woman’s foot. See our women’s footwear here.
Our 60-Day 100% Comfort Guarantee
When you’re good at your craft, you guarantee the quality of your work. Steel Blue designs our work boots for comfort, durability, and choice and we’re so confident in the quality and comfort, we offer a 60-Day money-back Comfort Guarantee.
If you’re not happy with the comfort of your Steel Blue boots within 60 days of purchase, you’ll receive a full refund or a replacement pair to the same value.
Simply take a copy of your receipt to the same retailer you bought your Steel Blue boots from so you can receive an exchange to the same value, or a refund.
What you need to know about socks and boot comfort
Socks are important for a variety of reasons. They keep our feet warm and dry, helping to prevent problems, like athlete’s foot. They prevent rubbing of the skin against the boot, decreasing the chance of blisters. They soak up sweat that would otherwise soak into the boot, preventing odors. They also provide cushioning, improving comfort and tightening the fit of your work boots.
At Steel Blue, we recommend wearing our bamboo socks:
- The soft bamboo material helps reduce the likelihood of blisters.
- Natural wicking keeps your feet cool in summer and warm in winter.
- The naturally antibacterial material helps feet stay fresher for longer by keeping them dry.
- They’re good for sensitive skin.
- They’re made from environmentally friendly and sustainable bamboo.