Your practical guide to choosing the best work boots for your trade
Safety footwear enabling you to excel
Work boots are an important part of a uniform. They’re a productivity tool, safety measure and support mechanism all rolled into one.
The best work boots provide support for long days and protection against the hazard of the job:
- Designed to minimize slips, trips and falls
- Lightweight to let you move
- Heavy-duty toe protection
- Whole-body support
- Comfortable to reduce strains and pain
Whether you’re a Fabricator or Farmer, Builder or Boilermaker, you can’t do your best work without the best equipment.
Here’s our guide to choosing the best work boots for your trade, so you can step confidently knowing you’re equipped to excel.
How to find the best work boots for your trade
Before we elaborate on the environmental and safety considerations, here is a quick guide to choosing the best work boots for your trade.
- Material: High-quality leather will outlast nylon in most conditions
- Toe protection: ErgoDefender Steel Toe Caps provide exceptional protection
- Outsole: TPU Outsoles suit most trades, while Nitrile Outsoles provides greater heat protection
- Height: Choose work boots that offer ankle protection while still giving you the flexibility to move
- Fastening style: Adjustable fastenings provide greater comfort in changing conditions, whereas lace-up boots are a popular choice for regular wear
- Design: Ensure your work boots are made to fit your feet; many women’s work boots aren’t made using a true female last
- Weight: Lightweight work boots reduce injury and strain risk over time
- Comfort: High-quality work boots mold to your foot and support whole-body health
There are many work boots out there with legitimate claims to quality and comfort. Let’s dive into a little more detail on what makes an exceptional work boot.
Performance: Consider the environment
Not all work boots are built the same. Thanks to design and technology innovations, a range of industry-specific safety footwear options are available today.
For exceedingly wet conditions like Oil and Gas or dock work, look for waterproof work boots which keep out moisture better than water-resistant boots.
For hot work like FIFO and remote mining operations, our Nitrile Outsole can withstand temperatures up to 300°C and is designed with superior abrasion resistance. Most of our popular styles are available with TPU, or Thermoplastic Urethane, including Argyle® men’s and women’s work boots, giving you a greater choice and better protection.
Protection: Choose proper toe protection
Toe protection is a standard feature on almost all high-quality work boots* and often a requirement for stepping onto a job site.
Most people are familiar with steel caps. But are composite toe caps better suited to your work?
- Steel toe protection: Capable of resisting a 200J drop force, 15kN of rolling force, nail gun puncture, power saw cuts, corrosion and impact compression, our steel toe caps are the ultimate in job site safety.
- Composite toe protection: Airport-friendly composite toe caps are becoming more popular among FIFO workers and travelling tradespeople. They’re non-conductive, with the same drop force protection as steel caps, plus insulation benefits for hot and cold conditions.
* “Non-safety” work boots don’t have toe protection but often feature a range of other safety measures. For example, the Steel Blue Hobart is popular with fire fighters and EMTs as station boots for its easy slip on and slip off.
Prevention: Consider all the risks
The way we work is changing. At the same time, the technology behind the best work boots is continually improving.
So before replacing your old boots with the same model, consider whether they’re still the best fit.
- Additional safety features: Penetration Resistant outsoles improve safety on construction sites, while Electrical Hazard (EH) protection is essential for Electricians.
- All-day comfort: Choose work boots that guarantee all-day comfort to minimize the risk of RSI, back and knee pain, and muscle soreness
- Pay attention to details: Scuff Caps and Bump Caps prolong the life of safety shoes by preventing wear and abrasion around the toe; hygiene treatments prevent degradation and discomfort. Little details make a big difference.
Prevention, as they say, is better than the cure. Pause to consider everything your job throws at you before buying your next pair of work boots.
Excellent work requires excellent equipment
The right work boots are an investment in your health, productivity and safety. So before swapping out your old work boots for the same standard safety shoe, consider whether you could be upgrading your toolkit.
Visit a Steel Blue stockist to find your fit from our extensive work boot range.
Before you go, browse all our boots online to determine the style, ankle height, safety features and accessories you need to excel every day.