A good pair of steel toe boots can help lessen your risk of dealing with injuries and accidents while you are doing your job in the workplace. However, take note that no matter how top-notch the quality of your steel toe boots is, it is still possible for it to have a significant impact on your comfort level.
With the importance of comfort in the workplace, it is a must to understand several solutions on how to make steel toe boots more comfortable for you. The first thing that you should do to guarantee your comfort is to ensure that you are buying a quality pair.
Avoid committing the mistake of choosing substandard and cheap steel toe boots that do not meet the standards in terms of protection and comfort. You need a quality pair, especially if you need to wear the work boots for around 5-12 hours every day at work.
You should never compromise your comfort and safety during the whole duration of your job. If you have already bought a high-quality steel toe boot but you still feel like you can still do something to make it more comfortable then the following valuable tips can greatly help you.
5 Tips to Make Steel Toe Boots More Comfortable
Tip #1 – Wear the Right Socks
Make sure that you pair your steel toe boots with the right socks. You actually need socks that are specifically designed to be used for steel toe boots. Note that because of the steel cap integrated into the toe area, some workers might experience discomfort when they are wearing steel toe boots at work.
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort then investing in steel toe socks is definitely a must. You can easily identify socks specifically designed for this boot with the extra-thick padding integrated into the heel and toe area. The padding is meant to offer a snug fit and additional cushioning.
Read more: How tight should work boots fit?
This additional cushion makes sure that you will feel comfortable the whole day. Also, thick socks can help prevent your feet from coming in contact with the boots, thereby ensuring that you can also avoid the development of painful blisters.
Tip #2 – Invest in Insoles
It is also possible to enhance your comfort level when wearing steel toe boots if you invest in high-quality insoles. Keep in mind that your steel toe boots feature a tough bottom. In most cases, the regular insoles naturally integrated into the footwear are small, causing discomfort.
If you feel like your steel toe boots cause discomfort, then buying premium insoles designed for it then installing them is essential. You need after-market insoles as a means of customizing your boots. What is good about these insoles is that they can provide you with all the support and comfort needed when wearing this type of boot.
If possible, buy removable ones so you will never have a difficult time putting them on and removing them when necessary. Also, make sure that your chosen insoles boast of great arch support. The insoles should have perfect backing as this is the key in evening out the pressure in your feet, thereby getting rid of the pain and discomfort you are dealing with.
Tip #3 – Break in your Steel Toe Boot
Properly breaking in your steel toe boot contributes a lot to ensure that you eliminate all forms of discomfort when wearing it. Breaking in involves wearing it several times at home before you actually wear it at work the whole day. Begin by wearing the boots for several minutes to one hour daily.
This is helpful in getting used to the boot’s stretch. This practice is also meant to help your feet get familiar and used to the primary material utilized in manufacturing the footwear. You can actually take advantage of a few methods when breaking in your steel toe boots. Among these methods are:
Stick method – This involves stretching the work boot with the help of a mop stick or broom stick inserted into it. The goal here is to point the stick into the specific sport where you feel the work boot pinching. The next thing to do is to bend your boot firmly over the stick.
This should stretch the leather material into the affected spot. One way to determine if you are successful in stretching the boot is to check whether there is a bit of discoloration outwards. Make sure that you do not overdo the bending process, though, as this might put the work boot at risk of tearing.
Cold water treatment – This method, as the name suggests, involves cold water. What you should do is to get cold water then pour it into a Ziploc bag. Seal the bag afterward then put it inside your work boot. Once done, you should put it in your freezer and let it stay there overnight.
The rationale behind this treatment is when the water transforms to ice, it expands, thereby stretching your boot along the process. After letting it stay there overnight, remove it from your freezer. Wait for the ice inside the boot to melt prior to finally removing it.
Oil Method – This specific method of breaking in your steel toe boots to improve its comfort level requires mink oil. Alternatively, you can use other leather conditioners for this. The purpose is to use either the oil or conditioner in coating the outer parts of the boot.
During the coating, your focus should be on the specific spot where the pinching occurs. Once the oil or conditioner is applied, let it stay there overnight. What the oil or conditioner does is it softens your work boot, thereby eliminating all the discomfort associated with wearing it.
Hot Water Method – The whole process involves immersing your footwear in a bucket containing warm water. Allow it to get soaked in there for approximately thirty minutes. This should saturate the shoe. If that happens, you should remove any excess water. After that, begin wearing footwear for around one hour.
It is also possible to provide the footwear with a full stretch if you wear it together with the right pair of socks. Before doing this method, though, you have to make sure that you waterproof your footwear. This is crucial in protecting it from possible damages. Do this, especially if your steel toe work boot is not waterproof in the first place.
All the methods indicated in this section work in breaking in your shoes. In fact, these can provide results in just one day. However, even with their promised quick results, it is best to set a goal of breaking in your steel toe boots in a gradual manner. If possible, do it for a minimum of one week.
This will lessen the risk of causing damages to your shoes. Also, another rule to keep in mind during the break-in process is to avoid heating the footwear directly as this might catch fire.
Tip #4 – Use a Bandage
Wrapping your feet with a bandage is also a major help in boosting your comfort level when wearing the steel toe work boot. The bandage should be wrapped around your feet. Ensure that problem areas are covered when putting the bandage on. This is the key to relieving discomfort and preventing the development of blisters, especially during the break-in period.
Tip #5 – Implement Proper Maintenance Procedures
You will also have a guarantee that your steel toe boot will continue to make you feel comfortable if you do something to take good care of it. Your goal is to maintain it so it stays long-lasting and strong. Clean it regularly. Get rid of all mud and dirt that have built up in the boot.
In case you stay in a salty work environment, then remove the salt that might cause corrosion from your boot with the help of vinegar and mild water. Apply leather conditioner occasionally, too. This aids in retaining the elegant look of your work boot while making it long-lasting.
Based on the tips above, it is safe to say that there are actually a few effective solutions on how to make steel toe boots more comfortable. Do something to improve your comfort level when wearing the boot. This is the key to ensuring that your performance and productivity will not be affected by uncomfortable footwear.
Our PPE expert, Daniel Rocha, has been working in the industry for 23 years. He provides guidance to our content editor and writers so they may provide well-informed suggestions and tips for machinery and equipment.