Construction work boots can be a valuable piece of equipment in the modern construction scene, but they can also be a liability, so it’s important to make sure they’re maintained properly.
To make sure your boots aren’t wearing out prematurely, we’ve put together a list of things to look for when purchasing your first pair of construction shoes.
Fit and fit is everything, says Jack L. Jones, a senior associate editor at The Wall Street Journal and a former footwear specialist for the U.S. Army.
“There’s a great misconception that you’re going to get better fit with more material,” he said.
“In the real world, the more material, the worse fit.”
Make sure your construction boots are snug, says Jones.
“With tight fit, you’re not going to be able to breathe,” he explained.
“If you’re getting a good fit, it’s going to keep you comfortable.”
You can use a pair of sandals to wear your boots while digging a hole, he added.
“But I can’t recommend that.”
“Your feet need to be dry and dryable,” said Jones.
When wearing a pair that’s not waterproof, “you’re going for an air pocket.”
Check the sole of your shoes before putting them on.
“You’re going down a little bit,” he noted.
“Put some sandpaper on your foot.”
“The sole of the boot is going to wear out,” Jones said.
He advised against purchasing construction shoes that are more than six months old.
“We’re getting older,” he added, adding that the majority of people that buy new construction shoes “want to wear them for a year or more.”
Make a special note of the color of the construction boots, he said, adding, “This is important.”
For a more snug fit, check the soles and the sole first before putting on the boots, Jones said, before moving on to the heel and the inside of the toe.
If you’re unsure if your shoes are waterproof, Jones recommended looking for a construction shoe that has a waterproof lining, such as the one mentioned above.
“Look for a shoe that’s waterproof with a waterproof liner,” he recommended.
A pair of leather boots should last a year.
“When I was a construction worker, I would take a pair and go on a long hike with them and get wet,” Jones added.
For more information about construction work footwear, visit the Construction Work Gear page.