There are various boots and shoes which protect the entire foot, but first of all you need to define what type of protection you are looking for, so that you can find the most suitable pair of boots to serve your purpose.
What kind of protection do you need?
So, the question is – are you looking for protection from rain and mud, protection from falling heavy objects or instruments, protection against slippage, electrical current, static electricity, oil or chemicals, from stepping on sharp objects, or protection from rolling an ankle or spraining your foot and leg joints during a particular activity? Maybe you are in search for boots to protect you from freezing temperatures or for scorching hot weather? Or you want the right boots to guard your feet from fatigue, soreness and possible foot health problems arising from the impact of hitting the hard ground or from standing all day long?
Once you have the answer to this question, finding the best shoes which can deliver the necessary protection should become a much easier task. Thankfully, there are various types of boots which provide sufficient protection for any of these potential hazards, as well as footwear which will guard your whole foot from a number of different safety hazards.
What type of boots do you need?
If you planning on attending a music festival where there will be a lot of mud and rain, or if you want to go out and do some gardening in your wet yard without getting all muddy and wet, then you should choose boots which are waterproof and preferably ones which cover the foot and leg up to the calf or knee.
The most suitable boots for the abovementioned purposes are the good old wellington boots. Easy to pull on and off, relatively inexpensive, and easy to wash and maintain, these boots will help preserve your feet and legs dry and mud free even in the muddiest conditions.
Good quality riding boots will also ensure that your feet and legs up to the knee are protected from dirt, water and will keep them stable and supported.
Of course, there is a wide variety of waterproof boots which you can pick from for different purposes. If you want to keep your feet dry and safe while hiking, you should opt for hiking boots, which are not only waterproof but also provide excellent traction, comfort and stability for the feet.
Where do you work?
For people who work on oil fields, construction and other similar conditions, there are specialized and tested safety work boots which will help keep your feet dry, and will keep you safe from slipping on wet and oily surfaces, or from stepping r getting hit by heavy and dangerous objects. Boots with aluminum, steel or composite toe cap protection are an excellent option. For further protection – try out a pair of safety boots which have additional metatarsal protection to keep the thin metatarsal bones of your feet safe from falling and rolling heavy objects.
If you are a runner or jogger, then make sure you get the appropriate type of running, walking or cross training shoes which suit your foot shape, your arch type as well as your gait. Your footwear is extremely important if you want to stay injury free, and stay comfortable, supported and less prone to fatigue while running or working out.
For people in the army or the police force, combat or tactical boots are the required (and best) option to ensure safe movement and foot protection even in the harshest conditions.
Overall, every time you purchase a new pair of boots or other footwear, you should think about the features which you are looking for and the level of safety for your feet, legs and for yourself which they provide.
Does your job/employer require specific type of protection?
Usually, construction, industrial and other companies have their own footwear safety procedures and requirements which you need to follow, so buying or wearing the appropriate safety shoes is made easy, because you will be looking for specific types of protection offered by the safety work boots, such as:
- Boots with different levels of toe protection for falling or rolling objects, which can feature composite, aluminum or steel toe caps
- Metatarsal guards – safety boots with additional metatarsal protection when there is a risk from falling or rolling objects on the entire foot. Those are suitable for welders as well as they offer additional protection for their foot
- Slippage protection – boots with rubber outsoles providing excellent traction to keep you steady on your feet in oily, wet and other slippery conditions
- Electrical hazard protection – boots which will keep you safe from electrical shock if you run into live electrical current on the job
- Chemical resistance – boots which will stay whole and undamaged and will keep your feet protected for hazardous chemicals
- Puncture resistance – work boots which will help your feet stay safe in case you step on sharp objects
- Boots which provide static electricity absorption to keep you and the electronics you work with safe
- Work boots which will keep your feet dry and warm when working in extreme cold temperatures
- Other safety features
It is essential that you look for safety work boots which have been tested and certified for the type and level of protection you are looking for.
Whatever reason you have to purchase a new pair of boots – whether it is for everyday use, for work, for hiking, for sports or for another hobby or activity, always keep in mind that you should pick a pair which fits your foot size and shape and which fits comfortably from the first time you try the shoes on. Always measure both of your feet before shopping for boots, because with aging and time our feet tend to change, and it is pretty common to have different sized and shaped feet. Make sure you try on your new boots in the time of the day when your feet are largest and most swollen. This is usually after work or after a hike or other similar activity. Try both boots on and walk around. You should have a finger width of distance between your longest toe and the front of the boot, and the width should feel comfortable immediately. Don’t assume that the boots will become wider in time. Sure, many boots, especially the sturdy leather ones do need some break in time, but it is highly unlikely that they will become wider, and not possible for them to become longer in time, so pick wisely!
Also, get a pair of boots which provides proper support and comfort to your heels and arches, and which has cushioning and shock absorption, especially if you will be doing a lot of standing on your feet, walking or running with them. Also, getting boots which are breathable and have moisture wicking insoles is also recommended in order to prevent your feet from sweating, becoming wet and stinky, and risking blistering or fungal and other bacterial infections.
Remember that a pair of boots shouldn’t be purchase for their appearance only and they are not merely accessories! You want them to be comfortable, safe and durable too!