When it comes down to being onsite for long shifts, one thing that can really make or break your day are your boots. Choosing the right boots is probably more important than eating healthy, because if your choices are poor, it can lead to more issues than you can imagine.
It’s important to know what boots you need for your particular onsite trade, electrician need different footwear to a welder or machinery operator, and boots come in all different types of ratings and standards. An electrician need electrical resistant soles, and a welder needs heat resistance rubber outsole up to 300°C.
So you can see that the two trades require different boot options, and your boots also need to meet the appropriate safety standards. From top to bottom, each boot must pass a range of tests like leather quality, lining quality, and toecap strength, and will have a certification marking somewhere on the boot.
How should they fit?
Try them on. If you can wiggle your toes, with space between your toes and the toecap, but not too much that your feet are loose in the boot you’re on the right track. A spacious toe cap helps relieve pressure on your toes,
If there is a risk from falling objects, sharp objects like glass or sharp steel, then each of these have specific safety requirements within the shoe; a boot with mid-sole penetration protection and a metal insert for the upper foot protection. Make sure your boots are water resistant or weatherproof, as well as have resistance to other liquids like any chemicals, oils or acids you may be exposed to during your job.
Comfort is also important as you will be wearing them all day, every day on site. If it isn’t comfortable straight away and feels like it might need to be worn in, move on and try a different boot. If you have had foot problems in the past, it might pay to get some prescription inserts for your boots, to ensure maximum comfort.
Every miner knows how an uncomfortable boot can impact their day. Choosing the right boot from the start will help you get through every shift, pain free.