You’re in them all day. They’ve got to be comfortable, but they’ve also got to keep you safe. Men and women in the trades have some specific requirements when it comes to work boots.
Picking the perfect pair of work boots is a combination of personal style, dependability, and safety. Plumbers, for example, will look for a few things in a work boot that an electrician or an HVAC technician might not put as high on their list. Here’s what to keep in mind.
Top of mind for this group of trades professionals is making sure that the work boots they’re wearing are EH-rated. This means that shoes or boots have been tested by the American Society of Testing and Materials for their protection against electrocution.
To gain this designation, the safety shoe must significantly impede the flow of electricity through the shoe and into the ground. It reduces the likelihood of electrocution. -rated shoes are designed to protect wearers from up to 600 volts in a dry setting. Leather is durable and can be comfortable, but it doesn’t automatically offer an EH-rated approval.
One thing to keep in mind is that while boots need to be durable enough to handle long hours of work on your feet, heavier boots will put more pressure on your toes. Make sure to look for soft cushioned bottom soles an arch support for help with standing on ladders.
Sure, the obvious top requirement for this group of trade professionals is a pair of work boots that both durable and waterproof. They also should be slip-resistant.
Paying close attention to the attachment of the material to the sole is important here, as this is likely to be the place where water can make its way into the boot.
Working in people’s homes means you’ll spend a considerable amount of time taking your work boots on and off. Many plumbers prefer pull-on work boots so they can skip all that lace-work. And, like electricians, it’s important to look for cushioned soles that can keep fatigue at bay if you’ll be spending the day on your feet.
Attic in the morning, then maybe down in the basement in the afternoon. HVAC techs have to be nimbler and light on their feet, so a standard work might not always be the best choice. Sturdy and supporting is a must, but heavy might be out of the question.
There are shoe manufacturers who make low steel toe shoes. They look more like rugged tennis shoes with extra deep treads on the soles. These shoes will give you the protection you want, without weighing you down.
Go for durability
The one characteristic shared by all three trades is the need for durability. Investing in a good pair of work boots may set you back about $150 to $200 – but there’s an acceptable return. These boots should last you for two to five years.
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