If you work in a high risk environment, you’ll need footgear that meets the highest safety standards in protecting against falling or rolling objects, electrical hazards, and other common construction injuries.
You’ll minimize injury risk by wearing state-of-the-art work boots that meet or exceed the Canadian Standard Association’s certification. These are tough standards that offer protection in the hardest working conditions.
Metatarsal injuries (foot injuries) are painful and can require a long recovery period. Steel toe boots don’t provide protection to the metatarsals, so look for a boot that incorporates the protection of a shield-like feature that overlays the composite toe and runs to the top of the instep. This absorbs impacts, helping protect your feet from injury.
Although most boots with a composite safety toe provide protection, make sure that the brand you choose meets or exceeds ASTM F2413-11 standards for impact, compression and electrical hazards. Composites weigh a fraction of steel toes while still providing exceptional protection.
Electrical Hazard Compliance
There is always a chance of exposure to electrical currents on a construction site, so look for boots that meet the CSA standards by providing protection from open electrical currents up to 18,000 volts.
Although many safety features focus on the construction of the inner work boot, the outsole shouldn’t be ignored. A good outsole will provide excellent resistance to heat, chemicals, oil, gas, chips, marking, and slipping. When faced with extreme temperatures or unsafe, slippery surfaces, a sturdy outsole with gripping features can be a lifesaver.
In addition to safety, be sure to consider technologically advanced products offering features that provide comfort and convenience for long, grueling workdays. Look for flexible cushioned insoles for comfort, dual density memory foam for stabilization (while still allowing freedom of movement), and waterproof construction to ensure dry feet in all weather conditions.
A Proper Fit
In many ways, a properly fitting boot can benefit you as much as some of the protective features.
- The instep should be snug but not tight. If the instep is loose, your foot will slip in the heel. If it is too tight, it could cause heel and/or toe pain. Consider various widths as an option.
- The ball of your foot should rest on the ball of the boot. If the boot is too short, the ball of your foot will sit too far forward and force the toes into the end of the toe box, causing pain, and possibly the loss of toenails.
- The heel should fit comfortably in the back. There may be some slippage in the heel in a new pair, which should resolve as the boots break in.
Consider adding specialized insoles for arch support and cushioning to help attain a proper fit.