Work boots have always been a staple for the Northwest worker. From industrial and construction workers to ranch hands and farmers, your on-the-job footwear requirements matter. Before you lace up a new pair of boots, here are a few things to consider including some solid work boots from KEEN.
Construction jobs often require toe protection. With all of that heavy machinery, equipment, and more, it makes perfect sense. But when you try on a pair of boots with safety toes, you’re going to find huge differences, including bulkier boots. You’ll need to decide which type of ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)-rated safety toe is needed for your line of work. Plus, you’ll want to decide which is more comfortable.
Steel: Steel toes are pretty typical. That’s because they do their job nicely. But if you work on a jobsite with metal detectors or giant magnets, you might want to stay away from steel toes.
Aluminum: Similar in strength to steel, aluminum toes are thicker. But they do not conduct temperatures like steel toes do.
Composite: Made from carbon fiber, plastic, or Kevlar, these toes are great for workers who need a safety toe that won’t get cold in the winter and hot in the summer while offering the same level of protection as a steel toe.
Adding a Metatarsal Guard
The metatarsal guard is a piece of leather that sits atop the laces and often extends the full length of the boot. It’s put there to protect the upper part of your foot and toes from welding embers, nails, and heavy objects.
The other advantage of a metatarsal guard is that the laces won’t get burned, cut, or melt under high temperatures. As an added bonus, a majority of your boots will be protected from the elements. However, it’s not an ideal option if you’re working outside (on a ranch, for example), need access to your laces, or want to reduce the weight of your boots.
Coastal Tip: Ensure your bootlaces never melt or break by choosing Kevlar fiber or other fire and cut resistant laces.
Living in the Northwest means you’re probably going to need two pair of work boots – one for cold days and another for warmer temperatures. That’s because most work boots are made for a specific temperature range
Do you work in the dryer part of the Northwest? You may be able to skip the thicker neoprene boots or choose a reduced insulation rating for a lighter, more comfortable work boot.
Your Sole Mate
Choosing the right sole for your type of work is paramount. Today’s boots offer specific soles for specific industries. Let’s say you work in construction and climb ladders all day. There are boots with ladder tread to ensure you don’t slip when climbing. Loggers and those working outside will appreciate a deeper tread for added stability in any terrain. Aside from the sole’s purpose are the construction and materials.
Rubber outsole: Rubber is a common option for construction and manufacturing work boots. You’ll find different manufacturers use different types of rubber. Find the one you like best and stick with it.
Thermo Poly Urethane (TPU) outsole: If you’re working in rugged terrain, TPU outsoles will give you the most grip. Plus, these soles last longer and are often lighter than typical rubber soles.
Yes, where your boots are made is important, but equally important is how those boots are made. A well-made boot will easily mingle flexibility and performance with safety and durability. When it comes to construction types, there are two basic options.
Cement construction: This means the boot’s sole is cemented directly to the upper portion of the boot. These boots are typically lighter but when the sole wears out it cannot be replaced.
Welted construction: With welt construction, the upper and inner sole are stitched together with a leather strip. This is where the sole is stitched to the boot. Welt constructed boots can be resoled and repaired easily.
Choose KEEN Work Boots for Men and Women
You’ll find a huge selection of KEEN work boots, from composite toe to waterproof construction and more at Coastal.
KEEN Pittsburgh 6" Waterproof Boot (Soft Toe)
Coastal Has Aisles of Work Boots
That includes boots with and without reinforced toes, specialized soles, as well as comfort and weather enhancements for your neck of the woods. Stop by and try on a pair or two (or three) for yourself at the Coastal store near you.