While many construction companies require workers to wear a sturdy pair of work boots on the job, it's not just a meaningless compulsory requirement. Work boots are designed to protect your feet from the many possible hazards they face on a fast-moving job site. Whether you're using a jackhammer to break up concrete on city streets, pouring asphalt on the expressway or laying brick on a construction site, your feet will need protection from impact, heat and electricity, as well as the comfort to stay standing on the toughest shifts.
Before you pick out a pair of boots, you need to know what kind of jobs you'll be working on the most. Construction jobs carry an increased risk of heavy equipment falling on your feet, as well accidental rollovers from dozers and trucks, making a reinforced steel toe a must for foot protection. Sanitation workers who work in the sewers will want water-resistant boots to keep their feet dry and clean. Electricians, especially those who work in damp or cramped spaces, will need insulated soles and uppers to protect from the dangling ends of live wires. For high-altitude jobs, such as spot-welding girders 20 stories up, a specially designed slip-resistant boot is a necessity for gripping surfaces that may be slippery with rain, grease or dust.
To figure out how to choose the right work boots, you'll also want to consider the climate in which you're working. Those working on a cold-water oil rig, Arctic pipeline or fracking site will appreciate the warmth and toughness of full-grain leather boots. Its water and wind resistance combined with its extreme durability make it the ideal choice for working in freezing weather. One the other hand, highway maintenance jobs which run throughout the summer require the breathability and comfort of combination mesh work boots. These lightweight models combine durable leather and cooling nylon mesh to keep you on your feet through hot summer shifts.
Don't forget that many work boots come with extra features to enhance your working comfort. If you have experienced ankle injuries on the job in the past, a pair of boots with a tall collar will give you much-needed ankle support as you go about the job. Padded collars provide a secure fit while prevent chafing on the ankle, while gel heel inserts reduce fatigue and improve your standing posture. If you have very high arches or flat feet, make sure to supplement you work boots with orthopedic insoles for your particular condition. Because hands-on construction work puts a heavy load on your feet, proper support is doubly necessary in this case.
Once you've figured out your intended usage, choice of material, work environment temperature and desired special features, look for the boot model which best meets your requirements from a trusted seller like Sears. With a little research and shopping around, you can invest in sturdy pair which will last you for many jobs to come.