A good, comfortable pair of work boots will prevent injuries and foot problems such as: bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, and plantar fascia. Thankfully, the days of high hard steel cap boots are over, but there are still some important factors to consider if you want to keep your feet healthy.

#1: SAFETY FIRST

Be aware of the hazards of your particular work environment. Protect yourself against chemical or electrical hazards, falling objects and sharp edges with the following: puncture-resistant soles, metatarsal guards, and safety toe caps.

#2: STAY DRY

Invest in leather uppers designed to absorb moisture as this will prevent corns and blisters. Make sure the soles of your boots are slip-resistant and will protect your feet from electrical shock.

#3: WIGGLE ROOM

Make sure when you try your work boots on that it is at the end of the day and of your toes without feeling any pressure.

#4: KEEP STEADY

Buy boots with a wide base and a flat sole as this will help you keep steady when you are working in a rougher, uneven terrain. A puncture resistant midsole, sturdy heel counters, and a wedge bottom sole will help provide proper arch support and stability for your ankle.

#5: COMFORT ABOVE ALL THINGS

When trying on your boots, make sure you walk on a hard surface and not carpet. The boots should fit like a glove when you first try them on. Protective footwear should not require a “break-in” period, they should be comfortable from the word go.

Healthy Steps can help you evaluate your work boots and make helpful recommendations so that you can work without damaging your feet.