There’s a few questions Tim and Jess (a couple of our Melbourne Podiatrist’s) get asked all the time. One of the big ones is what are the best work boots. We wrote about it for you in 2020, and now, hot off the press, here’s the 2021 (new boots, new pics) update.
If you’re in a profession where work boots are mandatory, in the past there wasn’t much wiggle room for what you had on your feet.
And if you have wide feet, even less wiggle room for your pinky toes.
Well, the good news is now there’s a few great options available for all different foot shapes, sizes and needs.
Let’s take a look at the specific needs of a few different feet and then determine the answer for your all important question:
What are the best work boots for me?
There is always the subjective side of what makes up the best of anything… If you ask me who’s the best cricketer today we’ll bounce between Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell, clearly there is no wrong answer there.
There is NO WRONG ANSWER BRING BACK MAXWELL TO THE TEST SIDE. (ok we may have lost a few, stick with us we’ll get back to work boots)
But considering what makes the best work boot in Australia is going to come down to your needs and some personal preferences…
Let’s get started.
What Features Do I Need In My Work Boots?
Depending on your work and usage, the features you need in a safety boot will vary trade to trade, person to person.
Your employer, union or industry will usually have a set requirement that your safety boots will have to live up to. These are tightly regulated and monitored by Australian Standards.
The main standard is AS/NZS 2210 which covers safety and protective footwear.
Next up, what activities are you doing at work?
Are you up and down ladders?
Crawling through ceilings or under floors?
Kicking about digging holes that keep filling with water?
Thinking about how waterproof and how flexible a sole you need is important.
Hot tip: That flexible sole you need for twisting around on the roof? Well it’s not going to help your if your kicking shovels or walking long distances on the job site or in the warehouse.
What About Fit?
Oh so important when it comes to a boot that you’ll have on for 10 plus hours every single day.
If your foot is wide, get a wide fitting boot.
Conversely, if your foot is narrow, get a narrow fit.
If you have a high volume foot with a high arch, make sure there’s plenty of space in the midfoot so that the top of your foot does not rub on the upper or laces and lead to burning pain.
A consideration that few of us take into account when selecting a work boot is how our feet change shape throughout the day. Particularly those of us who are a little older with either a spot of venous disease (varicose veins) or a pot belly.
After a long day on your feet they do swell and get longer, wider and deeper. This happens even more to those who fit in the former categories.
Ensuring a boot fits you at the start and end of a shift is important, adjustable fixation with laces and zippers help here.
With that in mind, it’s time to look at the Best Work Boots In Australia right now.
Best Work Boots In Australia
Steel Blue Argyle/Parkes/Southern Cross Range(s)
Combining lots of fit options (half sizes throughout the range) and both Men’s and Women’s range these Steel Blue boots are versatile for many needs.
The Wide One
Wide Load is an Australian company who specialise in wide fitting safety boots.
We’ll ignore then fact they call us Posiatrists 😁, they’re a busy crew… They’ve spent their time perfecting a truly wide fitting work boot.
Wide Load combine a steel cap that’s 15mm wider and 6mm deeper than its competitors with a removable insole and non-slip outsole.
For broad feet the 690WZ is the best work boot for you!
The Sporty One
Ok, now this boot is not sporty like a Ferrari, more so like a
TRD Hilux Cybertruck.
Ascent have been producing “sports shoes in disguise” for many years now where they take the midsole technology of an athletic shoe and put it in a work boot or safety shoe.
The Alpha 2 is marketed as a work boot you can run in. Well, we wouldn’t want to run too far in them but they are very comfortable on the job site.
The Sneaker One
A great safety boot which looks more like your casual sneaker or runner.
The Ascent Platinum comes as a unisex style shoe which can mean width is an issue for those whose feet fit a little wider or narrower.
The Lightweight One
While you’re not going to forget you have your work boot on instead of your thongs, this supportive safety boot from Blundstone has a lighter midsole to reduce leg fatigue.
The Other One
When it comes to all our shoes, we know that having a rotation of shoes is much better than just having the one pair.
A rotation allows our shoes to rest and recover so that fungal spores can die off, materials can dry out and midsoles can rebound to their original shape.
Our feet also appreciate variety in our footwear so getting a 2nd pair of slightly different work boots is one of the best investments you can make in your foot health.
With that in mind, the Oliver 55-322 is an excellent all round boot with large and small sizes available.
Being slip on means they are less supportive compared to your primary work boot.
This is usually OK when using an alternating boot strategy where your different boots work your leg and foot muscles differently.
Fitting Advice For Your Work Boots
It’s not always possible but try to get into your local safety boot retailer in the afternoon with a clean pair of your go to work socks ready to try on some boots.
Make sure you take your orthotics with you so that you can see what boot and orthotic combination will feel just right for you.
Need A Hand With Your Feet?
Looking for running shoes not safety boots?
Then you need the best shoes for your pathology. We’ve got you covered with these guides.
- For those with forefoot pain, metatarsalgia, big toe or bunion issues the best running shoes for ball of foot pain is for you
- The best running shoes for shin splints guide can help your aching shins
- Heel pain from plantar fasciitis? Check out our popular post on the best shoes for plantar fasciitis
- Summer sandals can be tough too, we have a list of summer sandals for women and another list of sandals for men
- And for the kids, the best school shoes according to our podiatrists