Hi, I work outside in the field. I wear boots because it's what I think of as work wear, but they aren't very comfortable after long hours and when I go hiking I wear sneakers, which got me to thinking why are boots the work foot wear? Are they supposed to be more comfortable then shoes if you buy a quality pair? Does anyone have suggestions for me?
I would like comfortable quality foot wear with these preferences:
above the ankle for support
good for long hours
quality brand (I would like to buy a great pair and get them resoled as needed rather than buy new ones)
can go from work to dinner
good for riding a motorcycle
and would really like an old classic brand from before the 70s that would be a good 2nd hand find (I like old things, I'm an archaeology student)
I have been thinking red wings, doc martens, timberlands, or alden's if I get lucky. Am I thinking in the right direction?
I have, I guess, about 9 pairs of boots. Some for hiking, some for bad weather, some specifically for snow, some for dress, and a pair just for Cowboy Action Shooting. This is one of those boots shown in the photo below. This boot design is a replica of a common 1870's style used generally west of the Mississippi. I found that I didn't care for the mule ear pulls, so I had them shortened and sown into loops that tuck inside the upper. Boots this tall are worn with your pants tucked in, like riding boots or range boots.
Why are boots the standard choice for workwear?
Think of the requirements for workwear. Practical. Sturdy, Protective. Functional. And, comfortable.
You seem to have issues with the last one.
I am exactly the opposite of you. I wear boots, usually a cowboy or wellington style, almost exclusively...in the few places where I am forced to wear a sneaker, like at the gym, it is unpleasant to me. I can not strip them off quickly enough. They're a recipe for extreme pain and foot problems, later on.
If allowed, I have a pair of steel toed Wolverine lace-ons that would be FAR more comfortable for me to wear...but there's a rule against anything that isn't an athletic shoe.
Boots, when properly fit, are more comfortable than any other footwear. *Any* other footwear.
Yours don't fit.
I got a pair of 8" Wolverine's that confirm that.
I work as a professional archaeologist and for fieldwork I really wouldn’t recommend getting a nice pair of leather boots no matter how good they are the will get incredibly dirty both inside and out and will most likely wear through. you would not want to wear them to drive home or go to dinner etc. most of the people i work with have a pair of boots to work in then a pair to travel home in. often my boots are so muddy that I am embarrassed to walk down the high street and have to take my boots of to go in shops.
you can get none boot type safety shoes which can be quite comfortable, my last pair which were provided by a previous employer are this type and not bad to wear. I don’t know about in the USA but In the UK for any construction related activities steel toecaps are mandatory which rules out most classic boots.
My recommendation would be to get a good pair of comfortable steel toe caped safety shoes or boots from a good brand and they will last you a few years but you wont want to use them outside of work then get a nice pair of boots or whatever to ride you bike.
The point of work boots is to keep your feet safe and dry whilst you are at work they don’t need to look cool. Archaeology is particularly hard on footware and most classic boots would be wasted.
Make certain your toes have enough room. Wolverine's 8" lace on fits me perfectly. Steel toe or not, your toes shouldn't be squished into the end.
If you have a wide toe, Justin even has a square toed "cowboy boot" with steel toes that look nice *and* would probably be very comfortable.
nice but i think if i turned up to work in cowboy boots i would never hear the end of it.
Why? What is it that you do that would preclude the wearing of a well built steel toed boot that was actually attractive when new?
Is ugly a requirement?
I judge boots on their quality of construction, fit, and utility. The color of the stitching isn't a deal-breaker for me. What I posted is a steel toed, Wellington work boot with an extra wide toe...which was my point, since I asked whether your toes were wide.
And, I wholeheartedly agree about H-H. Great boots.
I have worn boots daily for most of my adult life, most often the work style boot you are discussing here, my preference is Justin Boots but I like Redwing and Ariat boots as well. During the winter I tend to wear lace ups and summer months the slip on variety. As for comfort in my opinion a boot is great for daily wear. I try to have at least two different types available so I can let them breath and switch them out just for a daily change but I have been known to wear the same boot for weeks at a time. My work is heavy commercial construction and we are required to wear a work boot to work every day, if you are in the Cold Wet Winter, Hot Dry Summer - adverse conditions or not a good boot can be your best bet to making it through the day. My dad who was in the same line of work always insisted that purchasing a good quality boot was the only way to make your feet last.
Excuse the cut and paste, but it gave a good bit of info for the boot. I wore these for many a mile, and they kept my feet protected and dry. Incredibly light weight considering the construction. They also make them for colder climates etc. Danner has a whole line of different types.
American-made Danner Elite Series Fort Lewis Boots. A stalwart uninsulated Boot for warmer climates. The patented GORE-TEX liner keeps you dry no matter how long youre out there, and rugged Danner construction protects you from injury. Specs: Waterproof, full grain leather upper; Durable stitch-down construction provides greater stability; GORE-TEX waterproof / breathable liner for unbeatable wetness protection; Uninsulated for breathable comfort; Cambrelle moisture wicking lining helps keep your feet cool and dry; Airthotic footbed provides added support, reduces fatigue and cushions your step for all-day comfort; Rubber / polyurethane midsole, fiberglass shank; Vibram 148 Kletterlift outsole provides a reliable combination of traction and stability; Last: 650.; FORSCOM-approved; Each stands approx. 10" h., weighs approx. 35 ozs. Made in USA