Anyone who has spent a full workday on his feet knows that comfortable work boots are not just a luxury – they’re a necessity.
If you're searching for the most comfortable work boot you can find, check out the tips below:
- The Fit. If you want comfortable working boots, it starts with the fit. Everyone's feet are different, so make sure your work boots fit your feet.
- Cushioning. Standing on your feet all day? A cushiony midsole and insole will help to soften the weight of gravity on your feet. Thick socks help with this. too
- Weight. High tops tend to be heavier than low tops. If you're doing a lot of running on the job, you'll be able to run more comfortably in athletic low tops.
- Waterproofing. There's nothing comfortable about wet feet. Look for boots with a gusseted tongue to prevent both water and debris from getting inside your boots
Comfort may seem like a luxury, but if you actually feel uncomfortable, it means your body is trying to tell you something. A pair of boots that leaves your feet aching after kicking them off could possibly be damaging your feet. And, in a worst case scenario, it means this pain can be a possible source of health problems down the road. There’s a laundry list of health problems that can be caused by improper footwear, from chronic back complications to painful corns.
Let’s not get into what make uncomfortable service boots since finding work boots online is so easy, as long as you know what you're looking for. If you know what features to look for when shopping, your boots will be both comfortable and long-lasting.
When shopping for work or tactical boots in either a traditional brick-and-mortar shop or on the web, landing on a pair of boots with a forgiving warranty is critical. Although a warranty is the last thing most people probably think about when trying to find the right work boots, a forgiving return policy can potentially mean the difference between securing a solid pair of boots that will last you multiple seasons and flushing money down the drain.
That’s why Magnum offers a 60-day comfort guarantee and 1-year warranty. If you find hot spots or pinching when you slip on your new work or combat boots for the first time, feel free to return them for a new pair. If the boots arrive with any type of factory error, just send ‘em back!
Comfort isn’t exactly a one-size fits all type deal. The right pair of working footwear is going to depend on two things: the shape of your foot and what your job asks of you.
When trying your new work or army boots on for the first time, there are a couple of key points to look for in determining whether or not it’s a good fit. Remember, you want your boots to be snug but comfortable:
- Behind the heel. Before you lace up, push your foot up towards the front of the boot so your toes touch the upper-most part. One finger should be able to fit comfortably behind the heel.
- Room in the toes. After lacing up and standing tall, your toes should have just enough room to wiggle. Don’t suffer for fashion like women’s high heels, these work and law enforcement boots are for working safe and comfortably – your toes should not be cramped.
- Heel movement. Rock your boot up and down, wiggle your ankles, and do anything else necessary to test movement in the boot. Your heel should stay perfectly secured, never lifting or sliding during movement.
- Ankle support. Lean from side to side – your boots should feel flexible and not resist these motions. If your ankle becomes uncomfortable, the boot is not providing you with proper support.
Standing for Long Hours
Jobs that demand standing for long hours - like security personnel and duty patrol – require extra comfortable boots. The human foot is full of sensitive nerves and the two feet combined hold around ¼ of the bones found in the human body.
Standing upright for many hours at a time may cause damaged veins. When you kick your boots off after a long day’s work and your feet are swollen, it’s because standing on your feet builds up pressure inside the veins of your feet. Prolonged standing on a hard surface can permanently expand these veins, causing chronic foot conditions.
Insoles & Midsoles
The best way to reduce the pressure on your feet is by wearing orthotics, insoles, or sock liners. Many service boot models feature padded insoles sewn directly into the boot. You can also buy comfortable sockliners like the Magnum M-PACT sockliner.
Orthotics, insoles, and sockliners offer cushioning that distributes the weight of your foot over a larger surface – this minimizes the damage done to your feet by standing for hours at a time. Midsoles are also useful in making boots more comfortable by providing extra padding.
Unfortunately, most footbeds only retain about 30% of the original cushioning after a year of use. Others, like the M-PACT sockliner, are created with IMPRINT visco-elastic memory foam that’s proven to retain approximately 95% of its cushioning after a year of use.
The easiest way to reduce pressure is to wear heavy socks. Socks will not only reduce the pressure on your feet, but also prevent painful corns from popping up. Most people do not want to wear thick socks during the warmer months, so breathable performance socks present a great alternative to eliminate irritation and keep your feet comfortable.
A Sturdy Shank
The shank of a boot forms the supportive structure between the insole and outsole. A good, sturdy shank will equally distribute your weight and take the pressure off the bottoms of your feet. Boots like the Response III feature a non-metal shank that adds arch support, making long shifts standing up easier on your feet.
In the market for a new pair of work boots? You can compare Magnum work boots with our chart.
Spring in to Action
Soldiers and officers may spend long hours on their feet, but performance in the heat of the action is what separates their footwear needs from security guards. Running in heavy, clunky boots is anything but comfortable. In the line of duty, soldiers and law enforcement officer need to effectively run in short, explosive bursts when pursuing objectives.
Law enforcement boots should also be extremely flexible for scenarios that call for sharp turns and maneuverability. Boots intended for running need to be lightweight and comfortable – it’s why Magnum’s tactical boots like the Elite Spider 8.0 are hybrids that feel like running shoes yet function like a tactical boots.
High Tops vs Low Tops
Whether it’s basketball shoes or tactical boots, more and more brands are opting to offer both high top and low top versions of shoe models.
So what is the difference between high tops and low tops?
For the most part, it’s about aesthetic taste. At one point, many people believed high tops reduce the chance of ankle sprains, but researchers have since proved that high tops do not eliminate foot and ankle movement inside the shoe that results in rolling an ankle.
The difference between high tops and low tops come down to weight vs. support. High tops can be laced high enough to add extra ankle support, and the design of a high top naturally provides more lateral support and traction. Statistically, injury rates tend to be about equal, but some researches speculate that injuries are more severe in low tops.
If speed is the most important aspect of your work footwear, it’s worth considering low tops. High tops add weight to the body of the shoe and increase drag while running, slowing you down on the go. Low top shoes tend to be more comfortable for running even though you sacrifice some support.
You know what’s not comfortable? Debris piercing the bottoms of your feet. If you’re an urban cop looking for secure law enforcement boots, consider taking a second look at the shank of a boot you intend to purchase. A boot shank adds support and can protect you from rubble underfoot.
A work boot like the Halifax 6.0 features a puncture-proof plate, which is very handy for worksites. In situations where you know you will be working in areas with broken glass and stray nails, a puncture-proof plate offers you peace of mind.
Dry Feet Are Comfortable Feet
Most working boots come pre water-proofed these days, but if not, it pays to treat the leather surfaces of your boots. Exposing your feet to moisture for prolonged periods of time breaks down skin tissue, often leading to ringworm fungus and athlete’s foot. Learn how to clean and care for your boots to keep your feet dry, cool, and happy.
If your job calls for long hours spent outdoors in a region that receives above average rainfall, consider opting for a boot with a breathable material. Also, a moisture wicking lining like that found in the Stealth Force 6.0 will wick moisture away from your feet in case any water does happen to get in.
Comfort is tied to performance. It’s hard to be on the top of your game if you can’t focus on anything besides your aching feet. If you want your feet to remain comfortable throughout your workday, look for snug-fitting working boots with a cushioned insole. Also, a warranty like Magnum’s 60-day comfort guarantee is always ideal in case hot spots surface during the break in period.
But enough about your own comfort - what about the comfort of your friends and family once you kick off your boots for the day? Here’s a little known fact: you can reduce foot odor by always wearing socks and wearing boots with moisture wicking lining and antimicrobial properties to minimize odor-causing fungi. You’re welcome.