For workers who have high-risk occupations at mining and construction sites, PPEs, like steel-toe boots are required. This kind of footwear will provide the protection you need while doing your job in these and other industries.
These boots are also popular with subculture groups—punks, goths, and bikers have supplemented their fashion and image by including steel toe boots in their wardrobe. However, one common complaint about the footwear is the fact that it takes time to break it in. These are boots that are notorious for being tough and durable, so it is understandable why it takes time to get used to wearing them.
Here are some ways in which you can break in your steel-toe footwear.
- Wear them for an hour or more every day for a week or more before wearing them for an entire day. By doing this, you will eventually let the boots’ fibers mold around your feet. It will also allow you to get used to the steel toe part of the footwear.
- Prior to putting the boots on every day, you must bend the boot’s body backward and forward a few times to facilitate flex in the soles
- Position insoles in the boots to deliver additional comfort to your feet in case you feel the boots do not have sufficient padding after wearing them for a few days. These insoles will provide additional cushioning to the boot’s bottom parts, and will help the sole adapt to the foot.
- You can also place moleskin on any part of the foot, like the toes or the heel, to produce a barrier between parts which can rub against the boot’s body. Moleskin is a thin, supple item that holds fast to the skin, and you can buy it in drugstores.
- Raise the amount of time you wear the shoes following two weeks of wearing them for 3-4 hours each day. As soon as the boots begin to feel more comfortable, and it does not produce any resistance, it is likely safe to put wear them at work or while doing your activities.
- Make sure that you buy a pair that fits you just right. The boots should not be too tight or too loose because it will only lead to discomfort and ultimately affect your productivity at work. Unlike other shoes and boots, steel-toe boots do not have the capability to stretch much due to their design. Thus, it is crucial that you get a pair that properly fits.
- For padding and to let the boots’ fibers stretch a bit, you can opt to wear thick socks while wearing them. Wearing socks will also provide insulation and shield your toes from the coldness of the steel toes in case you live in a colder location. Wearing socks will also help avoid the kinds of chafing that often leads to annoyances like blisters.
- Make use of Band-Aids in case you acquire a blister while breaking in the boots. To be on the safe side, use them if you feel that you might be acquiring a blister or abrasion. While blisters are not a grave medical condition, and will not need treatment, the appearance of blisters reveals that the boots are chafing a certain part of your foot. The Band-Aids will help shield these areas while the boots are breaking in, and it will prevent any blisters from becoming worse.
- You can also consider using shoe inserts for your boots if any of the above did not make wearing the boots more comfortable for you. Shoe inserts come in a range of styles for a variety of feet shapes and concerns. For instance, there are inserts that provide arch support, and there are smaller ones which can help cushion a certain spot on the shoe that chafes or rubs against the foot. These inserts can make wearing heavy-duty shoes more bearable, and will provide extra comfort while wearing the boots all day.
- In case you have a serious leg, foot or back condition that you feel might be connected to discomfort from wearing the boots, then it is wise that you ask a physician for recommendations. There are also cases wherein physicians might even recommend the use of customized orthotics.