We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Homestead Work Boot
Your boot should provide:
Safety – There’s an inherent set of dangers to every work. We want to know we can rely on our boots for adequate foot protection at all times.
Longevity – We want out work boots to hold up for the long haul.
Water-protection – Wet feet can make a grueling day unbearable.
Comfort – Your boots need to fit properly and not work against you.
Let’s take a look at each point.
Safety is The First Most Important Consideration
Safety Toed Shoes
Safety toes are probably the most discussed feature of work boots.
They’re an excellent addition to your footwear if something heavy falling on your feet is a real danger. Plus, they just look cool.
Aluminum/steel toe work boots were the norm back in the day, but they’re starting to give way to modern, composite materials.
Their major pro is the ability to handle more of a crushing force than composites could. On the other hand, they’ll act as conductors in cold and hot climates, bringing the outside weather straight into your boots. It doesn’t sound pleasant because it isn’t.
Composite toes are usually made of plastic, carbon fiber or Kevlar. They offer a fair amount of protection without “exposing” your feet to the elements.
Another layer of “heavy-objects-falling” protection for your toes and upper foot, this one is used by people working in extreme conditions.
A must-have safety precaution if you’re doing anything remotely connected to construction or walking through debris, rubble and generally inhospitable terrain.
It’s located in between the mid sole and the footbed of the work boot and it’s a “nice-to-have” even without obvious dangers in your homestead.
Grip is the thing keeping you on your feet.
One-third of all construction-related accidents were a result of a fall or slip, so traction is the key to avoiding some major hazards.
The best method for avoiding silly accidents is being aware and mindful.
Resistance to electricity
If you’ve decided to keep the power in your homestead, everything steel toe cap related is off the table.
Composite toes won’t conduct electricity, making them the clear choice here. Static shock is also a decreased possibility due to the presence of plastic.
There are work boots with rubber components dedicated to electricity-resistance.
The two innovations I’ll mention are:
Tough-Tec leather – It provides additional abrasion resistance, increasing the protection of the foot and the upper of your work boot
Usage of Kevlar – Adding to the fire-resistance of work boots. Manufacturers even treat the laces with it so they wouldn’t melt when exposed to high temperatures.
Work boots construction options
Work boots share a lot of common traits with, let’s say hiking or tactical boots, but we’ll keep our focus on the class-specific construction issues here. It’s what dictates flexibility, weight and the overall performance of the work boot.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
Cement construction – It refers to the “cementing” of the outsole and upper. This option is very flexible and lightweight but suffers from possible de-lamination with time. The biggest downside is that cemented work boots can’t be re-soled. On the other hand, they’re pretty cheap.
Goodyear Welt – This is what I call back to basics. It’s the most durable option for boot construction and the simplest at the same time. All 4 layers of the work boot are stitched together via leather strip called “welt” (hence the name). Once damaged, boots can be repaired or re-soled, which significantly increases their durability.
Blake stitch – This is a construction where uppers, sock liner and soles are all connected via single stitch. It’s a very secure attaching method, forming a tough bond between all the integral parts of the work boot Waterproof work boots are the way to go.
Water in your boots is uncomfortable and helps bacteria and fungus growth. It’ll also break down your skin tissue and leave your feet at their most vulnerable.
GoreTex is the one stop shop for all your waterproofing needs. GTX is a Teflon-covered membrane that’s both 100% waterproof yet highly breathable. It wicks moisture from the inside via millions of microscopic openings, keeping your feet perfectly dry and safe.
Comfort for Your Work Boots
Insulation – Improper insulation in your boots is also a huge distraction from the work you should be doing. If you work in moderate weather, well-insulated work boots are nice to have. If your playing ground features harsher climate, they’re downright a necessity.
Weight – The ideal option for a homestead prepper is protective and solid work boot weighing around 2lbs.
Support – Every part of your working boots influences its support level. Mid soles, insoles, puncture plates, shanks, outsole’s all give their contribution to the overall feel.
Flexibility – The material of choice for most work boots is leather. Leather will conform to the shape of your feet and remain very flexible in the areas that move the most. Treat your leather work boots with conditioner often to keep their comfort and flexibility.
Fit – I personally consider this to be the most important aspect of every piece of work footwear. Pay close attention that you get a snug but not tight fit. You want plenty of space for your toes, no tightness anywhere, enough space to accommodate your favorite socks and no rubbing in the heel part of the boot