Workers who have to wear specific boots for the job need to know what features are relevant to their profession. An experienced manufacturer will have a wide variety of features from which people can choose. Several features will be available in some boots, while other styles may only have one or two features that are required for safety.


The first feature will be the material used for the boot. High-quality leather is the best material because it is durable yet flexible. It is also resistant to punctures and holds its shape. Some are available with a water resistant coating to protect the leather. Cheaper materials will sag at the ankles, become worn down on the sides, and require more frequent replacements.

The Front of the Boot

Many workers are required to have safety footwear, which means a steel toe cap. The steel should cover the entire toe box from the front of the boot to where the toes attach to the foot. Those who need work boots, but not safety ones, can find the same styles without a steel toe cap. The boot is a bit lighter and more flexible without it.

A bump cap refers to a polyurethane coating that is applied to the front of the boot to protect the leather from being scuffed up. It is recommended to wear special socks created for work boots. They will breath and keep the foot from getting too hot. This will help prevent burning and fungus.

Support Features

High work boots are designed to provide extra support to the sides of the feet and the ankles. Some manufacturers will add a stiffer cuff at the ankle to cushion it. Some boots have superior support for the entire foot and ankle. A metatarsal guard, for example, offers impact protection higher up the top of the foot where it meets the ankle.

A zip-sided work boot can provide fast and easy access to the ankle in the event of an injury. It will also act as an escape route for the foot in case of an emergency. Unlacing work boots will take much more time than unzipping the side.

The cushioning inside the boot can help support the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. A patented “Tri-Sole” system created by SteelBlue, for example, is specially designed to alleviate pressure on the joints and reduce the risk of stress fractures.