The RedWing Exos Lite: A Lightweight and Comfortable Option
We collaborated with the esteemed team at Red Wing’s Irish Setter to find the most suitable work boots for electricians. Working with electricity necessitates specific requirements that differ from those of other trades, like carpentry or framing. Your electrician boots must not only provide comfort throughout the day but also offer protection against electrical conductivity.
We absolutely adore RedWing boots, and the Exos Lite is one of their lightest models to date. In our estimation, lightweight boots equate to superior comfort. Furthermore, the inclusion of the BOA fastening system allows for effortless on-and-off wearing. When we reviewed the RedWing 4216 boot, which featured the BOA system, we instantly fell in love. We’re grateful that these fasteners transcended their origins in snowboarding! Our favorite EXOS Lite variant is the Style 2453. This outstanding boot boasts a lightweight aluminum safety toe, Red Wing waterproofing, and a Vibram Extreme Lite sole that satisfies all safety standards. At around $240, these boots provide excellent value for money. We recommend replacing work boots after a year of daily use, and these boots easily meet that criterion.
The Irish Setter Crosby Work Boot: A Budget-friendly Choice
The Irish Setter Crosby Work Boot offers a happy medium for those seeking a versatile all-rounder. While there are more stable options for working on soft or unpredictable terrain all day, or softer boots for constant concrete use, the Crosby Work Boot strikes a balance. Our team loves lacing them up when they know they have a demanding day ahead. Priced at $170, these boots occupy the sweet spot between uncomfortable and less durable cheap boots, and expensive boots priced over $250. Moreover, the Crosby Work Boot comes in various styles, ensuring suitability for anyone.
Key Components of Outstanding Work Boots for Electricians
The Safety Factor
If you’re new to the electrical trade, acquaint yourself with the “EH” logo on work boots. This symbolizes the ASTM’s “Electrical Hazard” protection specification, an essential feature in any boots you consider. OSHA mandates that electricians, linemen, and similar professionals working around live electrical lines wear safety shoes. While some boots possess an EH rating, it’s crucial to double-check. If you primarily work indoors, we recommend having both features.
Please note that not all EH-rated shoes are equally suitable for all circumstances, so be mindful of your specific needs and regulations. Additionally, do not assume that any leather shoe automatically qualifies as EH-rated footwear.
Comfort Is of Utmost Importance
We have extensively tested several boots and found that a perfectly fitting pair offers exceptional comfort. The Irish Setter Ashby and Keen Utility Cincinnati boots, for instance, provide a comfortable wedge heel option. These boots can be worn all day without any discomfort. Wedge boots typically feature soft or safety toes, which are important. Although OSHA does not currently require the use of safety toes for electrical work, your employer or contract terms might. Over time, wedge boots may wear down, exposing the safety toe due to abrasion. Accidental incidents may also damage the leather despite safety toe protection. Non-metallic safety toe caps are a great choice to mitigate these issues. However, OSHA does not consider steel toes to be a shock hazard.
Determine Height and Traction
As an avid runner, I prefer wearing low-cut, lightweight boots whenever possible. However, climbing, rough or loose terrain, and varying levels of humidity require more support. Switching to a 6-inch boot is a part of the solution, but there’s more to it than that.
Premium work boots are built from the ground up with a durable, non-slip tread that offers excellent traction and doesn’t stick in mud. Look for boots with torsion control — a shank in the midsole that helps prevent twisting on unstable ground.
While I previously mentioned the wedge boots I adore for their comfort, it’s important to note that they are best suited for hard, clean surfaces like concrete and asphalt. They have shallower tread patterns, tend to stick to dirt, and are less suitable for climbing. They may not be the best choice for all job site conditions. If you plan to own a pair (and I highly recommend you do!), pay special attention to the work environments in which you’ll wear them.
Did We Mention Comfort Is King?
Whether you’re purchasing your first sports car or a high-quality pair of work boots, if they’re uncomfortable, they won’t be of much use. Some boots are “lighter to wear than they are,” meaning they absorb impact throughout the day, preventing fatigue in your legs and feet.
Proper fit is paramount. My foot size is 12-1/2, an unusual size for work boots. Normally, I wear size 13, but occasionally I have to switch to size 12. Finding my size is relatively easy in stores. However, if you choose to order online, be sure to check the return policy. Some companies offer a 30-day replacement window and might even cover shipping costs if you buy directly from them. It’s better to spend the next 6 or 12 months replacing boots that fit perfectly than to despise ill-fitting ones!
There are many other factors to consider. Look for boots with a flexible design, shock-absorbing midsoles, and premium insoles that provide proper arch support for enhanced comfort. If your feet are not “average” (whatever that means), simply swapping out the standard insole for an orthopedic one that suits your foot shape may be the key to optimal comfort.
Opting for waterproof, breathable work boots is also advisable. These boots wick away sweat and moisture from the inside while repelling external moisture. Although they won’t keep your feet completely dry if you sweat excessively (guilty!), they do an excellent job of maintaining a comfortable and manageable level of moisture.
Don’t hesitate to inquire about the available comfort technology. Despite their catchy names, these features genuinely enhance the overall comfort of the boots and represent a significant improvement over standard boot construction.
Electricians Deserve High-Quality Work Boots
When selecting the best work boots for electricians, ticking all the boxes mentioned above significantly increases your chances of finding a quality pair of boots. However, don’t overlook the quality of the construction itself. Pay attention to how well the materials are stitched together, and favor boots with double or triple seams for added durability.
Consider the boot’s assembly as well. Consolidation is the most flexible but least durable method, while direct attachment employs an injection system to bond the upper and lower parts. Welts, on the other hand, provide the strongest connection but are generally less flexible.
Ultimately, the combination of these factors and your personal prioritization, along with your budget, should dictate your final decision. Buying a good pair of boots is all well and good, but be certain that they fulfill your requirements and suit your work as an electrician.
I hope this guide assists you in purchasing the perfect work boots. In the end, you desire boots that offer a comfortable fit, fall within your budget, and boast long-lasting durability. In this case, settling for two out of three is simply inadequate.