Standing on your feet all day, working with hot asphalt, is not an easy job. This back-breaking work isn’t just hard on your body, it’s tough on your feet too. Finding the right footwear can help ease your pain and make your day go a lot smoother.
But what makes an asphalt boot “right” for the job? You never notice a good boot, but a bad one will always ruin your day. Here are some things to look for in a good asphalt boot.
1. Flat Bottom
A flat or nearly flat outsole of an asphalt boot is a very important feature. First of all, a flat won’t get rocks or aggregate stuck in bottom. Not only will clogged soles cause aggravation, they can also be a tripping hazard if they get filled with tar.
Flat soles also do not feature a heel or tread which will prevent you from leaving tread marks in soft asphalt.
A wedged sole boot may also be considered for asphalt contractors as they provide excellent cushioning and durability while allowing full surface contact with the mat and no sharp heel to leave indents.
Your feet are bound to bear the brunt of the heat when working with asphalt that hits the ground at over 300° F. This means it’s important to choose a shoe where both the outsole and the insole are made of materials that can withstand the heat and have some characteristics to minimize heat transfer through the boot sole into your foot.
Some asphalt boots are made of polyurethane compounds that provide heat resistance for 8 hours against 212 °F. Some outsoles are made from nitrile rubber and are heat-resistant to over 500°F.
Thermal insoles heat barriers also provide insulation against hot pavement.
Construction workers always need to be compliant with OSHA standards so make sure any boot you choose complies with 1910.136 standards and features a ASTM F2413-11 I/75, C/75 safety toe cap. A composite safety toe made from fiberglass and nylon materials will be less likely to transfer heat like a steel safety toe.
Additional safety features can include a puncture-resistant sole and a full-gusset tongue. The full-gusset shoe tongue helps prevent hot asphalt, tar and oil from entering the shoe through the lace area which could cause burns or injury.
Finally, be sure any shoe you purchase fits properly. Not only is this important to your all-day comfort, but it also can cause safety issues. A properly fitting boot should never flop when you walk or rub against the inner surface of your foot when you walk.
Boots on the Ground:
Here are the boots asphalt workers on social media are recommending:
What boots do you trust your feet to every day? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org