The Best Security Boots for Long Shifts on Your Feet
A lot of attention these days is paid to the working needs of folks with office jobs. We hear about backaches, eye strain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. For those of us that spend our working days as security guards, doormen or bouncers, our needs are very different. From a good coat to a strong flashlight, workers in the security industry have specific needs, a good pair of Security Boots.
A good pair of boots is the foundation of a safe and comfortable shift on your feet. In this article, I’ll review the specific concerns that security industries personnel must take into consideration when it comes to their footwear, and offer suggestions for a solid and durable investment of a good pair of security boots.
Keeping up Appearances
Although boots are often the last item of clothing we put on each day, and seemingly the most straightforward, shoes are as responsible for our self-image and confidence as any other part of our dress. Shoes are part of the way we present ourselves to the world, and a way that other people create an impression of us.
Work boots need to prevent injury but that doesn’t mean they need to be ugly. There are many types of boots, and one to fit each person’s aesthetic needs.
Choosing Quality Over Quantity
Good work boots, like anything made with craftmanship out of quality materials, will have a hefty price tag. If you are budget-minded, this might cause you to look around for something cheaper.
The thing is, in the long-run buying the more expensive boots will save you money. Investing in a good pair of security boots now means you won’t have to keep buying cheaper pairs of boots that will wear out within a few months. Buying cheaper boots regularly will add up to a higher overall cost than buying a higher-priced but high-quality pair of boots that will last.
It’s worth the investment to get something that will last years and keep you comfortable and safe at work.
Best Way to Prevent Injuries
For those working in industries that require long periods of standing or walking, foot injuries are a major concern. The human foot is designed for movement, and long periods of time spent standing is not only tiring, but can cause permanent damage. Without proper footwear, the joints of the feet can become mis-aligned in a condition called flat feet. This can cause inflammation that may later lead to arthritis or rheumatism.
Feet and ankles can be injured from slipping, tripping or falling. Even if your foot itself is not injured in a fall, improper footwear could easily cause the fall itself. Foot injuries can be incurred from punctures and lacerations if you step on a sharp object. Dropping something heavy on your foot can result in crushed or broken bones.
Blisters, ingrown toenails, calluses or bruised toenails are simple physical complaints that can make all the difference if standing is a part of your job for many hours of the week. Fungal infections are also common, and preventable.
Why you should have Steel toe caps
One reason to invest in good security boots is to avoid feet being crushed by falling objects. Steel toe caps are one way that good boots accomplish this level of protection. Toe caps are a protective reinforcement of the front area of the boot.
They aren’t all made of steel. Genuine steel caps are strong, but can be heavy. Alloy toe caps are made of metals like aluminum or titanium. Allow caps are up to 40% lighter than a steel cap, but can be more expensive. Both steel and alloy will set off metal detectors, making these a problem for anyone that works at a facility with this kind of security.
Composite caps are made of non-metal materials such as plastic, fiberglass or carbon fiber. Although they are made to pass safety standards, they aren’t as strong as the metal toe caps. They are lightweight, and will pass through metal detectors.
If you work at a facility with in which you’ll need toe cap boots, you’ll want to be aware of the impact and compression ratings and find a pair of boots with the ratings relevant to your specific job.
Knowing the Parts of your Boot
Boots have a few different parts, and it’s good to know the differences in design of each section.
- The outsole is the strip of rubber along the bottom of the boot that contains the tread. The tread differs depending on the intended function of the boot.
- The midsole sits between the outsole and the insole and acts as the primary shock absorber.
- The upper is the part of the boot that wraps around your ankle and lower leg. This can be made of natural or synthetic materials.
- A liner might be included and is generally intended to add a waterproof effect to the boot.
Should you Choose a Waterproof or Water Resistant Boot?
Any good boot will have enough insulation to keep your feet dry outdoors, but you’ll want to take into consideration your particular climate when choosing a security boot. The insulation could be made of many different materials, depending on the company. 200g of insulation is good for a job that includes a lot of walking, where 400g is better for a cold climate or a job in which you’ll be standing still a lot.
A water-resistant boot will repel water while a water-proof boot will keep the water out entirely. Keeping the water out isn’t the only consideration though. Sweat and condensation must be able to move out of the shoe, away from your foot, or else your feet will be soggy.
How to Maintain Your Boots
Dry Your Boots – Allow your boots to dry after a long day on the job. Boots like to air dry without excessive heat. Never subject your boots to more heat than your hand can stand. Remove insoles to speed drying. If your boots get soaked, fill them with wads of newspaper. It will draw out the moisture from within.
Keep Them Clean – Remove mud to keep the leather from drying out. A stiff brush works well and avoids getting your boots wet. Remove salt with a mild solution of vinegar and water.
Waterproof leathers do not need the same level of conditioning as regular leathers but all leathers benefit from conditioner. Boots should be clean and dry before applying conditioner. Oil-based treatments (SnoSeal, Mink Oil, Redwing Boot Oil) will soften the leather. Silicone- or PTFE- (Nikwax, Graingers) based treatments add waterproofing without softening the leather.
European Standard EN 20347 for Occupational Footwear
EN standards for occupational footwear require the following:
- Antistatic, fully enclosed and energy absorbing heel
- Cleated sole
- Outsole resistance to oil
- Water absorption resistance
These standards are only required when there is a risk of injury.
Magnum Patrol Tacticle, Unisex-Adults' Work and Safety Boots
The Magnum Patrol Tacticle is a solid choice for any outdoor security industries job. The simple black boot will go with any uniform or outdoor wear. The upper is made of water-resistant, full grain leather. Along with a moisture-wicking lining, this means your feet will breathe, while still keeping out any external moisture from rain or puddles you might encounter. The padded foam collar and tongue will keep your ankles comfortable for a long shift at work.
The outer sole is designed with a high traction slip and oil resistant tread. The toe box and heel counter are reinforced with TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) to provide protection from any occupational hazards on the job.
The TPU reinforcement means you’re good to go through any metal detectors, making this an excellent choice for guards or personnel at a facility with this kind of security.
The sole is anti-static, alkali and acid resistant. The boot is certified under EN 20347 standards.
This boot is a great choice for cold weather or warm as the design features ensure breathability and durability. Extra supports are great for those working in the securities industry that might need to stand for long periods of time.
The leather upper is highly durable while being pliable and not too stiff. These boots do not have a very high length; this might be a pro or a con, depending on your specific work needs. The laces might be difficult to get into place, but if you’re working a long shift without removing your shoes that shouldn’t prove a problem.
Magnum products come with a one-year warranty, giving you the peace of mind that any problem or discomfort that might arise will be addressed by the company.
- Supportive, warm and breathable for the foot
- Great in cold weather and when it is wet as well as during the summer as they don’t seem to get too hot
- The leather is not too stiff
- Magnum products are covered under a one year manufacturer’s warranty
- Laces can be a bit fiddly
- Not a high length Boot
Steel Toe Cap Combat Tactical Safety Ankle Boots Security Military Police Boot
The Military Police boot is another great choice for a simple yet durable and comfortable security boot. The leather upper is smooth and heavy-duty. While a heavy-duty leather like this might take time to break in, the long run is worth it for something that will be long lasting and comfortable. The boot has a padded collar and tongue and a cushioned insole for maximum comfort during a long shift standing or walking.
A 200 joule protective steel toe cap makes the Military Police boot super strong. If you work in a facility with a high need for impact protection, this boot would be a great choice. The sole is resistant to oils, acids and alkalis. The boot is water-resistant and does great through rain, snow or puddles. One downside to this boot is that the sole is not anti-slip.
A bonus is a side zip, allowing for quick removal at the end of a long shift.
- Holds Up To Rain, Mud And Snow
- Water Proof In Puddles
- Minutes Saved At The End Of Shift Not Having To Undo the Laces Is a Huge Advantage
- Sole Is Not Anti-Slip
- Issues with The Side Zip
- Takes Some Serious Breaking In
Lowa Gore-Tex Combat Boot
The Lowa Gore-tex combat boot is a super high-quality option for footwear. For those that will be on their feet for hours at a time, the Lowa boots have a great reputation for being a comfortable and durable boot.
The Lowa boots are made from all leather uppers. These boots won’t wear out super quickly like boots made of synthetic or partly-synthetic uppers. A perk of the Lowa in particular amongst leather boots is that, although leather uppers often have a long breaking-in period to soften the material, the Lowa don’t take such a long time to become comfortable. You can wear these basically out of the box, at your work shift that very same day.
The Lowa boots are lined with Gore-tex. Gore-tex is a water-resistant, breathable fabric. It repels water while continuing to let vapor through, so your sweat can evaporate while any water puddles or rain you encounter won’t get through. These wick away linings will keep your feet dry even during the longest work shift.
The Lowa have Vibram soles for excellent traction. Whether you’re standing still for a long shift or patrolling through varied terrain, you won’t need to worry about slipping or twisting an ankle with these soles. They’ll keep you steady and supported on the ground. The high ankle design of the boot contributes to this stability.
A great thing about the high-quality construction materials of the Lowa is that, if your Vibram soles wear out, you can have your boots resoled. High-quality boots come with a hefty price tag, but if you think about how long they’ll last through multiple re-solings you’ll see how worth it that initial payment is.
The Lowa are contoured to the shape of a human foot, so besides the leather not needing a breaking-in period you’ll be comfortable right away since you don’t need to spend time molding the boot to your foot with repeated wearing. You won’t have to worry about breaking-in blisters with these boots.
A final perk of the Lowa is the quick lacing. It’ll be easy to get these on before work and to slip out of them when your shift is over.
The Lowa is on the heavy side, but this is because of the high-quality materials, the Vibram soles and the stability of the design. If you’re needing to go jogging during work, these might not be for you. But if you want a heavy-duty, high-quality, safe and comfortable pair of security boots, the Lowa might be your best bet.
- Gore-tex Lined
- Very little braking in needed
- Good high ankle design
- Lacing is very simple and quick
- Can be heavier than other boots
- More expensive, but worth the price
Men’s Combat Military Black Army Patrol Hiking Cadet Work High Leather Boot
The Men’s Combat Military Patrol boot is another lightweight general use choice for any situation that doesn’t require heavy duty cold weather wear. The upper is made of half leather with a breathable lining. The lining is made of Thinsulate insulation to keep your feet warm while still allowing moisture to make its way out of the boot, away from your feet.
With a padded suede leather collar, a steel shank in the sole and high ankle support, these boots provide comfort, strength and stability.
The nylon laces and metal eyelets provide durability. A removable inner sole allows you to choose the amount of padding you’d like under your feet, making them versatile for many different foot size and comfort levels.
The soles of the Combat Military Patrol Boot are oil and slip resistant. They have excellent grip and the tough laces stay in place even if your work shift requires running or other vigorous movement. A great, multi-purpose, durable boot.
- Comfortable and they are not too warm on hot days
- Good quality multi-purpose boot
- Excellent Grip
- The laces don’t come undone easily
- Not the prettiest of boots
- Some have complained that the soles split
Savage Island Combat Patrol Boots
The Savage Island brown leather combat boots provide at least one option for those that need a non-black boot for their work uniform. The upper is made of 50/50 leather and nylon, which allows for a more lightweight boot. With 100g of insulation, these boots would be great for a warmer climate or summer work.
The sole is made of durable rubber and is oil and slip resistant, providing a rugged base for your needs. A steel shank within the sole reduces fatigue during those times you’ll be on your feet for many hours.
The boot stitching is high-quality and the interior insole is removable, providing versatility. A padded tongue and collar make these boots extra comfortable.
These boots aren’t waterproof, but highly water-resistant. They’re great for hot conditions as the 50/50 leather and nylon provide ventilation. The sizing runs large, so if you end up needing them on a colder night, an extra pair of thick socks is an option.
While they don’t have a toe cap, they are hard around the toe area. You won’t want to choose this pair of boots for heavy-duty construction facilities or anywhere with a high probability of impact, but for a general use boot these would be a good choice.
- In damp conditions and rainy days they are pretty water resistant
- Stitching is above standard and the DM sole is rugged
- Lightweight yet heavy duty quality
- Built more for hot conditions with good ventilation
- Sizing is half size larger than expected to compensate for thick socks
Grafters Stealth Boot 6 inch M497A
The Grafters Stealth Boot is another lightweight option. The upper is made from leather and nylon. The construction is super durable. These boots are not safety boots, and do not contain a toe protector. This might be a problem for those in a facility with high risk of injury, but for general guard duties these boots might be ideal, as they’re lightweight and durable. They are easy to wear for long periods of time, perfect for a long shift.
These boots run a size small, so take that into account when ordering if you go with the Grafters Stealth.
Whatever the specific needs for your security industries job might be, a durable and comfortable pair of security boots are an absolute must. Any of the boots reviewed in this article would keep you safe and secure while you do your job of keeping others safe and secure.
- Construction is of a very high standard
- Easy to wear for a 12 hour standing shift.
- Lighter than expected
- Not fitted with toe protectors – might not be such a problem for the security industry
- We Advise ordering the next size down than normally required.
The Grafters Stealth Boot is lightweight, comfortable and super durable, but doesn’t have any toe protectors, much of a problem in the security industry? The Savage Island Combat Boot, looks great and is very water-resistant and with lots of ventilation is better suited in hot conditions.
The Mens combat boot has excellent grip on the sole and is a great multi-purpose boot, but because of this it is not the prettiest of boots. The Steel Toe Cap Combat Boot is durable and comfortable with upper leather and a 200 joule protective steel toe cap that is heavy duty, the sole is not anti-slip, not great in rainy conditions outside a bar or club.
A close second in our list is the Lowa Gore-Tex Combat Boot with it’s Gore-tex water-resistant lining, strong leather uppers and Vibram soles, but it might be a bit pricey if you only work once or twice a week.
But the Clear winner here is, the Magnum Patrol Tacticle Boot Magnum have a great name in the security industry and all magnum boots are covered under a one year manufacturer’s warranty, they are great in cold conditions, even though they are not as high as other boots they are well supported and not too stiff.