Work Boot Laces Guide

Work Boot Laces

So your trusty pair of work boots outlasted the laces they came with? Do not worry this is a common problem, and over here at WorkBootGuide, we’ve got you covered.

Seeing as your the kind of person to look up work boot laces, I am going to assume you’re looking for some real in-depth knowledge, if so you have come to the right place.

Laces are fairly simple to the eye, they tend to be made of cord and are in a string setup. The simpleness ends there! Work boot laces can be incredibly complicated and are engineered with the utmost care, some of them at least, to hold up to the harshest of working conditions.

So what leads to a work boot lace’s durability? Many factors of course but I am going to break it down into two main categories.

Material

Coating

Now, let’s dig into these some more.

Material

Work boot laces come in all sorts of different materials. So it can be difficult to figure out which material is going to best suit your needs. Let’s go ahead break down the main materials used and list some of there pros and cons.

Leather

Leather laces are by far the most traditional option. You see them quite often on dress shoes, but they also have a place on the job site. Leather laces are ideal for welders. This should be a no brainer, because when we weld what do we protect our hands with? Leather gloves of course!

The Advantage of Leather Work Boot Laces

Leather doesn’t burn so when slag falls, it is not going to destroy your laces!

When it comes to looks, leather is hard to beat. It is stylish and pairs with most work boots because, well they’re made of leather as well.

Most leather laces are cut to fit so they may require an extra step to get going, but in the end, they let you get your lace length just where you want it.

The Cons of Leather Work Boot Laces

Leather is a natural material so you may sometimes find a weak spot in the lace and it can break, thankfully most manufacturers cover this.

Quality control, you have to do your research on a reputable manufacturer or supplier of your leather boot laces, the market is riddled with cheap options that can be less than satisfying. Thankfully we have you covered on this one, go over and check out our leather boot lace buying guide.

Nylon

Nylons is an incredibly durable fiber that we use in many facets of our lives. Someone much smarter than me one day had the idea to use this versatile material to make boot laces, and I must say they were on to something

The Advantages of Nylon Work Boot Laces

Nylon is an incredibly strong and won’t rip or tear on you when you are tightening up your work boots

Nylon cannot absorb water, so it makes for a great lace in wet conditions. Water resistance is a major advantage to using a Nylon lace.

Tighter knots. Nylon laces are made of thousands of tiny little synthetic strands woven together to give them strength. This synthetic material allows you to tie a tighter knot when putting on your work boots.

The Cons of Nylon Work Boot Laces

Nylon laces should not be used anywhere where you may get a heated object on them. If a piece of hot slag hits your laces, there is a good chance they will melt. This can and is counteracted by some manufacturers by putting a wax coating on the laces.

These laces cannot be cut to length, so you must know the length of lace you need before purchasing.

Kevlar

The same stuff they use in bulletproof vests, they use in your laces. There are several manufacturers out there who advertise having the toughest laces, the laces that fireman and ironworkers wear, both of those manufacturers use kevlar in their laces.

Kevlar is a little different than the above materials because you can’t make a work boot lace out of pure kevlar, it has to be woven in with other materials. This then lets those other materials draw on the strength and durability of the kevlar.

The Advantages of Kevlar Work Boot Laces

Extreme durability, these are the toughest laces out there, I mean they make bulletproof vests out of the same material.

Fire and melt resistant, you’ll have no problems in the harshest of conditions with kevlar laces.

The Cons of Kevlar Work Boot Laces

Cost, they tend to be more expensive than other cheaper laces.

They can not be cut to length, you need to know your lace size before ordering a pair of these.

Work Boot Laces Coatings

When purchasing a work boot lace you need to be aware of the laces coating, or if it has one. Most coatings on work boot laces are made of beeswax or sometimes Paraffin wax.

Many laces feature a waxy coating on the outside the lace. This coating helps keep the work boot lace moisture resistant. This coating can also add to the durability of the lace by reducing friction on the eyelets of your boot. At the same time, this wax can help your knot or knots hold stronger. Coating the lace in wax prevents stretching of the lace, ensuring that your work boots stay tight on your feet.

Conclusion

Now that you know the materials used in work boot laces and the coatings used on work boot laces, you should be able to make a well-informed purchase on a pair of laces that will last you years. If your just looking for a quick recommendation, check out IronLace, they make some of the toughest laces out there at a reasonable price. Happy hunting and stay safe on the job site.

Winter Work Sock Guide

Winter Work Socks and Work Boots

 

Are your feet getting cold? Are you finding your socks are soggy at the end of the day? Maybe your sweating so much in your boots that your feet are starting to hurt? All of these problems could be solved by a proper pair of work boots socks, more specifically a pair of winter work socks.

Unfortunately, I can’t just tell you which socks are the best for you, as everyone’s needs and conditions are different. What I can do is try and help steer you to your ideal pair of winter work socks by bringing up key conditions for you to consider. I can also educate you on the pros and cons of the different materials as well as fits that make up the winter work sock world.

You may notice that many of the socks that meet your requirements are branded or labeled as hiking or backpacking socks, don’t let this scare you off, many of the same needs we as workers have are the same needs as many outdoors people.

Environmental conditions

What environmental conditions do you need to consider when selecting your winter work sock?

Temperature

The first and perhaps most important factor in selecting a winter work sock is the temperature that you and your feet are going to be exposed too. For example, you wouldn’t want a fully insulated, subarctic conditions rated sock if you’re working inside in a heated building. So before buying your winter work sock try to get an idea of what temperatures you’re are going to be exposed to as you wear it.

Weather

Are you going to be working outside in the snow? Or maybe you’re working in a very dry cold environment? Do you live in an area where it rains all winter and spring?

These are all questions you must ask yourself when selecting your winter work sock. As you will read below certain fabrics handle moisture and varying climates better than others, this makes it incredibly important to identify the weather conditions you will be working in.

Activity

What activity or work you are going to be performing? Will you be up and down a ladder, being physically active and working up a sweat? Maybe you’re going to be on a fire watch all day or have a position the involves standing in one area for a considerable amount of time.

This must be considered, selecting a sock that doesn’t handle sweat well while working a physically intense job is a recipe for disaster. Pooled sweat or moisture in your boots can be a disaster. Not only is it uncomfortable and unpleasant, but it can also lead to a whole host of foot related health issues.

Sock characteristics

Now that we have established and considered our environmental conditions, we can now move onto which properties of socks you need to be aware of.

The most important will be the socks material. There are many, many different materials used in the manufacturing of socks, because of this I have picked the most common of them below.

Material

Wool

The ancient material. This is probably what your dad and Grandpa wore back in there day and it is just as common of choice today as it was back then.

pros

      • Naturally wicks away sweat and water
      • Excellent insulator
      • Keeps feet smelling fresh and has natural antimicrobial properties
      • Quick drying Stays warm even when wet
      • Can absorb 30 percent of its weight in water

cons

      • Can be itchy
      • Not the most durable material
      • Can Be Expensive

Cotton

While cotton is a great choice of material for your everyday walking around socks, it is not going to be ideal for working conditions. The main appeal of cotton is price and availability. Use cotton socks only as a last resort when working in wet locations.

pros

      • Cheap
      • Widely available

cons

      • Holds water
      • Loses all Insulation value when wet
      • Can rub and cause blisters due to water retention

Merino wool

Think of merino wool as the wool of the future. It has all of the benefits of traditional wool without any of the downsides. Itching is a thing of the past with merino wool. This is my go-to choice for almost all situations, during winter, as it is an incredibly versatile material that will keep you warm and dry.

pros

      • keeps feet dry
      • no itch
      • comfortable in a wide variety of temperatures
      • naturally wicks sweat away from feet by turning it into vapor

cons

      • price
      • maybe to warm for hotter climates

Fleece

If you’re looking for something comfy and cozy fleece is your best bet. These socks offer excellent comfort, most can even double as a slipper!  The downside with fleece is that it tends to be less durable than other fabrics.

Pros

      • Soft and Comfortable
      • Incredibly warm
      • Keeps insulating when wet

Cons

      • Not durable
      • Does not wick moisture

 

Fit

You must also consider the fit of your socks when choosing them. Take care to find a sock that fits you properly otherwise you may end up having some issues such as a loose sock bunch up on your foot, conversely a sock that is too tight can slip down and become uncomfortable.

Height

I almost exclusively recommend a midcalf or higher sock. This is because anything lower does not provide adequate protection from your work boots rubbing against your calf. This can be incredibly irritating and is amplified when the leather boot is wet, which is often the case in winter.