Should My Work Boots Have A Raised Heel?
One feature you might notice is that some work boots have a raised heel and others have a more standard heel height, much like regular shoes. Which should you get? Which is better?
It depends. You see, the best leather work boots for you are the best leather work boots for you. It depends on what you do, where you do it, and what's best for you physically, as boot design actually does have an impact on your body.
Granted, we aren't medical experts or doctors, and you should consult a podiatrist and/or orthopedist if you're having issues. But with that said, let's talk about boot heel height and how it can impact you.
The Boot Heel: Centuries In The Making
The boot-heel design has actually evolved over hundreds of years. More than 500 years ago, Persians were wearing shoes with a raised heel, not unlike high heel shoes that women wear today. Why did they?
You see, the Persian empire (which actually lasted until the 20th century) was pretty vast. People had to get around on horseback, and a raised heel improved stability while your feet were in stirrups.
That was the beginning of the raised heel. In fact, raised heels were in fashion for men (and women) until the 18th century. However, it stuck around after it was noticed that a taller heel worked pretty well if you rode a horse.
Today, leather work boots and fashion boots alike are made with a variety of heel heights. Raised heels, mid-rise, and low-profile heels abound, in all sorts of footwear from custom work boots to dress shoes.
What's best for work boots, though?
The Best Work Boot Is The Best Work Boot For You
A perfect work boot for a perfect foot would follow the same shape as the foot itself. When you stand barefoot, your heel, outside arch, toes and the ball of your foot all support your weight. However, no one's feet has the ideal, perfect shape. Not everyone stands on a perfectly flat surface.
Therefore, as foot shape and terrain varies, footwear that compensates for these variations becomes necessary to support your foot and for you to walk securely. Your back and your posture also influence how your feet contact the ground. A person with a prominent outward arch to their back needs their heels pushed up to correct their posture. A person with flat or inwardly arched back should have less heel support.
Additionally, people with flat feet need more heel support and stability for proper pronation.
If you walk at an incline or over uneven terrain quite often for work, such as loggers and wildland firefighters, a raised heel provides more stability. If you squat often for work, such as concrete workers, masons, electricians, and other workers, a shorter heel profile will help with a proper hip hinge as a raised heel will push your center of gravity forward.
If you've noticed back and knee pain in the past with flatter heel profiles, then you may need a raised heel on your work boots to correct it. Likewise, you may need to switch to a shorter heel height if you've noticed the opposite.
Granted, we aren't doctors. If you have constant knee or back problems with certain footwear, please see a podiatrist and/or an orthopedist. They are medical specialists who can pinpoint the problem and can recommend footwear solutions, physical therapy and other treatments for it.
Pick The Right Work Boots For You With A Custom Fitting
What's definitely true about getting the right pair of work boots is that you should get measured and fit for work boots prior to purchasing a pair. If you work on your feet all day, just getting what's at your local mart store is not going to cut it.
An investment in a pair of quality custom leather work boots is an investment in your own health, comfort and also in your career. People who are in better condition are more productive, happier and better workers than people who aren't.
If you're interested in getting measured for a pair of work boots, visit us in Spokane Valley or contact us for a fitted sheet! We would be happy to assist you in getting the right pair of work boots for you.