When Slip-On Boots Are A Good Idea And When They're Not
There are some instances where a slip-on boot is a great choice for work or for casual wear, but there are some when they definitely aren't.
There's a good reason why most work boots and boots or shoes for any practical purpose have lacing. There's also a good reason some don't.
So, if you're wondering if you should opt for something more like a cowboy boot or a Wellington for work purposes...there are definitely some trades where you should and where you shouldn't. The same is true for more all-purpose boots or shoes.
When Slip-On Boots Are A Good Choice For A Work Boot
Slip-on boots are great for work if you don't need the ankle support of laced boots, or if you know they're going to get absolutely trashed during the day and you'll be taking them off a lot.
That's why pull-on boots of some sort are popular with farmers and people who work with concrete.
Typically, people aren't walking up the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere to pour a pad of concrete; you're in urban or suburban areas that are already pretty flat and they're easier to take off and clean when you get home.
An awful lot of farmland is relatively flat, and the same idea applies. Walking up and down a wheat field doesn't really require the same support that logging boots or wildland firefighting boots provide.
They're also great for casual use landscaping or working in the garden or what have you.
In other words, a slip-on boot is great when or if you don't really need much ankle support or stability, or if your feet are going to get caked in mud, dirt or other stuff and you want to leave them on the porch.
When Pull-On Boots Are A Bad Idea
Whenever there's any dynamic movement, pull-on boots are really not a good idea. You don't get the support you need, and the slipping and sliding your feet will do inside the boot can lead to problems.
Going up or down a hill without the heel being set into the boot is not a great feeling. You get hot spots as your feet slide back and forth, and it puts more stress and strain on the ankles and knees.
That's why a lot of firefighters in urban departments wind up with a lot oflower leg injuries. Pull-on bunker boots just don't have the right amount of support.
The heel, arch and other aspects of boot construction aren't really the issue; it's more about the stability and security of the boot once your foot is in it. If you're walking around on flat ground and don't have to move around a lot...no big deal.
But if you have to do a lot of squatting and moving around and going up and down on uneven terrain...you need a bit more support for your feet.
Slip-On Boots Are Great For Casual Wear
There are a lot of slip-on boots for casual wear, and this is where they excel.
A pair of pull-on engineer or harness boots are classic motorcycle boots because they're comfortable and look cool.
Pull-on fashion boots are pretty common. It's fair to say that very few people who own cowboy boots actually ride horses...or have even seen one. Chelsea boots have been a thing for some time. A lot of dress shoes don't lace up and so on.
Having that pair of cheap rubber boots or what have you for working in the yard is great too. You don't have to worry if you step in the dog's leavings or get them a bit dirty; they aren't going in the house anyway.
But a pair of boots that's great for all kinds of work is also great to wear everywhere else.