Why Do Ironworkers Wear Wedge Boots?

There are few professions in the world that pose as much of a risk to a worker’s health than ironworking. From dealing with heavy loads, to working at the great heights, to using powerful cutting and welding tools, and to facing the constant risk of falling objects, the room for error here is precariously small.

A trip or slip could mean death. It surely is no surprise then that investing in a good pair of wedge boots is commonplace here. But why exactly do ironworkers wear wedge boots you might ask? Read on to find out 5 reasons why along with some frequently asked questions.

1 – For Protection

Wedge boots are often built from the sturdiest materials out there such as heavy-duty leather.

For instance, you’ll find protective toes with caps made out of iron and other durable materials that are installed specifically to protect against falling, heavy objects that would otherwise break a few bones. You’ll even notice that the wedge boot’s sole is thicker and taller than normal boots.

This offers its wearer a more stable experience that distributes pressure throughout the foot evenly. It may not seem like much, but it does a long way in promoting good feet health and reducing the likelihood of developing chronic pains.

And of course, as if it weren’t apparent, thanks to the sturdy overall build of the boot, it’ll easily ward off any accidental cuts or burns that otherwise would leave nasty scars on feet. 

2 – For Comfort

Surprising to many, though wedge boots appear hefty, cumbersome, and rough, they’re actually more comfortable than meets the eye.

First off, wedge boots are a pretty diverse type of shoe. They come in all shapes and sizes that includes lightweight boots that’ll give you all the freedom you need to work on your feet and move around all day to heavier counterparts that offer a little more in terms of durability and protection.

And secondly, because of how much detail is poured into the sole of the boot, you’ll notice that its sole is usually larger than that of a normal shoe and. This is fantastic as it helps distribute force when you move around, adding a little extra cushioning.

This may not seem like much but as days turn into weeks and months and years, it’ll go a long way in preventing any nasty chronic pains that could develop overtime. 

3 – For Safety

Tying in directly to protection, one of the biggest safety hazards an ironworker could expose themselves to is slipping. Worksites aren’t the tidiest of places oftentimes.

Water, oil, and other slippery liquids are almost guaranteed to be littered about. These are all slip hazards and the last thing any ironworker wants is to slip, especially when working from great heights and around dangerous equipment.

As the undersides and sole of wedge boots are always made out of non-slip materials (such as polyurethane) and come engraved with slip-resistant patterns, it’s pretty apparent as to why wedge boots are the preferred boot for the ironworker.

This also goes directly hand in hand to providing a far more stable shoe even during long work hours. So for ironworkers, who often need to balance themselves on thin bars at precarious heights, a feature like this is worth its weight in gold.

4 – For Durability 

Given how wedge boots are the preferred shoe for ironworkers, it shouldn’t surprise anyone when we say that durability is a pretty big reason as to why.

As they’re made out of the sturdiest materials that could ever be used in crafting a shoe, from fiber glass to composite shanks and to classic full-grain leather, wedge boots can easily weather the long months and years of hard work. With such solid durability, justifying the cost of a solid pair of boots becomes far easier as well.

Of course a word of caution: all this is only as true as the actual quality of the wedge boot and whether or not proper care and maintenance is given by its wearer!

5 – For Style

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but when it goes to wedge boots, we think that its aesthetic appeal is pretty universal.

Not only are they a staple sight in any rough workplace, but they’re an incredibly versatile piece of clothing that can adapt seamlessly into any outfit, from the most casual to something a little more formal.

Whether you plan to spend your evenings out by your local diner or bar or intend to go for an evening stroll with your loved ones after work, your wedge boots should still be able to accompany you on every step of the way.

What exactly are wedge boots? 

Unlike typical heel boots, wedge boots are exactly what they’re named after: they have a wedge sole! This type of shape really started getting popular in recent decades and represent how typical ironworker boots look in the modern era.

Now, going into more detail you’ll find that its thick, tall sole actually shortens as you approach the balls of your feet. This isn’t something seen in heel boots and is probably another big, visual difference between the two. 

How do you take care of your wedge boots? 

Simple. By exercising some easy-to-follow boot care tricks. As you’re going to wear these boots almost daily, give them a nice wiping down at the end of the day to get rid of all the dirt and a proper wash and scrub monthly. Let them air dry at room temperature before storing – never store them wet unless you want molding! Finally, store them in a dry area that still allows air to circulate. 

While the above will definitely prevent your shoe from breaking down early, to maintain the overall aesthetic look of your shoe, consider weekly polishing, conditioning, and even oiling as soon as you notice the first sign of crinkling!