Steel toe boots are among the best safety shoes that you can wear in the workplace and for other outdoor activities, particularly those that expose you to harsh environments regularly. While most steel toe boots are designed to be comfortable, there are instances when you need to widen them to improve their comfort level even further.
Learn more about how to widen steel toe boots effectively and make such footwear as comfortable and secure as possible with the help of this article.
Advantages of Wearing Steel Toe Boots
Why should you wear steel toe boots? The main answer is to protect yourself. It is mainly because one of the main advantages of wearing boots with steel toe caps is to offer you protection, especially if you are working in a certain type of industry – ex. construction.
If you are a construction worker, you are most likely constantly exposed to heavy machinery and objects. By wearing a steel toe boot, there is a lower chance for you to damage your feet and toes in case you encountered an accident, unfortunately.
The footwear can also prevent you from experiencing too much pain due to a falling heavy object. In fact, it can withstand around 50-75 lbs. of falling pressure, preventing a painful experience.
Aside from preventing injuries caused by falling objects, a steel toe boot can also help you avoid the risk of getting injured from other incidents, like slips and falls. It can also prevent you from experiencing burns and punctures.
Furthermore, steel toe boots are beneficial in the sense that they offer additional support, thereby eliminating the discomfort usually caused by prolonged standing, especially on hard surfaces. Just ensure that you pick one made of high-quality materials so you will be able to enjoy all the mentioned advantages.
How to Widen Steel Toe Boots?
As mentioned earlier, while steel toe boots are often made to be comfortable, there are instances when certain factors, like a poor fit, can cause problems when wearing it. For instance, it can cause blisters, pain, inflammation, etc., especially if you buy the wrong fit and you wear it in a physically exhausting environment for an extended period.
If that is the case for you, then rest assured that there is no need to spend money purchasing another one. It is because there are actually ways to widen steel toe boots and make them more comfortable to wear. Some of them are the following.
What you have to do to take advantage of this solution on widening steel toe boot is to get a mop stick or broom then insert it to the footwear. Your goal should be to aim the stick or broom towards the part, usually the heel or toe, which is either tight or pinches.
Once done, you can gently yet firmly bend your footwear over the stick. It causes the leather to stretch out of the sole, particularly in the specific part of the feet affected by the pain and discomfort. You will know that you have successfully widened or stretched the boot in the area if you notice a bit of outward discoloration on the leather material.
Cold Water Treatment
This is another effective solution for widening steel toe boot and making it as comfortable as possible. All that you have to do is to prepare cold water and a Ziploc bag. Pour the water into the bag. Ensure that you release all excess oil from it prior to sealing it.
Put the bag containing the water inside the footwear. Make sure that you angle the water at the specific direction where it pinches. Once done, you can put it in the freezer. Let it stay there overnight. This will prompt the water to turn into ice, thereby expanding and stretching the boot.
After letting it stay in the freezer overnight, remove it there. Make sure that you allow the ice to melt completely prior to removing it from the boot.
In this solution on widening steel toe boot, you need to use mink oil. An alternative is another leather conditioner. What you have to do is to apply a liberal amount of the oil or conditioner into the outer part of the boot. Focus on those areas where pinching is noticeable.
Do not remove the oil or conditioner right away as you still need to let it stay there overnight. Use a cloth to remove excess oil or conditioner once you wake up in the morning. Both the oil and conditioner are actually useful in softening the leather material, making it easier to let it stretch once you wear it.
Use a steel toe boot stretcher
What you have to do is to insert the boot stretcher inside your footwear. Ensure that you insert it in such a way that it stretches or widens your boot based on your preference – either breadthwise or lengthwise.
Also, take note that there are stretchers that can only stretch your boot in one direction so be careful when choosing. Once the stretcher is inserted, set the size up based on which part of the footwear you want to widen or stretch. In most cases, the stretcher works in stretching the specific part of the shoe where discomfort is noticeable.
After setting it to the specific size you prefer, turn the lever. This will prompt the stretching or widening process to take effect. Take note, however, that the whole process requires some effort as the boots with steel toe cap are not actually that easy to widen or expand.
If you are successful in stretching the footwear, then ensure that it stays that way for approximately 24-48 hours.
Widening a steel toe boot is not actually that hard to do. If you still experience a bit of discomfort even after you have widened the shoe using any of the tricks mentioned in this article, then consider wearing a shoe insert. Such is a big help as it offers excellent arch support while also ensuring that the shoe becomes more comfortable.