Foot Care Guide
Routine Foot Care: Footwear Fundamentals
Treating Common Foot Issues
Proper footwear is essential for farmers – in fact, your shoes are one of the most fundamental bits of gear that you’ll buy for this job. As such, it’s important to think carefully about which footwear you choose. These are, after all, the boots that you spend most of your waking hours wearing.
Not all work boots are created equal, but it’s also easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options out there these days. So what are the most important factors to consider when choosing a work boot?
- You’ll be standing, crouching, and walking in these boots for hours at a time, so they need to feel comfortable and provide both arch and ankle support. You can also add sole inserts for extra support if you need to.
- To prevent injury, you need boots with plenty of traction so that you won’t fall down in wet conditions. You might also want to buy boots with toe protection, such as a steel toe, depending on the type of farming you’re doing; but keep in mind that steel-toed boots are rigid and not as comfortable.
- Leather is a go-to material for work boots – it’s natural, reliable, durable, and breathable. It also molds to your foot with wear, which leads to a customized fit over time. If you decide to go synthetic, make sure the material is breathable and durable.
- Farming in wet conditions is unavoidable at times, so waterproofing is a must. Keeping your feet dry isn’t just a matter of comfort, either. Moisture leads to blisters, fungus and other issues.
- Not all waterproof linings are created equal. Look for boots that have a breathable lining material, such as Gore-tex, Dry-lex or Keen Dry, so your feet stay dry and comfy. Some materials are also antimicrobial, which helps prevent odor.
- A great pair of work boots will likely come with a pretty price tag. But the better quality boots you invest in, the longer they’ll last.
- A second pair. You should, ideally, have a second pair of work boots so that you’re not wearing the exact same pair every day.
- Don’t forget the socks. It’s not all about your boots, believe it or not! You should also wear high-quality socks. Go for thick, soft performance socks made from natural fibers, such as merino wool, which will help keep your feet dry and prevent blisters.
Maintaining Your Boots
Buying a great pair of boots is step one. Maintaining your boots is step two. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to protect your boots from damage and keep them in tip-top shape.
First, make sure to clean your boots regularly. Yes, they will get ridiculously muddy and dirty, but dirt and mud can damage leather over time, so give them a good cleaning when possible.
Also, dry your boots out properly when they get wet. Stuff them with newspaper or another absorbent material, or invest in a boot dryer.
And lastly, don’t forget to condition your boots occasionally, particularly if they’re made of leather.