Everyone knows the old adage “Use the right tool for the right job.” Seems easy enough. But what about when it comes to safety footwear?

Protective boots and shoes are critical to helping lay the foundation for a safer day on the jobsite. Slips, trips and falls constitute the vast majority of general industry accidents, causing 15 percent of all unintentional deaths, according to OSHA. Selecting safety footwear based on the needs, requirements and jobsite environment is key to finding the right boot to help you get through your workday without incident.

The three main footwear construction methods are cement, direct attach and welted. Each delivers a series of benefits built for specific end-uses. One of the most common things we see is workers selecting safety footwear that is not the most optimal choice for their work environment. The result? Safety footwear that falls short of performing, foot fatigue, back pain and other issues that can make the workday seem that much longer.

Cement construction offers the lightest weight of all three constructions, and is also the most flexible. Once a boot’s upper is shaped and completed, the sole is attached with an adhesive.

Direct-attach construction offers flexible comfort right from the box, as the sole is fused directly to the fibers of the uppers to produce a tough, seamless bond.

Goodyear welt construction is the oldest, most labor-intensive construction and the most durable of the three options. It involves multiple steps to stich the insole, upper and outsole together.

By selecting the boot construction that best suits your work environment, you’ll find the right boot for the right job and add another tool to help you master your industry.

Editor's note: This article represents the independent views of the author and should not be construed as a National Safety Council endorsement.

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