When you think about the best lineman boots, what comes in your mind? I bet it is steel shank, tough leather, great sole, comfortable padding, and ankle protection. But is that all? Nah, there are more to a lineman boot that these features.
In this article, I’m going to talk about what really matters when picking up a pair of lineman work boots. When it comes to pole climbing boots, you need to have steel shank support. Otherwise, your boots will be extremely uncomfortable when climbing poles and they will wear out fast.
You should also look for boots that are made in the USA by union hands. That way, you won’t have to worry about the quality and craftsmanship. Having a double or even triple steel shank is must if you plan on staying on poles for 8 hours or more.
For example, a pair like the Wesco Highliner is something that you should look for.
- Black, Lace-to-Toe, 10" #100 Vibram Sole
- 7 oz. full-grain leather, Leather side flap and Removable false tongue
- Non-corrosive, ribbed, slightly arched steel shank for comfort and maximum support
- Leather 10 - 10-1/2 iron (.219" thick) half-slip for added support in the arch
- Recessed metal heel breastplate (offers protection from climbing spurs) and Steel sideplate not available with #100 Vibram sole
If you just started climbing and looking for high-end pole climbing boots, nothing beats the Wesco Highliner.
How to Pick the Right Pair of Lineman Boots
The job of the lineman is tough. They require specialized footwear for their job. One may think that a standard work boot is enough to do a lineman job, but their features are not satisfactory to stay safe.
The work environment of a lineman is unique. Most of their job is to climb poles and steel communication towers. These are the most hazardous job. So they need a good, tough work boot which is limited in the number that is best for this task.
To pick an ideal boot, the boot has to be waterproof, durable and provide some protection against electrical hazards. Also, you have to pick the boots that provide protection from hooks and ropes. And for this, a steel plate is very satisfying.
When you look for this kind of boot, you must be careful about some features that must have in these boots. When climbing tall poles, these features make all the difference.
The Best Linemen Boots Offer These Protections
In lineman boots, solid weather protection must have in this boot. During the working hour, a lineman may face icy sleet or snow squall weather. They may have to work in a heavy and wind-driven rainstorm.
Water cannot be run down in a lineman’s boot. If the water enters into a boot, the socks become wet and slippery. So the stability of the feet inside the boot is compromised.
From the inside out, the boot must keep the feet dry and in control is essential. So lineman must wear official lineman boots. The design of these boots is extra tall and lace up over the calves. For that, it creates a snug and provides protective fit. The structure and support of these boots help to keep the feet dry and warm.
A lineman has to climb electrical poles. Most of their work is around high voltage lines. So protection against electrical shock is mandatory.
During a shock, shoes play a vital role in the outcome. Against electrical shock, rubber shoes are one the best line of defense. Rubber works as an insulator. So while choosing a lineman boot, you should prefer a boot with a thick rubber sole. Between your body and ground, rubber is an effective barrier.
Large pieces of exposed metal are avoidable for this task. Metal is used on the toe cap, puncture plates, metatarsal guards and heel shafts which are great for other professions. But for a lineman, the rubber must surround these metals to prevent any inconvenience.
Some boots provide built-in Internal Waterproofing System with a moisture-wick lining. To keep you healthy and protect from bad weather, these boots are great.
If the power lines in a high risk of damage, lineman must do their job in that terrible situation. Sometimes you have to climb poles in heavy rain. And after the job is done, thick mud is waiting for you to tread.
If the sock is wet, it not only makes the feet uncomfortable but also grows bacteria. Water leaks also lead to hypothermia in cold environments. Waterproofing system ensures that nothing makes contact with your feet.
For this reason, high-quality boots are designed with a waterproofing system.
Safety Toe Protection
Lineman should prefer those wear boots for footwear protection that has the ASTM Safety Standards.
Climbing poles is a hazardous job and to have solid toe protection is important for the worker. ASTM Safety Standards meeting safety shoe provide protection of feet from the collision or impact if heavy equipment roll over the feet or fell from high ground.
At present lineman use those work boots that have safety toe caps. These are made from modern lightweight alternatives. It is like those boots that meet ASTM Safety Standards. Aluminum, alloy or non-metallic composite is used in this choice.
Some also find traditional Steel toe boots are more alluring. But modern alternatives are lighter than this. Moreover, it takes more space in the box. Also, it has an impact of heat and cold from outdoor temperature.
One thing you should bear in mind that if the boot protects you from high impact, the strength is compromised. Even if you don’t see any dents in the toe after that unlikely thing, you must replace your boot.
You have to choose the right outsole for your boot. It is an important feature for lineman boots. On a utility pole, the rungs are slippery, small and most importantly, dangerous. The outsoles of a boot help you to become more stable while climbing.
Thinner sole is more flexible than the thicker sole. You can feel your feet while climbing the pole. But there are some bad effects of this type of sole. If you have to stand on pole rung for a long time, it makes your feet uncomfortable.
On the hand, thicker soles are more protective in the strong air. This is designed to work for a long time on a pole.
But it becomes slippery while raining which is the scandalous side of these types of boots. When weather changes, it creates a problematic situation as the rungs of a pool are made out of unwrinkled metal.
You have to choose the soles by paying attention to the bottom of the soles. The boot should provide anti-slip soles so that it can give you much grip while climbing and make you safe.
To avoid discomfort and extreme pain, you have to choose the work boots having strong shank.
If you work for a long time on a ladder wearing soft-soled boots, you may feel discomfort on your feet. And this pain gradually affects your legs and then your back. It is because the full body weight is placing pressure downwards on sensitive arches.
Linemen have to work for a long time on a utility pole. So this boot is designed with Lineman Shank Plates which is stronger than regular boots. Under the arch sections of the boot, shank plates are placed.
The shank must be wider and give more support than standard work boots. The body weight can express the pressure on wider shanks more. For that, you may feel low pressure on your arches. It also helps you to become more stable on a rung while climbing.
Higher heels help your boot to become more anti-slip. Sometimes, you feel uncomfortable for heels on the ground. But heel helps you to have more grips and become stable on a utility pole.
There is a dip on the arch of the foot on thick heels. While climbing hooks and ladder, this small dip helps you. When you are working on the high ground like 30-40 feet in the air, it helps you to make your perfect footing.
How To Take Care Of Your Boots So They Last Longer
If your boot is repeatedly exposed to dying mud, it will be ruined fast. Also, heavy sunlight and rain make a major effect on your boot and ruined it pretty fast too.
Firstly you must always take your boots inside and wash them off properly. Look for mud carefully and wash them by water.
Then you can dry the boots using a hairdryer. But be careful not to use the dryer close to the boots. Make sure to have a minimum distance between them. You can also dry them by using a towel or placing them next to a stove or heater.
After making sure the boot is fully dried, use boot wax to wax them. I prefer the Beeswax. It helps your boots re-oil properly. It also makes the boot shiny and waterproof. It also fights against bacteria, fungus, and mold. Most importantly, it strengthens the longevity of the leather.
You should be careful not to use any detergent or bleach and don’t use the washing machine for washing.
Cost Versus Quality
You can experience major differences between expensive and inexpensive boots.
Lower quality boots provide less durability and poor fit. It makes you uncomfortable while working in a long duration. Moreover, the longevity of lower quality boots is less than high-quality boots. You may need to replace it after using it for some days or within a month.
On the other hand, quality boots ensure more durability and longevity. They are designed to keep a lineman fit for work. You can also repair it more than once if something happens to your boot.
How to Increase The Comfort of Your Boots with These Tips
Most of the temperature of the body is released by head and feet. So in a cold climate, you must keep your head and feet dry and warm if you don’t want to catch a cold or flu.
If you want to keep you fit and healthy in such a climate, you should protect your immunity system from dropping down.
To work in cold weather with these boots, you must buy insulated and thermal socks. These socks are heat trapping and help your feet to keep warm and dry.
You can also use Pain Relief Insoles to fill up the space of wide or big boots. It makes the boot more comfortable to wear.
How to Break Your Boots In Faster & Get Maximum Comfort
High quality and durable boots require much time to be broken. But you may be uncomfortable to work for a long time with a broken boot.
So I can give you a tip about breaking boots quickly. You can use Fiebing’s Golden Mink Oil on a regular basis.
Always use the oil before and after your work. But make sure your boot is clean and dry.
This oil helps your boot to break faster and strengthens the durability of your boots. It also helps them to dry out and increase the waterproofing system.
How to Properly Lace Your Boots for the Most Comfort & Support
It is uncomfortable to put the string through the hole from the inside. So, you like to put the string through the hole from the outside.
It fits your legs tightening the boots properly and supports your feet and legs more if you lace the string from the outside to inside.
On the other hand, by lacing the string from inside to outside makes it sloppy and don’t provide absolute support and comfort.
What are the Advantages of Handmade Line Boots?
The quality of your boots depends on the money that you want to cost for that boot. If you want to pay $10-$20 for a boot, it will not give you the proper feedback. It makes you discomfort and your feet and back don’t feel well after a few weeks.
There are some advantages of using handmade line boots that you must consider while choosing a work boot.
– These boots provide comfort to your feet.
– To prevent injury and keep the fit safe from unpleasant events, soles and steel toe helps.
– These boots have a waterproofing system. It helps to keep your feet dry and warm in rainy weather and make sure to keep you fit and healthy.
– High-quality boot ensures safety and prevents you from many physical problems. You may suffer from shin splints and tendonitis. The aligned vertebrae may improper and knee may replace. As a result, you may face severe pain and lose working time. A good pair of lineman shoes help you from all these events.
Attributes that Differentiate One Line Boot from Another
Major differences that top quality line boots provide are:
– There are some boots which are made for a specific environment like colder climates and others don’t provide this
– A major difference is in the weight. It varies according to the amount of using steel to support sole and toes. –
– The weight has a major impact on your job.
– Lastly, some boots are designed their sole lighter. Lighter soles help to carry the materials on the ground. And some soles are designed to climb ladder and poles that have steel rung. You have to choose the boots that fit your working types.
So, that’s how you can find the best lineman boots for any weather. If you pick the right one, they will last years and give you great support.