Choosing an ideal pair of work boots with the right type of outsole is an absolute necessity if you want to feel comfortable throughout the day. When shopping for the best work boots, you’ll realize that most work boots’ outsoles come in two varieties: Wedge sole and the regular Heel sole.
For a comprehensive guide, we’ll get closer to these two popular variants of the boot and explore their differences so you can choose the best work boots based on your preferences.
Wedge Sole Vs Heel Work Boots: The Differences
One thing you’re most likely to notice when choosing work boots is that most work boots are designed with similar styles in both heel and wedge soles. Common features like safety features, upper designs, and anti-slip sole material can be found in both regular heel and wedge varieties.
However, with a wedge sole boot, the sole is usually constructed with one single piece of rubber that tapers/tightens down from the heel of the boot to the toe, forming a “wedge shape”. Contrary to heel sole boots, the “wedge’ design allows the entire outsole to touch the ground.
While most popular work boots brands have their proprietary wedge sole with their own distinctive safety features, wedge soles are usually derived from polyurethane, which is great for hardwearing outsoles due to its heat and slip resistance
The most common type of wedge outsole is the Christy sole: a type of outsole manufactured exclusively by Vibram. You can find the Vibram Christy in many different brands such as Danner and White’s work boots.
Wedge sole work boots are considered to be more comfortable because the sole runs through the entire length of the boot, thus evenly distributing pressure across the entire foot.
Regular heeled work boots, on the other hand, incorporate two pressure points that might result in foot pain at the end of the day. On the bright side, heeled work boots are associated with better traction due to the presence of the luggs and treads. Both outsoles have some pros and cons that you should consider.
Wedge Sole vs. Heel Work Boot: Which Has a Better Appeal?
Regular heeled work boots are quite more appealing in terms of looks due to their visible broad sole and stacked heel. The soles of these boots are made from various materials like rubber, wood, and cork. Also, their outsole design is much better than the wedge sole.
In the front half of heelwork boots, the sole is designed to remain on the ground, meaning the grip of the boots are greater there, thus a lot of pressure on the front falls on the feet considering that the middle part of the boot never comes in contact with the ground. The heel of your feet rests on a high platform.
With heeled work boots, you’ll get admiration for your fashion statement while these boots also enhance the improvement of your posture because of how they are designed.
Who Should Choose A Wedge Sole Boot
Those in ironwork, farm, paving, and concrete work will benefit most from wedge sole work boots. These boots are essentially made for workers who are interested in things like sustainable overall comfort, less dirt tracking, and avoiding tripping hazards.
Prevent Tripping Hazards
Wedge sole boots are great for work environments where a regular heeled one might catch on something and cause a tripping hazard. For instance, in a profession like ironworking, wedge sole work boots make it easier to walk on steel without a heel to catch on rivets. Simply put, any environment where tripping poses a serious safety hazard will benefit from the absence of heels on their work boots.
Less Dirt Tracking
Lugged outsoles are generally great for traction but can wreak havoc on a job site, especially where there’s a lot of dirt and debris. In such cases, deep lugs, wedge outsoles come with shallow treads that make it easier to prevent debris from getting stuck to the bottom of your boots. One perfect example is with asphalt pavers who want to keep hot asphalt from getting stuck to the bottom of their boots. The stated shallow pattern on the wedge makes it safer to walk on and easy to clean.
If you work long hours on your feet, you’ll benefit from a wedge sole boot. The fact that the entire outsole touches the surfaces means that the boot reduces pressure points while standing for long shifts.
Also, those who work on hard surfaces like concrete will be wise to choose wedge sole boots as the wedge sole provides extra cushioning. Another impressive feature about wedge soles is that they’re often lightweight in comparison to their heeled sole counterparts. Thanks to the single piece of lightweight material employed in the wedge.
Wedge Sole Work Boots Shortcoming
The biggest downside to wearing wedge sole work boots is that they wear down pretty quickly. Wedge soles don’t last as long as regular wedge soles. In fact, we found numerous reviews where the sole goes sooner than the uppers.
That means you will have to resole your work boot more often and on the off chance that you didn’t choose a repairable work boot, you’ll have to consider a complete replacement. Another con is that wedge soled boots don’t provide the best traction. If you’re planning to do a lot of climbing, working outdoors, or in harsher environments, be informed that the grip and traction on wedge sole boots may be lacking.
Who Should Choose a Regular Heeled Work Boot?
Heeled work boots are exceptional for someone who wants max grip, traction, and toughness that a wedge sole boot lacks. Heeled sole boots are best suited for those in logging, linework, electrical work, and construction.
These boots also come in a huge variety in terms of the height of the heel, lugs depth, and the materials employed in the outsole. Loggers and outdoor workers often require heavy lugs to provide the most traction. Similarly, lineworkers and those who work in construction will benefit from the ability to execute their daily task safely.
The Bottom Line
Conclusively, the Wedge sole vs. Heel Work Boot debate comes down to job requirements and personal preferences. In most situations, wedge sole work boots are not only comfortable but much safer. If you want maximum traction, however, a heel work boot will be the safer option. All you need to do is consider your professional work environment and company safety requirements, if there are any, before making your final work boot decision.