Last Updated on April 20, 2021 by Jack Sanders
Workers looking for ways on how to keep feet cool in work boots are tired of dealing with issues such as:
- Sweaty feet which are very uncomfortable to deal with all day at the worksite, especially in the summertime
- Bulky and heavy work boots that make the airflow very difficult to take place due to their lack of breathability (see our article on the best work boots for sweaty feet for the solution to this issue)
- Lack of breathability and humid conditions make the perfect environment for the creation of foot fungus, according to experts
Some workers suffer even more serious consequences, such as the ones derived from Hyperhidrosis. According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, nearly 5% of the population suffer from some sort of Hyperhidrosis, which is a health condition widely identified for causing excessive sweating and its corresponding emotional distress.
In this context, I decided to create this article on how to keep feet cool in work boots to help all those that might suffer all or even some of the problems previously discussed.
How to Keep Feet Cool in Work Boots
There are certain tips one should follow to both wear safety footwear and maintain their feet cool and dry at the same time. Let me share them with you:
Clean Your Feet Properly
The best way to make sure your feet are cool is by making sure key natural mechanisms that control their temperature are working properly.
One of those methods is called “Cutaneous respiration“. This process is known for the gas exchange between the skin and its surrounding environment. One of the most common (and relevant) consequences of this system is its influence on body temperature.
In short, Cutaneous respiration is one of the main factors that keep feet temperature down, especially when exposed to hot and humid conditions.
To make sure this body mechanism works alright, one has to make sure all the skin pores are unclogged. This is why I recommend all workers to properly clean their feet as this is the most efficient way known.Scrubbing my feet with a brush and antimicrobial soap is what I do to make sure my feet’ pores are completely unclogged.
It might even make sense to do an additional “feet cleaning routine” to make sure your feet are silky smooth before putting your work boots on as this lady explains:
Drink and Eat Right
It’s common knowledge that if you want to stop sweating, you must drink plenty of water and maintain healthy body weight.
According to the CDC, water is key in regulating body temperature and keeping it down. Thus, it’s highly recommended that all workers should drink fluids during the workday to avoid dealing with hot flashes and sweaty feet.
Obesity is another huge cause of excessive sweating all over the body (especially the feet when wearing work boots). This is why most experts recommend maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise routine to drop excess body weight and keep the body temperature cool.
Wear Breathable Work Boots
Most safety boots are filled with protective features (i.e. steel toe caps, waterproof membranes, insulation, etc…). This makes boots bulkier which makes airflow very hard to take place.
So, my advice to keep feet cold in work boots would be to pick a nice pair of breathable work boots made with moisture-wicking features that keep feet cool and dry at all times.
If you asked me, I’d say the Timberland Pro 40008 Mudsill work boots would be my first choice of breathable safety boots as they offer a nice combo of breathable, comfortable, and protective features to keep feet both cool and protected.
Use Moisture-Absorbent Socks & Inserts
A key tip for maintaining feet dry and cool is wearing moisture-absorbing cushioned inserts as these will provide superior shock absorption, prevent odor build-up and even remove the need of wearing socks as they will absorb all sweat (I still think you should wear socks though).
Additionally, wearing sweat-wicking socks is a great idea for keeping the feet cool. These socks should dry the sweat while letting the air hit the feet driving the feet temperature down.
I’d recommend these Carhartt All-Terrain Boot Socks as they have the so-called “Fast-Dry technology” and also are very durable which is a key feature for most workers.
Use Foot Powder & Antiperspirant Spray/Lotion
What foot powder does is basically the same that moisture-absorbing socks do, as it:
- absorbs the sweat generated by the feet
- prevents odor from building up
- wicks away moisture
As a result, the feet are kept cool even when wearing work boots which is the whole point of this article.
If you want to be even more thorough, you can use an antiperspirant lotion (or spray) which is less messy than using foot powder and a bit more soothing. It achieves the exact same thing as foot powder does.
This is a tip all workers should follow at least once a day:
- Taking the work boots and socks off and letting them breathe for at least a couple of hours
This will bring the temperature of your feet down substantially as, usually, the exterior temperature is lower than the one inside your work boots, regardless of how breathable the boots are.
So, I’d say taking the boots and socks off once or twice a day should be your best bet here.
Dry Your Work Boots Frequently
There is a very neat trick old-school tradesmen have to maximize their work boots’ breathability and that is drying their work boots every night with a dryer before going to bed.
Drying the work boots will:
- vent out the sweat’s smell
- kill off all the growing bacteria
- unclog the mesh linings that allow air to flow through the work boots
Due to this, once you put on your now-dried work boots you’ll not only feel them more comfortable (as there’ll be no remaining sweat) but you’ll also feel the feet cooler due to the increased airflow.
Pro-tip: If Things Get Serious, Consult an Expert
As briefly touched at the beginning of this article, there’s this condition called Hyperhidrosis which is known for causing excessive sweat affecting many workers worldwide.
This condition should not be taken lightly and I strongly advise that if you’re suffering from it, you should consult with an expert as there’ll be no “tips” to help you other than proper medical advice.
Here’s a quick video that explains the seriousness of this condition and why you should always consult with a doctor: