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Best HVAC Boots for Field Technicians

Good HVAC boots will save you a lot of pain—literally! Find the best footwear for wherever the day takes you.

Suffering from foot pain day after day can definitely make you dread a job you otherwise love. You can muddle through your day as an HVAC technician with sore feet, but you won’t be bringing your best attitude or most efficient work ethic to the table. Fortunately, a great pair of boots may be all you need to diminish or eradicate your foot pain.

Even if you don’t regularly experience sore feet, you still need to pay attention to your footwear as an HVAC technician. The shoes you’d wear to an important meeting, to the gym, or just around the house aren’t suitable for the rigors of field work. In this article, we’ve created a list of the things you need to look for in a great HVAC boot. We’ve also thrown in some recommendations for specific models of footwear. So, if you frequently find your dogs barkin’ at the end of the day, read on!

What to Look for in a Great HVAC Boot

  • Arch Support
  • Cushioned Insoles
  • Water Resistance
  • Breathable Liner
  • Tread
  • Insulating Rubber
  • Size

First and foremost, a great HVAC boot gives you the foundation you need to prevent foot pain. Look for arch support in particular, as well as features like cushioned insoles. If you have particularly problematic feet, you’ll probably want to use special inserts to give your feet the exact level of support they need. But for the average person, built-in arch support will do wonders.

HVAC boots need a few other features to be effective on the job. For example, they should be water resistant (if not waterproof) to handle rainy days or other damp conditions. A breathable liner to wick sweat away from your foot is also a must-have. The outsole should have enough tread to give you excellent grip to prevent slipping, and it should have enough thickness to protect against punctures. Look for a boot that specifically mentions that its outsole has insulating rubber or that it meets ASTM specifications for electrical hazards.

Finally, make sure you get the right size. A pair of HVAC boots that’s too tight will pinch your foot and cause pain due to poor alignment. Your foot can’t properly distribute your weight in a shoe that’s too small, and you will end up altering the way you walk in a shoe that’s too large, which will create pain in other areas. 

What’s optional when looking for an HVAC boot?

As you explore the options for HVAC boots, you’ll see some different styles and options. For example, should you have ankle high boots? Do you need pull-on boots or laces? These features are optional, but here’s the low-down on how to make the right choice for you:

  • The higher profile of ankle-high boots can be nice to have if you routinely work on uneven footing, are prone to spraining your ankle, or want a little extra coverage to keep the weather at bay.
  • Mark-resistant outsoles won’t leave black scuff marks on the floor, which your clients will surely appreciate but isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker in a boot. (Most HVAC techs slip on shoes covers when entering a home anyway.)
  • Choosing between pull-ons and laces is purely a matter of personal preference. You can get a tighter fit up the ankle with laces, but pull-ons are very convenient if you have to change shoes often.
  • A steel toe will protect your toes from heavy falling objects and may make sense for you based on your typical working conditions or projects. Many steel-toed boots also have a steel plate embedded in the sole to prevent heavy-duty punctures. 

Taking Care of Your Boots

What’s not optional? Taking good care of your work boots, especially if they’re leather (and most quality HVAC boots are). Leather can last a long time if you take care to regularly wipe off mud and dirt, apply leather soap, and condition the boot to improve its suppleness and weatherproofing. If you take your leather boots for granted, they will dry rot and last about two years before falling apart. Invest in a good pair of boots and take care of them.

The Best HVAC Boots

Some top brands to try on include Wolverine, Timberland, Red Wing, Dr. Martens, Thorogood, Georgia, Caterpillar, and Carhartt. Some of the best boots for HVAC technicians include:

A high-quality pair of work boots that is cared for properly should last for many years, so invest in the best boot you can afford. It also helps to try boots on before making a purchase to ensure the correct fit. If you’d like to order online, make sure the seller allows returns, and measure your foot and consult the brand’s sizing guide to increase your chances of buying the right size for you.