Pull-on or Lace-up Boots?

If you need to wear tough, durable boots at work, you’ll understand why – you need the toecap, a chemical and heat-resistant thick sole, ankle support and all the other features that make up a protective, safe boot for use on a construction site or other place of heavy work. There’s no way around it – you wear the boots or you get sent home.

One thing that you may have some flexibility over is the style of boot – do you choose pull-on or lace-up boots? There are pros and cons to both types and your choice will be largely determined by the environment you’ll be in.


Lace-up boots are best for environments where grit, sand, shards of glass or metal or sparks can get into your boot to cut or burn your feet.

Many people also like the extra support that laces offer the feet and ankles – you can tighten your boots to fit your feet and ankles perfectly and if you have high or low arches, this can be a real blessing.

On the downside, though, you may find that trailing laces end up getting absolutely filthy. It’s possible that they may actually become contaminated with dangerous chemicals, too. They also take longer to take off in the case of an emergency – if there’s a chemical spill, for example and you need to get undressed quickly.


The advantages of pull-on boots are that they are quick to get on and off. If you’re not in an especially hazardous work environment, they can be ideal. They slip on, then off; no fuss, no delay.

They’re handy for work environments where laces can actually be a hazard – getting caught up in machinery, for example. They’re also ideal for particularly dirty, unsanitary or contaminated areas as there are no laces to drag along the floor.

The downsides of these boots, however, is that once they start to lose shape and elasticity, they will offer your feet and ankles less and less support as you can’t tighten them. Generally, pull-ons need to be replaced more frequently than lace-ups, but if they’re more appropriate, then this is a minor consideration.

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