Best Boots For Dairy Farmers: Keep The Barn Clean While Protecting Your Feet

“Elsie, how’d ya do it?” went an old commercial for Borden’s milk. The ad showed people of all ages enjoying delicious Borden dairy products and then asking that question. It was followed by the brand’s mascot, a cow named Elsie, winking at the viewer as if to say “That’s my little secret!”

Actually, Elsie didn’t do much but stand there and eat hay. It was the dairy farmer that really did everything. It’s the dairy farmer who milks the cow, makes sure the cow has plenty of food and water, keeps the barn clean and all the other miscellaneous chores that need doing on a dairy farm.

If you are a dairy farmer, you spend a lot of time concerned with the health and safety of your cows. You might even check their hooves once in a while to make sure there’s no disease or infection. But have you ever given much thought to your own feet? Your back pain may not be simply from tossing bales of hay around.

It could be a strain on your feet. Dairy farming has come a long way since Farmer Brown leading Bessie in from the pasture. Many modern dairy farms have concrete which is easy to clean and looks easier to walk on than uneven ground but is actually very bad for standing on for long periods of time.

Dairy farming is an outdoor job that has to be done every day no matter the weather. And wouldn’t you know it? Most dairy farms are in Wisconsin, the coldest part of the country! The combination of big animals and heavy machinery equals several slipping hazards. All of these are reasons why a dairy farmer needs to invest in a quality pair of boots.

best boots for dairy farmers

What to Look For in a Boot For Dairy Farming

Most back problems are caused by a lack of support in the feet, particularly under the big toe and the heel. Don’t wear boots with a flimsy, flat sole. The sole needs to be cushioned and the footbed needs to support the natural arch of the foot. It really helps if the boots are lightweight. Improper footwear can lead to back pain and damage in the feet and lower extremities.

Standing on concrete for long periods of time can lead to excessive pronation. This means that the arch of the foot collapses and rolls inwards. This puts a lot of stress on the soft tissues of the foot and joints. This can result in bunions, corns, and other painful conditions. You need a shock-absorbing footbed to keep this from happening.

Those dairy farmers in California are some lucky so-and-sos! If your farm is located more in the Midwest, you have some chilly weather to deal with. If your feet get cold that leads to poor circulation and that leads to chilblains. The last thing you want on this job is to lose a toe to frostbite! Your boots should be well insulated to keep you warm.

This can be a slippery job. Mud plus hay equal surprise slip and slide. A lot of the vehicles and machinery used in modern dairy farming may occasionally leak oil, making something else nasty to slip on. And, of course, you just can’t potty train a cow. Your boots should be certified as slip-resistant so that you don’t fall and hurt yourself.

If none of this has convinced you to get a better pair of boots, here’s the bottom line. A good pair of boots will save money. Sure, a cheap pair might save you some money now, but not when you’re paying medical bills because your back aches unbearably or you got a concussion from slipping. Plus, a good quality pair of boots last longer and will not have to be replaced as quickly as a cheap pair. If you pay for the quality you will usually get quality.

The Reviews:

Boots designed for dairy farming tend to be on the practical side but some brands like to gussy them up where they can. While quality comes at a price some of these are amazingly affordable. Compare them and see what works best for you.

1. Sloggers Women’s Waterproof Rain and Garden Boot

Sloggers Women's Waterproof Rain and Garden Boot with Comfort Insole

This boot may look like an oversized child’s galoshes with an “Old MacDonald” theme, but they work! It’s also available in polka-dots and floral prints. So, this may be something the lady farmer might prefer.

It is not only waterproof but it will get you through slippery situations. Some people like to wear them for gardening or just walking around on a wet or muddy day but they’ll also get you through a day of tending to Bessie…and Maggie and Elsie and Clarabelle….

Features and Benefits:

The all-day comfort insole gives you just that and is removable for ease of convenience. The comfort is further added to by the heavy-duty deep-lug-tread. It has a built-in support system to support the foot.

The opening space is wide, making it easy to pull on and trousers can be tucked into it. The glossy synthetic material is fully waterproof and will keep your feet dry.

What We Like:

  • The traction is excellent.
  • The boots are lightweight.
  • The boots are very comfortable.
  • They are completely waterproof.

What We Don’t:

  • The wide opening lets in rain and debris unless trousers are tucked in.
  • The boots are not well insulated.

2. Durango Men’s Farm and Ranch FR104 Western Boot

Durango Men's Farm and Ranch FR104 Western Boot,Burly Brown,9.5 W US

If your style is more towards a rugged cowboy than “Moo moo here, moo moo there” the Durango may be the thing for you. It’s a practical boot, but not without that “wild west” leather tooling associated with keeping those doggies moving.

The leather for these boots is a little more sophisticated than anything Buffalo Bill might have worn. They’re chemically treated to resist caustic chemicals and acids.

Features and Benefits:

The SPR leather is readily able to stand up to harsh chemicals and acids that happen in the barnyard. Pull tabs make these boots easy to pull on. The Comfort Core polyurethane inserts with memory foam top layer and heel plug cushion your steps for all-day comfort. The Carbo-Tec mini-lug outsole offers superb grip, provides flexibility and is even oil and fuel resistant.

What We Like:

  • The boots are oil and slip-resistant.
  • This is a durable boot built to last.
  • It has great traction on even damp surfaces.
  • The high and close-fitting upper will protect the leg.
  • The boots are comfortable.

What We Don’t:

  • The boots are not waterproof.
  • There is a bit of a break-in period.

3. Georgia Boot Men’s G4432 Work Boot

Georgia Men's G4432 Wellington-M Farm and Ranch, Mississippi Tan, 8 M US

The Georgia boot can be traced back to 1937 when the Depression Era meant people had to work harder than ever. It began with a rugged farm boot and an uncomplicated idea that boots must work as hard as the people who wear them.

After years of improvements, Georgia Boot to this day does whatever it takes to supply workers, farmers, and hunters with just what their feet need. Look for a variety of comfort features from Georgia Boot.

Features and Benefits:

The SPR leather resists caustic chemicals and acids. The Georgia Waterproof System manages to be breathable yet keeps feet dry. Thee Goodyear welt construction means that the upper and the sole are sewn together with a strong, flexible stitch that creates greater durability. The rubber sole is flexible.

What We Like:

  • The Comfort Core insoles do the job.
  • The outsoles are oil resistant.
  • The construction is overall of good quality.
  • The boots are versatile.
  • Wide sizes are available for a perfect fit.
  • The boots are lightweight.

What We Don’t:

  • Hope you like tan because that’s the only color variant it comes in.
  • They are not waterproof.

4. Dryshod Steel-Toe Max Extreme Cold Conditions Protective Boot

Dryshod Steel-Toe Max Extreme Cold Conditions Protective Boot (Unisex) STM-UH-BK (Mens 13)

The Steel-Toe Max Extreme-Cold Conditions Protective Work Boot is built with safety features because safety matters! This boot provides steel-toe protection with all-day comfort, a rarity in footwear. This new innovation from Dryshod now comes with extra layers of protection that offer superlative warmth on even the coldest of days.

Features and Benefits:

The fleece lining makes the boots very warm. It comes with an ANSI-rated steel toe for maximum safety. The boot conforms to the standards of ASTM F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 EH for added safety.

The unisex sizing means both men and women can wear these boots. The broad toe provides room for the toes to move. The rigid triple-layer toe and heel reinforcements make for a durable boot. The steel shank provides arch support.

What We Like:

  • The boots are waterproof yet breathable.
  • The stretch material makes it easy to put on and take off.
  • The part that covers the calf can be rolled down.
  • The boots are very warm and comfortable.
  • They are made of genuine rubber.

What We Don’t:

  • A little plain, but more than makes up for it by getting the job done.

5. Crocs Women’s Crocband Jaunt Rain Boot

crocs Women's Crocband Jaunt Rain Boot,Navy,7 M US

Crocs are back! This time, with an effective rain boot. It’s called a rain boot, but it can be worn anywhere that conditions will be even somewhat soggy.

Features and Benefits:

The pull-on construction with pull holes provides an easy fit for on-the-go style. The roomy fit lets your feet expand and bend in a natural manner in order to reduce fatigue.

The patented Croslite™ footbed is supremely cushioned and extra soft for long-lasting comfort and support. The non-marking outsole offers grip and stability on many different surfaces. Finger holds make it easy to pull on.

What We Like:

  • The boots are very comfortable.
  • They are lightweight.
  • There are a plethora of color choices.
  • They are waterproof.

What We Don’t:

  • They only come in whole sizes.
  • They’re a bit on the stiff side.

The History of Dairy Farming

Dairy farming is an ancient trade that has been around since cattle were domesticated about 10,500 years ago starting in the Near East. The Ancient Egyptians depicted the act of milking a cow in their wall art. Traditionally, the farmer would use oxen to plow his fields and pull wagons and slaughter the odd bull for beef.

Dairy cows were the farmer’s wife’s responsibility. She would milk the cow and make the milk into butter and cheese. As she was also responsible for the chickens, any money a wife socked away came to be known as “butter and egg money”.

Centralized dairy farming developed around cities and villages where many people didn’t have enough grazing land to support a cow. As depicted in the musical Fiddler on the Roof, a dairy farmer would fill a bucket with milk and bring it into town on a wagon to be sold.

Up to the late 19th century, milking was done by hand, twice a day. The first milking machines were extensions of the typical milking pail. The Surge hanging milker allowed the cow to move without the worry of the pail being tipped over.

The pipeline system made the act of milking more automated and less of a physically demanding chore. Over the years, more and more technology was developed to milk more cows in a shorter amount of time making milk and other dairy products more readily available.

Electricity, refrigeration, and pasteurization were all developed in the early 20th century and all played a big role in improving dairy production and preservation. Milk became both more readily available and safer to consume. Delicious and nutritious food was easily obtainable by all.

The modern dairy farmer now faces challenges about environmental impact and keeping their herds healthy and happy so they’ll produce a quality product. Dairy farmers are often very family-oriented people. About ninety-eight percent of all U.S. dairy farms are family-owned and operated.

Conclusion

Milk: It Does a Body Good. Boots: They also do your body good, providing you get the right kind. Dairy farming has become more automated over the years, but that does not mean a dairy farmer can afford to skimp on foot care. In fact, cement floors and oily machinery make safety footwear and even bigger issue. Look a potential pair of boots over very well before you buy. You deserve the best!

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