What Are Work Boot Eyelets? - A Detailed Guide
Some people work in a hazardous environment, and their only way of protecting themselves is by wearing a pair of work boots. There’s a huge difference when you work using a good pair of work boots. Not only will it make you feel comfortable, but it will also keep you safe from such hazards as falling debris, hard and rough surfaces, and heavy equipment. However, the boots’ brand and look are not all that matter when looking for a work boot.
There are plenty of factors that make a work boot stand out, but none of them is better than having the right work boot eyelets. These eyelets are holes that are punched into the shoe upper to help get the threading through. The work boot style or type determines whether they need plastic or metallic-based ring reinforcements. The good thing with some shoes is that they don’t fray or rip off quickly because they’re made from leather. However, other work boots like those made from canvas and similar-kind materials need special reinforcement to help even out the stress through the fabric’s inner and outer layers.
Some people think that the work boot eyelets don’t have much impact on the shoe quality. They believe that it’s there for design, while others feel that it’s there to tighten the shoe and make the wearer feel more comfortable wearing it. Though the latter perception holds water, it does more than that. The quality of the eyelet determines whether or not the shoe will be functional for a long time. To illustrate this point clearly, imagine using a pair of work boots with worn out eyelets. Can you still fit it snugly on your lower leg? Can you still close the shoe for you to walk on it comfortably? The answer would be no. It’s hard to wear a pair of boots without the eyelets unless it’s okay for you to tie the shoe around your lower leg.
Main functions Of Work Boot Eyelets
The eyelets you see in work boots serve three different primary functions, and they are the following:
- Reinforcement: They are often reinforced with a metal or plastic ring to cover the entire hole to keep the same from wearing and tearing. Without the eyelets, it would be impossible to close and tighten your boots.
- Passage for shoelace: The eyelets also offer a smoother surface to make passing of the shoelace through one eyelet side to another more seamless, thus, efficiently keeping the shoes together.
- Loosen or tighten clothing: Eyelets are not only available for work boots as you can see them in clothes and other fashion accessories that serve as a way of loosening or tightening the cloth wear. Though they’re found in different clothing, they serve the same purpose.
Different Types Of Eyelets
There are four main types of eyelets, and they are the following — D-ring, punched, webbed, and hooked.
- D-Ring: These are heavy-duty, durable eyelets that are mainly designed for heavy-duty footwear like work boots. Unlike webbed eyelets and other more common eyelet styles, only a few shoes have this type of eyelet. The advantage of this type is they offer a more comfortable and personalized fit since they are found in the last few rows towards the ankle. Thus, it makes the shoes’ fit firmer.
- Punched: You see this type of eyelet in sneakers and dress shoes. Among the four types of eyelets, this type is the most popular, but people undervalue its appropriateness and importance for standing shoes. With lower-quality eyelets, the punched eyelets can easily rip when used for an extended period. This is because they are built to be punched into the shoes’ upper and are also reinforced by plastic and metallic rings.
- Webbed: This type of eyelets feature smaller loops of shoe upper-sewn materials, with laces seamlessly threaded through. You can find this type of eyelet in dance, cycling, and other lightweight shoes. The only downside of this type of eyelet is if you pull its laces too tightly or roughly, they will rip off easily since they’re only made of fabric. This is the reason why you should look for a work boot with high-quality webbed eyelets.
- Hooked: You can see this type of eyelet in ice skates and work and hiking boots. You can also see them in some casual shoes, especially within the eyelets’ last few rows. Compared to the eyelets mentioned in the preceding parts, this type is more comfortable to lace since they’re attached to a traditional punched eyelet. The wearer of the shoe can thread the work boot laces through or by winding them around its hooks.
What To Look For When Choosing Work Boot Eyelets
As mentioned above, the brand and look of the work boot should not be the only factors to consider when buying work boots. Since you’ll need it to perform challenging and hazardous tasks, it has to be comfortable and should also have an excellent fit. The said work boots’ eyelet plays a significant role in your supposed choice as it will determine its durability and fit. Here are some of the factors to consider in weighing your options regarding what type of eyelet to consider.
- Purpose of the shoe: Where do you intend to use your boots with eyelets? It’s clear that work boots and boots for outdoor activities have a higher safety and durability standard than street and fashion boots. In the former, your safety is at stake; that’s why you should also choose more durable, less complicated, and comfortable boots. In this case, the type of boot eyelet you should choose is one with the D-ring eyelet type since they offer a more customized fit by tightening the areas towards your ankle.
- Fabric type: The eyelet is one thing, and the kind of fabric used to make the lace that threads through them is another. The lace fabric matters because it determines the strength of the hold and tightness of the shoe around your ankle. When you’re looking for work boots, choose nylon fused-tip laces or polyester reinforced by nylon. These are the best fabrics to ensure that your work boots fit perfectly when laced up and threaded through the eyelets.
- Eyelet reinforcement: The eyelets are usually reinforced by metal or plastic rings. The good thing about metal reinforcements is that they’re less prone to breaking. However, they’re not resistant to rusting and wear and tear. On the other hand, plastic reinforcements are less stronger than metal and could break when force is applied; they’re usually resistant to rust.
How Can One Set An Eyelet?
You need a plethora of machines and tools to set your work boots’ eyelets. However, if you don’t have the sophisticated setting tools, you can get by with the help of a hammer and eyelet hand setting tool. You can easily find these types of equipment in craft stores or local hardware, so you won’t have a hard time securing them. Then again, these tools are only advisable for a personal setting. If you intend to set eyelets in massive quantities, you’ll have to consider buying hand press machines, auto-feed pneumatic light-duty machines, and other heavy setting machines. These will help make the setting job uniform and quick.
If you’re setting your eyelets by hand, start by punching holes in the fabrics you’re setting. After that, insert the eyelet with the use of a barrel that’s pointing up. Make sure that your flange will be on the side showing on the material. At the barrel’s end, insert the setter before tapping it with a hammer. Continue tapping until you see the barrel rolls flat into the shoe fabric.
Thankfully, you can also set your eyelets with the help of modern technology. If you want the easier way, go for aluminum craft eyelets that are light-weight and easier to set. You’ll be glad to know that this innovation is available in various colors and shapes, thus making it easier to play with the whole eyelet setting task.
The eyelet attachment strength is usually tested in footwear laboratories using a machine known as tensile testing equipment. They typically gather footwear specimens. The corrosion levels for metal eyelets generally are tested using the so-called Standard Salt Spray Testing method. This is meant to make sure that your work boot eyelet can serve you longer and better.
Advantages Of Work Boot Eyelets
Many advantages would justify the need to be picky when choosing the kind of work boot eyelet for your shoes. One of the main benefits of having a high-quality work boot eyelet is making the shoes serviceable for an extended period. Unlike espadrilles, slip-on, and velcro shoes, work boots with eyelets are secured on the wearer’s foot by lacing, threading, tightening, and locking the shoes. If your shoe eyelets get worn out, you can’t lace up, thread, tighten, and close your shoes. It’s almost the same as not being able to use it accordingly. However, if your eyelets are durable, you can also extend the utility of your shoes.
Another advantage is making the shoes fit snugly on the wearer’s foot. When you need to hike on your work boots or walk on them all through the day, it will make your life easier if your work boot fits perfectly. You won’t have to worry about your shoes being left behind as you walk, jump, or run. When you want to tighten it, all you have to do is to pull the lace tighter. Meanwhile, if you’re going to loosen it a little, all you need to do is untie the lace and adjust its tightness to give your foot room to breathe. With these, it’s safe to say that the shoes’ fit depends on the eyelet and shoelace that threads through it.
The eyelet also gives the shoe character. Imagine looking at velcro shoes and lace-up boots — which one looks fiercer and tougher? It’s the latter, right? With its full size and well-defined eyelets, you get to wear shoes that scream action and toughness all over.
Tips For Maintaining Work Boot Eyelets
When it comes to quality, it helps if you choose a high-quality work boot from the start. By high-quality, we mean work boots made from premium-quality fabric or skin and raw materials. Pay extra attention to the eyelets. Check if they are reinforced by plastic or metal. If it’s metal-reinforced, check the product description if it sufficiently passed the corrosion screening. By this, you can be secure that your work boots can be used for a longer time. If it’s reinforced with plastic rings, check the plastic’s toughness to make sure it doesn’t break easily.
Once you’ve chosen the ring reinforcements, make sure to clean your work boots every after use. Primarily if you work in extreme temperatures, you need to check how your work boots cope up. For metal reinforcements, check the manual or product label what kind of oil you can use to keep the metal from collecting rust.
Because people underestimate the value and role of work boot eyelets, they have to start recognizing their role, importance, and advantages if they want to preserve their shoes’ shelf life. As mentioned above, if you want stronger and more durable eyelets for work boots, go for the D-string type with nylon or nylon-reinforced shoelaces. Pay close attention to the reinforcement used for the eyelets, too. This could also make or break your work boot.
The eyelets may look like they’ve been made only for aesthetics, but in reality, the life, functionality, and comfort of the shoes rise and fall with them. If you want sturdy and comfy work boots, you need to start paying more attention to your work boot eyelets. Understand its use and appreciate its ingenuity. Only then can you get the most out of every pair.
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