The boot shank is the supportive structure between the insoles and outsoles of the boots. They aren’t visible and you can’t touch them. But they give your arches, calves, and knees immense support by reducing the load. Shank is a very common component of your boots. You will see this feature in almost all kinds of heavy-duty boots, from mountaineering boots to heavyweight sports boots.
The shape of the shanks are narrow and rectangular, and they are usually metal pieces. They are similar to the rectangle-shaped chewing gums.
There are three main features of boots shank
- They improve your arch support
- They improve stability
- They help your boot to hold the shape over time
Not all shanks are made of steel. Fiberglass, nylon, or wood or plastic or carbon fiber, or even kevlar are also be used as common materials to produce shank. For instance, The R.M. Williams Comfort Craftsman uses fiberglass shank in their boots to reduce the boots’ weight and to provide maximum support to feet.
Trickers uses wooden shank in their boots. It is up to the manufacturers which shank they use. Each manufacturer has an individual identity. Some manufacturers prioritize weight, and some prioritize comfort. So it is totally up to you to decide which boots you choose.
For example, suppose you fly frequently and don’t want to take your boots off every time while going through TSA Precheck. In that case, You will prefer a pair of boots without a metal shank in it, or you will choose a shank made of other materials rather than metal because a metal detector will not catch those other materials.
Your boots need to support and protect your feet every time. For that reason, the manufacturer has added a feature to your boots designed to offer supreme support to your feet. The rigid material helps your boots to be more protective of your feet. Shank also protects your feet from any possible puncture wounds.
What is a steel shank?
Steel is the most common and traditional material used for the shanks. Steel made shanks give you higher protection. It differs in size and shape.
A steel shank is one kind of steel material inserted into your boots. The boots can be heavier due to the steel. But the shanks can not make your boots extremely heavy. So they don’t affect so much while walking or running. They are designed in such a way that it can make the boots’ bottom construction firmer.
Benefits of Steel Shank
There are many benefits of using steel shank in your boot. Some of them are:
Steel shank makes your boot more durable. They don’t modify the boots’ structure. As a result, your boots last longer than you expected.
2. Helps People with Medical Conditions
The boots with steel shank also help people with medical conditions caused by fallen arches, plantar fasciitis, or flat feet.
3. Prevent Possible Injuries
The shank can prevent possible wounds that happen due to falling off, and they also prevent sharp objects from penetrating inside your boots. Thus they save your foot muscles from various injuries.
4. Protective nature
The steel shank is mainly designed for protecting your feet. They are very popular for their protective nature.
4. Maintain your boots natural shape
The built-in shank maintains the natural shape of the soles of your boots. They reduce discomfort and exhaustion while walking or running.
5. Best for climbers
The boots with shank are excellent for mountaineers. When you climb upward, the shank in your boots minimizes the in-shoe feet pressure.
Steel Shank Vs. Composite Shank
Composite is also considered as a popular material to make shank besides the steel. But which will you prefer in your boots? Steel shank or composite shank? There are several crucial factors in deciding which is the best.
First comes the price. If you consider price, steel will be far ahead from composite. The price of steel shank is relatively cheaper due to the material. So those who have a limited budget for their boots can choose the boots with steel shank in it.
If you think about your feet-protection, a steel shank is the better option than a composite shank. Already I mentioned earlier how protective steel shanks are. Composite shanks are less protective because most composite shanks don’t have the solidarity feature. But If you want to protect yourself from electrical shock, composite shanks are a far better option than steel shanks because composite shanks are made of electric shock-resistant materials.
Composite shanks are the better choice in terms of comfortability because they are lighter compared to steel. However, the steel shank is not too heavy either.
4. Work industry
The workplace also determines which pair of shoes you should wear. If you deal with heavy equipment most of the time or you have a medical condition, the work boots with the built-in steel shanks will be the best option for you.
If you are a white-collar worker, You won’t have to worry too much about your shoes or boots. You can wear boots with Composite shanks easily.
Considering everything, boots with steel shanks are by far the best option for most people. It is worthy of investment. If your boots don’t have any shank feature, I recommend you to buy a pair with shanks in it immediately. If you have any choice other than that, you’re welcome to do that. Just make sure they have the shank feature.