What Does a Shank Do in a Work Boot? 

What Does a Shank Do in a Work Boot? 

What Does a Shank Do in a Work Boot?

If you are on the search for a reliable new pair of work boots, you might want to consider one that features a shank. In today’s article, we discuss what shanks are and why they are an important part of dependable work boots.

What is a shank?

A shank is a stiff piece of material, traditionally made out of steel, that is embedded between the midsole and outsole of a boot. It is located just ahead of the heel of the foot and is contained within the inner layers of the boot, so it cannot be seen unless the shoe is deconstructed.

shank in a work boot

What is the purpose of having a shank in a work boot?

Not all boots come with embedded shanks, but there are multiple benefits of having them in your work boots.


The primary purpose of choosing a work boot with a shank is for protection. The rigid composition of a shank provides structural support and stability so that you can traverse across uneven surfaces while staying balanced.

2. Prevents unwanted bending

Ideally, your work boots bend where your foot naturally does so that they do not place any unnecessary pressure or strain on your feet. This should be where your toes meet the balls of your feet. Shanks help ensures that your boots only bend at this spot, keeping your feet comfortable and supported.

3. Helps to prevent foot pain and related conditions

Shanks contribute to the preservation of the shape of your work boots, meaning that they will not twist into uncomfortable positions that can promote foot pain. With an excessive twisting, conditions such as flat feet (feet that overpronate) and plantar fasciitis can develop and/or worsen, leading to aches and discomfort that will put a strain on your workdays.

4. Makes your boots last longer

By maintaining the shape of the boot, shanks promote longevity in work boots. They give the boots stiffness, and you will be able to use your boots for longer before looking for the next replacement.

If you have more questions about shanks, proper work boots, or foot health in general, please comment below or reach out to our professionals at docpods.com/au. We look forward to hearing from you!

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