For sale there is a wide choice of safety shoes, and at a first sight they look all the same, but there are actually great differences between the various types. The goal of this article is to help you understand whether or not safety shoes can hurt your feet, and if so, how that can be avoided.
In this article I will try to give you an idea about what kind of problems could occur using some types of safety footwear.
Of course it is not possible to list all the problems related to each job, but I am going to talk about the most frequent.
I am sure that this will help you to choose the right safety footwear for your needs and to understand if your pair of safety shoes can be bad for your feet.
Safety shoes like “cages” for the feet
Safety shoes are often designed as “cages” for the feet, which is not a bad thing in itself. Such feature offers safety and protection, but sometimes it can also cause discomfort if not used properly, as is the case of millions of workers worldwide.
How many of the millions workers who wear safety footwear could describe their condition as comfortable? And do you think this question is irrelevant to this blog entry? Well, it’s not.
Millions of workers all around the world must wear heavy and stiff footwear every day on hard and dangerous floors.
Almost unavoidably, this takes its toll. Unfortunately, although the primary purpose of safety shoes is protecting the wearer from possible damage, the majority of workers have trouble with their feet. It happens so often it looks like the rule rather than the exception.
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The most common problems
One of the most common (and, often, ignored) problems in the world of work, health and safety are aching, swollen feet as a consequence of “standing up all day”. Banal as it may seem, it’s very likely for it to lead to some more serious problem.
The human foot is a very complex piece of natural engineering, they’re designed to bear the weight of the whole body, give it stability, balance and they also carry out an important function of shock-absorption. That’s some serious tasks, and consider they carry them out for a whole life! For the correct functioning of the foot, numerous bones, tendons and ligaments must work together, in addition to a hundred thousand sweat glands that help regulate the body temperature and eliminate toxins. It should come as no surprise, then, that sometimes something goes wrong and you experience problems with your feet.
Safety shoes can hurt your feet
Over half of the accidents at work lead to injuries to hands and feet, including musculoskeletal disorders such as plantar fasciitis, deformed arcs or flat feet. Such conditions are so common they’re practically an epidemic, not to mention all cases that go unreported and undiagnosed. As time passes, these problems also have a domino effect on the knees, hips, spine and even the neck. On most occasions people it’s not even found out that they are caused by bad posture of the feet.
Safety shoes without proper support and with the wrong characteristics for your job are an important cause of plantar fasciitis, which consists of an unnatural bending of the arches which causes the feet to inflame. This unnatural posture stresses the muscles, nerves and ligaments of the fot too much.
The importance of the choice
Of course prevention is better than cure: choosing the right type of safety footwear for your specific job and needs is a key factor in avoiding foot problems.
Unfortunately, there are many wrong ideas and out-of-date ways of thinking about safety footwear, like the myth that the heaviest and sturdiest boots are the ones that provide for the best protection. This couldn’t be more wrong, because in general boots are less comfortable than shoes, and don’t allow a natural flexing of the ankles and the feet, which leads to stress and excessive strain.
The problem is made even worse by the fact that, often, the choice of shoes is based on factors like price, habit, or the advice of a biased seller, rather than on an accurate analysis of the characteristics of each product.
Nowadays comfort has become a key factor for the choice of safety footwear, which is good, but only as long as it doesn’t come at the expense of safety. Some brand leaders have recognized that the concept of “safety of the feet” doesn’t only mean protection from physical harm, but also to guarantee comfort and ease, in order to prevent the developing of foot problems. The best safety shoes, the safest ones, are the light, flexible ergonomic ones, and the ones that best absorb shocks.
So, can safety shoes be bad for my feet or not?
Yes, safety footwear can in some cases lead to foot problems, due to different reasons and in different points of the foot and the body, including the following:
• heel: if there is not a good comfort insole and a mid-sole with the proper thickness (a gel heel would be of great help);
• instep: if the shoes are not large enough, the tongue is not properly lined or the materials of the upper are not soft enough;
• toes: if the protective toecap is not large enough;
• skin of the foot: if the materials of the lining are not hypoallergenic and don’t absorb sweat;
• toe nails: if the toecap is not large enough;
• plantar fascia: if the outsole doesn’t have the right stiffness and the insole is not of the right (anatomic) shape that helps to support the foot by following its natural profile, especially the arc;
• bunion: that happens with tight shoes, or when the materials are not soft enough, especially in the point where they come into contact with the protruding bone;
• ankle: if the lateral paddings are not soft enough or if the shoe is not designed to avoid twists;
• spine: if the shoe doesn’t have the necessary characteristics to ensure a correct posture, avoiding pronation or supination of the foot;
• Hammertoes: if the toecap is not big enough.
If you’ll pay attention to these features when you choose a pair of safety shoes, instead of only looking at the aesthetics and the price, I guarantee that working will become a much more pleasant experience for you.
Best safety shoes, by SafetyShoesToday:
Yes, safety shoes can hurt your feet, but what do you think about it?
These are the problems that may occur when you choose the wrong pair of safety footwear or when you them the wrong way.
Once you will follow this guide, you will be much safer at the workplace, and you will avoid to incur useless risks.
I promise that if you use suited footwear, you will be much safer and at ease at work!
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