While the average person may sit in an office while working, for some, work is an endurance sport. For those who work on their feet, they may take over 30,000 steps everyday! They need to fight fatigue from the very first step of the day to the last. And selecting the right work boot is a key first step. When it comes to choosing the right boot consider overall weight, balance and cushioning.
- Overall weight: Wearing heavier boots will fatigue feet and legs faster than lighter boots. A common misperception is that heavier boots equates to more durable boots. Heavier equates to quicker fatigue, but not necessarily more durability. Many excellent synthetic and mesh boots are purposefully designed for the work environment and have very high tear/abrasion resistance and durability.
- Balance: If a boot is toe-heavy it can lead to shin splints and sore shins. This forces larger muscles to compensate, causing a fatigue in those muscles as well. This soreness can become constant and has the potential to cause serious injuries. When holding a work boot, take into consideration if it feels fairly balanced, or if the toe feels much heavier than the rest of the boot. Steel-toe caps are the standard in the industry and offer functional toe protection.
- Cushioning: For workers who are in constant motion, this same highly cushioned boot may not be as effective. Think of how walking or running on sand requires much more exertion than walking on concrete because of how it gives way and doesn’t return energy. For people who are in near-constant motion, design features like a toe-spring (the toe of the boot is curved up slightly) can help provide a more natural flex, especially in a welted boot.
Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates loves helping find the perfect boot with the right comfort, support, and safety! For a free shoe consultation, call 309.661.9975 today! Dr. Lockwood is always willing to help new and existing patients!