Other than protecting your feet from the risks present in your work environment, your safety footwear should also meet some comfort criteria. Many workers suffer from callouses, ingrown nails, blisters or just plain old sore feet.
Inappropriate or ill-fitting shoes can cause sore feet or aggravate existing problems. When your feet hurt, your whole body hurts! And when you are tired and in pain, you become less alert and more injury prone.
Start by looking at the quality of the sole. It should be soft and resistant to your feet’s constant bending. It should offer a firm grip and good cushioning to reduce foot fatigue when standing. The inner sole is also important. It should be flexible and non-slip to reduce rubbing.
The weight of the shoe is also worth considering; 1.3 kg is sufficient. If your work requires frequent movements over large distances, it should be lightweight and designed with breathable material. You should also pay attention to breathability. Poor breathability causes bad odours, softened and swollen skin, cracks and blisters. All the fun stuff!
Here are some good tips for buying safety footwear:
- Buy shoes in the size of the larger foot.
- Buy them at the end of the afternoon, when your feet are generally more swollen.
- Make sure you have room for your socks or shoe orthotics.
- There should be 12.5 mm between your toes and the tip of the shoe.
- Avoid wearing socks that are too big or too tight.
- The heel should stay firmly grounded, and the tip should have enough room for your toes to move freely.
- Pay attention to the location of the seams, which may cause pain and discomfort.
- The protective cap should cover the toes over the entire length from the tip to the foot’ natural curve.
- Try on both shoes and walk around the store. Take the time to really try them on!
Finally, choosing the right shoe is important not only for your feet’s comfort, but for your overall well-being too.