We usually wear shoes to make our outfits complete and look good. But the most important usage of footwear is to protect our feet from all the harm out there.
Different types of footwear have different roles to play. You can’t wear any random shoes on every occasion. So you need to wear shoes considering situations and environments.
When it comes to protecting your foot in a particular circumstance (it might be your workplace), first, you should pay heed to the precautions it requires. Then prescribe the types of shoes according to the demand. If you find it worrisome, go through the content carefully. We have made an alignment to make it easily perceptible.
Running or walking around with naked feet can be dangerous. It can easily hurt your feet with sharp objects lying here and there. Yeah, right, it’s not just an accessory; it’s a necessity for us.
But not all shoes can protect our feet. You must know what type of footwear takes the role to protect your entire foot in a particular situation. Especially for those who work in a dangerous work environment. Because in some cases getting foot injuries can affect your life.
So what kind of footwear should you prefer? Here you go-
Types of footwear you should have based on your usage
There are some kinds of shoes you need in your everyday life. The need is based on the activities you do. Different activities require different (specialized) kinds of footwear.
Although some shoes go along with all the necessary activities, that happens very rarely. You shouldn’t medicate the same sort of treatments for all diseases.
Now let’s take a look at how footwear can be divided based on your activities.
For regular use and casual wear
Which shoes do you wear now and then?
You should have a pair for daily use. These are to make sure you look good as you won’t need much protection for regular usage. You can match them with your outfits doesn’t matter if they are strong or not.
For example, boots can be an option here as they almost go with any clothing. They are quite sturdy as well.
For athletic activities
Being involved in athletic activities is a smart decision to lead a healthier life. As it is a rough and tough sort of job, you need to be very careful about the supportive stuff, especially the shoes.
Do you use your regular pair there? If yes, it is time to replace it with a firm, competent and premium quality shoe. You can’t wear your regular shoes in an environment where the shoes will go through lots of mess and pressure.
Cross trainers are the way to go in these cases as they provide ample support and flexibility as well. Usually, joggers and athletes use these shoes, but you should use them too if you are into sports and stuff. Using regular shoes will never work out in this case as they aren’t built for this purpose. You will instead end up damaging them.
For the harsh work environment
This is the most important place to have footwear that provides you with protection the most.
If you work in a factory and there are machines around you, it is compulsory to get yourself a protective and specialized shoe.
Or if your work involves anyhow with electricity, then you must ensure protection for your feet.
There are specialized shoes for exceptional work, but all of them have one thing in common. A stronger exterior so that anything harmful can’t get inside. Although they don’t give you the best of looks, you must wear them before going into hazardous circumstances.
Mishaps that can cause harm to your feet
Many things can go wrong at your workplace regarding your feet protection. It depends on the type of work you are involved with.
For example, you don’t need to worry about protecting your feet in a corporate office. But if you happen to work in a factory, then you must ensure safety first. In fact, it’s imposed upon the employees to have safety footwear.
Now let’s see what the things that can cause you to harm in the workplace. Later on, we will discuss the solutions on how to get protection against these particular incidents.
Heavy falling objects
This takes place mostly in factories where materials are being transferred all over the place.
Machines and humans carry heavy objects in factories. If accidentally, some of the objects fall from an employee’s hand and by any chance, if they falls on the feet of an employee, he/she might get their feet crushed.
So, it’s imperative to wear protective footwear so they can avoid that mishap.
This is a widespread scenario in workplaces. A lot of times, sharp objects are found lying around here and there. This always holds a threat to your feet as you might not notice the object and step on it — that ends up cutting your feet. Sometimes the cut might get too deep beyond recovery.
Let’s imagine another scenario that can happen anytime. What if the knives around the table suddenly fall on your feet? Let it go, don’t imagine. It’s harrowing.
The employees who work around screws, glass, and nails must always be aware of the lying objects there.
If your work involves using tools like chainsaws, saws, large knives, cutters, and spikes, then you must make sure to wear protective footwear as they can fall from your hand any time and give you a cut — especially chainsaws as they are motorized and can get out of hand very easily.
So, you must ensure safety first before working with them. Also, your colleagues should be aware of wearing proper protective footwear because contact with a chainsaw can be catastrophic.
You must wear footwear that is made with hard material which provides resistance against any cut.
This can be fatal in workplaces because it doesn’t only affect the feet; it will affect your whole body as well. A lot of time exposed electric wires are found on the floor, especially in factories.
It can be very dangerous if someone steps on the exposed cable and have an electric shock, which might also cause electrical sparks as well. And before you know it, the whole place can go on fire. So, it’s not about just one person; it’s the entire place that gets in danger. In these cases, it’s better to use shoes made of non-conductive materials.
Slipping or Tripping
Well, this isn’t limited to workplaces only. You should always have footwear that gives you protection against tripping.
Slipping or tripping at a place is quite embarrassing and excruciating as well. And it can happen almost anywhere in any workplace. But if you work in a harsh environment, then it’s a must that you get some protection against this.
The risk of slipping and tripping is very much higher where oily materials are used in work. So, if you happen to work at a place like that, then it is a must to have shoes with better traction, so you don’t slip.
if your shoe are sliding forward another article for you.
If your work involves you standing all day long or you have to work standing on a hard surface, then you can quickly tire out your feet. That’s not limited to your feet; only the pain spreads all over your body. Starting from your legs to your waist and may end up aching your entire body.
To stop that from happening, you must wear shoes that provide you comfort and proper cushioning. Also, adequate arch support is required from your shoes. This takes away the strain on muscles and makes it comfortable for you to be standing for a bit longer than before.
Protection from fire is necessary no matter where you work. And in this case, the whole body stays at risk. But we are talking about footwear here so let’s focus on that.
In a workplace where the fire is used requires workers to wear shoes as part of the uniform that is fire-resistant. Fire can cause accidents at random, so you must take safety measures against that.
Working in a factory that uses different kinds of chemicals can ask for various safety measures. It’s not just about gloves and goggles. Because whenever anything accidentally falls, your feet (actually lower body parts) run the most risk.
Chemicals that burn like acid can be dangerous to work with. Let’s say one drop falls on your feet and can burn a lot of the portion. Moreover, the super-active atoms can turn into fire instantly.
So, you must be careful of using chemicals, even carrying them and always wear protective footwear to make sure it doesn’t cause much harm.
Cold, moisture, and temperature
The footwear protects you from extreme weather conditions. Extreme cold can cause frostbite or hypothermia, which are dangerous, to begin with. Workers who work outside in a cold environment run the most risk of going through this.
Often people protect their whole body but forget about the feet. And end up having frostbite. If your feet freeze, you can’t possibly keep standing on the ground, and it’s tough to get rid of frostbite as well. It’s not only the cold that affects your feet. Moisture can also be harmful to your feet in a working environment.
Your footwear should be able to preserve water in your feet, stopping them from getting dry. These things are essential for taking care of the feet.
So, your footwear can provide you with protection against all these things I just discussed. But you still have a question which one to go for? That’s what I am going to tell you now. The kinds of protection you need from your footwear.
Types of footwear based on their protection
Here, you will get to know about the different kinds of protection that shoes provide you. This will be based on the materials and the type of protection they provide.
Also, the area that they protect from harms
Usually, most protection you get through shoes comes from the sole and toe caps. The rest of the footwear doesn’t need much protection unless you work in an extremely harsh environment.
Let’s take a look at different types of footwear protection–
Safety Toe shoe
These kinds of shoes are designed to provide your feet with specialized coverage on the toe area. A cap made of protective material is attached right on the toe area of the shoes. They are classified into two types. One is Composite-Toe, and the other one is steel-toe.
Composite-toe shoes are used for work environments involved with electronics and electricity. This is non-metallic footwear that helps in the electrical work environment as it can’t cause any harm to the worker. It’s also lightweight.
The other one is the Steel-toe shoe, which has a metal covering on the toe area of the shoe. This is designed to protect against falling or rolling objects. This can provide you protection from an impact of 75 pounds and also from compression of up to 2500 pounds. Most workplaces recommend steel-toe shoes for safety reasons.
Metal Instep shoe
Metal instep shoes are the type of shoes that protect the outer environment, especially from injuries and harmful objects. It gives you total coverage against harsh work environments. It can deal with sharp objects and heavy machinery.
In addition to that, you get complete protection against broken glass pieces, nails, and pointy metals. It stops objects from getting inside the footwear.
So if you work in a glass factory or woodworking factory or do anything with recycling, then you must consider this one for getting overall protection.
You should’ve already guessed by the name that it protects the metatarsals of your feet. For those who don’t know what metatarsals are, they are the long bones situated in the middle part of your feet. They are responsible for creating the foot’s arch. These shoes protect your toes, as well.
Metatarsal shoes are used for protection against falling objects. They have extreme build quality for better protection for your feet. Construction workers and miners usually use these shoes, as well as there is a lot of heavy object lifting necessary in a construction site. It’s essential to have protection against that. Miners have to be aware of falling debris all the time. Welders also use metatarsal shoes to get protection from heat injuries and even from the burn of falling embers.
Metatarsal shoes are the complete shoes you can own to have protection against a harsh working environment. They come in a variety of designs and don’t cost that much as well.
Steel Shank built
These shoes feature stainless steel inside that helps to strengthen the bottom of the footwear. The steel shanks are placed right in between your feet and the sole.
These shoes help you to fix the issues with fallen arches. They also help maintain the sole shape as well as get rid of discomfort and fatigue. These are very good for the people who have to stand for hours when they work.
These shoes are very comfortable and take away all the exhaustion from the wearer’s feet. So if you are looking for shoes that won’t cause fatigue, then these are the ones you should go for.
Shoes made of rubber usually feature the best traction in footwear. If you work under slippery conditions, then you are surely in need of these shoes.
These kinds of shoes come with a rubber sole that provides you with better traction and balance on slippery surfaces. They are mostly oil-resistant, which means you won’t be slipping even if there is oil spilt all over the floor. Usually, garage workers use these shoes as they work with grease and oils all the time.
If you work in a cold environment, then you must require insulated boots. These boots are to provide moisture and keep your feet at the correct temperature.
They are differentiated by the weight they contain for insulation. It depends on the body heat of the wearer. If your body generates heat, then you will need a lower amount of insulation and vice versa.
There are different types of footwear for different kinds of work you do. It depends on you what you are looking for. Shoes are indeed something to make you look good, but you should always remember that isn’t the only purpose of footwear.
Now you know things that can go wrong if you are not careful of the protection of your feet. And also you know which shoes to buy for getting protection for your preferred environment.