Wearing Safety Shoes? – foot health tips!
How can you keep your feet healthy and your safety shoes safe? We give you useful tips for wearing and caring for your safety shoes, buying new safety shoes, and for determining your safety shoe size. Don’t forget that the right socks can also make a world of difference.
- Wear clean socks every day. Wash your feet after work and dry them thoroughly, especially between your toes. Talcum powder and changing your insoles daily also help keep your feet dry and healthy.
- Do your feet perspire heavily? Take alternating hot-cold footbaths.
- Always get rid of your safety shoes after an accident.
- Take regular breaks at work. If possible, sit down somewhere during your break. Elevating your feet during a hard day’s work is even better; it’s good for your blood flow.
- Change shoes regularly. For example, wear casual shoes instead of your safety shoes, right after work.
- Leather is a natural fabric that needs time to recover. Under well-ventilated conditions, it takes about twice as long to get rid of perspiration moisture in leather than it does to absorb it. In other words, if you have worked in the shoes for 8 hours, the shoes will need to ‘rest’ for 16 hours.
- Neglect to give your feet the extra attention they deserve. Safety shoes are often warmer than normal shoes. The leather used in the upper is thicker, and the components that facilitate safety are less well-ventilated.
- Use your shoes after an accident. In some occasions, damage can’t be seen from the outside. Always replace your safety shoes or boots after any accident, just like you would do with an helmet or hard hat.
- It is important to take breaks regularly, so don’t postpone them. Most accidents occur at the end of the day when people are tired and their concentration is low, so breaks are extremely important.
- Avoid wet environments, when your safety shoes are not suited to these conditions, as this will only limit the life of your shoes.
- If they do get wet, be sure to remove the insole, stuff the shoes with newspapers and let them dry slowly.
- If you don’t wear the shoes for a while, make sure to store them in a well-ventilated area.
- Remove dirt with a slightly damp cloth or brush (wet or dry).
- Treat the leather on a regular basis with a product designed for this purpose, like shoe polish.
- Replace your shoes in time to give your feet the best protection. Under normal circumstances, work shoes will last an average of one working year, but the actual life span of your shoes depends on a lot of varying factors, like work environment, heat and the amount of maintenance.
- Walk through puddles. If your work makes this unavoidable, use special shoes from Bata Industrials featuring GoreTex® materials or gumboots.
- Place your shoes on a radiator or leave them in front of a fireplace.
- Wear the shoes or store them under extremely hot or cold conditions. Be careful around sharp objects.
- Use corrosive cleaning products
- Wash your shoes in the washing machine.
- Continue to wear shoes with an abraded, damaged or misshapen toecap, torn or loose sole, worn out tread, broken stitching or perforated mid-sole. In this case, replace your shoes before you go back to work.
BUYING SAFETY SHOES
- Find the best shoe for your situation. Use the catalogue of this website to find the safety shoe that fits your needs. This way you can be sure you are taking advantage of the latest technology and that your feet will be optimally protected.
- Ask for advice about the shoe size and the fit. A good fit is not only more comfortable, it is also safer.
- Ask your supplier for advice on the complete range of personal protection devices. The components must fit together well and be suitable for your type of work.
- Make sure the safety norms and specifications for the shoe are suitable for your workplace. There are many possibilities, so get good advice and find the right shoe.
- Do you need special insoles? If you replace the separate insole, make sure that you replace it with a new insole that is no thicker than the original. With an insole that is too thick, you run the risk that there is not enough room between the steel toecap and the insole. In the event of an accident involving an absence from work, the insurance company may ask about this. In a lot of cases, the safety shoe is no longer certified if you replace parts of it (in this case the insole).
- Buy shoes which are not quite good enough, just because they are less expensive. Luckily quality doesn’t have to be expensive, but it makes sense that this usually goes hand in hand with a higher price.
- Always get the same size. Every brand has a different fit. It is quite common that people don’t wear the shoe size which would fit them the best, simply because they think they always have a certain size.
- Wear regular (sport) socks which do not offer comfort or support. These can give you blisters and cause your feet to perspire.
- Sacrifice safety for comfort. The most attractive and lightest safety shoe is not always the right solution for the workplace.
- Always try the smallest shoe size first. If the shoes pinch your feet in the length or the width, try one size larger. When the shoes don’t pinch, you have found the right size.
- If you have unusual feet, look for special shoes. Bata’s multiple width system often offers a quick, easy solution for properly fitting shoes. Bata Industrials also has special insoles that increase comfort, but don’t compromise safety.
- Ask for advice about the fit and the shoe size.
- Try shoes on in one size only. We prefer to advise customers to try on at least two different sizes, because brand of shoes is different, even from one brand it’s possible that different lines have different shape and actual size. A lot of the work force chooses a shoe that is too large, resulting in all sorts of medical discomfort and unsafe situations. People often fail to see the connection between problems and the wrong shoe size.
- If you have unusual feet and/or medical symptoms, consult a professional. The specialised dealers have the necessary knowledge to provide you with recommendations, or will consult a physiotherapist, podiatrist, or orthopaedic surgeon if necessary.