Most of the topics we discuss on our blog have to do with things like style, being well-dressed, and protecting your dress shoes against the weather. We have even been known to talk about some of the safety aspects of our waterproof shoe covers and their advanced, no-slip soles. Avoiding slipping and falling is relevant because sometimes our footwear choices are a safety issue.
Professional men who wear dress shoes to work generally don't choose their footwear based on safety. But safety is still a concern when the professional man is walking outdoors in rain, snow, etc. As for the skilled and unskilled labor forces, safety may play a much bigger role in determining footwear.
Slipping is a major hazard in some types of work environments. It can be a problem in machine shops, where machine cooling fluid and other slippery substances can easily find their way to the floor. Slipping is also a concern in a work environment where water is present. Anyone who works outside has to worry about slipping during bad weather.
In all these cases, rubber-soled shoes with no-slip treads are common. Some situations even call for shoes that meet the ASTM F2913-19 standard for coefficient of friction. In either case, workers have to be extra cautious about what they wear on their feet so as to prevent slip-and-fall accidents.
Preventing Crushing Injuries
Even when slipping and falling is not a big risk, some work environments require workers to take precautions against crushing injuries. Enter the steel-toe work boot. It is a mainstay among construction workers, industrial laborers, and even factory workers. A good pair of steel-toe boots protects the feet against all sorts of heavy objects that could otherwise cause injury.
It is interesting to note that not all steel-toe boots and shoes actually have steel reinforcements built in. Steel was the material of choice when these types of shoes were first invented, but manufacturers have started making the reinforcements out of composite materials as well. A composite can offer the same level of protection but be lighter, thus making the boots more comfortable to wear over a long work day.
Preventing Cuts and Abrasions
Most types of heavy-duty work boots and shoes are made from leather or a tough composite material. The point here is to protect the feet against cuts and abrasions. This type of footwear is pretty popular in industrial and manufacturing environments. Some construction trades that do not require steel-toe boots still rely on safety shoes to prevent harm from sharp objects and things that could puncture the feet.
Outside the Work Environment
When you stop and think about, you realize that safety is sometimes a footwear concern even outside of the workplace. You might wear our men's slip-on shoe covers over your dress shoes during the week, but how about taking the kids on a weekend trip to the mountains?
If there is any chance it is going to get cold, you all pack warm boots. Ditto if it's winter and snow is already on the ground. You don't want to risk frostbite when you are hiking through the woods or standing on a ridge taking in spectacular views.
The points made in this post may seem rather obvious as you are reading them, but too often people don't stop to think about the safety issues related to their footwear. It is something we think about here at GC Tech, which is why we made our men's overshoes as safe as they are protective. We encourage you not to take footwear safety for granted.