Safety shoes have to be comfortable
Safety shoes are in demand on construction sites, in factories or warehouses, wherever feet need special protection. Meanwhile, safety shoes have left behind their former clumsy design without compromising the safety functions. Read on to find out more about why it is important for the feet and the back to be comfortable as well.
Safety alone is not enough
Our feet spend more than one third of our lives in shoes. And so it would appear to be logical that safety alone is not enough. After all, our feet spend many hours in these special shoes, day after day. If the shock absorption features are not correct or the roll behaviour does not correspond to natural movements, then every working day can become torture and jeopardise the health of our feet. Safety shoes must fit so well that they still feel comfortable even after a long day at work. They must be functional and comfortable and also fulfil further requirements. Like all good shoes, safety shoes should not only consist of first-rate materials but also take account of the length and width of the natural foot shape. This is made possible by using a last that complies with state-of-the-art orthopaedic shoe technology.
Width and length
Feet can differ in width. About half of the population has normally wide feet; 45% have extra-wide feet and 5% have narrow feet. Shoes with the multi-width system are therefore an advantage. If shoes are too narrow, this can cause skin irritations and extreme perspiration, while a shoe that is too wide does not give the foot enough support, quickly causing cramp in the muscles.
Needless to say that the shoes must also be long enough. Shoes that are too small will eventually change the positioning of the toes. On the other hand, if the shoes are too big, the foot slides forwards into the space intended for the rolling movement. And so the toes get squashed with every step. At the same time there is too much space at the heel and the shoe slips off the foot with every step. This changes the gait and puts extra pressure on the joints.
Shock absorption an support
Furthermore, the shoe should stabilise the gait and guide the heel. In other words, the heels should be surrounded with gentle support to warrant a supporting effect for the whole foot. This results in a firm gait, relieves the pressure on the ankle joints, reduces the risk of twisting the ankles and prevents problems and ailments with the joints and spinal column.
An individually adjustable shock absorption system also offers a crucial advantage. This is the only way to reduce the pressure and impact on the joints, intervertebral disks and spinal column when running and walking, particularly when working on hard floors. Special, replaceable shock absorbing elements with sufficient resilient volume are ideal here. Preferably they should be coordinated to the wearer's body weight and should be wear-resistant. This is important because otherwise the wearer will not notice when the shock absorbing effect fades.
Extra tip:Additional shock absorbing for the forefoot is recommended for people who have to stand a lot.
- The shoe must have the right length. Shoes are frequently bought too big to compensate for not being wide enough. The feet are often also different in length. Shoes that are too long pose more risks, such as slipping, twisting the ankles and tripping, as well as problems with the skin.
- The shoe must have the right width. Feet are different in width. About 50% of all adults have normally wide feet; 45% have extra-wide feet and 5% have narrow feet. Accordingly, safety shoes should be available in the multi-width system offering different widths for the same length. Shoes that are too narrow can cause skin irritations and skin diseases. Depending on the ambient temperature, they also cause extreme perspiration or cold feet.
- The shape of the shoe should reflect the natural shape of the foot. The shoe must not be too narrow or too big. This helps to prevent incorrect positioning of the feet and has a positive influence on the climate inside the shoe. It is thus also possible to avoid problems caused by poorly fitting shoes, such as pigeon toes, fallen arches, splayed feet or flat feet. It is important for the design of the shoe to be adapted to the foot and to provide relief and support.
- The shoe should stabilise the gait and guide the heel. The heels should be surrounded with gentle support, which in turn supports the whole foot. This results in a firm gait, relieves the pressure on the ankle joints, reduces the risk of twisting the ankles and prevents problems and ailments with the joints and spinal column.
- It is important to have wear-resistant shock absorbing elements at the heel. Preferably they should be coordinated to the wearer's body weight and should be wear-resistant. Otherwise the shock absorbing effect will gradually fade without the wearer noticing this. Shock absorption prevents wear and tear on the joints together with back problems. It also reduces the strain of working on hard floors and reduces associated fatigue (similar to walking on damp sand). Additional shock absorbing for the forefoot is recommended for people who stand most of the time.
The following shoe materials also have a positive effect
- Leather insoles help to control moisture levels and improve the climate inside the shoe. This helps to avoid skin infections (caused by bacteria and fungi)
- Outsole with shock-absorbing properties
- Non-slip soles
- Natural materials to avoid allergic reactions to other substances in the leather or tanning residues
- Ageing-resistant material for soles and shock-absorbing elements to prevent any deterioration in shock-absorbing and elasticity properties
- Top quality materials
- Multi-width system: different lengths and widths
- Heel guidance
- Weight-dependent, wear-resistant shock-absorbing elements at the heel
- Shape of the shoe based on naturally shaped lasts
- Leather insoles
- Non-slip soles
- Natural materials with good climate properties
- Ageing-resistant material for the soles
- Shock absorbing for the forefoot
Products in this sector with the AGR seal of approval
- Give your shoes 24 hours rest after every day in use. This prolongs the service life and enhances shoe hygiene.
- Where possible, shoes should be tried on in the afternoon
- 3D test: the shoe should be assessed at the sole, toe position, instep and shoe quarter through to ankle and Achilles tendon support. The shoe may not be too tight or too loose and should convey a secure, stable feeling when walking.
- When trying the shoe on, an adequate distance must therefore be walked to assess the shoe.
- The focus is on foot health, not fashion! Your feet will be grateful!