Whether you are a professional contractor or just trying to be one on the weekend it is important to take care of yourself while working on your projects.
There are a variety of different safety clothing choices including Eye Protection that must ALWAYS be worn, Welding Aprons and Paint Suits that are good for painting and cleanup of some seriously messy things.. but today we are going to take a quick look at what types of shoes are available to keep us safe.
In work environments that require over-site OSHA will have prescribed regulations on how you should dress including your shoes. Most often you will want to wear a pair of boots or shoes that have a Steel Toe for safety.
Some shoes come with what they call a Safety Toe but you will find it is not much more then some built up leather or cardboard. Please stay away from them .. you might as well just go get some sandals.
Picking the Right Shoe for your Trade or Job
Before you go out and buy a $90 pair of Steel Toe boots at Walmart and think you are ready to go you should think about the type of work you will be doing all day and try to understand your needs.
Steel Toe boots are great. I normally wear a pair all winter and they keep me safe but also warm and dry. There are boots that are ankle height and some that go slightly higher. For general use I suggest that you wear the taller boots because they will give you better protection against trips and ankle sprains while also protecting your feet.
If you are on the move a lot you may want to buy a shorter pair for comfort and they will provide extended use into the warmer months. However if you are in the thick of it don’t go trading down just because your feet get hot.. If you need the added safety in the winter you will need it in the summer too so stick with a taller pair.
In addition to tall and medium height boots you can also get a pair of steel toe sneakers. Wrangler use to make an excellent product for only $16 but after Sears took over you can no longer find them at Kmart.. I thought Kmart was running the business but it seems Sears’s Buyers want to sell the more expensive and not so great Craftsman line of Work Sneakers. It really ticks me off that there was a great pair of steel toe sneakers for under $20 and now the lowest price for a decent pair is well over $60… The reason being is that you could afford to throw a set in the back of your truck or car and if you were covered head to toe change them out when needed.
Back to the Sneakers….. they are a GREAT choice for people that are climbing ladders all day long or on the side of a roof for a short amount of time. There are actually specialty sneakers for guys that do roofing all day … installing shingles that is.. I wouldn’t wear sneakers if i was doing Hot Tar that would be bad.
But the idea of having a light but pretty protective shoe when you are running up and down a ladder or in an area where you won’t see a ton of loose nails that a boot soul could better protect you from penetration.. then a sneaker is a good choice.
Like I just said there are specialty shoes for people that are on the side of a roof all day.. they are closer to climbing shoes because they have a higher rubber content and are flexible. They do not give any impact or nail protrusion protection they simply give you a good grip when that is the most important thing… well your life is actually in the balance so.. you pick the right shoe even if it costs $150 a pair because it will help you make money and keep you safe.
Steel Toe Hip Boots … or Waders are a good solution for people that are in the mud all day. Although you can probably get away with a shorter galosh height boot you will find that you may end up losing them if you get in deep. The choice is up to you and your own need.
Some Mud Boots even have straps on them to help you keep them on when you get stuck.
General purpose boots are fine if you are going hiking on smooth paths and sneakers are great if you run on asphalt or a track but when you need to get some work done you need some added protection.
If you twist your ankle or bash a toe because someone dropped a glue laminated beam on your foot you will be out of work for some time. Now insurance may cover it but do you really want to risk the injury becoming permanent just because you didn’t want to spend a few more dollars?
Sometimes you don’t even have to spend more. Budget stores like Kmart or Walmart or even in the YouRepair.com Store can get you a good pair of shoes or boots for much less then a high dollar basketball shoe your kid is bugging you for.
And if you can afford 2 pairs then get them or get a set of sneakers for when you are up and down the ladder all day and boots for winter and when your not.
You can even find Oxfords that are steel toe if you are a manager or foreman… so there is no excuse.