You can only control so much when it comes to your job. There’s no controlling the weather, the type of mood your boss is in, and all sorts of events that will affect your day.
Often, you can’t even control the surface below you. Yesterday, it may have been solid and sturdy. Today, it’s sheer ice. The last step you took may have been on concrete, but a spill means your next step will be less predictable.
This is why it’s so important to take your work footwear seriously. While there are many features worth looking into, slip-resistance needs to be a priority in any work shoes and boots you choose to wear.
Slipping: A Very Real Danger
Although slipping may sound like a fairly mild accident – there are certainly worse ones that could happen on a job site – there’s a reason it’s one of the most common workplace injuries.
Slipping can easily result in a broken bone. Depending on where you work, it could also mean falling from a platform to the ground, getting hurt by machinery or chemicals, being knocked out unconscious, or simply suffering a “reaction” injury, whereby trying to keep yourself upright ends up doing more harm than good.
Sufficed to say, any of these scenarios should be avoided at all costs.
Obviously, a clean, organized worksite will go a long way toward this goal, but investing in the right men’s or women’s footwear will do you a world of good.
The Anatomy of Slip-Resistant Shoes
Alright, so you know you need slip-resistant shoes, but what does that entail?
First, there are the materials to think about. Some are simply better at keeping your feet on the ground than others.
Rubber tends to be used for the sake of slip-resistance. Aside from being a bit softer – which means it can adjust to the conditions below it – rubber outsoles are also going to have an easier time dealing with liquids, like water and oil.
Second, you have to consider the design of slip-resistant shoes.
No amount of rubber is going to do you much good if the soles of your work shoes aren’t putting them to work properly.
This means the soles need to be designed to accommodate the liquid you might step in. When you walk on a slippery floor, what you don’t want are work boots that don’t give the liquid any place to go. It gets trapped below your feet and creates a barrier between the boots and the floor. The exact same thing happens when a car hydroplanes, so you can probably guess what happens next: you lose control and risk injury.
Instead, slip-resistant footwear should have a tread pattern that’s interlocked and channels the liquid away, making it possible for your soles to make contact with the ground.
Aside from the interlocked pattern, it’s also about how much of that design touches the floor. The more surface contact, the better the slip-resistant shoes will perform.
Ice Cleats: The Next Level
Of course, in some conditions, no amount of interlocked treads will do the trick. If your job requires you to walk around in icy conditions, it’s not a matter of moving around liquid with the pattern of your soles.
This is when you need ice cleats.
These simple accessories can go over just about any work boots out there and immediately give you added protection against a possible slip.
As the name suggests, they’re cleats designed to puncture the ice below and give you a better grip.
Yet this precaution doesn’t come at the cost of being weighed down or having to take awkward steps. Ice cleats are just straps, soles, and then the metal cleats. It’s a lightweight addition that can really help you out. Aside from the much better traction, you’ll hardly know you’re wearing them!
Choosing Slip-Resistant Footwear
Some popular styles include:
- Thorogood Boots: Men’s 814-4201 American Heritage 8 Inch Moc Toe Boots
- Dr. Martens Boots: Unisex Steel Toe EH 2295W1661 Wellington Boots
- Wolverine Boots: Men’s DuraShock 3122 Slip Resistant Brown Work Boots
- Merrell Shoes: Men’s Jungle 60831 Moc Slip-On Work Shoes
If you’re set for footwear and simply want a little extra help from some ice cleats, check out these:
- 32 North Cleats: STABILicers USA Made Run Snow Cleats
- 32 North Cleats: STABILicers USA Made Maxx Snow Cleats
By making sure you prepare your feet properly, you are far more likely to stay upright during your workday and any other time you’re dealing with conditions that may cause you to slip. This could save you thousands in medical bills and prevent serious injuries. Do yourself a favor and check out these options – and more – at Working Person’s Store!