Did you know your work place can pose risk to your health? One of the risk factors that is quite common for women working outdoors is risk of injury. Believe it or not, some of the most common outdoor injuries are caused due to the lack of proper women work boots.
The fact is that some of the most common work place injuries have been causes by trips, slips, and falls. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, 25,790 workers were sidelined in 2008 due to injuries caused by slips and falls. The National Safety Council believes that both men and women workers have a 2.5 times higher risk of suffering a slip or fall within their work environment as compared to anywhere else. The question is how can you significantly reduce these hazards or risks?
The solution lies in your footwear! Yes! The type of women work boots you choose can actually prove to be the single most decisive factor when it comes to injury at work place. One of the things to understand is that the work boots for men are different from those for women. So how do you really go about finding the right footwear?
What to look for in Women’s Work Boots
It is definitely not the easiest of shopping experiences when it comes to searching for the most comfortable and safe women work boots. The best way to go about looking for the right pair of footwear is by identifying your need. Here are some aspects to look out for:
The work environment is the single most decisive factor when it comes to looking for the right work boots. Some environments require heavy work shoes with multiple safety features while other environments require simple and comfortable shoes with a single safety feature. Appropriate protection for the feet and ankle is now considered to be a necessity by several organisations. Some of the factors that will help you determine the type of boots you require include:
- Hazards: A hazard is a definite risk that will cause an accident or injury if necessary precautions are not taken. Hazardous work environments include:
- Oil Rigs
- Electric supply lines
- Building and other construction
- Chemical and explosive
- Transport and storage
- Mining operations
- Fishing trawlers
- Types of injury: In order to find the right women work boots, you need to identify the type of injury that you may be prone to at your workplace. This is quite similar to the hazards with one exception – some work places can increase the risk of different types of injuries. For example: if you are working with electric supply lines then there is always the risk of electrocution as well as slip or fall from high tension poles. In such a scenario, you need to look for work boots that provide protection from electrocution and also have anti-slip properties.
- Climatic conditions: This is one area that most workers don’t focus on that much but it is as much a reason for higher risk of injury. For example: if you are working at a construction site that is wet and slippery then your chances of slipping or falling is much higher than on a normal day. At the same time, working with electricity on a rainy day can be life threatening as well. There are different types of women work boots available with water proof and anti-skid safety features, which can provide protection on a rainy day at an outdoor construction facility.
The Boot Construction
The second most important aspect to focus on is the work boot construction. Check out the insole, mid-sole, and out-sole. Although, this can be highly technical aspect, here are a few areas that will make it easier for you to understand and also help in making an informed choice:
The Out-sole: This is the bottom part of the work boot that will always be in direct contact with the floor or ground. This provides a high degree of protection to your feet but will be dependent on the type of material it has been constructed from. The out-sole is not only made from a variety of materials but also have different treads for better grip and traction. There are primarily three different types of out-sole construction to choose from:
- Direct attach: This is a type of out-sole where the sole in the liquid form has been injected into the upper part of the leather structure of the boot. This liquid sole dries within the boot structure and this is considered as one of the weakest out-sole construction.
- Goodyear Welt: This is a type of out-sole where it has been sewn on to the upper part of the boot and can be re-soled. This is considered as one of the strongest out-sole construction.
- Cement: This is a type of out-sole where it is bonded to the upper part of the boot using an adhesive. This is also considered as a strong out-sole construction.
The stronger the out-sole , the more durable women work boots will be!
The mid-sole: Some work boots have a mid-sole while others don’t. This is a layer that lies just above the out-sole towards the inside of the boot and helps in providing durability, strength, and comfort to the wearer. The different types of materials most commonly used for constructing mid-sole include:
- EVA or ethyl vinyl acetate (most comfortable mid-sole but least durable)
- Dual density foam (most durable but average on comfort)
The insole: The insoles are normally the first part of the boot that is affected by wear and tear. Hence, it is important to check out the insole before investing in women work boots. This is the layer that provides the maximum comfort to your feet and especially the heel. High quality insoles not only act as good shock absorbers but also ensure your feet are not fatigued. The fact is that you will probably spend more time in your work boots than sleeping in bed and hence it is important to go for the most comfortable and durable insoles. The most common materials used for making insoles include:
- Ethyl vinyl acetate or EVA
Some of the women work boots are also available with removable insoles. You can remove the insoles every day after work to increase their longevity, allow escape of trapped moisture, and also enable cleaning.