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A Safety Essential: Steel Toe Shoes or Boots

NewsID:263    Datetime:2011-02-11

I know a lot of mechanics who scoff at steel toe boots. They prefer sneakers for comfort, or if they're truly old school they wear those black leather mechanic's shoes with the non-slip soles. Yuck. In the process I became intimately aware of the details that make up the construction of steel toe winter boots and safety shoes in general.Times have changed, and not only do techs not want to be walking around looking like grandpa at the corner service station in 1956, they have safety in mind. And if you run a shop, believe me, you have safety in mind every minute of the day. In my shop, it's steel toes for all. I worked on site at nuclear plants, manufacturers and quarries providing fittings and demonstrations for busy workers.And since we want quality and good looks at the same time, there's only one boot that has any chance of a Porsche 356 falling on it.
Why Wolverines?
Like I said, we run a class operation so even the footwear needs to be stylish, at least as stylish as a steel toe work boot can be. I've tried lots of shoes and boots over the years, and Wolverine makes the boot that I feel provides me the most safety and comfort. I always buy the steel toe boots, and I like a 6- or 8-inch boot to protect my ankles if I take a bad step. The photo below is a simulation created in our shop under controlled conditions, but the facts are there. workers in industries that require steel toe and safety footwear will find a model they trust and continue to reorder it when their boot has taken its last beating. They dont require a new fitting or even desire to waste the time looking at new unproven models.The toe of that boot has the corner of a car sitting on it via the brake rotor. That's some serious weight, and believe it or not the toe wasn't even dented. The Wolverines have a non-slip soul that has been just as good on an oily shop floor as it is outside in the snow. In other words, it's versatile. Have you ever walked in out of snow or rain wearing "mechanic's shoes?" I have, and I ended up on my ass after I watched my wet shoes fly past my head. The Wolverines make the transition without complaint, and they look great doing it.The corner of this car is resting on the steel toe of this work boot. That's serious foot protection.

Those that work on their feet know the importance of taking care of them. Discomfort from poor fitting boots can lead to further issues and even mistakes caused by the distraction.photo by Matt Wright, 2008Any high quality work boot is going to cost over $100. What you want is durability enough to justify the spent money. You could just walk into Wal-Mart and get a pair of those fake Gore-Tex camouflage boots for $20. No thanks. There are, of course, lots of very good brands of work shoe, as well. I liked my Carrharts, and my Cats were fine, too. But none of them seemed to just work for me like the first time I spent a day in my Wolverine steel toe boots. I'm just one man and one opinion, but I've spent more than a few hours in boots and these rose to the top. Whatever you do, and whatever brand is for you, be sure you protect your feet while you're working on the car. You can't drive with your foot in a cast.
 

 

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