With an increase in demand for timber from housebuilders, the forestry trade continues to expand and in 2016, six thousand hectors of new woodland were created. Arborists are busier than ever before, often working in challenging conditions from pouring rain one minute and, if the British weather allows it, scorching sunshine the next. Having supportive, quality footwear will ensure that you are fully prepared to contend with working in the unpredictable climate.
The UK College of Podiatry reports that footwear is the biggest cause of foot problems in the UK. Our feet are fragile things and neglecting them could have major implications and increase the likelihood of developing painful musculoskeletal (MSD) disorders. In fact, more than 20% of injuries in tree work are MSK related. Wearing unsupportive footwear lacking the protection you need could be a contributing factor.
The power of 5
Work safety boots should first and foremost provide you with essential protection and comfort. Invest in boots that are appropriately certified - speak to your employer if you are unsure to the features you need.
Here are HAIX’s top 5 tips to consider when buying your boots. Follow these simple rules to ensure comfortable, health feet:
1. Sturdy soles: Did you know 1/4 of all the bones in the human body are in your feet? Wear boots that have a firm base as this will help you to maintain a good posture, supporting the rest of your body, reducing the likelihood of foot, ankle and back problems developing.
2. Comfort first: There’s nothing worse than wet or damp feet. The ideal foot temperature is advised as 28-32 degrees, even during physical activity. Waterproof and breathable qualities in footwear will improve comfort levels, especially in boots with GORE-TEX®, protecting your feet against all weathers.
3. Like lacing: To ensure the best foot and ankle support, lacing is key. A two-zone lacing system is a great option as it allows for the boot to be tightened and adjusted according to your exact requirements. This type of lacing can be found in HAIX’s Protector Ultra.
4. Shop savvy: Always shop for shoes in the afternoon as the shape of feet fluctuate throughout the day- this way, you are guaranteed a true fit!
5. Safe socks: Wearing oversized socks could result in blisters, whilst wearing socks that are too tight may restrict your blood flow. Changing your socks daily will improve comfort levels, maintain hygiene and should be regarded as a fundamental part of taking care of your feet.
Arborists look set to get busier than ever, so get prepared now and invest in quality footwear to ensure you can complete your duties in comfort.