5 Expert Tips for Workplace Footwear: Proven Pain Relief Must-Knows

Whether you’re an electrician or a nurse, a warehouse worker or a carpenter, chances are, your workday is spent on your feet. In this article we’re going to explore 5 expert tips for workplace footwear. When doing physically demanding work or standing on hard and uneven surfaces all day, your feet are susceptible to injury, abuse, and long-term degeneration.

We tend to take our foot health for granted, and when things go awry, we’re often scrambling for solutions. Long-term wear and repetitive strains from manual labour can take a significant toll on our feet, but there’s a lot we can do to prevent issues before they occur, and treat foot pain.

5 Things to Consider in your Workplace Footwear

  1. Sturdy work boots, especially CSA Approved Class 1,  are better protection than ordinary shoes or sneakers, whether from punctures, dropped objects, electrical shocks, or falls. These boots are an essential part of any job site, and are typically required under CCOHS standards.
  2. In addition, having a steel or composite soleplate can protect your feet from uneven surfaces and ladder rungs, as it will distribute your weight evenly and cause less stress to the arches. As you climb ladders, specifically rungs versus steps, your feet are required to flex around the rung, and the strong metal rung can damage the soft arches of the feet.
  3. If you experience foot pain or fatigue at the end of the day, a high-quality cushioned liner or arch support is another beneficial feature to look for in your footwear. Hard or uneven surfaces are not kind to your feet, ankles, knees, hips or back and their impact adds up throughout the years. Custom orthotics can help significantly with any foot pain or fatigue you may experience.
  4. Stockings and socks are another important part of your kit and can enhance your workplace footwear. Absorbent cotton or cotton poly work socks will keep your feet dry and protect them from the friction inside the boot. There are many types of stockings with special properties available now including seam-free, padded, insulated and blister resistant socks. These socks may cost a bit more, but they can make your working life a lot easier and they’re an investment in your health.
  5. Don’t forget your feet! Good foot health using a high-quality moisturizer to keep skin supple and strong, and paying careful attention to callouses, corns, and ulcers will keep your feet ready to carry you through the world.

Finally, custom foot orthotics can play an important role in holding your feet in a better position inside the workplace footwear, and provide the necessary support for your feet. Repetitive stress from doing the same movements or positions over-and-over can cause long-term damage, especially if precautions are not taken. If you are climbing stairs or ladders, or just standing on concrete floors for a long time, repetitive stress can damage your feet, and ultimately lead to issues with your knees, hips, back, neck, and more.

Workplace injuries are often seen as only slips, falls, or acute trauma, but recurring tendonitis and repetitive stress fractures can lead to degenerating joints, compensation, and early onset osteoarthritis.

If you find yourself in pain at the end of the workday more often than not, and find yourself spending the weekends recovering, this may be a preventable. Following the above guidelines of  using the appropriate footwear, consulting a pedorthist for custom orthotics, and using appropriate stockings and foot care practices will give you and your feet the best possible outcome. This is the most important part of occupational health when working around tools and other workplace hazards. One misstep can have lasting consequences. Be foot smart and work safe.

More questions than answers? You can get more information on orthotics, footwear and pedorthic services at Thera-Ped Foot and Ankle Clinic by calling (506) 632-9397, or book an appointment today with our Canadian Certified Pedorthists.