Our feet are one of our most important tools. Each foot contains 26 bones, which is about 35% of the total number of bones in the body. In addition, there are about 60 joints, 200 ligaments, and almost 40 muscles/tendons in each foot. Normally, we use our feet for 5000-10000 steps per day, which can amount to a load of up to 800 tons, or the weight of four small houses. Every day! The feet are connected to the rest of the body through ligaments, nerve fibers, and the sense of balance. One of the feet's primary abilities is the ability to compensate, push off, and balance us.
A foot injury often affects more than just the foot itself. Your back, your ability to compensate for balance, and in some cases, even your hip if the injury leads to uneven loading. Our work ability is often linked to having functioning feet, even in sedentary jobs. External foot injuries, such as cold/heat, can make the foot completely or partially dysfunctional.
Too much sitting or too little rest are both sometimes causes of foot injuries. We build up the strength of the foot by using it, but tired feet can cause us to be off guard when accidents happen. In many jobs, there are pinch hazards caused by lifting, heavy loads, machinery, or equipment that can crush the feet in the worst case. The importance of the surface can also be a cause of injuries, such as spills or ice formation that make it slippery.
Moisture can also be the cause of foot injuries, often in combination with cold. A dry foot always copes better in the cold than a foot that is wet or moist. In some jobs, the feet are exposed to heat, which can cause burns.
The right shoe for the right need is a good start. Begin by analyzing the risks that your work environment exposes your feet to. After that, it is easier to determine what type of shoe you need. If you have or are about to have problems with back/hip/uneven loading, an adapted sole may also be important. Remember that a shoe has a lifespan and loses some of its properties over time, such as shock absorption, slip resistance, stability, etc.
There are countless shoes that protect you during work. Special shoes for certain extreme risks and universal shoes for general risks. It is important to ensure that the shoe has a comfort and structure that supports your foot and your work environment. Also, remember that the lifespan of the shoe varies depending on what you do and what type of shoe you have. Often, a shoe with a higher purchase cost is cheaper in the long run, both for the company and your body.