Welcome to the Podiatry Arena forums, for communication between foot health professionals about podiatry and related topics.
You are currently viewing our podiatry forum as a guest which gives you limited access to view all podiatry discussions and access our other features. By joining our free global community of Podiatrists and other interested foot health care professionals you will have access to post podiatry topics (answer and ask questions), communicate privately with other members (PM), upload content, view attachments, receive a weekly email update of new discussions, earn CPD points and access many other special features. Registered users do not get displayed the advertisments in posted messages. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our global Podiatry community today!
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.
Does anyone have some pointer on workplace friendly gumboots that I can pass on to a local meat works, they are currently having problems with alot of their workers experiencing foot and leg pain from the compulsory gumboots.
Gum boots (wellies) have gone through a fashion renaissance in the last couple of years. This has been primarily driven by the re-emergence of the "English style" and yuppies living outside the metropolis and discovering rural pastures. The fashion in 2005 was mirrored by an Aglified Madona. combined with rained out open air festivals in the UK (i.e. Reading, where there was a resurgence of trench foot). Wellies took on chav bling chic and are now available in fashionable Paul Frank designs among many others. The fashion for boots continues throughout the winter season and was started a couple of years ago with Uggs, then Mukluks, wellies and now knee and thigh high leggings. Again in 2005 there was the introduction of the Napoleon boot (ankle high), and shorter wellies enjoyed a vogue not seen since the fifties. Shoe galoshes also made a return as a fashion statement for men.
Wellingtons as occupational footwear are more suited to temperate climates with other styles of footwear more appropriate for hotter environments. The elasticated boot (known as congress boots) in the late 19th/early 20th century was considered universally to be the most comfortable footwear possible. The style was developed by Prince Albert and the originals were made for Queen Victoria. The elasticated sides broke the dependence upon lacing (as corsetry) and so were considered a convenient shoe. In the states the shoe was the preferred footwear of congress men (and hence the name). Congress boots were worn with pride and regarded as the most comfortable shoes in the world. Ship's captains would buy them in bulk and store them on board. Once the ships set sail for the colder climates many of the sailors were bare footed and would have to buy the boots to survive. Needless to say great profits were made by the captains. Once arrived at their destinations the Congress Boots were used as bribes to the Customs men to bring in illegal cargos. Customs officers were admired for their elasticized boots all over the world because they were so comfortable. In Australia RM Williams improved upon the manufacture of the Congress Boot and had the complete upper made in one piece. This improved waterproofing but more importantly reducing the potential for wear, when the horsemen rubbed their boots against the stirrup.
Working constantly in temperatures over 30C centigrade demand tremendous physical effort and no shoe is ideal. Provided the shoe /boot is fits and is comfortable and appropriate to the job to be done then that is all that can be done. Good Foot hygiene is critical but a certain percentage of workers will undoubtedly experience foot pathologies as a result of their occupational requirement. Many workers prefer to go barefoot or wear thongs (sandals) when they are not working, just to left their feet breath. This is perfectly natural reaction after having the foot encased in working boots but of course meets with disdain from employers and the foot police. A believe a good compromise would be Crocs. The new polymer the shoes are made from, makes it ideal for protection and support to even the heaviest user. Look out for Frog Crocs (Frog is a derogatory term for French people, but refers to the Napoleon style of ankle high boot).
At the Athens Olympics (because of the temperatures) keen focus was placed upon keeping the feet cooler and several design innovations were introduced including metal fibres knitted into socks for cooling and wicking purposes. Biotechnology also has provided polymers which will not harbour microbe multiplication and according to the manufacturers are antifungal. There has subsequently been a revolution in sock technology which is worth becoming conversant with. Nike and Adidas introduced sports footwear which had physical cooling systems built into them with the intention of ensuring a flow of fresh air next to the foot. Military conflict in dessert terrains has also necessitated development of footwear more able to cope with prolonged exposure to heat and cold. It is well worth familiarising yourself with these innovations too.