Works shoes experience more wear and tear than everyday footwear because they're subjected to tough environments. Splashing water and chemicals, food and other debris can make them lose their shine, and the constant pressure of standing and walking can give your work shoes a beating. Knowing when you shoes are worn out is important for your safety, health and comfort. A shoe that's past its prime can make your feet hurt and could even lead to injury. Read on to learn how to tell if it's time to retire your current pair of safety shoes and what to look for in the next:
How to tell when your shoes are worn out
You might think your ragged old shoes have character, but they could cause problems on the job. Safety shoes should be inspected periodically to make sure the slip-resistant soles are still intact and the heels aren't worn out. A shoe with a bad heel might not sound like much harm, but it can easily lead to foot and back problems. According to EHS Today, you should inspect the bottom of your shoes frequently, as worn-out treads could actually be a big violation of safety. The same goes for laces – if your shoes don't fit comfortably on your feet, consider replacing them as soon as possible.
Here's a good rule of thumb: If you think your safety shoes might be worn out, they probably are and you should replace them as soon as possible. Since these shoes are more than fashion items, they need to be treated like safety equipment. Just as you wouldn't wear a cracked hard hat, you shouldn't wear worn out safety shoes.
How to make your work shoes last longer
One of the great things about modern safety shoes is that can be worn on the job or out on the town – their style doesn't limit where they can be worn. Some might consider having two pairs of shoes, and only wearing one while on the job. That would limit the mileage they get every day. If that's not your style, just try to take care of your shoes as best as possible. According to the blog Very Well, you should air out your shoes after you wear them and wash them carefully. If your shoes are dirty, only wash them with cold water, and never submerge them. Likewise, never put your safety shoes in the dryer – let them dry in a room with low humidity.
Another way to calculate how long your shoes will last is to estimate their mileage. Prevention magazine reported that if you walk for an hour three times a week, you should replace your shoes every five months. At work, you might not do quite that much walking, but simply standing in your shoes can wear them out. Replacing the insoles could be a good way to increase their lifespan, especially if the outsoles are still in good condition.
What to look for in your next pair of safety shoes
Buying new footwear for work should take a little more consideration than when you purchase your shoes for everyday use. In this case, you not only have to consider style and comfort, but you have to know that they'll keep you on your feet in tough conditions. When buying your next pair of work shoes, look for the best slip-resistant soles. SFC's safety shoes have patented micro-channel tread patterns designed to push liquids away from the bottom of the shoe. Slip and fall accidents are no joke – you need the best protection on the market.