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Have you ever wondered what kind of footwear to wear while you are at your woodworking shop? What do you wear while at your shop? Every woodworker knows how dangerous some equipment and woodworking tools they use. Even bits of material could be very hazardous and can pose a huge risk if you are not wearing protective clothing.
There are many kinds of protective accessory for the common woodworker; there are face masks to prevent inhaling dust, paint and other hazardous materials, gloves to protect the hands and wrist, goggles to prevent small particles to get into the eye, helmets to prevent head injuries and ear buds to prevent ear injury and loss of hearing. And when it comes to preventing foot injuries while woodworking, safety footwear is a must.
Why wear special footwear for woodworkers?
Just think about this. How often do you really clean your floor while doing a project? Most likely you do clean up right after everything is done. It is also very likely that you have debris from previous projects still stashed somewhere nearby.
Safety footwear is a must and it does not matter whether you are a beginner woodworker or a professional. This special kind of footwear has reinforced soles and toe covers to prevent punctures and cuts due to sharp objects along the floor. The toe covers protect the delicate bones of the toes from direct pressure. Some safety shoes are also designed to prevent electric shock and to avoid moisture accumulation and odor formation. And aside from these major features, safety shoes allow full movement of the foot and lower legs.
Safety shoes are very efficient however could be uncomfortable to use. Comfort is essential when working in a woodworking shop since you would be doing a lot of standing, walking around and moving around. Safety footwear must therefore have all these wonderful features while allowing the user the freedom to move in total comfort.
Steel-toed slip-resistant approved footwear
Steel-toed slip-resistant shoes are the most common safety footwear industry standard. It has a steel toe to fully protect the toes and is slip resistant to prevent falls and severe injuries. Unless you clear and clean your workstation often, there is no doubt that you need efficient safety footwear. There is a wide variety of non-slip footwear with steel toes. Make sure that you read reviews and compare products first before you make a purchase to get the best value for your money.
A lot of woodworkers simply use leather boots or rubber boots when they work. They choose this kind of footwear because most boots are thick and thus offer good protection from lacerations, cuts and pressure. Boots are also very durable and can even stand decades of use. Some leather work boots that have seen years are still preferred by some woodworkers. However it is best to change to a new pair as soon as you see physical signs of wear and tear on your boots.
Sneakers or athletic shoes
You will surely be doing a lot of why some moving and walking especially when you have a large workstation or working area and this is why most woodworkers simply use athletic shoes or sneakers. This type of footwear may not have a lot to offer when it comes to toe and foot protection however, comfort and style makes this a very popular choice.
There is a wide variety of sneakers and athletic shoes and each with its own awesome set of features. A good feature would be cushioned heels and toes to offer good protection on the soles of the feet. Anti- wicking and anti-odor formation is also popular features of athletic footwear and may also be helpful when working in the shop for longer hours.
Working for long hours inside a hot and humid workstation could be very unbearable which is why some woodworkers simply prefer to wear slippers or flip flops. Yes, flip flops are very comfortable and may even have a thicker sole than most shoes and even athletic footwear but the toes are completely exposed and could pose as a risk for puncture wounds and other injuries. There are many kinds of flip flops and slippers and the most common two strapped variety offer very little protection as well.
Woodworking is indeed a personal activity and while there are woodworkers that are very particular about safety, there are also people who just wear what suits them. This could be very dangerous and indeed very risky even for a seasoned woodworker. You must never overlook safety no matter what type of project you intend to do. You will be able to work better and safer when you wear safety footwear, as well as other safety equipment, while at work.
Buying safety footwear
If you are buying safety footwear, make sure that you keep these in mind. You must always follow a sizing guide and to measure correctly according to any measuring guide. You must check the material, features and all around comfort of the safety footwear. This kind of footwear is available in a variety of brands and therefore may also be available in varying prices. Expensive footwear does not really mean that it is the right footwear for you. Always check reviews and compare products before you make a purchase. Do not forget to ask a specialist if you are unsure about the fit of the footwear. And finally, follow safety protocols. Wear all safety equipment at all cost and cleans your workspace, shed or workstation well before, after and while working especially for longer hours.
Woodworking footwear comes in all shapes and size but it is recommended that you wear prescribed safety footwear most of all. This kind of footwear will prevent possible lacerations, pressure and other injuries to the foot and toes and are designed to be easy to use and wear. Choose the best safety footwear for your needs and make sure to follow strictly wearing safety equipment and clothing while at work in your shop.
You, what do you wear while at your woodworking shop? Tell us what and why in the comments section below. Share this article to friends and family who need tips on the ideal safety footwear while working in a woodworking station.