Sometimes working is not all about having the appropriate professional values. It’s also, about staying well equipped with the proper work gear. Owning the correct work gear provides various benefits. It helps you stay compliant, improves productivity, enhances motivation and more. While owning the right work gear such as shoes for the cold environment is crucial, not many employees own such work gear. According to OSHA organization, various factors that constitute what is referred to as a cold environment. Usually, these factors change into multiple factors such as the location or country. For instance, in regions that are not used to snowy climates, near freezing temperatures are classified as “extreme cold.” Cold environment inclines the body to work harder to maintain optimal temperature. Furthermore, whenever temperatures drop below normal, heat can dissipate from the body at a higher rate than normal.
How Does The Body React To Cold Conditions?
In cold environments, most of the body’s energy is used to regulate the internal temperature. Over time, and in relation to exposure to the cold, the body will begin to adjust blood flow from the extremities such as the hands. Besides that, the flow of blood to the skin might also reduce. The shift in temperature allows the skin to cool rapidly and reduces the likelihood of hypothermia or frostbite. Combining exposure to such environments with wet places can also lead to such problems as trench feet. Broadly speaking, these are the common complications associated with cold work environments:
- Hypothermia – occurs when the body loses heat faster than it is replaced by normal body functions. Usually, hypothermia occurs in cold conditions such as water, sweat or rain.
- Frostbite – this refers to an injury that is caused by freezing of the skin and underlying body tissues. Low temperature increases the likelihood of getting frostbite. Usually, It affects body parts such as the feet and hands.
- Immersion/trench foot – this refers to a health condition caused by increased exposure to cold and wet conditions. Usually, it occurs at temperatures as high as 60°F, especially the feet are always wet.
Issues Associated with Cold Feet at Work
Exposing your feet cold environments is associated with a host of problems. Exposing the feet to cold environments can compromise the flow of blood to the feet. Besides that, the lack of quality shoes means that one is exposed to issues such as compromised blood flow and pain. This is especially true for individuals who work outdoors in wet or snowy conditions. Such people are particularly prone to several issues associated with cold weather.
How to Choose the Best Work Shoes
Before investing in work shoes for cold environments, it’s crucial that you make informed choices. The following are some of the key features to consider:
The Material Construction
Yes! The first aspect to consider in a good shoe is that it is made using top quality materials. The material should be durable and comfortable enough to suit cold work environments. Usually, people who work outdoors in snowy or rainy conditions are more likely to get exposed to such environments. As such, the ideal shoe consists of a durable material such as reinforced leather or nylon material. If you’re working in construction or any other place where heavy things might fall onto your toes, then you’ll want to have a look at comp toe shoes (or boots) and steel toe shoes (or boots).
The Shoe Brand
Similar to purchasing any useful product, it’s important to consider the brand of your chosen shoe. Some of the top shoe brands include Weinbrenner, Timberland, and more. Usually, these shoe brands are known for producing rugged outdoor boots with excellent cold insulation features. As such, investing in a reliable shoe brand is crucial in your ability to gain access to top notch shoes.
Cold Insulation Features
More so, another aspect of the ideal work shoe is that it consists of high-quality cold insulation features. For instance, the shoe might comprise of padded structures, reinforced materials and moisture wicking materials. In particular, the padded materials are ideal for retaining warmth within the foot area. The reinforced materials are designed to provide optimal durability benefits. The moisture wicking materials are perfect for wet areas. These shoes are less likely to stay wet or retain water, which can affect the feet.
Sole and Shoe Structure
The sole and the construction of the shoe are also important when choosing high-quality shoes. The sole should be durable enough for cold environments, and without causing a compromise on the user’s comfort. The shoe structure refers to the overall physical characteristics of the shoe. In particular, the ideal shoe has a rugged construction, that offers comfort and is suitable for extremely cold environments.
Things You Should Avoid
Choosing the best work shoes is also about to avoid certain factors and design features. While these structures or design features are suitable for regular shoes, they don’t suit cold work environments. It’s vital that you select work shoes that meet certain standards. Consider avoiding shoes with the following aspects:
- Shoes with open structures – open shoes are not suitable for cold environments, especially those with snow or water. You expose your feet to various issues such as bacteria and problems such as frostbite.
- Shoes without sufficient padding – even though such shoes are highly comfortable, they don’t serve in cold work environments. Shoes with padding are often slightly heavier, but this is a reasonable tradeoff.
- Shoes with good soles and moisture wicking material – the sole structure determines the way in which you can navigate through cold environments. More so, moisture-wicking material helps reduce any accumulated moisture that might increase the freezing issues.
Investing in the appropriate work gear is crucial to your success at work. Exposing the feet to cold weather regularly is likely to lead to significant health issues. As such, it’s highly essential that you invest in the ideal work shoes for your needs. Before investing in proper shoes for such environments, ensure that you evaluate certain aspects of the shoe. Through this approach, you ensure that your boots can provide value where it counts. This way, you increase your productivity and motivation at work.