I used to have a pair of Colorado brand low-rise work boots that were so
comfy I wore them as street shoes. But that was 15 years ago, today they're
probably made in China and might be anything but comfy. The MIC Coleman
steel-toes I bought not long ago for rebuilding our garage are brutal even
with gel inserts. If there is a specialty shoe store where you live that
sells to people needing such footware it's worth your time to check them
It's been awhile since I wore safety boots, so I have to ask if steel shanks
are automatically part of today's safety footwear? Everybody mentions toe
protection, but steel shanks are not mentioned at all.
I don't think many do the steel shanks anymore. They do a hard
plastic that flexes a bit, rather than the steel.
I have extremely flat feet and with no extra support, I will crush the
boot soles down flat to meet the heels. I wouldn't have believed it,
but the ABS shanks seem to work as well as the old steel shanks used
My favorites now are some model of Timberland. I liked them so well I
bought three pairs and am on the last pair I squirreled away.
Dovetail saws? Ball bats? Hand thrown Japanese chisels? They don't know how
to respond to a bow and arrow because it isn't on their weapons list?????
The world has definitely gone mad. (Pardon me this transgression. I'll
ignore political flame bait in the future.)
That ABS support in most of the work boots (not tennis shoes) is
pretty substantial. In all the years of wearing Red Wings, I don't
know that the steel shank support that was in the foot bed (app. 1
1/2" x 3") was tasked with stopping a nail or screw. Maybe it did and
I didn't know about it.
But that wasn't why it was there to begin with. Those shanks (18
gauge sheet metal stampings) were put in there to help keep the boot
from collapsing under hard pounding like I used to give them. I
bought a cheaper pair of pull ons from Red Wing that they brought in
from a foreign supplier, and they were just a pair of leather boots
with a cushy sole. They were gone in about 6 months, destroyed.
At that time the Red Wing stores here were all franchises. I knew the
guy that owned our local Red Wing store as he saw me fairly
frequently, and he was so embarrassed about those boots that the gave
me a good discount on my next pair of good boots. Those cheapies
didn't have arch support or a shank of any kind, just a cushy cast
sole. They would have been great for wearing on the weekends in the
shop. Worthless for work. Their demise started when I broke down the
foot bed snf distorted the shape of the boot with my flat feet because
there was no supportive shank of any kind.
Lesson reconfirmed 20 years ago: No supportive shank, no purchase.
I never thought about the supportive shank as being a nail deflector.
Now watch me go to work and run a nail up through the sole of one of
my Timberland boots after all these years of ignorant bliss.
Well, don't forget, I haven't had need of protective footwear, (toe
protection or nail protection) for close to thirty years, so my experience
with the subject is woefully out of date. However, when I last worked in any
type of production environment, both types of protection were always just
one of the prerequisites to getting hired.
I'm willing to wager that the need for both types of protection is pretty
much equal. To me anyway, it just doesn't make sense not to protect against
both. Several times I've come across people who have stepped on nails, me
also being one of them. I've never come across anyone suffering from crushed
On Fri, 26 Sep 2008 14:25:02 -0700 (PDT), Tom Watson
Be sure to reach into the toe and feel the material that separates the
steel insert from your foot. Some of them are very coarse material
for longevity sake. You want one that is relatively smooth. And make
sure there are no seams in the area.
The last pair I had were as described above and while they were
comfortable enough they ate up socks on a daily basis. I finally just
got rid of them, long before they were worn out.
Tom, Skechers make steel toe work shoes. They have them in tennis
shoe and cross trainer style. Here is their site:
They are carried by Academy sports and Shoe Carnival here. I
found them to be comfortable and they wear well.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
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