Wear it well – Don’t abuse your work shoes until they wear out!
If you’re working on your feet all day it’s always worth investing in a quality pair of shoes that are comfortable and will give your feet the support they need. However, many of us will wear our trusted work shoes well beyond their sell-by-date until they are literally falling apart.
Whether this is a bid to save money or avoiding the hassle of having to find a new pair of work shoes that are up to the task, this delay in replacing well-worn work shoes could actually be doing your feet and health more harm than good.
The signs of aging
Some of the signs of replacement in shoes are more obvious than others. And while the last thing you want to do when you’ve finished a long week at work is examine your shoes for wear and tear, it’s a good habit to get into. Spotting the signs of wear and tear early will mean you get replacement shoes when you need them, rather than your shoe falling apart mid work day that’s not only inconvenient, but could potentially be a health and safety hazard.
Check the soles
Just as you would check the treads on your car tyres, you should keep an eye on the wear of the treads on the soles of your shoes. If the tread depths are starting to look thin and less defined on the heel or the ball of the foot this could be a sign the shoes aren’t doing their job properly. These areas take the most impact, especially if you’re on your feet a lot, so making sure the treads are in good nick will help absorb the impact, putting less stress on your feet and joints. Furthermore excessive wear on treads on the heel or ball of the foot can affect how you walk and your overall posture.
The inside job
Of course, it’s not just the outside of the work shoes that serve a purpose, the insides have a job too. Most work shoes are designed for long wear, comfort and durability, so they will have some form of internal structure that helps cushion and support the foot during wear. Naturally over time and heavy wear, this protective element can wear away, even if they look the same on the outside, leaving your foot less protected in the process. Without the appropriate support for the arch, ball and heel of the foot this can lead to the shoe no longer supporting and fitting properly, which can cause foot pain, leg fatigue and back ache.
Another aspect to factor in when you’re wearing your work shoes to death is how well they let your feet breathe. After lots of wear, your feet will inevitably sweat, but older shoes are likely to make feet sweat even more as the inner materials become clogged with dirt and grime. This can not only create a smelly problem, but also lead to fungal infections.
While there’s no rule on how often you should replace your work shoes, it’s worth giving them regular checks for damage and wear and tear to ensure they keep your feet (and you) healthy.