Saturday, June 25, 2022

Walking It Off And On

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping. 

I have never had a job that was behind a desk, or one that allowed me to sit for long periods of time. I've always been standing, walking or moving to do my job. Now is no different, and staying comfortable is important.

How Important?
So important that the National Safety Council published several reports on workplace injuries that show fatigue is a major factor in injuries and deaths on the job. 

Now, I am not driving a big rig, flying planes or operating complicated equipment, but I am doing work that could seriously injure myself or others if I'm not careful. That's why I want to be tired at the end of my day, but not even close to exhausted.

I walk somewhere between 3-5 miles a day for my work. That is a lot of walking, but it doesn't really help me be or stay fit, since I don't get in any sustained walking. It certainly wears me and my shoes down though, much faster than I'd like, and the shoes in particular are a problem. I have very wide feet (EE or EEE, depending on the brand) with very high arches. Complicate things with a bad Achilles tendon, and this combination makes finding shoes that fit difficult and usually expensive. 

I've gotten around this in the past by finding inexpensive boots that come in wide widths, only for the brands to drop the style I need. Lately, though, even the brands I've bought have had their quality go down to the point where I'm not getting a year's wear before the boots fall apart. Relating my problem with shoes elsewhere brought a comment that perfectly illustrates my problem:

The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”   
Terry Pratchett, Men At Arms

I am in a position (finally!) to buy the proverbial $50 boots this year, which I did. After shopping around and looking at and trying on several different brands, I found what fits me the best are shoes from Red Wing. Not only do they offer wide widths, there are multiple options for inserts to give me the arch support to keep my feet from hurting at the end of the day. No joke: it took a good 45 minutes to swap shoes and inserts to arrive at what fit me the best.
Stay fast, cool and comfortable on your feet in these lightweight, light-duty soft toe shoes with abrasion resistant mesh upper, plus electrical hazard protection. CrossBreeze technology surrounds the foot with an instant cooling effect. Underneath, the Vibram SpeedSole delivers best-in-class slip and abrasion resistance.

I have worn these shoes for two months now, and while they are not a work boot nor have steel toes (which, fortunately, aren't a requirement for my job), there is more than enough support to keep my feet comfy. When I told my co-workers about these, one of them said "Hey, my sister is the district manager for Red Wing! I should check them out and see if there's a discount I can get!" 

This shoe also isn't waterproof or even water resistant. This isn't a big problem for me, since in the worst case I'm less than half a day's walk home, and as long as I'm moving wet feet have never bothered me as long as I have wool socks. With California's drought conditions, the chances of me walking home with wet feet are slim!

I know there are fans of other work shoes and boots, especially currently serving and former military friends who have their favorites (Danner) that I would really like to try on; my problem is no one close has a big selection to allow me do that, and I really do need to try before I buy. I also know I am able to order direct from Danner but I really, really hate the whole buy-and-return complication of online ordering. So while I certainly have nothing against another popular, well-respected and friend-referred brand, I had to use what was close.

Recap and Takeaway
  • I am finally able to shop smart. Not only for shoes, but other parts of my prepping supplies.
  • Sorry, there is no Amazon link for these shoes, and they are a bit more expensive than Capt. Vimes' boots, but they are worth it.

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NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

1 comment:

  1. Try HAIX - they offer a lot of public safety options (what we originally found them for) as well as hunting gear and blue collar (logging, construction) options. They have great fits for wide feet and are American made.


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