View Full Version : my feet hurt

C. Tate
03-21-2005, 06:55 PM
I left the family shop for a Mfg Engineering position. I now stand on steel grating most of the day and my feet are killing me. I would like to know what boots you guys like. Wolverines are out I currently wear these and they suck.


03-21-2005, 07:07 PM
it is not the boots it is the steel. it is hard on your feet and legs. when i was young i worked on concrate floors. my knees are gone and i am only 55

03-21-2005, 07:16 PM
ct,there are insoles available made with little air pockets.they might help,though i haven't tried them.maybe you're just wearing out ! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif


03-21-2005, 07:20 PM
You singa my song!! I went to a pair of steel toe tennis shoes and they are great. Considerably lighter AND with a steel toe. Who da thunk they would ever build such a thing. There is a great variety available too.

03-21-2005, 07:23 PM
I have been in industry for 25 years now and I can tell you it's in the boot. You get what you pay for. Go to a work boot store not a department store. The last pair I bought was a Napp boot, about $170.00 a pair. Expensive, yes. Feel good...YESSS!! Go to a work boot store and try on boots from several makers. Red Wing good..Carolina good. Many good makers out there. Buy what feels good to your foot and don't ask price till you are giving the clerk your credit card.

charlie coghill
03-21-2005, 07:29 PM
Try a foot Dr. they can make an insole that will fit your foot and spreads the weight out. The only trouble is the initial set are expensive.After that just a reline is all and that is fairly cheap some where around $40.00. It did help my feet but I have other problems so they still hurt. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif

John Stevenson
03-21-2005, 07:39 PM
Perhaps your ankles are fraying at the ends ? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

I don't think there is a general advise as people are diferent.
I have found that after about 6 months what ever I wear they draw my feet and they start to give problems.
I have found that rigger boots last about 6 months so I just buy these and throw them.

I have bought expensive boots but have exactly the same problem so buying a pair of $170 boots would be a waste for me.

Got to stress this is my situation though, others with have a different set of circumstances.

John S.

03-21-2005, 07:40 PM
ct Try Redwings with thier best extra insoles, worked for me for years on frt. dock. chiphead

03-21-2005, 08:01 PM
This is something I have had mini fights with every employer about.

If I am not moving things that weigh more than 20 lbs, I am in tennis shoes. I always have work boots with me if needed, but if you are just walking around the shop, why do you need work boots on?

They always said company policy...but the plant management wore dress shoes, not steel toe.

Never got fired for it, but was warned about it tons.


03-21-2005, 08:39 PM
On a cement floor all day.
Nothing beats a pair of Dr Martens!!

03-21-2005, 08:56 PM

C. Tate
03-21-2005, 09:16 PM

I currently wear Durashocks ouch. Have had them several weeks and they are well broken in but seem to be too soft. I think I suffer from a lack of support. Whatever it is these do not work well. Thanks for the input anyway.


03-21-2005, 09:18 PM
Two words:
Well, steel toe flip-flops.
Wait, that's 4 words...

Hoffman in Warner Robins Ga

03-21-2005, 09:36 PM
I currently wear Cat boots,I don't really like them,they are heavy and the soles wear quick on cement.
I have given thought to doing what a firend does,he wears tennis shoes with lace up meta tarsal guards on top.He swears by them and he works heavy steel.He like me has always refused to wear steel toes on the big iron,if you drop a 10,000lb beam on your foot that steel toe cap will only make you bleed more and longer while they cut it off with your toes inside.
I have also given thought to loosing 50lbs or better http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 03-21-2005).]

03-21-2005, 10:19 PM
I wear Danner boots with some sort of gel insert. The insert manufacture is not too critical as long as you change them regularly. I also am on my foots all day. Unless I'm sittin down http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

[This message has been edited by JRouche (edited 03-21-2005).]

03-21-2005, 10:39 PM
We had a "boot truck" that came by the plant every once in a while. They sold Wolverines, but they also had FootRest boots, which were more expensive than the Wolverines but were the most comfortable work boot I ever wore. Maybe FootRest is just a high-end Wolverine? They were very comfortable, but a little less durable than Red Wing.

I don't know for sure - the sole might or might not transfer the steel grating discomfort worse, but I think they'd be worth looking into if you haven't tried them yet. They're pretty good for working on concrete floors anyway.

03-21-2005, 11:17 PM

Find a good foot doc (podiatrist) who will analyze the cause of the pain and suggest solutions. For me the custom-molded orthodic inserts work the best (your feet may not be as messed up as mine, things I can't spell & don't understand). I stand twelve to fourteen hours per day in athletic shoes -- New Balance or Nike, usually $50 a pair. They offer NO foot protection, other than keeping welding spatter away. Usually get six months out of a pair & throw them away, the cushion is all gone by then.

Barry Milton

03-22-2005, 01:13 AM
I wear Australian RM Williams Mallee workboots for at least twelve hours every day I have tried all the other brands over here and these are the best at about 200 AUD a pair they have good arch support and fit right every time.

03-22-2005, 01:41 AM
You seem to have touched a nerve with this topic. Like I said before "do what feels good for you." When I was young I could use $25.00 Texas Steer's from k-mart but as the years passed and the concrete and steel started to take it's toll I needed a little more support. I have flat feet and fallen arches and big toes that are at about a 30 degree angle to my feet. I broke the toes on my right foot and the pinky toe on my left 2 times. I walk and kneel on concrete and steel 10 hours a day thirteen days out of fourteen.
Since I started to buy good boots I have never felt better at work. I use gel inserts in some boots but not in others. My low back stoped hurting. My legs have stoped hurting. My knees are shot but they even feel a little better. My boots are the most comfortable shoe I own. There more comfortable than the lightest running shoe mostly because they provide support to my messed up feet. Like I said before, find the boot that feels good to your feet. Try on every pair of boots in the store till you find the right one for you. If you can't find one in any given store don't buy. GO to another store till you find that one perfect pair. Custom inserts are another way to go. I have inserts but they don't always work for every pair of boots. Keep looking till you find what what works for you.

03-22-2005, 01:50 AM
I had custom orthodics made and they are a waste of money. Those foot doctors are just greedy shoe insert salesmen. What a joke. I feel a kodiak thinsulate boot with a dr. sholl insole could be your best bet. The tv has a lot of foot insert ads. They look a lot better than some $600 dollar quacks remedy that 50 bucks might fix. Beware the foot doctor they dont even need to be properly liscenced I heard. Since i went to my foot doctor (Broken toes) a year ago i have had knee surgery my hips wacky and my foot still really hurts. The solution I think is to shoot my doctor and cut off his feet. Just kidding but he really pissed me off. I feel my posture changed so much from his stupid inserts I developed many other problems. He would do one thing and then when i came back he would do the opposite and so on. Like he didnt know what to do but screw me out of my money. I want my money back and next appointment hes gonna catch some **** from me. Sorry bout the rant. Buy the nicest fitting pair you can find and get gel insoles from dr sholls. Thats all you can do.

03-22-2005, 07:48 AM
CT, I am a podiatrist. email me at merf23@yahoo.com Tell me all of your symptoms and ill help you out (ie hurts in the morning, advil helps, etc)
Madman, i went to 4 years of college, 4 years of podiatry school and 3 years of surgical training in Boston and Providence. Licensed in Connecticut($450 per year) and board certified by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. I dont sell anything in my office, especilly orthotics!
Just like any profesion, some Podiatrists are not particulary skilled or ethical. Unfortunately, I hear stories like Madman's too often...
I enjoy machine work as a hobby and read this board (almost) daily. Any one with foot/ankle questions, please feel free to email me.
PS i am getting a 3HP head ofr my Mhead bridgy this week, so ill have questions for you

03-22-2005, 09:11 AM
I will have to suggest Danner boots-
they do work ,hunting and miliatary footwear.

www.danner.com (http://www.danner.com)

I bought a pair of Acadias in 93 and they are just beginning to expire,after many miles of hot/ cold and wet and a lot of saltwater.
They were not cheap at the time and are not cheap now , but considering the mileage i got ,i cant complain.
I can send them back and get them rebuilt at a reasonable cost.

I dont think any other shoes or boots last
more than a year for me .

Smoking Crater
03-22-2005, 09:55 AM
I don't mean to be insulting, but try taking a daily walk. Good footware is important, but increasing your circulation will help a lot also. I hate exercising, but overcome my distaste by walking on a treadmill while watching TV or machining/hunting videos. It's hard to start, but after you do, it just becomes part of your lifestyle. Best part is you will regain lost energy.

03-22-2005, 10:22 AM
Madman - I'm sure glad not to be your foot doc <LOL>.

Merf - I never got any relief from foot pain until I found a good podiatrist. He tried a bunch of options (night boot, cortisone injections, stretching, insoles) before recommending the custom orthodics. Mine cost $350, insurance pays 80% of that, and I currently have three pair. Since the next step was surgery, the orthodics saved me a ton of money in lost time & hospital & doctor charges. Best $$$ ever spent on my feet & they work.

03-22-2005, 05:37 PM
I had a similar problem. Went to a real shoe store and had them measure my foot and it cut the foot pain down. Now my dogs only get tired. Plus, if something doesnt feel right, they will normally take care of it for you since they measured the size of the shoe for you.

03-22-2005, 06:14 PM
My foots kinda wide and I never learned to tie my shoes, so I wear steel toed engineer boots. I swear by steel toes and have the foot to prove it. A 2600lb block of steel landed on my right foot, from 4ft up when an electro-magnet gave way at work 9 years ago. I have 1/2 of my big toe and 2nd toe left, the rest were broken. If I didn't have steel toed boots my foot would have been pinched in half. They were Carolina's. It don't hurt anymore than it already does to get the boot off. My friend pulled mine off, you can't even fit your fingers under the steel toe in that boot. Never trust an electro-magnet, and I was stupid for getting in the fall zone. Smitty

03-22-2005, 07:15 PM
Hello CT
I found that Knapp shoes were comfortable
I've worked on steel and cement and they worked well for me. They are sold by individual salesmen as well as Knapp shoe stores. I located them in the yellow pages.
They are not inexpensive but they are good.

03-22-2005, 09:43 PM
Madman - Like anything else, there are good
custom foot orthoses (really, "orthotics" is the wrong word), and there are not so good ones. I am an orthotist and this is one of the things I do a lot of. Find someone who makes the orthoses in house. Podiatrists and Physical Therapist typically don't. Then when you need an adjustment, they won't have to send the orthoses back to the manufacturer so the mfg. can guess at how to adjust it. Well made custom foot orthoses can be very helpful, but correct fitting and sometimes shoe gear changes may have to go along with them.

03-23-2005, 12:07 AM
I got one pair of rockport boots, ankle high, not steel toes, but kinda like a tennis sole on them. I have worn them for three years and I only have got one season out of boots before. They are light, ankle supportive, good traction. Someone said they were made for the swat teams.

I have looked for similar ones to replace them, the heel is wearing crooked from the bike riding. Haven't found a decent pair, the durashocks I got, they feel like sponges in the morning, but not so great in the evenings. Cushy, maybe too so. I prefer them over the cheaper boots, but I got a big wide foot.


03-23-2005, 12:13 AM
Try this, take a extra pair of atheletic socks into work, change socks at lunch time. DRY socks make your feet feel so much better regardless of the brand of boot. I rotate boots two or three times a week. If I get them wet, well that pair sits till they dry. Working construction is harsh.

Your feet sweat over a pint a day I read somewhere. Perhaps why combat boots are comfortable, they have air vents.


Dave Opincarne
03-23-2005, 02:10 PM
May sound strange, but I've had the best luck with CAT. They have a line of steel toes that have an elastomer insert. I hate to admit it but they're more comfortable and give better support than my Asolo trail shoes.

03-23-2005, 02:22 PM

Listen to your body it is telling you something. Yes, your feet hurt. I suggest getting a good physical including a A1C test for your last 3 month blood sugar average. One of the first symptoms of type II diabetes is hurting feet. My feet hurt long before I was diagnosed and I had good boots. If you are kin to the Tates in North Georgia you have diabetes in your genes. At least get it checked there is something you can and should do if you are dignosed with diabetes. If not the consequences are very bad maybe even amputation. I am not trying to scare you but your body signs should not be ignored. There are others on this board who will tell you the same thing.

03-23-2005, 06:22 PM
Definately get checked out. I see people with lyme disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal stenosis, just to nam a few, who's initial complaints are foot related.

A tip: if your feet sweat a lot, spray them with a good deoderant/antiperspirant spray (like you use under your arms) each morning...works like magic!

03-23-2005, 06:38 PM
I'm surprised nobody said Whites yet. I bought a pair once.They where a bitch to brake in, but once they where my feet never hurt again. Plus when you where them out, you can send them in to get rebuilt. Saves money that way. I recomend eventually getting 2 pair and switching every day, They last even better then.

03-23-2005, 07:13 PM
After years of wearing traditional workboots, all different price ranges and brands, my feet still hurt. I switched to leather engineering boots and now I'm fine. I'm on concrete all day long. The boots wear in over time and get as soft as slippers. Any shoe shop can re-heel/re-sole them as needed, I got 12 years out of my last pair. For me anyway, having a boot with a taller heel shifted the load, and my feet and back like this style. Also, mention it to a doctor. Working shouldn't hurt your feet, just make them tired. Years ago I did this, and was told I have plantar fasciitis (sp), which stretching exercises helped tremendously.

[This message has been edited by Smtty58 (edited 03-23-2005).]

[This message has been edited by Smtty58 (edited 03-23-2005).]

03-23-2005, 08:41 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ibewgypsie:
Try this, take a extra pair of atheletic socks into work, change socks at lunch time. DRY socks make your feet feel so much better regardless of the brand of boot. I rotate boots two or three times a week. If I get them wet, well that pair sits till they dry. Working construction is harsh.

Your feet sweat over a pint a day I read somewhere. Perhaps why combat boots are comfortable, they have air vents.


I'll second this. I do this on occasion and it'll keep the feet happy. I keep an extra pair of socks in the desk drawer. The doc says that it probably keeps the athletes foot from making a start. Cant imagine what the working dudes would say if they went through my desk and found socks.

charlie coghill
03-23-2005, 09:58 PM
I use to wear boots with a felt linner durning the winter and after a couple of days my feet would start getting cold. So I made a home made boot dyer.

It was just a squirrel cage fan mounted to some PVC pipe with a couple of pipes extending out that the boot slips over.

That worked so well that now my shoes go on the dryer every day summer and winter.

The shoes wear longer, stink less and my feet feel better. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

03-24-2005, 08:11 PM
Eons from now anthropologists will be scratching their heads wondering why for hundreds of years humans wore shoes that were pointed when their feet weren't. Must be some kind of religious ritual of self inflicted pain.