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Don't be seduced by too soft safety shoes

Don't be seduced by safety shoes that feel super soft when you try them on. They are probably not the best option for your body, shows a new study performed by Ejendals and Myontec.

Safety shoes are all the same, many think, and the important thing is that you wear them, right? Research findings show that our bodies need different support and protection depending on what we do. Which shoe and shoe sole is best for your health in safety shoes and makes your workday comfortable?

In addition to protecting against foot injuries, safety shoes should also provide support to reduce the risk of knee and back problems (musculoskeletal disorders), which are the leading cause of work-related absences in the western world.

To find the right protection against foot and back problems, it's essential to understand how different work tasks can impact our bodies. That's why JALAS, commissioned a study to map out these impacts. The survey is part of our company's efforts towards its vision of achieving zero injuries to hands and feet, benefitting employees, companies, and society at large.

In this article, we will discuss the survey results and provide important considerations for preventing foot and back problems. Let's begin by examining how our bodies function.

Legs.jpgThis is how your leg muscles work

Various types of work activate different leg muscles. Small muscles in our legs and feet play a critical role in maintaining balance, preventing foot twisting and ensuring steady walking. Meanwhile, larger leg muscles bear the load and drive our steps forward, making them particularly important when working with heavy loads.
Maintaining good health requires balanced activation of all muscle groups.

Are there risks with standing and walking?

Typically, safety shoe wearers spend their workday standing still, making small movements while standing, and walking short distances with or without loads. Although standing and walking may not sound harmful, the truth is that these common movements often lead to significant problems.

The feet and legs are commonly referred to as the lower extremities. It's worth noting that around 16% of the working population in Europe report experiencing work-related pain in this area.

For construction workers, lower extremity pain has been associated particularly with static standing and dynamic standing with small movements without regular walking. Prolonged standing can result in blood pooling in the legs, increased pressure in the veins, general muscle fatigue, stiffness in musculoskeletal structures, and pain in the lower back.

Extensive walking on hard surfaces and climbing ladders or stairs are possible risk factors for knee disease and increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis in both hips and knees. Many lower extremity problems reflect symptoms of the lower back muscles as well. One of the questions in the scientific investigation was whether these problems can be prevented with the right safety shoes.

How the tests were performed

The hypothesis of the research was that different types of safety shoes are necessary, which should not only be soft and comfortable but also provide stability to support the body and prevent injuries, depending on the type of work being performed.

The tests were conducted by the research company Myontec. To perform the tests, the test subjects were asked to perform seven different types of tasks that simulated common work situations, and the electrical activity in their muscle groups was measured using smart sensors in their clothes (a process known as electromyography). The sensors provided information about muscle loading from the upper and lower legs, as well as heart rate. The tasks were performed using the new JALAS ® TIO collection safety shoes, which have a soft and well-stabilized sole, as well as another shoe that is just soft. The JALAS ® TIO sole is made up of three unique layers for stability, softness, and slip resistance.

Muscle activity 

During the experiment, the subjects' muscle groups' electrical activity was measured through a process called electromyography. Smart sensors were used to measure the activity, and they were integrated into the subjects' clothing. The sensors provided data on the load and distribution of load across the various muscle groups during the seven different work tasks. Information was collected on the strain in the upper leg and lower leg muscles, as well as the heart rate.

The tasks were performed using two different types of shoes: one with a less stabilizing, very soft sole, and the new TIO shoe, which has a soft and well-stabilized sole.

The test results for JALAS TIO

The test results indicate that the TIO sole that has both softness and stability effectively supports the foot, resulting in an equal workload on the upper and lower muscles. This helps to prevent overstraining of the muscles, thereby avoiding long-term pain or muscle fatigue.
The TIO shoe with a well-stabilized and soft sole equally activated the small and large muscle groups. 

The test results for our competitor's shoe

When the shoe with the less stabilizing soft sole was used, the lower leg and smaller foot muscles were activated. This shows that if a sole is only soft, the lower leg muscles have to work harder to maintain balance, leading to overstraining and potential muscle fatigue and pain over time. 

The Conclusion

In conclusion, the human body requires different types of shoes to maintain good health and muscle activation, depending on the load and environment of use. While very soft shoes are suitable for leisure and sports, a combination of softness and stability is required for work to avoid pain and muscle fatigue.

JALAS TIO protects against damage to feet and back

The TIO shoe, which incorporates a whole new technology tested scientifically, is a soft, stable, and extra-ventilated protective shoe that provides comfort throughout the long working day. The TIO (Three in one) sole, which is soft and shock-absorbing, helps to prevent long-term damage to the feet and back. The new Three in One (TIO) technology was developed by JALAS.

JALAS proudly presents the TIO sole!

White layer - Stability that protects back and knees

  • More dense for better stability.
  • Higher sides provide extra stability.
  • Prevents twisting of the feet.

Yellow layer - Soft and comfortable

  • JALAS ® ComSoft Air material.
  • Micro air bubbles provide an extremely soft and durable sole.
  • Shock-absorbing lining to save back, knees and feet.
  • The shape of the sole provides soft steps with extra energy.

Black layer - Stand firm with non-slip protection

  • The micro-air bubbles form "suction cups" that give an extremely good grip on slippery, wet and oily surfaces.
  • Very durable and with an extremely good grip even when worn.

JALAS TIO safety shoes

Stable and soft safety shoes thanks to unique Three-In-One sole. The micro air bubbles in the JALAS ® COMSOFT AIR material brings extraordinary softness and grip. When you walk - you actually walk on air!

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