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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.

Many people assume that all safety shoes are the same, and the most important thing is to wear them. However, physical examinations shows that our bodies require different types of support and protection depending on the work we do. Therefore, it's crucial to find the best safety shoe and sole that promotes your health and comfort during work.

Apart from safeguarding our feet against injuries, safety shoes should also provide support to decrease the risk of knee and back problems, which are the primary cause of work-related absences in the Western world.

To achieve the right protection against foot and back problems, it's necessary to understand how various work tasks can affect our bodies. That's why JALAS hired Myontec, a health technology company that produces smart clothing for muscle load measurements, to examine these impacts. 

This article provides essential considerations for preventing foot and back problems based on muscle load examinations. Examinations like this helps our product development by demonstrating how test subjects' muscles respond to various tasks.

Myontec planned, conducted the examinations, including a fixed environment and randomized order, repetitions, and timing of tasks. Despite the small number of test subjects, the examinations were objective because they revealed systematic trends that could be explained by biomechanics and work physiology. Myontec also interpreted the examination results.

Before we delve into the examination results, let's take a moment to understand how our leg muscles 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 muscle load examination was whether these problems can be prevented with the right safety shoes.

How Myontec performed the examinations

The hypothesis of the examinations was that different types of 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 activity.

The examinationss were conducted by the research company Myontec. To perform the examination, 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 examination, 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 examination results for JALAS TIO

The 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 results for the soft 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, 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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