Firefighters are at elevated risk for overuse injuries to the feet and ankles. Such overuse injuries could be the result of flat feet, fallen arches or improperly fitting footwear(e.g., structural firefighting boots).
Firefighters are also subject to foot pain because of the amount of walking, running, and climbing they do regularly as part of their duties. What firefighter’s “dogs” (feet) haven't been “barking” (hurting) when they return to the fire station after spending several hours working in their structural firefighting boots.
A COMMON CAUSE OF FOOT PAIN
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain and its source is the inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (the plantar fascia).
Most plantar fasciitis sufferers experience a stabbing pain that usually occurs with their first steps in the morning. Once up and moving around, the pain normally decreases, but it might return after prolonged periods of standing, walking, running, or when standing up after sitting for a period.
Though an individual can develop plantar fasciitis without an obvious cause, there are some factors that can increase your risk of developing this condition including, but not limited to, the following:
PREVENTING PLANTAR FASCIITIS
First is taking note of those five previously mentioned causes and taking appropriate action where necessary. Here are four additional preventative actions that can help reduce the risk of developing plantar fasciitis:
GOOD STRUCTURAL FIREFIGHTING BOOTS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The introduction of leather structural firefighting boots, and hybrid boots using leather and aramid fabrics (e.g., Kevlar, Nomex, PBI blended fabrics), has made a significant difference in the comfort and wearability of those boots on emergency scenes. MSA's Globe products has been on the forefront of this evolution in structural firefighting boots with its line of Athletic Footwear for Firefighters (because aren’t firefighters tactical athletes?).
MSA’s comprehensive line of Globe Athletic Footwear for Firefighters includes six models that give firefighters—both men and women ─ structural firefighting boot options that are not only comfortable and durable, but affordable as well.
All Globe structural firefighting boots are compliant with NFPA 1971 (Structural Fire Fighting) and NFPA 1992 (Liquid Splash).
The table below provides a quick features comparison between these six models in MSA’s line of Globe structural firefighting boots:
|FEATURES||SUPRAFLEX 14”||SUPRALITE 14”||SUPREME 14”||SHADOW XF 14”||ONYX 13”||STRUCTURAL 12”|
|Composite Puncture Barrier||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Vibram Arctic Grip Option||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|High Visibility Trim||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Made In USA||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Kevlar Blend Shield||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Outer Materials||Leather DRAGONHIDE fabric||Leather DRAGONHIDE fabric||Leather DRAGONHIDE fabric||Leather DRAGONHIDE fabric||Leather||Leather|
|Wide Calf Model in All Sizes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Vibram Toe Bumper||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Shin Protection||Foam padding||Padded composite shin guard||Padded composite shin guard||Padded composite shin guard||Padded composite shin guard||No|
|Vibram Contoured Cup Outsole||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|GORE CROSSTECH Footwear Fabric||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Pull On||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No (Lace up)|
All the great qualities, as described above, are available in sizes 5-12 and widths of Medium, Wide and Extra Wide.
Regardless of your choice of Globe structural firefighting boots, you can be assured that the boots you put on your feet are going to be good to your feet, no matter how much walking or climbing you must do on the emergency scene. As discussed earlier in this piece, having the proper footwear is a key factor in preventing plantar fasciitis. And it will keep your “dogs” from “barking!”