It all starts with your footwear, a pair of boots. The difference between wearing and not wearing protective boots can mean the difference between life and death for sailors who lose their balance on deck, particularly when handling heavy objects or working alongside heavy machinery.
Protective boots are designed to protect sailors when they are on deck, from everything that might hurt them, as well as prevent the musculoskeletal injuries and repetitive stress injuries, commonly referred to as RMS, that result from wearing hard-soled shoes, which generally interfere with posture.
What is the difference between protective boots and protection shoes?
Wearing protective boots does not mean wearing protection shoes. A pair of protective boots offers better protection and comfort for sailors. However, a pair of protective boots is not a great choice if the boot soles are chipped or damaged, as such boot soles become more uncomfortable. This is the case with some of the hundreds of pairs of sailors who have experienced chipped soles, resulting in an expensive trip back to the shop to have the boot soles repainted.
At the same time, wearing protective boots, particularly protective boots designed specifically for sailing, is a better choice, with the added benefit of the protective boots offering more protection from slips, trips, falls and abrasions that can lead to musculoskeletal injuries. For this reason, sailors who prefer protective boots are advised to visit a professional shoemaker, where they can be properly fitted to ensure maximum comfort for the rest of their sailing life.
If your feet hurt when sailing, which is common for sailors who wear protective boots, look for a pair of boots that have good padding to relieve stress on the feet. Avoid wearing tightly-fitted boots and ensuring your shoes fit well.
Are protective boots only worn by sailors?
If protective boots are worn in preference to protective shoes, then they are most commonly used by sailors who sail in the middle berth of their ship. The entire boat is often tipped over, making the hazards on deck particularly dangerous.
However, most sailors use protection shoes for everyday tasks on land and in the water.
Generally, protective shoes, including protective boots, can be a good investment for those who experience stress and discomfort while sailing, whether for recreational sailing or for working at sea.
Benefits of protective footwear for sailors
A good pair of protective boots offers excellent protection from slip and falls, leading to serious injuries.
Pain and stress relief, particularly for those who experience both, because wearing protective boots makes the job of working in a position that often requires a great deal of lifting or heavy carrying a lot more comfortable and enjoyable.
Occasionally, protecting sailors from injuries can also mean helping a sailor avoid work-related disabilities.
Protective sailing boots are available for virtually any sailor’s feet, including extra large or small sizes, long or short, heavy or light.
It is easy to find high-quality protective boots that fit well and offer great protection for all types of sailing.
Providing protection for sailors on the job
Most marine shops offer boot restoration, where boots are prepared to be protective for sailors, whether working at sea or on land. It is often easier to buy a new pair of boots for use in an area than to replace or repair old boots that are worn out and damaged.