The logging industry, as adventurous and satisfying as it is, is one of the most dangerous sectors in America, according to the United States Department of Labor. That is why the majority of workplaces stress the importance of safety gear. While a pair of standard work boots might be just enough in some days, the nature of the job itself, along with the very specific tasks that loggers are required to accomplish, require footwear that is specially designed for this purpose. The objective of this article is to highlight the design and structural differences between logger boots and casual work boots so that you will make the best possible buying decision.
1. Safety Features
The first difference between logger and casual or stock work boots are the safety features. According to the same statistic mentioned above, loggers face the most occupational hazards in the United States. A simple usage of tools such as chainsaws represents a danger to themselves and their colleagues. Loggers deal with massive weights and are exposed to the dangers of sliding, rolling or falling of logs and trees.
The dangers are even more heightened when the loggers are doing their jobs in unfavorable weather conditions such as rain, snow, lighting, winds. There are usually very unstable, uneven or rough terrain in isolated or remote work sites where proper healthcare facilities and rescue teams are not readily accessible. These are a few reasons why logger boots come with a few structural differences concerning safety features, all of them required by code:
1. Logger boots have much taller heels to make stepping, walking and jumping on muddy, uneven terrain filled with debris as safe as possible.
2. Higher degree of traction to prevent the worker from slipping on oil or other logging-related substances.
3. Logger boots have a sturdier structural composition to protect the feet from chain-saws.
4. Standard work boots are equipped with steel toes to protect workers from heavy falling objects such as pipes and various types of large-scale tools. Work boots usually have class 1 (indicated by a green triangle) or class 2 toe caps (indicated by a yellow triangle), combined with puncture resistant soles.
5. Some logger boots, too, are equipped reinforced toes, for the same reasons.
6. Another key difference between logging and casual work boots concerning safety features is the steel shank. Usually lumberjacks are required to climb up and jump off from up high on a daily basis. Therefore, the steel shanks are designed to protect the boots from any potential wear and tear caused by these activities. They also help in absorbing the shock trigger by constantly stomping on the forest floor. As a bonus, steel shanks also protect the feet from developing bruises and calluses.
7. Grade 1 is for heavy work environments where the workers have to deal with construction. It is also helpful in the machine shops where sharp objects are prevalent. Grade 2 is indicative of light industrial work.
8. On the other hand, most logger boots do not offer electrical or anti-static protection. Because these potential hazards are not a concern on logging work sites.
9. Even though top-quality logging boots are highly resistant to water, unlike casual work boots, they can’t handle extreme cold conditions, with freezing temperatures. The bottom soles have a tendency of hardening up, exposing the lumberjacks to the dangers of slipping. They also make walking and climbing up on the trees very difficult.
2. Weight and Flexibility
The next entry on the list concerns weight and flexibility. This is perhaps the biggest distinction between logging and work boots because each job has a different set of potential workplace hazards and requirements. There are several footwear specialists, who stress the importance of these two features as they could potentially draw the line between a dangerous and safe work environment.
It is often observed that the loggers are as exposed to heavy falling objects as construction workers are. At the same time, lumberjacks need an extra degree of flexibility in order to climb the trees, reach high surfaces. It also makes it difficult to traverse uneven, steep, muddy and debris filled terrain.
That is why logger boots are built around this principle unlike stock or casual work boots. The protection is usually offered by the sturdy construction of the boot, not the reinforced toes. This is a necessary compromise because reinforced toes tend to be quite heavy. And the last thing a logger needs is getting pulled down by the weight while climbing a tree or walking through ponds of water.
We also recommend you to watch the following video carefully, where you will know what are the features of the best logger boots. This will help you specially when you are confused about which kind of boot you should by for your profession or work activities.
3. Water Resistance and Boot Breathability
The next major difference between logger boots and casual work boots concerns water resistance and boot breathability. Logger boots have soles that are usually built out of a special type of leather. This leather is usually well resistant to water. Along with this, the insole is made out of a breathable material that keeps the feet dry, also allows proper air circulation.
Another specific feature of logging work boots are the shafts. Their role is to properly cover the ankles and prevent water from reaching the feet. Moreover, the leather uppers of logging boots are typically tanned with oil, which gives them an additional degree of protection against water.
These particular features are especially important because, unlike people who work in industrial or construction settings, loggers are more likely to be exposed to unfavorable weather conditions with high amount of humidity. Most logging sites are damp, muddy and filled with water puddles. As a result, loggers need an extra degree of protection against water to prevent any conditions associated with exposure to water. Such conditions can cause various health conditions such as excessive sweating, swollen feet, foot fungus and even cold and flu.
Judging by the tips provided by this article, you might have figured out that logging boots and casual work boots are not interchangeable. While there are some slight similarities between these two types of footwear, each is designed to serve a very specific subset of purposes. Knowing the distinctions and taking them into account before purchasing a pair is essential. This could also mean the difference between an unpleasant injury and a safe work environment. Make sure to read through this article, and make your decision based on the facts and research.