“Fussy about footwear” describes me perfectly and I have a cupboard full of failed purchases to prove it. My feet have to feel comfortable very quickly in a new pair of shoes or boots because they get very sore if they don’t.
No problem with the JCB Cagelow B safety trainers from Progressive Safety because I felt completely at home in them after about half an hour, and by the end of the day I wouldn’t have been able to tell that they were new shoes. This is largely because the fit is wide and the toes rounded – but without looking like clumsy clown shoes. I found myself adopting them for everyday use even when I wasn’t working in the workshop or on site because they looked fine with their black uppers, with a flexible grey mesh covering that provides comfort and ventilation.
• Meets safety specs
• Sole doesn’t gather mud etc
• Mesh makes for flexibility
• Good ventilation
Perhaps it also had something to do with the dual density heels and soles that cushion the feet and helped them to feel as good at the end of the day as at the beginning.
The strong nylon laces fit through large eyelets, thus making the trainers easy to put on and take off and the padded tongue and ankle pieces ensure that feet feel comfortable and secure. A loop on the heel can be used to pull the trainers on to avoid muddy hands in the case of dirty shoes. Big cleated soles are great in muddy conditions but since my work is mainly indoors or in my workshop, I prefer the flat soles whose ridged patterns don’t collect as much mud as cleats and are easier to wipe off on a mat. There are certainly a grippy pattern of ridges and bumps on the bottom of these trainers so they do provide a secure feeling when walking, but you won’t leave a trail of gunk behind you.
The soles of work shoes are also important for other safety reasons – these ones are antistatic rated for reducing, removing or preventing static build up that is important for shoes worn in environments where there is a danger from combustive materials. They are also tested to the highest levels of slip resistance, namely EN ISO13287 (2011) so should give you a firm footing. But another thing that I liked on these trainers was that the soles were so flexible that when I was kneeling down and my feet were bent, the soles were able to accommodate the movement and not squeeze my toes.
Another key element of safety footwear is resistance to penetration through the sole – and the Cagelow Trainer’s non-metallic sole offers protection from penetration from a force up to 1100 Newtons.
Without giving you a “lumpy – toe” look, the toe protection provides protection up to 200 Joules and there’s also an energy absorbing heel. Since safety shoes and other safety gear are a requirement on most worksites these days, it does mean that workers have to choose carefully when purchasing. It might be hard to return a mud encrusted pair of work shoes and demand your money back! I found that the comfort and protection offered by these JCB Cagelow Trainers suited me very well and I am happy to recommend them.