Work boots aren’t just part of a uniform. They are meant to provide the necessary protection so that you can do your job every day safely and efficiently. Sturdy footwear is essential for those working in demanding environments. And so, in today’s blog post, we talk about one of the most overlooked components of work boots—the shank and stick board.
What are they and what are they made of?
The midsole of a boot is the layer located between the outsole (bottom of the shoe that touches the ground) and the insole (layer that touches the foot). Its primary function is to provide cushioning and shock absorption. The shank is a rigid piece of material that runs through the midsole. They were traditionally made of steel, but nowadays, they are constructed from hard plastic. Above the shank sits the stick board which is also usually made from plastic.
What do a shank and stick board do for our feet?
Together, the shank and stick board provide structural support and enhance a boot’s performance. One primary function is to ensure that the boot only bends where the foot naturally bends. By restricting excessive bending, they promote stability and reduce stress on the muscles and ligaments.
When we walk over rough and uneven terrain, our feet naturally move from side to side. Over these surfaces, our feet work harder to keep us balanced. If your boot twists too much, it can lead to increased muscle exertion. It’s as if your foot is constantly trying to do a plank. With a boot that has a shank, the burden of stabilizing your foot shifts from your muscles to the boot itself. This redistribution of effort means your feet and legs work more efficiently and you can say goodbye to foot pain after long hours of walking.
Do all work boots have shanks and stick boards?
It’s worth noting that not all work boots are created equal. Shanks are usually found in boots that are designed for rugged environments where one might have to handle uneven terrain or heavy loads. When shopping for work boots, be sure to check for a shank and ask about the boot’s construction. It may seem like a small detail, but it can make a world of difference in the long run.
Want to know more?
Feel free to post any questions about shanks, work boots, and foot health below! Our team is also ready to help at ergonx.com.au if you would like to learn more.