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Footwear

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by NCLights, Sep 21, 2003.

  1. NCLights

    NCLights Member

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    Hey all, I'm new here. I guess before I get to the point I'll let you know about me., I'm in Connecticut, been doing lighting and tech work since October '02, and loving it. I quickly became the LD's right-hand man [mind you he, legendly, has been doing lightly since 2nd grade when he got a bunch of overhead projectors together for a school show...Anyway...

    What do you all think about footwear for work. I have been loving my Timberland boots, and was considering getting some Red Wings, my current one's have steel-toes. I have heard some stories about them causing amputation, but I'm still unsure over them. Regardless, I like the feel of a nice sturdy pair of boots over my sneakers when I'm working. Any other opinions?
     
  2. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Depends upon what you are doing. I'm not around things much that require steel tips and they do get heavy. On the other hand, I have become a big fan of mountain climbing/hiking boots similar to yours, except that they are as light weight as possible as something I look for. They also have a steel or space age insole support to keep the foot from bending when climbing. I find such a plate useful for standing on ladders.
     
  3. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hiya,

    Unless you are going to have your foot run over by something heavy like a car, I wouldn't worry about steel toes amputating your tootsies. They are great and they WILL save your feet in the long run. You basically want a good footwear that will do two things--be durable for getting run over and hit by roadcases and anything else in a theater. AND you want it to be able to have GOOD ankle support cause when you get hit by a box or a set--it will be at ankle height. So a good cover over your ankles and some good support would be wonderful to have. Low cut shoes expose your ankles to bangs and do not support you should your foot get twisted..and nothing sucks more then a bruised ankle that has no support. I personally like combat style boots, steel toes are an option..but they HAVE to be comfortable and not rub your feet into blisters. Timberlands are good, red wings and many hiking boots too, as they give great ankle support and cushion. But you have to try out different boot styles to find one that is comfy. Steel toes is an option--on a set-construction it is helpful to have steel toes, but it is a personal choice. I would not worry about amputations with steel toes..this industry is NOT that hazardous...things falling from overhead are more of a worry IMO.

    hope this helps...
    -wolf
     
  4. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Steel toes would be really nice if loading weights for the counterweight fly system, but it might be possible to get some strap on ones for this. That can easily break at toe and close down students doing the fly system once the insurance company gets done with your school. Perhaps the school could invest in such a thing as a side thought along with fall protection etc.

    Another good place for steel tips would be if you work in a metals shop part of a scene shop. Steel plate gets heavy. But as Wolf says, in general it's personal choice. People wearing ankle length or longer boots in my opinion are wearing the proper shoes because in addition to what he mentioned, they will with their tough leather prevent the shoe from being cut thru should you drop a knife or scenery on it. They will without steel tips allow your toes to bruse but they probably will not break with a good solid leather boot protecting them even with heavy much less sharp stuff falling on them as will be normal.

    One very good reason not to wear sneakers or gym shoes is the above strength, than something that's even more important. A good pair of boots will have a solid sole that will to the most degree possible resist puncture. A sneaker will not. That means that any nails or other sharp objects sticking up will seriously damage your foot if you are not wearing boots at work be it with scenery or lighting. Sharp piece of steel sticking up in the house lighting area, is just as able to cause you problems as stepping on a nail as a lighting tech.

    Just a few thoughts on not wearing gym shoes much less sandles.
     
  5. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hi Ship,
    Ahh--excellent point about the fly rail. Tho I WOULD hope that anyone loading and unloading on the rail would be doing the proper two-hand grasp on all pig-iron or lead, and the further acknowlegement of "mine" or "got it" etc when shifting weights between persons to ensure no one lets go prematurely. I would be surprised if insurance company's even knew or considered students and fly-rails and the supervisions and dangers in that task. Hmmm...fly rails could be a good question of the day--like whats the many differences between single and double purchase systems--what are the names/parts of a fly system and their purposes, and the correct safety technique's for loading/unloading and balancing weight and so on. I've considered this info for another tutorial..but the liabilities of posting such info (even if it came from Uncle Bill or other published sources) is up to Dave to decide about..as a fly system is just as dangerous as a pyro system.

    Hehe..when it comes to OSHA, fall protection and safety--the latest about being in a full harness and clipped in to the genie buckets--now thats a liability issue for insurance companys to consider.

    -wolf
     
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Taking steel tips to the extreme,

    I used to play catch with 155mm, 95# high explosive rounds that would give you a good bruse if they fell on your foot from the side, but sever a toe if they fell on you from the rear end. We played catch with them in a way kind of like playing with a medicine ball but much more difficult to catch. I used to weigh about 135# at the time but could sling em with the best of them.

    They issued us at one point steel tipped combat boots but or wearing them was not enforced. You would just get a dark letter in your file if you were injured while not wearing them. Problem with them besides the weight was that if you were in +120 degree temperatures, them things really started to cook, and when it was -20 them things really became ice boxes especially since they did not breathe thus I'm not a fan of DocMartins. Leather breaths, steel plates keep the moisture in unlss they have suddenly become vented.

    I was around for a lot of accidents with and without them however, to both me and others. I once dropped a round on my foot while wearing artic Mickie Mouse boots. Those things were already hard enough to walk in or climb up into a truck with much less having a crushed foot and still doing it. Seems like injurys were just as bad no matter what boot you had most of the time if you feet just did not get out of the way.

    Than there was the shells that hit the steel tip on the ankle edge of the boot plate even if the the shell hit you from it's side. At that point, it was likely that it would crush the plate and the plate would cut into the foot and require some special work to extract the foot from the boot. In other words, I gave mine away and learned the levitation dance when shells were on the way to the deck. Time freezes, you hear the sound and feel the wind move in some kind of matrix type of deal, than it hits with a thud and the ground shakes a bit.
    It's a 95 to 106# round and not exactly easy to carry already so they did tend to hit the deck a lot especially after the 200 yard cross country sprint in full combat gear between guns when you ran out. Anyone want to take bets that the platoon sgt. had it in for me and planned on running me and my crew out of shells often to get even for some slight I did to him? We seemed to do it a lot. I would say it was decent assumption even if he was incompitent and I was the first to post a symbol of Texas up in the truck window with a big red x thru it...

    Speaking of shells on the way to the deck, we used to have the new kids unload the ammo trucks. After all, everyone has to serve their time and the younger the better. Anyway, it was always fun to watch the new kid on the gun crew jump back with fear the first time a shell was dumped over the side of a truck at about a 8' height. Ya goof, the shell is plugged. No fuse - no explosion.
    Now if you drop one with a fuse on it... been there, seen that about 3 times, nice show of sparks and I never want to see it happen again especially during a pitch dark night. Your life does not pass before your eyes, but in those few moments when you assume, "I'm going to die, this is not good, perhaps I should fall over this log I'm sitting on to offer me up at least some protection." It does seem like you have some extra time to think about and consider things. Lots of things like debating falling over the log you are sitting on and getting your back all full of mud verses just sitting there, while being too lazy to "run".

    Anyway, I have also dropped stage weights, Expensive HMI lamps, and many other things. Even if you are being careful, at times them things do drop and were I working a fly rail I would hopefully invest in at least some steel booties and good gloves. Than again, I don't wear the apron or long sleeves when changing Xenon lamp/gernades so I'm not perfect. Answer, nobody is too cool for safety gear, and dropping stuff is common to all even if careful. Safety gear is good but a pair of safety glasses on the forehead is only protecting the forehead. What's the best effort to put into safety, it's a personal choice we all decieve ourselves about. I'm too quick to get my feet out of the way are famous last words.

    Fly system questions, oh' oh' ask me... Anyway, daily questions will hopefully become of such a format that we can all add as many as we want. Liability is a good question for a tutorial. I prefer to just recommend "The stage rigging handbook" or other books on the subject.
     
  7. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    Here at GBS we have a serious issue with the students wearing sandals. The problem is starting to dwindle with the on set of cold weather. Timberland’s and other hard soled shoes work for me. I asked one of my favorite Grad students I worked under at SIUC about shoes and he always recommended hard soles and shoes with great ankle support. He personally had to stop wearing steel-toed shoes because he would use them as a tool to hammer in objects.
     
  8. digitaltec

    digitaltec Active Member

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    If you do alot of work with rigging and heavy equipment (ex. speakers) then get yourself a good pair of steel toe boots. Throw in a few liners (ex. Dr Sholes (sp?)) to keep you feel comfortable. In terms of brands find a pir that fit you well. The last thing you want is your feet to be sore when you have to do a 12 hour load in the next day. :D
     
  9. chizle97

    chizle97 Member

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    depends during construction and fabrication its always best to wear steel toe boots or a solid shoe. But i find that if Im on running crew for a performance that rock climbing shoes are the best cause you wont slip and they are very quiet and light.
     
  10. fishyswishy

    fishyswishy Member

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    Climbing shoes ha. thats a great idea, i never could have thought of that. i heart my berkinstock sandles. lets just say i usually dont do much large set moving or whatever but when i hang lights or run board there is nothing like bare feet, unless the floor is dirty(broken lamps, side arms, cable). i just can't go back now
     
  11. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    For a light shoe that offers some more support look at wrestling shoes. Some dancers and choreographers wear them for comfort, weight, and traction.
     
  12. drumbum

    drumbum Member

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    I can atest that yourtoes will be fine!!! I work conversions at the Convocation center at my school http://www.convocenter.niu.edu. One of my supers got new steeltoes, so we decided to see how strong they really are. We ripped out the steel from his old boot, took outside the loading dock and ran it over a couple times with one of the fork-lifts. It chipped a peice out of cement, and then a chunk out of the tire. The steel didnt buckle, scratch or even have the slightest sign of abuse.

    Now, since it was 4 am, and we had just finished taking down a stage for wayne brady, and put in a basketball court, we were all a little nutty, so we kinda all pisked our toes under the fork lift. Im proud to say, i still have all 10.
     
  13. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    I personally prefer Vans. Comfort, style, and besides, a rel techie has no feeling in his foot anyways! :D
     
  14. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    after dropping a 10lb counterweight on my foot ,i wear thick boots when working with the fly system
     
  15. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    Did I mention an iron grip is required when you wear Vans? :lol:
     
  16. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    what is that exactly
     
  17. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    www.vans.com
     
  18. sallyj

    sallyj Member

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    I am a big fan of steel toes. Of course, I work around alot of steel. They also come in handy for kicking scenery into place, or for strike. :) Being a faculty member, I don't do it too often- don't want to set a bad example!
    If I did more electrics work or ladder work, I probably would not wear steel toes. But now I am so used to them that they are all I wear. Even when I am off work.
    If you do alot of concert load in/outs, I would also suggest steel toes with high tops.

    SJM
     
  19. digitaltec

    digitaltec Active Member

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    Honestly, I have yet to find a steel toe boot that is comfortable after being on your feet for oever 20 hours. I usually aways have a pair in my car and will wear them when dealing with rigging and even truck packs, etc. But when it comes to normal operations, I wear normal shoes cause the last think I want is to have sore feet when I still have hours of work to do. Steel toes are good to have, but are not always needed in every situation.
     
  20. yvfd82t

    yvfd82t Member

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    well....

    If you sit in a spot light booth wear sneekers... however if you can do it all bring both steel toe and sneekers, cuz i droped an ellipsoidal on my foot and it hurts like *stuff*. (word edited)
     

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