Publication Details

Dobson, J. A., Riddiford-Harland, D. L., Bell, A. F. & Steele, J. R. (2017). Work boot design affects the way workers walk: A systematic review of the literature. Applied Ergonomics: human factors in technology and society, 61 53-68.


Safety boots are compulsory in many occupations to protect the feet of workers from undesirable external stimuli, particularly in harsh work environments. The unique environmental conditions and varying tasks performed in different occupations necessitate a variety of boot designs to match each worker's occupational safety and functional requirements. Unfortunately, safety boots are often designed more for occupational safety at the expense of functionality and comfort. In fact, there is a paucity of published research investigating the influence that specific variations in work boot design have on fundamental tasks common to many occupations, such as walking. This literature review aimed to collate and examine what is currently known about the influence of boot design on walking in order to identify gaps in the literature and develop evidence-based recommendations upon which to design future research studies investigating work boot design.



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