Effects of wearing gumboots and leather lace-up work boots on plantar loading when walking on a simulated underground coal mine surface
This study investigated the effects of wearing two standard underground coal mining work boots (a gumboot and a leather lace-up boot) on plantar pressures when participants walked across a simulated underground coal mine surface. In-shoe plantar pressures were recorded as 20 male participants walked at a self-selected pace across a hard dirt surface while wearing each boot type. Walking in a gumboot, compared to a leather lace-up boot, resulted in increased plantar pressures and forces, particularly under the heel and forefoot areas. Increased plantar pressures and forces over a long time period is not only a risk factor for painful foot conditions, such as ulcers but also overuse injuries such as stress fractures. The leather lace-up boot might be a better safety footwear option for underground coal miners working under these conditions.