Roger Bisby puts his foot in it this month as he test drives some Solid Gear One GTX safety shoes.
These Solid Gear safety trainers stand out from the crowd because of their bright colour, but the real difference is hidden under the waterproof star knit Gortex surround. The secret is all-round breathability, and that includes ventilation up through the sole. If you want a construction-based analogy, the sole and heel resembles a Bison beam floor or trusses.
The air is able to travel up through the sole and heel and the moisture wicks out through the Gortex.
Is this just a gimmick? I must admit it crossed my mind, but looking into it a bit more I found that the S3 rating on these shoes not only gives protection against standing water and spray but the double deck of EVA rubber is heat resistant and highly puncture proof.
The high level of moisture wicking and air circulating across the sole also helps. If all else fails the lining is antibacterial, which means they shouldn’t end up smelling like cat pee.
What I really like is the flexibility of the sole.
For many trades this might not be an issue, but for an electrician or plumber flexing feet and kneeling down all day long is routine, so any midsole protection has to be capable of bending constantly without coming out through the sole.
As a final note I am glad to see that with these shoes Solid Gear has returned to a system of lacing that goes through the shoe rather than fabric loops.
They might be ok in some environments but, as every trade professional knows, things like cement are very good at rotting laces and fabric.
All of this technology had made me realise that wearing them indoors in a low risk environment is not really giving them a full test, so I’ll be taking these safety trainers out for a proper spin soon. Watch this space, as they say, because the outdoor test is yet to come.
For more information about the Solid Gear One GTX safety shoe visit: www.snickersworkwear.co.uk