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View Full Version : Is there such a thing as shovel foot?


zliminator
10-30-2006, 06:55 PM
I've noticed recently that my heels hurt when I walk barefoot on my wood floors. I finally realized its from shoveling. I've tried different footwear and shoe inserts and it seems to help some. I'm wondering if this is a common problem or if it will ever go away. (I'm still working on buying a trencher, but some jobs are too small for a trencher).

Dan

PurpHaze
10-30-2006, 08:14 PM
Never heard of it affecting the foot's heel but some guys develop problems with their arches of the foot they predominately engage the shovel with. A good quality shovel and sturdy boots helps a lot of folks.

Wet_Boots
10-30-2006, 08:24 PM
Treat your feet to decent shoes. It will matter later on. Same with your knees. Kneepads are your friend.

Dirty Water
10-30-2006, 10:17 PM
Never invest in boots that cost less than $100.

I usually buy one good pair of boots a year, and still wear through them.

PurpHaze
10-30-2006, 11:33 PM
Same with your knees. Kneepads are your friend.

Yup... I was denied knee pads over 15 years ago because district finances were so bad back then they "couldn't afford them." Six knee surgeries later including total knee replacement of the right knee would have bought a whole lot of knee pads. :dizzy:

In addition... Nothing like a good pair of knee pads to protect you from goatheads on 'dem puncture vines. Put one of those through your knee and you'll never forget your pads again. :)

Dirty Water
10-30-2006, 11:40 PM
I have a set of knee pads that I never use.

I can't stand walking in them. I bet I'll use them more as I get older :)

PurpHaze
10-31-2006, 12:15 AM
Ours are heavy duty plastic hinged ones with very thick rubberized padding and are quite comfortable. We get them from a local electrical supply outfit. They're so comfortable that if we're knocking out quickies and the sites are close we'll even drive with them on so we don't have to keep putting them back on.

Hank Reardon
10-31-2006, 02:44 AM
I have a set of knee pads that I never use.

I can't stand walking in them. I bet I'll use them more as I get older :)

I am older and use them every day. Up till last week I even wore them with shorts! I already have bad knees from stupid dirtbike accidents as a kid. It's good comic relief watching me walk after being on my knees for 6 hours.

Wear them now Jon...

Wet_Boots
10-31-2006, 07:43 AM
One can also buy trousers that have knee pads built into them.

DanaMac
10-31-2006, 08:54 AM
Never invest in boots that cost less than $100.
What are boots?? :) Since all we do is service/repairs, I wear shoes or sandals that dry fast. I know you guys will bash me for it, but oh well. I've had way too many pairs of boots and sneakers that get wet, stink, almost rot away due to being wet constantly. And then your feet get the funk. I also don't wear jeans because they take forever to dry. If I was installing systems it would be different.

The joys of making decisions as a business owner!!

DanaMac
10-31-2006, 08:55 AM
One can also buy trousers that have knee pads built into them.
What are trousers? :laugh:

SprinklerGuy
10-31-2006, 08:56 AM
My repair days are sandals and shorts also....I never would have believed it if I hadn't seen it....

My install days are jeans and boots...well, not really boots.....

jerryrwm
10-31-2006, 08:58 AM
If you are going to dig that much, you need to get some decent work boots. heavy sole with a steel arch shank. No cross-trainer or hiking type boots. Get something on the order of Red Wing or Wolverine.

Just a thought...you might check with your doctor about bone spurs.

PurpHaze
10-31-2006, 09:16 AM
Guess it's time for the Colorado boys to have their vehicles re-signed this winter: "Colorado Cabana Boys Irrigation". :laugh:

bobw
10-31-2006, 09:23 AM
My repair days are sandals and shorts also....I never would have believed it if I hadn't seen it....

My install days are jeans and boots...well, not really boots.....

Around here Workers Comp would pitch a fit if you aren't wearing steel toes. Even repair days require boots, besides, who wants to ruin a perfectly good pair of Teva's by jumping on shovels in them.

I haven't figured out anyone wearing jeans while doing irrigation; too much crouching down for them to be comfortable. Shorts all the way for me.

Wet_Boots
10-31-2006, 09:32 AM
What are trousers? :laugh:Trust me, no one wants to look at your legs. Might as well do something for the beauty of the environment whilst blocking the sunlight.

As for boots, one can always use a rotation of discount store cheapies, if they really fit your feet. Skip enough days between wearings, and the foot funk never appears.

DanaMac
10-31-2006, 09:35 AM
Around here Workers Comp would pitch a fit if you aren't wearing steel toes. Even repair days require boots, besides, who wants to ruin a perfectly good pair of Teva's by jumping on shovels in them.

I haven't figured out anyone wearing jeans while doing irrigation; too much crouching down for them to be comfortable. Shorts all the way for me.

When you're a solo operator, workers comp isn't necessary here. So Tony is excempt. I do have it for my employee, but not myself. My employee also wears sandals though. More of the KEEN variety. Notice the covered toe.

DanaMac
10-31-2006, 09:37 AM
Trust me, no one wants to look at your legs. Might as well do something for the beauty of the environment whilst blocking the sunlight.

As for boots, one can always use a rotation of discount store cheapies, if they really fit your feet. Skip enough days between wearings, and the foot funk never appears.

You haven't seen my legs baby!!

And I do have 4-5 pairs that I rotate, but the funk always reappears.

Wet_Boots
10-31-2006, 09:41 AM
Reappears? How did it arrive in the first place? Wash your feet, bwah! (and I don't want to see your legs)

Dirty Water
10-31-2006, 10:49 AM
You guys are crazy.

I'd die if I wasn't in jeans. You'd probably be able to see my knee bones by now.

Also, get yourself a GOOD pair of leather boots and treat them to a leather proofer and they don't get damp and funky.

BSME
10-31-2006, 11:37 AM
I always wear jeans... even when it gets into the 90s.

I'll argue you don't need knee pads if you wear jeans. Plus... your socks stay a lot more dry because those mist heads wet the jeans first before it has a chance to get into the socks

jerryrwm
10-31-2006, 12:34 PM
Socks?? You mean we gotta wear socks too? Next thing you'll say that we can't go 'commando' under the jeans either.

MarcSmith
10-31-2006, 12:52 PM
you coudl always weld a plate on the top of the shovel to give a bit more area for you shoe to contact with when you push itin the ground....

sheshovel
10-31-2006, 02:44 PM
Gee wiz you use your heel to push your shovel in the ground?
I use the arch of my foot and if I have to jump on my shovel I jump with my arches on the shovel.
As far as kneepads go..you boys are pretty ignorant NOT to use kneepads. If you get a good pair they are comfortable and not hard to walk in. Heck I drive around in mine sometimes. I use Nailors.
Really protect your knees it will be well worth it when you get older and you still have good knees. I have seen the damage knees can get after a few years of not using kneepads. I always use mine it's like automatic with me to put them on now and I won't work without them.

sheshovel
10-31-2006, 02:46 PM
When you're a solo operator, workers comp isn't necessary here. So Tony is excempt. I do have it for my employee, but not myself. My employee also wears sandals though. More of the KEEN variety. Notice the covered toe.
Gee DanaMac sure hope you don't have snakes around where you work! Ask me and those kind of shoes on a jobsite are an accident waiting to happen. One way or the other.

Lawnworks
10-31-2006, 07:16 PM
I never even use my foot w/ the shovel. We use Fiskars shovels that are completely metal, and use them almost like a pick. These are the only shovels we haven't managed to break.

SprinklerGuy
10-31-2006, 07:18 PM
What is a snake?
As for Tevas...I would wear those out in a week...the keens are built way better.

No workman's comp....

My legs are nice.....just ask me.....maybe the guys wearing jeans 365 days per year have bad legs....mix in some shorts every now and then. If I could get away w/ a tanktop I would do that too....the tattoo might offend.

SprinklerGuy
10-31-2006, 07:20 PM
I don't know for sure if there is shovel foot...but there is definitely cellphone ear and truck seat arse....

DeepRoots
10-31-2006, 07:51 PM
lawnworks... I've got that fiskars shovel too.

greatest dang thing I've ever bought. Real nice big footplate, the whole thing is metal so I can't break it (makes a great prybar too).

of course my first job after I bought the shovel I hit a 110V line.....
figures eh?

http://www.fiskars.com/US/Garden/Product+Detail?contentId=85586

drew

zliminator
10-31-2006, 08:33 PM
Gee wiz you use your heel to push your shovel in the ground?
I use the arch of my foot and if I have to jump on my shovel I jump with my arches on the shovel.

I guess I need to start using my arch. I bought some boots from Wallmart that were supposed to be waterproof and sprayed them several times with Scotchgard and my feet still get wet. They were only $30. I also have to wear ankle braces. That helps. Knee pads are a good idea. I got some fireant bites from working in bare knees and it took forever for it to go away. Especially when you keep itching it.

Dan

PurpHaze
10-31-2006, 10:01 PM
I bought some boots from Wallmart that were supposed to be waterproof and sprayed them several times with Scotchgard and my feet still get wet. They were only $30.

I buy nothing but Redwing boots. Excellent leather uppers and lined with a waterproofing material that breathes. (Used to be Goretex but they've changed to something else now.) They're $250 a pair and I get two good years out of them. I also wear two pairs of socks all year long. Feet stay nice and comfy. :)

PurpHaze
10-31-2006, 10:03 PM
I've got that fiskars shovel too. Greatest dang thing I've ever bought. Real nice big footplate, the whole thing is metal so I can't break it (makes a great prybar too).

And one is inclined to take shovel advice from a guy that dresses like a cabana boy??? :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Last guy that dressed that way tried to shove stagnant pressure advice down our throats. :dizzy:

Dirty Water
10-31-2006, 11:03 PM
We buy BullHead shovels, they are about the strongest trenching shovel I've encountered. We wear the tip down before can snap it.

DeepRoots
11-01-2006, 06:45 PM
purphaze,
I don't know what the heck you're talking about.....

I think you may be confusing me with someone else.
I wear jeans, georgiaboots, and my work shirts.

sheshovel
11-01-2006, 07:00 PM
Thank's for the link Deeproots I am gonna buy one of those.
Being true to my nic I have many types of special shovels, and use each one when it is called for in special digging situations.

Wet_Boots
11-01-2006, 08:06 PM
....but do you have a telegraph shovel?

DeepRoots
11-01-2006, 08:07 PM
I was at lowes buying (yet another) handle for a shovel.

sure enough, that shovel cost about as much as a handle ($25 if I recall)

PurpHaze
11-01-2006, 11:17 PM
purphaze,
I don't know what the heck you're talking about.....

I think you may be confusing me with someone else.
I wear jeans, georgiaboots, and my work shirts.

I meant it for Dana and his sandals. I just captured the wrong quotes in my reply. :p

PurpHaze
11-01-2006, 11:24 PM
Being true to my nic I have many types of special shovels, and use each one when it is called for in special digging situations.

What shovel do you recommend for yanking out drip??? :laugh: :cool2:

MarcSmith
11-02-2006, 07:38 AM
I was at lowes buying (yet another) handle for a shovel.

sure enough, that shovel cost about as much as a handle ($25 if I recall)
buy a steel or fiber glass handle shovel and you wont spend the $$ on brokenhandles. and then you can use it a Pri Bar....

I found my guys using shovels to pry rocks rather than the digging bar and i always wondered whythe handles wre breaking. once I saw it and charged the foreman for a new shovel it stopped

PurpHaze
11-02-2006, 09:09 AM
Actually, we use the Kenyon "Caprock Irrigation" shovel as our main tool and the Kenyon "Bullhead" for trenches.

bobw
11-02-2006, 10:16 AM
We use Structron shovels, solid fiberglass shafts and lifetime warranties. Not cheap, but soon as one breaks we hand it over to our wholesaler and he hands us a new one.

Dirty Water
11-02-2006, 10:39 AM
Actually, we use the Kenyon "Caprock Irrigation" shovel as our main tool and the Kenyon "Bullhead" for trenches.

Kenyon is the brand that we use. I just call them bullheads. Great shovels.

Total.Lawn.Care
11-02-2006, 01:29 PM
If you are having problems walking across a hardwood floor barefooted, especially first thing in the morning when you first get out of bed, it has nothing to do with shovelling. It is a condition that has to due with a bone spur in your heal. I know, I had one. It does have to due with the type of footwear (primarily arch support) that you choose. I thought that I was going to have to have my bone spur cut out as it had hooked over and was pressing on a nerve under my heel. However, when the Army mobilized us and I started wearing the new desert boots everyday, the issue eventually went away. I cannot explain it very well, but changing my shoes worked. It took a little time.

If you woudl liek to ask more questions about it, feel free. I will see if I can find the medical term for it and post it so that you can research it and find a way to deal with it.

Total.Lawn.Care
11-02-2006, 01:34 PM
Here is one link to an explanation of the condition that I had and I suspect that you have. It mentions foot wear as one of the causes. See what you think, and you may want to see a dr. and have x-rays done to be sure that this is the problem and continue further steps to treat.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FDN/is_2_10/ai_n14731867

zliminator
11-02-2006, 08:05 PM
Yikes! I didn't want to hear that. I've got more trenching to do tomorrow.

Dan

irrig8r
04-22-2007, 11:51 AM
What are boots?? :) Since all we do is service/repairs, I wear shoes or sandals that dry fast. I know you guys will bash me for it, but oh well. I've had way too many pairs of boots and sneakers that get wet, stink, almost rot away due to being wet constantly. And then your feet get the funk. I also don't wear jeans because they take forever to dry. If I was installing systems it would be different.

The joys of making decisions as a business owner!!

I kind of like damp denim jeans from the knees down on a hot day, (usually low hunmidity here), as long as I remember to wear a belt to keep them from sagging. :laugh:

Polypropylene socks and shoes designed for rafting/ canoeing work well when adjusting heads.

But as for digging, especially when it's cooler out, I usually wear my Dunham Cloud 9s, and if I know it's going to be really wet and deep, I have hip waders...

PurpHaze
04-22-2007, 01:03 PM
But as for digging, especially when it's cooler out, I usually wear my Dunham Cloud 9s, and if I know it's going to be really wet and deep, I have hip waders...

We have rubber boots that we can change into but they're a real PITA. We've changed our repair sequence on large lines buried deep by using the Bobcat backhoe to do the initial dig. After we've determined what the problem is and have cleared an area for repair we use the backhoe to remove most of the slop and then backfill up to the repair point with sand. This then gives us a safe, dry platform to work on. Our sand bills have risen but the safety factor has decreased drastically. Sand is cheaper than an employee injury.

An additional byproduct of using sand backfill is that it compacts better than the slop and wet soil that comes out with the original dig. Better compaction means less settling which maintains a better playing surface. We've had to do this on main line leaks in the middle of a sports season (i.e. varsity baseball field) and top the sand off with some sod. We'll get the repairs done in a single day (if everything goes right) and they can play the game the next day without scars or safety consequences.