Walking on steel decks

How many of you have experienced issues that you believe are related to walking on steel decks for prolonged periods? Has your doctor agreed with your belief? What have you done to try and limit the damage? I’m going on 11 years or so in the industry and starting to experience some knee and and hip discomfort. So far I’ve been trying out moc toe boots the last year or two because they’ve got a thick, soft sole that I hope will absorb some of the impact.

Many of my ongoing maladiies ocurred while I was a deckhand up through helping out and training my deck guys as mate and captain. My hands were just as dirty as theirs. All on steel decks. 32 years old the back doc told me you can’t do that shit like you use to do. I changed up a bit on how I did things after that and am happily retired now. I am still sore from whatever every time I wake up. Loved my job. My bride always said your arms are bigger than your body. Wish my back was the same. Never had knee or hip problems.

I think you’re on the right track. Danner makes quality boots. The correct amount of arch support is important and insoles can also help. Your joints will thank you, especially later in life. I also found that cowboy boots with the tall heels caused me lower back problems.

found that cowboy boots with the tall heels caused me lower back problems.
No not sh*t kickers.:disappointed_relieved:

Yes, found that getting rid of the boots and going to safety toed sneakers with Dr. Scholl inserts for over 200 lb’s stopped the knee pain, lighter shoes, higher and firmer arch improved my knee and ankle pains, I’m 64 been working on boats since ‘74, knees started bothering me about 20 years ago, since I changed from the heavy boots, virtually have no problems. Our company only requires safety toed shoes

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A mentor of mine is in his 70’s & runs nearly everyday. Just a few years ago he was still running full marathons. He was a factory worker for 30 years on his feet all night. His knees are just fine. I know another guy who had to stop running in his late 20’s/early 30’s due to bad knees. He misses it & loves to talk about it. Neither walked on metal all day nor are they obesed which I know plays a big part on knee & back health. Besides the weight issue being a major factor I believe its genetics & luck that determines if your cartilage starts to deteriorate faster than others. And if you are an unlucky one or overweight, walking on hard surfaces will only make it worse.

I run 3-4 days a week. I’ve been walking on steel, aluminum & grating going on 25 years & my knees are just fine. My lower back requires a lot of stretching & yoga positions to stay agile though.

Where I live there has been a lot of heavy industry, not to mention a lot of river barge industry. (concrete & steel floors) It has attracted a lot of Podiatrist (Foot Doctors who work with the corrective and preventive measures of the lower body) and Chiropractors (who work with spinal alignment to relieve issues people are having with their nerves & muscles)

The Podiatrist have a good trade in making custom boot inserts called “orthotics”. Those who are having problems and get a pair of these custom made to their feet claim the difference is day and night after a few days. These devices help to realign your skeletal
structure to enable you to better stand, walk, or run and overcome problems that years on hard surfaces may create. People known to benefit may suffer from bursitis-arthritis, diabetes, or plantar fascitis and other degenerative maladies. As men age they often gain extra weight to carry on the job while working and the loss of (as much of it) that can make quite a difference. I understand that the loss of the first 15% of it makes the most difference,

But in the end good foot ware on hard surfaces is the best thing one can do for themselves.

I haven’t had an issue with steel decks and comfortable work boots. I really like the sole that comes on the Red Wing 3507 boots. A lot of the steel decks that I work on seem to have some give, especially deck plates and grating. That could also be saying something about the quality of ships I end up on… I’ve worked jobs where I was walking on concrete all day long and I’ll take steel decks over concrete hands down.

Have you looked at inserts for your boots? Before I switched to my current boots I used to use Superfeet inserts. They’re not inexpensive (about $40) but they’re cheaper than a true orthotic. They’re also made in the PNW.

I haven’t so far, but I’ll give them a try. Thanks!

Red Wing 3507! I had those! I have never before or since had a good a pair as those. Something about that sole, super stable but has just enough squish-give, almost imperceptible but really made you feel like you were cruising across hard surfaces instead of clomp-clomping like some boots feel like. Also the leather molded to my feet perfectly. USA made too. Probably why they were like $300 dollars when I bought them years ago…

I don’t remember what brand of either shoe/boot I was issued at Piney Point in the 70’s. The black steel toe was awful. However the tan halfboot was absolutely the best footwear I ever had. It held up to nonskid for about two years, and my feet were fine. Anyone on here remember the brand? I bought the red wings later on, great shoes but not like those I got from PP. Size 13

It is all about the shoes you wear, not with what you are walking on.

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Agree Seadog.

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I’d also recommend good insoles. Go for more than the $20 or so from Dr. Scholl’s. “Superfeet” makes very good ones, they run about $50 and are worth it.
[Posted before seeing Louisd recommended superfeet insoles, I’ll leave this as a second on his recommendation]

Millions would disagree, including those in the medical profession.


Because if the impact of walking on hard surfaces is not absorbed by footwear, it is absorbed by bones and ligaments in the body.

If you have the right footwear often supplemented with insoles (if not already there) it does.

So you do agree that walking on hard surfaces without proper footwear can cause damage to the body, yes?

Isn’t that what I said previously? What did you think I meant when I said it is all about the shoes you wear?

Edit: The topic is about steel decks but it has to do with any hard surface. My daughter in-law is a nurse. With her 12 hour shifts she quickly learned the value of the right shoes.