Did you know: Too much insulation in your footwear can make your feet cold!
October 31, 2018
When working in extreme cold or wet climatic conditions, you need warm, protective clothing to battle the cold winds so that you can work outdoors comfortably.
Personal protective gear for intensively cool climates involves high level of insulation to help you work and sustain in the severe weather. Protective overalls as well as safety shoes are thermally insulated to keep away the biting cold.
However, a common problem with most of these insulate protective workwear is that more often than not, due to the multiple thick layers of insulation, they are incredibly heavy and bulky. This becomes a major issue especially with jobs that need you to walk around in the snow or cold. It is impractical and extremely laborious to lug around such heavy loads. This is why PPE suppliers tried to find an apt solution for a long time to address this issue.
The answer came in the form of 3M’s innovative technology for thin, lightweight insulation, known as Thinsulation. This thinsulate insulation was created back in 1978 and in the past 30 years has come a long way to become the universal answer to protective insulation.
What sets Thinsulation apart is the fact that it gives a lot of warmth while being extremely light in weight. As compared to the usual polyester fibre, thinsulate is hardly 15 micrometers in diameter. The multiple thin strands of the thinsulate material in thinsulate boots are closely joined together which help to retain the heat and let the moisture escape. This is beneficial as it allows a lot more warmth and doesn’t retain any of the sweat or moisture, thus keeping your feet warm and dry.
Thinsulate is made of a variety of polymers and their combinations. Polyethylene Terephthalate mixed with polypropylene is one of the common combinations in thinsulate material. The insulating fibres made out of these materials are incredibly thin but their higher density provides almost 1.5 times the warmth provided by any down, felt, or fleece clothing, minus any of the bulk. No wonder it is a preferred choice for deep sea divers even in freezing cold temperatures.
Originally made for the purpose of insulation ski wear in cold, snowy regions, 3M’s Thinsulation soon found its way in commercial as well as protective workwear industry. In occupations like deep sea fishing, or while working in freezing temperatures or cold storages, lightweight, durable insulation like this is a lifesaver.
Vendors like Best marine are leading suppliers of genuine 3M protective workwear and you can buy some of the best PPE workwear and safety shoes online from them at www.bestmarine.com.
Thinsulation is not just limited to coveralls or jackets, but it also extends to footwear. Safety footwear is insulated with Thinsulate insulation to create lightweight, super warm shoes which repel moisture and remain dry.
Industrial shoes need to be light to make it easy to work while wearing them. Thinsulation keeps them light but also highly effective in adverse temperatures. There are different levels of insulation available depending on the nature of the work and the corresponding climatic condition.
Thinsulation is available in all weights from 200 gms to 1200 gms. Now, 1200 gms of insulation may sound like a good choice for extremely cold climates, but it is also a lot of weight to trudge around with. Besides, it may come as a big shock but the more insulation you use, the more you stand a chance of feeling cold!
Ironic, isn’t it! The way this works is that when a high amount of insulation is used, it will increase the heat inside your shoe, which is bound to make your feet sweat. This sweat will cause dampness, which in turn will make your feet cold! Hence, it is imperative that you use the right amount of insulation in your safety work boots.
Here’s looking at the different kinds of insulation and their uses:
- 400-600 gms – For any work that requires you to walk around, say while shovelling snow, or cutting wood, will keep you sufficiently active and hence, warmer. In such cases, 400-600 gms of insulation is sufficient.
- 800-1200 gms – If you have to stand or sit in one place for a long time, say while fishing or hunting or simply while repairing your car, your activities are limited and so you’ll be in need of a higher amount of insulation.
Thinsulation is very suitable for safety boots as it also combines a wide range of other properties that are vital in a hazardous working environment, which are as follows:
- Flexible – Work shoes reinforced with Thinsulation are very stretchable and flexible as they bend along with the foot movements providing maximum comfort.
- Flame resistant – Includes flame resistant fibres which provide protection against any heat or electric flames or sparks.
- Waterproof – Hydrophobic fibres make it water resistant which is yet another advantage offered by Thinsulate boots as it lets the sweat escape and keeps you warm and dry.
- Weather proof – Suited for every weather, it keeps your feet warm in winter and cool in summer.