Impact of occupational footwear during simulated workloads on energy expenditure

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© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Limited research exists on the physiological demands of occupational footwear. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to examine the impact of tactical boots (TB) (0.5 kg) and steel-toed work boots (WB) (0.9 kg) on oxygen consumption (V̇O 2 ) and cardiorespiratory responses during simulated walking protocols. Seventeen healthy male (age: 21.9 ± 2.0 years; height: 177.6 ± 4.8 cm; mass: 80.0 ± 9.4 kg) participants completed a total of four 20-min experimental walking trials: (1) WB horizontal protocol, (2) WB graded protocol, (3) TB horizontal protocol, and (4) TB graded protocol, following a randomized repeated measures design. On average, across each protocol, the larger mass of the WB increased absolute V̇O 2 by 6.2% and 7.1% for the horizontal and graded protocols, respectively. The WB also caused a significant increase in absolute V̇O 2 compared to TB during the horizontal protocol while walking at speeds of 4.0, 5.2, and 6.4 km/h (p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed for heart rate, breathing rate, or ratings of perceived exertion (p > 0.05). The results of this study indicate that wearing occupational footwear with a larger mass can significantly increase energy expenditure compared to footwear of lighter mass. However, energy expenditure increased without changes in physiological measures of energy expenditure. Footwear manufacturers may want to improve footwear design characteristics to maintain required safety guidelines while minimizing footwear mass.



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Footwear Science

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