Guard against joining the ranks of the working wounded with a new style of safety footwear from Buckbootz. Professional Builder’s Lee Jones looks at the bANG guardz.
As a brand Buckbootz was founded on the principle of identifying the flaws in existing safety footwear and taking steps to eliminate them. Following the company’s inception in 1998 one of its earliest propositions was a safety dealer boot, for example – or Chelsea boot as they are sometimes called – and these have developed into a popular form of on-site footwear.
Not only are they easy to slip on and off, without laces to break – or spontaneously untie at inopportune moments – but the clean, uncluttered lines of a design which tapers smoothly up the ankle will also satisfy the style conscious. At the same time, the stretch panels at the sides that are essential for all that convenience in fit will equally negate the inclusion of a padded collar – or additional ankle support – which means there’s inherently less protection in that area. Thanks to two years of research and testing the bANg guardz range from Buckbootz is taking the next step in dealer safety boot design with a unique, deceptively simple and rather clever solution.
“Why not”, suggested the boot boffins at Buckbootz headquarters, “move the stretch area into the front?” That then allows for the addition of protection panels at the point of both the inner and outer ankle, as well as the aforementioned padded collar, and the added reinforcement of a back heel piece – all to EN/ UKCA standard. Indeed, if Achilles had been sporting a pair of boots like the BSH014 BR model we were asked to test in the midst of the sacking of Troy then the story might have been very different – as would the name for that particular anatomical feature.
As it is the eponymous bANG guardz are strategically placed to cover the Lateral Malleolus and surrounding joints, which is the bony protrusion on either side of the ankle – and a body part which never acquired the kind of kudos of being named after a Greek demi-god. (Funny bone was already taken but the effect of a whack on it is much the same – it’s really no laughing matter.)
Indeed, for the self-employed in particular on-site injury can be a very serious problem – not least the loss of earnings whilst incapacitated. Any detail in the design that can fortify your feet against the multiple threats they face on a daily basis will be a builder’s friend. Of course, the more features a boot has the more weight you’re potentially introducing but the beauty of the bANg guardz concept is that it’s one component in a non-metallic whole. As a result, remaining relatively fleet of foot further reduces stress on the joints and provides all-day working comfort.
Work your way down that elegantly fluted dealer boot body, and you’ll reach a non-slip heat resistant sole, a durable anti-scuff toe guard, and Nail Stop midsole, for instance, all of which combine to create the kind of defence for your feet that looks like it’s been engineered for a war zone. In fact, so confident is Buckbootz in the durability and robustness of its products that the manufacturer offers a unique “Body And Sole Together Forever” guarantee.
The boots are fully waterproof, including the elastic element, with a maximum S3 HRO AN SRC safety rating and maximum slip resistance. Not only does a non-metallic toe cap reduce the weight it will also prevent the conduction of cold and heat to the feet. Add to that reflective strips on the rear and you have footwear that seems to have thought of everything. Our test pair was in an attractive dark brown but they’re also available in black.
The first thing you will notice when putting on these boots is how effortlessly they slid on, which is thanks to an inner heel construction which facilitates fit. We’re also assured by the manufacturer that it’s a feature that will prevent any damage to the back lining over time. Once acquainted with your feet these dealer boots are a satisfyingly snug wear. Whilst we all may have learnt to tie our shoelaces during our formative years, it can still be a rather hit and miss affair in terms of comfort, especially if we’re in a hurry, but the elasticated panels provide a consistently firm grip around the ankle, with no discernible slippage. If, however, you prefer laces then there is a version for you with the product code BSH012 which benefits from all the same bANG guardz features as its dealer boot sibling.
Whilst the bANg guardz panels provide protection they are in no way obtrusive. In truth, it’s a concept that satisfies safety, aesthetics and convenience for the wearer all at the same time. They’re reassuringly sturdy, stable in the wet and don’t overheat or tire the feet after prolonged wear – and should go down with a bANg amongst builders.
If you want to watch a video that explains the concept behind the bANg guardz visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJtRLFhECfw
For more information on the entire bANg guardz range visit https://www.buckbootz.com/news/bangguardz