Tower Climbing Boots
The wayback machine
Radio for me was at first a hobby which then led into an occupation. When I graduated college the unemployment rate in my home town of Rockford Ill was over 20%.The OPEC oil embargo had upset the US economy in a very long-term way. As as a reminder the Chrysler plant near my home, had a 500 acre field filled with big gas guzzling cars which no one would buy.
As a result I took the first the first position offered and over the next couple of years I found myself traveling around the state installing equipment to receive and display commodity markets information. I spent a lot of time on roofs, towers, grain elevators and other structures and climbed daily in every kind of weather.
After a few years Julie and I moved to the Chicago suburbs and I found myself in offices in the financial district more and more frequently. Our next move took us to Kansas City and with it the end of climbing on a weekly basis.
Fast forward 30 years and the need to climb towers has returned to the forefront. Much has changed, I am no longer in my 20’s and the structure I am climbing does not have level bracing to scale. Instead step bolts are used which presents a problem. In a Z braced tower such as a Rohn 25-45-55 your weight is distributed across both feet when stationary. WIth step bolts one knee is bent and the other is not, resulting in all of your weight being borne by one foot.
If you are making a quick round trip this does not pose to much of a problem. If however you find yourself standing for a few hours while for example dressing and weather wrapping feedline, it gets to be very uncomfortable.
When I stop climbing on a daily basis 30 years ago my safety equipment consisted of a linemans belt with a positioning strap. Over the last three decades climbing safety has taken a leap forward. As a result the 8 to 10 pounds of belt and tools I used to climb with has increased to 30 or more pounds of gear, this just adds to the foot stresses.
I definitely needed better support than the work boots I was wearing and reviewing the selection of logging and lineman boots at the local farm and country store I was unable to find a suitable solution.
Searching the net I located Halls Safety Equipment and in describing my use case to the support line. The model 947W waterproof composite toe lace-to-toe lineman boot was recommended as well as its 10″ cousin.
I went with the 8″ 947W model, and could not be happier the difference is night and day, my arches are no longer screaming for relief. And the high heal ensures a firm capture of the step bolt, brace, whatever you happen to be standing on.
73’s until next time, Jay