These boots were made for Mining
July 18, 2014
The challenge of finding comfortable, safe and practical footwear for use in wet underground coal mines is well known amongst miners. 
 
“Gumboots” protect against water but usually lack ankle and arch support, have low levels of comfort, and generate excessive heat within the boot. 
 
Leather boots provide ankle and arch support, but are unable to prevent water leaking into the boot. These issues expose mine workers to a range of Health and Safety risks.  
 
 
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A surefire winner of the Innovation Award at the 2014 NSW Mining Health & Safety Innovation Awards was one of our World Class Miners, Kirsty Spiteri from Centennial Coal, in partnership with Blundstone, the underground boot was born.
 
Developed and tested with staff at Centennial Coal, this new boot is expected to revolutionise footwear in underground mining by providing high levels of support and stability for the wearer while being extremely comfortable, preventing any water from getting into the boot.
 
 
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Pictured: Michelle Vince from Blundstone and Kirsty Spiteri from Centennial Coal

 
Ordinary mining boots have an average lifespan of just 8-12 weeks under the pressure of underground work, so durability was really important in design. And durable they are.
 
Blundstone Group Range Development Manager Michelle Vince toured Centennial Coal’s mines to see firsthand what goes on underground.
 
“They took us underground to let us have a look at the environment, which was really important because it gave us the opportunity to speak to the guys actually using the footwear, and they could show us their issues on the spot.”
 
The boots have no laces, or zips and incorporate a new system for quick closure and easy release, which custom fits the boot to the wearer.
 
Unsurprisingly, the boot has attracted a large amount of interest, from agricultural workers as well as mine workers, showing how big the demand is for the innovative footwear.
 
Centennial Coal’s supply co-ordinator Kirsty Spiteri has been extremely impressed with the new boots and the reaction from underground mine workers.
 
“We have guys who have worked for our company for 20-30 years and they are making statements like ‘these are the best boots they have ever seen for underground’ and ‘since wearing these boots I've noticed I am not dragging my feet and I am walking quicker and more naturally’,” she said.
 
These boots and this collaboration between Blundstone and Centennial Coal is another demonstration of our commitment to world class health and safety for all our NSW Miners.
 

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