“Hot foot” is an occupational hazard of asphalt pavers and construction crews. These workers toil under exceedingly unfavorable conditions that include superficial temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit or more, as they stand on molten tarmac to complete their tasks. In order for the hot foot of a worker to cool off, asphalt pavers take frequent breaks. So, the stereotype of construction crews standing by the side of the road is true, but it’s not because they need their coffee fix or want to talk about last night’s Walking Dead episode. It’s purely for their health, safety and well-being. Imagine standing in an oven for hours at a time. You couldn’t do it.
The old expression goes, “Give road crews a brake.” Well, give them a “break,” too, so they can afford fatigue, blisters, and “hot foot,” and so that they will be healthy to pave another day.
What Is Hot Foot?
If you’re an asphalt paver, we don’t have to tell you about the dangers of hot foot. But if you’re new to the trade, you may have questions about what hot foot is and how to prevent it.
The term hot foot actually originated as a prank, where the trickster set someone’s shoe laces on fire. Other versions include placing a lit cigarette against the heel of someone’s shoe, or sticking a book of matches to someone’s shoe with chewing gum and then lighting the matches.
But asphalt pavers know that their version of “hot foot” is no joke. When subjected to the temperatures of molten tarmac for extended periods of time, the delicate skin of a road crew workers’ foot will blister and burn. Even with frequent breaks, asphalt pavers wear special equipment — most notably, special protective footwear to protect against hot foot.
Choices in Asphalt Boots
Some manufacturers of asphalt boots include:
- Tel Tuk
- Nosacks K.K.
These asphalt boots and shoes offer:
- Protection against temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit or more
- Added comfort for long hours wearing the boots and increased productivity
- Flat, non-sticky soles so that shoes don’t stick to the freshly-tarred pavement, creating a safety hazard and damaging the new road
Asphalt boots should be long-lasting, going six to nine months before needing replacement. If asphalt pavers tried to wear conventional work boots, even those of exceptional quality, they’d be lucky to get two weeks out of them.
The Right Shoes for an Important Job
The right tools are important for any trade, and asphalt pavers are no different. Look to Asphaltboots.com to share with you the latest trends in protective footwear, the best brands of asphalt boots available, and other tips to make your life as an asphalt paver easier.