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Date: 11/29/08 19:54
What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: jkchubbes

In January I am going to attend the National Academy of Railroad Sciences and I need a pair of boots. My current work boots are near their end so I figure this is a good reason to get a new pair. What makes a boot RR certified? Is each railroad different? I was looking at getting these boots, are the railroad certified?
http://www.corcoranandmatterhorn.com/ItemDisplay.asp?Style=XCS2525&CategoryID=34



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/27/10 23:07 by jkchubbes.



Date: 11/29/08 20:05
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: Railbaron

Here is the GCOR rule for footwear:


71.7: Footwear

When working on uneven terrain, on or near tracks, on cars, engines or other equipment wear footwear that affords support and protection. Footwear must have soles that provide good traction and thick enough to withstand punctures.

Footwear with laces or buckles must be tied or buckled. Do not wear excessively worn footwear or footwear with loose soles or heels.

Unless you work exclusively in an office, you must not wear thin-soled or high-heeled shoes, sandals, athletic (sports) shoes or similar footwear.

71.7.1: Defined Heel

All employees, except office workers are required to wear footwear with a defined heel. A “defined heel” means that the back of the heel is at an approximate right angle from the sole of the shoe and from the ground when standing. The front of the heel must not be at an angle of less than 45 degrees from the sole of the shoe to the ground. Footwear with heels commonly called “riding heels” are not appropriate footwear and do not satisfy this requirement. However, approved snow packs are acceptable.

71.7.2: Covers the Ankle

Footwear that covers the ankle will be a boot (either slip on or lace up) of approximately 6 inches or more in height. Employees who routinely work in the field must wear footwear that covers their ankles. Lace-up boots are required for Transportation Department employees.

Intermodal employees that load and unload trailers/containers are required to wear 6 inch lace-up safety toed footwear that meets OSHA requirements.

71.7.3: OSHA Required Footwear

When working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole of the foot or electrical hazard, protective footwear as defined by the OSHA Standard 1910.136 is required. All safety toe footwear must meet ANSI Z41.1, Standard Class #75. OSHA required footwear is required for the following departments:
● Engineering
● Locomotive
● Car
● Supply
● Telecommunications
● Intermodal

71.7.4: FRA Required Footwear

Bridge workers are required to wear safety footwear that conforms to FRA footwear requirements.

------------------------------

It would appear those boots you are looking at would satisfy everything in this rule.



Date: 11/29/08 20:16
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: randycarnley

I would think that any steel or safety toe boot would be sufficient. Going off of military experience I would personally avoid the boots shown, I found that brand/type to be very uncomfortable. Look into Belleville or either Bates.


Thanks,
Randy



Date: 11/29/08 20:19
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: mojaveflyer

Red Wings were purchased by the RR for us... There were a couple of other brands but I'm drawing a blank as to what they were. Good luck!

James Nelson
Thornton, CO



Date: 11/29/08 20:37
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: trainjunkie

The defined heel is most important. You need something that will catch the edge of a stirrup and keep your foot from slipping through when you're riding a ladder. I see a lot of guys who wear cheap boots with angled front heel edges. They look like death traps to me.

A few other thoughts.

Steel toe boots are a double-edged sword. On one hand, they will save your toes from a lot of everyday bumps in the field. But they can be dangerous to your toes too if something heavy enough lands on the shield and clamps it around your toes. You will most likely lose all your toes if that happens although anything heavy enough to smash the shield will probably destroy your toes anyway. Some rails swear by steel toe boots and some refuse to wear them. When I went through brakeman training, they recommended against them but I actually wore them most of my time there. If you get steel toes, make sure they are good ones. If you drop a knuckle on a cheap steel toe, you will probably lose your toes.

Make sure the sole is top quality and is oil/gas resistant. The last thing you need is a sole that is coming apart because you stepped in some petroleum, which you will. When it rains, everything gets extra slick because your soles will almost always be oily.

Depending on where you work, get insulated boots. Gets damned cold out there and they, and a pair of socks, will be the only thing between your feet and Mother Nature.

Get waterproof boots. You WILL work in wet weather. Keep your feet dry or you will be even more miserable. I prefer low-top boots normally but on the RR I wore waterproof high-tops just because you never know when you're going to step off a car or locomotive right into a ankle-high puddle, or worse. Expect the unexpected, especially at night and/or in bad weather.

Cheers!

Mike



Date: 11/29/08 20:56
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: Brian

Go down to Red Wing and tell them that you want RR approved steel toe boots. The BNSF or UP will most likely have an account with them and they will have a list of approved boots. I would suggest buying a pair that is approved by both RR's becouse you don't know which one you might work for after school.

Brian



Date: 11/29/08 20:57
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: rovertrain

WAL-MART Special worked just fine for me while I was there....and still work!



Date: 11/29/08 21:32
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: bnsftrucker

I use the Red Wing 9" loggers, those are good but the BNSF took those off from our list because it's expensive but it is still authorized to wear.
Whites boots, made in Spokane, WA. very expensive ($399.99 a pair) but the company pays $110.00 and we pay the balance in two pay periods through payroll deductions, the Whites boots are custom taylored to each individuals foot.
Don't buy Wolverines or Timberline, those wont last too long.



Date: 11/29/08 21:38
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: bnsftrucker

I got a pair of Whites smoke jumper boots on order and I will get those by the 3rd week of Dec (08) I got fitted on Wed(26th)
Those come in 8" or 10" cut.



Date: 11/29/08 21:52
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: 1stcajon

Save your money and call the school before you go & ask them. Or wait til 1st day because shoes should be one of the 1st things discussed. We always got ours at Boot Barn down in SoCal. Wolverines were one of the ones recommended to us by BNSF. And they were the best from day one as there was no break in and comfortable all the time. Don't think steel toes are required by the RRs for C&E. What good are they when your foot gets run over by a 100-200 ton car or locomotive. There is NO steel toe strong enough for that!



Date: 11/29/08 22:26
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: billnict

1stcajon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Save your money and call the school before you go
> & ask them. Or wait til 1st day because shoes
> should be one of the 1st things discussed. We
> always got ours at Boot Barn down in SoCal.
> Wolverines were one of the ones recommended to us
> by BNSF. And they were the best from day one as
> there was no break in and comfortable all the
> time. Don't think steel toes are required by the
> RRs for C&E. What good are they when your foot
> gets run over by a 100-200 ton car or locomotive.
> There is NO steel toe strong enough for that!

IIRC, steel toe boots are rated at 900 lbs so yes, anything heavier than that landing on your foot is probably gonna leave a mark. BUT if you don't have steel toe boots, almost everything that lands on your foot is gonna leave a mark. Get the steel toes!

As for Wal-Mart boots vs Red Wings (or similar,) you get what you pay for. I used to work in a stretch forming shop where we used a LOT of different oils and solvents. The several pairs of cheap boots lasted 6 months tops. On the suggestion of a coworker, I tried a pair of Red Wings and they lasted for several years!

Cheers!
Bill



Date: 11/29/08 22:52
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: 1stcajon

Jacob
Wait to find out what the school recommends because they'll know what the current requirements are for the RRs. Red Wings may be good shoes but they may not be recommended by the RRs. And the have a long break in period.



Date: 11/29/08 23:27
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: foamer

I use Wolvereens. BNSF actually pays upto a certain amount of our boots, I cannot remember how much, the balance comes out of my paycheck. With BNSF you can get a new pair every year.

There is a very comfortable Wolvereen with a blue bottom sole. These are nice to wear but they will not last a year if you walk on ballast alot. I have a brown Wolvereen now, that is almost as comfortable.

I go to the local Shoeteria and they have BNSF or UP listed on the price tag. My first pair I of BNSF boots was Cat, that was a big mistake, like wearing bricks.

I would not recommend a 10" boot as that will be uncomfortable to bend down nd lace up air hoses.

...
Foamer



Date: 11/30/08 00:22
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: bnsftrucker

foamer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I use Wolvereens. BNSF actually pays upto a
> certain amount of our boots, I cannot remember how
> much, the balance comes out of my paycheck. With
> BNSF you can get a new pair every year.
>
> There is a very comfortable Wolvereen with a blue
> bottom sole. These are nice to wear but they will
> not last a year if you walk on ballast alot. I
> have a brown Wolvereen now, that is almost as
> comfortable.
>
> I go to the local Shoeteria and they have BNSF or
> UP listed on the price tag. My first pair I of
> BNSF boots was Cat, that was a big mistake, like
> wearing bricks.
>
> I would not recommend a 10" boot as that will be
> uncomfortable to bend down nd lace up air hoses.
>
> ...
> Foamer

BNSF applies $110.00 towards your purchase, another thing you wanna keep in mind also is, don't buy them WORX boots(made in china)
falls apart too quick too.



Date: 11/30/08 01:31
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: bruce234

I went to NARS and looked into getting some good boots before leaving. I hit the Redwing store and the guy asked if I had a railroad voucher. Well, no. I didn't work for the railroad yet. So I skipped the opportunity. I'll wait til I got hired somewhere. For NARS, I just got some Walmart specials. The real need for them is towards the end of the program so you have time to get some in K.C. if you have to. If you have old steeltoes, by all means bring them. They will suffice for NARS. Since then, I got hired with BNSF, got my voucher and got boots on their dime. No sense spending your own money if you don't have to. FYI, you get a voucher every year. A lot about brands and durability will be determined where you work. Wait and see where you're hired first. Ask around. Look at what the crews wear.



Date: 11/30/08 02:18
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: bnsftrucker

Us Northwesterners ar big into Redwings & Whites 8^P



Date: 11/30/08 04:17
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: sphogger

Redwing 2412's (http://www.redwingshoes.com/productdetails.aspx?prodid=1198) are very popular with the 50% RR discount and other discounts given by Redwing. Goretex, waterproof, Steel toed and comfortable. I've walked miles in them. Expensive compared to Walmart but worth it in the long run. You get what you pay for! Last time looked they were American made.

sphogger



Date: 11/30/08 05:12
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: skinem

White's all the way. You wear'em and wear'em and wear'em.......and then have'em rebuilt good as new. Good boots, good people and made in the USA. That's important to some of us.



Date: 11/30/08 06:34
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: WAF

Drop a knuckle on your toe, the steel plate might help



Date: 11/30/08 11:16
Re: What are Railroad Certified Boots?
Author: LCW

bnsftrucker Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Us Northwesterners ar big into Redwings & Whites
> 8^P

Even redwings are made in China now.

This thread reminds me of a guy that hired out hith me at UP. Spent about $1000 buying boots, carharts, all kinds of work cloths and gear. he flunked out of brakemans school onthe airbrake test. had a wife and 7 kids, Had to go ask the local police department for his job back.

The moral of this story? Don't spend a bunch of money on work clothes and gear until you have the deal locked up. There are several ways to wash a person out before the railroad will acknowledge your existance and begins to spend the next thirty years trying to can a guy.



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