Tuesday, 29 December 2015
Some time ago, there was some general discussion about rigger boots here, and even the venerable Tuscan Tony joined in, so you can see how long ago the post was!
It's only recently, that I have discovered that these items of protective footwear have a mind of their own! I have two pairs, one of which is deemed waterproof, but isn't, the other is just bloody heavy, but warm. The non-waterproof ones are good for such deeds as dog-walking or light gardening, while the others are for heavy-duty work such as slab-laying, brickwork etc, because they both have steel toecaps capable of withstanding the whole weight of the EU's books on elfunsafteee, thrown from a tower the height of Babel...
But as Scrobs' legs get older, and less manipulative, it has been a bit of a revelation to learn a new way of walking in these containers!
You need to use the weight of each boot to swing your (my) enfeebled legs forward at each step. This entails walking at a much slower pace, and is the sole reason why some building contracts over-run, because if every tradesman or labourer on site has to reduce his or her walking speed, then a ten percent extra is to be expected on all labour rates, so builders have to beware the manufacturers of these boots, who are clearly on the case for other builder's claims etc!
You just cannot run in these contraptions; you need to get a rhythm of forward motion, with your sights on another couple of feet of ground, onto which the next boot clumps its weight, and this action continues, rather like Gromit does in one of those old flicks! It takes several seconds to stop walking when wearing these chaps, which may even account for some industrial accidents, especially if you are on scaffolding a mile high, and cannot stop before the rail at the end!
So all in all, doing the Rigger Walk is a phenomenon which is secretly with us, and possibly the most misunderstood reason why it costs so much more to build anything these days!