Tuesday, 20 August 2013

How I found my Armadillo shoes

I was sent a pair of Armadillo shoes made by Magnum.  and wore them to work at the weekend. You can see what my first impressions were here if you are considering buying a pair.

the shoe with my insole in

The concept

When focusing on the healthcare market, our research has shown that whilst there is an NHS instruction for nurses regarding the use of protective clothing, including aprons, gloves, gowns and masks – there is no directive for footwear.
However, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) do provide nurses with some “minimum standards” guidance on uniforms and workwear for employers and employees, stating that footwear should be:
- Comfortable
- Non-slip
- Have enclosed toes

- Provide support
- Sandals, clogs or shoes without heel support may not be deemed suitable when undertaking patient handling.
The Department of Health (DoH) also offer nurses some guidance for NHS employers/employees, advising that it is “good practice” to wear soft-soled shoes (which reduce noise in ward) that are closed over the foot and toes, providing nurses with protection from spills and dropped objects, and reducing the risk of injury or contamination for staff.

The Development 

We tasked ourselves to design and manufacture a shoe which adheres to the RCN’s minimum standards guidance and the DoH’s good practice advice for nurses, whilst providing unprecedented levels of comfort and protection, allowing nurses to genuinely focus more on patient care.
The result of this brief was the Magnum Armadillo HPi shoe, which adheres to both the RCN’s minimum standards guidance and the DoH’s good practice advice.
To ensure we really were on-track with the NHS Employer/Employee's demand for footwear, we carried out a survey amongst the nurses at the RCN Congress 2012 to investigate:
- Where healthcare professionals purchased their shoes for work
- How much they paid
- What features affect their buying decisions
- Whether they've suffered any slips or trips during their working life
Using this information, we learnt that whilst slip-resistant footwear is imperative, nurses want to be sure that the shoes they are buying will offer both comfort and protection. We were also able to establish that we are offering the Armadillo at the right price and that selling via the RCN Show and internet is ideal.

The Product

Magnum Armadillo HPi key features:
- All day comfort
- Anti-bacterial memory foam insole
- Breathable
- Provides support
- Wear as a shoe or mule
- Great protection
- Strong needlestick-resistant upper
- Liquid/blood-borne pathogen resistant
The upper section of the Armadillo is manufactured from breathable Magnashield leather and features a neoprene collar for easy on/off. This collar can also be kicked down allowing the shoes to be worn as a clog/mule.
The extremely comfortable, anti-bacterial memory foam OrthoLite® insole, proven to retain 95% of its cushioning after the first year, combined with a compression moulded EVA midsole, offers supreme cushioning and support, for instant comfort that lasts all day during long shifts.
The Armadillo features a highly slip-resistant HexTraction sole, EN tested for slip resistance to SRC standard. Designed for indoor use, the perfect balance between the softness of the compound used and the design of the tread pattern ensures maximum levels of indoor durability, grip and traction.
The entire upper of the shoe is treated with a highly technical ion-mask™ coating, originally developed by the MOD for chemical warfare defence, which protects against all forms of liquid – from blood borne pathogens to vomit, diarrhoea and urine. The Armadillo has also been subjected to the Health & Safety Executive’s rigorous needle-stick test, helping reduce a major risk for all healthcare professionals.

My thoughts

The shoes are very easy to pull on and off which could be an added bonus if you are covered in anything unpleasant during your shift, no laces to get covered in gung that you need to untie to get them off. 

The shoes were deep enough to take the insoles I was given by podiatry so that was a big bonus for me.

my insoles from podiatry 

I was impressed with the honeycombed soles, that went right up the front of the shoe so that when you are walking you have the honeycomb sole in contact with the floor at all times, this obviously adds to the non slip quality. I wash floors as part of my job and never felt myself slipping at any point so they pass on that point. They do however squeak a bit if you walk across the wet floor and then move onto dry.

the small non slip honeycomb sole

They shoes are a good wide fit and my feet were as comfortable at the end of my shift as they had been at the beginning. My feet were not sweating as they could breath so that is a huge plus point, nothing worse than when on your feet all day if they are uncomfortable.  I have a trapped nerve between my second and third toe on my right foot that by the end of my shift is often numb that leads to a few hours of major discomfort after my shift finishes. I did not have this problem at the weekend as the soles are thick, cushioned and nicely flexible.
the honeycomb sole goes right up the front

I was so impressed with these when daughter No3 was over on Sunday, she works long hours in a kitchen which can be slippy at times, I recommended them to her and she is going to buy herself a pair.

the toes ended up sruffed

Disclaimer - I was sent these shoes to try out but the findings are my honest opinion.

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