How to Choose the Right Safety Footwear

Safety footwear allows you to work safely while remaining comfortable. Yet, there are so many types of safety footwear on the market that it can be difficult to know which is the best for your needs. Thus, we have put together a guide to help you choose the right footwear for your job.

Types of Safety Footwear

Safety Boots

This is perhaps the most common type of safety footwear. Safety boots are ideal for most industries and will ensure your safety and well-being. Furthermore, they typically include protective reinforcement at the front, making them more durable. Important features to look for in safety boots include:

Timberland Pro Ballast Safety Boot (Black)

Timberland Pro Ballast Safety Boots

Puma Safety Cascades Mid S3 Safety Boot (Black)

Puma Safety Cascades Mid S3 Safety Boots

Caterpillar Excavator Safety Boot (Black)

Caterpillar Excavator Safety Boots

Safety Shoes

The difference between safety shoes and safety boots is that safety shoes are available with “metal-free” protective toe caps and cushioned soles, making them lighter and more comfortable. Thus, safety shoes are ideal for those who work in shops, warehouses, healthcare, and office settings and may need to enter high-risk areas.

Amblers Safety 66 Safety Shoes

Amblers Safety 66 Classic Safety Shoes (Black)

Amblers Safety FS65 Gibson Lace Safety Shoes

Amblers Safety FS65 Gibson Lace Safety Shoes

Amblers Safety AS607 Brigitte Ladies Safety Court Shoes

Amblers Safety AS607 Brigitte Ladies Safety Court Shoes

Safety Trainers

Safety trainers have a more casual appearance, making them ideal for those who prefer not to wear traditional safety shoes. Their relaxed and comfortable style makes them ideal for tradespeople and delivery drivers. Some of the most important features you must look for in safety trainers include the following:

Puma Safety Xelerate Knit Low Safety Trainer

Puma Safety Xelerate Knit Low Safety Trainers (Grey)

Timberland Pro Reaxion Composite Safety Trainers

Timberland Pro Reaxion Composite Safety Trainers

Caterpillar Streamline CT S1P HRO SRC Blue Nite

Wellington Boots

If you are looking for a waterproof solution or simply a pair of shoes to work in the garden, then wellington boots are the perfect choice for you. Wellington boots should be durable and comfortable, but most importantly, they should keep water out and your feet dry. Features to look for:

Dunlop BBG Pricemaster Non-Safety Wellington

Dunlop BBG Pricemaster Non-Safety Wellington (Green)

Amblers Safety FS100 Construction Safety Wellington

Amblers Safety FS98 Steel Toe Food Safety Wellington (White)

Protective Shoe Norms

Safety Footwear in the UK and Europe must comply with the EN ISO 20345:2011 regulation. This means that all safety footwear (safety boots, wellington boots, safety shoes, safety trainers, etc.) must protect the toes against a 200-joule impact.

What do EN ISO 20345:2011 stands for?

EN – Applicable standard across Europe
ISO – Meets the minimum safety standards defined by the International Organization for Standardization.
20345 – Legislation number.
2011 – The year the safety standard around was updated.

Safety Footwear Abbreviations

A – Anti-static
AN – Ankle Protection
C – Conductive
CI – Cold Insulation
CR – Cut Resistant Upper
E – Energy Absorption
FO – Fuel/Oil Resistant Outsole
HI – Heat Insulation
HRO – Outsole is Resistant to Hot Contact
I – Electricity Insulated
M – Metatarsal Protection
P – Penetration Resistance
WR – Water Resistance
WRU – Water Penetration and Water Absorption Resistant Upper
ESD – Electro-Static Discharge Resistant

Safety Footwear Ratings

SB – Safety Basic – This is the basic safety footwear standard, and it must have toe protection that can withstand a 200 Joule impact.

SBP – Same as the basic safety footwear standard, but with a midsole plate to protect the foot from penetration.

S1 – Anti-static, oil-resistant, and has energy absorption at the heel.

S1P – The same as S1 footwear, but with a steel or composite plate in the midsole to protect against underfoot penetration.

S2 – Has all of the features of S1 footwear, but adds water absorption prevention for the upper.

S3 – The same safety features as the S2, plus a penetration-resistant midsole.

S4 – An S4 boot provides the same level of protection as an S1, but it is made of a polymer or rubber, making it completely waterproof and leak-proof. S4 is the minimum safety code for wellington boots, and other codes can be added if the boot meets other safety standards.

S5 – The S5 adds midsole penetration resistance to the S4’s safety footwear features. 

Slip-Resistance Ratings

SRA – Slip resistance tested on a ceramic tile which has been soaked with Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (the main ingredient in soap)

SRB – Slip resistance is tested on a steel plate which has been soaked with Glycerol

SRC – Slip resistance is tested and approved against the same circumstances as SRA and SRB

Knowing the safety standards and your workplace conditions is the first step in selecting the best safety boots, shoes, or trainers for you. However, choosing the right fit for you is also essential, as you will spend most of your day wearing these shoes. As we all know, productivity requires comfortable footwear