Safety shoes are so-called for a reason. They’re designed to protect and support your feet - even in the most dangerous and strenuous of working environments. When you’re buying safety shoes, it’s vital you choose according to your specific job role and its individual hazards. Here are some tips to help you.
The main hazards we’ll be discussing (along with safety features to protect against them) are:
Falls, slips and trips are the most common workplace accidents. It doesn’t matter where you work, whether it’s in security, a warehouse or a fast food restaurant, slippery floors can happen anywhere.
Protect against slip hazards by investing in non-slip shoes. When you know that you can work quickly and efficiently without fearing you’ll fall on slippery floors, you can work even more productively.
We recommend the unisex Advance81:
An S1 certified safety shoe with superior slip-resistant soles to keep you protected from slip hazards. It also features wider spaced traction lugs in the soles to limit the amount of debris that can become lodged and further decreases your chances of falling.
Or, Dolce81, another S3 certified shoe which also features a Trip Guard to decrease trip hazards when you’re moving between different floor types.
Objects can easily fall onto your feet at any point during your shift. From small yet deceptively heavy items to larger, bulkier things like boxes, your feet can easily be crushed - especially your toes.
Protect against this hazard by choosing footwear with steel toe caps. All safety shoes are at least SB certified, which is the basic safety standard for footwear. This includes steel toe caps that protect against 200-joule impact.
They are CE and S3 certified safety shoes. They feature a composite toe, which offers lightweight protection for up to 200 joules - ensuring that your toes are protected and you’re not weighed down by a heavy, bulky shoe.
Sharp Items Piercing Footwear
Shoes (particularly safety shoes) are supposed to protect your feet from harm. This is even more important when you’re working in an environment where sharp objects can easily pierce the soles of your shoes. For example, in a kitchen where knives or broken glass can fall onto the floor and workers can easily step onto them without noticing.
Combat this hazard by investing in shoes that offer puncture-resistant footbeds and midsole penetration resistance. Look out for the S3 certification which covers this feature, as well as steel toe caps, non-slip soles, waterproof exterior and energy absorption in the heel.
We recommend the unisex X111081:
This is an S3 certified shoe that is puncture resistant, waterproof, offers toe protection and features superior slip-resistant soles.
Or, X1100N81, which is an S3 certified safety boot that offers puncture protection and superior slip resistance due to its clog-resistant soles.
Wet Working Environment
Perhaps your job requires you to work in an environment where your feet might get wet. For example, it might be a restaurant kitchen where liquids can often splash, or you might be working in food production.
However wet you might get, working with soggy feet isn’t comfortable and can cause blisters or even fungal infections. Instead of wearing shoes that are made from absorbent materials like canvas, look for waterproof safety shoes.
We recommend Roma81:
A waterproof shoe with a 200 joules strong steel toe, Roma81 is puncture resistant with a tapered outsole to minimise the risk of tripping. The clog resistant outsole also helps to keep you upright and safe.
For a wetter workplace, look to Guardian S4.
This S4 certified tall boot can help you work productively even in the deepest of messes.
Being on Your Feet All Day
If you’re standing at work all day, you know how tiring it is. And when you’re in this state, you’re more susceptible to injuries such as falling and tripping, or repetitive strain injuries and fatigue.
That’s why it’s a good idea to also look for safety shoes that offer a removable and cushioned insole, arch support and energy absorption at the heel.
We recommend Executive Wing-Tip (S2):
With an impressive leather upper and designed to keep your feet dry, this is a great safety shoe. The steel toe is approved to 200 joules impact and it also features a slip-resistant tread.
Want to Make Buying Safety Shoes Even Easier?
This post might have helped you understand some of the hazards to consider when investing in safety shoes, but there are other things to consider when you look at different job roles and not just different hazards.
Download our guide for even more tips and advice on picking the best safety shoes.