Safety shoes are becoming more and more popular every day. Originally produced only for people who had to deal with very risky jobs, they get chosen by many workers today thanks to all the added features which make them more appealing than a normal pair of shoes.
If you are thinking about trying safety footwear, you will find plenty of choices with different characteristics each. What are these differences actually about and what’s the best way to choose the correct pair?
Safety shoes standards
The first thing you should know is the way safety footwear gets classified. According to the law, every single shoe falls into a specific category, ranging mainly from S1 to S5, with S1 identifying the toe cap protection as a basic minimum requirement and S5 including way more specific features.
While the exact shoe you choose can be dependant on your preferences, always be sure it fits the minimum category your job requires (if you are not sure about it you can simply ask at work where they will be able to tell you exactly).
Going through all the small and specific differences can be a long process, but here you have a quick introduction to the main features:
Toe cap protection
The very basic requirement for every safety shoe in the market. Originally produced mainly with metal, safety shoes are nowadays upgraded to a level where way more lightweight and advanced materials are used.
Whether you actually need it or not, you won’t find any safety shoes without it, so the real choice is about the material you prefer.
When we talk about penetration resistance, we refer to the capacity of the sole to protect feet from any dangerous or sharp object, like nails or glasses. As intuitive as it can look, it completely relates to how dangerous the floor you step on is.
Similarly to toe cap protection, modern safety shoes are generally produced with metal-free anti-penetration layers – like the Whitelayer – which makes them lightweight and comfortable like normal sneakers.
This one is a bit more specific of course, involving all these jobs and tasks where feet get in contact with water. Depending on your specific needs, the protection can range from simple water resistance to total waterproof protection, with anti-slip properties being almost included and connected to both.
If you work in any kind of wet environment, this one is a must have.
Although often connected with water resistance as said, anti-slip properties are among the most requested features themselves.
That’s because it’s not only wet environments being potentially dangerous and risky, but also all the work locations which can get oily and greasy: from factories to simpler places like restaurants. In all these areas workers need to be sure to be able to work and move fast without needing to worry about potential injuries.
Which safety shoes should you choose?
These are only the main characteristics related to safety shoes, but you will be able to choose between an even larger set of possible features which includes anti-static properties, heating protection and much more.
Although personal preferences are important, you should always start by checking the exact requirements of your job, as you have to be sure you are not going to choose something that you like but doesn’t fit it. As said, that’s a pretty easy task and you will only need to gather some instructions from your working place.
Once you know the minimum requirements, you can choose if you want to go for something with even more features than the ones you need and, finally, you can focus on the style you prefer.
If you are the type of worker which likes to dress well while being safe, you can check the range of safety shoes from Airtox, which is strongly focused on producing safety footwear which looks like regular sneakers.
In any case, don’t be afraid to finally start using protective shoes at work: not only the times when you had to wear something heavy and uncomfortable are gone, but a good selected pair will actually make your daily routine better.