We know how difficult and confusing it can be to buy some boots or tennis shoes that suit our needs in the best way. The terminology used or the features we are looking for can be confusing. Therefore, this guide aims to clarify most doubts and help find the boots that best suit the needs of people.
If it is for a job in a factory you must follow the guidelines that exist in the company, while if it is for personal use the type of shoes you buy will depend on what you intend to do with them. First, you have to know the types of safety shoes exist.
Types of safety footwear
They are the most common type of safety footwear. They should incorporate safety tips, usually made of steel, along with other safety features such as non-slip soles, puncture-resistant midsoles, and insulation against heat and extreme cold.
They also have safety tips, although they are usually made of composite materials. They are less robust than safety boots so they are more comfortable, but offer less protection. They are the most recommended option for people who need medium protection for a large part of the day.
Sports safety shoes
More casual and comfortable tennis. Most have composite material safety tips. Although they offer less protection, they are ideal for activities that imply a constant displacement.
Waterproof boots without laces, very useful as protection against water and mud. They are made of rubber or PVC. They can also have a security tip.
Criteria for selecting the best safety Shoes
They are practically the element that makes boots, safety boots. They protect your feet from injuries and are required in many jobs. At the time of purchase, it is important to buy a pair that calze from the start, because these additional reinforcements make it difficult for the boots to adapt to your foot.
When buying boots quality must be your priority. In this many times, the brand does not matter. The important thing is the materials used, the quality of the seam and the union between the sole and the body of the boot.
If your work environment is in humid conditions or if you live in a region where it rains a lot, you should look for boots made of suitable materials for these conditions. The leather ones are heavier and larger, while the nylon ones are lighter and have additional protection against water.
Additional insulation is useful to keep feet warm in a cold environment. But, you should only invest in this if you really need it.
Made of special rubber that prevents slipping on wet floors. Useful when the environment is slippery, mostly used in the food or manufacturing industry.
When buying safety boots the brand matters. The most advisable thing is to go to the easy one and buy boots from recognized and reliable brands. You should also be careful with the imitations, as it is common that the most popular models of major brands have imitations.
Many people believe that safety footwear is uncomfortable when in reality this type of footwear is designed to make it feel like any other. It is important that the boots are ergonomic to reduce fatigue at work.
Other features of safety footwear that should be considered
- Electric resistance
- Resistance to oils
- Soles with traction
- Protection in the ankle
- Heavy duty, heavy and hard insoles
- Thick materials around the foot
- Anti-microbial templates
- Anti-perforation insoles
Safety tip on footwear
The safety tip is the most important part of safety shoes, so much so that the practitioner is the element that defines this type of footwear. Technically, the safety tips are reinforcements in the boots or tennis shoes that protect the toes against impacts with an energy level of at least 200
When buying a boot or safety shoe you must know what kind of safety tip is the most convenient. Starting with comfort, the fingers should not touch the tip. If with your foot at rest you are touching the safety tip, either above or on the front, the footwear is too small for you. You should only be able to touch the safety tip when you move your fingers inside the boot. Keep in mind that the safety tip does not stretch with wear.
There are three types of safety tips: Steel, composite materials, and aluminum.
Steel safety tip
The tips of steel besides being the standard material of the industry, are the most used. They are the cheapest option, but also the heaviest. They drive the cold or heat, so they should be avoided in jobs with extreme temperature conditions.
They also offer greater protection against punctures than that offered by tips made of composite materials.
Safety tip of composite materials
The safety tips of composite materials do not contain metals, they are usually made of plastics, kevlar and carbon fibers. They are lighter than steel tips, which makes them more comfortable. In addition, its electrical resistance is greater than that of the steel tips and does not activate the metal detectors.
They can also be used in any climatic condition and retain more heat in cold conditions. The problem with this material is that it is more expensive.
Aluminum safety tip
Being the least popular, aluminum safety tips are lighter than steel, between 30% – 50% lighter, but also tend to be more bulky. They offer a similar protection to the other tip types but they do not work in cold environments. In addition, they are usually more expensive than other materials.
Metatarsal protection in footwear
An interesting option to have additional protection are the boots with metatarsal protection. This helps protect the upper part of the foot and the area of the fingers from heavy objects. They are also very useful in jobs where sparks or hot materials can be a problem. This type of protection can be integrated or external, but in both cases must comply with the regulations of protection against impacts without interfering with ankle flexion.
What to look for in the soles of safety footwear
While some jobs need special soles made of specific materials, knowing the existing options helps to make the best decision.
In general, it is important that the soles are usually made of wear resistant materials and anti-slip. Also, depending on the job, offer protection against punctures. The elements to consider:
It is a very common material for the soles of this type of footwear. Rubber soles are resistant to abrasion and anti-slip, vital characteristics in many work environments. In general, each manufacturer uses its own style of rubber which makes its soles have additional safety attributes.
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) soles
The soles made of this material are durable, thin, light and resistant to abrasion. They are also non-slip, provide a good grip to the floor and resist low temperatures.
EVA rubber midsole (foamy)
They are designed to disperse weight and provide stability. It is a material similar to foam (a foam) so it is light, flexible and cushions the steps. In addition, they have many desirable characteristics: they are resistant to water and corrosion, washable and recyclable.
Key elements of the production of safety footwear
Along with the materials used, the manufacturing process of the boots determines their weight flexibility and performance; which in turn determines the cost and life of the boot. The most important step of the manufacture of the boot is the union of the sole with the body of the boot. The duration of the boot depends largely on how this procedure is performed.
It refers to how the sole is attached to the body of the boot. Usually, elements or adhesives are used for this purpose. It is the cheapest and most common method to join the sole, hence the boots made in this way cost less. However, over time the union between the sole and the body of the boot weakens so it should be changed instead of trying to repair it.
This type of assembly is synonymous with quality and adds cost to the boots. With the Goodyear stitching, the inner base of the boot is joined to the upper part by means of a vira (leather strip), to which the sole is then sewn. In addition, it fills the hole that forms the vira with cork, which makes the shoe more comfortable. This manufacturing process allows the sole to be replaced or repaired so the useful life of the boot can be extended.
Common mistakes when buying safety footwear
- In general, safety footwear is designed for a specific use. But, they can look very similar, which causes confusion. It is easy for buying boots or safety shoes that ultimately do not work.f you buy the wrong footwear, it will not last and worse still expose you to risks.
- Likewise, it is common to choose the wrong size.t is not normal that at the end of the workday the feet are raw, tight or with blisters. In addition, shoes that are too tight can also contribute to calluses growing or to the nails growing inwards. Not all sizes are equal between brands, as manufacturers carve their footwear according to certain specifications. If the boot feels too tight, look for a wider one.
- Buy cheap footwear ignoring the quality. using safety shoes to save money always turns out to be a bad investment.
- Do not look at security standards. It is necessary to know the relevant standards for your work.
- Prioritize style over security. While producers prioritize security, buyers are more interested in style.
Care of safety footwear
- Caring for footwear helps increase its useful life. Clean and use bitumen with special oils in the leather of the boot to keep it flexible and water resistant.
- Store the shoes in clean and dry places to prevent odors and preserve the leather.
- Check boots regularly for damage. The resistance to electric shock is reduced by wear.
Final tips to buy the best safety shoes
Go prepared the day of purchase: wear the socks you normally wear to know how to fit your boot. If you are going to buy them online, look in the size guide to make sure they fit you well.
Look for comfort: Although protection is the most important, do not leave comfort aside. Today, producers incorporate many elements designed for greater comfort, safety and hygiene such as: antibacterial insoles, asymmetric steel tips, additional padding etc.