How to Choose the Right Safety Footwear for your Job?
The type of work you do, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, as well as the weather and environment you’re constantly exposed to, are among the factors that can determine the best type of safety footwear for you.
Note that too much exposure to the cold weather, and other elements and harsh environment can put some damage on your feet. If you want to be productive, then wearing the right safety work boots is necessary. You’ll know about your options and some selection tips through this article.
Safety Shoes: What are your Options?
When it comes to safety footwear, keep in mind that you have plenty of options. Four of the most popular ones designed to give your feet the ultimate protection are the following:
1. Steel Toe Safety Boots or Shoes
This is a popular choice for workers as it’s not only easy to access, it is also inexpensive while being capable of giving users the highest level of protection.
One advantage of steel toe shoe is that it can handle various risks. If your work environment exposes you to plenty of risks, like the risk of getting injured from heavy machineries, falling objects, and materials, then steel toe is the best option.
The ability of steel toe shoes to offer ultimate protection to workers makes them ideal for those who work in the construction industry. It’s also perfect for those who need to handle heavy machineries on a daily basis.
However, take note that this shoe isn’t light. In fact, it’s the heaviest option, making it a bit uncomfortable if you need to work long hours during the hot season. That said, find out if you can handle the weight first before making your purchase.
2. Alloy Toe Safety Shoes
If you want a lighter option to steel, then you can go for those with alloy toe. The problem with alloy toe is that it’s on the pricier side. However, it’s worth buying even if it’s a bit costly as it offers several benefits.
Alloy works similarly to steel as its toe cap also boasts of a highly sturdy protective layer. Note, however, that alloy has unique properties, making it thinner and lighter than steel. It also has less room for your feet to move around unnecessarily in your toe box.
3. Composite Toe Shoes or Boots
If you want to wear a footwear, which isn’t made of metal in any way, then composite toe is a great option for you. It’s even perfect if you plan to invest in a lighter footwear, which also lets you move freely.
Often, this shoe is constructed out of carbon fiber, fiber glass, and Kevlar. It’s comfortable to wear plus very light, so moving around and working will be much easier. Note, however, that its level of protection is lower in comparison to the first two materials.
Rest assured, though, that it’s still sturdy enough that it passes the majority of safety standards. The problem is that it is not suitable for use on risky worksites, making your toes prone to getting injured from heavy falling objects.
The good news is that composite toe can tolerate heat extremely well. Such makes the shoe beneficial if you want a sturdy one, which you can use in a cold or hot environment.
4. Soft Toe Work or Safety Shoes
If your workplace does not require you to wear a footwear, which is as strong as those with steel toe, then investing in soft toe shoes is a wise move. One advantage of this shoe is that it can really make you feel comfortable.
Also, take note that most of these types of safety footwear appear like sneakers when you look at their outward appearance. However, you’ll be surprised to know that they actually hold many properties of safety shoes.
These properties include waterproofing, slip-resistant, and static dissipating properties.
So How can you Make the Best Choice?
The best way to choose is to gain a complete understanding of your own needs. Figure out which one perfectly suits the kind of environment you’re working on, as well as which one can offer you the highest level of protection.
Furthermore, you’ll have higher chances of picking a good choice from the four alternatives above with the following tips:
Look for one with plenty of safety features – One essential feature, especially if your work requires you to deal with the cold weather, is proper insulation. The shoe should be well-insulated that it can give you warmth.
Another thing to consider is one with soft-rubber outsoles or bottoms. Such feature makes the shoe remain pliable for a longer period, especially when it’s too cold. These can also offer better traction.
Moreover, it’s best for your chosen safety shoe to have removable insoles as these are easy to dry overnight. Your chosen footwear also needs a waterproof membrane as it aids in keeping your feet dry.
Identify the risks that are present in your workplace – This tip serves as your ultimate guide in making the best buying decision. You need to be aware of where you want to protect yourself from. Are these the objects that might penetrate the side or bottom part of your feet?
Do the risks include pointed, sharp, burning, or heavy objects? Are you at risk of dealing with extreme shock or facing the negative effects of too much exposure to extreme heat or cold, and water?
Find out exactly what kind of protection you need as that will give you a clear hint on what to choose.
Avoid buying bigger safety shoes – In comparison to the typical leather shoe, safety footwear seems to be more inflexible and harder, which is the reason why some decide to purchase oversized ones.
They do so as they think that oversized shoes can provide more room for their feet to move around. Avoid this mistake, though, as buying one, which is excessively higher than your normal size can trigger injuries, such as bone fractures and sprains.
In case you’ve already purchased an oversized footwear, then consider wearing it with thick socks. Your socks will compensate for the excessive amount of space within the footwear.
Buying safety shoes is just a matter of which one has the highest level of stability and can offer you ultimate protection. Also, you need to prioritize those that can make you more comfortable at work.
By choosing the right safety shoes, you can definitely keep yourself safe while doing your daily job.