When you need a new pair of safety shoes you need to know what markings to look. It happens often to find an interesting model with markings you don’t know, so that you have no idea what its properties are. In this article I will talk about hybrid safety shoes, that is to say, that kind of safety footwear which is made both of polymeric and non-polymeric materials.
- What are hybrid safety shoes?
- What is the difference between Class I and Class II?
- What is the marking identifying hybrid safety footwear?
As some jobs take place in harsh conditions and hostile environments, the producers of safety shoes have had to meet the growing demand for a particular type of safety footwear, which provides both comfort and high levels of protection. Hybrid safety footwear is comfortable and sturdy, and provides protection even in the most insidious environments.
That is why hybrid safety footwear has been invented. Essentially, it is safety (or work) shoes whose lower part is made of rubber and/or polymeric materials, whereas the upper part is of non-polymers like leather or textile materials. Such shoes are used in the harshest conditions, especially by those who don’t want to wear S4/S5 safety boots or O4/O5 work boots all day.
The marking of hybrid safety shoes
All markings are listed and described in the European standards, and mostly in the 20345, 20346 and 20347.
Hybrid safety shoes type O: “OBH” marking
If I want to explain you what hybrid shoes marked OBH are, I should first tell you what “OB” shoes are:
OB = work shoes with basic protection – not equipped with toecaps. It’s basic occupational footwear that meets the minimum standard requirements, like tear resistance, durability and breathability of the upper and the lining.
Hybrid occupational shoes are:
OBH = hybrid work footwear. It is Class II footwear which is not equipped with a protective toecap. It has a piece of waterproof material which goes up the legs. This type of footwear is mostly used in the presence of abundant water or mud. The lower part is made of rubber and/or polymers (like Class-II shoes), whereas the upper part is of leather or other non-polymeric materials
Hybrid safety shoes of the S type: the “SBH” marking
First, some quick hints about safety shoes and boots:
S3 = S2 + puncture-proof sheet + cleated outsoles
S4 = they are polymeric boots that meet the minimum requirements established for S1 safety footwear. In addition to that they must withstand water infiltrations for at least 15 minutes, and the outsoles must be cleated.
S5 = S4 + puncture-proof sheet + cleated outsoles
Hybrid safety shoes are:
SBH = hybrid occupational footwear. It is Class II footwear equipped with a toecap and with a piece of non-polymeric material extending the upper. The lower part is Class II (that is of rubber and/or polymers), whereas the upper part is of leather or other non-polymeric materials.
Features of hybrid safety shoes
Water- and windproof
Hybrid safety shoes have the same impermeability to water of rubber and/or polymers in their lower part, (that is, where the foot is), and the comfort, breathability and flexibility of ankle boots, as well as the possibility of tying them around the ankles. This set of features is designed to keep the feet 100% dry, even when exposed to the harshest conditions and in the presence of mud or slime. The breathable and waterproof lining and materials guarantee a perfect control of the internal climate, reducing the risk of excessive sweating.
Comfort and lightness
Hybrid safety footwear is comfortable not only because it has all the properties of SBH products, but also because they allow you to work in extreme environments keeping your feet dry and clean, and this without wearing heavy and stiff boots. The possibility of maintaining the level of comfort even when working in harsh conditions is one of the most appreciated elements in safety footwear.
Hybrid Safety Shoes: Conclusions
Those were the main properties I suggest you look for, when you try to choose your next pair of safety shoes. If you work in hostile environments and/or in difficult conditions, you really should choose the most befitted type of hybrid safety footwear, depending from your job and workplace, be they SBH (with toecap) or OBH (no toecap).
Once you have selected the hybrid safety shoes with the right markings for your needs, you will work better and in greater safety.
I assure you that if you use the proper safety footwear for you needs you will live a better work experience.
What do you about hybrid safety shoes?
Hybrid Safety Shoes. Do you have any points to add?
Leave us a comment below!