The height of safety footwear

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Hauteur d'une chaussure de sécurité

When choosing your safety footwear, a question comes out: “do I need a shoe, an ankle boot, a rigger or a ranger?” I guess you need to have a clear idea of the height of safety footwear of your needs.Hauteur d'une chaussure de sécurité

The height of safety footwear - safetyshoestoday

Depending on your work activity you may need to have different kinds of safety footwear, of different heights.

In this article I’ll tell you something about the height of safety footwear. I’ll technically explain to you what exists on the market and which technical specifications you have to look for, to find perfect safety footwear for your needs.

The norms contain specific descriptions for the height of safety footwear, and after knowing the differences I bet you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to find the right product for yourself!

The EN ISO 20345 norm on safety footwear lists the various “designs” as follows:

  • design A: low shoes. It can be shoes, sandals, loafers, clogs, slippers, etc.
  • design B: ankle boot
  • design C: half-knee boots, rangers and riggers.
  • design D: knee-height boots, such as the regular polymeric boots.
  • design E: thigh boots. These can be like “D” knee-height boots, but equipped with a thin impermeable material which extends the upper and which can be cut to adapt the boot to the wearer.

The height of the upper in the different designs, measured from the horizontal surface beneath the sole (the height of the upper not including the height of the outsole) is then described in the same norm, as follows (I will list only size 41-42):

  • design A: low shoes, maximum height 103mm.
  • design B: ankle boots, minimum height 103mm.
  • design C: half-knee boots, minimum height 178mm.
  • design D: knee-height boots, minimum height 280mm.
  • design E: thigh boots, minimum height 280mm.

Of course these descriptions are more useful for manufacturers when constructing safety footwear and for laboratories when testing and certifying it, but it is always good to know a bit of what is written in the norms.

The height of safety footwear - safetyshoestoday

Let’ see some work applications where a specific height of safety footwear is used:

design A: low shoe

  • sandals: indoor and outdoor usage, advised where there is no risk of contact with water and liquids but great breathability is needed. The sandals are probably the most breathable solution, because they are open, so they offer ventilation at the maximum levels. They are mostly used in automotive, warehouses and other indoor applications.
  • shoes: shoes are the most common safety footwear article. They are used in all types of applications, from indoor to outdoor, from wet conditions to hot environments, there’s a world of applications for this type of footwear, and a huge selection of products
  • loafers: used in general by engineers and by uniform people, they have a very classic design. Usually they are made in full grain leather and sometimes they have leather inside too.
  • slippers: they are regular shoes with elastics instead of laces. Mostly used in laboratories, in the food industry, pharmaceutical, and more in general by people who wear footwear all day long.
  • clogs: mostly used in hospitals and sanitary applications. They are comfortable and very breathable, and easy to put on and take off.


Best “design A” picks by SafetyShoesToday

Last updated on 28/06/2020 1:55 PM


design B: ankle boots

Ankle boots are very popular, second only to shoes (design A). The difference from safety shoes is the support ankle boots give to the ankle area, they avoid sprains and keep the ankles more protected and stable. They also provide a better water resistance.


Best “design B” picks by SafetyShoesToday

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design C: half-knee boots

  • rangers: mostly used in the oil & gas sector, military and army, fire and forest intervention, compared to previous designs they offer a higher protection to the ankle and to the lower part of the leg, under the knee. Often they are equipped with a side zipper for fast release and comfort. They protect against water and liquid sprays, from ankle twisting, from dust and other contaminations
  • riggers: same properties as rangers but mostly used in the constructions and oil & gas sector. They are comfortable, and the best way to wear them is with the trousers inside.


Best “design C” picks by SafetyShoesToday

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design D: knee-height boots

Polymeric boots are used in a wide variety of applications, from the oil & gas sector to constructions, from food to farming, from electrical to chemical plants. The different types of materials used characterize the specific type for specific applications.


Best “design D” picks by SafetyShoesToday

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design E: thigh boots

same properties as design D, with an extension for protecting the user over the knees up to the chest. There are a number of applications the most immediate of whom is fishing.


Best “design E” picks by SafetyShoesToday

Last updated on 28/06/2020 1:55 PM


These are the solutions that I suggest to you when you’re looking at the height of safety footwear.

I guarantee that if you use the right height of safety footwear you’ll live a better working experience.

What do you think about the height of safety footwear?

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Robert Frog
I was born in London in 1975 and still live here. I could define myself, summing up in a few words my long working career, a great expert in the field of foot and foot problems. Immediately after graduating in Motor Science I started working in an orthopaedics in which orthotics were made to measure for people with foot problems. In 1999 I was hired as Key Account Manager in a well-known chain of safety footwear and other personal protective equipment. Among my clients I had several industries, which I visited regularly to understand the needs of workers, both in terms of protection and comfort. During these years I have consolidated my knowledge on foot problems. Furthermore, I studied carefully the products I proposed: attending courses, participating in trade fairs and, often, accepting the invitation of manufacturers to visit the factories. I was thus able to observe closely the techniques and materials used to produce the best safety shoes. Since 2015 I have been collaborating with the PPE Academy for the content of Safety Shoes Today.

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