Your safety manager told you that you have to wear safety shoes and you have no clue what it is? You are a responsible worker and you want to be more protected at work, but you don’t know what to look for? What is a safety shoe?
You better read this topic to understand in the blink of an eye what safety footwear and steel toe boots are, and their history.
What is a safety shoe: DEFINITION
Steel toe boots are also called safety boots or safety shoes, basically a steel toe boot is a boot or a shoe that have been reinforced with some kind of protection. The most common are protective toe caps, puncture resistant plates, ankle protectors, metatarsal protectors, reinforced outsoles for special needs, but also different types of lacing, different insoles, shock absorption systems and so on. The toe cap is inserted to give protection for the toes against falling objects.
Safety footwear is used in the most tough and rough conditions, and for all types of jobs especially constructions, oil & gas industry, pharmaceutical…
The use of safety footwear is, in most cases, mandatory, as a special requirement made from the company where the worker works for, but also it is an option for a responsible worker to use such protection for being safer at work.
Safety footwear always comes with a certification issued from an independent laboratory and also a spec sheet which lists all the main features of the boot. Usually, the shoe is also marked with an information label that is stitched inside the tongue of the footwear.
The markings will indicate the national or international standards that the boot meets, and the level of protection offered.
Nowadays there is a huge selection of safety footwear: sneakers, shoes, loafers, wing tip, riggers, rangers, ankle boots, and clogs.
What is a safety shoe: HISTORY
Everytime I visit a manufacturer I find out that safety footwear has been used since ages, somebody says it dates back to even 2000 years ago, for sure the first certain safety shoes can be found in Central European countries like Germany. They were basically using wooden clogs but then they evolved the concept to leather shoes, for comfort I guess..
World War II made a change in all types of footwear, especially military and safety shoes. In fact the soldiers were obliged to use special durable safety military boots to get protected and to have a long lasting performance, not having their feet injured. So the “science” of safety footwear evolved.
At that time the best material for regular, safety and military shoes was the outer part of the tires, which became the first rudimentary outsoles.
After World War II the industry made the rest, these rudimentary safety shoes became industrial safety shoes.
What is a safety shoe: TODAY
Nowadays safety shoes are made through automatic processes. All the protections that safety footwear grants come from underlying studies. The products are tested by independent laboratories that guarantee them, with their independent certifications.
The safety standards and certifications that all new safety shoes have to meet have increased the level of protection, and the mass distribution has evolved the design of safety shoes from something very industrial to something fashionable, trendy and comfortable.
Enjoy your choice of safety shoes!
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