Safety Shoes Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Safety Shoes

Safety shoes provide both support and protection in potentially hazardous situations, such as construction, manufacturing or off-shore settings. When deciding how to buy safety shoes, keep in mind that it is important to select the appropriate men's work shoes or women's work shoes for your work environment. By following these main guidelines in selecting the best safety shoes for you, you will be able to identify the protective footwear that both meets your workplace requirements and reflects your personal style.

>> Choosing the right safety shoes size

The first consideration in determining how to buy safety shoes is selecting the correct work shoe size. Safety shoe sizes roughly correspond to traditional men's shoes sizes. However, several differences exist in safety footwear that can make the size vary. Different men's safety shoe brands size safety shoes differently. It is important to compare to other shoes of the same brand when determining size. Some protective shoes are also available in unisex sizes, which size differently than male or female shoes. Compare to other unisex shoes to determine proper shoe size. Different types of protective footwear can also be made differently and have a different size. Compare to the same type of safety shoe to determine the best fit. By considering traditional size, then making adjustments for brand and type of shoe, you will best determine your correct safety shoe size.

>> Finding the right type of safety shoes

The next decision in how to buy safety shoes is selecting the shoe type. Protective footwear is made in a variety of types. This creates a variety of characteristics across the top rated safety shoes. The different types of safety shoes correspond to different working conditions and their safety requirements.

Rigger boots are typically used in a construction setting or on off-shore oil rigs. They feature a steel toe and provide ankle support. Rigger boots also keep out water, as do standard men's waterproof boots. Men's safety toe boots typically have steel toes, just like men's steel toe shoes, and are used in manufacturing or construction environments. The thick soles protect the foot from construction hazards and the ankle is also more supported than in men's casual shoes.

Safety Wellingtons are also used in building and construction settings. They are made of thick rubber and ground the wearer. They are typically high calf height and may be worn alone or with shoes.

Safety trainers are lightweight and can transition from a hazardous environment to the office. They are versatile and stylish. Some safety trainers fit over traditional shoes. Non-slip safety shoes are typically used in restaurants or other settings where a slip and fall risk is increased. They are casual and transition well to other settings.

>> Safety shoe design

The next consideration in how to choose safety shoes is safety shoe design. Protective footwear is manufactured in a number of designs. Safety boots are a common design. Men's safety boots feature a high ankle and can be as high as mid-thigh depending on need. Safety boots may also feature a steel toe and have ankle and arch support. Safety loafers, which look more like a traditional office shoe, are also popular. They are ankle high and offer increased protection and anti-slip soles. Some types of loafers also offer a steel toe, while others incorporate a reinforced toe using synthetic materials. Other designs include slippers and overshoes. Slippers are slip-on shoes that can be worn alone, and also come in an overshoe design. Overshoes fit over other pairs of shoes. They act as a protection to both the wearer and their traditional shoes.

>> Choosing the right safety shoe style

One final consideration in how to buy safety shoes is safety shoe style. Stylish safety shoes are also available with different qualities and benefits. Safety footwear comes in a variety of materials, such as leather, plastic and rubber. The different materials offer additional protection for various environments.

For example, rubber offers grounding and protection from burns. All types of safety shoes are available in a variety of colors and have additional design features, such as padding, ankle and arch support and colored or patterned lining. Protective footwear also has different details and other attributes. Rigger boots have tabs at the top to pull on the boot easily. Wellingtons may also have a zipper enclosure on the inner calf. Safety trainers and non-slip safety shoes may have cushioned linings or utilize soft suede or leather to increase comfort. Designer safety shoes have additional style qualities, further allowing them to be worn in different settings. Keep these details in mind as you consider how to buy safety shoes.
>> Safety shoe comparison
Lastly, consult the following chart when thinking about how to buy safety shoes to quickly and easily make a safety shoe comparison.

Type of safety shoe Environment Design Style Rigger boots Construction or off-shore setting Mid-calf, steel toe, ankle support, waterproof Leather, tabs to pull on and off, thick sole, features such as lace-up, two-tone, colored heel optional Safety boots Manufacturing or construction setting Steel toe, tight lacing, ankle support, waterproof Leather or synthetic, lace-up, options such as padded interior, colored stitching, multiple colors available Safety Wellingtons Construction or other setting using concrete or asphalt Loose, may fit over traditional shoes, waterproof, burn protection Rubber with rubber sole, high calf height, features such as zipper enclosure, colors, different colored soles, etc. available in some brands Safety trainers Transition from construction to office May fit over traditional shoes, low ankle, non-slip Sneaker, casual or dress styles available, features such as two or multiple tone, different colors of stitching, colored soles, available in different bra nds Non-slip safety shoes Restaurant or office environment Ankle height, non-slip Available in many different colors, features such as slip-on, buckle enclosure, patterned interior, heel height and accents available in different brands

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