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How to choose the right safety shoe?

Working in certain professions can put you in harm’s way more often than not. For these jobs, you have to have the right kind of safety equipment when you’re on the job site. Shoes are just part of that safety outfit, and they are just as important as any other part. Buying the right pair seems as easy as pie, but what kind you purchase depends on several factors. Here are a couple of things to take into consideration when shopping for safety shoes.

How to choose the right safety shoe

1. You need protection from harsh weather

Nobody likes having cold feet, both figurative and literally. Cold weather can cause your feet a variety of ailments. First and foremost, a lack of warm footwear will cause hypothermia. Hypothermia isn’t all that easy to notice when you’re constantly on the move, so it’s especially dangerous. Getting frostbite and not noticing will most certainly lead to loss of blood circulation. When unchecked, you could lose a finger or two before you know it.

The cold can exacerbate certain conditions, like Reynaud’s syndrome. Workers handling vibrating machinery will notice their fingers turn a pale white color. This combined with freezing temperatures will additionally harm your toes if you aren’t careful. A good pair of warm boots that are sturdy will do you good in a cold environment.

2. You need the right ones for the job

There is no universal one-fits-all kind of safety shoe. The kind of protection you need depends on the job you have. Buying steel-tipped or alloy-tipped boots won’t protect you from getting electrocuted. For this job, you need shoes made from non-conductive material. Rubber boots, for example. These same rubber boots won’t protect you from getting run over by a forklift.

While this may seem obvious, some jobs have several different risk factors that are intertwined. Working on a construction site might mean encountering falling tools, bricks falling over, uninsulated wires, etc. You might need more than one kind of protection on your work boots. Common sense and asking your supervisors are key in finding out what dangers to look out for on the work site.

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3. Get the right size of boots

Everybody likes wearing shoes that fit them just right. Having the perfect fit isn’t just about comfort, though. There are several kinds of injuries that can arise from having improperly sized boots. Chief among these is getting an ingrown nail. Due to the tightness of a shoe, nails start growing inward and being pushed against the skin causing inflammation and lots of pain. Another risk is getting blisters that can crack and secrete puss, another hotbed for infections and inflammation.

If you’re really busy, you probably want to buy some boots and be on your way, but patience is necessary when buying the right footwear. Take your time and try every pair that you consider before buying them. Sizes can vary from brand to brand, and you don’t want to trip over boots that are too big on the worksite.

4. Sometimes regulation warrants it

Regulatory agencies like OSHA exist to protect the worker from various dangers- from the negligence of employers to environmental factors. There are certain jobs where there are regulations for what kind of footwear your workers need to have. In a dangerous environment you need to have adequate footwear provided or else the company might face large fines.

A good example is having boots with the right kind of cap. If a work area has lots of trucks and forklifts passing by constantly, steel cap work boots might be mandatory. Protruding nails everywhere and lots of rolling objects might be a good cause to watch out for regulations regarding footwear. If inspection day happens and workers aren’t provided adequate protection by the company, there could be consequences.

5. Brand and price shouldn’t be priorities

If there is one thing you shouldn’t skimp out on, it’s proper safety boots. But that doesn’t mean going all out and buying expensive brands because they can be used on the job site. Safety is the name of the game. What you should focus on is finding a company that specializes in safety equipment, and then looking for shoes there.

You should do your own research regarding this. Larger corporations might sell cheap, less effective safety boots because they can afford lawsuits. You should always check out several reviews from various sources on the topic. Even if they end up on the more expensive side, good protective footwear will pay off in the long run.


In conclusion, there are hundreds, if not thousands of different kinds of protective footwear. Choosing the right one depends on a multitude of factors. What danger your feet might be in, the climate you operate in, and the mindfulness of your co-workers are just some elements to watch out for. Most of all, common sense and a perceptive mind will guide you to the right ones. It might take some time to pick out the perfect pair, but if you value your toes and your well-being, you’ll be patient enough to go through the process.