What are the parts of safety footwear?
Safety footwear is a fundamental element that belongs to PPE, being sectors such as hospitality, construction or industry where workers must wear safety footwear appropriate to the various conditions.
In fact, there are safety footwear regulations to ensure that each worker wears appropriate footwear depending on the type of activity they carry out and the risks associated with it.
Occupational footwear may seem simple, but in reality, its composition is more complex than you might think.
The parts of safety footwear are highly technical and there is a great variety. As in all PPE, there are components that are essential for its manufacture, and others that are optional, depending on the work that the worker performs.
Components of safety boots and shoes
What are the parts of safety footwear and what are its components?
As with all types of footwear, one of the main reasons for choosing a shoe is because of its main material, since the first thing you look at in a shoe is its aesthetics.
However, due to the fact that each material has different characteristics, these aspects should be carefully observed:
- Ease of maintenance
- Water resistance
Microfibre work footwear is a material widely used in the hospitality sector, largely because it is very hygienic and provides a leather-like appearance at a low price.
Safety footwear can be made of leather, either full-grain leather or suede. There are also other materials such as synthetic textiles, which are also used for their manufacture, among others.
The inner lining is the invisible area of the upper, being the inner lining of the shoe. Inner linings can be breathable or made of wool or other material that offers high thermal insulation for the cold months.
Therefore, attention should be paid to the peculiarities of the job being performed and the properties that the footwear should have to ensure the greatest safety while performing the work in the designated position.
The insole is directly linked to the comfort of safety footwear, as it is the component that is in immediate contact with the sole of the foot.
One of the advantages of the insole is that it is usually removable, so that if it shows signs of wear or does not fit properly, it can be replaced.
The insoles of a safety shoe are made of EVA or PU foam with a coating that offers great cushioning and breathability, so they are very important safety footwear components for sensitive feet.
The midsole is the part between the outsole and the insole, so it is not important for the aesthetic part of the shoe because it is not visible. Its function is to provide maximum cushioning and comfort to the shoe.
The midsole is made of materials such as polyurethane, which must be light and have great cushioning properties. It is an extremely important component of safety footwear when maximum comfort for the worker’s feet is required.
The sole is located on the outside of the safety footwear, being in full contact with the ground. It is mostly made of rubber or polyurethane foam.
Its main characteristics are:
- To withstand corrosion so that the sole is durable.
- To ensure the grip of the shoe thanks to the design of the sole.
All safety footwear has to be regulated under a specific anti-slip regulation, as this feature is compulsory for work footwear. Therefore, the sole must pass and pass some tests to guarantee its anti-slip capacity.
Other sole characteristics such as flexibility or resistance are optional.
Because it is essential and mandatory in some jobs, the anti-puncture insole is a very important part of work footwear, providing a certain additional level of protection to the worker.
As the name suggests, the main purpose of anti-puncture insoles is to protect the foot from the risk of puncture.
There is a wide variety of materials that can be used to make safety footwear with anti-puncture soles, one of the most commonly used being steel.
Safety toe cap
Also known as the protective toecap, it is possibly one of the most important parts of work footwear. Safety toe caps are one of the main factors that differentiate conventional footwear from safety footwear.
The main purpose of safety toe caps is to protect against the threat of crushed toes in the event of falling objects weighing up to 20 kilograms with a drop distance of up to 1 metre.
There are different materials available for toe caps:
- Metal toe caps made of steel or aluminium.
- Composite toe caps made of fibreglass or carbon fibre.
Each material provides different characteristics, influencing the price and lightness of the footwear.
Which parts of safety footwear seem most important to you?
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