Guide to picking the best Safety Footwear for you – Keeping your feet safe and secure through anything.

By now we should all know how important safety footwear is and when you’re working in a physical demanding environment, taking care of yourself and the people working in your team is the most important – Let’s start with your feet!


Importance of Safety Footwear -

Finding the perfect pair of shoes is difficult when they aren’t safety footwear, so making sure you pick the perfect ones for your work can be a task.

There is always a chance of workplace risks that involve danger to your feet and the foot is arguably the most valuable part of the body within this industry and most likely to be injured.

Being that safety footwear is one of the most important forms of PPE and the HSE sets out a minimum standard for this type of protection, it is vital that you wear the best footwear for you, whilst also complying with the law and your company rules.

But where do you begin? – It isn’t just the style you should consider, whether Boot, Shoe, Wellington but how they fit, how they will stand up against the risks associated with your job. As well as how they will stand up against how often you’ll be wearing them and for how long.

These are all qualities you should consider and are vital when picking the right shoe for you, however starting with which type of footwear to choose should be your first enquiry.


Types of Safety Footwear –        

There are many different types of safety footwear that spread across a long time of development and changes, however these are the main options you should know:

Metatarsal Footwear – Similar to composite safety shoes however they have a protective plate covering the metatarsal area of the foot (upper area of the foot between bottom shin and toes) with either a protective plate above the tongue or placed inside. This reduces and prevents injuries from accidents or ‘drop hazards’ – safeguarding the feet internally and externally and the toe area.
Composite Footwear – Similar to steel toecap shoes but made from a ‘composite’ material, meaning non-metal materials that are used in place of steel, such as fibreglass.

This type of footwear is much lighter in weight, has thermal insulation, does not conduct electricity (meaning no more setting off metal detectors!) and most importantly they provide the same protection as a steel toecap would.

Safety Wellingtons – High-performance, rubber wellingtons with a steel toecap that protects against harsh substances and chemicals.

Being watertight, they are perfect for protection in wet conditions whilst also being slip resistant, comfortable and protective. This footwear also has anti-static qualities reducing risk of shock within the workplace.

Now you can see the different types of safety footwear you can choose from, you can decide which ones are best for your profession. Every job is different and therefor requires different types of protection; you should always check the safety ratings we have featured, as it helps you distinguish what shoes are at what level of protection.


Rating Safety Factor
SB Safety basic - toe protection
S1 Antistatic, energy absorption & fuel oil resistant
S2 As S1, plus, prevents water penetration & absorption
S3 As S2, plus, midsole penetration resistance
S4 Antistatic, energy absorption, leak-proof & fuel oil resistant
S5 As S4, plus leak-proof with midsole penetration resistance
We wanted to make your life even easier for figuring out what direction you should go down for your feet to be always protected during work. Here are some examples of what footwear is recommended for different industry professions:
- Working in Construction for example builders and bricklayers, it is recommended to find yourself a safety boot with protection prioritised on the toecap and midsole due to many injuries within construction being penetration to the sole of the foot from sharp objects.

- Working as an Electrician, ESD (electrostatic discharge) safety footwear should be worn, protecting yourself from static charge.

However, finding yourself a safety boot with a durable scuff cap is also recommended, as an electrician you may find yourself up and down on your knees and that can wear away the front of the boot.

- Working as a Gardener, steel toecap Wellington boots are a great option as they will protect your feet from all the conditions of the outdoors.

Once you pick the right pair for you and your profession, there is one thing left to do – Make sure you get the right fit!

Finding out you picked the wrong size can be a big problem as you need to make sure they are perfect to protect your feet all day or all night long and they won’t be uncomfortable. This means testing them out thoroughly and trying them on more than once to make sure they’re a match, and once you have, your feet will thank you!

Here at Sydenhams, we have a large selection of Safety equipment including Safety footwear from leading manufacturers Scruffs and v12, so we’ve got you covered - Head into your local branch and see our selection!