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Safety Footwear

Need help? Need help? Which hazards necessitate specialist footwear? Safety footwear, including safety shoes and boots, is an essential component in many industrial and manufacturing sites to adequately protect feet and toes from injury. At Seton, we stock an extensive range of safety footwear to enable you to choose products that are appropriate for your requirements and in sizes to fit all your employees.

When choosing safety footwear, it’s essential to understand what the risks are within your business, such as objects falling from height or sharp implements. This enables you to select footwear that manages these risks effectively, protects your workforce and is comfortable to wear. Look at our guide for more information.

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Buying PPE Footwear

With so much choice available when it comes of safety footwear, it can be hard to know which products are best for your requirements. One of the key elements to look out for in most cases is slip-resistance and the type of conditions the specific product is suitable for use in.

However, there are also other factors you need to consider, such as durability, comfort and safety components - for example, toe protection. Above all, once the footwear has been purchased, it’s vital your employees wear it correctly and at all times.

Not all safety footwear is the same - it provides varying levels of protection, so you need to be aware of the potential hazards faced by your employees to ensure they are protected properly.

The risks that could be present include:

Crush injuries from heavy objects
Puncturing of the sole by sharp objects
Absorption of oils, water or other elements
Static electricity build-up
Extremes of temperature

When you’re choosing safety footwear for your employees, you need to ensure it’s compatible with the relevant standards, it’s suitable for outdoor or indoor use as required, whether it’s manufactured from synthetic materials or leather, if it can be used in cold or hot environments, the type of weather it can withstand, such as sunshine, rain or snow, and its resistance to specific hazards, such as chemicals or oils.

Categories of safety footwear

Safety footwear covers more than just general shoes and boots, and there are a range of specialist products for different types of environments.

Most businesses use safety boots, which feature toe protection as well as other safety elements, including insulation from cold and heat extremes, penetration resistance and slip resistance.

There are also safety shoes and safety trainers, which, as with boots, can have composite as well as steel toe caps. We also have a range of ladies safety shoes which are in a suitable size for women. Riggers, wellingtons and clogs can be used, depending on the type of conditions in which they are being worn.

Choosing safety footwear

Before specifying and ordering safety footwear for a business, it’s first essential to examine the most current risk assessment to understand the hazards that are present and the level of protection that is necessary.

You should also consult the relevant employees to find out their needs with regards to practicality, wearability, fit and comfort, as this will result in greater acceptance of any changes.


What is a steel toe?

This is a steel cap fitted into the toe section of the footwear to give protection to the wearer’s toes and feet. They are required in many sectors.

What is the difference between a composite and steel toe?

A composite toe offers the same level of protection as a steel toe, but is manufactured from a lighter, non-magnetic and non-metallic material. They are better suited to roles that require a large amount of walking or where workers need to go through metal detectors regularly.

How do I ensure safety footwear fits correctly?

In most cases, workers will wear the same size as their general shoes, but the size of the toe box and the height of the heel might mean a different feel. It’s also important to consider type of work and seasonal variations, such as the socks that will be worn with the safety footwear, when determining the fit.

What lacing systems does safety footwear use?

There is a range of lacing styles used, which can influence the fit of safety footwear. Typically, work footwear will use standard eyelets, metal hooks, D-rung eyelets or a combination to provide fast lacing. The style that is best for your requirements will depend on the needs of the business and the wearer’s preference.

How do you look after safety footwear?

The durability and effectiveness of safety shoes and boots will largely depend on how well they are cared for. It’s important to wipe them down after use and ensure they are completely dry. Try to avoid subjecting safety footwear to rapid changes in temperature and condition them frequently to keep them looking good.