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The Structure of Safety Boots

Posted by Cathy Houghton at

When you’re out on a job site and need the protection of workwear safety boots, it becomes imperative to understand what to look for to get the optimal protection. In this post, we’ve collected everything that you need to know about a safety boot’s structure. 

The Structure of Safety Boots

That way, you’ll know exactly what to look for in your next Active Workwear pair of worksite safety boots 

If you are in the market for a new pair of men’s safety boots or women’s safety boots, read on to find out what to look for when shopping 

The Upper 

This is the section of the shoe that protects the top of your foot, the toes, the sides of the foot and your heel. It might be made all in one piece or stitched together from separate bits, but this is a stylistic quirk rather than an added safety feature.  

Generally speaking, the tongue and the lining will be included here. For protective workwear, a leather upper is the most popular. It breathes well, provides ample protection and is comfortable to wear. 

The Foot Bed 

You’re probably familiar with the common phrase for this part of the shoe  the insole. This is the bit that is on the inside of the shoe. Usually, this is shaped or built up at arches to provide additional arch support.  

Removable insoles can be added later for additional comfort as well.  

The Safety Toe Cap 

No matter how strong and high quality the leather is, no upper is going to be enough when you drop something heavy on your toes. Conventionally, steel toe caps are added to provide the requisite protection for the toe area.  

The problem is that these can make the boots heavy and uncomfortable to wear. Manufacturers have been experimenting lately with composite toe caps instead.  

The Shank 

This is the structure that runs the heel to the toes and is placed between the insole and the outsole. The idea is to provide a rigid structure so that the boots are stable. This shank could be plastic, steel, fibreglass or even Kevlar.  

The Midsole 

This sits between the bed of the foot and the outsole. The function is to provide additional support and also to absorb the impact of walking on hard surfaces. The materials used here differ according to brand and can be composite, steel, Kevlar or Polyurethane.  

This structure also protects the underside of the feet because it is pierce-resistant.  

The Outsole 

This is the last layer of the shoe and is the part that contacts the ground. It will normally be designed to be stable and offer good traction so that you can walk without fear of slipping in a dangerous job site.  

Some models also protect against specific threats such as extreme temperature or electrical shock.  

Wrapping it All Up 

And that, in a nutshell, is all that you need to know about safety boots. The structure is built to handle the unique demands of your job.  

Are you ready to find your new pair yet? 

Reference Video: Ian Collier

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