Personal Protective Equipment

Footwear An Important Role in Injury prevention

As part of a safety culture, it is always important that all of the necessary tools and equipment must be made available to all employees. Proper safety-related footwear is an example of the equipment that sometimes often forget.


Work boots and other footwear has been worn for thousands of years, going back to times when humans dwelled in caves. Boots have traditionally been worn for a variety of purposes, but the earliest forms of boots were most commonly worn to protect the feet in harsh, cold conditions.

But despite being first created millennia ago, footwear has maintained a very similar appearance over the years. In fact, moccasins go back thousands of years and are still worn in present-day in several forms, including as dressy loafers. But when it comes to work boots, a number of features have been introduced in recent years to dramatically improve the safety and performance of this footwear.

Your specific footwear demands can vary depending on your industry. For construction workers, an all-purpose work boot capable of handling various challenges is ideal, since job demands can change by the minute. Here are some of the fundamental safety features that should be considered when purchasing a new pair of work boots.

Steel-toe protection

Wherever there is a risk of falling objects, or when you are working with heavy on-the-ground equipment, steel toes are essential. Without adding much weight to the boot, steel toes can protect your feet from steel beams, tampers and other materials and equipment that could otherwise crush your toes and leave you handicapped. Steel-toed boots like the Itasca Men's Force 10 Work Boot can also stop equipment from rolling over the rest of your foot, providing protection that extends well beyond the toes themselves.

Rugged gripping soles

In any environment where slippery surfaces are present, secure, reliable gripping is essential. Slips and falls can lead to serious workplace injuries, especially in an industrial setting. A number of work boots and shoes are designed in an effort to maximize gripping on a variety of surfaces, whether indoors or outside. Shoes like the Birkenstock A 630 Clogs are designed to provide exceptional grip on various surfaces while still maintaining the appearance of a nicer shoe.

Water-resistant and waterproof outer layers

Industrial settings are often interrupted with additional hazards and complications, most notably the weather. If you plan on working in wet or rainy conditions, it's essential that your shoe be able to withstand the elements. A variety of work boots are designed with rubber or water-resistant outer layers to guarantee dryness inside of the boot. This improves comfort and better protects you against dropping temperatures. Some boots, such as the Superior Boot Co.'s, are designed specifically for wet rainy conditions, even including work on a commercial boat.

Accessorizing with insoles

Depending on the nature of your work, a boot on its own may require some added insoles to bolster support and comfort. If the scent of the boot over time may also be a point of concern, anti-microbial insoles can help reduce the presence of bacteria that cause bad smells to develop in the first place. Sometimes, replacing your old, worn-out insoles is necessary to stave off injuries. Keep all your insole possibilities in mind when purchasing boots and as you wear them over time.

Many industrial work settings have rules regarding the type of footwear that can be worn onto a work site, and the government has its own regulations as well. Whether you're a longtime veteran or just starting out in the field, it's important that you have adequate footwear for the job. If you do, you'll be more comfortable, more productive and better protected from a tragic workplace accident.

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