Safety Footwear, Price, Brand and Your ExpectationsAn earlier article 'Behind Branded, Good Value and Cheap Workwear' highlighted the fact that once branding is taken out of the equation you get what you pay for when choosing safety workwear. Especially if the workwear meets your requirements and lasts long enough to provide real value-for-money then job is done. The same observations can also be levelled at workplace footwear.
Heavily branded safety footwear isn't always an indicator of quality. Discover the other considerations that will help make an informed purchasing decision!
Is expensive footwear always better?
Obviously, the power of branding has a say on an item's ticket price. For example, looking at safety footwear, there is always that question do buyers associate a recognised, fashion brand coupled with price as an indicator of product quality? If you are cost-conscious perhaps you should consider four points towards making an informed purchase:
- Product specification
- The EN standards the footwear meets
- The job the item is required to do
Ultimately, fashion-brand prices aside, we have found that the rule of 'you do get what you pay for' rings true. Wray Bros has noticed a recent change in attitudes to price - there was a time when cheaper the better was the request. As budgets get tighter the thinking has changed to consider the frequency of replenishing stock: quality over quantity mindset. The initial outlay may be more, but some buyers have found it better value to look at the lifespan of their workwear purchases by buying quality, rugged items fit-for-purpose rather than on price alone.
One aspect the buyer should consider are the EN standards a garment or safety boot meets is an indication of the standard the product is manufactured to meet. For footwear, you should look out for: EN ISO 20345.
European Standards (ENs) are documents that have been validated by one of the three European Standardization Organisations (ESOs), CEN, CENELEC or ETSI. These should be used as an indication of the durability of the item.
Also to note, to make sure your PPE remains at the intial standard, there is a duty of care of the user to look after their workwear. For example, a high vis jacket fresh out of the pack will state that it is fully certified and tested to standards such as EN ISO 20471/EN471 & EN343 etc. but if the jacket is mistreated daily, left covered in dirt, grime and everyday soilage then obviously those visibility standards would be compromised. The same is true of safety boots, safety shoes, safety wellington boots and safety trainers.
Safety Footwear Options
When browsing for your next safety footwear, ensure that your options have an impenetrable sole, uppers with a steel or composite toe-cap, and conform to EN ISO 20345. Safety footwear are available in the following styles:
- Regular safety boots for heavy duty work
- High-performance rubber safety wellingtons where users need longer length for protection against substances such as chemicals and fluids
- Composite safety shoes and boots that are similar to steel toe cap boots but are made out material suitable for those that may need to go through security detectors
- Metatarsal safety shoes are similar to composite and steel toe options, but also include a protective plate that covers the metatarsal part of the foot. They offer protection to the upper area of the foot between the bottom of the shin and toes
- Light, low-cut safety shoes for jobs that involve climbing
- Safety trainers available for those who may be looking for a more versatile, stylish option to also wear outside of the workplace
Choosing the right footwear for your industry
The type of safety footwear available that should be used will depend on the users' working industry as well as the frequency and duration in which they will born worn. Consider the following safety shoes and boots for different trades:
- Production, construction and warehouse workers: choose a durable safety work boot to protect your feet when moving heavy materials. A metatarsal option would also be recommended to avoid injury against potential falling goods
- Working with liquids or slipping hazards i.e. mechanics: durable, oil and slip resistant work boots, trainers or shoes with a sturdy sole are best for to avoid injury. Wellington boots recommended if need greater leg protection
- Security workers and electricians: safety footwear with a composite toe are recommended, for non-conductive purposes
- For those working outside: steel toe-cap safety wellingtons or waterproof boots are a great option for working in the likes of gardens
Looking for more info?
For a common sense approach to value-for-money safety footwear we are on-hand with advice and wholesale prices to help make you look good.