When many people start a new job, they must also buy a specific pair of safety shoes for work. Why are they required, and what’s so great about them? Find out why safety shoes are required for some jobs and how they can help protect you from injury.
WHAT ARE SAFETY SHOES?
Safety shoes are important because they are designed to protect your feet from injury and physical trauma. This can include a steel toe cap that protects your toes from getting crushed under dropped objects. Safety shoes can also feature an electrical-resistant sole to help you keep from getting electrocuted.
WHEN SHOULD YOU WEAR SAFETY SHOES?
OSHA health and safety laws only require safety footwear to be worn when there’s a risk of injury. However, it’s always a good idea to wear safety shoes when they can help protect you.
DO SAFETY SHOES EXPIRE?
Safety shoes don’t last forever. They generally last for about six to twelve months in the average work environment and should be replaced if they start to show signs of wear.
Your safety shoes need to be replaced if:
- The seams have split or there are holes in the leather or fabric of the shoe.
- The metal case on the steel toe or metatarsal plate is visible.
- The heel plate is rubbed bare.
- The tread on the sole is significantly rubbed down or smooth.
- The insoles are permanently pressed down and do not provide the support your feet need.
- The midsole, the section between your insole and your outsole meant to cushion your foot, becomes damaged, pressed together, or wrinkled.
- The upper section of your shoe becomes separated from the sole.
CAN SAFETY SHOES DAMAGE YOUR FEET?
If worn properly, safety shoes in working condition should not damage your feet. They are specifically designed to help protect your feet from injury and damage.
If you get the wrong safety shoes for your job or shoes that do not fit, they can damage your feet because they are not providing you the support or protection you need for your job. If your safety shoes are uncomfortable to wear, are too tight, or too loose, you should find a pair that is a better fit to avoid any unnecessary damage to your feet.
Safety shoes are meant to be replaced after they have protected your feet. For example, if your steel-toed shoe gets hit by any force at all and protects your toes from being crushed, you should replace the pair. The steel toe did its job and protected your feet. However, it was most likely put under a large amount of stress and could have bent or fractured under the force. A damaged steel toe won’t protect your feet and has a better chance of causing damage if it is not replaced.
WHAT IS THE OSHA STANDARD FOR SAFETY SHOES?
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) sets the OSHA standard for safety shoes. The ASTM standards for foot protection evaluate shoes on their ability to be:
- Compression resistant
- Metatarsal protectant
- Conductive protectant
- Electric hazard resistant
- Puncture resistant
- Static dissipative
OSHA standards for which shoe is workplace appropriate depend on the workplace environment. For example, in workplaces with the potential for puncture injuries, a shoe that is puncture resistant is often required.
TRY THE STEPBLAST SHOE
The Stepblast Shoe provides safety shoes built to last and protect without being clunky or painful to wear. Each shoe features a steel toe and kevlar sole to keep your feet safe but has the style and comfort that will make them your everyday shoe. Find a better safety shoe with The Stepblast Shoe.