Last updated: August 11, 2021

Safety shoes for women are especially important when working in heavy conditions. They protect you from injuries, electric shocks, high temperatures or contact with chemical substances, among other things. With this type of shoes, it is therefore not about the perfect appearance, but first of all about the best protection.

Which safety level, material or weight is necessary is either prescribed by your employer and thus the women's safety shoes are provided. Or they depend on your private plans. Thus, you have to look for the right safety shoes yourself. In this article, we present the most important aspects and answer the most frequently asked questions.




The Best Women´s Safety Shoes: Our Picks

Buying criteria: What you should look for when buying safety shoes for women

To make it easier for you to choose the right safety shoes for women, we have compiled the most important aspects that you should consider before buying.

You should pay attention to the following purchase criteria:

  • Design
  • Weight
  • Safety level & professional suitability
  • Additional functions

In this section you will learn about all the important aspects to choose the perfect women's safety shoes.

Design

Safety shoes for women, unlike work shoes, have a protective cap made of metal or plastic in the front part of the shoe to protect toes - in contrast to work shoes, which only have a protective component, but not necessarily a protective cap. The upper is usually made of leather and the sole of rubber, elastomers or the plastic polyurethane. But not only genuine leather is possible, but also vegan and sustainable material.

You have the choice between boots, ankle boots, sneakers, clogs and even high heels as your safety shoes. If you don't want to be exposed to the danger of tripping over the laces in your work, you can also consider safety shoes without laces, for example with Velcro fastening.

Weight

The weight of safety shoes for women depends on the materials and the design. The material of the toe cap is crucial. If it is made of metal, it will be heavier than one made of plastic. Shoes made of metal parts and leather can weigh up to 2 kilograms, while non-metallic shoes can weigh less than 1 kilogram.

What you choose depends more on your profession. If you have to be on the move a lot, lighter shoes would be suitable. Not only will your feet be more flexible and comfortable, but you won't get tired as quickly after hours of heavy work. However, if you work standing up and/or with dangerous machines and tools, then the heavier safety shoes with metal parts are more ideal.

Be sure to check which regulations and standards must be met in your workplace.

Safety level & occupational suitability

The safety level of the footwear is determined by the degree of protection with S1 (low protection) to S5 (boots with highest protection). The requirements depend on the particular field of work. Butchers' shoes, for example, should be largely waterproof, electricians should wear insulating shoes and firefighters need flame-resistant and quick-closing shoes. In industry, class S2 and S3 shoes are most common (see below). When dealing with chemicals, rubber soles offer the best protection. Avoid soles made of other materials.

Safety shoes for women of protection class S1 are used in dry working areas. They are mainly used in industry, trade and logistics. Safety shoes for women in protection class S1P have a protective cap and a puncture-resistant sole. They are best suited for indoor or dry outdoor use and for working with sharp and pointed objects.

Safety shoes for women of protection class S2 are mainly used in wet environments. They are ideal for working indoors or outdoors, where wetness can also play a role. Safety shoes for women of protection class S3 consist of a protective toe cap, a nail puncture-proof midsole and are waterproof. They are particularly suitable for working outdoors and on construction sites. S4 safety shoes for women are boots with S2 features and S5 boots with S3 features.

Additional features

Not only the design, the weight and the safety levels are important aspects, but also numerous additional features:

  • Windproof, breathable, flame retardant: In addition to waterproof and non-slip safety shoes for women, there are also many windproof, breathable models of these shoes that are suitable for high temperatures.
  • Midfoot protection: If you need to protect not only your toes but also your instep during your work, safety shoes with midfoot protection are more suitable.
  • Electrical insulation: As soon as you work with possibly defective equipment and with parts under high voltage and there is a risk of electric shock, electrically insulating safety shoes are necessary (with the additional marking "I''). In most cases, however, ESD safety shoes are already sufficient. These dissipate the electrical energy into the floor. With these, the contact resistance is up to 35 megaohm, while with insulating safety shoes it is even higher than 1 gigaohm.
  • Orthopaedic insoles: You can also insert orthopaedic insoles into some safety shoe models. However, make sure that these are also from the shoe manufacturer, otherwise they will not meet safety requirements.

If you want safety shoes for women that offer even more protection and comfort than the usual models, you should also consider the aspects mentioned above.

Safety shoes for ladies: The most important questions answered

To help you decide on the perfect ladies safety shoes, we have answered a few important questions for you.

Who has to pay for the ladies' safety shoes?

If you are to use the ladies safety shoes in a professional context, the safety shoes are provided by the employer. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the employer may not ask the employee to pay for the protective equipment. If ladies' safety shoes are compulsory in your occupation, you must also wear them by law. For your protection, this is recommended anyway!

On the other hand, for private purposes, the costs must of course be covered in full by you. However, you have more freedom and can choose the best model yourself. Then, of course, it is a good idea to consider additional functions to ensure the best possible protection and comfort.

What types of safety shoes are there for women?

In addition to the different safety levels and designs of safety shoes for women, other types can be distinguished:

  • Lightweight safety shoes for women: The S1 safety level offers the lightest women's safety shoes, as they are also made of the lightest material. However, they offer the least protection. However, safety shoes are becoming lighter over time as new lighter materials are developed. So you can also find models of higher safety levels that have less weight than others in this category.
  • Wide safety shoes for women: Wide feet will also find their model of safety shoes. In addition to the standard width 11, there are also shoe widths 12 and 13 for somewhat wider feet.
  • Safety shoes for women with shock absorption: These safety shoes prevent tired feet. What distinguishes this type from others is the light and shock-absorbing sole. This keeps your back and legs unstressed, even after many hours.
  • Safety shoes for women with twist closure/quick release: The quick release closure is easy to use and offers comfort on the one hand and stability on the other. In addition, the shoes are very easy to operate, even in cold weather, with gloves or other difficult conditions.

Despite these different types of women's safety shoes, which can offer more features and comfort as a result, safety comes first. However, if you are not doing too dangerous work, you have more freedom in your decision.

How do I clean and care for my women's safety shoes?

For the best care of your women's safety shoes, we recommend the following:

  • The most important thing when cleaning and caring for safety shoes is that they are well aired and dried after use. With leather shoes, this process is much longer than with other materials - at least 24 to 48 hours.
  • If your shoes are wet, stuff them with newspaper, for example.
  • Do not use a radiator or hairdryer to dry your safety shoes more quickly, as this will make them hard and brittle.
  • If the shoes are dirty, remove the dirt with a brush and a little water before drying. If the dirt remains, the breathability of the shoes may be impaired.
  • After drying, you can treat the shoes with a care product.

Although these steps sound very tedious, proper and regular care is not only important for the longevity of your shoes, but also for your safety!

How long should I wear the ladies safety shoes?

This question cannot be answered concretely, as this depends on several factors. The duration of use depends on the area of use, design and external influences such as temperature, humidity or chemical substances that are worked with. In general, you should replace your women's safety shoes after a period of 5 to 8 years.

However, if you notice any damage before then, such as the integrity of the material, disintegration of the sole or functional impairment of the fastener, you should also replace the shoes. Therefore, for your own protection and prevention, check your women's safety shoes for these defects after every wear.

Conclusion

Women's safety shoes are important for both professional and private use. They ensure our protection and comfort during heavy work. There are different types and additional functions of safety shoes for women such as slip resistance, breathability or different types of fasteners.

However, the most important thing when choosing the right safety shoes for women is their safety level. Because the design and additional features are only secondary matters when it comes to your health and protection. Therefore, pay attention to this aspect above all!

Image source: unsplash.com/ Sven Brandsma

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