The Australian safety footwear market is a large and diverse market which covering boots of all types and styles and also includes a growing variety of safety shoes. Purchasing protective footwear is a big decision primarily because most of us wear safety footwear for the eight or more hours we work every day. In other words one third of our day is spent on our feet or in our work shoes – they must be practical, comfortable and suit our feet. Safety shoes are a category within the protective footwear market that is growing in popularity and suits a wide variety of industries for a number of different reasons. Safety shoes are just as they sound – a shoe made with a work sole, protective toe cap and without the ankle protection of a work boot. To be sold in Australia they must meet the safety standard. They are well suited to use in certain industries because of their often light construction and ease of movement, industries such as courier drivers, warehouse order pickers, hospitality, healthcare and office environments with some contact to a back manufacturing area. If you are looking for the right safety shoes for your workplace, check out our five key considerations before you make your decision;
Full leather for the office?Even if managers and office workers spend a large amount of their work day in the office, there are still times when they need to be on site or are popping out to the warehouse or manufacturing area. As such to be already wearing comfortable full leather protective footwear saves time and means you can wear well made, long lasting work shoes throughout your day. Most of the major safety footwear manufacturers offer a full leather very presentable protective toe shoe. Offerings on the market range from well finished executive style shoes to very functional everyday style leather shoes.
Lace or slip on?Whilst most steel capped shoes are characterised by lace fastening, there are a few steel capped shoes on the market that are free of laces and are simply slipped on and off. These can be great if you want to wear normal work shoes most of the time but want to slip into your protective toed shoes to pop into the factory or head out to site. Slip on shoes are available in a few men’s and ladies shoes and can be stores under a desk for quick irregular use. There is only one downside to slip on shoes and it relates to the initial size fitting. Always ensure you shoe fits snugly and you heel sits all the way to the back of the shoe. IF you do not have a snug fit a shoe without laces it will not hold your foot as securely so you may find your heel slipping or moving a little too much, especially as the shoe stretches in the first month or so with wear.
Colour me please!Whilst most steel capped boots come in fairly standard colours such as black and tan, safety shoes are available in a wide variety of colours. Whilst black steel capped shoes are still the biggest sellers in this market, there is an increasing number of colour variations available with many looking closer to sports shoes. Puma, Diadora and other sports shoe brands have a full range of safety footwear which means there is more choice available now than ever before. When considering colour, remember that ultimately comfort is the most important factor in your decision so any shoe you buy must be comfortable.
Lighter the better!After a long day at work or a tiring shift, the weight of your work shoes can leave your feet tired and worn out. Composite toe or fibreglass protective toe work shoes greatly lighten the weight of your shoes and can be much easier to work it. Some shoes have a protective toe made from aluminium rather than steel and although it is not lighter than a composite cap, it is lighter than a steel cap and is an option somewhere in the middle of the two. So if you want a lightweight work shoe, check out what the protective cap is made from to get an idea on how light it will be.
Risks?There are very few disadvantages involved with a steel capped shoe purchase. The main risk is that you may roll an ankle or obtain an ankle injury due to the fact that there is no ankle support or protection in a shoe due to its design. The is particularly important for people jumping in or out of vehicles in their work day including couriers, delivery drivers and machine operators as this is the sort of environment where it is easier to sustain an ankle injury. If this relates to you it would be suggested to look into the work boots rather than a shoe for this very reason.
Our recommendations . . .We currently sell three highly regarded safety shoes which are perfect for either functionality, offer superior comfort or are terrific value for money. We recommend these three shoes for different reasons:
- Mongrel 210025 Leather lace up steel capped shoe – this is a well-made leather shoe that looks great when worn with office dress pants. Made in Australia, this Mongrel shoe has great arch support, terrific underfoot comfort and is well priced. We recommend it mostly because of its great build quality and superior comfort. It is perfect for long days on your feet, click here to find out more…
- JB’s 9F6 lace up steel capped sports shoe – The JB’s 9F6 shoe is built more in the sports runner mould with mesh inserts for breathability and a simple plain black design. It is price point is a real highlight and it is quite lightweight for a steel capped shoe. This shoes offers superior value for money. Click here to find out more…
- Mongrel 220080 Lace up Steel toe shoe – As with the Mongrel 210025 leather lace up shoe this shoe has great arch support and superior comfort. It has a steel toe cap, is Australian made and is well priced. It has a reinforced toe area and a more casual style. Click here to find out more…
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