Does Colour Matter in Safety Footwear?

One of the questions our sales associates in footwear hear frequently is “do they come in other colours?” which is a tough question to answer. The answer is not cut and dry – most styles of safety footwear are available in only one colour, but you can find safety footwear in different colours by looking at different styles. The colour of the footwear itself has nothing to do with whether or not the shoe or boot is safety rated – they could be neon orange and still safety rated or tan and not CSA approved. The colour that matters in safety footwear is on the tag – it’s those symbols that tell you that your footwear is CSA approved. If you want to learn more about safety symbols found on our footwear and work apparel check out our guide here.

When it comes to safety footwear for men, the standard colours are black, tan, and brown. Boots tend not to vary from these 3 colours, but some safety shoes do. The running shoe style safety shoes such as the Timberland Powertrain come in colourful styles while still providing electrical shock, sole puncture, and steel toe protection. There are other running shoe style safety shoes that have a black or grey upper but a non-marking coloured sole. Of course if you’re looking for high visibility safety footwear, the bright orange Viking Timberwolf boots fit the bill nicely.

Viking Timberwolf

Women’s safety boots, on the other hand, come in many colours. In addition to the traditional black, tan, and brown, we carry women’s safety boots in pink, red, and blue. Women’s safety running shoe style shoes also come in a number of colours – either as accents to a more traditional coloured shoe, or as the main colour of the shoe itself, such as the Kodiak Meg.

Kodiak Meg

While the colour of the safety footwear doesn’t have anything to do with its effectiveness (other than the aforementioned high visibility boots), it can make a difference in how you feel in your shoes. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in your work footwear, so pick one that you truly love.

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How do I make sure to get the right size?

To measure your feet:

  1. Get a blank piece of paper, a pencil and a tape measure.
  2. Stand with one foot on the piece of paper, and have most of your weight on your foot to simulate walking.
  3. Holding the pencil perfectly vertical and perpendicular to the paper, mark a line at the back of your heel and at the tip of your longest toe. Also mark a line along each side of the widest part of your foot.
  4. Measure length and width to the nearest 16th inch and subtract .20 to .25 inches, or .50 centimetres, to account for the width of the pencil.
  5. Find your corresponding size in the charts below.

A couple of tips to get the perfect fit:

  • Measure your feet later in the day as feet normally swell and can become up to half a size bigger in the evening.
  • Measure both feet and use the measurements of the biggest foot. Many people have feet that are different sizes.
  • Wear the same type of socks you will generally be wearing on the job when you measure your feet.

Here are some general guidelines to assess fit once you’ve received your new boots:

  • Try on new boots towards the end of the day.
  • Walk around in a clean environment for a couple of hours to make sure the boots are comfortable.
  • Try boots on both feet, as many people have feet that are different sizes.
  • Boots should fit snugly around the heel and ankle when laced.
  • The inner side of the boot should be straight from the heel to the end of the big toe.
  • The boot should grip the heel firmly.

Measuring apparel for proper fit

Size X-Small Small Medium Large X-Large 2X-Large 3X-Large
Neck - Inches 13-13.5 14-14.5 15-15.5 16-16.5 17-17.5 18-18.5 19-19.5
Neck - Centimetres 33-35 36-37 38-39 41-42 43-44 45-47 48-50
Chest - Inches 30-32 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 50-52 54-56
Chest - Centimetres 76-81 86-91 97-102 107-112 117-122 127-132 137-147
Waist - Inches 27-28 29-31 32-34 36-38 40-42 44-46 48-50
Waist - Centimetres 68-71 73-78 81-83 91-96 101-106 111-116 121-127

Hint: For the most accurate results, measure yourself in your undergarments.

  • Neck: Measure around the base of your neck, inserting your forefinger between the tape and your neck to allow ease in fit.
  • Chest: Measure around the fullest part of your chest, keeping tape firmly under your armpits and around your shoulder blades.
  • Waist: Measure around your waist, slightly below your natural waist, where you normally wear your pants. Insert your forefinger between the tape and your body to allow ease in fit.
  • Sleeve length: Bend your arm slightly. Measure from centre back neck, across your shoulder, down to your elbow, down to your wrist.
  • Hip: Measure around the fullest part of your hips, inserting your forefinger between the tape and your hip to allow ease in fit.
  • Inseam: Measure a similar pant that fits you well. Measure along the inseam, from the crotch seam to the bottom of the hem.

Between sizes?

If your measurements are in between those listed in the size chart, pick the next larger size.