TOP 5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING SAFETY SHOES

TimberlandPro® Hypercharge Safety Footwear

What risks will you encounter?

Although there are multi-purpose safety shoes and boots you may select, in order to reduce exposure to foot injury it’s important to know what risks you will encounter. Safety footwear is so important, the Government of Canada has a publication on the topic called Protect Your Feet!

 There are specific protection options for particular risks such as:

  1. Electric Shock
  2. Sharp objects that could penetrate any part of the foot
  3. Objects that might fall from above the foot
  4. Explosive or electrostatic discharge
  5. Exposure to water, heat or cold
  6. Exposure to welding spray, molten metal or corrosive liquids
  7. Uneven ground where ankle support is required

What symbols ought to be there?

Most people have heard of or seen the green triangle on safety boots and they feel assured that this indicates they boots have met a standard. But what do all the symbols actually mean? Our website has a Safety Symbol Index to help clarify the symbols and what they indicate.

Should I choose style or comfort?

Comfort should trump style but you shouldn’t have to choose one or the other. With so many safety footwear manufacturers, safety shoes come in athletic, full boot and dress options. It is important to select an option that does not feel uncomfortable especially with the number of hours they may be worn.  Here are some considerations:

  1. Shoes should not pinch your feet.
  2. You should not feel the toe caps against your toes.
  3. Shoes that are either too narrow or too wide will cause discomfort over time.
  4. If your feet tend to perspire, look for moisture-wicking or leather.
  5. Walk around with your shoes on before buying them to test the fit.
  6. Allow for potential swelling of feet.
  7. Put safety first, comfort second and then look at style.
  8. Don’t forget to wear quality socks to aid in your comfort.

How much should I expect to pay?

Perhaps you’ve heard the adage, you get what you pay for. When it comes to safety shoes, depending on the risks you are exposed to, this can certainly apply. Leather can be more breathable than synthetics, the outer sole durability can make a difference to the lifespan of the footwear and insoles that rip and tear can cause pain an discomfort. An educated retail professional will help you select the right boot for your needs and budget! As a general idea, you can expect to pay in the range of $100 to $150 for a safety shoe or athletic style, $100 to $180 for safety boots and in the range of $190-$300 for waterproof safety boots.

When should I replace my boots?

We all want to get the most wear we can from our footwear. When does worn footwear increase our risk to injury? Here’s a former Work Authority blog post that covers this issue.

In addition, Shoes.com provides some insight that can help you decide – should they stay or should they go?

  • Wear and Tear: As soon as you notice a protective component beginning to show through, be it a reinforced toe, steel midsole, steel shank or metatarsal guard, you should replace your boots right away. Safety first!
  • Dented Toe: Your steel toe will dent and fail to spring back, while composite is less likely to show physical damage, so try to make mental notes as your boots are tested by major impact or punctures. Again, think safety!
  • Separation of Parts or Seams: If your boots are made with rubber or PVC materials, any visible separation should tell you it's time to buy new shoes. Falling apart pairs don't look professional, right?
  • Worn Outside: The same attention should be paid to the shoe's tread as well, since once it has been worn smooth, they'll no longer be slip-resistant. You wouldn't drive a truck with bald tires, right?
  • Leakage: If your work involves damp environments or exposure to hazardous chemicals or other corrosive materials, any sign of leakage should prompt you to look for a new pair. It's not just about comfort – it's your health!

Finally, if you aren’t sure what footwear to purchase for your job, ask your employer!

Here are some more resources on this topic:

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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.