Safety is a must in certain jobs like construction, manufacturing, and electrical. Accidents can happen, but the right protective gear can help prevent injuries. Safety shoes prevent workplace injury for feet and provide benefits like better traction and support for those long shifts.
Buying safety shoes for work requires research and deliberation because you want to get reliable shoes and not waste your money. After all, these shoes can be expensive. If you’re looking for the best safety shoes in Singapore, we’ve made your decision easier by finding the top five choices [2024 review].
But before we get to the list, it’s important to talk about safety shoes, their benefits, and what you should consider when buying them.
Safety Shoe Types
Safety shoes are typically of two types: boots and trainers. Safety boots are more common as they have a high-top or mid-cut top that adds protection for ankles.
Safety trainers have a more casual look and lean more towards comfort, making them ideal for tradesmen or delivery drivers, who travel for work often and spend less time in dangerous conditions. However, as casual as they may look, these are not like average trainers and are equipped with safety features.
On the other hand, safety boots are sturdier and often have more safety features meeting international standards set for safety shoes. These are suitable for construction, metalwork, electrical work, operating heavy machinery, and working with hydrocarbons or chemicals.
Safety Shoe Features to Look For
This is the most important consideration because the features of the shoes will tell you how safe, reliable, and comfortable the shoes are. There are various safety features in these shoes. Not every model may have all of them. However, the more safety features there are, the safer the shoe will be.
Here are the main features to look out for:
- Slip-Resistant Outsole: Safety shoes feature slip-resistant outsole, typically made of rubber, that can provide traction on different surfaces, including wet or oily, and prevent falls. It should ideally be tested for slip resistance.
- Steel toe cap: This is a common feature in safety shoes but is still worth paying attention to. The steel toe cap can withstand impact, for example, a heavy object falling on the foot.
- Shock absorption: The outsole, midsole, or insole should offer a high level of shock absorption. This depends on the material the sole is made from and the amount of cushioning.
- Comfortable insole: The insole on most safety shoes is removable. It should provide arch support, especially if you’re on your feet for most of the day.
- Durable, breathable upper: The upper may be made from leather or synthetic materials. Both materials can provide adequate protection if they are high quality. Overall, the upper should be durable and offer some breathability for air circulation.
- Waterproofing: Not all shoes are waterproof, so if you work outdoors and need them, make sure they are labeled as waterproof. Waterproof shoes have water-resistant uppers and sealed seams and joints.
- Anti-static: If you work with electricity outdoors or indoors, the shoes should be anti-static (prevent electric shock).
Safety Shoe Standards
There are standards for safety shoes that ensure that the shoes comply with the requirements and have been tested for them. This is an easy way to ensure you’re buying reliable safety boots.
The standard for work safety shoes followed globally, including in Singapore, is ISO 20345. According to this standard, all safety shoes must have impact protection of at least 200 joules force (20 kg weight dropped from 1.02 meters) and compression resistance of at least 15 KN (1.5 tonnes).
Under the ISO 20345 standard, there are different categories, depending on the features and protection they provide. These include S1, S1P, S2, S3, S4, and S5.