Feeling a bit confused about the various safety ratings given out with work boots?
Unsure what all the standards are, and mean?
I don’t know about you but up until I actually got into the low-down about safety boots, I had no idea myself. I’d look at the box to see if they had a steel toe and check reviews to see if they were comfy or not.
That was about it, top and bottom.
That was “my research”… and I’m sure many of you would do something quite similar.
Anyway, safety boots have all these different symbols and ratings written on them, to help you pick the right boots.
Some people need airport scanner safe boots, some need waterproof boots, some need antistatic and others need protection from sharp objects under the foot.
So I am going to explain what they all mean and hope you can use this to get the right boots.
Sure there is no point in you getting thermal waterproof rocket powered boots if all you are doing is walking across a factory floor (although rocket powered could be interesting…!).
So let’s jump in to what they all this stuff means, and learn about the safety code ratings.
Following on from these set of rules, a standard was created for safety boots called EN345. Further changes were made in 2004 and 2007, and the current version is called EN ISO 20345:2011 (although a new version is currently being produced but not yet published).
So for now all safety “footwear” produced from the year 2013 (not just boots) have to meet this tough standard.
What goes into this standard?
Safety footwear codes
Slip resistance ratings:
Safety boots that comply with slip resistance ratings will also have one of the following codes:
- Tested on ceramic tile wetted with sodium lauryl sulphate (a diluted soap solution)
- Tested on steel with glycerol
SRC (both of the above)
- Boots that perform well on both SRA and SRB conditions
As you can see from the above, boots really do have to pass a number of tests to be deemed good enough.
Additional symbols you may come across
- WRU – Water Penetration and Water Absorption Upper
- AN – Ankle Protection
- CR – Cut Resistant Upper
- A – Antistatic
- I – Electricity insulating footwear
- HRO – Outsole Resistance to Hot Contact
- P – Penetration resistance
- C – Conductive
- M – Metatarsal Protection
- WR – Water Resistance
For our full write up on some of the best safety boots currently available you can look at our boot guide here.
If you prefer a boot with a side zip we also have that covered in our guide here.
If you have wider feet, we have a great guide to the best workboots for wide feet.