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Worksite Footwear: Safety Boots vs Safety Shoes

23 Nov 2021
When building out what you need in workwear, the issue of footwear is something that you need to consider. You have to make sure your feet are safe, warm and protected on site, or risk great injury.

The issue is, which kind of boots do you get?

The most common types of footwear broadly fit into two categories: Safety Boots , and Safety Shoes. We could talk about rigger boots and wellington boots as well, but for now, these will do. We’ll talk about other footwear later.

But these categories don’t exist just for the hell of it. There are differences that will benefit you depending on what kind of work you’re doing on different sites.

Worksite Footwear: Safety Boots vs Safety Shoes

The Major Difference

The biggest difference between the two is in lightness and manoeuvrability. You could tell just from the size and shape of them, but we’ll get into a little later why these differences should matter to you. For now, let’s just see.

Safety Boots

Safety Boots are sturdier and cover the ankle and usually have thicker material to work with in order to lengthen their lifespan. More often than not, work boots will usually have a protected toe (either with metal or just more material).

They have a greater amount of protection, including a reinforced mid-sole and reinforced toe, to ensure that, no matter what happens, minor accident included, you will be protected. Because of the stronger sole, you can cross any kind of worksite much easier, including soft soil and gravel, which most shoes would normally sink through.

Safety Shoes

Don’t get fooled seeing the tougher-looking, thicker, high-ankle boot and assume the safety shoes will fall apart on you 5 minutes into wearing them. A good pair of safety shoes will last just as well, as long as they’re used in the right job sites.

That being said, even though the standard boot will survive longer and handle more than the shoes, what you’re getting in return is a lot more movement. For starters, the ankle is freed up, giving you a greater ability to kneel down and stand back up, as well as cross over areas of your work site with greater agility.

Worksite Footwear: Safety Boots vs Safety Shoes

Footwear For Each Work Site

Okay, now we said we’d talk about why these differences are important, and why you shouldn’t just jump the gun in buying. The thing is, whether you’re looking for toughness or manoeuvrability should depend on where you’re working and what you’re doing.

Safety Boots will, understandably, handle all forms of terrain much better. Their leather, deep-ridged sole allows them to be walk over anything with relative ease, and they’re tough enough to keep you safe from most common forms of foot injury which, on a larger outdoor site, are more common anyway. If you’re in an active construction zone, especially one outside, boots are the best way to go.

Safety Shoes on the other hand, on the surface, provide less protection and bulk, but offer a lot more agility for moving around, either for the whole day, or in smaller spaces. For indoor work and smaller sites, such as working in a warehouse, or renovating a house, we’d more than recommend Safety Shoes. As long as your tradesmen’ protocols are up to scratch (for example, not leaving tools lying everywhere unattended) there should a decreased risk of
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