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Industrial Work Boots: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Before investing in your next industrial work boots, read this guide.

It has all information that will help you choose high quality industrial work boots at affordable prices.

Keep reading to learn more.

What are Industrial Work Boots used for?

industrial work boots
 Industrial work boots

Industrial workers daily encounter different forms of workplace foot hazards such as sharps, electric shock, falling objects and chemical spills.

Therefore, they wear industrial work boots, a form of personal protective equipment (PPE) footwear to protect their feet from possible harm.

Why invest in Industrial Work Boots?

workers in industrial work boot
 Worker in industrial work boot

Workers’ Safety at Workplace

Industrial work boots are a form of safety footwear that you or your employees need to wear to protect their feet.

Different work stations have different forms of danger that lurk around and can lead to serious foot and body injuries.

For example, workers in constructions risk breaking foot bones due to impact from falling heavy objects.

Others in factories maybe exposed to puncture from sharp objects, electric shocks, slip and falling, chemical spills, etc.

In order to avoid such workplace hazards, employers should invest in good and appropriate industrial work boots.

Legal Requirement

Secondly, wearing the right industrial work boots is a mandatory legal requirement in some countries and industries.

Industrial work boots are considered part of the work uniform requirement for every employee.

For instance, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and US department of Labor under regulation number 29 CFR 1910.136 state that;

The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses protective footwear while working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries…”

Failure to comply with this may lead to serious lawsuit that may paralyze your business operations.


Some industries require employees to work for long hours while standing. This can lead to fatigue, physical pain or stress if the wrong footwear is worn.

Furthermore, wearing uncomfortable safety boots can cause serious short and long term health complications.

Investing in comfortable industrial work boots goes a long way in mitigating serious implications to the feet, knee and the back.

A comfortable safety footwear should provide good arch support, heel padding, roomy toe box and cushioning rubber on sole.

Additionally, workers are likely to wear their industrial work boots throughout the day if they are comfortable.

What are Some of the Risks that Industrial Workers may be Exposed To?

Different industrial workstations present different forms of potential foot dangers to Industrial workers face such as:

Chemical Risk

This include corrosive and poisonous chemical substances that are likely to spill on workers foot and course burns or skin damages.

Industries with such hazards include, cement factories, chemical battery manufacturers, laboratory chemical manufacturers.

The industrial work boots worn should protect workers feet from penetration of the chemicals at all times.

Electric Shock

Workers in electric circuit areas or using high voltage electric machinery risk being electrocuted if their boots complete the circuit.

Therefore, industrial worker boots fit for electric hazard are manufactured with non-conductive, electric resistant sole material such as rubber or leather.

This type of safety boots reduce accumulated static current and safely discharge them into the ground preventing electric shock.

Thermal Shock

Thermal risks can be caused by extreme conditions such as cold or hot working environment. Workers in snow areas or cold work stations such as freezers need insulated work boots to protect them from frostbites.

On the contrary, those working with very hot materials such as molten metals should have insulated boots with breathable cover.

This is to prevent their feet from burning and also allow air circulation in to avoid excessive sweating and heat damage.

Mechanical Injuries

These include puncture, impact from falling objects, crushing or pinching and are common in construction and heavy metal factories.

Having industrial boots with steel toe, metatarsal guard and are puncture-resistant can protect your foot from such injuries.

Skid and Fall

Slippery working environment pose a high risk of slip and fall accidents to workers. To protect your employees, ensure your provide them with anti-skip shoes.

How is the Construction of Industrial Work Boots like?

Figure 3 Construction work boots
Construction work boots

Unlike normal walking boots, industrial work boots construction take a different form to specifically meet their working environment requirement.

This is because they are expected to guard against things like puncture, electric risks, thermal shock, etc.

The basic structural feature of industrial work boots therefore composes of:

The Outsole

This is the outermost part of the boot which is in direct contact with the ground.

It is constructed from materials such as rubber or synthetic such as polyurethane (PU) and is usually tough.

PU Outsole
PU Outsole

Outsole can be made from one piece or different pieces having different properties stitched together. The outsole is very important as it protects against slip and fall, offer stability, traction and insulation against hot and cold.

Industrial work boots outsoles are dual constructed with the inner part forming the insole and the outer, outsole.

The Insole

Also known as the foot bed, is the inner part of the boots upon which the foot rests.

Insole provides comfort to the worker’s feet and is constructed from a paper or synthetic board.

It can be removable and replaceable to suit workers’ foot needs, improve comfort, control moisture or other health related issues.

Insole is attached to the ‘lasting’ margin of the upper that wraps around the industrial workers boots and closes it.

The Midsole

Between the outsole and insole is the midsole layer which absorbs shocks, provides support and protection to the wearer.

This layer can be made from different material types such as PU, Kevlar, composite and steel depending on its main purpose.

Steel layer was used as a protection insert against sharps, most companies have since upgraded to Kevlar protective material.

The Upper

This part covers and protects the top, the sides and the back of the feet.

Like the outsole, it can be constructed from single material or different pieces stitched together depending on the boot style.

The most commonly used material for upper part is leather.

Safety Toe Cap

Types of Toe Cap
 Types of Toe Cap

Industrial work boots that are used in workstation that are prone to injuries due to impact have a toe cap reinforcement.

Initially, steel caps were used to achieve this protection, however, most companies embraced composite material instead.

Unlike, steel caps, composite caps are light weight and are not prone to environmental temperature changes.

Steel capped safety boots are affected by temperature variations thus causing sweaty feet and eventually damp boots.


Industrial work boots may or may not have heels depending on the job requirement. The heel is constructed from the same material as that of the outsole.

Work environment that need long standing hours require flat heeled boots for comfort purposes.

 Parts of industrial work boot
Parts of industrial work boot

When Should I Consider Cemented vs Goodyear Welt Construction for Industrial Work Boots?

Cemented industrial work boots are protective footwear that are worn by workers who work under extreme working conditions.

Such industries include; road and railway construction, oil refineries’, chemical plants, mining plants and petrochemical industries.

These type of safety boots are designed to protect, provide support and comfort to the wearer.

Cemented industrial work boots are bound to the sole and not stitched like other boots, thus making them lighter.

Their structural design meets the require safety standards for their industry.

The outer part is made of full grain genuine leather for durability and the steel toe cap protect against falling objects.

Its supportive nature is achieved by the steel mid sole design.

Besides being suitable in extreme conditions, they are also used by diabetic patients and people with physical aches and pains.

This is due to their comfort design.

Safeft footwear are safety shoes made of non-metallic insole, outsole, as well as zipper and lace eyehole.

They are particularly common with the police, military workers and casual labors.

Their design composes of waterproof grained leather upper black or brown, steel toe, with a rubber outsole and cork midsole.

Additionally, they possess a deep treads that make them slip resistant with the upper stitched to the sole for durability.

Is Injection Construction Method any better for Industrial Work Boots?

In injection molding construction method, molten PU material is released into the boot mold and cools to form a boot.

This method forms a durable, tough and comfortable industrial work boots.

The protective cap is higher in these boots thus contributing the comfort factor.

Besides, the PU material adds to its shock absorption feature and tolerant to extreme weather conditions.

Industrial worker boots constructed through injection method can incorporate additional unique features like ankle support system, climate system, using modern technology.

What is Steel vs Composite Toe and which one is better for Industrial Work Boots?

When purchasing industrial work boots, it is important to select a fit for purpose safety boots. Both steel and composite toe caps boots are meant to provide toe protection.

In order to select the best fit for your work environment, understanding their individual properties will be necessary.

Steel Toe Caps

Industrial work boots and wellingtons with steel toe caps have a piece of steel material fitted in the toe area.

Such boots are meant to provide toe protection for workers who are prone to toe injury from heavy dropping objects.

Steel toe caps are constructed to meet the European safety requirement standard of 200 joules toe cap protection.

Unlike composite toe caps, they are flatter, handle heavier weights.

Steel toe caps are heavier than composite toe caps and are likely to be perfect in heavy construction sites.

Composite Toe Caps

These industrial work boots come fitted with a non-metallic material made from composite in the toe and midsole section.

Composite toe boots are lighter than steel boots and do not conduct electricity.

Examples of composite materials include; fiberglass, Kevlar, or carbon fiber and they also meet the 200 joules toe cap protection standard.

However, they are meant for work environment that does not involve heavy weight dropping objects.

Composite industrial work boots are commonly worn by airport workers, nuclear plant workers and high security areas.

This is because of their non-metallic nature which allows workers to go through metallic detectors faster.

While both steel and composite toe boots provide toe protection, it is important to assess and understand your work environment.

This will enable you understand type of object handling, if passing through metal detectors is involved, level of protection needed, etc.

Armed with these knowledge, you can easily select the industrial work boots that perfectly fits your work environment.

What are the Types of Industrial Work Boots to buy?

Before investing in industrial work boots, you need to conduct work risk assessment in order to identify the right boot features.

Different hazards require different safety boots therefore you can buy the following types of industrial work boots:

 Industrial work boot
 Industrial work boot

Safety Toed Boots

These are industrial work boots with safety toe cap reinforcement to protect wearer’s toes while at work.

They provide protection against compression or impact that may be harmful to the toes.

Such industrial work boots are common in industries such as construction and heavy lifting industry.

The safety cap can be made of steel or composite non-metallic material.

Metatarsal Safety Shoes

Metatarsals are bones of the upper part of the foot and can be fractured by heavy rolling or dropping objects.

These industrial work boots have metatarsal guard in them to reduce impact from dropping hazards thus protecting the feet.

Construction site workers are some of the people who these types of safety boots.

Metal Instep Footwear

A metal plate is added in the midsole to provide protection against sharp objects such as protruding nails, metals, etc.

Electric Hazard Safety Shoes

Work station with exposed live wires or high voltage machinery can cause electric shock to workers if they wear wrong boots.

This type of industrial work boot is constructed from a non-conductive material such as rubber.

Additionally, the boots are able to direct the static electricity back into the ground thus preventing accumulation on the foot.

Why is OSHA Approval important for Industrial Work Boots?

Occupational safety and health agency (OSHA) is a government body that oversees employees’ safety at workplace by ensuring employer compliance.

OSHA, provides quality safety requirement guidelines for manufacturers of the industrial work boots that should be met.

They include;

  • ASTM F-2412-2005 (American Society for Testing and Material) which is a “Standard Test Method for Foot Protection”.
  • ASTM F-2413-2005 “Standard Specification for Performance Requirement for Protective Footwear”.
  • ANSI Z14-1999 “America National Standard for Personal Protection-Protection Footwear”

Are Industrial Work Boots Necessary in the Warehouse?

A typical Warehouse has products stacked high up in a bid to maximize on space utilization. These goods are put up and removed using equipment like forklifts.

Forklift operators need a good grip on the paddle hence wear industrial work boots.

Besides, accidents from dropping objects are highly likely from the high stacked goods and may lead to broken toes.

Sharp objects may also be found from broken objects and can lead to deep cuts.

Warehouse workers therefore, wear safety boots in order to protect their feet.

Certain warehouses store chemicals that may spill and cause skin burns, this can be prevented by wearing good quality safety boots.

What are CE Approved Industrial Work Boots?

CE approval is a manufacturer’s declaration that the boots meet the required European safety standards for the PPE.

It is a mark that assures customers that the industrial work boots purchased will be able to its job.https://www.youtube.com/embed/-bn_-2GF1jI?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque

How much is Industrial Boots Price?

Industrial boot price is dependent on the quality and comfort level of the protective footwear. Excellent quality industrial work boots with great comfort feature are very pricey while poor quality and less comfortable boots are cheaper.

Before investing in industrial work boots, it is important to completely evaluate the job environment and risks involved.

This will save you from buying industrial boots that are not suitable for your work environment.

What is the Importance of Comfort in Industrial Work Boots?

Industrial work boots should not only protect the worker’s foot but also provide comfort when worn.

Comfortable boots are roomy and allow toe movement, are breathable and moisture free, stable and provide proper foot support.

It is vital to provide comfortable boots to workers to enable them wear them without feeling fatigue, blisters or muscle pain.

This will ensure your employees remain productive throughout the shift.

Secondly, if the shoes are comfortable, workers will wear them without supervision.

Nobody like foot discomfort as a result of wrong shoes thus will do anything to avoid wearing such shoes.

This not only exposes them to work related dangers but also make you non-compliant to work safety rules.

Comfortable shoes prevent short or long term back, foot or knee issues that may arise from long term use of uncomfortable boots.

This gives you and your workers piece of mind as they are assured of their health care and boost their confidence.

What is Metatarsal Protection for Industrial Work Boots and Why is Important?

Metatarsal guard are a form of personal protection equipment found on the upper part of the boots.

They offer foot protection against heavy falling objects that may crush the foot upon impact.

Figure 8 Metatarsal Protection
Metatarsal Protection

What is SB rated Industrial Work Boots?

Industrial work boots have different safety footwear codes indicated in their data and specification sheets.

Each code represents a certain safety feature that make the boots fit for a particular work environment.

Safety basics (SB), the basic safety standard for safety shoes which mandates SB footwear to have 200 joules protective toe caps.

SB rated industrial work boots therefore have protective toe cap.

They may also have other additional safety features with different codes such as S1, S2, S3, S4 and S5.

How does S1 vs S2 vs S3 rated Industrial Work Boots compare?

Industrial work boots that have S1. S2, and S3 symbols represent safety features as follows:

  • S1: These industrial work boots meet the standard basic requirement of 200 joules toe cap protection. Besides the SB, they are also anti-static, have energy absorption in the heel portion and are resistant to fuel oil.
  • S2: Besides meeting S1 requirements, these safety boots also have water resistant upper.
  • S3: Such industrial work boots possess S2 safety characteristics, and an additional safety feature in the midsole to provide protection. The midsole insert material ranges from stainless steel, aluminum or Kevlar.

Do you provide Comfort Lining and Shock Absorption for Industrial Work Boots?


Comfort lining is the cushioning added to the foot bed to ensure maximum comfort to the wearer.

Shock absorption feature is designed in the midsole using different composite materials such as Kevlar, fiberglass, etc.

What are the ASTM requirements for Industrial Work Boots?

ASTM is American society for testing and material and a global organization develops and publishes the technical standards for safety footwear.

The specific ASTM that covers footwear safety requirement is ASTM F 2413 and is incorporated under OSHA 1910.136.

ASTM F 2413 defines the minimum performance, design, labeling, testing criteria that should be met to provide protection against workplace hazard. The requirements are classified into different properties to guide manufacturers.

Industrial work boots is not required to meet all the requirement but to specify the one they meet.

They include:

  • Toe Impact resistance
  • Toe compression impact
  • Metatarsal protection
  • Conductive features
  • Chain saw cutting resistance
  • Electric shock protection
  • Static dissipative features
  • Dielectric insulation
  • Puncture resistance

Can I get Antimicrobial and Anti-fatigue Treatment for Industrial Work Boots?

You can sprinkle antibacterial foot powders before wearing socks and boots to control sweat, odor and microbial build up in boots.

For anti-fatigue treatment, consider buying anti-fatigue industrial work boots that are extra comfortable due to added insole shock absorption feature.

What is the Best Size and Height for Industrial Work Boots?

Size for industrial work boots varies from one worker’s feet to the next.

It is advisable to involve your employees in choosing the boot sizes in order to get the right fit for each one of them.

Getting boots that are too big or very tight may lead to feet discomfort and even cause blisters.

Feet measurement should be done around midday because feet are likely to swell at this time of the day.

Get a slightly bigger than the normal size to allow for breathing space, wearing thick socks and addition of insulation inserts.

The height of the boots is determined by the working environment and the hazards involved.

15 to 20 cm tall boots come laced up and offer feet protection and ankle support for most working conditions.

What is the Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Industrial Work Boot Sizes?

Men’s industrial work boots come in smaller size than women’s boots.

The sizes ranges from 9 to 11 for women and 7 to 10 for men.

Which Characteristics Determine Support of Good Industrial Work Boot?

 Industrial work boot
Industrial work boot

Good quality industrial work boots should provide good support to the feet of the wearer. Good support equals comfort throughout the working day.

Industrial work boot offer support through midsole, shank, boot height, insole and outsole because of how they are made.

Is Moisture Property essential for Industrial Work Boots?


Wearing breathable industrial work boots allows air circulation thus preventing sweat and odor build up in the shoes.

This is vital as it prevents fungal attack to your feet thus maintain a healthy feet throughout your working hours.

What are the Various EN Standards for Industrial Work Boots?

Safety footwear including industrial work boots are manufactured and tested against the most recent European Standards; EN ISO 20345:2011.

Industrial boots designed before 2004 meet EN ISO 20345:2004 while those after 2007 meet EN ISO 20345:2007 respectively.

EN ISO 20345:2007: Defines the minimum standard safety requirement that industrial work boots are tested against.

EN ISO 20345:2011: Defines new safety specification features that boots should have to provide protection at workplace.

What are the Considerations in Buying Industrial Work Boots?

  • Sole: Plays a major role in protecting against slip and falls. Select the boots that perfectly suit the work environment.
  • Fit: A boot that is too big or too tight is not comfortable to wear and walk around in. employers are encouraged to have their employees’ feet measured before buying the boots.
  • Style: This depends on the working environment for the boots, cemented boots are great for heavy extreme condition workplace. Why is Boot Weight important to consider when choosing Industrial Work Boots?

Boot weight affect movement ability for workers whose job need them to move around. Wearing heavy boots will only slow them down thus affecting their productivity.

It is therefore advisable that you choose light weight boots made with lighter toe materials that is not steel.

Is there a Standard Specification for Lateral Stress on the Cap of Industrial Work Boots?

There is no specific machine to measure lateral stress hence it is impossible to measure it.

How many Types of Lacing Systems are there for Industrial Work Boots?

There are three types of lacing systems for industrial work boots namely, boa, traditional and speed lacing system.

Each of these lacing systems comes with its own advantage or disadvantages.

Are Industrial Work Boots Waterproof?

There are a class of industrial work boots that are waterproof. They have S4-S5 or WR or WRU symbol to indicate that they are indeed waterproof.

Waterproof industrial work boots are able to block water from penetrating the boot and leakage thus keeping your feet dry.

Such boots are constructed with a waterproof lining fabric attached to the sole thus making water penetration impossible.

The waterproof lining is attached in a way that also maintains the breathable feature of the shoe.

This feature is tested by applying water pressure of up to 1,000mm in hydrostatic testing.

What is the Difference Between Waterproof Work Boots and Water Resistant Work Boots for Industrial Applications?

Waterproof industrial work boots are able to keep your feet dry even in submerged water by blocking water penetration.

Water resistant industrial work boots can only block water penetration up to a certain degree beyond which the feet gets wet.

Waterproof boots have a lining membrane attached to the sole that block the penetration.

The water resistant boots are made using full grain leather or actioned leather which makes them water resistant.

Full grain leather achieve the resistance by polishing while actioned leather is coated with PU material that makes it water resistance.

To test for waterproof boots is 1000 mm while that of water resistance boots is 200mm pressure.

Waterproof industrial work boots are used in submerged water or snow work environment and are able to keep your feet dry.

Water resistant boots are used in light rain or not so wet environment.

How do I Care for Industrial Work Boots?

Proper care for industrial work boots will ensure they remain durable for long and also offer good protection to the feet.

  1. Wipe out dirt or dust every day after work.
  2. Use warm water, soap and soft cloth to clean the boots.
  3. Apply polish to leather based boots
  4. Aerate the boots for 12 hours after work.
  5. If possible, have two pairs of work boot and alternate them daily.
  6. Air the insoles regularly and replace worn out pairs.
  7. If the boots are wet, remove the insole and aerate then stuff newspaper inside them to absorb the moisture.
  8. Removed dented and worn out boots from distribution.
  9. Choose the right fitting boots
  10. Wear breathable socks to help with air circulation.

When Should I Replace Industrial Work Boots?

It is good to always wear industrial work boots that are in good condition to ensure complete safety of your feet.

However, the shoes also have a life cycle and should therefore be replaced whenever you need arises.

The following are signs that will prompt you to replace the boots.

  • Damaged toe cap due to impact or compression
  • Showing steel or composite toe cap as a result of worn out leather
  • Cracked, worn out or perforated sole

Wear and Tear

Occurs whenever any protective component starts to show for example, toe cap, midsole or metatarsal guard.

You should replace the boots if you see any of those boots components.

Damaged Toe

The toe cap protects the toe from any injuries from rolling or falling objects and is made from steel or composite.

If the steel is damaged in any way, the boots will cause discomfort to the wearer and should therefore before replaced.

Worn Out Sole

Soles offer slip resistance to the boots and help prevent falling. Worn out soles are smooth in appearance thus are very slipper in nature.


Leaking boots may expose workers to dangerous chemical spills such as acids or even expose them to cold conditions.

You should replace the boots immediately you realize they are leaking.

How do I Determine Durability of Industrial Work Boots?

 Industrial work boots
 Industrial work boots

When investing in industrial work boots, durability is one of the features that you should consider.

Durability is the ability of industrial boots to hold up to their job without wearing out, cracking or having punctures.

What makes a durable boots is the quality of material used and construction design applied.

For instance, Welt constructed boots are one of the most durable industrial work boots available.

They are made from full grain leather material that is stitched properly to the sole.

Furthermore, the sole has deep tread patterns which is antiskid, in good condition and provides great support and traction.

They are also waterproof, oil and chemical resistant and can serve for long before they are replaced.

What is the difference between OEM and ODM Industrial Work Boots?

OEM stands for original equipment manufacturing and it is whereby a company designs the shoes and contracts another to manufacture.

OEM industrial work boots retain their design and brand since it is exclusively available to the brand owner and manufacturing company.

ODM is original design manufacture, here a client can modify an existing shoe brand, then manufacture under their own brand name.

This method saves on time and resources that would have gone into research of another boot brand.

Differentiating the original boot brands becomes hard due similar boots in the market.

What Symbols should I look out for in Industrial Work Boots?

There are various symbols that appear in the data specification sheet to mean different safety features for in industrial work boots.

Some of the symbols that you will come across include:

S1 to S5 to represent the basic safety features with all of them having toe cap protection of 200 joules.

Others include:


AP-Ankle protection


CI-Cold Insulation

I-Electricity Insulation

M-Metatarsal protection

WR- water resistance

Do you samples for Industrial Work Boots?


We provide samples for clients to review the boost property before they can make their purchase or orders.

How do you Test the Safety Capacity of Industrial Work Boots?

Basic safety for industrial work boots is tested by applying an impact of different forces. A boot that remains in good condition for up to 200 joules passes the test.

What is your MOQ for Industrial Work Boots?

Minimum number of industrial work boots is 500-1000 PRS, the higher the order the easier it is to get better discounts.

Contact us today for all your industrial work boots needs.

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