What are women’s safety shoes and how do you choose the best types? Find the answer below including the features that make them different.
A few years back, women’s safety shoes were almost unheard of. Not anymore today! With more women taking up industrial jobs, the demand for ladies’ safety shoes keeps soaring. Manufacturers are also increasingly designing safety shoes for women working in different job places. In this article, we will take a look at what women’s safety shoes are, the features they come with, and how to select the best types.
What are Women’s Safety Shoes?
Women’s safety shoes are a type of protective footwear designed for women walking or working in places that present foot hazards. These include outdoor or indoor environments but mostly involve job places such as manufacturing facilities, construction sites, and other industrial settings.
Ladies’ safety shoes come with features that make them suitable for a woman’s foot anatomy– generally slim with a higher arch, wide forefoot, and smaller heel. Additionally, manufacturers often make these shoes in attractive styles to suit the feminine taste. More about how safety shoes for ladies are different below.
Men vs. Women’s Safety Shoes
There are several variations when it comes to men’s and women’s safety shoes. Since women’s feet differ from those of men, safety shoes for ladies come with features to cater to these anatomical differences. Based on that, protective footwear for women in various workplaces generally has these features.
Women’s Safety Shoes are smaller
To start with, women’s safety shoes generally tend to be smaller than those made for men, with a 1.5 size difference in most cases. Additionally, women’s shoes are lower-cut at the ankle. Not all safety shoes for ladies are low-cut, though, as the design depends on the required type of protection.
Women’s Safety Shoes are Narrower
A woman’s foot is generally narrower, particularly in the heel. As a result, manufacturers design women’s safety shoes to fit this description. So they use a last or shoe mold that’s based on the general shape of a woman’s foot. This helps to ensure a proper fit and prevents problems such as slips and blisters, among other footwear problems.
Women’s Safety Shoes are lighter
Safety shoes for women are commonly made with less bulky designs. That’s because a woman’s ankle and leg muscles are not as strong as those of men and will not support a heavy pair of shoes. In other words, most women’s safety shoes will feel lighter when compared to men’s.
Women’s Safety Shoes Arch Support
The Achilles tendon in a woman’s foot is typically higher (and smaller), so safety shoes for women need to offer more arch support than those designed for men. Without this feature, the shoes would feel uncomfortable and subject the female worker to footwear related problems.
Women’s Safety Shoes are More Stylish
When it comes to women safety shoes, fashionable models are a popular choice. The female worker must maintain her sense of style, which is why manufacturers consider additional features after comfort and safety. Fashionable safety shoes for women often come with brighter colors and other stylish features such as attractive patterns.
Types of Women’s Safety Shoes
Safety shoes for women are available in different types, just as there are different types for men. That means various protection capabilities such as slip resistance, steel or composite toes, waterproofness, EH-rated or ESD safety shoes, and so on. The different types of safety shoes and safety boots for women include the following.
Steel Toe Safety Shoes for Women
Also known as women’s steel toe safety shoes, these types of work shoes have a protective cap above the toes to shield your feet from falling or rolling objects. This list also includes steel-toed boots, women work boots, and similar footwear. Steel-toed shoes are a good choice if you work in a factory, warehouse, or construction sites.
Composite Toe Shoes for Women
These types of safety shoes are also known as non-metallic since they do not use any metal in them (unless there’s a steel heel, of course). Lighter than steel-toed shoes, composite safety shoes for women best suit situations that do not involve handling heavy objects but that require the wearer to move a lot.
Other Types of Women’s Safety Shoes
Other types of women’s safety shoes and women’s work boots or safety boots include those listed below:
- Anti-static safety shoes for women working in places that experience an accumulation of electrostatic electricity or places where buildups of electrostatic charges are unwanted.
- Chemical resistant safety shoes and boots for those working around chemicals such as lab workers and factory employees.
- Electrical hazard safety shoes for female electricians who are exposed to high-voltage wires and circuits or machinery.
- Oil-resistant safety shoes for women whose feet are exposed to oil, especially those employed in the oil and gas industry.
- Nonslip safety shoes for women who have to walk on smooth and slippery or wet surfaces or roofers who want to prevent slips during
- Puncture-proof work shoes and boots for those who are exposed to sharp objects such as nails or pieces of glass at the workplace.
- Waterproof safety shoes for outdoor or wet indoor environments. Waterproof safety shoes are rated higher than water-resistant shoes for waterproofness.
- Women’s safety shoes with metatarsal protection for those in job situations that expose their feet uppers to danger.
Tips for Choosing the Best Safety Shoes for Women
Today, there are huge ranges of comfortable safety shoes for women and that can greatly help in keeping both your feet and mind at ease. They’re usually crafted with a woman’s foot in mind, and are more ergonomically designed than regular ones. However, you cannot expect any shoe to fit your needs.
So how do you select the best safety shoes for women in high-risk workplaces? Below are selection tips to guide you.
1. Remember, the best women’s safety shoes are those that fit the job description: a steel toe if you work around very heavy machinery and objects, chemical-resistant shoes if you work in a lab, and so on. The wrong footwear can mean compromised safety, discomfort, or even injury caused by the shoe itself.
2. If your work involves standing in one place for hours or lifting and moving objects, choose safety shoes that come with insoles specially designed to absorb the shock of standing for extended periods. This will prevent any kind of back pain or muscular strain on your legs.
3. Always consider the standards that your safety shoes must comply with: OSHA/ASTM standards if in the US and EN ISO 20345 standard if in Europe. Other common safety footwear standards include Canada’s CSA standard and Singapore’s SS513 standard. As far as possible, follow the safety shoe guidelines laid out by your employer.
4. Before buying a safety shoe, check whether the material fits the ruggedness of the job environment. Leather women safety shoes or women work boots suit most situations and are both comfortable and breathable.
5. Make sure the shoes are lightweight enough. A woman’s foot and leg are not as strong as those of men, and low weight is paramount. Do not trade for safety though, especially when looking for extra protection such as when choosing construction shoes for ladies.
6. Choose comfortable footwear. Comfortable safety shoes for ladies are made with breathable uppers, soft lining, and cushiony insoles, among other features such as proper size and weight.
7. Ensure that the interior of safety shoes has enough space around your toes and even the cushioning is up to your mark. The best safety shoes for women should fit snugly.
8. Do not forget durability. Ensure the materials used in the construction of the safety shoes are sturdy and high-quality. A safety shoe that lasts long provides a good return on investment.
9. If you are a lady who loves to wear trendy footwear, choose fashionable women’s safety shoes that look beautiful. However, do not choose cute safety shoes over those that offer comfort and safety. Always choose work safety first.
10. Lastly, consider the safety shoe price. Safety footwear is available in various types and qualities as per their design, material, and durability as well as the brand. High-quality safety shoes for ladies, just like those for men, come with a higher price tag.
If you’re a woman, selecting the right type of women’s safety shoes requires extra keenness. The right footwear will mean a safer workplace, comfort, and even style. So it’s important to take some time to review your options and purchase something you can wear with confidence. Whether you need women’s steel toe shoes or non-metallic alternatives, there are lots of great options available in the market today. Only be sure to check out your prospective shoes for fit, comfort, durability, and compliance with industry-specific safety standards.