It was not that long ago that safety boots were purely a functional item. Despite being an essential part of many worker’s everyday workwear, the old designs were generally uncomfortable, extremely heavy, and available in one colour only, which was black. Fast forward to the present day and things could not be more different. Gone are the safety boots of old, in their place a host of new lightweight and ultra-lightweight models of composite and steel toe-capped safety boots for both men and women, lightweight safety trainers and safety shoes, which are now also available in a range of colours.
Investment into the research and development of new materials and components combined with modern production techniques have revolutionised the safety boot industry. Designs now focus on the wearer’s comfort and feature innovative solutions to minimise impact and protect the back and legs when working for long hours. More importantly, they are equipped with numerous safety features that will satisfy the toughest of work environments and ensure compliance with different safety standards.
Workers now have a vast range of options to choose from as the marketplace has become flooded with different brands. But how do you know which ones to choose? What distinguishes a good purchase from a not so good one?
The most direct solution would be to always buy from a recognised workwear provider who can advise on the range of products available, their suitability for different work environments and the features associated with each design. Clad Safety stock a large selection of lightweight safety boots, trainers and shoes sourced from reputable workwear brands such as Lightyear, DeWalt, Magnum, Rockfall, Cofra, Haix, and Blackrock to name but a few. Prices vary to suit different budgets, but it would be fair to say they have something for every pocket.
From just £30 plus VAT, the Lightyear Utility Boot is a great all-rounder for any worker involved in groundworks. Ideal for multi-purpose protection this ultra-lightweight non-metal, utility safety boot has a heavy-duty scuff cap for added durability and rigid instep area to aid digging. The sole is slip resistant to SRC, heat resistant and fuel oil resistant. 100% waterproof the boot also features an energy absorbing heel to reduce foot fatigue and provide lasting comfort throughout the day.
If you require Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) certification then the TeslaDRI ESD Safety Boot will provide all you need. Non-metallic with a protective toecap and midsole, the TeslaDRI is both comfortable and lightweight. It has been developed using a range of specialist materials including Sympatex®, which can be found in the water repellent climate upper and moisture wicking, mesh fabric lining and Ortholite® – a breathable footbed. The boot also has enviable shock absorbing properties due to its dual density EPR rubber outsole.
Responsive to the ever-changing needs of modern business, multi-award-winning manufacturers Rock Fall also offer a non-metallic composite boot. Flint, a full-grain leather option is priced from £48.48 per pair and available in Black or Honey. The boot has a protective toecap and midsole and is both comfortable and lightweight due to the shock absorbing dual density EVA nitrile rubber outsole and Activ-Step® PU anti-fatigue comfort footbed.
Conforming to safety standards: EN20345 S3 WR HRO SRC, the Blackrock Tactical Emergency Services Boot offers solid all-round protection whilst still being lightweight, durable, and comfortable. Fully waterproof, this hiker style boot features a side zip for ease of removal and Blackrock’s market leading slip resistant, HSL Grip 4 rated Hexagrip sole. Heat resistant to 300 degrees C the sole is also anti-static and oil resistant and padded with an Easistep PU and mesh insole for comfort.
If it is a ladies lightweight safety boot you are looking for then you will not be disappointed in the range Clad Safety offers. Voted not only as one of the lightest but also one of the most comfortable, the Wanda Ladies Safety Boot offers anti-torsion support and is a steal at just £34.10 (plus VAT) per pair. Made with quality water repellent Italian leather this boot features a discrete nod to femininity with it’s pink stitching. The internal lining is made from SANY-DRY® 100% polyester – a three-dimensional fabric that is breathable, antibacterial and abrasion resistant. It absorbs and releases moisture ensuring feet stay comfortable and dry. The EVANIT footbed, comprising an EVA and nitrile compound has a high bearing capacity and variable thickness of 12mm, 8mm and 3.8mm. Thermoformed, anatomic, punched and coated with highly breathable fabric the footbed is also antistatic due to a specially treated surface.
Designed using a women’s cast, the Intrepid IGS Women’s Hiker Boot provides the optimum fit for female feet. Metal-free and extremely hardwearing the boot offers ankle impact protection and features a tough scuff cap, bellows tongue and soft, padded ergonomic collar. An Energyse insole provides superior shock absorbance and cushioning for the whole foot whilst an innovative IGS rubber sole and non-snagging eyelet system ensure superb grip and prevention from the risk of trips respectively.
A little more expensive but popular for its superior performance the Haix Airpower XR1 Waterproof Front Zip Boot is the ideal choice for those employed within the rescue and emergency services. From £188.75 (plus VAT) per pair, the boots offer outstanding support and optimum levels of safety and stability for those that are on their feet all day. Conforming to safety standards: EN 20345 S3 HRO HI CI WR SRC, the boots feature CROSSTECH technology which prevents fluids from entering the footwear thereby protecting the wearer from viruses and bacteria. An advanced climate system includes an Ortholite® breathable footbed and specially pigmented leather to reflect sunlight and keep feet cool. Certified orthopaedic insoles and a shock absorbing heel ensure maximum comfort even on the longest of days.
With superior comfort in mind Clad Safety has selected a few of our most popular comfortable lightweight safety boot options. From £69.65 (plus VAT) per pair the DeWalt Rigger Boot for men is certainly worthy of featuring in our top ten. This robust safety boot has a brown full grain leather upper and a durable Goodyear welted rubber outsole providing slip resistance to SRA standards. A specialised insole, padded cuff and padded ankle, combined with TPU heel support ensure feet are looked after throughout the day with added protection offered through a steel toe cap and midsole.
As well as being one of our lightest models, Blackrock also feature on our list of most comfortable boots, this time with the Tactical High Leg Commander Boot. From £66.45 (plus VAT) per pair this high leg, non-safety occupational boot is fully waterproof, features a side zip, waterproof leather upper and lightweight metal-free composite midsole. This boot also benefits from the market leading HSL Grip 4 rated Hexagrip sole giving superior levels of slip resistance.
Available in sizes for both men and women, the Magnum Strike Force 8.0 Waterproof Side Zip Uniform Boot is an ideal option for police, security, and other uniformed personnel. Due to its waterproof and breathable boot membrane it has also proved a great option for paintball and airsoft enthusiasts. Whilst priced a little higher at £105.95 (plus VAT) per pair, it is easy to see why. The high traction slip and oil resistant SRC MICHELIN outsole offers maximum grip whilst the compression moulded RECOIL midsole absorbs impact. These features combined with an M-P.A.C.T. Response insole provide maximum shock absorption and comfort throughout the day. Ankles are also protected with this model via an Exogel blunt trauma side impact which, whilst energy absorbing, remains lightweight and flexible for ultimate comfort.
At the lower end of the pricing scale the Lightyear Ankle Boot is also available in sizes for both men and women. From £23.25 (plus VAT) per pair, the boots offer excellent value for money, and it is easy to see why they have become a recognised best-seller. Ultra-lightweight, the composite Lightyear Ankle Boot weighs only 720 grams per boot, based on a UK size 8 (that’s 1.59 lbs for those of you not yet converted). The boot features smooth, water resistant leather uppers, a padded tongue and collar, full footbed and extra wide toe cap for lasting comfort. A shock absorbent heel and slip resistant, dual density PU sole complete the line-up to provide excellent all-round protection.
For the full range of lightweight and ultra-lightweight safety boots please refer to https://cladsafety.co.uk/product-category/safety-footwear
Clad Safety has been operating for over 30 years and we take pride in the excellent service that we offer to our customers. To find out more on how Clad Safety can support your PPE needs please contact us on 0800 161 3661.