The Most Common Problems With Safety Boots And Shoes

Safety boots and shoes common issues Clad Safety footwear UK

How To Avoid The The Most Common Problems With Safety Boots And Shoes 

The purpose of safety shoes or boots is to protect the feet from injury or damage due to the work you or your team carries out. Depending on the shoe or boot type, this can include protection against stepping on sharp objects, hot or cold temperatures, wet or slippery surfaces, and even exposure to corrosive chemicals. Safety boots or shoes may also be used to prevent long term musculoskeletal issues that can arise from spending long hours on your feet.

While protection against any of the above is of utmost importance, so too is finding footwear that will offer comfort and overall satisfaction for the wearer. Otherwise, employees are not just at risk of injury or damage to the foot, but as a company, it can also affect productivity on site, especially if the footwear is preventing the worker from carrying out their duties efficiently.

The trouble is, finding the perfect safety shoe or boot which ticks all the boxes isn’t always an easy feat. So, here is our top advice as safety footwear suppliers with over 30 years of experience to guide you on how to avoid some of the most common problems with safety boots and shoes.

Common Problems With Safety Footwear

  • Incorrect shoe type for the application
  • Poor fitting width or toe cap
  • Footwear feels very heavy to walk around in all day
  • Incorrect sole material not giving the needed properties (i.e. anti-static or anti-slip)
  • Lack of foot support in shoes contributing towards knee and back problems
  • Steel vs composite toe caps: One is usually better suited than another

As well as direct injury from falling or sharp objects, slips, trips or exposure to chemical materials, unsuitable footwear can also cause several long term conditions. This includes shin and tendon pain, corns, bunions and ingrown nails. Plus more serious health conditions including nerve damage, postural issues and lower back pain. All of which not only reduces employee productivity but can also contribute towards workplace sickness.

Although these are typical problems associated with footwear, as a manager or procurement team, your employees may face any other number of problems not listed above that are unique to your operation type. That’s why it’s important to work with an accredited, expert workwear and PPE supplier such as ourselves here at Clad Safety to either avoid these issues entirely, or remedy any past issues you’ve experienced with other suppliers.

Read more: Buying Safety Footwear

Choosing The Correct Safety Boots And Safety Footwear


While there is a lot to consider when choosing the correct safety footwear, ultimately what it comes down to is having an alignment between the wearer and the safety boot or shoe itself. This begins with a consideration of the types of threats that could apply within the environment.

The safety footwear properties to consider in response to the environment type include:

  • Anti-abrasion
  • Anti-perforation
  • Anti-slip
  • Anti-static
  • Dielectric
  • Metatarsal Protection
  • Protective Midsole
  • Protective Toecap
  • Sustainable
  • Vegan

Once these requirements have been established and matched to the correct safety boot or shoe type, the footwear itself should then offer a comfortable fit both in terms of sizing and width.

In addition, another consideration is the weight of the safety boot or shoe. For example, steel toe caps can add a lot of weight to safety boot, with composite providing an alternative in the form of lightweight safety footwear. Here at Clad Safety, we have over 120 lightweight safety boots to choose from.

Read more: Choosing Ultra Lightweight Safety Boots UK

Safety footwear brands at Clad Safety:

Did you know?: Opting for a trusted brand of safety boots and shoes is one of the best ways to avoid any previous issues you or your team may have experienced with safety footwear. As well as being compliant with health and safety standards, eg. EN 20345 S3 HI CI HRO SRC, you can also choose from a wide range of sizes and widths to ensure a great fit.

Clad Safety Footwear Types   

Shop all Clad Safety footwear

Do Safety Shoes Need To Be Worn All The Time?

The HSE advises that it ‘requires safety footwear to be worn where there is a real risk of injury’. What this means for each individual business is going to differ, since in some environments (i.e. construction or manufacturing) the risks may be continual. In others, workers may only require safety footwear for some of the time.

For any businesses in search of an alternative solution alongside safety footwear to ensure the continual comfort of employees, we also have a range of non-safety footwear that can create a smart and uniformed look across your team for any time when safety shoes are not required. Likewise, any of our lightweight work boots may also be suitable depending on the application needs.

Clad Safety – Safety Footwear Supplier UK

In summary, any issues you or your team are experiencing with safety footwear often comes down to the wrong type of boot or shoe being used for the application or environment, along with a poor fit. The quality of the footwear itself, including the materials and certifications also makes a huge difference, not least in being compliant with health and safety regulations.

In addition, in environments where safety boots and shoes do not need to be worn all the time, smart yet comfortable lightweight safety footwear alternatives can also be provided.

Are you a procurement manager, health and safety manager or part of a buying team from any large organisation, in search of the best safety footwear for your team?

If you are looking to make the best purchase decision for your team when it comes to safety footwear or any other kind of workwear or PPE, then Clad Safety is here to help. With over 30 years of experience, we serve various industries including Construction, Healthcare, Rail and Utilities. We even have our own dedicated workwear portal, CladServe making it easier than ever to fulfil any ongoing orders for all your workwear and PPE needs.

Want to discuss anything we’ve mentioned above or place an order with us? Clad Safety is a UK-based workwear and PPE supplier. Give us a call today on 0800 161 3661 or email us at [email protected] for further information.