You can find cheap work boots down the centre aisle of many low cost supermarkets. Perfectly fine for knocking around in the garden but not so good if you want to protect your feet from rain or hazardous conditions. There is a reason these boots are cheap!
If you work outdoors in extreme weather you need safety boots that protect you from everyday hazards, whilst keeping harsh weather elements out. Waterproof boots provide that added protection. You can stand in water for prolonged periods of time, without worrying about it getting in. The unique features that provide this benefit are built directly into the boots during the design and construction phase and then tested for compatibility in a range of ways.
It is highly unlikely that cheaper footwear options will have been through the same vigorous testing that is conducted by specialist safety footwear brands such as Rock Fall, Cofra, Blackrock, Lightyear, Magnum and Haix – testing that is absolutely necessary to ensure boot specifications meet the safety standards and protection that workers need and expect.
Whether you work in construction, utilities, rail, engineering etc it’s important to keep your feet dry, safe and comfortable. So what do you need to look for in a pair of waterproof boots? Here are just a few of the considerations Clad Safety has put together to help you decide:
Opt for boots that are made from either rubber or leather. Rubber provides great protection as the material is thick, flexible and difficult to penetrate. Its moldable properties allow it to be created into a seamless boot fairly easily.
As a natural material, leather holds up very well to moisture if treated properly. A wax sealant will typically be applied to prevent moisture from affecting the quality of the material but it will need re-applying regularly to ensure the leather stays protective.
On a standard work boot the shaft of the boot tends to extend a couple of inches above the ankle. If however, your job requires you to wade through water, consider a boot with a higher shaft that extends either to mid-calf or knee-height.
Weight isn’t one of the first considerations that people necessarily think about in a waterproof safety boot, but if your role consists of walking or moving a lot it should definitely be up there as one of your top three. Heavy footwear can be extremely uncomfortable and tiring whereas a lightweight, waterproof safety boot with composite toe caps and/or anti-fatigue footbeds would be a much better option.
When you step into water, the seam between the outsole and the boot’s uppers is often the first to be compromised. To provide true waterproofing, boots need to be constructed in such a way that completely seals the inside of the boot to create a water-tight seal.
Construction methods include using a solid piece of rubber to create a waterproof shell with sealed stitching or an alternative method is to use a Goodyear welt, which involves combining a separate piece of material that runs around the perimeter of the outsole alongside reinforced stitching, heavy-duty adhesives or even cork to create a water-tight seal.
Acting as a second layer of defence, waterproof membranes are often built into the wall of the boot and prevent moisture from getting in when the exterior is compromised.
Consider the safety risks and hazards your role entails to ensure you are buying boots with the correct safety features. Do you need protection from electrical hazards, chemicals or oil? Do you require a protective midsole or anti-static properties? Will you will be walking on uneven ground where additional ankle support or shock absorption qualities are required? If you’re not sure what you need, or what safety features are relevant for your employees, ask us!
The unique design imprinted onto the bottom of the outsole can offer slip-resistance and/or oil resistance. Boots that offer SRC slip ratings will be designed with lugs that grip the ground and have built-in channels to redirect water, offering improved stability and traction for slippery surfaces.
An aspect that is commonly overlooked but will have a direct impact on overall comfort levels. If you are working in a warm and wet environment your feet still need to breathe or they will become sweaty and uncomfortable leading to bacteria, bad odours, fungus and mould. Look for; breathable footbeds, antibacterial linings, pigmented leather etc.
Does your role expose you to cold climates? Look for a well-insulated boot with thermal properties to keep feet warm and healthy.
Your work boots are worn daily, often in extreme conditions so it’s worth investing a little extra for superior levels of durability. Choose a recognised brand with reputable products that will stand the test of time.
Opt for a boot that minimises environmental impact, conserves energy and preserves natural resources. Vegan footwear is constructed from advanced modern materials that are eco-friendly and feature throughout the entire design of the boot, including the accessories such as eyelets and laces.
With over 30 years of experience supplying specialist workwear and PPE for a wide variety of occupations, Clad Safety can advise on the range of footwear available, the suitability of each pair of boots for different work environments and the features and safety ratings associated with each design.
Here are just a few from the collection that we hold in stock. These brands appear regularly on best review guides and it’s no surprise why. When it comes to waterproof safety boots, you get what you pay for so it’s worth splashing out that little extra (no pun intended), your feet will thank you for it!
Clad Safety has been operating for over 30 years and takes pride in the excellent service that we offer to our customers. Our product range, combined with expert technical advice allows us to offer valuable workwear solutions. For further information or to find out more on how Clad Safety can support your PPE needs please contact our Customer Service Team on 0800 161 3661 or email [email protected].