What you need to know about safety footwear
Many of our clients work in jobs that require a type of shoe that minimises the risk of damage to the foot and ankle.
Safety shoes are a type of shoe that has specific features that protect the feet from injury.
What are the risks of wearing the wrong shoes at work?
Wearing shoes that aren’t appropriate can lead to damage or injury to the feet and ankles.
Injury at work can be a frustrating and stressful event because it results in pain, disability, time off work, injury rehabilitation and loss of income.
The wrong work shoes can increase your injury at work.
Having an injury can prevent you from doing the things you love such as playing sports, shopping with friends and spending time with your family.
This is why buying the right shoe is very important for your health and wellbeing, not just your safety at work.
What to look for in a good safety shoe
It is important to consider the risks in each work environment and find a shoe that has the appropriate features that will keep you safe in your job.
Different jobs have different risks and therefore require unique safety features.
Some of these features include:
- Penetration resistance (toe caps, soles of shoes)
- Electrical resistance (rubber soles)
- Water/Chemical resistance (leather upper/rubber outsole)
- Midfoot protection (guard to protect the midfoot)
- Slip-resistant (grippy outsole)
For example, people working in cleaning roles regularly work on slippery surfaces and will need a slip-resistant outsole, whereas a builder is often around heavy machinery and objects and needs a shoe with a strong toe guard to keep their feet safe.
Making sure you have the right shoe for your risks is really important to keep you safe at work and free from injuries.
Safety shoes with toe caps
Best places to buy safety shoes and why
There are a few different stores around that stock a great range of safety shoes.
It's worth contacting the store to see if they have the type of shoe that you are looking for to save yourself time.
Here are a few that we recommend:
- Totally workwear - They have a very large range of safety shoes, including shoes approved by the Australian Podiatry Association (APodA). Each shoe endorsed by the APodA goes through a strenuous assessment by a panel of independent podiatrists to ensure the customer is getting the highest quality product for their feet.
Although these are ApodA approved, it is still important to get fitted by a professional to ensure they are the best shoe for you.
- Work locker - Worklocker is one of Australia’s largest retailers of Workwear, Corporate Wear, PPE and Safety and has a variety of different brands.
- Web safety - South Australian company owned by the original family members, with a focus on delivering quality products and professional service.
- The Athlete's Foot - Over 130 stores in Australia with trained technicians in shoe fitting. They also have different widths available for wider feet.
My top 6 tips when buying safety shoes
- It's important to try the shoes on in-store and have some time to walk around in them.
- When trying shoes on, make sure you are wearing the same socks you would wear with the shoes.
- If you have orthotics or are planning on getting some, ensure the shoes are able to accommodate them.
- Shoes that have laces and zip will hold themselves most securely on your feet. Avoid slip-on safety shoes where possible.
- Try shoes on at the end of the day because your feet can swell up.
- If you struggle with finding the right shoe, book a time to see one of our Podiatrists for help.
Have your feet measured for the best fit
We are here to help
If you are struggling with foot pain at work or have questions about the right sorts of shoes for your workplace, the first thing to do is book an appointment with one of the Podiatrists at Complete Podiatry for a comprehensive assessment of your feet and footwear needs.
Once this is done, we will develop a structured management plan that outlines our best advice for your footwear needs to help you get back to work safely and comfortably.
Just call us on 8330 0004 or book online.
I'll love to talk to you about how we can help you build an amazing life from the feet up!
Podiatrist at Complete Podiatry