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1 From 16

Work shoes - The right protection for your feet

Good, comfortable and durable work shoes are of high importance in numerous professions and are an important component of work clothing. Craftsmen and professionals in industry must protect themselves from many dangers. This is stated, for example, by the Employer's Liability Insurance Association for Industry, Construction and GaLa-Bau in its regulations. But also fire departments, THW and rescue services depend on appropriate protective work shoes to ensure optimal safety in various situations. On the other hand, certain hygiene standards must be met, for example, in the health sector, in kitchens or similar work areas. In forestry, too, non-slip shoes in particular are required.

Work shoes are divided into safety classes

The German Occupational Safety and Health Regulations (Berufsgenossenschaftliche Regel für Sicherheit und Gesundheit bei der Arbeit 191) and GUV-R 191 define a number of standardized categories. With the help of these categories, protective work shoes are divided into S1, S2, S3 or similar classes, for example. The most important safety classes (also called protection classes) are and have the following characteristics:

  • S1 has a protective toe cap made of metal, mostly steel or plastic - S1P builds on class S1 and is additionally puncture-resistant
  • S2 includes toe protection like S1 and is additionally a waterproof work shoe
  • S3 have toe protection, waterproofing and additional puncture resistance
  • S4 stands for waterproof boots with toe protection
  • S5 corresponds to S3 class for boots

A work shoe that fits properly

Before you decide on a specific work shoe, you should know the exact requirements of your profession for the footwear. The shoe must not only fit the foot, but also the job description and work area. Depending on the profession, different properties are required, so that penetration protection is not necessary everywhere. In the catering industry, for example, non-slip soles are particularly important. So find out about the following types of shoes for your industry:

  • Safety half shoes
  • Safety boots
  • Half boots
  • Low shoes
  • Ankle high boots
  • Safety sandals

Which of these different types of work shoes are suitable for you? 

Safety boots must have a protective cap in the toe area to protect against falling objects, for example, and be particularly slip-resistant to provide the wearer with optimum grip during his work in the forest or on the construction site. Some models also offer special ankle protection or protect against injuries caused by chainsaws. Safety boots for rescue services, on the other hand, must have a zipper that allows the wearer to quickly put on or take off the shoes.

In the doctor's office or in laboratories, white safety shoes with an open heel area have established themselves, which also offer good shock absorption. In this way, you can also walk back and forth or stand for longer. In the catering industry, work shoes with a slip-resistant sole are also appropriate to avoid slipping on grease or washing-up liquid lying on the floor. In addition, safety shoes with such a sole will make it easier for you to walk safely on tiles and other slippery floors. Slip resistance on various surfaces is also of great importance for rescue services, THW and firefighters. In some professions, a midsole is also mandatory, which further increases safety.

Another feature besides the protection class is the material of the safety shoes: many are made of leather, textile or a mixture of both. By using these materials, the shoes remain breathable. There are also regular-width, extra-wide or even narrow work shoes to accommodate different foot types and fit comfortably. This ensures an ideal fit and comfort. Without custom-fit work shoes, malpositions or foot pain are pre-programmed. However, these can be easily corrected with customized footwear. To this end, DGUV regulations 112-191 list the various adaptation options without the work shoe losing its protective effect. One example of this is special inserts or insoles.

Orthopedic work shoes for aching feet

ELTEN has employed its own orthopedic shoemaker. This person addresses the footwear already in the development stage and creates the basic prerequisite for a good work shoe in the orthopedic sense. According to his findings, enough people work for years in unsuitable safety shoes. For example, people who have stronger feet than average and therefore the fit of the shoes is not ideally guaranteed. Often, the problem is that the wearer is not aware that his feet are different, and every time he buys a new shoe, he has another negative experience. Thus, the work shoe is synonymous with pain, the wear acceptance tends to zero.

A properly fitting footbed can also significantly increase the wearing comfort of the protective work shoes. Ideally, this footbed adapts over time, the wearer. From here, you can take advantage of the service of the German shoe manufacturer ELTEN and have the feet of the employees measured by an expert. With the ERGO ACTIVE series, there is a multi-width system that caters to the appropriate foot type of the wearer and also offers appropriately wide, comfortable work shoes for wide feet. In order to be able to walk as long and comfortably as possible, some work shoes also offer a specially designed heel area that allows energy absorption. Too large footwear, on the other hand, increases the risk of twisting or tripping.

The protective effect of protective work shoes

These special, resistant professional shoes not only protect the foot from heat, cold or even electronic shocks, but also have toe protection caps. These are usually made of steel, plastic or aluminum. The special protective caps protect your toes from injuries caused by falling objects or mechanical force. Many safety shoes also prevent the passage of water, are antistatic or protect against chemicals.

In addition to the steel toe cap, another feature of many work shoes is the puncture-resistant sole, which protects the wearer from broken glass or even nails. You can tell whether your desired shoes have penetration protection by the respective class of the work shoe. Breathable work shoes provide additional comfort, which is particularly advantageous for daily use.

Sporty sturdy work shoes

The requirements are exceeded again and again by our leading top brands such as ELTEN and Haix with highly functional developments. To meet not only the regulations but also the customer demand of craftsmen and workers for sporty work shoes, the new models from the foot protection are light, sporty and yet robust in sneaker design. The different designs and safety classes help to ensure that the necessary protection is provided for every job and activity.

Allowances for work shoes from the employer

Employers often provide allowances for shoes and work clothing. Here, the tax law speaks in a healthy measure of business expenses, so that the employer can claim these additional payments for safety shoes for tax purposes. Whether the boss pays something in addition or with larger enterprises the readiness is present, you should inquire best directly with your company. As a small relief for the company customers we offer collection slips, with which subsidies of safety shoes can be settled more easily. This way the invoice processing is done directly by the company, but the goods can be tried on and taken away directly at GenXtreme in the Kaufbeuren store.