Work boots are a must-have for all tradies but, with a range of options out there, which boot is right for you?
In most industries there will be a certain degree of site-related hazards, and foot injuries are among the most common suffered by tradies in Australia. To that end, safety boots are a must-have and it’s important that you and your employees do some homework to ensure you’re wearing the best boot for the terrain and environment you’re in.
Generally speaking, safety footwear should help to reduce foot injuries as a result of falling, rolling or cutting objects; penetration through sole or uppers; friction or pressure blisters; explosions or electrical hazards; contact with chemicals, heat and molten metals; and slipping.
While safety boots may not seem particularly high-tech, companies in Australia and abroad have invested considerably in boot technology in order to offer tradies the best comfort and protection possible. In some cases you might be required, under the Work Health and Safety Laws, to provide/pay for boots or safety shoes for employees, as they are considered personal protective equipment.
Work footwear comes in three different categories – safety footwear, protective footwear and occupational footwear – and are subject to Australian Standards AS/NZS 2210.1, 2210.2, 2210.3, 2210.4, and 2210.5.
Safety footwear must give protection against impact when tested at an energy level of at least 200J and against compression when tested at a compression load of at least 15kN.
Protective footwear certified to this standard must be fitted with steel or composite toe caps that are designed to give protection against impact when tested at an energy level of at least 100J and against compression when tested at a compression load of at least 10kN.
Finally, occupational footwear that has the qualities of this standard incorporates features to protect the wearer from injuries that could arise through accidents. It is not required to have a protective toe cap.
Let’s check out some of the latest work boots that will keep you and your employees one step ahead.
Dewalt – Procomfort Range.
DeWalt’s completely redesigned safety footwear range benefits tradies seeking all-day, long-term comfort, as well as providing extreme durability, stability and protection on the job.
With five designs in the range, the boots are lightweight but supportive.
One of the key components of DeWalt’s boots is the three-layer sole that includes an injection-moulded performance polyurethane midsole and insole, and state-of-the-art memory foam to offer optimal foot and arch support and cushioning, resulting in all-day and long-term comfort.
The rubber out-sole is non-slip to the highest slip resistance C rating, including a 300°C heat resistance rating.
Each style is made from water-resistant premium full grain nubuck leather with a padded ankle support and wide fit ergonomic steel toe-cap.
Oliver – All-Terrain 65 Range.
Designed with a mining focus, these 100% waterproof CORDURA boots are ideal for the building and construction, agriculture, chemical, oil and gas and quarrying industries.
Launched in May of this year, the AT-65 products start at RRP $220 and incorporate Oliver Footwear engineering advancements and new features such as the full CORDURA vamp for abrasion and caustic resistance and the Q-Flex non-metallic penetration protection insole. The new, improved SAFETYcell consists of toe bumper, vamp and heel guard, providing all round foot protection.
Founded in 1887, Oliver Footwear is based in Ballarat, where it had its origins in gold mining, producing tough, durable boots for those workers. Oliver continues to carry out regular research and development to meet the needs and demands of workplace safety requirements.
WA-based footwear manufacturer Steel Blue has released three new designs, the Argyle Zip and Parkes Zip for men, and the Southern Cross Zip Scuff for ladies.
Using a composite toe cap, Steel Blue’s boots are airport friendly. The Argyle is the choice of FIFO, construction and oil and gas workers, while the hiker-style Parkes is a top choice for the transport, logistics and warehouse industries.
Steel Blue boots feature quick release side zips and scuff guard for extra toe protection. They are entirely non-metallic and electrically non-conducive, and provide insulation against heat and cold. Featuring Trisole Comfort Technology, Ortho Rebound Footbed and supple letter, all products are backed by a 100% Comfort Guarantee.
All Steel Blue boots are endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association.
Based in Tasmania, Blundstone is a family-owned company that has been delivering safety solutions since 1870.
The company has recently expanded its range of women’s safety boots with three lightweight, airport-friendly designs. Ranging in price from $150 to $190, the boots are suitable for a variety of industries including: transport, warehouse, courier, retail, security and hospitality workers.
The 884 is a black jogger design with elasticated laces for personalised fit; the 885 zip sided hiker includes added ankle support, while the 886 is a slip-on uniform shoe with a water-resistant leather upper.
Each style has been developed and tested to provide maximum comfort and protection for the female foot. All boots have composite toe caps and are completely metal free.
The Sydney-based family-owned company has been producing footwear since 1930. It has recently released a new stone-coloured design of its ZipSider boot.
Mongrel was the first company in Australia to launch a ZipSider, now one of the category leaders across the country. A new high-spec ZipSider recently launched include a Vibram rubber outsole and Dri-Freeze lining that dissipates heat from the foot and cools on contact.
Mongrel boots, which retail for between $120 and $220, are used in a variety of industries including mining, farming, security and hospitality, general construction and trades, warehousing and leisure.
ZipSider boots are designed for comfort, safety and durability, incorporating the AirZone comfort system, OrthoTec foot beds with arch support, and leather uppers. Mongrel continues to manufacture its stock in Australia.