Whether you’re perched up high on a scaffolding rig, toiling down a mineshaft or involved in any occupation which adheres to safety regulations, chances are you wear safety boots. Most people wear them because they’re regulatory and don’t give much thought to how they came about, what to consider when buying your next pair and more importantly where to get them from. So, strap up your boots, you’re going to boot camp.
Contrary to popular belief, safety shoes haven’t been around for centuries, which is ironic considering the amount of time labour-intensive industries have been around. During the industrial revolution, there was very little regard for workers health and safety rights; mainly because it was often easier and cheaper to just replace an injured worker. At the turn of the twentieth century the rights of workers were acknowledged and laws pertaining to compensation were instated. The resulting compensation stipulations were enough to coerce large companies into making it mandatory for employees to wear protective clothing. Decades later, a trendy version of the safety boot was popular amongst the skinhead subculture (think Dr. Martens) of the 1960’s and the Punk subculture of the 1980’s.
Although all safety boots are produced to serve one specific purpose, not all safety boots produced cater to the specific needs of the individual wearing them or the industry they work in. Therefore, it is important to consider the necessary protection needed in the specific industry in which you work and select the right type of safety boots to suit your needs. As a guideline, the three things to consider when purchasing your next pair of safety shoes are:
When buying safety shoes, material is of paramount importance. Leather still remains the popular choice of material for safety shoe manufacturers and with good reason too; leather is preferred because of its longevity and protection. Shelling out on a pair of genuine leather safety shoes may be hefty at first but the long-term benefits outweigh the initial costs.
The durability your safety shoes depends directly on the materials used and the construction of the shoe itself. Considering type of environments, you’ll be wearing these shoes in, it is important to purchase shoes which will withstand even the toughest conditions ensuring longevity. More often than not, the quality of a safety shoe can be judged by simply looking at the workmanship undertaken on the product.
Gone are the days when safety shoes were so heavy that you felt like you were doing a light calf workout every time you took a step due to the sheer weight of them. Nowadays, manufacturers make use of composite materials which make the sole lighter without sacrificing safety standards. Thanks to advances in technology, you can invest in lighter safety shoes knowing you’re fully protected against occupational hazards.
Now that you’ve got the low down on how safety boots came about and how they were the inspiration behind iconic subcultures and what to consider when purchasing your next pair, trust Men’s Shoe Centre to get the job done. Pop into one of our various MSC outlets or shop online and enjoy the perks of free delivery to anywhere in South Africa.