The ProFit Tarantula safety boot with kevlar midsole

Stainless Steel Midsoles Verses Anti Puncture Material (Kevlar) Midsoles

Choosing between a stainless steel midsole and an anti-puncture material midsole can be a crucial decision when it comes to selecting the right safety boots for your specific needs. Both options offer unique benefits and advantages, but understanding the differences between them is essential for making an informed decision. In this blog post, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of stainless steel midsoles and anti-puncture material midsoles to help you determine which option is better suited for your safety footwear requirements.

Stainless steel midsoles have been a traditional choice in safety boots for many years, offering excellent puncture resistance and protection against sharp objects. The stainless steel material is extremely durable and provides maximum strength and stability, making it an ideal choice for environments where the risk of puncture injuries is high. Stainless steel midsoles are also highly effective in protecting the foot from sharp nails, glass shards, and other hazardous objects that may be present in industrial and construction settings.

One of the key advantages of stainless steel midsoles is their reliable puncture resistance, which is achieved through the dense and rigid nature of the material. Stainless steel is capable of withstanding high levels of pressure and force, making it an effective barrier against puncture injuries. This level of protection is particularly important for workers who are exposed to sharp objects or debris on a regular basis, as it helps to prevent serious foot injuries in hazardous environments.

In addition to their puncture resistance, stainless steel midsoles also offer excellent durability and longevity. They are highly resistant to wear and tear, maintaining their protective qualities over an extended period of time. This makes stainless steel midsoles a cost-effective investment for workers who require durable and reliable safety footwear for daily use in challenging conditions.

However, there are some drawbacks to stainless steel midsoles that should be considered when selecting safety boots. One of the main disadvantages is the weight of the material, which can make the boots heavy and cumbersome to wear for long periods of time. Stainless steel midsoles are also rigid and inflexible, which may limit the overall comfort and flexibility of the footwear, especially for workers who are required to be on their feet for extended periods.

The ProFit Tarantula safety boot with kevlar midsole

The ProFit Tarantula safety boot with kevlar midsole

On the other hand, anti-puncture material midsoles offer a lightweight and flexible alternative to stainless steel midsoles, providing similar levels of puncture resistance without the drawbacks of weight and rigidity. These midsoles are typically made from advanced materials such as Kevlar, composite fibers, or high-density textiles, which are designed to be strong, lightweight, and flexible while still offering excellent puncture protection.

One of the key advantages of anti-puncture material midsoles is their lightweight construction, which allows for greater comfort and agility when wearing safety boots. Workers can move more freely and comfortably in boots with anti-puncture midsoles, reducing fatigue and discomfort during long hours on the job. The flexibility of these materials also enhances the overall fit and comfort of the footwear, allowing for a more natural range of motion.

Another benefit of anti-puncture material midsoles is their thermal insulation properties, which help to keep the feet warm and comfortable in cold environments. These materials are also non-metallic, making them ideal for workers who are exposed to metal detectors or sensitive electronic equipment. Anti-puncture midsoles are a versatile and practical choice for a wide range of industries and applications, providing reliable puncture protection without the drawbacks of weight and rigidity.

However, it is important to note that anti-puncture material midsoles may not offer the same level of puncture resistance as stainless steel midsoles in certain extreme conditions. While they are designed to provide protection against sharp objects and debris, there may be instances where stainless steel midsoles offer superior puncture resistance and durability. Workers should assess the specific risks and requirements of their work environment to determine which type of midsole is best suited for their needs.

In conclusion, the choice between a stainless steel midsole and an anti-puncture material midsole ultimately depends on the specific requirements and preferences of the individual wearer. Both options offer valuable benefits and protection against puncture injuries, but each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages that should be carefully considered. By weighing the factors of puncture resistance, weight, flexibility, durability, and comfort, workers can make an informed decision on which type of midsole is better suited for their safety footwear needs. Ultimately, the most important factor is to ensure that the safety boots provide adequate protection and comfort for the wearer in their particular work environment.

For a chat about your work forces safety boot requirements please give us a call on +27 11 892 8030 / 8031 / 8032 or drop an email to organise a call info@profitfootwear.co.za

Steel Toe Caps

The Importance of Steel Toe Caps & Anti Slip Polyurethane Soles

Do Safety Boots Need Steel Toe Caps?

Steel toe caps and anti-slip polyurethane soles are two of the most important features in safety footwear. These features not only provide protection for the wearer but also offer additional safety benefits that are crucial in hazardous environments. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of steel toe caps and anti-slip polyurethane soles in safety footwear and why they are essential for industrial workers, construction workers, and anyone who works in potentially dangerous conditions.

Why Do I Need Steel Toe Caps?

Steel toe caps are a crucial element in safety footwear as they provide protection for the toes from heavy objects, sharp materials, and potential crushing accidents. The steel toe cap is designed to withstand impacts and pressure, preventing serious injuries such as fractures, cuts, and amputations. In high-risk environments such as construction sites, factories, and warehouses, steel toe caps are a necessity to protect workers from potential hazards.

In addition to protecting the toes, steel toe caps also provide stability and support for the feet, reducing the risk of slips, trips, and falls. The rigid structure of the steel toe cap helps to maintain the shape of the shoe and prevents it from collapsing under pressure, keeping the foot secure and stable. This is crucial for workers who are constantly on their feet and moving around in challenging conditions.

Do Safety Boots Need Anti-slip polyurethane Soles?

Anti-slip polyurethane soles are another important feature in safety footwear that enhances the overall safety and performance of the shoe. These soles are designed to provide maximum traction and grip on slippery surfaces, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries caused by slips and falls. The anti-slip properties of polyurethane soles are particularly beneficial in wet or oily environments where the ground may be slick and hazardous.

The durable and flexible nature of polyurethane soles also offers a comfortable and supportive fit for the wearer. These soles are lightweight and shock-absorbing, reducing strain on the feet and legs during long periods of standing or walking. This is especially important for workers who are required to be on their feet for extended periods of time, as it helps to prevent fatigue and discomfort.

Long Lasting Steel Toe Caps

In addition to their protective and safety benefits, steel toe caps and anti-slip polyurethane soles are also highly durable and long-lasting, making them a cost-effective investment for employers and workers alike. Safety footwear with these features is designed to withstand the rigors of daily wear and tear in harsh working conditions, providing reliable protection and performance over an extended period of time.

Overall, steel toe caps and anti-slip polyurethane soles are essential features in safety footwear that offer crucial protection and safety benefits for workers in hazardous environments. These features help to prevent serious injuries, enhance stability and support, provide maximum traction and grip, and offer long-lasting durability and comfort. By investing in safety footwear with steel toe caps and anti-slip polyurethane soles, employers can ensure the well-being and safety of their workers, while workers can perform their duties confidently and securely in challenging conditions.

For a chat about your work forces safety boot requirements please give us a call on +27 11 892 8030 / 8031 / 8032 or drop an email to organise a call info@profitfootwear.co.za.

Footwear Through the Ages

Footwear Through the Ages: Tracing the Origins and Evolution of Footwear

Footwear has been an integral part of human history, protecting our feet from the elements and providing comfort and support. However, the journey of footwear began long before the advent of civilization. Join me as we embark on an extensive exploration of the origins and evolution of footwear, unravelling the fascinating story that spans thousands of years and countless civilizations.

Prehistoric Beginnings (100,000 BCE – 10,000 BCE):
Protective Foot Coverings: The earliest evidence of foot coverings can be traced back to prehistoric times when early humans sought protection from rough terrains. These crude foot coverings were likely made from natural materials such as animal hides, leaves, or plant fibres.

Early Footwear Innovations: As humans transitioned from a nomadic lifestyle to settled communities, the need for more practical and durable footwear arose. Archaeological discoveries reveal the emergence of simple sandals, crafted by tying materials around the foot using plant fibres or animal tendon.

Ancient Civilizations (10,000 BCE – 500 CE):
Footwear in Ancient Egypt: Ancient Egyptians elevated footwear to a new level of sophistication, connecting it to social status and religious symbolism. The iconic Egyptian sandals, made from woven papyrus or palm leaves, epitomized comfort and craftsmanship.

Footwear in Mesopotamia: Mesopotamian footwear evolved from the use of animal skins to more advanced designs. Sandals made from leather and attached with straps or laces became prevalent, reflecting the development of societal divisions.

Roman Influence: The Roman Empire significantly impacted footwear fashion and design. Romans developed various footwear styles, such as the caligae (military sandals) and the intricately crafted sandals known as the carbatina and baxa. Footwear became a symbol of social status and cultural identity.

Medieval to Renaissance Period (500 – 1500):
Shift towards Enclosed Shoes: With the decline of the Roman Empire, footwear focused on practicality and protection rather than luxury. Enclosed leather shoes, often fastened with laces or bands, became popular throughout Europe.

The Rise of Cobblers and Guilds: Cobblers emerged as skilled shoemakers during the medieval period, forming guilds to regulate standards and ensure quality craftsmanship. This led to the specialization of footwear production and the development of distinct regional styles.

Modern Era (1500 – Present):
Technological Advancements: The technological advancements of the Industrial Revolution transformed the footwear industry. Mass production techniques, such as the invention of the sewing machine, made shoes more accessible and affordable.

Fashion and Functionality: The 20th century witnessed the rise of fashion-forward footwear, with designers like Salvatore Ferragamo and Christian Louboutin leading the way. Athletic footwear, safety footwear, sneakers, and high heels became fashionable accessories, merging style with form and functionality.

Contemporary Footwear: In recent years, the shoe industry has responded to social and environmental concerns. Sustainable and eco-friendly materials, such as organic cotton and recycled plastic, are gaining popularity, as consumers strive for more environmentally conscious choices.

Future of Footwear:
Technological Advancements: Footwear is undergoing a technological revolution. Concepts such as smart shoes, incorporating sensors and fitness tracking capabilities, are becoming more prevalent. 3D printing and advanced materials are shaping the way footwear will be designed and manufactured in the future.

Fashion and Innovation: With the ever-changing world of fashion, the future of footwear holds endless possibilities. Innovative designs, bold colors, and futuristic materials are likely to dominate the fashion landscape, blurring the line between art and practicality.

The journey of footwear has been intertwined with human history, evolving from simple foot coverings to fashion statements and cultural symbols. Through the millennia, shoes have mirrored the advancements of civilization, reflecting societal, cultural, and technological changes. Understanding the origins and evolution of footwear allows us to appreciate the craftsmanship, innovation, and cultural significance behind the shoes we wear today, while also foreshadowing the exciting future that lies ahead in the world of footwear.

For a chat about your work forces safety footwear requirements please give us a call on +27 11 892 8030 / 8031 / 8032 or drop an email to organise a call info@profitfootwear.co.za.

Safety Boots

What to Look for as a customer in a High Quality Pair of Leather Safety Boots

What to Look for as a customer in a High Quality Pair of Leather Safety Boots

Leather boots have stood the test of time as a versatile and stylish footwear choice for both men and women. However, not all leather boots are created equal. To ensure durability, comfort, and timeless appeal, it is crucial to know what distinguishes a high-quality pair of leather boots from the rest. In this article, we will explore the various factors that contribute to the excellence of leather boots, including leather quality, craftsmanship, construction techniques, fitting considerations, and most importantly maintenance.

Leather Quality

1. Full Grain Leather is the gold standard of leather quality. It maintains the natural grain pattern from the animal, offering superior durability and excellent strength. More so, it shows character as it ages, creating a unique patina (the intrinsic way leather ages).

2. Top Grain Leather is the second-best option after full-grain leather. It will have less natural markings compared to full-grain, but still maintains a top end strength. It is often used for price point as a compromise between durability and appearance.

3. Corrected Grain Leather is the lower quality leather with many imperfections. The surface is sanded down and plate embossed with colour to achieve a uniform look. It therefore lacks the same longevity and individuality as full or top-grain leather. But serves its purpose well as all leather has value.

Craftsmanship and Construction Techniques

1. Leather Safety Boots are both handmade and machine made. The handmade part of the boots exhibits meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship. Countless hours and incredible skills go into creating the leather upper. The machine-made part of the boot is only the sole upon which you stand. It is an injected polyurethane and/or rubber. Being a stainless-steel mould, it is mass-produced to ensure consistency in sole pattern, sole design and sizing.

2. Welted Construction known as Goodyear welt construction (a strip of leather, rubber or plastic which runs along the outer perimeter of a shoe outsole) provides an excellent durability and easy sole replacement. Blake stitch construction offers super sleek aesthetics and flexibility but may sacrifice overall durability. This type of construction is not found in Safety Footwear, but rather dress shoes and smart evening wear.

3. Stitchdown. If you are a South African, all that needs to be said is “Veldskoen”. A non-steel toe “field shoe” (farm shoe) which whilst has always been a popular South African original since the 17th century, has over the last decade exploded back into popularity with tens of thousands of pairs being sold under a variety of brands, with different colour soles and has captured the smart casual market. The highly unique stitch exposed along the outer perimeter of the sole, where the outward turned leather edge is bound directly to the sole. 100% leather and amazing comfort.

4. Stitching and Seams: Double or even triple stitching ensures better bonding, strength and longevity. As a client, always pay attention to tight, straight stitches running neatly next to each other without loose ends or fraying.

Fitting Considerations

1. Last and Foot Shape must be determined – meaning the shape and curve of your feet to find the right last. Different brands have different lasts, and different lasts means different fits and therefore variance in comfort. Especially when using footwear with a steel toe cap at the front.

2. Arch Support. Adequate arch support improves comfort and reduces fatigue. Always look for footwear which offers memory foam innersoles inside the shoe. This is what you will be standing on. Insufficient support can lead to discomfort and potential foot problems.

3. Toe Box [Toe Cap Area]. At the front of shoe, in front of the forefoot area, you must have sufficient room for toes to move comfortably. Obviously if you have a wide foot, you will avoid narrow, constricting toe boxes that can cause discomfort or deformities. Brands, like ProFit, offer 4 different shape toe boxes to cover the needs of petite, standard, wide and extra wide feet.

Comfort and Functionality

1. Innersoles or Footbeds can be checked inside the shoe or boot. They are removable and replaceable. A cushioned insoles provide comfort during long hours of wear. Quality innersoles offer further shock absorption, enhance stability and provide that walking on air type feeling. The ProFit “ComFit” gel memory foam innersole is one of the designs we are most proud of – and we make sure it is a standard in 99% of the shoes and boots which we produce.

2. Breathability – Always opt for boots made from breathable materials (like leather) which help to prevent excessive sweating and odours. Leather with the added benefit of sports mesh linings enhances airflow.

3. Outsole. Depending on your work environment needs, Rubber or PU outsoles provide traction and durability. Always consider the boots’ intended purpose and the type of terrain you will encounter to make an informed decision.

4. Maintenance and Care. Those two words directly affect the life span of leather footwear. That is a categorical fact. Regular cleaning, removal of dirt and debris using a soft brush or damp cloth and applying a polish to the leather upper will keep the leather supple and prevent cracking and pulling loose from the outsole.

5. Polishing and Waterproofing. Polishing maintains the boots’ shine and prevents colour fading. It also keeps the leather soft and flexible. Polishing also protect the leather from rain and moisture. It is a simple and yet highly effective way of maintaining your boots for years.

In Conclusion

Choosing a high-quality pair of leather boots involves considering various factors such as leather quality, craftsmanship, construction techniques, fitting considerations, and maintenance. By carefully examining these aspects, you can make an informed purchase that guarantees durability, comfort, and timeless style. Whether for everyday wear or special occasions (DWK) , investing in a pair of leather safety boots that meet these criteria will undoubtedly prove to be a wise and comfortable decision.

For a chat about your work forces safety footwear requirements please give us a call on +27 11 892 8030 / 8031 / 8032 or drop an email to organise a call info@profitfootwear.co.za.

ISO 20345 Code For Safety Boots

Q: SANS / ISO 20345? What am I?
A: Safety boot or Safety shoe

This is the International Standards Organisation (ISO) code for footwear that has been approved to avoid risk of injury at work. SANS (South African National Standard) has adopted the ISO marking. All safety footwear sold in South Africa must, mandatorily, have their SANS/ISO accreditation tests and certificates checked and approved by the NRCS (The National Regulator of Compulsory Specifications) who will issue them with a LOA (Letter of Authority) to sell the footwear.

What defines a safety boot?

    1. A toe cap at the front of the footwear covering your toes. Offering protection of 200 joules of drop or compression protection. It can be made from Steel, Composite (Plastics or Fibre Glass) or Aluminum. Toe caps come in various sizes throughout the styles size range. They also come in a variety of sizes and widths.
    a) What is 200 joules? 20kg of weight dropped from 1.8metres high.
    2. A thick, abrasion resistant upper covering the entire upper section of the foot. Primarily manufactured out of bovine leather (buffalo or cow). Offering flexibility, breathability, protection from bumps/knocks and scratches – and protection from the elements. It is intrinsically repellent to light splashes of water. (A safety boot is not a gumboot, and no leather safety boot offers 100% water resistance.)
    a) Leather comes in various grades. Simply put… the more expensive the boot or shoe, the better the quality of leather being utilised. Therefore the more superior the thickness, the abrasion resistance and resilience to liquids. The breathability is also superior.
    3. An outer sole, primarily dual density offering a hard-wearing outsole (in contact with gravel, cement, bricks and stones) and a soft and cushioned midsole (offering a softer, bouncier surface for your foot). It can be made from either PU (Polyurethane), TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) or RB (Rubber).
    a) PU & TPU has a heat resistance of between 90 and 110 degrees. It is anti-static. (Reduces static build up in the body).
    b) Rubber has a heat resistance of 300’ degrees (up to 500’ degrees with certain designs). It is non-conductive (Does not all heat or electricity to flow through)..
    4. The PU sole compound is resistant to oil, petrol and diesel. The rubber compound has increased resistance to incorporate acids and chemicals as well.
    5. The outer sole compound also needs to be slip resistant. This can be measured as either a basic SRA slip resistance (soap solution on ceramic tiles) or SRB slip resistance (glycerol on stainless steel) or the superior SRC slip resistance (which covers all slip resistance tests).
    6. The leather upper is connected to the middle part of the boot through a process called “stroebelling” which is the perpetual angled stitching of the ends of the leather upper to a piece of rigid and anti-static insole board. This is also called innersole. It is the part of the boot your foot will come closest into contact with.
    7. The boot is not glued to the sole. The boot is not stitched to the sole. The boot is not cemented to the sole. It is held together through a process called direct injection – meaning the outer sole is connected to the leather by liquid polyurethane which hardens around the leather upper. This is what gives safety footwear all of it’s unique characteristics and flexibility of movement.
    8. Sometime your work environment requires additional protection.
    a) from falling objects which could cause damage to more than just your toes. These falling objects could break the bones in your feet. Boots also come out with meta guards (which over metatarsal protection to those bones on the bridge of your foot)
    b) Or you may work in an area that can cause puncturing through the sole of the footwear and penetrate the underside of your foot. You would then seek out footwear which offers 1100nm (newton metres) of puncture force. This comes in the form of either a steel midplate or an anti-puncture material, like kevlar. The steel midplate is held in place under the insole board. The anti-puncture material takes the place of the insole board.
    9. Sometimes your work environment only needs a had wearing boot or shoe, that offers all the features of slip resistance and resistance to chemicals but does not need a toe cap. This is called Occupational Footwear. And carries the SANS / ISO 20347 marking. It is not classified as a safety boot or safety shoe.
    10. Finally, your footwear will either conme standard with or can have an accessory inserted inside it called an insock or a footbed. This is a cushioned and comfortable additional layer of comfort for long hours on one’s feet. It is placed on top of the insole board, or anti puncture material. Normally manufactured from a gel foam or PU injected memory foam. They can be removed and washed. They can also be replaced.
Diagram of ISO 20345 Safety Boot

ISO 20345 Safety Boot

For a chat about your work forces safety footwear requirements please give us a call on +27 11 892 8030 / 8031 / 8032 or drop an email to organise a call info@profitfootwear.co.za.

Safety PPE

Steel Toe Caps vs Composite Toe Caps

Why use composite toe caps?

For many industrial sector workers, wearing shoes or boots with toe caps on a daily basis is challenging. The two most commonly requested features are weight and comfort. Composite toe caps are lighter than steel and they are also more durable. Composite toe caps are made from a plethora of materials, and differ regarding the need of the specific designed boot. However, the most popular composite used materials are kevlar, fibreglass, plastic, and carbon fibre.

Composite toe caps are generally lighter because of their production process – nanotechnology creates thin layers of fibre that are then bonded together; creating a strong but thin cap. They also don’t get cold or hot – unlike steel. They are non-conductive. We find they are used extensively in the mining sector and for specialist technicians who travel regularly. This is because composite toe caps will not set off metal detectors at airports or security scanners on site.

Why use steel toe caps?

Steel toe caps are still the most used toe cap in the world. Recent studies indicate they are still used in 90% of the worlds global safety shoe and boot production. They remain the most popular option in today’s market for safety boots and shoes. With advances in design and materials, they are often not as heavy as they once were. They are a tried and tested option as well – having been used since the First World War. That’s over 100 years of testing!

There is an unfortunate myth surrounding steel toe capped boots. And that is that they are more likely to act like a guillotine if a heavy object lands on your foot – cutting off and crushing your toes. This is totally false. It was even proven false on the famous TV series “MythBusters” Season 3, Episode 23.

Steel toe caps are cheaper than their composite alternatives. Steel toe caps are as strong, and in many cases, actually stronger than composite toe caps. Many plastic toe caps have battled to pass compression tests, and also only pass a 100 joule test. Steel has been around for a very long time and passes the 200 joule requirements with ease. The old saying “If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it” fits well in this discussion of which route to go. Many people are still of the opinion that despite their relative benefits, steel toe caps still remain the industry leader.

Because of over 100 years of R&D, steel toe caps are also available in a wide variety of styles, sizes, shapes and widths! Composite toe caps are a more recent development to the safety footwear world, and being more expensive they are reserved for use in higher specification boots for specialist industries.

Pros & Cons of Steel Toe Caps

Pros

    – Cheaper in general than composite toe caps
    – As strong as composite, and sometimes stronger than.
    – A tried and tested method of foot protection
    – More styles, sizes, shapes and widths available with a steel toe cap

Cons

    – Heavier than composite
    – Will conduct heat and cold
    – Also will conduct electricity

Pros & Cons of Composite Toe Caps

    – Lightweight and durable
    – Don’t conduct electricity or heat and cold

Cons

    – Usually found in higher spec boots, meaning they are more expensive
    – Not as wide a variety of styles, sizes & shape

Conclusion

Steel and composite toe caps have all been subjected to and meet safety standard requirements. They are all fully compliant for use.

Where there are generally more benefits associated with composite toe caps, it has been proven that the widely held myth that they are safer than steel toe caps is false. This should have no impact on your choice. Overall, the composite toe cap offers the benefits of the steel toe cap plus a few extras like non conductivity and lighter weight. Steel toe cap boots are still as safe and often cheaper. Composite toe caps are definitely suited to more specific and specialist work environments.

toe protection

This icon means ProFit footwear offers toe protection

For a chat about your work forces safety footwear requirements please give us a call on +27 11 892 8030 / 8031 / 8032 or drop an email to organise a call info@profitfootwear.co.za.

Safety

Safety Boot Codes Explained

What Are Safety Boot Codes?

When buying safety boots there can be a lot to consider. Looks are important but you can’t disregard the critical factors in place of beauty! Yes, it’s important and we want our clients to be happy in what they wear but not at the expense of safety – that’s for sure! For some people that’s it, job done. “The manufacturers description and “codes” indicated they were safety boots, so I’m happy with the appearance and they fit!” Wrong!

Understanding your footwear is critical. There are many different codes and abbreviations associated with a pair of safety boots or shoes to consider that will give you an indication of the various levels of safety they will provide.

What is EN ISO 20345:2011?

EN ISO 20345:2011 will pop up on a lot of product descriptions for safety footwear. It specifies basic and additional (or optional) requirements for safety footwear that are used for general purpose. All safety boots must be manufactured and certified under this standard. That’s non negotiable.

ENISO203452011

The EN ISO 20345:2011 tag that comes with all ProFit safety footwear

Safety Boot Rating

There are several ratings for safety footwear and they are generally indicated by a two-letter abbreviation. They all start with the letter S;

• SB (Safety Basic) = This is the basic safety standard for footwear. These will have toe protection against a 200-joule impact, and is resistant to fuel oil and has energy absorption.
• S1 = As well as the basic toe protection, S1 will ensure that footwear has anti-static protection, is resistant to fuel oil and has energy absorption in the heel.
• S2 = These have all the same protection as S1, plus the added protection of preventing water penetration and absorption of the uppers.
• S3 = This has all the same protection as S2 level, plus midsole penetration resistance (steel or anti puncture material).
• S4 = The same level of protection offered by S1 but with a moulded polymer/rubber upper (e.g. Wellington Boots) making them fully waterproof.
• S5 = The same features as S4 footwear with the additional benefit of midsole penetration resistance

Safety Boot Code Abbreviations;

Now this is where it can get confusing, sometimes a manufacturer will add on an additional letter. For example, a common one is SB-P. This is indicating that the boot has an optional feature. So, in this example you get the basic protection of SB plus you get the addition of P. The P stands for Penetration Resistance. There are many abbreviations that can be added onto a rating;

• P – Penetration resistance
• C – Conductive
• A – Antistatic
• I – Electricity insulating footwear
• WR – Water Resistance
• M – Metatarsal Protection
• AN – Ankle Protection
• CR – Cut Resistant Upper
• WRU – Water Penetration and Water Absorption Upper
• HRO – Outsole Resistance to Hot Contact

What Is Anti-Slip footwear?

Anti-Slip footwear (slip resistance footwear) is becoming more and more requested on all industrial sites… building sites, hospitals, food manufacturing plants and a wide host of other settings. And for good reason slips, trips and falls make up an astonishing 43% of all serious work-related injuries. Footwear that as an anti-slip rating will be added onto the safety boot rating. For example, you may see the following three letters : SRC. These are the three codes used for slip resistance testing.

• SRA – tested on ceramic tiles saturated with soap solution.
• SRB – tested on smooth stainless steel with glycerol.
• SRC – tested under both the above conditions. (Passing both SRA & SRB)

4 Top Tips when buying safety boots?

1. Assess where you’re working: This is crucial, you’re not going to need S5 waterproof wellies if most of your day is spent in an office. On the flip side it would be silly to get just the basic SB if you’re a contractor going to different types of building sites daily where hazards can range from rusty old nails to slippery underfoot conditions. Take the time to consider all the hazards you come across on a regular basis and purchase accordingly.

2. Fit and comfort: Take the time to make sure that your new boots are a snug fit and feel comfortable. Many of you will be wearing these for 10-12 or more. See that there are no manufacturers faults on the inner that may rub against your skin. Make sure that they fit well, there’s no point buying a size 8 wide fit if you have narrow feet, maybe try a 7 or look at toe cap width. Incorrectly fitted boots can lead to trips.

3. Bootcare: Look after your safety boots, let them air dry at room temp if they have become wet. Don’t dry near a fire place as this can damage the leather uppers. Make sure you lace up and loosen between use. If your boots get muddy make sure you clean them with a suitable brush. No pair of boots is going to last forever but with care and attention you can get the most out of yours! (5 years or more easily with regular polishing).

4. Price doesn’t necessarily mean “more safe”: The price of safety boots can vary from R275 to the R1500 per pair mark. Don’t automatically think that price gives you the best levels of protection. This is not always the case for a higher priced safety boot, you may be paying extra for unnecessary features. Buy industry specific (such as construction safety boots or mining safety boots). Talk to the professionals in safety footwear.

For a chat about your work forces safety boot requirements please give us a call on +27 11 892 8030 / 8031 / 8032 or drop an email to organise a call info@profitfootwear.co.za.

Putting on a pair of Safety Boots

How to Correctly Put On and Wear a pair of Safety Boots

You are teaching me how to put on a pair of safety boots?
That’s right… this article is teaching you the correct way to actually put on and wear a pair of safety footwear. It doesn’t seem like something which would require step by step instruction but it isn’t often as simple as breathing or riding a bicycle.

Because wearing safety footwear is subjective – you often have immediately negative views on wearing a product with a steel toe cap.

Subjective is a term that refers to someone’s personal opinions or feelings regarding particular subject matter. Subjective views or opinions are not based on truth or fact. They are one person’s unique interpretation of an idea and their thoughts and feelings.

So here are some tips to change negative connotations with regards to steel toe cap boots and shoes – and to stop your steel toe boots from hurting you, including finding the professional fit and how to actually wear them in a correct manner.

Steel toe cap boots are worn every single day in an industrial environment, up to 10 hours or more – so it is almost inevitable that you’ll experience some level of foot pain. The most common causes of foot pain in safety boots are blisters and rubbing, a tight or narrow feeling and then issues stemming from bunions, corns or even ingrown toenails.

Taking the time to try on a pair of safety boots, finding a suitable fit – and then breaking them in are vital in helping them being an asset to your feet and not a liability to your comfort.

How should they feel on my feet?
They should feel neither loose nor too tight. But they must feel snug and protective. Like swaddling a baby in a blanket. You should most certainly feel some resistance or pressure (you need to know they are there) but you shouldn’t feel any pain. Pain is not a snug feel. Pain is not resistance or pressure. Pain is a very sharp, unpleasant feeling that you would will know immediately. But snug is snug. And snug is important once the foot is inside the boot.

Don’t think you are only one size. Safety boots have a steel toe cap – and you should always try the size you think you are and one size up. Also, don’t try on only a left or only a right whilst siting down. Make 100% certain that you put on both shoes; left and right. As your feet are more often than not, actually different shapes and can be different sizes. Once they are on both feet, lace them up fully and tie them at the top. Stand up and walk around for a bit. This will immediately indicate pain. If they are simply snug. You are on the right track. If you detect any rubbing, or areas that may blister – you should look at a larger size. In a steel toe cap safety boot, your toes should not make contact with the front end of you footwear. On the flipside of that coin – you should not have too much space. We are looking for a snug fit. Not a foot moving around freely inside – as this leads to sliding along the footbed, which is essentially rubbing and can cause “the sandpaper effect” where your foot slides forward and backwards throughout the day. It will end in discomfort.

What should I wear when trying on my safety boots?
Point number one is to always remember to wear exactly the same type of industrial socks that you wear on a normal workday. Don’t come barefoot. Don’t come in running socks. Don’t come in super thick thermal socks. And don’t just wear a thin polyester sock. Wear the exact socks you wear at work. (Find the right type of sock to wear with our handy guide). Sounds silly – but remember, wearing thicker or thinner socks on the day will affect the fit. Guaranteed.

Your feet are always smallest the moment you get out of bed in the morning. And during a work day, in the first hours of standing on them, they begin to expand. After 7-10 hours on one’s feet they can be swollen due to long hours on one’s feet, less blood flow (lack of circulation) and we have actually seen feet 7% larger in the afternoon. For this reason – we always recommend trying on a shoe when they are at their largest… at the end of the day. It’s a great helpful hint.

What is breaking in a safety boot? And how can I do it?
The term “Breaking In” a pair of shoes originates as an analogy to the process of breaking in a horse. It takes some time – but is so worth it. It means helping them to conform to the shape of your feet, making them more comfortable to wear.

The Day You Get Them – Wear Them Around your House
The most common and easiest way to do this is, is for short periods of time at home. Starting daily, for ten minutes with increasing increments in the time wearing them. We have found, once you are in the snug fit – popping them on and taking a walk around the block helps tremendously. Especially in your industrial socks and on a nice warm day in the natural sunlight. By doing this, you will begin stretching the leather upper and improve the fit – from both outside on the upper in the sun and inside the boot with the natural temperature from your warm feet.

Should I Polish My Leather Boots?
Leather loves polish! Leather craves polish! Leather will absorb polish and soften! After a good polish – a nice walk in them again around the house or the block will help them soften and take the shape of your foot (mould to your feet quicker). If you do this daily – after you first purchase the boots, and then continue weekly… you will find a happier fit very quickly.

Always Lace Up
Again, often overlooked because of a lack of understanding about the importance of lacing. But, laces are there for a reason. Always lace those boots up to get a snug fit, and should they feel tight around the widest part of your foot, adjust the laces accordingly. This will give your foot a little more room, and allow the entire boot to continue forming around your foot. Continue to walk around, and as time progresses – you will find yourself needing to actually start tightening them slightly to maintain the snug fit. And, as long as the laces are done up tightly enough, you shouldn’t experience any slipping inside either. Don’t forget – when removing the boots to untie and loosen the laces before taking them off!

How long can it take to feel comfortable in a new pair of boots?
Depending on the type of leather, in the case of ProFit Safety Footwear we use superior full grain leathers – a couple of days (taking into account a walk around the house or block a day) but never more than a couple of weeks. A general guideline however is that you should allow a couple weeks for breaking brand new safety boots in. The advantage being that once broken in – you can confidently wear them in your work environment for long hours throughout the week in comfort. You already know them well.

What makes some safety boots more comfortable than others?
The fit. And misconceptions that you are only ever one exact size across all types of footwear. There are about 22 billion pairs of shoes sold annually around the world. That’s almost 3 pairs for every single person on the planet. But being manufactured all around the globe means different designs, shapes and styles – all impacting on the 22 billion different types of foot. Fit is so crucial. And since all safety footwear comes with a toe cap – trying on the right size is even more important. Steel toe caps are known to rub against the feet, which can cause significant discomfort. So, when you purchase your work boots, always make sure to get the snuggest fit possible to reduce the risk of rubbing. And remember to lace-up your work boots to give you the best feel of what they will be like on your foot during the work day. Proper lacing also lifts the leather upper off the foot – raising the feeling of restriction over the bridge of your foot.

So, the day you get your new pair of safety boots or safety shoes… remember the following;

Dry your feet and wear clean and dry socks!
Moisture and comfort – aren’t comfortable. You want a dry pair of feet, with nothing moist or wet entering the safety footwear. Wet feet are a recipe for rubbing, blisters and irritation. Stretch out your socks and make sure to pull them on to fit correctly. If they aren’t angled onto your foot correctly – you will have thicker areas where you don’t want them and unnecessary fold build ups. This will all lead to comfort issues. Please ensure your socks aren’t full of holes either. The moment you see a hole – it’s time for a new pair of socks. High cotton content with polyamide blends are always the way to go.

Check if your innersole (footbed) is correctly positioned.
Place your hand inside the boot or shoe and make sure the footbed is correctly positioned, fitting neatly down upon on the insole board. No raises on the front, back or sides. Now slide your feet (covered in your sock) into the boot. And slowly and carefully move (slide) your foot back and forth. They must be in a position that suits the ergonomic design of the footbed. The last step is to securely tie your shoelaces so that they won’t loosen easily. Nice and tight – keeping the upper secure and that nice snug feeling. Not so tight as to cut off blood circulation. And not so loose that they are untied and slipping off – resulting in a lack of proper protection and a trip and fall causing injury.

Small, simple things which we take for granted in a rush. Ultimately leading to subjective complaints that can be easily rectified with an extra few seconds of one’s time to check the basics are done correctly and keeping the comfort factor front and centre.

For a chat about your work forces safety boot requirements please give us a call on +27 11 892 8030 / 8031 / 8032 or drop an email to organise a call info@profitfootwear.co.za.

Safety boot soles

Safety Boots and how the sole is attached

An excellent question as there are many misconceptions about the sole of the shoe or boot being stuck on, glued on or stitched on. All of these processes are accurate for different types of fashion footwear, dress shoes, running shoes, sneakers and even veldskoen.

What is the PU injection process for safety boots?

Polyurethane injected footwear is injected as a liquid around the leather upper which is secured in a stainless steel footwear mould (shape and design of the sole pattern). The leather upper is already in the shape of a shoe or boot at this stage – with a fake plastic foot (called a last) holding the leather designed upper in place.

How does the hot liquid polyurethane bond to the leather upper?

In order for this hot liquid polyurethane to bond to the upper – it needs something to which to attach itself. In times past, this was done by hand – in some places in the world, it is still. But modern machinery enables a robot to perform the task of roughening the leather upper to expose the leather fibres just below the surface of the animal skin. These fibres are the those most important part of the process. The robotic arm, with an object referred to as a “roughening ball” attached to the end of its “hand” is programmed to lower the ball close enough to the upper; with enough pressure to remove the top surface layer (exposing those all import fibres) but not too deeply as to cut right through the leather upper. (Meaning not to slice right through the full thickness of the leather upper). It is a fairly intricate part of the process and very technical and detailed. Precision is key.

Roughening the leather for your safety boots

The robot is pre-programmed to understand it’s mission and course. It will have to roughen around the entire outer edge of the leather upper (toe, side, heel, side and back to the toe). It is also able to detect whether the leather is harder or softer, and knows the general thickness of the leather upper it is cutting. Parameters are changed depending on the style being roughened. This enables an accurate procedure. Once completed, a full outer edge of ‘just under the surface’ leather fibres are waiting to bond themselves to hot polyurethane liquid. They will essentially absorb some of this hot liquid, whilst the balance attaches to the exposed area. Once cooled – the bond integrity is absolutely superb. Offering a super strong bond and comfortable flexing.

What else do I need to know about this roughening process?

On the odd occasion, a roughening ball coming to the end of its lifespan (becoming too blunt) – and please note these are changed a few times a week (every couple of thousand of pairs) – can under-roughen a few pairs. This results in the PU coming loose from the leather upper after a few days of wearing. On the other end of the spectrum, a brand new roughening ball, which is super sharp can cut through a piece of soft leather – sometimes too far, perhaps 80-90% of the way through. This is called over-roughening and results in a perforation line sitting where the upper and PU meet. After wearing for a day or two the leather perforates along that line creating a perfect horizontal cut in the leather. Unfortunately, neither over or under roughening can be picked up in the quality control process due to the nature of the bond and leather being a natural product. But it is isolated and generally results in happening to maybe 5 out of 5000 pairs. Processes are getting better and robots are getting more modern. Many can now detect when the ball needs to be replaced. We see fewer cases as technology gets better.

How do I spot over-roughening and under-roughening on my safety boots?

As manufacturers we can see it very easily, and our Certified Partners receive training on how to identify these manufacturing related faults. A perfectly new boot or shoe, worn for a few days – easily shows one or the other roughening issue. It happens almost 99% of the time at the flex point of the boot or shoe – where your foot naturally bends the product when walking. When the PU pulls away from the leather and creates a small gap – you can either feel with your finger that the leather is totally smooth or visually see the areas in not roughened enough. This is clear under roughening. Often, the boot can still be worn without incident – but if the PU continues to pull away further, it can be returned for a new pair. And likewise, when a perfect 1-3cm perforation line forms on the PU/leather join after flexing – the leather perforates and creates a cut. It is neat, almost looks to be cut by a knife. This is clear over-roughening. Again – the pair can be replaced.

For a chat about your work forces safety boot requirements please give us a call on +27 11 892 8030 / 8031 / 8032 or drop an email to organise a call info@profitfootwear.co.za.

Heat Resistant Outersoles

Most work environment applications are covered by the standard Polyurethane outsole. Lightweight, flexible, excellent slip resistance, heat resistance between 90’ and 110’ degrees, and durable. They are anti-static and also resistant to oil, petrol and diesel. Whether fruit picking, building on a construction site, working in an engineering environment or even on an oil rig – the tried and tested PU/PU sole has you covered. But what happens when the temperature gauge is turned up or petrol and diesel turns into acids or other chemicals? That’s when you switch to a more heavy duty sole compound in the form of rubber. Non-conductive to electricity, oil/acid/petrol and diesel resistant, 300’ degree heat resistant and very hard wearing. The sole compound plays a vital role in the longevity of your footwear.

It stands to reason, as the sole is in constant contact with the surface on which you walk and work. If you climb on scaffolding all day, work on abrasive metal surfaces, on concrete or jagged stones – the rubber sole will last longer and provide a more stable surface. As is the nature of more heavy duty environments – the risks associated in those areas increase as well, and often one needs the added protection of anti-penetration midsoles (to protect you from sharp shards of metal, glass, or heat) or to protect the bones of one’s feet.

ProFit Safety Footwear has a range of six different rubber soled styles to protect men and women from all the added dangers of a heavy duty work environment.

Hot surfaces, risky work surfaces, falling objects and chemical spills are a few of hazards which our Tarantula, Black Widow, Redback and Shamrock take in their stride. Coming with a variation of anti-perforation fabric midsoles, metatarsal guard and thick top grain leather uppers. And, offered in the full size range from UK 2 to UK 15, we cater for the needs of the entire workforce.

If you are upgrading your head, eye, ear, hands and workwear to deal with super heavy duty work environments, you should certainly do so with the most important part of your body walking around in that environment – your feet! Look for the HRO marking on the spec sheet/bottom of the sole or red colours on the sole indicating you are holding a boot designed with heat applications in mind. More expensive that Polyurethane, yes, but certainly purpose built and longer lasting. Suited for the right work environment and avoiding risk from Day 1.

For a chat about your work forces safety boot requirements please give us a call on +27 11 892 8030 / 8031 / 8032 or drop an email to organise a call info@profitfootwear.co.za