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Safety shoes test 2021 • The 7 best safety shoes in comparison

What are safety shoes and how do they work?

Safety shoes are a type of shoe that protects against mechanical, electrical, chemical and thermal hazards in the work environment. It does not matter whether the dangers are pounding on the shoe from above or on the ground. In addition, depending on the class, the shoes have additional protection such as a metal protective cap, a non-slip sole or penetration protection.

Safety shoes are available in the categories women, men, children and unisex. They are also available in different colors and degrees of lightness. If you suffer from back pain or if you cannot stand for long periods, then there are orthopedic safety shoes or orthopedic insoles. With the help of this, the footbed is adapted to your foot.

There is a difference between safety and protective shoes. Safety shoes, on the other hand, have a stronger performance. For example, they have steel caps or can withstand higher pressure.

Diagram showing the price-performance ratio of safety shoes

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What types of safety shoes are there?

Work shoes are divided into different protection classes. These classes range from S1 (few extras) to S5 (strongest material and many extras). Depending on the occupational field, other protection classes are necessary. There is also a difference between safety and protective shoes. In contrast to protective shoes, safety shoes have a stronger performance. For example, they have steel caps or can withstand higher pressure.

Nowadays there are no limits to the shape and color of safety shoes. The price ranges are also represented with different models, so that everyone can find the right safety shoe. Depending on the professional field in which you work, these different types of shoes are ideal.


Boot-shaped safety shoes are very robust. But above all, they offer the ankle a good hold and prevent the foot from twisting.

Fireproof boots are particularly useful in the fire department. You can walk through flames with them and the boots are heat resistant.


The shoe shape is the usual shape of the safety shoe. Low shoes can be worn in the warehouse or by truck drivers. They have a sole that is resistant to oil and petrol and at the same time good for walking. For people who want a modern version as a low shoe, the safety shoes are also available in sneaker form.

ESD safety shoes

Safety shoes with the ESD function are antistatic shoes. The abbreviation ESD stands for Electro Static Discharge. This type of shoe dissipates electrical energy. That is why the shoes are suitable for people in professional fields such as electronics technician: in or mechatronics technician: in.

Purchase criteria in the safety shoe test 2021

The following paragraph summarizes the most important purchase criteria for safety shoes. With the help of this, you can make a well-informed selection and know the most important questions about safety shoes answered.

Steel cap

The steel toe cap on the front of the toes is important for safety shoes. The steel cap protects against things that could fall on the foot. But the cap also offers protection against chainsaw cuts. The steel cap also protects against rolling devices such as cars or forklifts.

It therefore offers protection in many layers and is now incorporated into almost all types of safety shoes.

Penetration protection

The penetration protection protects against all dangers that lie on the ground and that can be stepped on. These can be nails, glass or pointed objects. The penetration protection is located between the actual sole and the footbed in the shoe. Thus it can hardly be felt and cannot be seen.

Breathable and light

Anyone who wears safety shoes for entire working days wants to have a fresh feeling on their feet. In addition, the foot in the shoe must not start to sweat so quickly. In addition, the materials of the shoe should absorb odors so that the shoe does not start to smell even on hot days. Breathable materials support this.

It is also important that the material of the shoe is not too heavy. Light material supports the wearing comfort even on long days. The sneaker variants are particularly light. Not only do they look sporty, they also offer protection.

Alternatives to safety shoes

If safety shoes are required in the company, there are no alternatives. The sneaker variants, for example, can only be used in terms of appearance. There are also alternatives in the material of the protective cap.

Some manufacturers also offer these made of plastic. This has the advantage that the material is even lighter. For professions where metal detectors are used, shoes with plastic caps are mandatory.

A disadvantage of plastic caps is that they are not as stable and therefore not suitable for all types of work. So if you work with chainsaws, you have to wear shoes with steel or metal toes. All the wishes and alternatives should always be discussed with the employer beforehand, as the appropriate protection class must still be maintained.

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When do I need safety shoes?

Safety shoes are used in all occupational fields in which one works with any kind of danger. This danger can look different. The shoes should above all offer protection against chainsaw cuts and offer any contact with heat (fire, flames and embers), chemicals or the like. Many people also wear safety shoes when hiking or walking across uneven terrain. Thanks to their good grip and the safe-to-walk sole, they also offer good protection in everyday use.

Who needs safety shoes?

Safety shoes are particularly appropriate for people who work in industry, crafts, construction, gardening or landscaping. But people who work in the rescue service or the fire department also need safety shoes. The company agreements often state whether safety shoes have to be worn. The professional group of cooks or butchers must also wear safety shoes, as they work with hot liquids and knives. As soon as there is a source of danger in everyday work, a safety shoe is necessary.

What do the classes of safety shoes mean?

The protection classes of the safety shoes are divided as follows. Shoes with protection class S1 must be antistatic. They also have a sole that absorbs oil and gasoline. Some shoes also have a protective toe cap. S1 class shoes are not waterproof. Class S1P shoes are like class S1 shoes, but also have penetration protection. Despite the protection, the sole is flexible and movable. The safety shoes of class S2 are like the shoes of class S1 and S1P. But they are also waterproof and have a non-slip sole. So they can be worn well in wet work environments. Shoes in protection class S3 are equipped like shoes in classes S1 to S2. The heel is covered with a protective layer in these shoes and the sole is particularly sure-footed. Shoes with protection class S4 have a sole made of solid rubber. This makes them even more sure-footed. These shoes have all the properties of protection class S4. They also have a profiled sole and a particularly high level of penetration resistance.

Which safety shoe do I need in which professional group?

Your employer will tell you which safety shoes you need for your job. However, the following can be said for the broad occupational areas. People who work on the construction site or have something to do in the construction site or storage area can wear class S1 or S3 shoes. For people who have something to do with electronics in their everyday work, you should also pay attention to the ESD Extra. People who work in horticulture or landscaping should wear shoes of protection class S3. These shoes not only protect against sharp objects lying on the ground, but are also well insulated. If you work in the kitchen as a cook or work with oily or chemical liquids, shoes of protection class S2 are suitable. Here the non-slip and waterproof shoe offers a secure hold on slippery floors. For people who work in the forest or generally with chainsaws and heavy equipment, a particularly good protective cap with cut protection should be ensured. These shoes are in protection class S3. Safety shoes can therefore be assigned to occupational groups according to their protection classes. In the end, however, what counts is the individual professional environment and the employer's specifications. Many shoe stores also offer their own advice and can help if you are unsure about which safety shoe to use.

Who has to pay the costs for safety shoes?

According to Paragraph 3, Paragraph 3 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, if safety shoes are required in the work environment, the employer must bear the costs. On the other hand, the shoes can also be made available by the workplace. This relates to legally required safety shoes. For orthopedic shoes and / or insoles, it depends on the health insurance company whether it pays the costs or not. It's best to ask your personal advisor again. Particularly with insoles, it is important to ensure that the distance between the toes and the protective cap is maintained.

Who is liable if I don't wear safety shoes?

If an accident occurs during working hours and the prescribed safety shoes are not worn, the employee is liable. In addition, the employment relationship can be terminated if safety shoes were expressly required.

How long do safety shoes last?

The employer must provide the foot protection in sufficient quantities. Safety shoes need care in order to last a long time. The lifespan therefore depends on use and care. It is important: as soon as the shoes show defects, they should be replaced immediately.

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Bernd Vogelsammer

I have spent most of my life working with wood and wood-based materials. Over the years I have found myself to be enthusiastic
Hobbyists and tinkerers have already tried out other areas and have proven general knowledge of the craft, also thanks to the numerous product tests for
My great passion is screwing on and driving classic cars.

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