We know that steel toe and midsole safety footwear has been regarded as the favoured choice for foot protection across most industries. More recently, without compromising on safety, metal-free footwear (also known as composite) is replacing traditional steel toe and midsole safety footwear at scale, which is not surprising given the many benefits of choosing to go metal-free.
1) Working in a security conscious environment
Metal-Free footwear is non-negotiable in high security environments, such as airports, military bases and government buildings, as workers are routinely scanned, preventing theft or prevention of weapons being bought in. In these environments if footwear is not metal-free, it must be removed beforehand, compromising on safety.
2) Better protection without the unnecessary weight
Composite footwear (metal-free) features a toe or midsole that is made from incredibly tough, yet lightweight material, such as fibreglass, Kevlar or carbon fibre. Offering superior strength and support, as well as a thermoneutral temperature, and not to mention increased agility. In no way is the protection of the wearer's feet compromised, to be sure look for metal-free composite footwear that meet or exceed the stringent ISO 20345 - S1 or SIP standards.
3) Prevents post impact trapping
Composite footwear, in particular a composite toecap is made from material that lets the footwear recover its shape following significant impact. A steel toecap on the other hand, bends into a fixed position and can trap parts of the feet after a serious accident, making it extremely difficult and in some instances very painful to try and remove the foot, in extreme cases the footwear may need to be cut apart or dismantled. When buying or supplying safety footwear please ensure you take into consideration the impact rating and compression rating of the footwear. The impact rating will tell you the number of pounds or joules the shoe will protect you against, whilst the compression rating lets you know the amount of resistance the shoe could cope with before breaking.
Learn more about safety standards in our handy chart below: