Safety footwear features


Parts and materials that are above the sole and protect the wearer

The front part of the shoe, running from themetatarsal bones to the phalanges.A key part ofthe footwear and where the mostimportant safety elements (such as the toecaps)are placed.It consists of one or more materials, such asleather, split leather, polyurethane plastic,etc..

In order to be approved, it needs to passnumerous checks, such as:
  • Thickness
  • Tear resistance
  • Traction
  • pH
  • Permeability
  • Vapour coefficient
  • Content in Cr VI

Historically, the type of leather used for safetyfootwear was cowhide, but nowadays, due toeconomic and competitiveness issues, leather fromother origins is also being usedH.

The skin is made up of two layers:


Noble leather with enhanced properties:waterproof, breathable, resistant..

Grain Leather,Nubuck, greasedleathers, etc


Noble leather with enhanced properties:waterproof, breathable, resistant... 

The differences between the different types ofleather are due to post-tannage treatments..

The metatarsal guard and shaft lining in safetyfootwear is the inner layer of the upper sectionthat is in direct contact with the foot..




On the back of the shoe


Front of the shoe, under metatarsal guard

En safety footwear, they are usually made of different materialsbut both must meet specific requirements for tearing,abrasion, permeability and breathability, as well as CrVI content (leather) in order to be approved andcertified.r. 




  • Split Pigskin or goatskin


  • Natural, Wool
  • Non-natural, Polyester-Nylon


  • Waterproof(Gore-tex)


  • Low Temperature (Polartec)

A non-removable componentof the shoe,used to form the base of the shoe/boot,and to which the upper section is usuallyattached,by inlays or insertsC

Various materials can be used, such as:

  • Textile braiding
  • Leather
  • Hardboard
  • Kevlar

It must meet various requirements for approvalsuch as a certain abrasion, minimum thickness, CrVI content (leather) and demonstrate a capacity forwater absorption and desorption, to ensure wearercomfort.

May or may not feature in footwear.


It is defined as a non-removable component, used to protect the instep area, in addition to ensuring that the foot is properly supported.


  •  Attached to the upper section by stitching.
  •  It usually has padding and lining for added comfort.
  •  A wide variety of materials can be used: Leather, Split leather, Textiles, PU plastics

It needs to be tested for type-approval, regarding tear resistance and Cr VI content (leather).

Usually a removable component (sometimes glued to the midsole).

Used to partially or completely cover the midsole to provide a more comfortable fit.

It is composed of:

  • Upper part: usually textiles,but also leather and other materials.
  • Lower or padded part: polystyrene, polyurethane, and others... and even the most sophisticated materials made of gels that react to the footstep.

They must be tested for approval against abrasion, water absorption and desorption and Cr VI content (skin).

This part ensures the footwear is correctly fastened to the foot, and there are different types and sizes.


The 3 main systems used in safety footwear are:

Shoe laces – Buckles - Velcro


Designed to protect the user's toes against impacts up to an energy level of at least 200 J and compression of at least 15 KN.

They also pass further approval tests, such as those concerning their internal length, and  resistance to corrosion.



The most commonly used are made of steel and aluminium (lighter).

They are the most widespread in the safety market, they are very thin, magnetic and thermal, as they transmit heat or cold from the environment to the foot.



Superior properties to metallic toecaps.


  •  They are non-thermal, non-magnetic and lighter.
  •  The materials used are constantly evolving, but the main ones are PVC derivatives, injected thermoplastics and glass fibre.


The only material that guarantees 100% of the impact and compression requirements of

Standard UNE-EN ISO 20345:2011



the part of the shoe that is in contact with the ground

This is where the construction of a new shoe design beginso

The design requires a careful and well thought-outdistribution of the cleats and drainage channels. This will achieve a high slide coefficient as wellas the correct drainage of the liquids under the sole while walking.


The design will also determine whether a sole (together with its last) is comfortable, light, flexible, etc., which will affect whether our footwearwill be more or less popular in the market.

Among the materials used for the sole of safety shoes we can distinguish three large groups:


  • Polyurethane(PU)
  • Rubber


  • PU - PU
  • PU - TPU
  • PU - Rubber
  • Rubber - Rubber
  • Rubber - EVA


Based on the former,inserts of othermaterials are addedin specific areas ofthe sole (heel,shank,instep...)

  • TPU
  • PU
  • Rubber

There are different methods of joining the sole to the part of the upper: injected, vulcanized, glued or sewn union:

To be approved, it needs to comply with amultitude of tests and requirements, such as

  • Thickness
  • Tread surface
  • Tread height
  • Tear resistance
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Bending resistance
  • Bond strength between layers
  • Slip resistance
  • Hydrolysis