When you buy a pair of new work boots it is very uncomfortable to go to work wearing those. The boots are too tight and they almost bite into your flesh, giving...
What Are Slip-On Safety Boots? - A Detailed Guide
Thanks to strict regulations laid down by the department of Labor and OSHA, combined with technological advances in protective work-wear, the number of accidents and unfortunate incidents at workplaces have drastically reduced.
Today, there is highly advanced personal protective work-wear available in the market. The good thing with all these advances and options is that workers no longer need to sacrifice style and comfort while also getting all the protection they need. This is especially true regarding safety boots.
Workers in chemical factories, construction, warehouses, logistics and transport all need to protect their feet from heavy objects, falling debris, sharp tools, slippery surfaces, and splashes of hot liquids, molten chemicals etc.
This is where safety boots can come into the picture. Earlier, safety work boots invariably had bulky or thick laces. There wasn’t much choice other than such lace-up boots. Wearing them and taking them off was a major hassle and would become a chore for the workers.
With slip-on safety boots you can get great comfort and convenience of simply slipping the boots on without sacrificing on protection and safety.
Let us discuss everything there is to know about slip-on safety boots.
What Are Slip-on Safety Boots?
Slip-on safety boots, as their name indicates, can be easily slipped on the feet. They do not have bulky laces, lace eyelets, and thick tongues for you to deal with.
You can comfortably and easily slip your feet in these boots which have a wider opening and quickly get on with your work. Often busy people find lace or regular work boots slowing them down.
With slip-on safety boots, you can save time on wearing and removing the boots. After a tiring work day where you have been on your feet all day, the first thing you want to do is kick off the work boots and relax.
Slip-on safety boots allow you that luxury.
They come with all the safety reinforcements which can protect your toes and delicate metatarsal area from falling debris, hot and molten liquids, chemical splashes, etc.
You can easily get safety toe slip on boots having superior slip resistance. They even come with steel, aluminum, or composite toe.
High-quality slip-ons from top brands are made with leather uppers. Alternatively, you can buy them in synthetic materials.
The safety toe could be steel, aluminum, or composite materials like carbon nano-fiber, Kevlar, or fiberglass. These materials are embedded in the toe area under the uppers. When you select top-rated slip-ons, you can be assured of the boots having undergone stringent testing procedures. They must meet or exceed various ASTM standards. ASTM stands for American Society of Testing Materials. This ensures that they protect wearers against compression or crushing injuries.
Some slip-on work boots can also be EH rated. This means that they can help workers in areas avoid electrical hazards.
In short: slip-on safety work boots are made for the hardworking man.
Uses Of Slip-On Safety Work Boots
Safety work boots are mandatory in many workplaces. Slip on boots with safety toe are especially needed in areas where there may be following hazards and risks involved: rolling objects, falling objects, sharp debris, electrical hazards from static buildup or open circuits, splashes of molten metal or hot liquids and chemicals, etc.
Some workplaces might require you to wear lace-up safety toe boots. Others might allow slip-on boots or pull-on boots. Always confirm your workplace’s requirements to ensure meeting these needs.
Hikers can also benefit from slip-on boots in most cases. However, since slip-on boots often have wider openings, they could let in cold, snow, water, and mud inside. This can be inconvenient on dangerous terrains.
Benefits Of Slip-On Safety Boots
Workers that need safety boots most likely work under rough and tough conditions. They are naturally going to welcome any convenience and comfort – features that would simplify their lives. Slip-on safety boots offer the convenience and protection of work boots without the hassles of lace-up boots.
Lace up boots often require you to weave the bulky laces through tiny lace eyelets. Laces also get untied which can be a major inconvenience for many people.
Many men and women find slip-on boots more comfortable compared to lace-ups. They offer a snug fit and come with elastic sides that allow a bit of expansion as against bulky tongue-areas that can be restrictive to some users.
Slip-on safety toe boots can have steel or composite materials in them. These can provide the same safety (if not more) as any lace-up safety toe boots. Since there are no laces, you can greatly reduce tripping hazards with slip-on boots.
Pros And Cons Of Slip-On Vs. Boots Lace-up
Pull-on safety boots are convenient and easier to wear compared to lace-up boots which require users to bend down and wear them. Laces can also come undone during work which can waste time and slow you down.
Pull-on boots are easy to take off at the end of the day – sometimes, you need not even use your hands for the task.
Tripping hazards can be minimized with lace-less slip-on boots. Many people are known to have serious slips and falls after tripping on their shoe laces.
On the downside, slip-on work boots tend to lose shape and often lack ankle support. They may also have gaping collars which can let in water and cold.
Types Of Slip-On Safety Boots
Elastic-Sided slip-on boots
Elastic-sided boots – as their name indicates – come with elastic sides around the opening. They allow easy-on and easy-off comfort. Sometimes, you won’t even need the use of your hands for removing the slip-on boots.
Wide-opening slip-on boots
Wide-opening slip-on boots do not have an elastic side but simply feature a wider opening that lets you slip the boots on easily and also remove them as conveniently without having to bend down.
Further classification can be done based on the length of the shaft – ankle length, knee length etc.
Factors To Consider When Selecting Slip-On Safety Boots
This is often the first criteria of selection for most people, when it comes to buying safety work boots. However, cheaper boots might not be able to fulfill all your expectations in terms of safety and foot protection. So, do avoid this risk, as accidents and workplace injuries can end up costing much more and not just in terms of money.
Reviews from other users
This is a good place to start when you do not have any idea about the kind of boots you want or the brand. Read reviews online and then select a pair that has a good feedback in terms of safety and comfort.
Style and design
At work, you won’t really be concerned with the aesthetics of the boots. However, the style and design are important and so will be the color. You will look forward to wearing the boots every day when you like their design and style!
Size, materials, soles
Always measure your feet before selecting the boots. Brand-sizes wary so refer to individual size-charts. Look for feedback whether the boots run true to size.
Leather, rubber, and synthetic blend with plastic are some good materials in safety boots. The toe area can have steel, aluminum, or composite reinforcement. Based on these materials, your boots may be heavy or light.
Look for soles that offer superior slip-resistance on slippery surfaces. All these factors will also decide the comfort of the boots. Moreover, these materials will decide the durability of the boots – how long they will last and the number of years of service you can get out of them.
Protection and safety standards
Read up about ASTM Standards to understand whether your boots meet these specs.
If your work needs the boots to meet ASTM standards laid down by ANSI (American National Standards Institute), then you may want to look for a brand that specifies these standards on their boots.
Here is how to understand what the different lines on your boots may mean as far as standards are concerned:
- Line 1- For E.g. ASTM F 2413-11. The last two digits following the 2413 (in this case 11) mean the year of the manufacture.
- Line 2 – M 1/75 C/75. Here M stands for male. This means that the boots are for men. 1/75 indicates testing done for impacts while C/75 means the boots are tested for compression.
- Line 3 – EH PR – This may or may not be present on your slip-on work boots. EH stands for electrical hazards while PR for resistance to punctures and sharp objects.
How loose should slip-on safety boots be?
Slip-on safety boots should offer a snug fit. They should not be loose as that could cause them to come off which can increase the user’s risk to falling debris, sharp objects, hot liquids, etc.
You must try on several pairs of slip-on safety boots. If any of them has a loose insole, then the chances of the foot slipping in the heel will be higher. This can be dangerous in high-risk areas.
Are lace up boots safer than slip-on and pull-up boots?
In most cases, lace-ups tend to be safer as you can tighten the laces which can ensure that no water or snow or hot liquids can enter in.
However, if your laces tend to come off, then they could be a slipping/tripping hazard.
Are slip-on work boots bad for the feet?
Not necessarily. It all depends on the insole, the comfort, the fit, and materials. Slip-on work boots are convenient to take on and off. However, they may not offer protection against debris or liquids going in, especially if they have a wider opening or elastic side opening.
Always try on the boots and allow a breaking-in period. Select high-quality boots from top brands. This way, you can ensure good material and meeting of necessary safety standards.
Test the boots from time to time. Any sign of wear, discard them right away. This is important for your protection.
Slip-on safety boots offer the convenience of easy-on/easy-off with all the protection of other safety work boots.
We hope this brief guide helps answer all your questions about slip-on safety boots.
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