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Standards for Protective Footwear

Updated on April 16, 2017
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Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, engineer, mother of 2, and a published sci-fi and horror author.


What are the most commonly referenced standards for protective foot wear? What are some of the commonly used ASTM and ISO safety foot wear standards for different occupations and environments?

ASTM General Protective Footwear Standards

ASTM F2412-11 outlines the standard test method for foot protection. This standard includes test procedures for impact resistance for the toe area, compression resistance for the toe area, protection for the top of the foot, electrical conductivity of the footwear, the puncture resistance and protection from stepping on a live wire. Footwear that has been redesigned by changing the insole material, the hardness of the out-sole or thickness of either must be retested per ASTM standards.

Toe caps protect your toes from impact like hard hats protect your head.
Toe caps protect your toes from impact like hard hats protect your head. | Source

ISO General Protective Footwear Standards

ISO 20345 is the ISO standard for safety footwear. This standard gives specifications for slip resistance, the fit and ergonomics of safety foot wear, heat protection and impact resistance.

ISO 20347 is the standard for protective shoes that do not have to provide protection from impact. ISO 20344 is the ISO standard for testing the effectiveness of protective footwear.

ISO 13287 is the standard for testing slip resistance in protective foot wear.ISO 2023 is the standard for boots lined with vulcanized rubber. This standard covers ankle boots up to full height boots.

Dielectric Protective Footwear Standards

ASTM F1117-03 gives the performance requirements for dielectric footwear. ASTM F1117-03 covers several types of foot wear. Rubbers refer to items worn over existing foot wear like boots and protect the food. Boots are worn over the worker’s shoes but protect both the foot and lower leg.

Galoshes are worn over the worker’s shoes and cover the leg up to the knee. Galoshes are different from boots in that galoshes have fasteners to its flaps. All of these types of foot wear are tested using a 60 Hertz root mean square voltage. ASTM F1116-03 is the test procedure for determining the dielectric strength of foot wear. This process determines the electrical resistance of the footwear.

Protective Footwear Standards for Chain Saw Users

ASTM F1818-04 is the standard for foot wear to protect users of chain saws. ASTM F1458-04 is the test procedure for determining how well shoes for chain saw users protect the feet. The test determines whether the protective shoe stops the chain saw before it reaches the user’s foot. This standard is related but not the same as ASTM F1414-04, which measures the effectiveness of protective leggings.

The equivalent ISO standard is ISO 17249. ISO 17249 is the European standard for safety foot wear that protects the chain saw user’s feet from the chain saw. ISO 381 is the standard for clothing to protect users from a chain saw.

Toe Cap Standards

Toe caps are the technical term for steel toe protectors, and toe caps are installed in steel toe boots. Toe caps can be compared to hard hats for your toes.

ASTM F2413-11, sometimes called ASTM f 2413, gives the performance requirements for toe cap foot wear. This type of footwear is intended to protect the feet from fallen objects that would otherwise break a toe and provide puncture resistance to protect the bottom of the foot.

Additional Occupational Safety Standards for Shoes and Boots

ISO 18690 is an ISO standard under development for the selection and maintenance of protective footwear based on the occupational hazards the users will face.

ISO 20349 is the standard for protecting the feet of those who work in foundries. ISO 20349 gives both the functional requirements for shoes that protect a worker’s feet from molten metal and extreme heat and the test methods to be used.

OSHA has incorporated Occupational Foot Protection Standard into federal law as 29 CFR 1910.136. CSA standard Z195 is the Canadian standard for protective footwear.


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