How To Choose The Right Safety Footwear?

Have you ever wondered whether the footwear you buy are suitable for your job?
Are your boots too warm or not warm enough?
Do you think a more expensive boot will "do the job better"?
Do your boots ever get wet, even though you often work outdoors?

Many workers find themselves in these situations.
With the wide range of safety footwear on the market, it's crucial to consider several important factors, such as intended use, work environment and desired features.

Once determined, this will help you establish the most appropriate type of safety footwear for your specific needs.


1.The type of shoe required

Depending on the type of work you do, you'll need a footwear that's adapted to your working environment and the level of protection required. Do you work more indoors or outdoors? Here are some options for different sectors:

  • Safety shoe: Ideal for warehousing, distribution, manufacturing, restauration and food processing.
  • 6'' boot:  Perfect for general work, agriculture, warehouse, distribution and manufacturing.
  • 8'' boot: Suitable for general work, asphalt, paving, warehouse, distribution, manufacturing and foundry.
  • Waterproof boot: Essential for agriculture, agri-food, fishery, mining and oil & gas, and general work.

*Note that in some provinces, employers may have restrictions on boot height and require 8". It's always a good idea to check with your employer.

2.The type of protection required

Depending on your field of activity and the associated risks, safety footwear must comply with specific standards to ensure your safety.

When you see a certification logo on a footwear, it means it has been tested and its certification is recognized.

Safety symbols and associated protection:

CSA Z195 : Shoe only with a protective toe cap and no protective sole.
RECOMMENDED USE: For handling, delivery, production and areas without risk of sole perforation.

CSA : Footwear with sole puncture protection and a protective toe cap.
RECOMMENDED USE: For any industry where there is a hazard from nails or other sharp objects, particularly in the construction industry.

ESR : Footwear with an electric shock-resistant sole (dielectric or ESR).
RECOMMENDED USE: For all working environments where electrical shocks may be a hazard.
Warning: Resistance to electric shock decreases over time and in damp environments.

M: Footwear with metatarsal protection, which can be internal or external, flexible or rigid.
RECOMMENDED USE: For any industrial work (mining, welding, glazing, etc.) where there is a risk of injury due to falling objects on top of the foot (the metatarsal).


SD : Static-dissipative footwear shall reduce the accumulation of excess static electricity while maintaining a level of electrical resistance
RECOMMENDED USE: Automotive, computer industry, etc.


3. With or without waterproof membrane

Do your tasks involve exposure to water on your feet?
If so, it's essential to choose a rain boot or work boot with a waterproof membrane!

A waterproof membrane prevents water from penetrating the shoe while allowing moisture to escape, keeping your feet dry. This feature is particularly crucial in the construction, agriculture and landscaping sectors, where working conditions can be particularly wet and difficult.

4. Comfort zone and environmental conditions

Are you working on a hot surface?
Or do you need insulation to keep your feet warm?

Cofra offers specialized footwear for specific fields such as asphalt/paving, foundry, welding or mining. Our products are designed to meet the demanding environmental conditions of these professions. Each style has particular features to provide optimum protection and maximum comfort, even in the most extreme conditions.

5.The budget

 For some, comfort and safety are priceless, while for others the budget is more limited. Here are some things to consider:

Type of outsole: Choose footwear with non-slip soles and make sure you have an oil- and acid-resistant sole if your work requires it. Some footwear also offer dual-density soles with a lighter mid-layer to reduce the weight of the footwear and increase your comfort. Some sole materials, such as rubber, remain more flexible and slip-resistant to the cold. Make sure the sole of your footwear is suitable for your work.

Type of material: Footwear can be made of leather, microfiber or nylon. Leather offers durability and breathability, while nylon is very light and even more breathable. Microfiber is very easy to clean and offers additional protection against grease, lactic acid, cement, pathogens and various chemicals.

Type of protective toe cap and sole: Steel toe and plate are less expensive, but a little heavier, while composite ones are lighter and non-conductive to cold.

Type of lining : Breathable and antibacterial linings reduce moisture and odors, and prevent the growth of bacteria.

Insole comfort: Cushioned or ergonomic insoles provide adequate support, shock absorption and arch support. Some insoles are removable to allow the insertion of orthotics or to facilitate footwear drying.

In summary, investing in high-quality safety footwear means investing in your comfort, safety and well-being at work. A good pair of footwear prevents foot, leg and back injuries in the long term.