Waterproof safety shoes: water-resistant models
Anyone who thinks that safety shoes are all the same is mistaken. Each category of work footwear has distinctive characteristics that change according to the level of risk the wearer faces, and waterproofing is one of them. So let's take a look at how to figure out which commercially available safety shoes are waterproof and analyse all water-resistant models.
Waterproof safety shoes: a little clarity
As mentioned above, there are several types of waterproof safety shoes, but before explaining the characteristics of waterproof safety shoes, it is appropriate to clarify how the law defines this particular kind of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Work footwear is essentially divided into two classes: class 1 and class 2. The first category includes shoes from category S1 to S3.
In the second class, on the other hand, safety shoes made only of natural and synthetic polymers (PVC, for example) fall under the categories S4 and S5.
Now, each of these classifications has mandatory characteristics and, depending on the additional characteristic, a different letter is applied. For example, if we encounter a safety shoe with the code S1P, this will be a shoe with the same technical characteristics as an S1 but with the addition of the anti-puncture sole, which is indicated by the letter P. Clearly, however, some of these categories have features that are mandatory, but others do not, and in this case, therefore, no additional letter will appear. The S3 shoe, for example, has a mandatory anti-puncture sole, so the P that makes sense in S1P is not there here.
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Waterproof safety shoes: WR and WRU markings
Continuing the line of reasoning pursued so far, there are several markings indicating specific characteristics to be applied to safety shoes. For example, there are 2 types of waterproofing: WRU and WR.
- WRU, which stands for "water resistant upper", is the abbreviation for all footwear (from category S1 to S3) that are water resistant only on the upper part of the shoe. In this case, therefore, the waterproofing is not total.
- WR, on the other hand, stands for "water resistant" and indicates all shoes whose waterproofing is complete, that is, it extends from the upper to the sole and therefore allows complete protection of the foot both against water and contaminating liquids.
Waterproof safety shoes: the S4 and S5
Categories S4 and S5 are reserved for those safety shoes specifically designed and manufactured to handle medium- to high-risk environments and work. For both categories, total waterproofing is an implicit aspect, so it will be impossible to find the WR marking on these shoes, which is instead visible in the other categories where it is an additional feature.
Moreover, as already mentioned, these work shoes are made exclusively of rubber and polymer materials, so they can easily withstand immersion in water and contact with liquids.
The only difference distinguishing them is the presence of an anti-puncture layer, a feature present only in the S5 category, which has all the features of the S4 (WR, reinforced toe cap, anti-slip sole, anti-static protection and heel protection) plus the latter.
Visit the Reposa catalogue section to find the most suitable shoe for your job and the specifications provided by the safety manager, or contact us for more information.