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Choosing the right commercial footwear

Safety can seem like a bit of a dry subject, but at Lamberts we know that if you work in the trades or construction industry it needs to be prioritised. We’re experts in the regulations that keep you safe within the workplace and are here to help you navigate the safety gear that’s available out there and what will best suit your requirements. Our Workwear Specialist Tom Collin can’t stress enough how important it is that you don’t forget to look after your feet too. With his expert knowledge of safety gear, he gives us the low-down of the best ways to support your soles, whichever shoe fits best…

Tom Collin, Workwear Specialist at Lamberts, with the Himalayan 1121 safety boot
Tom Collin, Workwear Specialist at Lamberts, recommends the Himalayan 1121 in his top 5 safety footwear

Tom Collin’s top 5 safety boots & trainers:

The Best ‘All-rounder’ - Blackrock Malvern Hiker SF79

A comfortable, no-nonsense safety boot, S3 SRC rated and available in the colours honey, brown and black.

The Best Safety Trainer - Himalayan 4314

A non-metallic, lightweight trainer that’s S1P SRC rated. Great for inside warehouses and factories.

The Best Extreme Weather Safety Boot - Himalayan 5206

Tough and rugged, this S3 SRC-rated boot comes with a scuff cap for added durability.

The Best Classic - Himalayan 1121

Old tricks are the best tricks, and this is a classic no-fuss, brown S3 safety boot.

The Best Office Shoe - Himalayan 910C

This S1P-rated classic shoe looks like a smart shoe and handles like a safety boot.

Safety ratings explained

S3 rating features

  • Antistatic This is good for people working with gas or in the offshore industry because this feature neutralises static charge, which could potentially ignite a flash point.

  • Waterproof Great if you’re working outside.

  • Midsole protection strips This is a section of protection underfoot which stops anything penetrating the sole through to your foot, such as nails or other sharp objects.

  • Toe protection

S1P rating features

All the protection of S3 rated footwear, but not waterproof. This makes the shoes much more breathable than the S3, so are better for people who need protection but work inside.

Slip resistance ratings Anti-Slip ratings are important to factor in when choosing your footwear. With over 40% of serious work-related injuries being slips and trips, anti-slip ratings are also worth paying attention to when choosing footwear. These are the three ratings used to confirm slip resistance testing has been passed:

  • SRA: tested on ceramic tile wetted with a dilute soap solution.

  • SRB: tested on smooth steel with glycerol/oil.

  • SRC: tested under both the above conditions.

Composite vs metal

There are also composite versions of safety footwear available. This means they don’t contain any metal so are good for people who work in security, aviation, and at airports, who spend a lot of time going through metal detectors. A vast variation in size is available with the majority of footwear coming in sizes 3-13.

Tom’s Top Tip: Safety boots and shoes are designed to be slightly on the big side, so don’t opt for a smaller size. If your footwear is too small, they’re no longer safe and will offer no protection. If they’re slipping, pop an insole inside to bring them up a notch. If you get 6-9 months out of a pair of boots, that’s perfectly normal. Look after your boots, and they may go even further.

For more information and advice, visit us on Whiffler Road, Norwich or email


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