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Rethinking women’s safety footwear

23 November 2017

Stuart Thorne, managing director, U-Power, explains why women at work need comfortable, good-quality, slip-resistant and protective footwear just as much as men do.

The workforce is becoming more diverse, with a growing proportion of women working in construction, engineering, manufacturing, warehousing and other traditionally male-dominated industries, as well in their more established roles in occupations such as catering and office work.

Alongside this change, employers and good safety footwear manufacturers are increasingly recognising the fact that women are not men with smaller feet, and should not be treated as such.

Yet, especially in the construction industry, female workers are often expected to wear ill-fitting personal protective equipment (PPE), including boots that are too big, too long and too wide and not designed for the shape of their foot, destroying their all-important comfort and putting their safety at increased risk by making tripping more likely.

Good manufacturers now acknowledge a growing demand for their own footwear from women, and appreciate that providing safety shoes specifically for them improves their efficiency and increases their personal safety and wellbeing, as well as that of the whole workforce.

New ladies’ styles
U-Power has recently launched four brand new styles in its extremely successful range of RedLion safety footwear, specifically designed to fit the shape and contours of a woman’s foot.

These innovative, lightweight and good-looking shoes perfectly match the form of the female foot, so ensuring flawless fit and all-day comfort for ladies and increasing their health and wellbeing. They feature revolutionary new mid-soles with Infinergy®, one of the most exciting developments in the safety footwear industry today.

Infinergy®’s, patented technology returns over 55% of positive energy to the wearer by making the insert spring back into its original shape immediately after impact, so helping to maintain the wearer’s energy for longer periods than a conventional shoe. The RedLion dramatically reduces stress, pressure, fatigue, backache and other musculoskeletal disorders in both men and women thanks to this insert.

Ladies’ footwear should also feature many of the essential attributes of male footwear, such as aluminium toe caps, pierce-, oil-and slip-resistant soles and breathable foodtbeds. They need to be available in sizes from 2 to 8 (34 to 42), and should have a variety of S-ratings, from S1 to S3, according to their antistatic, oil, water and mid-sole penetration resistance.  They should all be SRC-rated, which means they have been tested on both wet, soapy ceramic tiles and on steel with glycerol, for slip-resistance.

In addition, ladies’ footwear must offer outstanding comfort, styling and performance, as well as being a perfect fit and shape. They need extremely anti-slip soles to give exceptional grip, and to have a defined heel, so they can be safely used on stepladders.

Safety boots, shoes and trainers that match the form of the female foot yet are aesthetically pleasing ensure that women as well as men can have well-fitting footwear, great comfort, styling, performance and choice with increased safety, health and wellbeing in and out of the workplace. The issue of safety footwear for women is now being taken more seriously, with more and more models being made for women. This can only be of benefit to everyone.

U-Power has one of the best value and most comprehensive ranges of ladies’ safety boots and shoes available on the market today, all conforming to the latest EU standards, including EN ISO 20345:2011, in a huge array of styles and sizes.

Women don’t only want elegant, stylish shoes in a range of attractive colours and designs. They want all the safety features, comfort, practicality, reliability and protection offered by men’s footwear as well. Without doubt they deserve the best choice of footwear on the market to ensure their safety and well-being in the workplace.