International safety footwear standards

Is your footwear really safe? If you are responsible for identifying which safety shoes keep your work team protected in different work environments, it is important that you know these international regulations thoroughly and that you know that the best industrial safety boots worldwide meet these standards.

Knowing about these regulations will help you select the correct safety boot depending on the risks in the work area, and really understand what type of protection your equipment needs.

There are 2 main international standards for safety footwear: ASTM F 2413 and EN 20345. They are the world reference standards and the most valuable to guarantee the optimum safety standards for the protection of feet in a work environment.

The types of professional footwear are very wide. Depending on the level of protection, we can talk about two types:

  • Safety Footwear (EN ISO 20345 and ASTM F2413).
  • Work footwear. They do not have a toe cap or a template for protection against perforation, but they comply with the norm of anti-slip and waterproof protection.

We will explain a little more about each international regulation below:

ASTM 2413-18.

The “American Society for Testing and Materials” or “American Society for Testing and Materials”, is an international standards organization that develops and publishes regulations and technical certifications of voluntary consensus.

For many this standard was previously known as “ANSI Z41”, however, it was replaced by 2 regulations in 2005, entitled “Standard F2413 for Performance Requirements” and “Standard F2412 for Methods of Foot Protection Test”, whose last updates were made in 2018.

The requirements of this regulation are:

  • Impact Resistance (I):7 J impact resistant toe, where the minimum clearance of the inner height of the toe should be 12.7 mm.
  • Compressive Strength (C): toe resistant to a compression force of 11121 N, where the minimum clearance of the inner height of the toe should be 12.7 mm.
  • Metatarsal Protection (Mt): reduces the possibility of injuries in the metatarsal bones of the upper part of the foot.
  • Conductive Protection (CD) Properties: reduce the risks that may result from the accumulation of static electricity, reducing the possibility of ignition of explosives and volatile chemicals.
  • Electrical Insulation (EH): identifies footwear manufactured to have electrical insulating properties, in order to reduce the risks related to accidental contact with electrical circuits with current and conductors with electrical energy.
  • Static Dissipative Properties (SD): identifies the footwear manufactured to reduce the accumulation of excessive static electricity by conducting load from the body to the ground.
  • Perforation resistance (PR): identifies footwear designed to be resistant to perforation of the plant, reducing the possibility of injuries caused by sharp objects that could penetrate the bottom of the footwear.

Calzados Sicura complies with the international standard ASTM F2413-18, identified with codes (I), (C), (EH) and (PR).

EN ISO 20345: 2012

The current safety standard in Europe is updated in 2011 to make it more stringent, all products must be manufactured, tested and certified under the EN ISO 20345 standard. In the EN ISO 20345 standard there are different safety classes such as S1 or S3, for example. Each shoe is tested in all possible aspects and is awarded an “S” class, which will depend on the different manufacturing and protection characteristics that the shoe grants.

To group the most common requirements of safety footwear, designation codes are created: an “S”, which represents safety footwear, followed by a letter or number depending on the additional requirements it meets. Depending on the specificity of the requirements, that “S” is changing, as we will see below.

  • SB: indicates that the footwear meets the basic requirements of resistance and protection of the toe area.
  • S1: indicates that the footwear meets the basic requirements (SB) in addition to having the back closed, being antistatic (A), absorbing the energy of the heel (E) and being resistant to hydrocarbons (FO).
  • S2: indicates that the footwear meets the requirements of category S1 and also offers resistance to water penetration and absorption in the shoe cut (WRU).
  • S3: indicates that the footwear meets the requirements of category S2 in addition to offering resistance to perforation of the sole (P).
  • S4 and S5: used exclusively for water boots. S4 indicates that the footwear complies with category S3 and additionally has antistatic properties, energy absorption in the heel and hydrocarbon resistance. While S5 indicates that it has in addition to all the requirements of S4, puncture resistance of the sole.

If we wanted to see all these aspects separately, you can “build” an encoding for each type of safety feature that the shoe meets:

  • P: Puncture resistance of the sole. With a template (textile or metal) that resists the perforation of 1,100 N of force.
  • C: Driver footwear. It dissipates electrostatic charges; its electrical resistance is from 0 to 100 kiloohms.
  • A: Antistatic footwear. It dissipates electrostatic charges; its electrical resistance is 100 to 1,000 kiloohms.
  • HI: Resistance of the sole against heat. Insulation against the heat of the sole up to 150 ° C.
  • CI: Sole resistance against cold. cold insulation of the sole up to -17 ° C.
  • E: Energy Absorption in the heel. This area of ​​the footwear must be able to absorb a minimum of energy of 20 J.
  • WR: Water resistance. This requirement is for the complete shoe, which must be completely waterproof.
  • WRU: Resistance to penetration and water absorption of the chapel (upper). The shoe cut is resistant to water penetration and absorption.
  • M: Metatarsal protection. The footwear includes additional protection to the metatarsus, upper part of the foot.
  • HRO: Heat resistance by contact. The sole is heat resistant by contact up to 300 ° C.
  • FO: Resistance to hydrocarbons. The sole is resistant to hydrocarbon contact (this is a basic requirement for safety shoes).

If the footwear is additionally sought to be slip resistant, there are 3 parameters or requirements for each type:

  • SRA: slip resistance on ceramic tile surfaces moistened with sodium lauryl sulfate solution.
  • SRB: slip resistance on smooth steel surfaces moistened with glycerol / glycerin.
  • SRC: resistant to SRA + SRB.

As you can see, European regulations are much more specific in the particular risks of each environment. This does not mean that one is stricter than another, they simply analyze risks differently.


The classification of Sicura Footwear, in compliance with EN ISO 20345: 2012, corresponds to: SB + P + E + FO + SRB. In the cases of some models, + WRU is added when the shoe or upper part of the shoe is resistant to water penetration and absorption.

It is always necessary to assess the risks of each work activity to ensure worker protection. Therefore, the footwear that best suits the existing working conditions must be selected and considering the possible risks to which your equipment is exposed. In addition to making sure that the footwear we are buying, it really complies with international safety standards.

If you want to know more about all the aspects that we consider in our production process, as well as obtain personalized advice on your particular case, get in touch with us and with pleasure one of our consultants will give you the best options that adapt to your need.

Call us at: +58 212 3811533 / 3811432. Whatsapp Business: +58 424 1979775.

Source:  Standard ASTM F2413-18, ASTM F2412 y Standard EN ISO 20345.