Footwear Safety Standards


Footwear Safety Standards have updated. This guide helps you understand the amendments and how they affect your business.

The EN ISO 20345:2011 safety standard existed for over 10 years. It is therefore understandable that a refresh is here. The standard is revised by ISO 20345:2021. Products certified to EN ISO 20345:2011 do not need to be retested. That is, until the certification is renewed in five years.

Footwear Safety Standards amendments

  • Testing methods are more precise for specific boot types
  • Testing methods updated and aim to represent real safety scenarios
  • All new materials are rigorously tested
  • Slip and water-resistance is improved and updated
  • Penetration and ladder grip tests have new codes and tests
  • Safety standard markings are merged and changed
Footwear Safety Standards - Worker in safety shoes drilling road

Footwear Safety Standards; changes explained

Ankle protection

New testing requirements consider the changing area of impact. This is based on boot size and therefore improves accuracy. The previous requirement was applicable to all sizes.

Ladder grip (LG)

To meet the ISO 20345:2021 standard, shoes now have to match the same standard as firefighters.

Slip resistance (addition of SR, removal of SRA, SRB and SRC)

Testing is conducted on ceramic tile surfaces instead of steel. The heel and forepart are tested instead of the flat part of the shoe. The optional slip resistance test contaminant solution is now different.

The SRA, B and C markings are obsolete. This is because slip resistance is mandatory now and so no markings are required. However, the optional slip test is available to gain the SR marking.

Puncture resistance (PL – 4.5mm, PS – 3mm)

Non-Metal Anti-Penetration Inserts (NMAPI) now have two test types. The first uses a 4.5mm nail and the second a 3mm nail.

Scuff cap abrasion resistance (SC)

This new addition tests scuff cap durability and is tested over 1,000 abrasion cycles. It therefore ensures ultimate toe cap protection.

Water resistance (addition of WPA, removal of WRU)

WRU (water-resistant uppers) is now WPA (water penetration and absorption). The test now includes new footwear positioning – and utilises paper.

What if I buy my own footwear?

Please familiarise yourself with these changes and ensure you are protected at work. A good understanding is key to keep yourself safe.

What if I purchase footwear for other employees?

A comprehensive understanding is vital. When you talk to suppliers, specificities about the protection level needed are essential. As a result, you can help keep your team safe.

Please contact us for further information. We’re here to help.

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