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ASTM F2413 Work Boot Requirements

Need work boots that meet ASTM F2413-11 Standards? Depending on your job, you may be exposed to dangerous conditions where you are regularly at risk to slip, slide, or fall. A little bump from falling may not sound too serious, but if you’re a construction worker attaching shingles to a roof, sliding on a wet patch can have serious repercussions. In this guide, we'll discuss how the ASTM F2413-11 ranks safety work boots.

Below are some of the ways work boots are rated:

  • Impact Resistance
  • Compression Resistance
  • Metatarsal Protection
  • Conductivity Resistance
  • Electric Shock Resistance
  • Static Dissipative Properties
  • Puncture Resistance
  • Chainsaw Cut Resistance
  • Dielectric Insulation

Things can get messy in the work place. And they can get messy fast.

Gravity pulls heavy objects down from seemingly secure fixtures, corrosive materials splatter and escape their containers, and electric charges produce nasty shocks when it flows through a person to complete a circuit. Being mindful at work is the best way to prevent accidents, but sometimes that’s not enough.

Every year, thousands of work place injuries occur that could have been prevented with the right gear.

That’s why the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) developed standards for workplace safety. The ASTM F2413-11 specifically details how work boots’ safety performance can be measured. In the past, the ANSI Z41 was the industry standard, but in 2005 these performance requirements was formally replaced with the ASTM’s safety standardization.

With so many unique workplace hazards that vary from industry to industry, it’s good to know the ASTM seeks to measure and protect workers with safety standards. How safe are your work boot accorindg to ASTM F2413-11?

Elements of Safety Work Boots

The ASTM F2413-11 documentation ranks safety footwear by a number of factors. These factors are categories by just about any kind of hazard that could be present in the workplace. It's not enough to have comfortable working boots - they have to be safe. See a complete list of footwear properties based on workplace hazards below:

Impact Resistance.

Regardless of whether the boot or shoe is made of composite or steel materials, a protective toe cap must be permanently fixed to the interior of the footwear. There are four classes used to rate impact resistance, taking both sex and protection ranking into account. These are: Class 75 for men, Class 75 for women, Class 50 for men and Class 50 for women. 75 is a superior impact resistance rating to 50.

Compression Resistance.

A work boot’s compression resistance ranking specifies the boot’s ability to resist constant pressure applied to the steel or composite toe cap. Compression resistance is on an identical scale to impact resistance. These are: Class 75 for men, Class 75 for women, Class 50 for men and Class 50 for women. 75 is a superior impact resistance rating to 50.

Metatarsal Protection.

The ASTM’s metatarsal protection scale measures how effective a boot protects the metatarsal bones in your foot. Typically, jobs like welding require boots with a metatarsal guard to protect workers from sparks and other hazardous materials. A metatarsal impact guard is designed to partially cover the toe cap and extend to your foot’s metatarsal bones. Just like impact and compression resistance, metatarsal protection is measured with a ranking of 50 or 75, with 75 being the more effective protection.

Conductivity Resistance.

Conduction occurs when heat or electricity moves from one object to another due to a difference of temperature or electrical potential. Boots with conductive properties minimize the likelihood of igniting hazardous materials or electrocuting the boot wearer.

Electric Shock Resistance.

Boots resistant to electricity protect the heels and toes from direct electric shocks. Work boots with this property are especially useful – not to mention necessary – for electricians and anyone operating around livewires.

Static Dissipative Properties.

When two objects are rubber together, electrons of positive or negative nature may move from one material to the other, causing an excess of positive charges on one material. This principle is known as static electricity, and – although most people know static electricity as a jolting but small little shock – in certain environments, static electricity buildup can result in serious workplace catastrophes. SD footwear reduces the chance of charges moving to your boots, minimizing the possibility of explosive reactions.

Electrical Hazard

Electrostatic Discharge

  • Used by workers who operate around live circuits and electrical equipment
  • Ground wearer from electricity to prevent electrocution from accidental contact with live circuits
  • Non-conductive, therefore primary source of protection against electrical shock
  • Can have either an insulated metal or composite toe
  • Used by workers who hand explosive or otherwise volatile materials
  • Dissipates static electricity from the body to reduce chance of ignition from sparks
  • Reduces potential electric shock, but offers no protection from direct contact with live charges
  • Made with materials that offer little to no electrical resistance

Puncture Resistance.

Construction workers or those who work amongst hazardous rubble require a puncture resistant plate. Boots like the Halifax 6.0 have a plate that’s permanently positioned between the insole and outsole across the full length of the boots.

Chainsaw Cut Resistance.

Certain boots are specially made to resist the sharp, rotating blades of a chainsaw. This specialized footwear is made of material tough enough to protect the boot wearer when operating a chainsaw.

Dielectric Insulation.

This property means the footwear is designed to provide additional insulation against electric shocks. The boot will shield the boot wearer from potentially life-threatening volts of electricity should contact be made with conductors or livewires.

Safety Work Boots Broken Down

With so many work boots commercially available, it can be tough to navigate what components of the boot do what. The primary function of a work boot is to protect your feet from hazards. Remember how to break in your work boots the right way because safety features mean nothing if the fit isn't right. Learn what makes a safe work boot below:

Safety Toe Cap.

A safety toe can be made of either steel or composite materials. The toe cap wraps around your toes at the front of the boot, protecting your feet from falling objects.

What’s the difference between a steel and composite toe?

Steel Toe

Composite Toe

  • Shatterproof material with excellent puncture protection
  • Conducts heat and cold from the outside
  • Makes a boot feel heavier
  • Made of lightweight materials
  • Great electrical resistance and insulation
  • Does not set off metal detectors

Puncture Plate.

Provides puncture resistance to the boots sole. Ideal for protecting construction workers from getting a nail through the foot, or anyone else who regularly needs to walk around rubble and potentially hazardous materials.

Slip Resistant Outsoles.

Boots made with high quality outsoles like Vibram help workers keep their feet on the ground when walking on surfaces with water or oil.

Rear Kickplate.

A rear kickplate is similar to a puncture plate, only the plate is positioned to protect the heel.

Gusseted Tongue.

A gusseted tongue means the tongue of the boot is actually sewn into upper of the boot, behind the laces. This detail of a work boot prevents potentially harmful objects from entering the space between the tongue and the upper.

How to Quickly Assess Work Boot Safety When Shopping Online

At Magnum Boots, we try to make it easy for customers to identify the safety features of our work boot collection. Each boot model features a series of icons to identify how it protects your feet. Compare Magnum Work Boot safety features with our chart.

Icons like these stand for specific safety ratings as dictated by ASTM F2413-11, the Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective (Safety) Toe Footwear. Use the abbreviations below to evaluate the safety ratings of each icon:

  • I - A boot’s impact resistance rating.
  • C - A boot’s compression resistance rating.
  • CD - Offers protection against conductivity hazards.
  • EH - Identifies footwear that features electrical-resistant properties.
  • SD - Footwear outfitted with electrostatic discharge protection.
  • M - Designed to provide additional metatarsal protection.
  • CS - Footwear with chainsaw cut resistance.
  • PR - Indicates a boot features a puncture resistant plate between the insole and midsole.
  • DI - Identifies dielectric insulation in a boot.