Standards and directives for safety footwear

EN ISO 20345 – Personal protective equipment, safety shoes

The standard EN ISO 20345 defines both the basic and additional requirements for safety shoes for commercial use. Footwear in accordance with EN ISO 20345 is intended to protect the wearer from bumps, crushing, falling or rolling objects, from walking into sharp or pointed objects, heat or cold, and hot substances.

Examples of aspects dealt with in the standard are handling mechanical risks, slip resistance, thermal risks and ergonomic properties. Additional standards relating to individual activities deal with risks in relation to footwear with electrical insulation, for example, and shoes to protect against chemicals, etc.

The basic requirements described in EN ISO 20345 include:

  • height of the upper
  • heel area on boots
  • minimum length, pressure and bump impact resistance of the toe cap
  • water vapour permeability and water vapour number of the upper
  • outsole thickness and abrasion resistance of the outsole

Safety footwear is divided into different protection classes depending on the requirements fulfilled. The safety footwear in protection class SB fulfil the minimum requirements in accordance with EN ISO 20345. Safety footwear with additional requirements are divided into protection classes S1 to S5 depending in the properties

Footwear symbols for industrial use

uvex’s leading edge technology centre is located in Ceva, Italy and is committed to producing the highest quality and most technologically advanced safety footwear in Europe. The plant is able to manufacture all of uvex’s PUR and rubber sole technologies in one location, allowing for greater flexibility in the manufacturing process. All our plants are certified in accordance with the ISO 1900: 2008 quality management standard.

Basic requirements/additional requirements/categories e.g. for leather shoes Safety footwear EN ISO 20345
Basic requirements for shoes and impact resistance of toecaps SB 200 Joule
Additional requirements:
- Closed seat region
- Antistatic properties
- Energy absorption of seat region
- Fuel resistance
Additional requirements: as above, plus:
- S2 Water penetration and absorption
Additional requirements: as above, plus:
- Penetration resistance
- Cleated outsole

Standards and labels

Safety footwear labelling explained

Additional requirements for special applications with corresponding symbols

Symbol Risk covered EN ISO 20345
    SB S1 S2 S3 S5
- Basic
P Penetration resistance      
A Antistatic footwear  
E Energy absorption around heel  
HI Heat insulation          
CI Cold insulation          
WRU Water resistance of upper      
HRO Heat resistance of outsole (+300°C/min)          
WR Whole shoe waterproof          
M Metatarsal protection          
FO Resistance to oil and petrol