Top tips for finding the right women's safety boot


Wednesday, 11 January, 2023

Top tips for finding the right women's safety boot

The rise and rise of women in the construction and industrial workforce lends itself to an ever-increasing demand for safety gear designed specifically for women. Gone are the days of “one size fits all” when it comes to personal protective equipment, and boots are no different.

Manufacturers are aware of the fundamental differences between men’s and women’s feet, and an increasing range of women’s safety boots is hitting the market. And it’s not just the size that counts, but more profound anatomical variations that make designing women’s safety footwear all the more important.

The industry is slowly evolving beyond simply shrinking men’s boots for the female workforce, but what makes a comfortable, functional and well-fitting safety boot for women at work?

The best fit

An ill-fitting work shoe can be a painful nuisance and a big distraction on the job. What’s worse is that distraction can become a potential safety risk.

For a long day on the worksite, ergonomic safety footwear makes all the difference. Boots made from a specific female last should provide a better fit for women’s feet.

Not all feet are created equal; on average, women’s feet are shorter and narrower with a lower instep than men’s feet. Look for a boot with a naturally narrow design to eliminate that loose fit that frequently results in blistering, slippage and accelerated wear.

Naturally, women’s work boots with a smaller instep and shorter length will keep female workers on their feet for longer.

Arch support

Women generally have a higher arch, which means a safety boot or shoe designed with built-in arch support tends to provide greater all-round comfort and fit. Short of built-in support, a soft arch-supportive insole will help relieve foot stress.

For better arch support, orthopaedics recommend lace-up safety boots rather than pull-on or slip-in safety shoes. Work boots with a convenient and lace-less quick closure, like a Boa or Freelock wire systems, also ensure a safe and snug fit. This will reduce foot fatigue and limit abnormal movements, which goes a long way towards preventing over-pronation and painful injuries like joint pains in the knee and hip.

Ankle support

Women’s feet are shorter in the heel and ankle, which means an ill-designed safety boot won’t align correctly. Safety footwear specifically designed for women should provide ankle support at a height marginally lower than a work boot that’s designed for men.

Women’s safety boots should feature shorter ankle lengths to encourage mobility without conceding on safety. Is an ankle or high-top boot preferred? Either way, it is important to consider the work environment and choose a boot design that best suits.

Feet first

Finding the right fit is the best thing workers can do for their feet. With a differing foot anatomy, don’t just settle for a smaller men’s work boot. Not only will a female-specific safety boot feel better, it will provide greater protection and functionality to make any workday far more productive.

While considering the nature of the work and the safety standards required of the protective footwear, consider these handy tips for the next pair of safety boots.


Handy hints
  • Boots made from a specific female last provide a better fit.
  • Look for a boot with a naturally narrow design to avoid blistering, slippage and accelerated wear.
  • For better arch support, orthopaedics recommend lace-up safety boots rather than pull-on or slip-in safety shoes.


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