It can be difficult to find the correct protective footwear for a workplace, largely because there are a lot factors to juggle. If your business is considering browsing for ideal protective footwear on behalf of your employees it may be best to begin with asking a few longstanding employees what they wear, how often they replace it, and any other questions you find pertinent to your workplace.
You’re looking for footwear that will shine in functionality, reliability, and durability.
Look For Functionality
Investigating functionality means determining what your workplace needs, and what it doesn’t need. If your employees don’t need steel-toed boots, then don’t ask them to shell out for that functionality. Be careful here, many claims are made by retailers that are just hot air. Claims such as “factory floor reliable,” are especially suspicious. It may be in your best interest to speak to the manufacturer directly, and ask questions about specific products to drill down which product lines your employees benefit from, without shelling out for things they don’t really need.
Follow Up On Reliability & Durability
Reliability and durability can be initially investigated alongside the functionality of the footwear, but should also be an ongoing or follow-up point with your people. Make it a point to ask around 6 months or 1 year into your recommending a particular product. How do people like the footwear? Do they have any gripes that are not related to price? Has anyone switched the footwear out in less than 6 months? These questions will help you in validating your decision, or even reconsidering.
It is nearly impossible to gauge quality prior to purchase, but there is a very large difference in high and low quality protective footwear--not always directly related to price, either. High quality protective footwear should last about 6 months. If your recommended line is lasting less than that, then the price should reflect the lack in durability. If you feel that your employees are paying prices for high quality footwear, find an alternative that may last them longer.
Regardless of your decision, no employee enjoys shelling out for mandatory footwear. While there will always be gripes about the price, it is your job in this to see beyond that to find the true effectiveness in terms of functionality, reliability, and durability. Employee satisfaction is certainly important, but safety should always be your top priority.