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Waterproof vs Water Resistant Safety Shoes

Industries have very active shop floors. The various huge machinery, the conveyors from one workstation to another, the stacks of raw materials, finished and semi-finished products, the smell or chemicals, either aromatic or foul, everything is a completely different world! Shop floors are no less than a depiction of human innovation. Looking at how things are made is always a very fascinating experience.

What is not evident on the shop floor is the safety measures that are taken to avoid as well as to combat and a mishap that may occur. To give the workers a secure atmosphere, there are many safety precautions like making the place fireproof, current proof, etc. Apart from these precautionary measures, every worker is braced with security workwear.

The workwear including the coveralls to the shoes is all carefully manufactured to provide the worker with security and comfort. One of the most critical aspects is footwear. The work shoes are very important as they provide protection to the feet and hence facilitate the worker to stand and run the whole day. There are many types of safety shoes. From slip resistant shoe to steel toe shoe, and all other kinds of shoes have special applicability and special usage.

The most common being waterproof and water-resistant shoes. All the companies including 3M, Honeywell, Bet Marine, and Ansell manufacture both, water-resistant and waterproof industrial shoes. Although these two terms are very conveniently used interchangeably, it is wrong. Although these two kinds of shoes are made to facilitate the worker to work in waterlogged conditions and to keep their feet from getting wet, there are many differences between these safety work boots. Right from the materials used for their manufacturing to their usage, there’s a lot of difference. Let’s find them:

  1. Purpose:
    Waterproof shoes: The waterproof boots are designed to keep your feet completely dry. The shoes are made of a non-porous material which doesn’t let water penetrate through your shoes and thus keep your feet dry. Even if your legs emerge in water or even snow for that matter, you will not feel it and your feet will remain dry and warm.
    Water resistant shoes: On the other hand, water-resistant shoes are made with an intent to keep water from entering your shoes. They are not made from a nonporous material, but still are able to prevent your feet from getting wet. These shoes can ideally be worn in light rainy weather. The shoes can also be used in light snow. The shoes are made from fabric that is treated externally to make it water repellent.
  2. Material Used:
    Waterproof shoes: Waterproof shoes are typically made from a vinyl or rubber-based material.  The shoes may have waterproof seams and soles which make the shoes waterproof. Having a waterproof seam is very important and if the seams are not protected, the shoe cannot be termed as a waterproof shoe.
    Water resistant shoes: Water resistant materials like nylon, polyurethane or neoprene are used to make water-resistant shoes.
  3. Suitability:
    Waterproof: Waterproof shoes are suitable in the industry where the ground is swamped in water or where the work is done be done underwater. The shoes are ideal to protect the skin from coming in contact with water. Some waterproof shoes are also able to absorb the internal sweat and keep feet extremely dry. For prolonged or frequent exposure to water, the waterproof shoes are perfect.
    Water resistant shoes: The water-resistant shoe material is breathable. The shoes are more comfortable and hence are ideal for regular wearing. The water-resistant shoes repel water to a certain level and hence can be used in rains, slight exposure to water, little exposure to snow. Since the shoes are more comfortable and breathable, the shoes can be ideal to be work in a job that requires driving too.

Having listed the differences, it can be clearly understood that the waterproof shoes are more sturdy and prevent the feet from getting dry at all. But to make such shoes which are very sturdy, the material used is very stiff and sturdy. But it is not possible to wear stuff shoes with stiffness and be active on the shop floor hence, water repellent shoes were introduced. Water repellent shoes repel water to a certain level but are very comfortable and flexible as they are made from breathable cloth.

The two being used for the same purpose have different utility and hence both the type of shoes can be used as per the working conditions.



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