Work Boots Safety Symbols Demystified!

Work Boot Safety SymbolWorkplaces invite several risks and hazards related to foot injuries.

But the nature of hazards varies from job to job. Not all jobs pose the same hazards.

For example, electrical department imposes the hazard of electrical conductivity through the feet to the body, construction sites pose the hazard of falling or rolling objects on the feet thus damaging the toes, saw mills and wood cutting industries impose the hazards of cutting from sharp tools, etc.

Also there are several others injuries related to the foot such as the broken toes, injuries of the metatarsals, slipping, wounds from puncture in the soles, chemical burns, etc.

Therefore, footwear must have certain features in them to protect against these hazards. But, not every type of protection is needed for every categories of job.

There are footwear which protect against particular type of hazards and are apt for a particular job.

Wondering how you will know which footwear is apt for your job!

Well, there are symbols in the footwear that indicates the level and type of protection from a particular hazard. Like the yellow triangle with the letter “R” in it, the green triangle with the letter “R” in it, the orange Ohm symbol, etc.

In this article, I am going to tell you in details about all such symbols used in the footwear and what they mean, so that you know which symbol is required in your work boots and are your boots apt for your job?

So, let’s get started!

Footwear Symbols used in the U.S

In the U.S. footwear are tested according to certain standards and they are certified with the following symbols for particular protection needs:

1.) The letter R symbolizes the place where the name of the organization that had done the testing and the approval of the footwear is placed.

green triangle with the letter “R”2.) The green triangle with the letter “R” in white colour within a white circle symbolizes Class1 toe cap footwear with a Grade1 sole that is puncture resistant. The grade 1 toe caps offer protection against the impact of 125 joules to the toe areas. 

Which job needs this symbol?

These footwear are meant for the heavy industry job which include the risk of accidents from heavy falling or rolling objects like that in the construction sites.


yellow triangle with the letter “R” footwear3.) The yellow triangle with the letter “R” in black colour within a black circle symbolises Class2 toe cap footwear with a Grade2 sole that is puncture resistant. The grade 2 toe caps offer protection against impact of 90 joules to the toe areas. 

Which job needs this symbol?

These footwear are meant for the light industry job which include the risk of accidents from heavy falling or rolling objects like that in the saw mills.


orange Ohm symbol footwear4.) The orange Ohm symbol in the white background symbolises the footwear whose soles offer electrical protection. 

Which job needs this symbol?

These footwear are apt for the electrical department workers or for any job that has chances of coming with conductive electricity and receiving a shock.


yellow square with the letters “SD” footwear

5.) The yellow square with the letters “SD” inside it along with the grounding symbol; means that the footwear will protect from release of static electricity. In other words, the footwear has been tested for static dissipation and approved as anti-static which means their soles have the ability to dissipate accumulated electrostatic charge in a controlled manner.

Which job needs this symbol?

Electrical department workers, or any job which has the chances of accidents through static dissipation.


red square with the letter “C” footwear6.) The red square with the letter “C” along with the grounding symbol means that the soles of the footwear are electro-conductive. 

Which job needs this symbol?

These types of footwear are suitable for electrical hazards work sites.


white square with a green fig tree footwear

7.) The white square with a green fig tree inside it means that the footwear offers protection against chainsaws. 

Which job needs this symbol?

These footwear are suitable for workers like loggers or the ones who work with chainsaws or similar other cutting tools which impose the risk of cutting.


blue square with the letter R footwear meaning

8.) The blue square with the letter “R” inside it symbolizes that the footwear have class 1 toe protection caps which can withstand impacts u to 125 joules. But the soles of these footwear are not puncture resistant. 

Which job needs this symbol?

These footwear are suitable for workers who handle or carry heavy loads like the construction workers.


grey square with a black letter “R” footwear meaning

9.) The grey square with a black letter “R” inside it symbolises that the footwear have class 2 toe protection caps which can withstand impacts up to 90 joules. These footwear also do not have puncture resistant soles. 

Which job needs this symbol?

These footwear are suitable for light industry like saw mills, woodcutters, etc. 


Other Footwear Symbols Followed Worldwide

The previously mentioned symbols are required in the footwear which are manufactured in the U.S. But there are also some other important symbols relating to footwear which are followed worldwide; these are as follows:

CSA safety symbol for footwear protection1.) CSA White Rectangle:

This symbol has the CSA White Rectangle with the Orange Greek letter Omega. It symbolizes soles that are resistant to the electric shock. The CSA White Rectangle symbol certified footwear contains a sole and heel design assembly that at the time of manufacturing has the capacity to withstand electric current up to 18,000 volts and the capacity to withstand leakage current up to 1mA for 60 seconds.

2.) CSA Yellow Rectangle:

This symbol has the CSA Yellow Rectangle with the Green letters “SD” and a grounding symbol beneath. It symbolizes that the soles of the footwear are static-dissipative. This means that the outsoles of the footwear are made from an anti-static compound that is capable of dissipating an electrostatic charge between 10 to the power 6 to 10 to the power8 Ohms in a very controlled manner. But in case the SD marked footwear is without toe protection, it will not have sole protection that is certified by CSA.

3.) CSA Blue Rectangle:

This symbol has the CSA mark written in a blue rectangle. This symbolizes Grade 1 protective toe that can withstand impacts up to 125 joules. But the Grade 1 protective toes are without sole puncture protection.

4.) CSA Green Triangle:

This symbol has the CSA mark written in a green triangle. This symbolizes sole puncture protection that withstands a force up to 1200 Newton (270 pounds). The footwear comes with a Grade1 protective toe that withstands impact up to 125 joules.

5.) Chainsaw Protection:

This symbol has two triangles overlapping each other in the shape of a fir tree and a black mark down the 2nd triangle in the form of the root of the tree. This symbolizes footwear that offers protection while using chainsaws or other such cutting tools.

6.) Super Static Dissipative:

This symbol has the letters SD+ and CSA written within a yellow rectangle. This symbolizes footwear with sole puncture protection along with Grade2 protective toe caps. The footwear offers protection against static electricity between 106 Ohms to 3.5 X 107 Ohms.

7.) Metatarsal Protection:

Metatarsal Protection symbolThis symbol has the letters M and R (within a circle) written in a black rectangle. This symbolizes footwear that offers protection for the metatarsal region of the feet. It protects the metatarsal region against injuries from heavy objects. It is to be noted that all metatarsal footwear are required to have toe protection.

8.) Metal or Steel Toe Protection:

Metal or Steel Toe ProtectionThis symbol has the MT mark and a boot with a hammer in the toe area; all within a white square. This symbolizes footwear that offers protection against impact and compression to the toe areas.

9.) Steel Plate Protection:Steel Plate Protection

This symbol has the SP mark along with a boot that has lines marked in the outsole area; all within a white square. This symbolizes steel-plated footwear that offers puncture resistance in the outsole of the footwear.

10.) Composite Toe Protection:

Composite Toe Protection symbol

This symbol has the CT mark and a boot with a hammer in the toe area; all within a white square. This symbolizes footwear with a composite toe cap that are lighter and metal-free and offers same resistance to impact and protection as that of steel toe caps.

11.) Composite Plate Protection:

Composite Plate Protection

This symbol has the CP mark along with a boot that has lines marked in the outsole area; all within a white square. This symbolizes composite-plate safety footwear that offers the same puncture resistance as that of the steel toes but are lighter and metal-free.

It’s time to bid Adieu!

Here we come to the end of our article for today!

I hope you enjoyed reading my piece of writing!

Will be back soon with another informative piece of writing!

Till then, take care, work safely and…

Have a great day ahead!