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What is EN ISO 20347? What you need to know about safety standards

Footwear that is designed to protect feet in different working environments will be given a safety standard number. That's why you might have come across EN ISO 20347 during your journey to find the best work shoes. Do you know what this five digit number means? When buying new safety shoes for work, you need to buy the correct footwear as there are different numbers and they all have different meanings!



What is EN ISO 20347?

When starting a new job, your employer might ask you to buy shoes that meet the safety specification of ISO 20347. This is the safety standard for occupational footwear. If you see a pair of shoes with this code, this means they meet all the specifications expected for occupational shoes.


Occupational footwear is not required to have steel or composite toe caps but they are expected to have:

  • Antistatic, fully enclosed and energy absorbing heel
  • Water absorption and penetration resistance
  • Cleated sole
  • Outsole resistance to fuel oil 

In the basic requirements for occupational footwear, to meet the safety standards for leather shoes and other materials (excluding rubber and polymeric types), they have to be water resistant. 


A common misconception people make when buying new shoes for work is that EN ISO 20347 describes all types of safety shoes but in fact this numeric standard only refers to occupational footwear.


They are not designed to protect the feet from heavy compression or impact force. If you need shoes that will keep feet safe whilst working in an environment that will put feet at risk from falling objects of weighty machinery, then you need to consider these other standards.




EN ISO 20345 - requirements for safety footwear. These shoes are fitted with toecaps and tested to protect feet from impacts of more than 200J and tested to survive a compressed load of at least 15 kilo newtons.


EN ISO 20346 - requirements for protective footwear. Just like safety footwear, they will be fitted with toe caps however they aren't designed to protect feet from heavier weights. They must be able to survive impacts of at least 100K and compressions of at least 10 kilo newtons.




What jobs is EN ISO 20347 suited for?

As occupational footwear do not have integrated toe caps, they aren't suitable for working on construction or manufacturing sites as they can't protect your feet from heavy compressions or impact forces.


EN ISO 20347 occupational footwear is suitable for the following roles:

These businesses will likely require their staff to wear occupational footwear to help reduce slips, trips and falls in the workplace

Aristocrat III (2031) perfect for managers and waiters who need shoes that meet the EN ISO 20347 standard


As slips and trips are the most common injuries to happen at work, employees are expected to wear shoes that will reduce avoidable injuries and your employer may either ask you to buy the correct shoes or purchase them for you. 


Occupational footwear has slip-resistant grip to stop slips on wet or greasy surfaces. In any job, you should always buy the best work shoes for your feet. Getting injured at work can cause long-term physical and emotional stress.


Shoes For Crews have been supplying businesses with the best slip-resistant shoes in the industry (just have a look at our customers to see who buys our shoes).

Mary Jane (3002) stylish and slip-resistant occupational footwear for active jobs


How to improve safety at work

Our Tech Library offers detailed information about all of our shoes. You can see all the safety features they have so you can quickly find out if they are right shoes for your job role. Visit our free library now:


However, if you're interested in seeing our slip-resistant work shoes, visit our shop:



Do you have any questions? Leave a comment below. 

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