Is synthetic leather in safety shoes as effective as natural leather?
The upper (the most visible part of the upper) of safety shoes is made of different materials. Synthetic leather in safety shoes must be highly effective in order to meet the needs of the employee, but also the requirements of the work environment. The same is true for leather, which comes in many forms.
At Ultrabold, we have chosen to produce shoes safety shoes made of synthetic leather. We designed our shoes with your feet's comfort and safety in mind. At the end of this article, you'll understand why.
Advantages and disadvantages of safety shoes made of natural leather
Advantages of leather
Leather has different advantages depending on its shape:
- Full grain leather: the grain corresponds to the outer layer of the animal, without the hair. This is the most natural form of leather. It is neither polished nor sanded to keep its hard and resistant aspect. It is partly for this property that this form of leather is used in the manufacture of safety shoes. Full grain leather is also very breathable.
- Split leather: The crust is the lower part of the animal's leather. It is located just below the grain. For the manufacture of the upper, the leather is split to make it more flexible. Safety shoes made of split leather wear out less quickly.
- Nubuck: The nubuck upper is the result of working on the grain of the leather. It is a leather that is finely sanded. Nubuck has the appearance of velvet. Nubuck safety shoes do not have an advantage other than aesthetic.
- Oiled leather: Also called greased leather, this is leather whose fibers have been lubricated with fatty materials. Thus, the safety shoe is completely waterproof and much more resistant.
In general, leather safety shoes are anti-transpiring and waterproof. The leather fibers allow steam to pass through. They have a thermoregulatory function, which is a great advantage for foot hygiene. Leather can also absorb up to 3 times its weight in liquid material.
Disadvantages of leather
Leather safety shoes degrade more or less quickly depending on the type of leather. Although some leathers are very resistant to external aggressions, their difficult maintenance favors the accumulation of defects that can lead, in the long term, to a partial or complete degradation of the upper.
Employers tend to avoid purchasing leather safety shoes for their employees for economic reasons. Leather is expensive, especially if it is treated, as nubuck leather is.
Advantages and disadvantages of synthetic leather safety shoes
As the name implies, synthetic leather is an imitation leather made from non-woven fibers coated with a polyurethane resin. In other words, synthetic leather is a very durable plastic that is similar in color and feel to real leather.
Advantages of synthetic leather
We have seen above that leather safety shoes are very expensive. Synthetic leather safety shoes are very attractively priced. More and more employers are choosing this cheap and quality material.
Synthetic leather gives the safety shoe a certain comfort. There are several reasons for this:
- Faux leather is flexible: the foot is more comfortable. There is no feeling of heaviness or compression. The movement is perfectly accompanied. The leatherette safety shoe adapts better to all positions.
- The synthetic is easily maintained: A simple cloth and a little water are enough to remove the various stains on the shoes and dust them regularly. A simple coat of shoe polish is enough to increase the shoe's durability.
- Does not retain odors.
If combined with a specific treatment against moisture (addition of an extra plastic layer), the synthetic leather safety shoe is as waterproof as leather. Other elements, such as the ventilated mesh, make this shoe breathable.
Disadvantages of synthetic leather
These last two advantages can also be defects if the treatment of synthetic leather is not of good quality.
The rate of liquid absorption of synthetic leather is naturally lower than that of leather. The upper slows down the penetration of liquids. It is ineffective when exposed to heavy rain. Polyurethane does not allow vapors to escape. In the event of strong heat, the feet perspire more quickly.
Finally, synthetic leather safety shoes degrade more quickly than leather shoes.
Ultrabold Hyperion: a light and resistant synthetic leather safety shoe
Our model of safety shoe Hyperion combines all the advantages of a leather safety shoe in a simulated version.
We made sure that the synthetic leather undergoes an effective treatment to ensure comfort and optimal protection of your feet. Covered with a waterproof membrane, its synthetic leather is very waterproof. Flexible and light, this ultra-resistant imitation leather limits the feeling of fatigue and foot pain.
Synthetic leather safety shoes can be as effective as leather safety shoes. They have the same features (protective toecap, anti-puncture and anti-slip sole) and meet the standards. Some companies' legislation requires an annual change of safety shoes. The durability of synthetic leather is therefore no longer a disadvantage for the safety of employees. However, this material does not meet the requirements of all professional environments. The choice of this type of footwear is governed by collective agreements.