Safety Standards


UKCA / CE Standards Coding Changes






The New Standards for Safety Footwear Explained


Reason for changes

The changes are driven by the need for the safety testing to mirror real life working scenarios while making some tests more precise. Developments in footwear materials since the last standard also required attention.

Some aspects of EN 20345:2011 remain unchanged including their appropriate safety codes.

What are the Key Changes?


Slip Resistance

Under the new standards, SRA, SRB and SRC will disappear. Linked to Health & Safety statistics which highlight slips as the dominant insurance claim for industrial work, slip resistance has become a mandatory test with a minimum standard to meet. This is no code for this minimum slip performance. If the minimum slip performance cannot be met, this must be disclosed.

There is an additional higher standard of slip resistance which can be tested for but this is not mandatory. This new safety code is SR.

Slip Testing will no longer feature a steel surface. Instead, both mandatory and additional slip testing is being carried out on a ceramic tile surface. However, the contaminant solution will change:

- the mandatory test will use sodium lauryl sulphate for its lubricant
- the optional enhanced SR test will use glycerine for its lubricant

The final change to the slip resistance standard is the area of the footwear tested. To mirror real life movement, the heel and forepart is the areas of focus and no longer the flat of the footwear.

The new SR threshold is exceptionally high and will separate premium and lower price point product.


Anti-Penetration Midsoles

Due to the continued growing consumer demand for non-metallic specification the standards have considered the variation in quality of non-metallic midsole offering.

Accordingly, for non-metallic midsoles only, two new tests apply which, in part, attempts to differentiate the quality by which the thickness of a testing 'nail' can penetrate the material.

The first test covers more general safety working risks. The testing nail for the new test code PL uses a 4.5 millimetre 'nail'. In simple terms think of L = Large.

The second new test code, PS (think S = Small) uses a test where there is a greater perforation risk associated - for example factory floors where fine sharp shrapnel pieces may be discarded. The test nail here is smaller in diameter at 3 millimetres.

For metallic midsoles there is no change in testing or standard level currently applied ISO 20345: 2011. The P code will be used for metal midsoles.

Brands cannot not show PL and PS for the same product.


Anti-Scuff Toe Protection

During the product development for BLITZ (2019), Buckbootz worked with the testing body to develop a unique test to help evaluate the durability and abrasion performance of the new lightweight scuff toe component.

In the new standard, the testing essentially follows our approach above by subjecting the scuff toe protection to 8,000 abrasion cycles. On achievement of this standard the product can add SC to the safety specification. In simple terms the testing should not present a hole through the full component on abrasion cycling.


Ladder Grip Test

Linked to the Health and Safety statistics mentioned earlier the standard has attempted to cover risk associated from working at height particularly working on ladders. The change here covers the waist area of the outsole, its angle, the cleat design and heel breast dimensions.

The code LG will be added to the product specification should the sole meet the new Ladder Grip Standard.

The Buckbootz K11 and BVIZ soles are among those
with the new Ladder Grip (LG) feature visible at the 'waist' area.


New Water Resistance Symbols

The old symbol of WRU (Water Resistant Upper) has been replaced by a new code WPA (Water Penetration and Absorption). The test has not changed much other than change in dimensions of positioning of the boot and absorption paper used. It is important to note the standard is still evaluating breathability, an important aspect for consumers.

In addition, the WR symbol will be used. This stands for water resistance footwear. In simple terms this is different from WPA above where there is a waterproof booty/membrane/lining used inside the boot.


Ankle Protection

There is a minor update with regards the dimensions of the ankle area for testing. Importantly Buckbootz continues to drive ahead of the market and standards by certifying protection and support for both outer and inner ankle areas.

The new standard makes inner ankle protection (AN) optional.


New Safety Codes

Marking Codes to Define Level of Protection Provided: EN ISO 20345:2022

SB P, S1, S3 and S5 safety codes will continue but the main change is the introduction of a new code S7.

In simple terms S7 would represent the old S3 standard for leather and/or textile uppers but with waterproof specification i.e. WR = water resistance of whole footwear.


Class I Footwear made from leather and other materials
Class II All entirely moulded footwear
SBH Hybrid footwear that cannot be classified as Class I or II
SB Safety toe cap protection only, tested with 200J impact and 15KN compression force
S1 Class I + Closed heel area + SB + A + E
S2 As S1 + WPA
S3 (metal insert type P) as S2 + P + Cleated Outsoles
S3L (non-metal insert type PL) as S2 + PL + Cleated Outsole
S3S (non-metal insert type PS) as S2 + PS + Cleated Outsole
S4 Upper material of all Rubber or Polymeric as SB + Closed heel area + A + E
S5 (metal insert type P) as S4 + P + Cleated Outsole
S5L (non-metal insert type PL) as S4 + PL + Cleated Outsole
S5S (non-metal insert type PS) as S4 + PS + Cleated Outsole
S6 As S2 + WR
S7 (metal insert type P) as S3 + WR
S7L (non-metal insert type PL) as S3 + WR
S7S (non-metal insert type PS) as S3 + WR

Example of coding changes

Product Current  NEW

* Also includes WPA


 Short Codes Comparison Table