[Report] A+A 2021. Safety footwear goes green

The use of recycled and bio-based materials is growing, while research focuses on lightness and comfort.

In the accident prevention sector, each novelty represents a step forward on the road to improve health, well-being and worker safety.

All this applies to professional clothing but even more so to safety footwear because there are many contexts where the most insidious risk factors concern the ground, both for outdoor and indoor work environments. In short, safety frequently starts from our feet, from footwear. A truth that explains the vastness of the offer available today on the market with specific footwear for each type of risk and particular professional category. The search for an ever higher protection level, accompanied by major comfort, is at the heart of all manufacturers of safety shoes.

Today, obtaining a major lightweighted shoe represents undoubtedly a key request, obviously aimed at increasing the user’s perception of comfort. The work in on reducing the weight of the single component, from the upper to the sole, passing through the protective toecap and the anti-perforation plate, because only by reducing the thickness or volume of each single element can the overall weight of the safety footwear be lowered without having to give up on the highest protection level.

In this case, research mainly concerns materials: in every field experiments are made on alternative materials, compounds or composites, that are lighter but capable of ensuring equally high technical features. All this in the face of regulations that become more demanding every year in terms of technical requirements to be respected. A continuous challenge, far from being easy, but that certainly represents a great stimulus for the entire supply chain.

Another transversal theme that has also forcefully entered the safety segment is that of the growing use of recycled and recyclable materials, a first response to the request for greater sustainability that comes from the market also in this sector. This was clearly seen at the A+A 2021 fair which was held last October in Düsseldorf.

The uppers, linings, soles, insoles and laces of many new safety shoes are made from recycled materials, at least in part. In the case of uppers, the proposals mostly concern the use of polyester yarns derived from PET, or from used plastic bottles. Again, the challenge is to maintain performance unchanged, because recycled materials can, for example, offer lower abrasion resistance. In this respect, each company has faced the problem by developing different, always innovative solutions.

In the case of soles, on the market today you can find proposals in partially or totally recycled polyurethane (PU), but there is also talk of BIO polyurethane, obtained with a good percentage of organic components made from renewable sources.

You can find all the insights related to the world of safety footwear and all the green news of this sector in the dedicated special issue.

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This special issue is powered by:

Alba & N s.r.l. Unipersonale - Apego s.r.l. - Arpex Textiles s.r.l. - Arsutoria School s.r.l. Assomac Servizi s.r.l. - Brustia Alfa Meccanica s.r.l. - Carnevali sas - Coim S.p.A. - Erre Emme Suole s.r.l. - Essebi s.r.l. - Fus Revolution Pranem s.r.l. - Gruppo Meccaniche Luciani s.r.l. - Gusbi S.p.A. Officina Meccanica - Hawai Italia s.r.l. - Industrie Chimiche Forestali S.p.A. - Lenzi by F.F. s.r.l. - Moro Minuterie s.r.l. - Over Teak s.r.l. - Pri.Ma.Tex Manifattura s.r.l. - SICUR International Security, Safety and Fire Exhibition- Sire Tessile s.r.l. - Sollini Gino s.r.l. - Stemma s.r.l. - Texon Internation (Asia) LTD. - Texon International Italia s.r.l. - Wintech s.r.l.

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