How Old Are Your Safety Boots?

I am sure you have wondered how old your safety boots are... is it time to replace?... has it expired?

Have you noticed the little circle at the bottom of your shoes? It resembles a clock. This is the manufacturing date.

The “clock” on the bottom of the safety shoe/boot has an arrow in the middle, pointing to a dial of numbers running in a circle around it.

The circle of numbers is 1 through 12. 1 is January; 6 would be June and 12 is therefore December. These are the months of manufacture.

On either side of the arrow (pointing at the month), is a single digit on each side. If you see a 1 and on the other side of the arrow a 5, these reflect the last 2 digits of a 4 digit year. In this case 1 and 5 (2015). If you saw a 1 and an 8, it would be 2018.

So, in summary if the clock image has an arrow pointing at 2, and a 1 and 8 on either side on an arrow – would mean produced in February of 2018.

It is important to know how old a pair of safety footwear is, to ensure stock older than 2 years (from date of manufacture) isn’t stocked on a shelf as it results in ‘hydrolysis’. Hydrolysis is the chemical breakdown of the PU polymer resulting in the physical breakdown or crumbling of the PU sole by the attack of water (usually in vapour form), occurring over a period of quite a few years (even when the shoes are in store). This is one of the main technical challenges with polyurethane, to overcoming this aging deterioration.

Thus, if you are purchasing new boots. Have a look at the sole to see if you are not purchasing old stock.