How Safety Leather Boots Are Made (Start to Finish)

Safety leather boots are designed to protect you from dangerous working conditions, especially in places where heavy objects may be dropped. But how are safety boots made?

In a nutshell, a safety boot is made by cutting the leather pieces, which are sewn together to form the upper. The steel toe cap is then installed, followed by a process of vulcanization, or welding the rubber sole onto the boot.

Once the insoles and laces are installed, the safety boot is made.

However, creating a top-quality pair of safety leather boots requires highly trained artisans with decades of experience. In this post, let’s explore how safety leather boots are made.

What Are Safety Leather Boots

Safety boots, also known as steel-toe boots, are boots with reinforced toecaps to reduce foot injuries and protect them from dropped objects. Most safety boots are designed for people working in extreme conditions like cold, rain, and snow.

Additionally, safety leather boots also protect the wearer from risks like electrical shock hazards or exposure to heat because they are highly heat-resistant. They are also useful for working on uneven surfaces and could bring extra support to the ankles.

Steel-toe boots, or safety leather boots, are important in construction and manufacturing, as well as a variety of other industries.

How Are Safety Leather Boots Made?

Safety work boots are made from cowhide, which has undergone mineral tanning and finishing tanning. A waterproofing treatment completes the preparation.

Let’s follow the process and explore how leather boots are made.

1. Preparation of the Leather

It all starts with a machine called the shaver, which evens up the hide and opens its pores before it receives other appropriate treatments.

The worker treats the hides in a retanning drum, where the water-coloring products and retanning products are at a temperature between 32 to 60 degrees centigrade.

The hides are then removed from the retanning drum.

The leather will then be vacuum-dried for about two minutes at a temperature of about 70 degrees centigrade. Then, the hide will be hung for 24 to 48 hours. 

Once the hide has been hung, it is stretched on a vacuum drying plate. It’s evened out to get rid of any creases. A hide measures almost 2 square meters or about 3,100 square inches, and the workers will need about 0.4 square meters of leather to make a boot.

2. Working on the Boot Parts

The worker begins working on the boot parts.

A punch, with the help of a press, cuts different pieces of leather. The worker also cut fabric pieces, which will become the interior lining of the boots, made from a foam base and woven polyester fibers.

A pairing machine then thins the edges of every leather and fabric piece before they are sewn. During the cutting, each piece of leather is identified by its size. 

The worker now begins the assembly of the boot. Two sides of the boot are sewn together on a sewing machine, followed by the assembly of the front part of the boot.

Any excess leather is progressively cut away.

The eyelets, which are often made of steel, brass, or aluminum, are then positioned properly. 

Next, the worker attaches a foot mount on a form with tiny nails called taps.

The last is a mold that is used to shape a boot when it’s being constructed,.is placed on the boot to facilitate the assembly of the front part.

Once assembled, a carding machine has any unevenness at the level of the lining before proceeding to the next step.

3. Assembling the Boot’s Toe Cap

The next step is to install a tempered steel toe cap, which is an important part of safety leather boots. To install the steel toe cap, the lining is pulled which allows access for the worker to install the cap and fix it well in place.

Once the steel toe cap has been installed, the leather is folded beneath the boot, the bottom secured with a tap, and the sides fastened with hot glue on a lasting machine.

The boot front part is now finished.

4. Installing the Sole and Applying Finishing Touches

At this stage, the worker removes the last, or the mold inside the boot, installed at the beginning because it is no longer needed. 

Now the sole will be installed.

The heel core is a pine, which is put on the sole and will soon be secured into place. To do so, the worker proceeds with machining and welding of the rubber sole to the boot toe.

This process is called vulcanization, done at a temperature of about 165 degrees centigrade, which will properly install the boot’s sole.

To apply the finishing touches, the worker sands the edges of the sole to eliminate any vulcanization residue. The worker also applies a sealant.

Next, the worker places an insole inside the boot. The worker will then install the laces and stitch on the labels or branding onto the boot.

The boots are now ready to leave for the packaging area.

Building and making a pair of safety leather boots requires no less than 123 different fabrication steps, including packaging. Each pair needs about 101 meters of nylon, cotton, and polyester threads, and close to one square meter of thick and rugged leather.

What Are Safety Boots Made Of?

Safety boots are made of three important materials. The upper is made of leather, the steel toe cap is made of steel, and the bottom outsoles are made of rubber.

While the upper of the boots is made of leather, the protective reinforcement at the toe is traditionally made of steel, but it can also be made of composite materials such as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and aluminum. The soles are made of rubber.

The thick bottom rubber outsoles not only protect the wearer from punctures and cuts but also prevent electrical hazards because rubber does not conduct electricity.

Bottom Line

And there you have it, the complete breakdown of how safety leather boots are made. 

You need safety boots if you work in an environment where heavy objects might be dropped, sharp tools are involved, or in places where the floor may produce static electricity.

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