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What's The Meaning Of Each Safety Footwear Code?

SRC, O4, or S5. These are some of the codes that often appear when you're looking for footwear. But what does it mean? Is it important? How can this determine which footwear is better suited for you?

These are some of the questions that we'll be answering in this video. We'll also provide you a list of safety codes and their respective meanings. This way, you'll know if you're buying the right footwear for you.

First, what you need to know is that these codes represent the safety level of the footwear. They ensure the user that the footwear complies with all the requirements to provide the defined safety level.


In the EU internal market, the regulation that defines the legal obligations of PPE is the Regulation (EU) 2016/425 of 9 March 2016 on personal protective equipment. You can easily see if a PPE complies with this regulation through the CE marking.

If a product has this mark, it means that it is approved and it follows all the EU regulations.

EN ISO 20345:2011 & EN ISO 20347:2011

There are two main standards:

  • EN ISO 20345, that refers to the requirements for safety footwear.

  • EN ISO 20347, that refers to the requirements for occupational footwear, for activities that don't expose the user to any mechanical risks, like impacts or compressions.

These standards specify additional basic requirements for safety footwear. You can see if the footwear is complying with these standards by looking at its datasheet or product description.

Códigos de Calçado de Segurança

After learning what each requirement means, it's time to find out the meaning of the specific codes. Each standard has different codes that provide information about the protection level provided by the footwear.

Let’s begin with the codes of EN ISO 20345, which are the codes for safety footwear. This standard divides the footwear into 2 types. The first one includes all the safety footwear, but the ones made with rubber uppers or polymer uppers. The second type includes only footwear made completely with rubber or polymers.

The first type of footwear has four codes: SB, S1, S2, and S3. The second type has two codes besides the SB. Those are the S4 and the S5.


SB stands for Safety Basic, so it’s the lowest safety level of this standard. SB-rated footwear is slip-resistant and has a safety toe cap that protects your feet at 200J impacts.

This code also applies to the second type of footwear.