Toe Protection Class 30? Class 50? Class 75?

The question came up here in the showroom the other day… a customer had an ANSI Class 30 boot and another that was an ASTM class 75. What’s the difference?

I have to admit that, in spite of having written “The Basics of Foot Protection” (Go here and click on the appropriate “Available Downloads” link to download it), I had no answer to give so I got on Google and started to look for the answer. Here’s what I found out:

The ANSI Z41, which is what the Class 30 mentioned in the title belongs to, has been replaced by the ASTM F 2412-05 and ASTM F 2413-05 Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective Footwear.

Under these new standards, are two tests and two ratings. Let’s break it down a bit…

  • “I” stands for impact resistance which measures the resistance to falling objects.
  • “C” stands for compression resistance which measure the resistance to compression such as a forklift rolling over the toe.

For each of these two there are two levels of protection available:

  • 75
  • 50

This gives us 4 difference levels of protection:

  1. I/50 would designate a toe protection that had passed the test of having 50 lbs dropped from 18″ in height onto the toe resulting in a dent (or sag) of 0.5″ or less.
  2. I/75 would designate a toe protection that had passed the test of having 75 lbs dropped from 18″ in height onto the toe resulting in a dent (or sag) of 0.5″ or less.
  3. C/50 would designate a toe protection that had passed the test of having 1750 lbs rolled over the toe resulting in a dent (or sag) of 0.5″ or less.
  4. C/75 would designate a toe protection that had passed the test of having 2500 lbs rolled over the toe resulting in a dent (or sag) of 0.5″ or less.

Additional markings that may appear under the ASTM standard include:

M – This is a measure of the metatarsal protection available on the boot/shoe. This is measured as “I” (Impact) with the same levels (50 and 75) as the toe protection.

EH – This measures the Electrical Hazard. Boots or shoes with the “EH” marking must be able to withstand 14,000 volts at 60 Hz for 1 minute with no current flow over 3.0 milliamperes.

For more information on foot protection issues and standards, download “The Basics of Foot Protection