Anyone working with chainsaws in tree care must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) – and this includes chainsaw protection shoes. These shoes protect the metatarsal area in particular, as there are dangers and risks when cutting to length. But which chainsaw protection shoe is the right shoe for chainsaw work in tree care and what should you pay attention to when buying?
What is a chainsaw protection shoe?
In the past, a sturdy leather shoe with a steel toe cap was already a chainsaw protection shoe. Today, different requirements apply. Modern chainsaw protection shoes are sturdy, resilient and easy to care for. They are also water-repellent – for example due to the use of membranes. The shoes protect the midfoot and toe areas and have a firm sole.
A modern chainsaw protection shoe is a safety boot with additional chainsaw protection. In order to protect the foot when working with chainsaws, steel caps that can withstand a chainsaw are incorporated in the toe area. Plastic or aluminium caps are not recommended as they can’t resist the chainsaw. The shoes also protect against falling objects or tools.
Cut protection insert: How does it work?
There is a cut protection insert up to the end of the shaft – very similar to chainsaw protection trousers. This is a layer of material consisting of long, extremely strong threads. If the running chainsaw cuts into the shoe, the cut protection layer grips. The long and firm threads get caught in the chain, wrap themselves immediately around the drive wheel and block the chainsaw within fractions of a second.
Different cut protection classes
Chainsaw protection clothing and therefore also chainsaw protection shoes are divided into four different classes, which are oriented to the speed of the chainsaw.
- Class 1: 20 m/s chain speed
- Class 2: 24 m/s chain speed
- Class 3: 28 m/s chain speed
- Class 4: 32 m/s chain speed
Further classifications for chainsaw protection shoes
In addition to protection classes 1–4, there is a further classification for chainsaw protection shoes.
- E: for simple and medium terrain conditions; lightweight shoe with a flexible sole and comfortable upper
- S: for medium to difficult terrain; narrower sole and a stable upper
- SPE: for special applications (e.g. wet storage areas, snow- or ice-covered hillsides)
What is important with chainsaw protection shoes for tree care?
Chainsaw protection shoes were originally designed for forestry work and are therefore suitable for undergrounds with undergrowth, slippery branches and thorny bushes. They protect against foot injuries. Chainsaw protection shoes in tree care should additionally meet special requirements.
The first thing to look out for when buying chainsaw protection shoes for tree care is the sole. A solid sole with a good profile that protects against the penetration of hard and pointed objects is important. With a firm sole and a small heel, the arborist has good grip in climbing spurs when felling or removing a tree – without the sole bending or him slipping forward or out of the spurs.
For arborists and especially tree climbers, it is important that the chainsaw protection shoe is lightweight, yet sturdy and safe. Less weight means less effort when climbing. Every gram counts for good tree climbing equipment and therefore also for the shoes. Nevertheless, the shoe has to be extremely sturdy, as it is also subjected to particular strain when climbing, e. g. with a foot ascender or climbing spurs.
Our recommendation: the Cervino Wood EZloop
Freeworker experts recommend Arbpro’s Cervino Wood EZloop chainsaw protection shoe for tree care. One of the biggest advantages of the shoe, compared to other chainsaw protection shoes, is that it is worked with flat eyelets on the shoe. This prevents the rope from getting caught in the eyelets while climbing in the tree. Other chainsaw protection shoes often have hooks for the shoelaces, which can be a problem in tree climbing.
Further chainsaw protection shoes at Freeworker
What else is important?
If you work with a chainsaw without the appropriate protective clothing, you not only risk serious or even fatal injuries. In the event of an accident, you may also face recourse claims from the trade association or accident insurance.
Chainsaw protection shoes are part of the PPE (personal protective equipment). All chainsaw protection shoes offered on the European market must comply with the European standard DIN EN ISO 17249 or PPE category 3 of the Regulation (EU) 2016/425 of 9 March 2016 on personal protective equipment. In addition, awards such as the KWF seal (Kuratorium für Waldarbeit und Forsttechnik e.V.) are a mark for high-quality products for arborists and forest workers in the area of personal protective equipment.
More articles on the Freeworker blog