CSA Footwear Symbols

Have you ever wondered what those symbols on your safety boots or shoes mean?

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) sets out the specific safety criteria for all safety footwear and apparel purchased in Canada. The symbols and codes used on safety footwear are reflective of the labelling system established by the CSA. These are all published in CSA Standard Z195.

Here is a breakdown of what those labels mean:

  • Grade 0 – there is no steel-toe cap or toe protection.
  • Grade 1 – the footwear provides sole puncture protection and toe protection with an impact resistance of 125 joules (approx. 13kg) – This is indicated by a Green Triangle.
  • Grade 2 – the footwear provides sole puncture protection and toe protection with an impact resistance of 90 joules (approx.9.2kg) – This is indicated by a Yellow Triangle.
  • Electric Shock Resistant – the footwear provides protection in and environment where live electrical conductors can occur. This is indicated with a White Triangle with the Ω (capital omega symbol), being the symbol for ohms of electrical resistance.
  • Static Dissipative – the footwear is capable of dissipating an electrostatic charge in a controlled manner. This is indicated by a Yellow Rectangle with the Green Letters “SD”, a grounding symbol (), and the CSA symbol.
  • Electrically Conductive – the footwear provides protection where low-power electrical charges can be a hazard. This is indicated by a Red Rectangle with a black letter “C”, a grounding symbol ( ), and the CSA symbol.
  • Chainsaw Protective – the footwear provides protection when using a chainsaw. This is indicated by a White Label with a Green Fir Tree symbol and the CSA symbol.
  • Blue Square with the CSA symbol indicates that the footwear is Grade 1 Protective Toe only, with no sole puncture protection.

In addition to a colored symbol, you may also see a 5-digit alphanumeric code inside your safety shoe or boot.

  • “1”, “2”, or “0”

A “1” indicates Grade 1 toe protection.

A “2” indicates Grade 2 toe protection.

A “0” indicates no toe protection.

  • “P” or “0”

A “P” indicates if the boot protects the arches of your foot from punctures.

A “0” indicates no protection.

  • “M” or “0”

An “M” will indicate if the boot provides metatarsus protection against shocks and collisions.

A “0” indicates no protection.

  • “E”, “S”, “C” or “0”

An “E” indicates resistance from electrical shocks.

An “S” indicates it can disperse electricity.

A “C” indicates it conducts electricity.

A “0” indicates no electrical protection.

  • “X” or “0”

An “X” will indicate if it provides protection from chainsaws.

A “0” indicates no chainsaw protection.

For example, if you see “1 P M 0 X”, it would indicate that your safety footwear has Grade 1 toe protection, and will protect your arches from punctures, along with protecting your feet from collisions, and chainsaws. However, they don’t provide any electrical protection.