PRODUCT REVIEW: V12 safety footwear

PRODUCT REVIEW: V12 safety footwear

Lee Jones tests the latest in safety footwear technology from V12.

It’s often said that a tradesperson’s most important tools are their hands, but if you’re not showing your feet some love then you’re in for a world of pain. Comfort is, of course, key but a sturdy pair of safety boots are also your first line of defence against the minefield of potential hazards that even the most well-run sites can present. You’ll need to tread carefully when it comes to product choice.

V12 is stepping up to the challenge with an extensive range that combines technology with a flair for stylish fit and design, and the V2120 Lynx IGS in an attractive honey colour is a case in point. Even before you’ve formally introduced them to your feet, the first impression from the box is the lightness, which is achieved through a composite safety toecap, composite mid-sole and metal-free construction. The benefit of a reduction in weight can’t be underestimated, especially in all-day use, whilst steel toe caps will also conduct the cold more than their composite counterparts. Indeed, these feel as nimble as anything you’re like to walk out on in your civvies. Add to that the luxurious feel of a Nubuck upper, a V-Dri waterproof membrane and there’s already a certain feelgood factor underfoot, with the embossed V12 logo adding a distinctive point of detail.

Rain check
If you’re looking to test workwear in the wet then we live in a climate where you won’t be waiting very long, which is precisely why your safety boots need to perform when the rain inevitably arrives. To improve traction when things get more treacherous, V12 has developed its IGS Intelligent Grip System, and integral to the design is an intricately hexagon-patterned slip resistant sole.

It’s a feature that has been three years in the making and the guiding principle has been to reduce the incidents of falls from height – which still represents the biggest cause of fatalities and serious injuries in the sector. The sources that V12 has drawn upon in that mission have been numerous, including tyre industry technologies, materials science and its own extensive testing regime on a whole range of ‘real world’ surfaces.

The result is a sole that conforms to firefighter levels of safety on ladders, and the IGS equipped footwear is now the first to achieve the EN15090:201 Ladder Grips standard. Examine the underside for yourself and you’ll notice four deep ladder grips and a well-defined heel, which combine to keep you on the right side of a rung. V12 has also analysed when slips will occur and, in order to increase contact with the ground, adjusted the angle of the heel of the boots accordingly.

The industry is nothing if not diverse and the terrain that the trades are asked to traverse reflects that. Successful boots will have to deliver on them all. That’s why V12 has enlisted the help of tyre manufacturers in developing its hexagon IGS construction, a design that optimises water dispersal, with the small six-sided shapes presenting multiple sides to efficiently cut through liquids. Moreover, the larger lugs are self-cleaning whilst grooves provide effective drainage channels. Add to that its very own rubber compound and it’s evident that an awful lot of thought has gone into this design. In use, the benefits are immediately apparent, with the boots providing a reassuringly solid platform on ladders and a good grip on wet ground.

A new pair of boots need to be comfortable from the very first day and durable enough to continue in that vein. Here, the IGS system also features a shocking absorbing heel for reduced impact, and what the manufacturer calls its Energyse insole, which channels air around the foot, reducing heat build-up and moisture.

Last but not least
That theme of design and technology is continued throughout the V2120 Lynx IGS. For the uninitiated, one of the first steps in footwear development, for instance, is the ‘last’, a mould which determines the shape of the finished project and this manufacturer’s is based on scans of over 4,000 feet.

These boots proved to be a sturdy and reliable companion on site and they are certainly made for working. A little bit of research of my own has revealed just how much thought is embedded in the manufacture of a humble pair of boots, and the result is a very safe and comfortable wear.

Sustainably sourced in Europe
V12 works tirelessly to ensure that its products and processes reflect its commitment to having a positive impact on the environment and that is why the Lynx boot is made in Europe from sustainably-sourced leather. The tannery used for this sustainably-sourced product is Gold LWG-certified. The Leather Working Group (LWG) is an international organisation made up of stakeholders across the leather supply chain, working to promote environmental best practice within leather manufacturing and related industries.

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