Steel toe boots are necessary for a man’s wardrobe, especially for those who have challenging jobs. There are several advantages of having the best steel toe boots. Primarily, they promote safety and durability while ensuring comfort at the same time. The main purpose of steel toe work boots is protecting your feet and toes from the impact of heavy objects. Those who working in hazardous conditions, such as steel workers, construction, and heavy machinery could be considered exposing to risks. Some employers require you wear this type of boots, whether it is for the purpose of insurance, or just because, on the site, the job could subject you to possible dangers. Then the more protection you have, the less likely your feet will sustain injury.
Types of Toe Caps
There are some different types of toecaps. When choosing the perfect boots for you, you need to consider what you will be using them for. The most common type of toecaps includes:
- Aluminum toe
- Carbon composite toe
- Composite toe
- Steel toe
However, the last two types are the top two picks among most consumers.
Composite Toe vs Steel Toe
In general, both the steel toe and composite toe are safety toes. And they are designed to protect your feet from impact, compression and or injury on your job. However, there are some differences in the two. Which one to select depending on where and how you will use them.
Composite toes are built out of materials such as Kevlar, plastic, carbon fibers, and rubber. They are much lighter than steel toes, due to the absence of steel. And they also offer better electrical resistance and offer more insulation in cold weather. Moreover, they don’t set off metal detectors. So if you do work in a secured area, you can pass through security gates without setting off bells and whistles. A composite toe is perfect for non-metallic environments.
However, since working environments like that are very rare, the most viable option is steel toe. From the name itself, this type of toecaps is made of steel— at least the front part. Steel toes have been around protecting feet in the work field for many years. The plate located over the toe area is built of heavy-duty steel. Steel toes tend to be puncture resistant, shatterproof, and usually cost a lot less than a composite toe. But they are not very insulated to sustain colder temperatures.
So, to wrap it up:
- Lightweight: Composite Toe
- Shatterproof: Steel Toe
- Insulated for cold: Composite Toe
- Puncture resistant: Steel Toe
- Better electrical resistance: Composite Toe
- Cost less: Steel Toe
- Won’t set off metal detectors – Composite Toe
In the end, it again comes down to where and what you will be using them for. Both of these toes give enough protection with diverse variations. Pstyle according to your needs.
Steel Toe Boots Buying Guide
It’s important that you need to determine yourself which safety toe boot to use. There are many factors to take into consideration before picking the safety steel toe boot for your daily use.
As you might already know, ratings for impact and compression are given to steel toe boots. The ASTM tests work boots to validate their protection level. Normally, you can tell what the rating is on steel toe boots by an “I” or a “C” followed by a slash and a number. For example, if you see I/75, this means that steel toe boot can protect your foot from an impact of 75 lbs. Whereas C/75 (compression rating) will protect your foot from a pressure of 2,500 lbs. The lower the number, the less protection guaranteed. To determine what rating you require, you’ll first need to evaluate the environment that you will be subjected to.
2. Additional Foot Hazards
Another factor to take into consideration is whether or not your job site has any other additional hazards. Is there a possibility of a puncture injury? If so, then you can pick steel toe boots coming with an additional plate, which protects your feet from the threat of nails, or any other sharp object perforating the boot. Though additional items associated with the steel toe aren’t ANSI or ATSM required, they are accepted by OSHA.
3. Electrical Hazards
An important question you will need to ask yourself is whether you will be subjected to electricity of any forms. As we all know, electricity and steel do not mix. However, there are steel toe boots that offer an electrical resistant outer shell, generally rubber, which greatly reduces the possibility of getting shocked.
Overall, it’s important to know your environment and what hazards are associated with your job. Plus, also know what your employers’ requirements are. Some have stricter standards that you must abide by in order to be compliant. A safe foot is a healthy foot, they’re there to keep you moving, take care of them.
There are various steel toe boots offered in the market today. Sure, there is no problem with the demand. However, with so many options available today, consumers often find it difficult to choose which pair of the best work boots to buy. We have made a list of the top steel toe boots available on the market for you below.
The Best Steel Toe Boots of All Time
1. Bates Men’s 8-Inch Steel Toe Side Zip Work Boot
Bates is one of the oldest shoemakers that design sturdy steel toe boots. The eight-inch steel toe side zip work boot is no ordinary— it is specifically crafted for military use. The side zipper provides unparalleled convenience because with it, you can easily get your foot in and out of the boot. The Nexus rubber outsoles and multi-surface are also particularly compelling. The inside of the shoes are specifically breathable, preventing foot perspiration despite a long day of work. The EVA insoles are also removable for efficient maintenance.
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2. Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift ST Work Boot
The Second Shift ST Work Boot showcases Caterpillar’s commitment to strength and robustness. The full-grain Nubuck uppers, in particular, ensure better resistance and durability. The pair is made with Goodyear Welt, which means that the shoes are seamlessly stitched and not simply glued. You can guarantee that this pair can last through time because they are repairable. As if those features are not yet enough to entice a customer, the Second Shift ST Work Boot also comes with removable, contoured polyurethane insoles that optimize comfort.
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3. Dr. Martens Men’s Icon Industrial Strength Steel Toe Boot
The main feature of this pair is a padded ankle support. The cushion insoles provide a high level of comfort, reducing the chances of fatigue. On the other hand, the AirWare outsoles provide air cushioned ease. Meanwhile, the full-grain leather offers the shoes with an oily feel. Moreover, the Icon Industrial Strength Steel Toe Boot is water-resistant and electrical-shock-absorbent. Without a doubt, these steel toe boots are ideal for workplaces that come with numerous hazards.
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4. Keen Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot
Since its establishment in 2003, Keen has always been known for developing and marketing the best steel toe boots. The Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot is specifically made for the tough working environment in Pittsburgh. The pair has soles that are electric-resistant, waterproof, and skid-resistant, which reiterates the shoemaker’s dedication to durable and industrial work boots. The breathable membranes of the boots prevent feet perspiration while the red and brown laces and webbing guarantee enhanced safety.
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5. Wolverine Men’s W08289 Steel Toe Boot
Wolverine has been in the steel toe boot industry for more than 100 years already. Through its long-time presence, the shoemaker has already established a notable reputation when it comes to sturdy, high-quality, and heavy-duty steel toe boots.
The W08289 Steel Toe Boot is one of the very few work boots that can resist abrasion and oil. It features a Goodyear Welt construction and a removable cushion foot bed. The midsoles are made up of rubber as well, further advancing the level of comfort experienced even at extreme sites. Moreover, it comes with a shock-absorbent nylon shank. Consequently, this pair of six-inch leather steel toe boots is ideal for heavy construction sites, loading docks, among others.
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If you are having a hard time in choosing the best steel toe boots that will match the extremity of your job demands, you can simply narrow down your choices among the five best work boots aforementioned. If one of them is not enough to meet all your needs, you can try getting more than one. After all, steel toe boots are great investments; they are not simply worn out or broken.