Whether you are an electrician, construction worker or any other professional, safety should always be your prime concern. This is why you need the best steel toe boots to provide you with optimum safety. Steel toe boots, also known as safety boots, safety shoes or steel-capped boots are units that come with a steel reinforcement in the toe area that protects your foot from compression and falling objects.
Why you should wear steel toe boots
There are many reasons why you should consider these protective units. Some of the reasons include:
Compliance with the law: The occupational safety and health administration and the United States department of labor require that you protect yourself from the danger of falling and sharp objects. The shoe also protects you from electrical hazards.
Steel toe boots are tough: The shoes can withstand up to 75 pounds of pressure. This pressure is equivalent to that of an object dropped from 3 yards. The shoes are made from industrial quality leather that allows them to withstand tough weather elements. The toughness of the shoes gives you peace of mind as you know that your feet are fully protected.
The boots are comfortable: While the boots are tough, they don’t compromise your comfort. The boots come with a soft inner layer that ensures your comfort. To increase the comfort of the boots, you should choose the right size of the boot. You should also choose a boot that is long enough. As rule of thumb, the boot should go past your ankles. To increase your comfort, wear socks meant for steel-toed boots. These are socks that are ergonomically designed to provide you with optimum comfort when wearing the safety boots.
Reduce fatigue: As an industrial or construction worker, you stand for long hours. As you know, this brings about a lot of fatigue. These shoes come with an arch support and adequate cushioning that reduces the strain on your muscles. This increases your comfort thus you stand for long without getting too tired.
They are fashionable: Who said you shouldn’t look good when working? Steel toe boots come in different designs that are easy on the eyes. The designs are ideal for different working environments; therefore, you should take your time to research and buy a shoe that looks great.
When to wear steel toe boots
The need for wearing steel toe boots depends on your line of work and the hazards you confront in your job. You should protect yourself by wearing the best steel toe boots if you work in any of these areas:
Construction site: The construction site is characterized by sharp nails, dangerous debris, and objects that might crush you. By wearing the safety boots you protect yourself from these dangers thus you perform your duties without worry.
Manufacturing plants: The safety boots are common with people working outdoors but there are plenty of dangers you can come across when working indoors. When working in a manufacturing plant heavy objects can fall on your feet. You can also step on nails and other sharp objects. When you wear the boots you protect yourself from these hazards. When buying boots for indoor use, pay attention to the construction of the sole. As rule of thumb, ensure that the sole is slip-resistant. It also should be flexible enough thus allowing you to easily move around.
Home construction and repair: Whether you are a carpenter or you are simply repairing your house, you need the steel toe boots to protect your feet from lumber, nails, and hammer hits. When buying the units, ensure that the sole provides you with a tough grip that allows you to easily get on and off the roof.
Types of steel toe boots
There are many types of these boots but they can be broadly grouped into two large categories: cement and good year welt construction boots. The cement construction boots are made from boot cement that gives them the tough features. Due to this, they are light and you can easily mold them to your liking. These safety shoes are ideal when you are looking for highly comfortable shoes that will allow you to easily move around.
Goodyear welt construction boots feature a plastic, leather, or rubber stitch on the upper side. The stitch is what is known as welt and its purpose is to provide the construction of the boot with a solid hold. As a result, the boot doesn’t break down easily. To provide an additional foothold, the welt is usually joined to the outsole with cement. Due to the high-quality construction of the boot, the shoe is ideal if you are interested in a shoe that will last for a long time.
Guide to buying the best steel toe boots
For you to buy the best safety boots you need to consider a number of factors. These factors include:
This is the main reason you are buying the boot in the first place. As rule of thumb ensure that the shoe you buy provides you with optimum protection in your work area. To be sure of your safety, the shoe should have the right ankle support, strong exterior, and a high-quality anti-puncture lining. To know the safety standards of your boot you should take a look at the symbol imprinted on your boots. The most common symbols are:
Green triangle: This shoe will provide you with grade 1 protection and ideal for heavy duty work such as construction work. The shoe will provide your toes with an impact protection of up to 125 joules.
Yellow triangle: Level 2 protection. Ideal for you if working in a light industry. The shoe provides your toes with an impact protection of up to 90 joules.
White square with an orange sign: The soles have the ability to prevent shock resistance. The shoes are ideal for you if you work in an area where you are exposed to live electrical conductivity. The shoe will provide you with maximum resistance against electrical currents.
Yellow background with green SD letters: These shoes have soles that dissipate electrostatic charge. Due to this, they provide you with maximum anti-static protection. The capability of the shoes makes them ideal for use in areas where static discharge is harmful.
Red background with letter C printed in black: Shoes with this symbol provide you with maximum electrical conductivity.
White background with a green fir tree: The shoes provide you with the highest level of protection against chainsaws. They are ideal for you if you are forestry worker or you regularly use hand-held chainsaws or other related equipment.
To easily carry out your duties the steel toe boots you buy should be comfortable to wear. The comfort of the shoes is determined by two things: the sole and the shoe interior. When making the purchase, check the sole of the shoe and ensure that it’s flexible enough and doesn’t intervene the proper movement of your feet. When it comes to the interior of the shoe, it should be lined with a soft fabric. The shoe should also have cushioned insoles that add to the comfort and also reduce fraction that brings about blisters.
You should also consider the weight of the boots. Obviously, heavy boots will make it difficult for you to walk around. They will also most likely harm your ankles, feet, and knees. You should go for safety boots made from lightweight polyurethane and full-grain leather. These shoes will be lightweight, flexible, and comfortable to wear.
Who wants a shoe that will last for a week? Not me. The shoe you buy should last for several years so that you can have value for your money. Since you will be working in a tough environment, the shoe should be made from 100% leather. The leather should be water resistant and breathable. The sole should be made from high-quality rubber or any other non-skid synthetic material. You should also pay close attention to the isolative material. As rule of thumb ensure that the material is ideal for your area. If you work in cold areas, the material should be 200-100 grams. For warmer areas, go for an isolative material that is less than 200 grams.
One of the major things that differentiate steel toe boots from other boots is the steel cap. The cap should be durable. For ideal results, go for a boot whose steel cap can last for at least 4 years.
Not every company selling work boots is certified to do so. As you know, certified products are of high quality. They also tend to have warranties. You should always go for boots from reputable and certified companies. Some of the best brands you should go for are: Caterpillar, Irish Setter, Keen, Timberland, and others. These companies are certified by institutes such as ASTM and ANSI.
Few people pay attention to this factor but it’s of great importance. The higher the heel of the shoe, the better the shoe feels thus the easier you are able to work. Scientists have also been able to show that elevated shoes reduce fatigue. When making the purchase, go for a shoe with a heel of at least 1.5”. Such a heel will be comfortable and also provide you with the best protection against uneven and tough surfaces.
You can step on the water whether indoors or outdoors. When working, the last thing you want is working with wet feet. To avoid this, buy shoes with waterproofing abilities.
Best steel toe boots review
|product||About the shoe||Rating|
Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6" Steel-Toe Boot
|• Has a sturdy construction thus durable. It’s easy on the eyes thus you can wear it off work.|
• It has a strong grip thus you can comfortably work with it in wet, slippery areas.
• Main flaw is that it can take you some time to break it in.
Caterpillar Men's 2nd Shift 6" Steel Toe Boot
|• Has a beautiful design thus you can wear it even when not at work.|
• It also has a sturdy design which ensures that it lasts for a long time.
• Two of its major flaws are: lack of waterproof. It will also take you up to a week to break it in.
KEEN Utility Men's Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe
|• The work boot is beautiful to look at and provides you with optimum protection. |
• It isn’t waterproofed thus avoid wearing it in deep puddles.
Timberland PRO Direct Attach 6" Steel Safety Toe Waterproof Insulated Boot
|• The boot is thick, waterproof, and tough thus providing you with all the protection you need.|
• The use of holes at the top two loops means that you have to lace up every time you are wearing it.
• The thick sole makes the shoe stocky thus not ideal for a fashionable person
Wolverine Men's Steel Toe Raider Boot
|• It comes in a beautiful design thus you can wear it even while out of work. |
• The extra padding not only provides you with extra protection, it also increases your height.
• Their main flaw is that it take long to break it in.
Caterpillar Men's Brode Steel-Toe Work Shoe
|• This is the right shoe for you if you don’t like to wear the regular steel toe boots but you want to protect your feet.|
• The boot is beautiful to look at, tough, and durable.
• Its major flaw is lack of waterproof.
• Also, you can sometimes feel the steel from the top of the shoe.
Dr. Martens Ironbridge Safety Toe Boot
|• It has a heavy duty design and stitching which guarantees you durability. |
• It has a patented cushioned no-slip sole thus you can comfortably work in messy environment.
• Comfortable to wear but it isn’t good looking thus not ideal for the fashionable person.
• It also might take you sometime to break it in.
Ariat Men's Workhog Steel Toe Work Boot
|• The safety boot is beautiful and durable. Ideal for you if you want the cowboy look. |
• It comes with a durable anti slip sole and you can also use it as a motorbike riding boot.
Caterpillar Men's Diagnostic Waterproof Steel-Toe Work Boot.
|• It features the patented thermal technology that keeps your feet warm. |
• The boot is made using cement construction thus you can be sure it will last for a long time.
• The beautiful design means you can wear the work boot off work.
• Main flaw is that it can be too hot for you if working in warm climates.
Caterpillar Men's Revolver Pull-On Steel-Toe Boot
|• The boot is made by Caterpillar thus you can be sure it’s of high quality|
• It features a simple design thus you can wear it even out of work
• Its main flaw is that it can take you sometime to break it in. its size also runs large.
KEEN Utility Men's Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot
|• They come in an exciting design that is beautiful to look at thus ideal for someone who wants to look stylish at the work place and also wants to protect himself. |
• While the boots are tough, they are comfortable to wear thus you can be on your feet the entire day.
• Their main flaw is that it can take you sometime to get used to them.
Thorogood Men's American Heritage 804-4200 6-Inch Steel-Toe Work Boot
|• The boot is made in America thus you can be sure it will last for a long time. |
• In addition to being tough and durable, it also provides you with protection against electrical hazards. The boot also has a soft inner lining that ensures your comfort.
• The main flaw with the boot is that it can take you some time to break it in.
Timberland PRO Men's 40008 Mudsill Low Steel-Toe Lace-Up
|• They provide you with the comfort of a sneaker and optimum protection from falling objects and other substances. |
• They are made by timberland thus you can be sure they will last for a long time.
• Their most attractive feature is the protection against electrical hazards.
Taking a look at the best steel toe boots
Timberland is known for its high-quality products and it doesn’t disappoint with the Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss 6″ Steel-Toe Boot. The shoe is made using the Timberland PRO’s 24/7 comfort suspension system providing you with protection, comfort, and durability. The shoe also meets ANSI safety requirements and provides you a larger toe box to move your toes. This provides you with more comfort enabling you to stand for a long time. The boot also has a rubber outsole that is slip, abrasion, and oil resistant. This allows you to comfortably work on slippery surfaces. The rubber also provides you with protection against electrical hazards.
• Protection against electrical hazards
• Great look
• Strong grip
• High-quality construction
|• Might take you time to break them in.|
Just like timberland, the caterpillar is a reputable brand when it comes to high-quality safety boots. The boot is made from genuine, high-quality leather, and has a padded collar that provides you with added support. The upper leather is full grain and Goodyear welt constructed. The outsole is made from slip-resistant rubber that protects you from slipping when working in slippery areas. The steel toe boots are good to look at and you can wear them even out of work.
Unlike other boots that use holes at the ankle part, these shoes have hooks. This is great as it makes it easy for you to remove and put them on. You should be cautious when wearing them in wet areas as they aren’t waterproofed. To maintain the water resistance of the boots ensure that the waterline remains below the ankles.
|• Sturdy construction ensures durability|
• Easy on the eyes
• Six inch shaft provides excellent ankle support
|• Can take you up to a week to break it in
• Isn’t waterproofed
Manufactured by one of the most popular and reputable shoe companies in the world, this shoe is both fashionable and provides you with all the protection you need when working in a tough environment. The shoe features a breathable membrane that promotes effective air flow thus keeping you dry the entire day. The shoe also has a tough grip that prevents you from sliding even in the messiest conditions. As you might have guessed, this steel toe boot is light thus increasing your comfort. While the work boot is fairly water resistant, you should avoid deep puddles as you will definitely get wet.
|• Sturdy construction thus high quality|
• Light weight
• Easy to tie drawstrings
|• Not water proofed
• Sole not very tough
As I had mentioned above, timberland is the king when it comes to the best work boots. This steel toe boot features a seam-sealed waterproof leather upper that keeps your feet dry and comfortable. Just like the other Timberland steel toe boots, this boot is made using the PRO 24/7 comfort system thus providing you with an optimum arch support that plays a vital role in reducing foot fatigue.
For extra comfort, the shoe has a padded top collar. The shoe also has a mesh lining that is treated to prevent the growth of microorganisms. This comes in handy in preventing feet odor. The lining also adds up to the comfort of the shoe. The shoe has an oil-resistant, non-marking rubber sole that provides you with maximum traction.
As you can see from the pictures, the shoes have a thick sole (up to 2 inches). The thick sole not only protects you from sharp objects, it also increases your height—if you are short. The sole is also secured against electric surges thus you don’t have to worry when you stand on a live wire. The thick sole translates to a great grip thus you can easily work even in wet, slippery areas. While the thick sole is great for some people, it can sometimes make the shoe look chunky thus unpleasant to look at.
|• The thick sole makes the boots look chunky and unpleasant.|
The most unique thing about these boots is the extra cushion in the heel and foot that absorbs pressure and shock. The units also have a mesh lining that helps your feet to breath better which reduces the chances of feet odor. The boots also have a rubber outsole that easily resists oil, chemicals, abrasion, slips, water and heat. The shoes are designed in the contour welt design that ensures the shoes are flexible, tough, and flexible to wear.
|• Beautiful design|
• Full grain leather assuring you durability
• Shock absorbing pads
• Moisture absorbing mesh lining
|• Can take up to 1 week to break them in|
This is the shoe for anyone who wants the benefits that come with a steel toe boot but doesn’t want to wear the regular shoes in the market. The shoe looks just like your regular sneaker but it has protective features. The shoe is made from leather and certified by ASTM thus you can be sure that it will last for a long time.
The boot also has a footbed with molded EVA sock liner that provides you with shock absorption and great support. The low top design of the shoes is not only beautiful to look at, it also provides you with freedom to easily move around. This safety boot comes in different colors for you to choose from. As rule of thumb choose a color that looks good on you and also is ideal for your industry.
|• Beautiful low design|
• Long lasting
• Shock absorbent
|• You can sometimes feel the steel from the top of the shoe.
• Not water resistant
On first look, the shoe screams durability and optimum protection. This steel toe work boot is ready to protect you regardless of the nature of your environment. The shoe features a patented air cushioned sole that provides no-slip security. It also has a rugged durable outsole, mess-padded ankle collar, stitch-welted construction, and heavy duty cord lacing.
While the boots are tough, they are also very comfortable to wear. They have a padded insole that ensures your comfort. They also feature a moisture-wicking liner that keeps your feet dry and comfortable. The water resistant feature also contributes to the comfort of the boots.
|• Water resistant|
• Patented no-slip cushioned sole
• Tough thus durable
• Heavy duty design
|• Can take you sometime to wear them in
• Not good looking thus can’t wear them off work.
The workhog features the revolutionary U-turn entry system that allows you to easily wear the shoe and fit you perfectly regardless of the shape of your foot. The shoe is made using the Ariats ATS max technology that allows maximum side to side stability. This provides you with proper body alignment thus reducing fatigue. Due to this, you can stand for a long time. The midsole has the highly abrasion resistant dura thread that provides you with comfort and durability.
The sole has powerful grip capabilities thus making the boot ideal for climbing and ladder work. You can also work comfortably in slippery areas.
• Comfortable due to the large wiggle room
• Can also use them as motorcycle boots
|• Takes time to break them in|
On a casual look, the boot looks very simple in design but this shouldn’t fool you as this revolver boot is more than what meets the eye. The boot features a genuine leather foot, high-quality pull-on leather shaft, easy to pull on straps, single stitched Goodyear welt, and top notch slip-resistant outsole. These features not only make the boot durable, they also contribute to the comfort of the shoe. The shoes don’t have laces thus there is no hassle wearing them.
|• Long lasting|
• Beautiful, simple design
• Slip resistant
• No laces thus easy to put on
|• Can take you time to wear them in
• The sizing runs large
This is another high-quality steel toe boot from caterpillar that combines style and protection. The unique feature of the shoe is the patented thermal technology that keeps the shoe warm thus ideal for you if you work in cold environments. You should avoid this shoe if you work in warm climates as the heat will be too much for you. The boot is also waterproof thus keeping your feet dry. Just like other steel toe boots, this safety boot is made from high-quality leather and has a rubber outsole that meets the stability challenge.
To keep you comfortable, the shoes come with a 6” shaft with internal padding. They also come with a removable EVA foamed insole designed using the gel technology. The insoles add extra cushioning to the shoe thus giving you more comfort.
|• Have a thermal technology that keeps you warm|
• Beautiful design
|• Not ideal for people working in warm areas|
The shoe has a casual look but protects you from anything that might be dropped on your toes. The boots are made using the Keen technology thus you can be sure that they will last for a long time and give you a great service. The waterproof technology used in making the boots promotes effective air flow which aids in keeping your feet dry. In addition to the boots being waterproof, they are also oil and slip resistant thus you can work in messy environments without worry.
Most of the tough boots are known to be uncomfortable to wear but this isn’t the case with these boots. These Keen boots come with the metatomical footbed design that ensures that your feet are comfortable. If you walk a lot in your line of work, these are your shoes as they are light. While the boots are great, some people have reported taking time getting used to them.
• Oil and slip resistant
|• Can take you sometime getting used to them|
The boot is made by Thorogood, a company that has been making work-related products since 1892! The boot is also made in America thus you can be sure it’s of high quality. This Thorogood boot features a rugged oil-tanned leather upper, comfortable cotton drill vamp lining and a protective steel toe that meets the ASTM standards. The boot also has a wedge outsole that ensures foot stability. The insole is made using soft materials that absorb shock ensuring your comfort. When you wear the boot you are not only protected from falling objects, you are also protected from electrical hazards thus you can work without worry of getting electrocuted.
|• Made in America |
• Beautiful design
|• Can take you some time to wear them in
• Not ideal to wear them off work
This steel toe work boot provides you with the comfort of a sneaker and also the protection of a work boot. The uppers of the boot are made from both fabric and leather which provides you with flexibility and breathability. This plays a vital role in keeping you comfortable. The most attractive feature of the boot is the optimum electrical hazard protection it provides you with thus you can work without worry of getting electrocuted. The shoe is also lightweight and has a rubber outsole that provides you with a tough grip that allows you to work safely in messy areas.
• Protection against electrical hazards
• Tough grip
I hope this guide helped you to choose the best steel toe boots for your needs. The different boots are ideal for different applications and personalities thus you should take your time before settling on one. Once you have the boots, take good care of them, for them to last for a long time.