Best Comfortable Steel Toe Work Boots of 2020
- 1 10 Most Comfortable Steel Toe Work Boots
- 1.1 1. Caterpillar Men's Revolver Pull-On Steel-Toe Boot
- 1.2 2. Thorogood Men's American Heritage 6" Moc Toe
- 1.3 3. Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot
- 1.4 4. Dr. Martens - Men's Icon 2295 Steel Toe Heavy Industry Boots
- 1.5 Size Issues
- 1.6 Durability
- 1.7 5. Irish Setter Men's 8" Steel Toe Work Boot
- 2 6. Caterpillar Men's Hydraulic Mid Cut Steel Toe Boot
- 3 8. Justin Original Work Boots Men's J-Max Work Boot
- 4 How to Choose the Best Steel Toe Work Boots
- 5 What Makes a Steel Toe Work Boot Comfortable?
- 6 Are Steel Toes Safe?
- 7 Shop with Comfort in Mind
10 Most Comfortable Steel Toe Work Boots
We know that finding the most comfortable steel toe boots can be quite a challenge, but we also know that the pain caused by ill-fitting or shoddily-made work boots is way more torturous than boot shopping ever could be.
We take work boots seriously and therefore, we take comfort seriously. While there is no supreme “most comfortable work boot,” because all feet are different and what works for one may not work for another, there are some work boots that are notable for being the most comfortable out of the bunch. Thus we offer to you a selection of the 10 most comfortable steel toe work boots.
This steel toe boot, manufactured by one of the leading brand names in both soft toe and steel toe shoes, features a toughness and durability characteristic of Caterpillar’s better known product lines, that being heavy machinery. The Caterpillar Revolver is a top of the line favorite and one of the best sellers for this particular product line. This is a mid-price range shoe. Its average retail price is around $100 per pair. If you prefer a similar type made by Dr. Martens, check out the Icon, which is in the same price range.
As the name implies, this Wellington-type boot does not require laces. Purchasers in the United States will tend to see it as a Roper-style shoe. It is available in a dark brown color and features pull-loops. The pull-on shaft and upper are full-grain leather.
The overall construction appears simple, yet sturdy. The outsole is a slip-resistant material, and the toe contains a steel insert. These shoes are particularly handy to have if your work involves walking around on slippery or icy surfaces, and a number of people who work in a service industry such as a year-round delivery service have a preference for this particular brand.
If you have never worn a pull-on work boot before, you may find it a little difficult to get your foot in at first. This will quickly pass, and you’ll soon discover how comfortable these boots really are. In addition, you won’t have the inconvenience of having to lace and unlace shoes, or stop what you’re doing to retie laces that have come undone. The Revolver do require a bit of breaking in at times, although that depends on the individual as much as it does on the boot. They are not as comfortable as slippers, but are every bit as comfortable as you will find in any work boot. They are not waterproof, but if you apply a sealant to the uppers, you can make them adequately water resistant.
The Revolver tends to come a little large, so you will usually get the best fit if you order a pair that is a half-size smaller than your shoe size. The only problem you might run into is you may find one side fits more comfortably than the other. This is not uncommon. Your feet are normally not exactly the same size. If you don’t have this problem when purchasing other shoes, you should not have a problem with these CAT boots. Just remember when you order that these shoes tend to run a little large and you should be fine.
These are tough, durable boots. They may just as well have been designed by the same engineers who design the CAT tractors and earth movers insofar as their durability is concerned. They were not of course, but you can tell by looking at this boot that it is well made, and you won’t be deceived.
Whether you need the extra toe protection or not, the Caterpillar Revolver is a good all around, comfortable work boot.
Are you ready for “made in America” quality, top-notch comfort, and all the foot protection you could ever want? Of course you are, which is why we are happy to introduce you to Thorogood Men’s American Heritage Safety Toe Boot.
Thorogood’s American Heritage Safety Toe Boots are the boot to own if you are looking for durability and quality craftsmanship. They are made in America using tobacco oil-tanned leather for the upper and Vibram rubber for the sole. (Vibram rubber is basically industrial-grade rubber, for those who are unfamiliar with the term.)
The lining is made of cotton vamp, the removable footbed is shock-absorbent and made with Poron comfort technology, and the shank is made of lightweight and flexible fiberglass. As for protection, the toes are ASTM-rated steel toes, and the boots meet electrical hazard standards and can withstand up to 18,000 volts.
This is an all-around great work boot—tough and rugged for those who need a boot to stand up in harsh environments, extremely comfortable for those who spend enormous amounts of time in their boots and on their feet, and long-lasting and durable for those who want a boot that will last more than a few months.
Thorogood has a reputation for superior craftsmanship and outstanding quality and the American Heritage 8” Safety Toe Boot certainly continues that legacy. Are they a little expensive? Yes, but the saying “you get what you pay for” tends to hold true in most cases and this is not an exception.
Wearing the American Heritage boot feels like walking on a perfectly cushioned and supportive cloud and the durability and quality construction ensures that they will stay in top condition for quite a while. We recommend them highly.
Caterpillar is a highly popular brand of work boot. Its product line features a toughness and durability similar to that of the toughness and durability characteristic of CAT’s heavy-duty machinery and construction equipment. Within this particular product line, Caterpillar’s Men’s 2nd Shift is the overwhelming favorite, and it is one of the top-selling boots of its type, among all of the 40 or more brand names that feature steel toes. They are in the mid-price range, normally retailing for just under $100.
These boots feature full grain leather uppers. The sole is hand-crafted, and the outer sole features a slip-resistant design. It has a 6″ shaft and a heel height of 1.25″. The Climasphere sock liner and nylon mesh lining inside help keep your feet warm and dry during cooler weather and cool and dry during hot weather.
Don’t be surprised if your boots feel good as they come right out of the box. In some instances they may feel a bit stiff, but they should break in nicely within a few days. Wearing insoles will help as far as breaking in is concerned and wearing them will add to the comfort level over the long run. These are very comfortable however, and in almost all cases provide an excellent fit.
There does not appear to be any outstanding issues with this particular boot insofar as size is concerned. Overall, the sizes are usually accurate. However, about 5 percent of customers may find that sizes will run a bit too wide, although not too large. In other words, it is sized as expected. Some brands or styles either do not fit as well as they should, or they fit “pretty good”. The 2nd Shift invariably fits about as close to perfect as you can get.
Many users of work boots are construction workers, and the shoes they wear can take quite a beating over time. The greatest damage done to the shoe in terms of overall wear and tear tends to be limited to scuffs and scratches. These shoes are extremely durable. You can expect them to hold up well under very tough conditions.
No boot is perfect and even the highest quality shoes can have imperfections, but this one seems to come as close as any boot to what the wearer is looking for and expects for the price. Some brands or styles begin to fall apart after a certain amount of wear. This is not the case with these boots.
Durability is an outstanding characteristic of this shoe. A typical work boot subjected to heavy day-to-day use will have a lifetime of around 3 years. This particular one will often serve its owner for twice that time, if not longer.
This steel toe boot is a slip-on Wellington style, similar to the Caterpillar Revolver.
The Icon is one of the most comfortable work boots you will find anywhere. This is especially true for those in the United States who prefer a Roper-style shoe. There are a few issues with this particular pair you should be aware of, but by and large, this brand has a large and faithful following, as does this particular model.
The Icon features pull loops to aid in inserting your foot in the 10″ shaft. You will normally expect this feature in a Wellington or Roper-type boot. The shaft and uppers are leather and the sole is man made. The steel toe has been ANSI rated, meaning it will provide as advertised protection to the toes. It is also OSHA approved and features an outsole made of slip-resistant PVC. The breathable insole is constructed from mesh-covered EVA material. It is both for shock absorption and is removable. The ankle collar is padded as well. The boots weigh 30 ounces.
This boot provides comfort with a capital “C”. It has greater flexibility than the average work boot and it will either break in quickly or feel perfectly fine from the very beginning. Part of the reason behind the comfortable feel inherent in this shoe is the memory foam padding in the ankles. The leather shaft won’t rub against your skin and the shoe “recognizes” your foot after the first few times it is worn, giving you a perfect or near-perfect fit. Over the years, absolute comfort has become a trademark feature of Dr. Martens shoes. If you should, for any reason, remove the insoles and not replace them, you may find that the comfort level will drop somewhat. Due in part to the high shaft, these shoes provide great ankle support.
Each manufacturer seems to have their own idiosyncrasies when it comes to sizing their products. This company is probably no exception, but you are more likely to get an excellent fit with these than with other brand-name work boots. Your best chance of success in this regard would be to order a size larger than your regular shoe size as you might find a boot that conforms to your shoe size could be a little too snug, especially with respect to the width of the arch on your foot. If your shoe size is a half size, the next full size up should give you a near perfect fit.
A note of caution is necessary with respect to durability. If you purchase a pair of Icon, they may last for years. On the other hand, they might start coming apart on you within a year or so.
As noted above, at some time in the past, the company outsourced the manufacture of a segment of its product line to China.
The boots produced in England are comparable to most of the top-name brands as far as durability is concerned. That does not appear to be the case at the present time with those boots that are being manufactured in China. Those boots have a history of the soles separating, or exhibit other indications of being cheaply made.
This is not true of all shoes coming from China, but is definitely something to consider, especially if you expect them to be able to take quite a beating.
It may be worth your while to seek out a “Legacy” pair, which is a pair produced in England. An English-made boot should provide at least 3 years of tough service, which is about par for the course for most heavy-duty work shoes. If your job is not quite as demanding and your shoes are mainly used for walking, these should last a number of years.
Dr. Martens has a large following, and has to be considered as having one of the most comfortable steel toe work boots out there. Hopefully the “Made in China” issue will soon be resolved, if it hasn’t been already.
The Irish Setter 8” Steel Toe Work Boot is easy on the feet, affordable, and durable. It meets industry standards and the outsole is non-marking and resistant to slipping, oil, chemicals, heat, and abrasion, making it an excellent choice for the man working in a variety of environments.
This boot is moderately water-resistant—it can handle damp conditions, rain and puddles, and mud, but these are not the boots for the individual who is likely to find himself standing ankle-deep in water. (Once water goes over the laces, the boot ceases to be water-resistant.) Even with thick work socks, these boots are breathable, keeping feet cool and sweat-free all day.
If you are not a fan of work boots that extend past the ankle, then these Caterpillar Men’s Hydraulic Mid Cut Steel Toe Boots could be just what you need, as they are made in the style of a hiking boot.
The full-grain leather upper is hardy and of fine-quality and the rubber sole is resistant to almost all workplace hazards, including those caused by electricity, slippery surfaces, oil, water, heat, and abrasion. The construction of the boot, particularly its Nylex/Poliyou sock liner, makes it a breathable piece of footwear that is sure to offer relief and comfort while keep feet cool and dry.
These boots are also a great buy for those on a budget, as they are priced lower than many other of our choices for the most comfortable steel toe work boots.
Perhaps one of the most comfortable steel toe work boots currently available is Chippewa’s 9” Steel-Toe Super Logger Boot. Not only is it incredibly comfortable, it is unbelievably durable. It uses Goodyear Welt construction, widely recognized as the best boot-making technique, and it uses a Chip-A-Tex waterproof bootie and Ruby Dri Lex 2000 lining.
Insulated, waterproof (but still sweat-permeable), steel-toed, and made in the USA—this boot is made to last a long time. It is also extremely comfortable; not only does it keep feet cool/warm and dry, it includes a comfortable removable Texon 460 waterproof insole. The only negative is that you will definitely be paying for the quality that you receive.
Priced between $200 and $350, the Super Logger boots are one of the more expensive pairs of work boots currently available, but we firmly believe that these top-quality boots are well-worth the higher price tag.
Rugged and USA-made, this Justin work boot is tough and has been described as “so comfy, you could sleep in it.” Justin has over a century of experience making and selling boots and the handcrafted quality that has made them an industry staple remains the cornerstone of their business model today.
These boots offer electrical hazard protection and are made with a rubber sole, polyurethane outsole, and quality leather. For added comfort, Justin Original Work Boots J-Max Steel Toe Work Boots come with a removable Justin Jel insole, which provides the comfort and support that is necessary for the hard-working man on the go.
If you are interested in these boots, keep in mind that we have found their construction to be a little narrow—you may want to order a larger width than your usual size to be safe.
Say “Hello” to style, comfort, durability, and value with these Keen Utility Milwaukee Steel Toe Work Boots. The Tough Tech nubuck upper is resistant to water, stains (to keep them looking oh-so-fine), and abrasion, providing way more protection than just the steel toe.
The sole is slip-resistant, non-marking, oil-resistant, and it protects against electrical hazards. Not only does this Keen boot provide protection, it also offers an extremely comfortable wearing experience, even for those who find themselves on their feet all day.
The Dr. Martens brand that you know and love also makes spectacular safety toe boots that provide the level of style one would expect from such a brand, as well as top-notch protection for the working man’s feet.
The sole is slip resistant on both wet and oily surfaces, ensuring that you stay upright and unharmed while working. The full-grain leather upper is water-resistant and the moisture-wicking liner ensure that feet are kept cool and dry.
To add to the comfort level, these boots have a removable padded insole. Featuring Goodyear Welt construction, PVC outsole, heavy-duty eyelets and cord lacing, these Dr. Martens Ironbridge Safety Toe Boots were made to be long-lasting, as well as affordable.
These pull-on leather boots are made with Goodyear Welt construction and full-grain leather. Like Caterpillar’s other products, the Colt Steel Toe Boots are made to last and they are also made to be affordable—perfect for the man who does not want to compromise on safety or comfort, but who is not particularly crazy about the idea of dropping several hundred dollars on a pair of boots.
The outsole is strengthened with Kevlar and holds up extremely well, even when repeatedly used in harsh environments, which is exactly what it’s called for in workplace usage.
Topping our list of the most comfortable steel toe work boots is an affordable Wolverine product—the Raider Boot. It uses welt construction and full-grain leather as the foundation for an extremely well-made boots.
One interesting feature of the Raider boot is the presence of multishock shock-absorbing compression pads that are molded into the outsole, which puts less pressure and stress on your bones and joints, ensuring that your whole body (not just your feet) will be more comfortable throughout the day. They also have a removable full-cushion footbed for inside support and relief and the mesh lining keeps feet dry.
How to Choose the Best Steel Toe Work Boots
If you are planning to purchase a pair of steel toe boots for the first time, there are likely a few questions you might have with respect to their price range, comfort, durability, and performance.
Prices naturally vary from brand to brand and within the product line in any given brand. In many instances, this type of boot will cost a little more than a conventional work boot, although the difference is often insignificant. Comfort is naturally of prime importance. These boots are typically a bit heavier than the conventional work boot, and can be quite a bit heavier in some instances. Lightweight versions are marketed, although the lighter weight could mean less protection.
One area of concern that some who have not previously owned this type of boot is whether the steel insert will rub against the toes, since steel is not particularly soft or flexible. For most work boots or shoes of this type, rubbing will not be a problem. It is certainly not unreasonable to expect comfort, although these boots will never compete with loafers or moccasins in that respect. Durability should be no different from any other work boot in a similar price range or having the same brand name. These boots are purchased for doing tough work, and can’t be expected to last forever.
Know What You Want
Knowing what you want in such a boot seems obvious, but it is something you should give some thought to. People do, on occasion, purchase an item without giving much thought about exactly why they need it or if they need it at all. This type of footwear has a primary purpose, and that purpose is to protect your toes.
Most work boots will do that to some extent of course, but if you drop a bench grinder on your foot or your toes suddenly find themselves beneath the tire of a forklift, you’ll be glad a steel plate is there to mitigate the damage that might have been done. For many if not most types of work, you don’t really need this type of a boot.
Ask yourself, or the person you are working for, if it is really necessary to purchase something that gives your feet some extra protection, and if so, why.
Does the Brand Matter?
The number of brand names associated with this type of work boot is over 40 and counting. Of these brands, less than half-a-dozen account for the majority of sales, and tend to be brand names associated with other heavy duty work boots, as well as trekking boots, winter boots, and even ski boots.
A given brand will quite often have a product line featuring both boots and shoes with steel toes for both men and women. When selecting a particular brand, a question worth asking yourself is where the product is manufactured. Many of these boots are imported, although a few are produced in the USA. Some are imported from China, but carry an American brand name and are of the highest quality while others are lacking in quality, especially in durability. Boots made in England or Australia are generally of the highest quality and the same can be said for those manufactured in Mexico under the auspices of an American manufacturer.
The best advice is to look for a brand that is widely sold. Purchasing a boot that has proven to be highly popular is no guarantee you’ll get the very best one, but you will probably get one that’s definitely good enough. Some of the high-end boots are made in limited quantities, and are custom made to fit. Custom-made boots are beyond the scope of this discussion.
Does the Price Matter?
“You get what you pay for” applies just as much here as it does for many other products. There are several brands that sell for somewhat less, yet they are of excellent quality, Dickies for one. If you want a pair of boots that you intend to use day in and day out and want them to last more than a year or two, you might prepare to spend in the neighborhood of $100 for a pair.
These types of footwear are meant for tough work and more often than not will need to be replaced about every 3 years in any event. The price range runs from about $40 up to around $200. In most cases, you’ll get what you pay for, but there are a number of perfectly fine products available in the $40 to $70 range. Buy what you can afford, or a little bit more, and you’ll probably do OK.
Are Steel Toe Work Boots Comfortable?
With this type of footwear, what you are really looking for is something that will not be uncomfortable, as comfort is a somewhat relative term. You definitely don’t want your feet to start hurting mid-way through your work shift.
Steel toe work boots are a bit heavier than usual and a bit less flexible than the average work boot. You still should be able to stand or walk around in them during working hours without experiencing discomfort.
The presence of the metal insert should not make them any more difficult to break in than would be the case for any other boot, unless of course the metal makes contact with your toes.
The steel toes may give you peace of mind, but if the boots begin to hurt your feet after a few short hours, that peace of mind will begin to seem less and less important. The steel plate usually stays in place and the first thing to go wrong is the uppers may eventually begin to separate from the soles.
What about Fit?
One area you could experience some problems in has to do with size. If you shop online, you need to be aware of the fact that some brands run a little high in size, some run a little wide, and at least one brand, Dr. Martens, a very popular brand, does not offer half sizes. Shopping online means you have a wider selection to choose from and you’ll likely find better pricing as well. Amazon.com offers free shipping and free returns on the vast majority of steel toe work boots they sell.
To some, looks are important. There are a few brands that pay a bit more attention to style; the aforementioned Dr. Martens is one. Timberland also has a number of good looking (for a work boot) styles within their product line. If you work with heavy equipment in the mud all day, or walking around on floors in which chemicals are present, don’t bother to pay extra in the hopes of looking stylish.
Weigh the Pros and the Cons
Customers who purchase these types of work boots seem happy with what they have, regardless of the brand. Part of this may be brand loyalty, and part of it may be that most manufacturers of these products produce a quality product. It is still worthwhile to do a little comparison shopping. What constitutes a minor inconvenience to one person could be an intolerable inconvenience to another. One negative factor tends to outweigh a number of positive factors. For these types of work boots, the negatives tend to focus on durability and comfort, especially with respect to slightly-off sizes and toe piece problems. As far as durability is concerned, the durability of the inner lining is an important factor to consider. Should the lining begin to deteriorate, it can take a toll on your socks.
What Makes a Steel Toe Work Boot Comfortable?
Overall Work Boot Fit
When it comes to finding the most comfortable pair of steel toe work boot, the most important quality to look for is the overall fit of the boot. Wearing an ill-fitting boot will always lead to pain and agony, no matter how much cushioning it has. A properly fitting work boot should not be too tight and constrictive, as this can cause blisters, corns, and ingrown toenails, among other health issues.
Boots that are too loose can be a safety hazard; a work boot that fits you well will have enough room for your toes to move and be comfortable, will not squeeze your foot at all, will not have places that rub the foot in such a way as to cause blisters and sores, and will just feel better on your foot in general.
Please note that while leather boots tend to stretch a little and conform to the foot, steel toe boots do not adjust nearly as much (and some not at all), so do not buy a pair of boots thinking that you can “break them in.” It may take a little more time, but finding a pair that feels great automatically will save you a lot of grief in the end.
Resistance to Water
Do you know who/what likes wet feet? People in pools and fungi. That is pretty much it. Wet feet are uncomfortable feet, so even if you do not spend a lot of time around water while working, it is still advisable to buy boots that resist water just in case.
Standing in wet boots and in wet socks for hours on end is a great way to encourage the growth of fungi and perhaps more relevantly, it just feel incredibly gross. No one likes being soggy.
Cushioning and Support
When you step into a work boot, your foot should feel supported and cushioned. If you do not want to buy an insole separately, then the insole that comes with the boot should be one that comforts and fits your foot.
A breathable pair of work boots will keep your feet from become hot, stuffy, and sweaty while working. Just as no one enjoys soggy feet, no one is particularly crazy about having their feet feel as if they are trapped in a sauna. A breathable pair of boots will keep you cool and combat sweat, making for a more comfortable fit.
Technological advancement has occurred in the world of boots with many companies offering features like shock-resistance and anti-fatigue measures that can make their product even more comfortable. The presence of these features varies widely and their inclusion in a boot design usually means a higher price tag, but it may be worth it—we certainly think it is.
Are Steel Toes Safe?
First, you have to remember that steel toes are not indestructible. The reason steel toes are used in shoes at all is because of the level of protection and safety that they offer the wearer—that is their primary function. However, even steel toes have their limit and they can become ineffective. After something heavy lands on your steel toe boots, you should take them off and inspect them immediately.
When it comes to workplace safety, it is hard to be over-cautious, especially in an industrial or hazardous environment. Out of all of the protective gear that you will wear, none is more important than your safety shoes, as these must not only provide adequate protection but immense comfort as well.
An ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoe can make the workday unbearable and cause pain while a shoe that does not provide enough protection greatly increases the risk of injury. One way to ensure that your safety toe boots remain safe and functional is to pay special attention to the state of your steel toe caps.
Steel Toes are not Indestructible
Many experts will tell you that anytime something falls onto the toe of your shoe, those shoes should be replaced, even if it was only a minor impact. This is because the protection offered by the steel toe caps could have been compromised. At the very least, after such an incident, the shoes should be taken off and inspected.
It can be difficult to determine if a steel toe has suffered irreparable damage; a toe made out of steel will often dent at the point of impact and will not “spring back” when they are inspected for damage, making it fairly easy to tell that the toe has been compromised.
However, it is much harder to gauge the damage done to safety toes made from composite materials; when these types of safety toe caps are damaged, it is advisable to replace them immediately simply because you often will have no way of knowing if the cap is still functional and that is not something that should be risked.
A composite toe can be irrevocably damaged and still keep its shape, unlike steel caps. Additionally, often times a composite cap cannot take as much of an impact as their pure steel equivalents, making them a little more susceptible to damage.
The general rule here is this: When in doubt, throw it out.
Inspect the Shoes for Signs of Wear and Tear
Inspect the shoes nightly for signs of wear and tear that could compromise the safety of the shoe. This actually applies to several different protective components of the shoe, not just the steel toe cap. Some red flags that signal that you should replace your shoes include:
- The steel toe cap, midsole, metatarsal guard, or shank is visible. This is normally due to the wearing down of certain parts of the shoe.
- The stitching on the upper is becoming frayed, or various components are starting to to separate from the rest of the shoe.
- The tread of the shoe is visibly worn down and provides noticeably less traction.
- Damage to the sole, such as cracking or splitting, is visible.
All steel toe boots must eventually be replaced; it is impossible for a shoe to remain in good working order indefinitely when it is being subject to harsh industrial environments. Even the best shoes wear out. Paying close attention to the state of the steel toe caps and being willing to replace shoes that have ceased to be protective are key to preventing injury and maintaining safety onsite.
When working around lumber, heavy machinery, and other equipment you will find at your construction site, accidents can happen. If you were to accidentally have a machine roll up onto your foot, having a steel plated toe in your shoe is a very good idea.
Today’s steel toe work shoes are much lighter than the safety shoes of a few years back. They are often made with quality leather, and will provide even the hardest driving construction worker many years with a safe shoe. If you want a good steel toe safety shoe, you need to invest in quality. Do not get cheap steel toe safety shoes and hope that they will get you by. Purchase quality safety shoes and keep your feet safe and comfortable.
Working in the construction industry means that you will work long hours on your feet. Safety shoes are quite comfortable and provide you with needed support. A good safety shoe will fit snug, but not tight. If the safety shoes are too tight, then you will be very uncomfortable working and be more prone to have accidents. Try on your safety shoes and make sure that you have the right model, and size. Comfortable feet make a big difference while working in construction.
Another thing to consider about safety shoes is that they come in a number of styles. There are safety shoes for every job out there, and you need to find out specifically which type of safety shoes to purchase for your job. Ask questions and find out if you need a high cut boot, or a low cut boot? Do you need them to have leather throughout or can you get a lighter material? These are very important questions to ask when determining which safety shoe to use on the job site.
10 Most Comfortable Steel Toe Work Shoes
For a long time, steel toe boots have been the norm for people who have physically demanding jobs. This is because the boots can withstand punctures, abrasions, slippery surfaces and other risks posed by work place surroundings.
Depending on your line of work, you will want a steel toe boot that has a suitable height, offers comfort and generally satisfies your fashion needs. But as you go shopping for that pair of comfortable steel toe boots, there are hundreds of work boot variations that you will come across.
Why Comfortable Steel Toe Work Boots?
Steel toe shoes are shoes which have a steel toe cap underneath the leather toe cap. They are engineered to protect the wearer’s toes. To be in compliance steel toe shoes from every brand must comply with the specifications of (ANSI) American National Standard for Safety-Toe Footwear, Z41.1.
The ANSI standard requires specific compression and impact testing on steel toes in protective footwear. it also states, “the steel toe should be incorporated into the construction and be an integral part of the footwear.”
Steel toe shoes can be graded with one of three impact ratings and one of three compression resistance ratings. The impact ratings are 30, 50 and 75, according to how many foot-pounds the steel toe can withstand upon impact without compressing into your toes. The compression resistance ratings are also 30, 50, and 75. The steel toe on a 30 shoe will withstand 1,000 pounds of static pressure, a 50 will withstand 1,750 pounds of pressure, and a 75 will withstand 2,500 pounds of pressure. The best protection is provided by the highest rated shoe, but even the lowest rated shoe offers substantially more protection for your toes than any non-rated shoe.
Examples of work which require safety-toe footwear are: warehouse operations; moving operations involving heavy equipment; work involving close contact with large animals; and jobs requiring work with certain chemicals. Steel toe shoes often have a resistant sole.
Steel toe work shoes do not have to look like protective footwear. Mens steel toe shoes and womens steel toe shoes are available in a variety of popular styles, such as work boots, dress shoes, tennis shoes, hiking boots, cowboy boots, and loafers. Manufacturers realize that people will not wear shoes that are not comfortable and attractive and are making steel toe shoes more lightweight with cushioned insoles and arch supports, and at a competitive price.
҉ Safety ratings
Still toe boots have some of the best safety ratings in the market. The fact that safety ratings determine how well a safety boot can withstand risks such as abrasions and puncture means with a steel toe, you are well protected. The key metrics in safety rating include SB, S1, S1P, S3, S5 and Slip resistance ratings among others.
Keeping your feet comfortable as you toil through the day helps you stay productive all through. Steel toe boots do a great work in protecting your feet from electrical surge, moisture and good fit. But as you make your choice, ensure whichever steel toe boot that you choose meets your criteria of quality and comfort.
You’d certainly want to have a boot that can last for long. Fortunately, many of the steel toe boots on offer are made of sturdy materials that can withstand aggressive environs. Keep off cheap alternatives that are made of easily breaking materials as you may end paying a far higher price for your work boots.
҉ Less expensive
Steel toe boots are generally cheaper when compared with composite toe boots. In fact, there is a great selection of steel toe boots under the $100 dollar mark while the variations of composite toe boots in same price range are limited.
Let’s have a look at steel toe boots that are
Best Steel Toe Work Boots Buying Guide
A good pair of steel toe work shoes can be a pleasure to wear while providing your foot with the protection required. A properly fitting pair of shoes should help eliminate foot related complaints and allow you to work in comfort and safety. When selecting a pair of shoes the things you should keep in mind are the fit, fabric, sole material and the flexibility of the shoe.
The hardest part of the shoe buying process is finding the right size of work shoes. The most important factor is the length of your foot, but it is also advisable to take into account the activity for which the shoe will be used, the width, and the arch.
Further, sizing varies according to international standards and from manufacturer to manufacturer. If the shoe feels good on your foot then you are much more likely to actually wear the shoe. You should keep in mind that the size printed on the shoe box is just a starting point, and a properly fitted shoe should make you almost forget you are wearing it.
Another thing to keep in mind is because safety shoes are harder and less flexible there is a tendency to buy oversized shoes. Avoid this at all costs since oversized shoes won’t adequately support your foot. Instead the shoes should be snug but not tight.
The fabric from which the steel toe shoes are made is very important. Some options are leather, suede, canvas, rubber, and some other man-made fabrics. Leather seems to be the most popular material as it tends to fit the foot very well after a short break in period, and it is durable and fire resistant as well.
The sole material and tread is also important in selecting a pair of shoes. Soles are generally made of synthetic or natural rubber or of leather. Synthetic rubber is the preferred material for steel toe work shoes, and it provides a waterproof and hard-wearing sole. The tread should be slip resistant to avoid the chance of a nasty slip and fall injury.
Flexibility is essential in a well made shoe. If the product won’t bend then it can impair your agility and cause discomfort and even blisters. If your foot will not roll through a step then the shoe is not flexible enough. A shoe also needs to bend in the right places. Again, leather has a good balance between flexibility and durability.
In summary, a great pair of shoes requires a properly sized shoe made from a quality material that offers the wearer the appropriate sole and the proper degree of flexibility.
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Shop with Comfort in Mind
Having the most comfortable steel toe boots is exceedingly important for those working in fields where they are mandatory. A comfortable boot can relieve the aches and pains that frequently accompany physical work and make working more bearable and less torturous. Cushioned, dry, well-supported feet are happy feet, and we firmly believe that it is worth the time and money to find a pair of boots that are the most comfortable for you.