By Rehan Iqbal
Do you ever feel like you’re getting a leg workout when you wear your work boots around all day? Well, if you wear steel toe boots everyday for work, you are in a way. Steel toe boots weigh about 3 to 4.5 pounds on average for a pair. That’s quite a bit heavier than a pair of soft toe work boots, which weigh in at about 2 to 3 pounds on average.
In this article, we’ll discuss some factors that affect the weight of steel toe work boots and mention some lighter alternative work boots that still provide the safety features you need for proper protection on the jobsite.
What Affects the Weight of Steel Toe Work Boots
There are many factors that affect the weight of steel toe work boots, including:
Overall, work boots manufactured with leather and steel components – including the toe cap, upper, and shank – are heavier than boots made from other materials on average.
Safety Alternatives to Steel Toe Boots
While steel toe boots are considered the safest pair of work boots, they are also the heaviest. If you’re looking for a lighter pair of work boots, but want them to be safe, consider composite toe work boots.
Composite Toe Work Boots
Steel toe work boots have long been the industry standard to prevent workers from being injured by rolling or falling objects. Composite toes are much newer than steel toe boots, which have been around since the turn of the 20th century.
However, composite toe foot protection has been deemed a worthy alternative to steel toe boots. Composite toe footwear is made from non-metal materials such as fiberglass, plastic, carbon fiber, and Kevlar.
A couple of advantages composite foot protection offers are that it’s about 30% lighter than its steel toe counterparts and it doesn’t set off metal detectors. The lighter weight makes them ideal for workers who do a lot of walking throughout the day. Composite toe work boots are also better when working outdoors in extremely hot or cold weather because steel is a better conductor of cold and heat.
On the other hand, although composite toe boots do offer good protection for workers’ feet, they are not as safe as steel toe boots, which do a better job than composite materials at protecting feet against sharp objects and resisting cutting and punctures. Steel toe footwear is safer and should be used when working around heavy and potentially dangerous machinery.
It’s important to note that both steel toe and composite toe work boots have passed government safety standards, although steel is considered the industry standard.
Steel Toe Sneakers
Same safety as the steel toe boots minus the bulky footprint that comes with bulky work boots. Steel Toe sneakers are much lighter than the boots and provide better comfort. Ideal for wearing in warmer conditions and available with all additional safety features that come with work boots.
Weight of Steel Toe Boots from Some of the Top Work Boot Manufacturers
The Men’s Wolverine DuraShocks SR Steel-Toe Direct Attach 6” Work Boot is one of Wolverine’s best sellers. The boot features a slip-resistant outsole and direct-attach outsoles to seal out water. Wolverine DuraShocks help absorb shock and return energy to keep powering you forward. It’s manufactured with lighter and rugged materials to provide comfort and protection without the extra weight. Weight: 3.5 pounds.
The Accomplice X Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot, one of Caterpillar’s best-selling steel toe work boots, is waterproof to keep feet dry in wet conditions and slip resistant to reduce slips and falls. Caterpillar describes the boot as durable, protective, and perfect for everyday use. Weight: 3.6 pounds.
Thorogood describes its American Heritage – 6” Steel Toe Trail Crazy Horse Moc Toe – Maxwear Wedge boot as comfortable and flexible with a steel toe that protects feet from injury. The boots are manufactured with a slip-resistant outsole to support and cushion your feet. The Poron comfort cushion insole provides shock absorption to keep you on your feet. Weight: 5 pounds.
Red Wing’s DynaForce 6-inch waterproof safety toe boot comes with a steel toe, waterproofing capabilities, and meets ASTM safety standards. The heavy-duty work boot is equipped with DynaForce insole technology to absorb underfoot pressure and provides added stability and support. They are ideal for workers who spend long periods of time on their feet. Weight : 4.6 pounds
The 6-Inch Steel Toe Work Boot from Carhartt provides impact resistance and weather protection, making them ideal for everyday wear. According to Carhartt, a reinforced heel works with the Achilles flex joining to provide a natural range of motion and impact resistance. A durable rubber tread keeps feet firm in slippery conditions, while waterproof-breathable technology helps keep feet dry. Weight: 4.5 pounds.
The Ely, Irish Setter’s 6-inch waterproof leather safety toe boot, comes with a steel toe to protect feet and meets ASTM standards for electrical hazards. According to Irish Setter, the Ely is constructed with a shank for extra underfoot support, while UltraDry waterproofing keeps feet dry in wet conditions. Weight: 3.6 pounds.
Ariat’s Rambler Wedge Steel Toe Work Boot features a steel toe cap to protect against rolling or falling objects. The Rambler provides a comfortable fit and stylish look. The Rambler features a lightweight stabilizing shank for support, removable all-day cushioning insole, and an oil- and slip-resistant PU sole. Weight: 3.9 pounds.
Dr. Martens’ 1460 Slip Resistant Steel Toe Boots are manufactured with coated, full-grain leather. The slip resistant steel toe boots are Goodyear Welted, meaning the upper and sole and heat-sealed and sewn together to offer superior comfort and durability. The work boots also offer a steel cap to protect your feet from falling objects. Weight: 3.75 pounds.
Keen’s Men’s Milwaukee Waterproof steel toe work boots are manufactured with waterproof, breathable membrane and a KEEN.WELT construction for enhanced durability. They offer a left and right asymmetrical steel toe and a TPU stability shank. Weight: 4.7 pounds