By Rehan Iqbal
Welcome to my work boot guide on choosing the best safety footwear.
While technology and equipment continue to evolve on an almost regular basis, one thing remains true even as we speak. Industries, construction sites, farm work, yard tasks and generally any manual labor requires robust and able bodied men to run. Without them, who knows how anything would ever get done.
What Type of Safety Work Boots Do You Prefer?
Steel Toes - Fortunately, today’s work boots come with some of the best safety features that anyone could ask for. Whether the danger will come from above or below, you can always rely on safety toes and slip-resistant soles to keep you grounded and out of harm’s way. If your job is chock full of hazards such as falling objects, heavy moving equipment, oil spills or even any danger of stubbing your toes, then you definitely want a work boot designed to soak up as much abuse as possible while still keeping your feet safe and sound. Here is a quick list of my most popular steel toed work boots that are guaranteed to survive the apocalypse.
Steel Toe Work Boots
1. KEEN Utility Men's Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot
Just like the great City of Pittsburgh, Keen aims to portray toughness, steel and a hard willingness to tackle any work ahead. And they have done marvelously with their KEEN Utility Men's Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot. This bad boy is more than just a tool to get your job done right and safe; it keeps fatigue at bay all day and still leaves more than enough juice to push through the next shift.
With all the technologies and features you expect to see in an all rounder work boot, the Pittsburgh gives you way above average protection and comfort no matter how far you are past the limits. In addition to being such a hardy piece of machinery, you know Keen just had to go all out on this one.
The safety toe boot incorporates a ton of your favorite features and technologies such as a steel toe cap that protects your feet from sudden impacts and subbing them on rocks and debris. For a shoe that looks and feels ready for war, functionality never looked so casual before. One of the best work boots for your feet.
2. Thorogood Men's American Heritage 6-Inch Steel Toe 804-4200 Work Boot
Never has a safety work boot had such qualifications even before it was made. 100% made in the USA, premium craftsmanship and made from over an entire century of experience, the Thorogood Men's American Heritage 6-Inch Steel-Toe 804-4200 Work Boot is a thing of magnificent beauty and functionality. One of the most comfortable work boots with arch support and Poron 4000 Cushion for soft comfort. Since 1892, Thorogood has been making shoes built for a bit more than your average shoe.
With durable ASTM rated steel toes, you can comfortably focus on work without worrying about the state of your limbs after some heavy lifting and dropping. The durable, rugged leather uppers guarantee safety and a long lasting piece of footwear. Hey, Thorogood understands that technology requires some juice to run. That’s why they included all measures possible to ensure that no single worker gets electrocuted in the work place. Of course, you know what American Heritage, USA craftsmanship means; the highest quality Goodyear storm welt construction that won’t give in even in the middle of a tornado.
3. Caterpillar Men's 2nd Shift 6" Steel Toe Boot
Like it says on the slogan, products by Caterpillar are made for overtime, they thrive when you push them just a bit past the limit. Why? Because CAT knows no boundaries. When things get rough, tough and scruffy for you, that is when products by Caterpillar are just getting in their comfort zone. Next, I will literally shift my focus on the Caterpillar Men's 2nd Shift 6" Steel Toe Boot. At the heart of Second shift is hard work, determination, and pure solid, unbreakable will.
The shoe boasts of ASTM approved steel toes that guard workers against innumerable potential hazards that abound in a typical workplace. Hard work often comes with its own risks, and gravity doesn’t really help things either. The 2nd Shift Steel Toed Boot by Caterpillar safeguards the health of your toes against crushing force. The heavy duty slip resistant soles also incorporate a ladder safe heel arch that will also ensure you don’t end up on the ground or worse- a few feet below. No matter which way you look at it, this boot gives you outstanding traction on all terrain.
4. KEEN Utility Men’s Lansing Waterproof Mid Work Boot
If I were to compile a list of the best steel toe work boots, some shoe companies would never miss a couple of spots every time. One of these big wigs is KEEN which believes that the outdoors is anyplace without a ceiling. For the avid KEEN consumer who has been tracking their progress, the company is now taking safety boots and work shoes to the next level. My masterpiece from KEEN today is the KEEN Utility Men’s Lansing Mid steel Toe work boot.
Yes, this boot may look casual and ready to take on a picnic, but trust me when I say that this is one of the toughest specimens you will ever come across. The review starts off with a steel toed cap at the front for maximum protection levels. No more working while thinking of how much a crate to the foot would hurt. Another very intriguing feature is the incorporation of Dry’s waterproof tech. Not only does it keep you totally dry, but it also lets your feet breathe. The Lansing Steel Toe Work Boot from Keen is definitely worth checking out.
5. Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 8″ Safety Toe Boot
Work is hard; there’s no doubt about it. This is precisely why most people want equipment that will work as hard as they do on or off the job. Perhaps this is the main reason why everyone is rushing off to get themselves a work boot from Thorogood. But not just any old boot; we’re talking about the Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 8″ Safety Toe Boot. Built for the ultimate job site comfort, this particular work boot may just as well be the most comfortable work boots on the planet.
Of course, you know what USA craftsmanship is; this boot is made 100% in the USA with high quality materials that just won’t let you down. You get a steel safety toe built in to give your toes optimum protection against bumping and falling objects. What really gets my juices flowing is the fact that even with all this ruggedness, this Safety Toed boot from Thorogood creates the ideal interior for your feet. This includes a removable ultimate shock absorbing insert for easier stepping.
6. Wolverine Men’s Floorhand Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot
With what most people agree was humble beginnings back in Rockford, Michigan, Wolverine has definitely expanded to become one of the most famous companies. This Iconic American brand is popular for combining everlasting craftsmanship with some of the most advanced materials in the industry. While I could go on all day with a list of the best work boots from Wolverine, my attention today is on the Wolverine Floorhand Steel Toed Work Boot.
This work boot is engineered to offer toughness with as much athleticism as possible. I will start off the review with the much ASTM rated steel toe that many workers, hikers, and hunters will appreciate. Wolverine always puts your safety first as the customer. What really grabs your attention is how well this work boot is built. Thanks to the Multishox and Contour welt construction, the boot feels more flexible, energetic and super comfortable no matter what task you have at hand.
7. Timberland PRO Men’s 6″ Ringmaster XT Steel-Toe Waterproof Work Boot
Even after successfully setting up entirely new and exciting standards for craftsmanship, protection, and durability, Timberland has done it yet again with a boot that is simply out of this world. The well renowned, designer and engineer of premium and highly stylish footwear now gives you the Timberland PRO Men’s 6″ Ringmaster XT Steel-Toe Waterproof Work Boot. This beauty is crafted with a durable full grain leather upper with a waterproof membrane that won’t let even a single drop of water in.
Like other great products and safety toed boots from Timberland, this work boot also features the Powerfit comfort system that I have all come to love and rely on. No other shoe utilizes such a great combination of ergonomically designed elements at key areas for critical and reliable support. To make this one of the most comfortable work boots that are built for battle, Timberland didn’t forget to add a steel toe just for the safety of the hardworking people.
8. Irish Setter Men’s 83608 6″ Steel Toe Work Boot
Here a little history for all you guys who love the brand and what they stand for. It all started back in the 50’s when Red Wing Shoes gave the people a style known as 854. This new beauty was intimately crafted with distinct Red Russet leather that was very attractive. And so the name Irish Setter was inspired and soon enough, it became the premier boot brand for generations of hunters and workers to come. Next my focus is on their newest Irish Setter Men’s 83608 6″ Steel Toed Work Boot.
These particular work boots make proper use of traditional lacing system that gives one heck of a comfortable grip. The rest of the exterior is also a durable work of art thanks to the full grain Crazy horse leather that contrasts gorgeously with the triple stitching. You need to see the removable polyurethane footbed that is well cushioned for all day comfort. However, all credit goes to the dual density V-Grip outsole that won’t slip an inch even under extreme pressure.
Alloy Toe Work Boots
1. Timberland PRO Men's TiTAN Safety-Toe Work Boot
We’ve already established that Timberland is best at what they do, and they always keep surprising us with new and innovative products. Just when people were getting a bit used to the stylish pair of Timberlands that swept the world by storm, these guys have done it yet again but with a slight variation this time around.
Timberland looks out for all its valued customers; and today, they give you the Timberland PRO Men's TiTAN Safety-Toe Work Boot for the working man. Designed for optimum levels of dependability and functionality, these safety toed boots will help even the most demanding professional reach at the top levels. One glance at the shoe and you may be forgiven for thinking that it is just another casual, slightly official shoe.
That’s because Timberland did their best to balance all the aspects that make for a great boot. This includes comfort, durability, protection and style in one light package. The PRO TiTAN Safety-Toe Work Boot by Timberland boasts of black smooth premium full grain leather that will retain integrity for much longer.
2. Timberland GripMax PRO Men's Stockdale Alloy Toe Work Boot
Ever since Timberland introduced a brand new, authentic and highly waterproof leather boot back in 1973, they set new standards for quality, craftsmanship durability, and protection. As if that was not enough, the geniuses over at Timberland have been looking for innovative and better ways to turn fashionable footwear into functional machinery. This has led to some of the most famous pieces of footwear on the planet with features that men have come to love and adore.
One such work boot is the Timberland PRO Men's 6" Stockdale GripMax Alloy Toe Work Boot that is a sight for sore eyes. Featuring traditional lace up closer, you can be sure that your shoe won’t come off for anything. One feature that really grabs my attention is the clever incorporation of an Alloy safety toe caps. You have to give it up for Timberland for their foresight; I mean, sure I want my toes to be protected, but not in a way that makes my shoe way too heavy. The alloy safety toe cap is perfect for someone looking for better protection without carrying around all that dead weight.
3. Timberland PRO Men's Powertrain Mid Alloy-Toe ESD Industrial Work Boot
If you are looking for a shoe built for as much style and swag as functional protection, then it would have to be this one right here. We’ve had customers ask whether this product is actually a safety toe cap boot or something you would find on the basketball court. The truth is, the Timberland PRO Men's Powertrain Mid Alloy-Toe ESD Industrial Work Boot can do it all.
This particular work boot not only boasts of a protective alloy toe cap to keep your toes out of harm’s way, but it also equipped with ASTM rated ESD protection that actively prevents shock. That’s right; this is one of those boots that actively keeps wearers safe even in sensitive electronic environments and areas with high static levels.
If you’re an electrician, you get to look good and work faster without worrying about whether you will become part of a live circuit or not. The work place can get hot and really uncomfortable. As such, the last thing you want is sweating all over and feeling as if you are wearing gumboots. Fortunately, Timberland was thoughtful enough to incorporate a breathable mesh upper with antimicrobial lining to keep your feet in a cool, clean and fresh environment.
Composite Toes - Technology never ceases to amaze, especially when it comes to the latest forms of protection. Features like composite safety toe caps have come to the rescue by offering athletes an entirely new concept known as athletic protection. This way, not only do you remain safe when working, but you can also move more freely thanks to weightless work boots. Here are my top most popular and light composite work boots that thrive in wet conditions.
Composite Toe Work Boots
1. Wolverine Men's Overpass 6" Waterproof Work Boot
Ever wondered what would happen if modern technology went ahead and crossed tenacity? Well, nothing much; unless of course, the chef is a genius. This is exactly what Wolverine company offers customers on a regular basis. Since 1883 when Wolverine was established in Rockford, Michigan the founders have never looked back. Today, this iconic American brand continues to surprise by combining timeless craftsmanship with superior materials.
Built to withstand some of the toughest environs and terrains known to man, it’s no wonder Wolverine makes the best work boots this side of the planet. The Wolverine Men's Overpass Work Boot is one specimen worth giving a second glance.
The premium materials used here revolutionize the composite safety toe cap for ultimate protection without all that extra baggage that other boots offer. Thanks to highly advanced Wolverine CarbonMax nano technology, the ASTM rated composite safety toe boot is now stronger, lighter and more comfortable than the competition. Users will also be extremely grateful for the impact absorbing Wolverine MultiShox compression pads that give all day athletic comfort.
2. Carhartt Men's CMF6366 6 Inch Composite Toe Boot
Standing tall as the proud manufacturers of premium workwear, Carhartt has been in business since 1889. It is these years of experience and technology that has made this company popular and easily recognizable worldwide. Just one of their products is enough to show you the comfort, durability, functionality and high-quality craftsmanship. That’s right, not only are you able to feel the quality, but you can see the performance as well. Of course, Carhartt continues to make some of the most rugged best work boots known to man.
Next, I will check out the Carhartt CMF6366 6 Inch Composite Toe Boot and see why men all over the world just can’t get enough. This unique shoe features an abrasion resistant heel bumper that offers longer wear where you need it most. As always, the manufacturer tries to make the most comfortable work boots, and you can feel exactly that the moment you set foot in the shoe. In addition to moisture wicking lining and cushy materials, you can now work without fear of injuries thanks to the composite safety toe cap and electrical hazard construction.
3. Thorogood Men's American Heritage Safety Toe 6 Inch Lace-up Boot
These days, it is very hard to find people using American made products because almost every manufacturer is turning overseas for lower costs. However, those who enjoy good old USA craftsmanship know just how much more value, quality and performance you get. There is a good reason why Thorogood footwear remains the most trusted brand in the work and uniform industry.
Aside from the fact that all Thorogood American Heritage Work and uniform styles are Union made 100% in the United States, there are other incredible features that make their shoes absolutely best sellers. My focus next is on the Thorogood Men's American Heritage 6 Inch Safety Toe Lace-up Boot that is a sure sight for sore eyes.
Whether you are a police officer, EMT, Miner or heavy lifter, this is the only boot you will ever need. This particular shoe boasts of durable leather uppers and seamless construction that will never come undone even in the toughest of times. Couple all these features with a strong composite safety toes and you have yourself one of the best work boots currently available.
4. Wolverine Men’s Legend 6 Inch Waterproof Comp Toe Work Shoe
Reigning the industry with unrelenting commitment to creativity and utilization of the latest, proprietary technologies, Wolverine has managed to claw its way to the top with electrifying and incredible products. These guys have been around since the early 80’s; they know their stuff in and out. Which is why when I heard about the Wolverine Men’s Legend Waterproof Comp Toe Work Shoes, I just had to add it to my top list of kickass work boots.
Boasting of the new Anti fatigue wet ice technology from Wolverine, these work boots allow men to discover a whole new world of luxurious comfort. It doesn’t matter how wet, cold or slippery the conditions are, this bad boy is built to outlast even the harshest terrain known to man. Like other masterpiece work boots from Wolverine, the Legend work boot comes with more new features that really gets the blood pumping. The DuraShocks tech with fully integrated power return systems is one such innovation that absorbs every ounce of shock upon impact. Couple all these with composite toe protection and you have one heck of a functional boot.
5. Timberland PRO Men’s 8 ” Boondock Composite Toe Waterproof Work and Hunt Boot
We all know just how high Timberland has set the bar when it comes to craftsmanship, protection, durability and a diehard attitude. Today, I check out the Timberland PRO Men’s 8 Inch Boondock Composite Toed Waterproof Work and Hunt Boot. This pair of comfortable work boots is designed with ultimate dependability and functionality in mind. Like other similar work shoes in the Pro series, you get high-performance work boots that are also very safe. Thanks to Timberland’s exclusive Anti-fatigue technology comfort system, the Boondock work, and hunt boot efficiently absorbs all shock upon impact and distributes it to critical zones in your feet.
This makes for more strength and stamina while working. Like most types of jobs and outdoor activities, you probably want to be as safe as you are agile. This is why Timberland incorporated extra light composite safety toes that contains absolutely no metal and offers a roomier fit. To enhance this athletic protection and performance further, these work boots boast of cement heel construction that not only offers more stability, but your forefoot is able to move freely.
6. Ariat Men’s Rigtek Composite Toe Work Boot
With what most people would refer to as humble beginnings, Ariat was indeed founded on one simple objective that it still leads in; That is to provide some of the most technologically advanced work boots for the globe’s crème de la crème of equestrian sports.
Their latest masterpiece goes by the name Ariat Rigtek Composite Toe work boot. The boot features premium full grain leathers, you can now comfortably rely on the impenetrable barrier the shoe creates. But that’s not all; the manufacturer understands that sports and work require as much agility as protection.
That’s why they incorporated all the benefits that come with a composite safety toe cap for lightweight protection. Ariat recommends the boots for workers in the oilfield industry as it excels in slippery conditions. The Rigtek Composite Toed Work Boot is built on the Workhog Stability Platform that lets you work and play all day without experiencing much fatigue.
Soft Toes - From protective toes to the highest levels of traction; work boots have evolved since the first ever shoe was created. And while user safety and worker protection have remained at the top of the list for many manufacturers, the work environment is becoming safer by the day. Thanks to regulations, laws and technology advancements, there are hardly any cases of accidents and injuries at the workplace.
This is why more and more workers have been steadily turning to soft toe work boots that are designed to offer other forms of safety while still giving the worker much higher levels of mobility. Otherwise known as non-protective toe boots, soft toe shoes do not come with cumbersome steel or composite toe caps. As such, soft toes are more preferable since in addition to being super light in weight, they come with incomparably high comfort levels and more forefoot flexibility. Here is my top selection of soft toe boots that will let you perform without detracting from your job.
Soft Toe Work Boots
1. Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss 6″ Soft-Toe Boot
Looking at Timberland’s extensive array of shoes and boots, you would be forgiven for thinking that the entire line is based solely on fashion. Well, that may be part of what makes Timberland so damn popular, but you can’t have style without function. This is exactly what some of the best work boots from Timberland have to offer. And not just any old boot, we’re talking about the Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss 6″ Soft-Toe Boot. Featuring rugged, nubuck leather uppers and Goodyear Welt construction, you can rest assured that this work boot will not let you down when you need them most.
The PRO Men’s Pitboss Work Boot from Timberland is everything that a modern work boot ought to represent; safety, toughness, durability and comfort. Not every job calls for cumbersome protective toes. That’s why Timberland incorporates a soft toe construction that not only meets ANSI safety standards but also offers a much roomier fit than other boots. The bottom is just as well protected as the top. When you step out, the well treaded outsole guarantees unsurpassed traction thanks to slip, oil, and abrasion-resistant construction.
With all these tough, nail bending features on the outside, how does the inside feel? I’ve heard many descriptions, but if we’re talking about the pro series, it feels like walking on mushy clouds on a sunny day. This is all made possible by Timberland PRO 24/7 comfort suspension system that significantly cuts down foot fatigue. There’s also a pair of supports that help you with proper foot posture. Dare I say that the Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss 6″ Soft-Toe Boot is among the most comfortable work boots you will ever come across?
2. Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift 6″ Plain Soft-Toe Work Boot
Trusted not only for their durability by today’s hard-working men, Caterpillar boots, and other exciting products have been used by people all over the globe for years now. In fact, whenever the name Caterpillar is mentioned, reliable, hardy and heavy machinery immediately come to mind. It is these exact same standards of durability and quality that have seamlessly translated into all their footwear too. Today, some of the best work boots on the planet have the name CAT embedded right in their hearts.
Without a doubt one of the best work boots that are carefully constructed to outlast all others, the Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift 6″ Plain Soft-Toe Work Boot is built for it. The second shift series has indeed proven itself to be worthy and a pretty darn great all-rounder. You get a little bit of everything that you would expect in a work boot and more.
Boasting of single stitched Goodyear welt construction, you can rest easy knowing that your boot was made for harsh times. All props go to CAT for making all efforts at safety improvement. With their non slip, oil and water resistant rubber outsoles, maintaining a firm footing should be very easy.
What really grabbed my attention was the option to get a soft toe work boot. This is an excellent choice for anyone who is on their toes all day and would rather not be slowed down by reinforced, heavy steel caps. Of course, the Men’s 2nd Shift Plain Soft-Toe Work Boot is not rugged all over! The interior is as soft and as welcoming as possible. Thanks to comfort lining and extra padding on the collar and tongue, your feet get the best environment possible. Those are what I call some super comfortable work boots.
3. Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-Inch Boot
Aptly named after the hardworking men and women who mine Minnesota’s northern iron range, the Iron Ranger is a symbol of what people can achieve when they put their minds and bodies to it. Imagine how tough a shoe needs to be so as to survive years of abuse down at America’s largest iron ore producers. The rugged and hardy Iron Ranger work boots were built for miners who required multiple layers of leather over the toe for extra safety. Thanks to their artistic craftsmanship and intelligent use of components, Iron Ranger has managed to remain the most popular brand for generations.
Today, I will shed some light on the Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-Inch Boot that has millions of people talking all over the world. Just one glance at the shoe and you’ll see just why it has to be on my list of best work boots ever. Making use of premium quality leather and insanely durable stitch down welt construction, the Heritage Iron Ranger Boot from Red Wing is handcrafted in the USA. You know what that means; the highest quality components and materials meets even higher levels of craftsmanship.
By incorporating a soft toe that complements other protective features, you get much higher levels of agility and comfort than you would with a protective steel toe. This also means that the boot is safe to wear in areas with electrical hazards as well as environments with temperature extremes. From the bottom of this particular model, the boot is built on non-marking, oil and slip resistant sole that is then handsomely detailed with some great detailed stitching. The highly polished eyelets and hooks make for one heck of a classy finish.
4. Wolverine Men's Raider Work Boot
When you hear the name Wolverine, you know things are about to get serious. Next, oumy focus shifts on the Wolverine Men's Raider Work Boot. Like most great work boots, this particular product incorporates all the features that workers have come to know and love. Today, some of the best work boots are being used in almost every type of job there is. This includes police, firefighters, and even the day to day yard jobs we do. Wolverine understands that your job may not be pleasant and flexible, that’s why you need a shoe that is made for the job.
Boasting of high-quality welt construction, you can be sure that this boot will not come apart even under heavy duress. Sometimes the type of work you perform requires high levels of agility and mobility, but still lots of protection. This is precisely why the Raider Work Boot incorporates a soft toe cap to offer agile protection. Other features like moisture wicking mesh lining and a heavily padded tongue and collar ensure make this one of the most comfortable work boots on the market.
Insulated Work Boots
1. EVER BOOTS "Tank" Men's Soft Toe Oil Insulated Full Grain Leather Work Boots
For those of you who are avid fans of footwear from Ever Boots, then you will especially love their new and improved boot build for battle. Very few work boots can wear the name Tank and reflect all the features a war machine should possess. That’s right; we’re talking about the EVER BOOTS "Tank" Men's Soft Toe. Standing tall as the epitome of fashion and durability, this particular work boot boasts of one hell of an exterior.
The Oil full grain leather is not only built to outlast all your other shoes, but it is also insulated to give your feet the most conducive environment possible. At the front is a soft toe cap that ensures you can freely move around without detracting from overall comfort. The Goodyear welt construction complements the premium leather felt that allows for the most convenient wear. Of course, the manufacturer is fully confident with their product; this is why they give all customers a 3-month warranty on all aspects.
2. Timberland PRO Men's Direct Attach Soft-Toe Insulated Boot
Aptly termed as the original classic and all-purpose work boot, the Timberland Pro Direct series deserves a spot on my list of the best work boots currently available. As you would expect from a classic from Timberland, this bad boy incorporates all the features that make up a great work boot. Starting off from the bottom where it matters most, the Timberland PRO Men's Direct Attach Six-Inch Soft-Toe Boot features a highly treaded rubber outsole for maximum levels of traction.
The last thing you want is slipping and sliding in hazardous environments. Speaking of hazardous environments, Timberland included a soft toe cap to keep you as mobile and active as possible. Even with a tough, rugged and hardy exterior, this particular work boot is as comfortable as can be on the inside. This is all made possible by the Timberland Pro 24/7 Comfort Suspension system that helps cut foot fatigue in half. The arch support ensures you walk in a healthy posture and get the appropriate cushioning with every step.
What is a Steel Toe Cap?
Commonly referred to as safety toe boots or steel toe boot, shoes with a steel toe are durable and incorporate protective reinforcements in the toe. A steel toe cap is built into the toe box of your work boot during factory construction so as to provide additional protection to your lower extremities. While these shoes are designed to protect the foot from any falling objects, compression or obstacles ahead, they are usually combined with a midsole plate that protects your under sole against punctures from below.
The steel toe should meet particular ANSI/ASTM safety requirements. There is a reason why the steel toe remains a classic and a favorite among a larger percentage of the working population. Steel toes have been tried and tested as a valid method of protecting countless workers on the job. While composite and other materials for protective toes offer decent protection, only steel toes can bend under pressure when the impact or compression is too much.
This is much more suitable than having materials that would snap and completely shatter when compressed beyond a certain limit. As far as protection resistance and straight impact durability goes, steel toes are designed to take a lot more pressure. However, it is best for people working in environments with electrical and static hazards, should avoid work boots with any conductive metal. We would not want our hard working customers to get electrocuted while building this great nation of ours.
What Is An Alloy Toe Cap?
Probably one of the most accepted materials for safety toes, Alloy toes are constructed from very lightweight materials. These materials can be a variety of elements such as Copper, Silicon, Iron, Magnesium, Chromium, Titanium, Zinc, Aluminum, and Titanium. So, why do most people prefer alloy toe caps? This is because even though they are almost half the weight, Alloy toes can be as strong and as durable as steel.
The honest truth is that no one wants to lug around any additional dead weight in the name of protection. I mean, the days are long and hard enough as they are; why make them any harder with shoes that are so heavy they end up fatiguing the hell out of you. It’s time to move to Alloy toes and take the hard work out of walking while still feeling safe and secure.
What is a Composite Toe Cap
While very similar to steel safety toes, composite toes offer much more benefits as the new kid on the block. Both these elements are designed to offer your toes protection, and they also meet ANSI standards. As the name suggests, composite toes are made of non-metallic materials such as Kevlar, plastic, fiberglass, carbon, rubbers and other similar elements.
So, why would someone prefer composite protective toe caps as opposed to good old solid steel? Glad you asked. People who work in construction areas with electrical hazards or in areas where metal detectors may go haywire often tend to avoid having any metal on them.
For this reason, many workers have begun turning to composite safety toe caps for the same reliable protection without all the risks that metal brings with it. Additionally, composite materials weigh only half of what steel weighs. This makes composite toe work boots some of the lightest and most comfortable work boots currently available in the industry. The element of comfort is also significantly increased since composite materials do not conduct heat or cold.
What are Soft Toe Boots?
Widely known as non-protective toe boots, soft toe boots are those that offer no other protection such as composite or fiberglass toe caps. While many may wonder why you should buy a work boot that won’t give you as much protection as steel toes or alloy safety toes, there are many benefits to soft toes.
For starters, not every type of job includes hazards of falling objects. Sometimes, workers just want a shoe that will protect them from other things. Work boots with soft toes are more preferred since they are very light in weight and offer superior levels of comfort and flexibility. However, this is not to say that soft toe work boots do not offer any other protective features.
Some of the best work boots with soft toes incorporate protection against slippery surfaces and electrical hazards. This is very useful for workers who handle electronic materials and live cables and do not need any trace of metal on their clothing and shoes. So, if your job requires extra levels of mobility and comfort, make sure you use soft toes to ensure you don’t detract from your job performance.
10 Tips for Choosing the Ideal Work Boots for Your Work Situation
For most outdoor tasks and labor intensive jobs, the importance of being fully protected cannot be understated. Sure, you got your hard hat on, some fancy coveralls and even those new tough gloves that keep your hands safe; after all, they are your bread and butter right? Of course, you wouldn’t want to forget your work boots now, would you?
A good number men and women who work in hazardous and risky environments are very likely to have more than one pair of work boots that come with all the latest features a worker could ask for. However, there is one huge mistake that people make when choosing a work boot – and that is to assume that one pair or one brand fits all, does all and suits all. This is absolutely wrong and could mean the difference between a minor foot injury and entire loss of limbs.
The only factor that should be kept in mind when selecting a work boot is what type of situation or environment your feet will be dealing with. Now, don’t get me wrong, other factors will often come into play, but ultimately, your boot needs to be well equipped for what’s ahead. The work environment is full of dangers such as electric hazards, slippery surfaces, heavy objects, sharp protrusions, uneven terrain and extreme shifts in temperatures. Imagine trying to win a street race on a two lane road with a plane.
Sure, you may achieve faster speeds, but the obstacles and shape of your plane won’t let you maneuver easily. Same goes for work boots - if you want to give your feet the best possible defense that will actually survive an unexpected hazard, then make sure you have the right pair for the right job. The good news is that I have done the hard yards for all you worker bees and put together a inclusive guide on how to choose the ideal work boots for your work situation.
How to Choose Your Work Boots
1. Safety Toes
Out of all the parts of your body, your toes are probably the most vulnerable parts in most work environments. This is not only because they are at the lowest and most protruding part, but because they also get bumped and tripped a lot when walking. As per the EN ISO 20345:2004 standard for safety footwear, toe protection should be able to withstand 200 joules of impact. It should also be able to comfortably carry 1000 Kgs of resting mass. While most boots are indeed a fan of the steel toe, there are numerous alternatives in the market, each with its own advantages. Here’s a look at the different safety toes and toe protection available as well as how to select the most appropriate fit for your job.
2. The Right Sole and Heel
It does not matter the type of protection you have on your toes; if your heel and bottom of your feet are left unprotected, then it’s all in vain. Here are some ways to ensure that your foot is protected from both sides.
3. Boot Construction
As irrelevant as this may seem, knowing about the different methods of boot construction can really help you in selecting the most appropriate pair. This is because the way or technique used in making your boot will eventually determine which areas and features stand out more. How a work boot is made is sure to have an effect on the performance, flexibility, and even weight. As technology increasingly becomes reliable, more and more brands are continually innovating these construction methods in an effort to improve comfort and durability. There are two main methods of work boot construction namely:
4. Fit Matters
Ever since you were a wee lass or lad, the importance of wearing properly fitting apparel has been emphasized more than enough. We all know what could happen if you wear a shoe that is either too small or too big for your feet. In one scenario, tightly fitting shoes will definitely cause numerous foot ailments such as corns, blisters, and even ingrown toenails. On the other side, no one wants to have their feet rubbed raw in certain places by a shoe that is three sizes too large. Unlike other types of shoes, work boots are made to withstand the environment and not be changed.
Sure your leather boots may be smaller at first, but they tend to stretch over time. However, most people make the mistake of buying small safety toe boots with the misplaced notion that they will ultimately break in and stretch out. If your work boot has a steel toe and feels tight, it will never stretch out no matter how much you wear it. If you are trying out a boot for the first time and it feels a bit snug, the problem could be the width and not the height. Ensure you get your measurements right and most importantly, get a natural fit.
5. Boot Weight
More often than not, people tend to neglect the weight of their boots. If you need the right work boot for your environment, then don’t you think the weight will play an important role? If your job involves walking for long distances or moving about all day, IE: law enforcement personnel, then the last thing you need is extra dead weight hanging on your feet. Some people also carry their boots to and from their places of work. This is why you should avoid steel tip boots where possible and go for lighter alternatives.
Does your job involve getting down and dirty? Is it that rainy season where mud, rubble, wet gravel or even snow can ruin a nice day at the job? Relax, what you need are work boots that won’t let a single drop of water in. Now, while waterproof work boots do not come in numerous materials, styles or colors, they are designed to help you deal with the absolute worst conditions that the environment has to offer.
In fact, you may find yourself needing waterproof properties in a boot more than protective toes if you do a ton of yard work. This involves mowing, clearing puddles and even fishing with your family. Using a regular boot every day in damp and wet conditions could mean soaking your feet all day which could lead to pruning, dryness, itchiness and even blisters that will be such a pain to treat. Waterproof properties often go hand in hand with my next point.
Let’s face it; there is literally nothing more uncomfortable than when the temperatures decide to ruin your working environment. Whether it is sweltering hot or too cold, your feet will always have something to say about it. In such conditions, a dependable, rugged and highly supportive work boot is essential to get through the day. If you work in a very arctic environment such as a freezer room or regions where temperatures tend to plummet, then you definitely need to have a well insulated work boot. Basic science dictates that body parts will not work well or effectively if they are near frozen. As such, cold feet can cause a huge inconvenience and become a setback to both the task at hand as well as your health. Ensure that your feet are well insulated against heat loss in cold regions.
The contrary is also true in this case. If you work in extremely hot areas or places where the heat quickly becomes unbearable, then your work boot should offer as much breathability as possible. High temperatures will not only make your feet feel uncomfortable but also make them sweat more. Without a way to circulate air all through the foot, excessive sweating could lead to foot issues such as bad odor and infections. Ensure your work boots are breathable to encourage a healthy flow of air and avoid excessive, trapped sweat.
9. Electric Surge Protection
Like most tasks, the use of electric equipment and components cannot be avoided. If you work around electricity often i.e. electricians, then your chances of getting electrocuted are more than the average person. This is why you need to look for a work boot with an electric hazard rating and fortification to ensure you do not become part of a circuit. Such boots incorporate 100% non-conductive materials such as composite toe caps and rubber construction. They contain absolutely zero metallic materials and are engineered to ensure that no electricity can pass through them.
EH Vs ESD Boots
You would think that making the decision on what to choose should be somewhat easier after seeing the precise function of both EH and SD rated safety footwear. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. As opposed to deciding on what type of safety toe to wear, the different risks involved here are much more specific. This means that showing up to work in the wrong work boots could lead to severe accidents in the workplace.
For those aiming to protect themselves against any form of electrical shock, then the EH category alone is what you will need. The idea behind electrical hazard shoes is simple enough in that it comprises of zero conductive materials to make it harder to get electrocuted. Thanks to their construction, EH rated work boots help stop the electric current generated by live sources by gradually slowing it down as it comes to your body. Electro static dissipative shoes, on the other hand, deal with static electricity that is already building up in your body. What the SD or ESD rated safety boots do is actually conduct static electricity through the lining, insole, outsole, cement and then ground it.
10. Wearing comfortable work boots
Whatever type of work you may be doing, it is very important to be as comfortable as possible to ensure effective performance without stopping to adjust every now and then. Human feet are not only super sensitive, but they also connect to every aspect of your anatomy. As such, the last thing you want when working is discomfort and pain in your feet. Try to count up all the hours you spend on your feet and at the job. Here are some tips on making your work boots comfortable.