Choosing Between Steel Toe and Composite Toe Boots

Construction worker's shoes

When you work in industries that will expose you to harsh conditions, you need to have complete gear. The first thing they protect is the head, with headgear or helmets. Then, they protect your extremities with gloves. Your feet, which is the part of the body most exposed to the surface, need even more protection.

For the tough workers of America, the work boot for truck and other worksites is a necessity and a badge of honor at the same time. You can buy these shoes from the shop or online providers. This is part of the support for the American workforce.

There are variations of work boots that depend on what sole is used. Here are some of the descriptions to help you know which one is right for you:

The Steel Toe

The steel toe is self-explanatory, as they contain a steel plate in the toe area of the boot and the main purpose is to provide maximum protection. Since it is a steel toe, they would pass most safety requirements in any industry. The steel toe was made to shield the feet of employees who work with metal and heavy objects. Construction workers, electricians and those in other hazardous environments could have their feet crushed during an accident.

However, the metal in steel toe boots can alert metal detectors in different establishments, including the worksite. Since they have steel, the boots cannot be punctured and are also shatter-proof. In spite of this, the steel toe boot is not very expensive.

On the downside, the steel toe is bulky and heavy. Also, in a cold environment or when you work outdoors in the winter, they do not offer good insulation since steel conducts the cold temperature. Another drawback is that steel toes would set off metal detectors when you pass through them, which is why they are replaced with a different alternative when they work on areas such as airports or laboratory where metal is not allowed.

The Composite Toe

Construction worker wearing a composite toeThe composite toe boots may not be as durable as the steel toe, but they can pass through metal detectors so that they can be used in any location. It is also lighter than their metallic counterparts, so it is easier to move around.

This type is made of non-metallic compounds that can offer some resistance, but unlike the steel version, it can be punctured or pierced by sharp objects, and it cannot offer the same level of protection when there is impact with a heavy or hard object.

To measure the strength of work boots, there is a unit called the impact rating. If your boot has an impact rating of 1/75, that means it can withstand the impact from a 75-pound object. The standard for safety-grade work boot is 1/50.

Steel toes would usually have higher impact ratings, but they have the limitation for areas that have metal detectors. A composite toe can also be a good alternative, but it largely depends on what industry you work in. In construction where there are nails and other sharp and heavy objects, steel toe is the safest option.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top