If you are working in a job with physical hazards at every corner, a helmet and protective clothing alone are not enough. You need to equip yourself with indestructible safety work boots. This is to protect your feet, especially in areas which involve falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole.
There are two main types of safety work boots: steel toe work boots and composite toe ones. In this article, we would explain to you why composite-toe work boots is our preferred choice and help you pick up the best ones in the current market.
Why We Need Safety Work Boots?
This is the first and most important reason why we need to wear safety work boots. If you are working in the construction industry or jobs which involve falling and rolling objects, cuts and punctures (i.e. nails, steel), heavy equipment or forklifts, you know foot injuries can happen at any moment.
A good pair of safety boots can help to prevent severe injuries if something large and heavy falls on your feet. They also minimize effects caused by sharp objects piercing the sole.
Furthermore, in workplace with high chance of electrical hazards, safety work boots protect your feet against electric shock by channeling electricity back into the ground. For people having jobs in slippery setting, safety boots also help to prevent accidents caused by falling due to its slip-resistant ability.
Even after knowing the importance of safety boots, some people still refuse to wear it because they think the shoes are heavy, and make them feet hot and sweaty.
However, they will have no other choice if their employers require them so.
For example, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration – US Department of Labor has stated in regulations standards that “The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries…”
Failing to meet such requirements of the government might get companies into trouble. Therefore, companies having hazardous workplace often impose that employees wear protective footwear.
If you still choose not to wear, you could be sent home due to violating regulations. Therefore, safety boots not only protect your feet but also your source of income.
It is a common misconception that safety work boots are uncomfortable. In fact, this particular type of shoes offers excellent ankle support. If your job involves a lot of standing and moving, this can help you prevent ankle sprains.
Moreover, safety work boots are also good for employees with special foot conditions. In particular, it is considered one of the best shoes for bunions because the wide toe box helps lessen the friction on the big toe’s bone.
Apart from bunions, safety boots also do wonder for plantar fasciitis. The solid and rigid feature of the shoes helps reduce pain in the foot caused by the condition.
When people think of safety work boots, they often imagine the plain old black boot. However, nowadays, footwear brands have developed various styles for you to choose from.
For example, it can be hard to distinguish the difference between a pair of Timberland composite toe work boot and a pair of fashion boots. Even popular footwear brand such as Dr Martens has also incorporated metal toe boots into their design collection.
Therefore, if look is your main concern, be worried no more. Safety work boots can now make you both safe and stylish.
There is a reason different shoes are designed for different purposes.
Running shoe cannot withstand the tough surface of outdoor basketball court for long as outdoor basketball shoe does. Likewise, normal sneakers cannot bear the conditions of hazardous workplace which requires safety boots. Therefore, they would wear out quickly.
I doubt that you want to buy a new pair of working shoes every month. Safety boot, especially in environment with high physical risks, is not only your trusty protector, but also saves your money and serves you for many years to come due to its durability.
Now that you have understood the significance of safety work boots, we would continue by explaining why we prefer composite toe boots to steel toe ones.
Steel Toe Work Boots vs Composite Toe Work Boots
Safety work boots are categorized into two main types: steel toe and composite toe
A steel toe is a steel cap covering the top of a work boot. The steel toe is designed to meet special safety requirements for foot protection against heavy objects by offering both impact and compression resistance.
Impact resistance is the ability of a certain material to bear a very high force or shock from another object over a short burst of time.
Compression resistance is the ability of a certain material to withstand the load of an object which is likely to oppress and change size of the material.
For deeper foot protection, the steel toe is often combined with a midsole plate in a work boot so that it can prevent your sole getting injured from nails piercing under.
The steel toe is one of the first types of safety boots invented. Having been tried and tested successfully by countless workers over the years, steel toe is still the classic and most popular among the working population.
A composite toe is basically the same as a steel toe. However, instead of steel, the composite toe is made of non-metallic materials like Kevlar aramid fiber, carbon fiber, plastic or fiber glass.
The composite toe still passes all tough standards for foot safety as the steel toe. Therefore, composite toe boots protect your feet as effectively as steel toe ones. However, composite toe has many advantages over steel toe.
First, due to its non-metal construction, a composite toe work boot is much lighter and comfortable to wear than a steel toe one. This is especially helpful if your work requires moving or standing continually.
Second, if you do jobs in outdoor setting, a composite toe is a better alternative. The steel toe absorbs temperature strongly, making your feet cold in cold weather and hot in hot weather. The composite toe, on the other hand, can help you prevent that.
Third, composite toe work boots are necessary if you are required to pass through metal detectors to enter your workplace. Examples of job settings which use metal detectors are laboratory and airport.
Last but not least, composite toe work boot does not conduct electricity like steel toe, making it a better fit for environments with electrical hazards.
If you find it difficult to differentiate between steel toe and composite toe, safetybootsuk has made a video to help you on that:
Top 5 Best Composite Toe Work Boots
Timberland PRO Men’s 6’’ Boondock Comp-Toe Industrial Work boot
This particular boot is made of premium waterproof leather with a waterproof membrane, making it difficult to wear out easily.
At the base of the boot, the combination between Goodyear welt stitching and cement heel construction further enables it to withstand any harsh conditions.
The toe cap of the shoe is made of Timberland PRO rubber, which is very efficient in protecting the worker’s toes. In addition, the thermoplastic polyurethane outsole feature offers excellent traction, giving wearers both slip and abrasion resistance.
With regard to comfort, the boot applies modern technology to absorb shocks and return energy to key zones of the feet, making it extremely comfortable to wear in any kind of surface.
Moreover, its padded collar greatly supports your feet, while the rigid external heel cup provides your feet with excellent lateral flexibility and stability.
If durability is high on your priority list, this boot is for you. However, be sure to order one size up because the boot comes in small form.
Timberland PRO Men’s Helix 8 Inches Composite Toe Work Boot
This water resistant leather boot employs an exclusive anti-fatigue technology which prevents any pain or discomfort in the foot or ankle area. The padded collar and its EVA midsole also provide plenty of cushioning to the foot through long-hour working day.
One of the highlight of the boot is its mesh lining along with an Agion anti-microbial treatment, which allows the foot to breathe easily and therefore keeping foot odor at bay.
Another impressive feature of the boot is its nylon shank, which provides structural support on tough surface. The boot is also pretty lightweight, only 2.2 pounds, making it easier for workers to move.
If you have a hectic job which requires constant moving, this boot will make you feel comfortable all day long. One thing to be noted is that it might feel a little bit difficult in the boot during the first few days, but gradually things will ease out.
Skechers for Work Men’s Clan Waterproof Work Boot
The brand of this product is an award-winning global leader in the footwear industry. The company’s success stems from its high quality yet very affordable products.
Despite of its low price, this boot still offers high level of protection. In particular, the boot passes all normal standard requirements for foot safety.
The boot also features cushioned removable insole, which makes wearing it very comfortable. The shock-absorbing midsole further enhances that comfort.
If you are short on budget but requires a safety work boot, this product is a perfect solution. One downside of this boot is that it does not provide good water resistance.
Carhartt Men’s CMF6366 6 Inch Composite Toe Boot
The stylish design of this boot makes you forget that it is actually a safety work boot. Made of 100% leather with brown oil tanned color, you can pair it perfectly with any kind of jeans, jackets, or shirts for a fashion look on your days off work.
The boot meets all requirements for impact resistant, oil resistant, chemical resistant, conductive protection, electric resistance, and protection against punctures. Therefore, no matter where you go, you can be sure the boot will always keep you safe.
In terms of comfort, the OrthoLite insole and a lightweight EVA insole, together with the well-padded tong and collar provide plenty of cushioning for all day wear.
If you want both style and function in a safety work boot, this one will satisfy you. Nonetheless, if you want them waterproof, it is better to spray them before going out.
Thorogood Men’s Composite Safety Toe Gen Flex 804-4445 6-Inch Work Boot
The first noticeable of this product is its GEN-Flex 2 double density rubber outsole which offers high level of shock and impact resistant.
The boot is also heat and electric hazard resistant. Specifically, the boot has been test to bear 18,000 volts of electric shock and is also proved to be abrasion resistant.
With a composite toe and a slip-resistant foot bed, the shoe provides ample traction for wearers working on slippery surfaces.
Made of water resistant leather together with a waterproof membrane, the boot prevents all moisture or water from getting inside, keeping your feet dry and warm in sloppy workplace.
On top of that, this product is also super lightweight, allowing for flexibility and foot mobility all day long.
If you have to work in a tough and dirty job sites, this boot is definitely the right option. One downside of the boot is it tends not to last for long. This is understandable given the fact that it is designed and used in the hardest working conditions.
It is really sad to see that many workers still neglect the important of safety work boots. They think running shoes, or just a regular pair of sneakers is enough and more comfortable.
Every day, there is countless accidents in hazardous workplace, a lot of them result from workers not wearing protective footwear. Therefore, it is better to play on the safe side by investing in a good pair of safety boots.
Among various styles and brands in the current market, we have shown you why composite toe is our preferred choice and listed the top 5. If you follow our suggestion and we really hope you do, you can be sure your money is well-spent on high quality products.
Each of them has both advantages and disadvantages as reviewed, so be sure to compare prices and choose the one that best suits your needs.