Composite toe vs. Steel Toe Boots


“Hi, This is Brad from Thorogood. Today we’re looking at the difference between steel and composite toe boots.

First, let’s look at why you would choose one over the other. This usually comes down to your occupation or what kind of job site you’re on.

Let’s first look at the benefits of a composite toe boot.

The benefits are:

  • They’re poor conductors of electricity, making them perfect for electricians
  • They’re poor conductors of heat and you’re less likely to get hot or frozen toes
  • They’re also a little lighter than their steel counterparts
  • They offer a little bit more space
  • And they’ll pass through metal detectors on your jobsite or through airports

The benefits of steel are they offer stronger protection if something falls or runs over your feet. They’re great on job sites with heavy materials that may fall on your feet or heavy machinery that could run over them.

Thanks for watching this brief overview on composite vs steel toe and if you have any questions on any of our styles of boots please reach out to us on social media or just put it in the comments below.

Have a great day.”

What is a Composite Toe Made of?

Composite toes are typically made out of a strong non-metal material which can range from Kevlar, carbon fiber, plastic, or fiberglass.

Why Choose Composite Toe vs Steel Toe Boots?

Reasons to choose one over the other is often related to occupation and job site requirements.

Typically, occupations that lean towards composite toe boots include electricians, engineers, plumbers, welders, architects, and project managers. These occupations require long days on your feet, but you’re usually not working with very heavy machinery day in and day out.

Job types that lean towards steel toe boots include mechanics, manufacturing type jobs, builders, machinery operators, and loggers. Another benefit of steel is that it won’t crack the way composite can and generally has a bigger toe box, which can accommodate those who prefer the room.

How Much Weight Can a Composite Toe vs Steel Toe Handle?

Research says steel can handle 3.5 tons, but composite needs to be thicker than steel to bear the same weight. This can make the composite toe boot shape more bulbous. Quality does matter when choosing a composite toe boot since cheaper composites tend to use lower quality materials that aren’t as strong and may not be OSHA approved.

Can Steel Toe Boots Cut Your Toes Off?

NO – this is a myth! Steel toe boots are not more dangerous than regular boots and with the amount of pressure and weight they’re designed to handle, chances are very slim that you’ll encounter something that can crack your steel toe boots. Plus, what would your feet look like without a protective toe after an accident?

Can Steel Toe Boots Cause Foot Problems?

In truth, any poorly fitting boot can cause problems. If you purchase boots that are too narrow in width, they can cause bunions, or bony growths on the sides of your feet. The way to avoid this is to ensure you’re purchasing well-fitted boots, whether they’re a composite toe, steel toe, or even a moc toe.

As always, the Thorogood team is here to help. If you are still undecided on what type of work boot you’ll need, feel free to reach out to our team with questions.

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