Steel toes aren’t just an empty feature that shoes add to seem more durable – they have a very large and very noticeable impact on the durability, protection, and strength your footwear offers, and can come in handy for a wide range of practical purposes. More protection is rarely a bad thing, and the right kind of steel toe shoes can protect you from physical damage, temperature changes, and even bigger threats like electrocution or fire.
Still, finding a good set of shoes that contain steel toe caps isn’t always that easy, especially if you need something very specific that can stand up to regular use. It all depends on your own needs and the kind of situations you will be facing, as well as the hazards you expect to deal with.
View the Best Steel Toe Shoes, Below.
- Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Boot
- Timberland PRO Direct Attach
- Skechers for Work 77055
- Timberland PRO Men’s 6″ Pit Boss
- Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift 6″ Steel Toe Boot
- Timberland PRO Men’s Powertrain Sport
- Skechers for Work Men’s Workshire
- Skechers for Work Women’s Workshire
- Wolverine Men’s Rancher
- Wolverine Men’s Floorhand
1. Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Boot
These Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Boot are a brilliant rugged classic pair of boots which are an excellent new model from one of the worlds leading heavy equipment manufactures. Featuring 100% leather and a rubber sole, you’ll be comfortable and safe in these steel-toed boots thanks to their plush collar and tongue. There’s also an oil-resistant traction outsole which is just another great sign of how well these boots are made.
Great for anyone working in commercial demolition, you’ll be able to walk around comfortably and safely on any terrain such as concrete, dirt, mud, metal and who knows what else you’ll be able to discover it for yourself!Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. Timberland PRO Direct Attach
Who doesn’t love a good boot from Timberland? Because we love them and this PRO Direct Attach looks just like the original 6-inch Timberland boot but with a lot more extra features to help us stay as comfortable and as safe as possible at work. There’s Timberland’s feature Waterproof insulation around its rugged boot that helps you stay comfortable with a smart touch.
There are even 400 grams of insulation to help you stay warm while you work. As well as non-marking rubber for traction to help keep you on your toes throughout the day.
These boots are fantastic for those who work outside. Thanks to the non-slip bottom and steel toe you’ll easily be able to wear these boots for long periods in cold temperatures without your feet getting cold.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. Skechers for Work 77055
The Sketchers Work Cankton is a superb pair of boots for those looking for protective footwear with an extra cushioning feel. These boots are just that comfy, you’ll find they even have a wider toe than most, this is perhaps due to their relaxed fit design and memory foam cushioning.
Either way, it’s safe to say you’ll be fully supported while wearing these. These boots are also brilliantly designed with a supportive midsole which allows for maximum shock absorption during those long hours at work.
Perhaps, our favorite feature about these shoes was the durable rubber outsole which provides for super lug traction and an excellent grip.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. Timberland PRO Men’s 6″ Pit Boss
Another great pair of Timberland work boots that we would recommend are these Timberland PRO Men’s 6inch. These boots include slip, oil, and abrasion resistance outsoles for perfect traction as well as padded top collars for comfort. There’s even a comfort suspension technology which helps adhere to even the strictest of workplace regulations.
You know you’re getting value for money with these Timberland PRO’s as they’re 100% leather and include a rubber sole, which are the basic material combinations of any good quality boot!
We think you’ll definitely feel that extra sense of confidence in yourself and your work when wearing these thanks to their smart and comfortable design.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift 6″ Steel Toe Boot
These Caterpillar boots are definitely a staple for those working in heavy manual industries. Thanks to the steel toe work boot and a rugged leather material these Caterpillar books will easily take you to work in severe winters, heavy construction, auto workshops, and pretty much any other place you can think off. This is thanks to the oil resistant rubber sole which helps keeps you stable and comfortable in even the most unpredictable of outdoor settings.
We loved these Caterpillar Men’s Boots as they work great in a commercial demolition setting. We’ve previously tried numerous other steel toe boots, and they never worked as well as these.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. Timberland PRO Men’s Powertrain Sport
These Timberland PRO’s may not look like the classic Timberland’s you’re used to but trust us we are sure you’ll still enjoy every minute of wearing this delightful footwear. Featuring a 100% Nylon material and a synthetic sole these Timberlands help provide ultimate comfort. Don’t be fooled into thinking they’re all comfort and no support with a non-metallic shank you feel supported throughout the day. There’s even a proprietary outsole with a built-in anti-fatigue technology to help give you a spring in your step where ever you roam!
One of our favorite features of this work boot featuring a steel toe cap has to be the mesh lining which is spread with antimicrobial treatment which is excellent for odor control. You’ll never have to worry about smelling at work again!Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. Skechers for Work Men’s Workshire
These Skechers are brilliant for those looking for a relaxed fit work boot, but they still have the sturdy and smart feel of a smooth grain leather outer body. These steel toe boots come up perfectly over the ankle to keep your ankle to toe perfectly safe. There’s even a memory foam insole to make sure you’re equally as comfortable as you are protected all day long! These Skechers are the perfect Fathers Day, Christmas or Birthday present for that special man in your life.
We loved these boots because no matter how hard you work, or how long you’re on your feet all day we think you’ll find your legs and feet are cozy and comfortable all day long.Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Skechers for Work Women’s Workshire
Skechers are known for their high-quality footwear, especially when it comes to steel toed work boots, and these boots are no different from the rest! This steel toed-boot features a classic traditional lace-up design with sturdy metal eyelets and a buffalo horse upper leather. You’ll be able to work for up to 12 hours a day 7 days a week (if you’re that productive!) and feel comfortable thanks to the synthetic sole, and oil-resistant outsole which provides you with excellent lug traction.
There are even a soft fabric inner boot lining, memory foam sole and relaxed fit which all play a part in giving you maximum comfort! We also love the classic stitching accents and reinforced stitching seam which help you to look classy while wearing these boots.
What we liked most about these boots was the fact women could also enjoy the comfort and stability of Sketchers famous work boots in these great steel toed boots!Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. Wolverine Men’s Rancher
If you're looking for a steel-toed boot which also has the design style of a western inspired rancher the Wolverine Men’s Rancher is a steel cowboy boot you should consider buying! There’s even a removable ortholite cushioned footbed which makes sure your feet stay dry and comfortable all day long. We found these boots fitted at the exact size they say they are, unlike other steel toed boots which usually require you going up a size or two to get the right fit.
These are great for those looking for a smart Southern classic alternative to the usual steel-toed boots. Without having to give up on the protection the steel toe offers.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. Wolverine Men’s Floorhand
Wolverine has been a staple of American working men's boots since 1883 they know what gives you the power to get through your day and accomplishes this with their superior materials and their timeless craftsmanship. The Men’s Floorhand model is no different! Featuring a removable full-cushion footbed, you’ll be able to withstand even the worst days at work in these boots! These steel toe boots also come with waterproof full grain leather as well as great traction to avoid hazards on slippery surfaces and keep you safe in them at work.
We loved how great these boots were in general, but our favorite feature was their look! For the price, you pay for these boots you don’t have to comprise on style and safety!Check Price on Amazon ➞
Steel Toe Shoes Buyer’s Guide
Buying steel toe shoes is very similar to buying regular footwear, at least in terms of the most basic elements. You still want to look out for the right size, find something that is comfortable and make sure that your arch fits with the insole properly – however, you will also need to start looking into the protective side since that is the main thing that these work shoes can offer.
The Steel Toe
If you are buying shoes with steel toes, there is a high chance that you care about the steel toe specifically, at least a little bit. In most cases, a good steel toe design will keep you safe while still letting you move around as normal, supporting the shoe rather than hindering it. However, some people will need the best protection possible, even if it comes at the expense of flexibility and low weight.
Weight, durability, protective power and impact absorption all make a huge difference on how much it can protect your toes from: if a shoe contains a steel cap that can easily shatter under heavy stress, it might actually be more dangerous than not having one at all – on the other hand, if a shoe had a cap that is too bulky, it might actually weigh down your steps and get in the way while you are trying to move about. Finding a balance is the key to choosing an ideal pair of shoes, in the same way, that you need to balance every element of a running shoe: too much of one thing can lead to not enough of another.
Remember that steel toes generally only protect your toes, not the entire front of your foot. The strength of the steel toe should depend on the kind of dangers you are likely to face, especially if you work in a field where a toe-specific injury is less likely than an injury to your entire foot. If you are working in construction, there is quite a high chance of things getting dropped on your toes, but if you are an electrician, then electricity protection is far more important than physical strength.
Construction and Durability
The rest of the shoe is just as important. Better construction translates to more durability and strength, as well as an increased level of support to help your feet avoid fatigue and natural pain. If a shoe can’t hold together very well, it is not likely to protect you either. The same goes for support – a lack of support means less resistance if something bashes your shoes, which can be the difference between an impact bouncing off your footwear or going right through into your feet.
In many cases, this is down to the materials. Leather and assorted synthetic materials are the most common two types of materials to see used in shoes, and that is just on the surface level: even something as small as one type of mesh over another can lead to a boost in durability and a much more reliable, protective piece of footwear. If you are really serious about getting the best possible protection, you should look into individual materials, rather than just the outer layer: the smallest difference can completely change how a shoe feels and what it is capable of protecting your feet from.
Although they are called “steel” toes, not all of these protective pieces are made with steel, either. Some of them will be steel, but others can be anything from aluminum to full-scale combat-style Kevlar, depending on the brand and the type of shoe you are buying. Never make assumptions: always track down the list of materials used (if there is one) and try to find something that you know you will be able to rely on.
Like any shoes, a good fit can make all the difference, and you will want to make sure you’ve gotten it right as soon as possible. The worse your steel toe shoes fit, the harder it’ll be to use them properly, and you might even cause more harm to yourself rather than the protection they can offer you. At best, a shoe that doesn’t quite fit will still work on your feet, but just feel uncomfortable: but more often than not, you are actually putting yourself at unnecessary risk by wearing them.
Steel toe shoes often have a small amount of extra bulk at the front, mainly because of the toe caps. For most people, this won’t be a problem, but it depends on the design and the materials used. If you aren’t careful, you might end up with shoes that are just slightly too small to accommodate your feet properly. If a shoe is too small, then any impacts you have to deal with could go straight into your muscles and skin anyway, making the extra protection irrelevant.
On the other hand, if they are too big, you will struggle to actually wear the shoes correctly. This can lead to you falling over, slipping easily, tripping over your own feet, or even just finding it hard to properly balance on difficult ground, all of which makes it harder to work and puts you at a greater level of risk. If you want to stay as safe as possible, then a good fit isn’t just advised, it is completely necessary.
Keep in mind that you might be wearing your shoes with thicker socks, too, especially if you work outdoors. In bad weather, it is quite common to wear warmer socks to compensate, and extra warmth comes from more materials. If your shoes are too tight, then you might struggle to actually fit your socks in, which can cause more discomfort than it’s worth. There isn’t always a direct workaround for this, but it is something to consider, which many people forget.
Electricity protection, physical protection, and waterproofing aren’t mutually exclusive or inclusive. You can have one or two of them without the other(s), depending on the materials used and the way they’ve been included in the design.
Did you Know?
“Welts” is the lining between the top and bottom sections of your shoes’ soles. There are multiple types of welts, but any shoe that has them will generally be more durable than those without them.