Working environments are often laden with hazards. From electrical shock risks, uneven surfaces, grease spots, oil spills, falling weighty objects, sharp exposed objects, to high temperatures. These environments are life-threatening, requiring you to take appropriate safety precautions.
If you work in such places, then you need to invest in the right personal protective equipment. The good news is that most are provided at work, so you don’t have to worry about sourcing for one on your own. However, if you are in your practice, then investing in the right type of footwear is mandatory.
These shoes have been engineered to shield toes from sharp objects, compression, cuts, puncturing, extreme temperatures, and slippery surfaces. Having a peace of mind while at work makes you more productive.
A safety shoe without steel toe boxes aren’t safety shoes in the first place. Over the years, these shoes have been associated with bulk, stuffiness, and discomfort. However, these days, the best steel toe shoes are not only protective, but also comfortable for everyday use.
- 1 Top 7 Best steel toe shoes in 2021
- 1.1 1. KEEN Utility Men’s Atlanta Cool-M Industrial Steel Toe Shoe
- 1.2 2. KEEN Utility Men’s Flint Low Steel Toe Work Shoe
- 1.3 3. Timberland PRO Men’s Titan Safety Steel Toe Oxford
- 1.4 4. Reebok Work Men’s Soyay RB1910 Skate Style EH Safety Shoe
- 1.5 5. Caterpillar Women’s Echo Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot
- 1.6 6. FSI Avenger Women’s Steel Toe EH Hiker Work Boot
- 1.7 7. ARIAT Women’s Fatbaby Steel Toe Work Boot
- 2 How to Choose the Best Steel Toe Shoes
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Conclusion
Top 7 Best steel toe shoes in 2021
When it comes to high quality industrial shoes, few comes close to the KEEN utility men’s Atlanta Steel toe shoe. This pair of industrial-grade shoes takes toe safety to a different level. Traditionally, safety shoes have been stiff and unforgiving to the wearer’s toes. However, this pair has the toe area adjusted for extra space, allowing the feet to breathe.
Workplace hazards do not affect only the toe. Slipping is another menace to be weary of, especially in places where heavy machinery is involved. With a rubber sole that stays unaffected by oil and grease spots, you will not only be protecting your toes. Since the pair conforms to ASTM standards, the shoes minimizes impacts, keeping you safe.
One standout feature for me is the waterproof nature of the shoe. It’s a great feature at it alleviated the risk of getting water logged the whole day in the event water spills on your shoes. The waterproofing also makes the pair of shoes easy to clean. A rugged sole stays unaffected by water, for an increased product lifespan.
Torsional stability shank allows you to step out into just about anything. It could be jet fuel, hard concrete floors, puddles of water, and potholes patches. Therefore, if you work in warehouse and distribution, manufacturing floors, maintenance, transport, landscaping, and construction, then this steel toed pair of shoes should be a great option.
Another product from KEEN, the Flint Low Steel Toe Work Shoe is a great combination of protective features and shoe resilience for an all-day comfort. It is a particularly popular pair of safety shoe for those who work in carpentry, warehouses, industrial personnel, construction, and contactors who move between different jobs.
The Flint Low is made from Nubuck Leather upper together with steel reinforced toes. Regardless of whether one has wide or narrow feet, there is always an option for everyone. The rubber sole is contoured at the heels, for a locked resistance to oil and grease. It should handle most of the other surfaces.
Asymmetrical toe construction lets toes spread out within the toe box. Additional wriggle room avoid toe pinching as you go about rigorous work. Do you desire the comfort and rugged nature of hiking shoes in your work shoes? Well, the Flint Low combines both with a naturally fitting heel. This feature helps relieve back pains.
Inside the shoe is a superb supporting mechanism. The midsole supports your arches and mid-foot well. It is this foot-gait balancing that takes makes the shoe relaxed when worn. Additionally, a CleanSport NXT lining eliminates foul odor from the shoe. A removable dual-density Compression molded EVA midsole comes in handy for those with orthotics.
The Timberland Pro Titan Steel toe shoe is one of the best safety shoes currently available. Filled with amazing features, it’s a great choice for professional working in high risk work places. At the same time, this shoe has proved that it can be hardy and unswerving in the protection it offers.
Besides being a Mr. reliable, this shoe boasts of an elegant tan leather construction. The full grain haystack leather is complemented by metallic grommets, great shoe laces, and a simple outsole that excels at what it does. Also, the premium leather holds well to abrasive forces at work. A unique rubber sole can withstand high work temperatures, while still retaining proper grip.
Other features includes a cozy foot bed, which is ideal if your shift lasts for over 8 hours. Fitted with a PowerFit comforting system, the foot bed consists of padding on specific pressure points. The result is elevated movement ranges and an all-day comfort. Moreover, an adaptive comfort technology comprises of meshes treated with anti-microbial properties for dry, fresh feet.
The steel toe box meets electrical safety standards in industrial settings. This means that the shoes protects the underfoot from naked electrical circuits, and energized electrical apparatus, components, and conductors. No matter the amount of work you put in per day, these shoes holds up well. I have friends who work for up to 70 hours a week in them and yet to budge.
The Reebok men’s Soyay RB1910 is a classic skateboard oxford that offers steel toe for protection at work. Coupled with the fact that Reebok is one of the global leaders in the manufacture of reputable footwear for years now, then you get a perfectly suited pair of safety shoes. Although this pair is inspired by athletes, it’s still combative enough for other professionals.
Donning a simplistic look, the full grain suede leather upper gives it the simplistic look it has been known for. Made with excellent electrical insulation and protection features, the Reebok Soyay also features a GripMaster outsole for a perfect skid control. Nylon mesh lining within the removable EVA midsole provides a soft feeling when wearing the shoe.
During hectic work requirements that needs you to stay upright, you can count on the cushioned midsole and outsole. The sole balances the shoe weight, so that you can stay in an upright position. Separately, the nylon mesh does more than just creating a soft-feel. It’s responsible for maximizing air flow and moisture control within the shoe.
If you feel the sponge rubber heel wedge inserted into the shoe distorts the fit, then simply remove it. In the course of my research on this shoe, I found that most people in the automotive industry prefer its leather agility. Its amazing durability means you can continue to move up and down, hoist, lift, and walk on any surface for the long run.
There is something about Cat footwear that I find appealing, either for men or women. Imparted with brute strength, these shoes are also stylish, enabling you to blend right into a casual setting right from work. Plus, Cat does not sacrifice comfort for durability and weight in their steel-toed shoes, just in their Echo Waterproof work boot.
Equally rugged as the men’s version, the Echo is actually created to thrive in hostile, moist work environments. In so doing, the boot does not lose its feminine touch. The pair comes in two options; a cute marlin and frost gray options. Nevertheless, both options are made from Nubuck leather with rubber outsoles, meaning they will be serving you for several years.
In order to make the shoe upper and sole bond for the service duration, an iTech construction combines Goodyear welt and cementing technology to form a long-lasting bond. Because the boots are made from Nubuck leather, it won’t take long to break into them. Additionally, a padded collar eliminates the pressure from the laces when tightened up.
There is no denying the fact that ladies find it hard to get steel toe shoes specifically made for them. Therefore, you have to make do with the men’s versions, which are either heavy, or large in size. As a result, your feet tire fast and develop sores. Here’s the good news. The FSI avenger is specially made for women.
These shoes are made to appeal to your feminine side at no extra strain on your wallet. Actually, these shoes are made for hiking. Minor tweaks by Avengers have also made them suitable for tough industrial jobs. Featuring hot pink accents, a stylish logo at the front, these shoes pops out of the crowd for your presence.
Full-grain leather upper shoe construction imparts agility and flexibility to the pair. Another waterproof membrane keeps water out of the shoes, regardless of the conditions. Additionally, a direct shoe upper and sole attachment method further makes it impossible for water to get into the shoe.
Although the leather construction is resilient and tough, it’s a material that softens with continued use. Thus, you don’t have to keep having the stiff leather rub against your feet. Tread patterns on the outsole secures your every step, regardless of the walking surface.
Who wouldn’t want to feel like a cow girl once in a while? The ARIAT Fatbaby work boot is one of the best steel toe shoes for equestrian athletes. These shoes are specially made to be advanced riding by leading equestrian athletes.
But since you won’t be riding all the time, these shoes have found a new lease of life in everyday wear. Made from 100% premium full-grain leather, these boots are as elegant as they are durable and classy. A synthetic sole complete the look, providing impeccable traction on all surfaces.
An 8” high shoe upper provides the required protection for your ankles. Workplaces are often filled with a variant of dangerous, thus necessitating the need for all-round foot protection. Every boot has a 13” round opening, making it easy to slide in and out of the boots. A steel reinforced toe box alleviates the danger posed by falling or kicking into stationary objects.
How to Choose the Best Steel Toe Shoes
1. Steel Toe
Obviously, if you going to buy the best steel toe shoes, then the steel aspect should come first. Chances are, you are looking for a safety shoe to wear at work. Crashing objects on employees is one of the common work place hazards faced. And this is why it’s vital to have shoes with steel toes.
When it comes to protective toe caps, steel is the top material, owing to its density. It can withstand up to 1,000 kilograms of resting mass on it. Better yet, the steel is able to bend, but not break, in case of excessive force at the toe.
Since steel is dense, these shoes are often heavy. So, if your workplace doesn’t have much hazards, then look for other toe protection such as alloy, composite toes or soft toed shoes.
2. Excellent Traction/Anti-Slip
Another workplace hazard is slipping and falls. That’s why you need an all-round performance safety shoe. A lot of ordinary shoes do not do well on slippery surfaces from wet floors, grease spots, and oil spills. This is why it’s imperative that you have protection from such eventualities.
Look for treaded/patterned rubber soles if you’ll be predominantly working indoors. This features works by keeping a considerable percentage of the sole in contact with the hard floor at all times.
3. Electrical Insulation
In most industrial settings, it most likely that naked wires are left exposed from time to time. These poses another hazard, more so when the wires get into contact with either moist surfaces on your body.
In case your workplace has higher chances of you getting electrocuted than in average workplaces, then look for a shoe with excellent electrical hazard rating. It’s the fortification you need to stay safe.
Electrical insulation means the shoe is made from 100% non-metallic or conductive materials. Or if there is any metallic component, then it should be well insulated, to prevent shock propagation. Materials such as rubber and fiber top the list of non-conductive materials.
4. Durability/Material of Construction
The truth is, the hazards the shoe protects you from also possess a durability challenge on the part of the shoe. Rough surfaces, oils, grease, and chemicals all disintegrate shoes within no time if the materials they are made from are not up the task.
You then end up spending money on a new pair, and the cycle continues. Consider full-grain leather, rubber, or high quality synthetics as they offer the best resistant to abrasion and cuts.
Even steel toe shoes ought to comfortable, right? Definitely focus is usually on safety, not at the expense of comfort. In this regard, look for the following features to enhance your in-shoe comfort experience at work:
- Breathable linings
- Short time to break into the shoe
- EVA foam foot beds
- Padded collar
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the other types of toe protection available?
A: Apart from steel, there exists alloy, composite, and soft toe protections. Each of these are made to accomplish specific tasks. Alloys are lighter and less bulky than steel while also offering the same toe protection. Composites are the lightest. Soft toe shoes offer the least amount of protection from falling objects. The thick materials used resists cuts and abrasions well, but not heavy falling objects.
Q: How do I shorten the Break in time of steel toe shoes?
A: Since steel toe shoes are meant to be still, they have a considerably long break in time as compared with normal shoes. To hasten the process, consider wearing the shoe more often, wear thick socks, and stomp the heels.
Your budget notwithstanding, there is no reason why you shouldn’t get the best steel toe shoes. The benefits you get in protecting your toes will be worth every penny if you can get the best pair for your needs.
When buying these shoes, keep in mind that you need your feet to be comfortable too, and not only protected. Plus, the shoes should be durable. Tough work environments have a heavy toll on safety shoe. So, your shoes ought to handle the harsh environment. Fortunately, the shoes I have reviewed meets all these three criteria. Do not settle for anything less as you will be badly disappointed.