Your Guide to Buying Work Boots: Safety Toes
Finding the right safety toe is of the utmost importance.
Your feet are extremely vulnerable, which is why having the right safety boots is so incredibly important. But, the one part of your feet that’s the most vulnerable is definitely your toes. Your toes protrude more than any other part of your feet, making them the most prone to injury from getting tripped or bumped. Luckily, many different safety boots come with safety toe options, and it pays to do your homework and make sure that you select the right safety toe option for your needs. That’s why your friends at Intermountain Safety Shoe Store have come up with this guide on the many safety toe options available to you:
Steel toes are probably the most common safety toe option, and of all of the options, these boast the most compact and heaviest properties. Many people see steel-toed boots as being overly heavy and clunky, but when you want the ultimate protection, they are ideal. Steel toes are very durable and won’t damage easily, but they are also surprisingly flexible, with the ability to give into pressure without breaking.
Although steel-toed boots are strong and durable enough to protect your toes against almost anything, they aren’t ideal in every situation. The steel toes that keep your toes safe are magnetic, so you’ll need to make sure that there’s nothing in your work environment that could interfere with your boots. Furthermore, steel-toed boots generate more warmth and coolness than other options, which makes them a less-than-ideal choice when you’re working in extreme temperatures.
Alloy-toed shoes are a popular alternative to steel-toed shoes. That’s because they provide a comparable amount of strength and protection to steel, but unlike steel, they are much more lightweight. This is because they are made from lighter weight materials, like titanium and aluminum. In fact, alloy-toed shoes will typically weigh about half as much as steel-toed shoes, which gives the wearer more comfort for all-day wear. In addition to weighing less, the protective alloy layer is also thinner than the steel layer in steel toes, which gives you added room in your boots. This makes safety shoes with alloy toes a great option for people who are looking for both protection and mobility out of their boots.
Alloy-toed shoes are beneficial in so many ways, but all of those benefits typically come with a higher price tag. However, for the added safety and comfort that these shoes provide, they are well worth the added cost.
Composite toes are made from non-metals, like Kevlar, carbon fiber or plastic, and they are made to comply with all ANSI/ASTM safety requirements. Unlike boots with alloy or steel toes, boots with composite toes are nonmetallic and, therefore, nonmagnetic, so you don’t have to worry about them interfering with your work environment. Furthermore, they don’t transfer cold and heat the way that steel toes and alloy toes do. This makes them a great choice in environments with extreme temperatures, as well as environments where electrical hazards are a concern. Composite-toed shoes are much more lightweight than alloy-toed or steel-toed shoes, which can also make them more comfortable.
While composite toes weigh a less than alloy or steel toes, they tend to be a lot bulkier than these options. So if you’re looking for a sleeker design, they may not be right for you. Additionally, composite toes provide a lot of protection, but they can’t compare to steel or alloy toes in terms of sheer protection because they simply can’t handle as big of an impact.
Sometimes, other safety features are more important than a protective toe. For example, if you’re cleaning up a grease or oil spill, toe protection may not be a priority, but slip resistance certainly is. And, other times, you may not need to protect your toes, and the protective toe could hinder the functionality or comfort of your work boots. In these cases, a safety boot with a protective toe may not be ideal for you, and you may be better off with a non-protective toe boot, otherwise known as a soft-toe boot.