Getting Started

Steel toe boots are a necessity to keep you safe on the job or in the wild. With your safety at risk, it’s prudent to research the best steel toe boots before making an investment.

Steel toe boots are a type of shoe designed with a reinforced toe area to protect you from harm. The best steel toe boots can protect you from falling objects, debris, and even electrical shock.

The conditions that make a steel toe boot depends on the country you live in. Each country has their safety standards that let you know if a steel toe boot will provide you with adequate protection. Official steel toe boots are tagged with a code that corresponds to the level of safety they provide. If you don’t see this code, it’s not an official steel toe boot.

What’s The History Of Steel Toe Boots?

Steel toe boots originated during the economic expansion after the Second World War. Instead of replacing employees, companies began to enforce safety measures to avoid liability lawsuits. Germany was the first country to develop steel toe boots for their workers and even soldiers began to use them. During the 1950’s and 60’s many new companies started producing steel toe boots in North America and other parts of the world. Today steel toe boots are a staple of workplace safety.

What Purposes Can Steel Toe Boots Serve?

Steel toe boots can serve all sorts of purposes and their uses expand over many industries. Steel toe boots can be used for chemical processing, construction, semiconductor manufacturing, and even in the health care industry. These special types of boots serve to prevent fatigue, protect you from the environment and reduce slips.

This article will help you understand how to find the best steel toe boots and what factors make for the best boot. We’ll also review three steel boots for you to consider.

What do the best steel toe boots have in common?

High-quality steel toe boots can be identified by a few things they have in common.

The first feature you should look for is deep molded heel cuffs. Heel cuffs are a slight indent in the boot that secures your heel in place. This helps to stabilize your feet and prevent them from rubbing on the inside of the boot. If you work on different surfaces like gravel, sand or stone, then a deep heel cuff will contribute to keeping your feet stabilized throughout the day.

The second factor to look for in steel toe boots is the type of sole that is used. The best steel toe boots have soles that offer you above average grip even on slippery surfaces. If you work on ladders, on roofs or uneven surfaces then a slip resistant sole should be your priority.

Take A Close Look At The Sole

You should also be mindful of choosing a boot with a sole that is impervious to punctures. If you work around electricity, then you need to look for boots with soles made from special insulated material. These are some factors you should look for when reading work boot reviews.

Source Out Boots That Handle Water & Moisture Well!

Features of safety toe work boots

Another aspect to look in steel toe boots is waterproofing. Waterproof boots don’t just fight water; they combat the weather while still keeping you safe from accidents. Waterproof boots are an absolute necessity if you work outdoors in cold climates. This type of boot can protect you from frostbite and hypothermia.

Another feature to look at is the type of lining used. Some work boots have special linings that fight moisture and smell. The type of lining used can affect how breathable the boot is and how comfortable it is when wearing it for long periods of time. You want to make sure the lining is breathable and has some water resistance.

Breaking-In Your New Shoes

Keep in mind that once you buy a new steel toe boot, it will take some time to break in. Your feet need to get used to the boot and mold their shape into the sole. The break-in time differs from boot to boot. You can get an idea of how long it will take by reading work boot reviews from people in similar situations.

The break-in period can be very uncomfortable and may lead you to think a boot is worse than it actually is. If you work a high paced job, it’s not a bad idea to break-in your boots for a few days before heading to work. Before making a judgment on a steel toe boot, you need to make sure you break them in properly. Buying your own custom insoles can help make this period more bearable.

Pick Steel Toe Boots According To Your Situation

The best steel toe boots for you will depend on the activities you’ll be doing. The weight of the boot is an important factor that affects how well and how fast you can move. Generally, you have to sacrifice on durability to get a lightweight steel toe shoe. This means you’ll have to prioritize what’s important, which will depend on your responsibilities at work.

As said before, steel toe boots can protect you from all types of dangers on the job. Make a list of what you need protection from on the job to narrow down the amount of boots to choose from. For example, you don’t want to invest in boots that specialize in resisting high amounts of voltage if you work in an area where having slip-resistant boots is more important. If you work on roofs or high surfaces, you need boots that promote grip and slip resistance.

Another factor that will dictate how well a steel toe boot works for you is the type of cover used. There are multiple types of steel toe boot covers, and each serves different purposes. The type of cover used affects factors like weight, the environments the boots can be worn in and the protection they give you. The next section details the steel toe shoe covers and how each type can fit your situation.

Different types of steel toe shoe covers

Steel toe boots differ in the type of steel toe shoe covers that are used. While they may be called “steel toe boots,’ they are multiple materials that are used to protect your toes. The most common types of steel toe shoe covers are composite toe, carbon composite toe, aluminum toe and of course, steel toe.

The type of steel toe shoe cover you’ll need will depend on your work environment. For example, if you can’t wear steel on the job, then a composite toe cover will suit you better. If you need to remain mobile in your boots, then Carbon composite steel toe shoe covers will give you protection and mobility.

Traditional steel toe shoe covers are best used in an environment where you need extra safety. Steel toe waterproof boots are perfect for working around heavy machinery and in fast-paced settings.

Different Types Of Shoe Covers Have Different Uses

If you’re looking for safety in a work boot, steel toes are your best option. Steel toe covers are extremely durable, but cause your boot to weigh a lot more than other boots. Lightweight steel toe shoes usually have composite or aluminum covers.

Composite toe covers can be made from many different types of materials such as plastic, Kevlar or carbon fiber. Composite boots are lightweight and don’t conduct as much heat as steel toe boots. This makes them a comfortable option for hot work environments. Composite boots are very light and allow for better mobility. These types of boots are slowly starting to replace steel toe boots thanks to their practicality.

Aluminum boots are the lightest safety toe work boots. Aluminum toe covers comply with most safety standards and can be used in all types of work settings. Aluminum boots will still set off metal detectors. They are mostly considered a lightweight alternative to traditional safety toe work boots.

Examples of the best steel toe boots

The following section will give you three steel toe boots for you to consider. We have highlighted the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision. Remember to narrow down your own personal needs on the job before making a decision on steel toe waterproof boots.

Best Steel Toe Boots Comparison Chart

Our Recommendations best steel toe boots Pitboss 6" Steel-Toe Boot lightweight steel toe shoes
Shoes Ariat Mens Flexpro 6 inch H2O Comp Toe Industrial Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss Steel-Toe Boot Carhartt 6” Work Safety-Toe NWP Work Boot
Amazon Rating Watches Rating 4.4 rating 4 Rating
Men / Women Men Men Men & Women
Material Leather Leather Leather
Slip Resistant Yes Yes Yes
Weight Heavy Light Light
Breathability Yes Yes Yes
Pros / Cons See Below See Below See Below

Flexpro 6″ H2O Comp Toe

best steel toe boots

The Flexpro Comp Toe work boots are a great option if you’re looking for lightweight steel toe shoes. These boots are waterproof, flexible and slip resistant.

What’s It Made Out Of?

The Flexpro Comp Toe features waterproof full-grain leather material. This material keeps you dry when it’s raining, warm when it’s cold and keeps your feet at a moderate temperature when it’s hot.

Is It Comfortable?

The Flexpro Comp Toe goes up to just above your ankle. There is extra padding around the ankle area that holds your foot in place. You’ll find you have good stability and leverage in these boots.

Shoe Features

These boots have an aggressive tread that keeps you stable on surfaces such as wet pipes, ladder rungs or muddy areas. The only common complaint about this boot is that the leather design fades somewhat quickly.


  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Good ankle support


  • Leather fades quickly with use

Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss Steel-Toe Boot

Pitboss 6" Steel-Toe Boot

Timberland is a common brand associated with boots, but they also make quality steel toe boots for work.

The Timberland Pitboss line of steel toe boots offers you a quality shoe at a very affordable price. The Pitboss is one of the best steel toe boots you’ll find for under $150.

Shoe Features

The Timberland Pitboss has all the basic features you need: shock absorbent sole, slip resistant outer sole and waterproof exterior, and an antimicrobial interior lining for odor control. These boots also have a removable sock liner to protect your ankles from friction and blisters.

Are These Shoes Safe?

These boots also have great grip for working in slippery environments. The rubber outsoles are slip resistant in both water and oil. You can feel confident in this boots grips when working on ladders or roofs.


They only downside to the Pitboss line is how it fits. A lot of people have said these boots take a while to break in and can be painful during the time they don’t fit. The Pitboss boots also come in a wide fit, but so people have said the toe box is still quite small.


  • Good price
  • Shock resistant
  • Durable in all environments


  • Long breaking in period
  • Narrow fitting boot

Carhartt 6” Work Safety-Toe NWP Work Boot

lightweight steel toe shoes

How Supportive Are These Boots?

The Carhartt NWP boots are designed with safety and comfort in mind. These boots have a breathable lining and a padding tongue and ankle collar. The midsole in these boots is made from polyurethane and has extra cushioning in the insole. These features give you the extra support you need for spending long hours standing.

Shoe Features

These Carhartt steel toe boots also have the features you need in heavy duty work boots. These boots are shock resistant up to 18,000 volts (under dry conditions). They also have ladder lock grips, which contribute to your stability on high surfaces. They also have reinforced steel shanks and a sharp angle heel, which make climbing easier.


Unfortunately, these boots are not waterproof. Some people also report having the rubber sole on the back coming apart after about six months of use. People also say these boots are two shades lighter than the product image.

These Carhartt boots are easy to break in and are pretty stylish. For the most part, they are durable and should last you a while. You can be confident you are getting a good deal with these boots at only $100.


  • Quick breaking-in period
  • Good price
  • Ladder locking grip


  • Not waterproof

Now you know how to select the best steel toe boots. Steel toe boots can serve many different purposes, and it’s important that you align the type of boot with your personal needs. This article has given you lots of features and design elements to be aware of on your hunt for lightweight steel toe shoes. Remember not to get discouraged during the breaking in period!