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What Are Steel Toe Boots?: Purpose, Material, and Requirements

You know what never goes out of style? Wearing comfortable and safe shoes—especially if you work outdoors and your job position requires long hours of working with heavy and risky tools and objects. If so, this is a sign for you to invest in a pair of steel toed boots. 

What Are Steel Toe Boots? 

If you’ve ever seen people working in construction, or the ones carrying heavy packages, you may have noticed how, often, their eye-catching yellow boots match perfectly with their hard caps. While they’re not always yellow, the purpose of steel toe boots remains the same: to protect your feet from heavy and dangerous objects that might fall on your feet.

We all have experienced the unbearable pain of crashing our toes around different objects’ corners around the house, and it’s often an unbearable pain. Now imagine if a cinder block or a barrel falls on your feet. That’s why we need to wear steel toe boots if we work in such environments that are surrounded by dangerous objects and tools. 

What Are Steel Toe Boots Made Of?

Steel toe boots are made to provide safety to the feet. The material, the weight, and the insulation, are  all factors that contribute to footwear safety and comfort. 

Material 

Safety toe boots are made of steel, aluminum, or other materials with synthesized elements. If you are looking for the highest level of safety, then pure steel toe boots are the right choice. They are heavier in comparison to aluminum or other composite materials. 

The toe caps react against the impact force when a heavy object falls into your feet, thus protecting them from its weight and abrupt shock. Despite the fact that steel toe boots offer you safety against heavy falling objects, they are also puncture resistant thanks to their steel plates. 

Weight

One thing is for sure, your working boots weigh much more than your casual shoes, that is the ones you go out to run errands or go for a walk with. Because of the material they are made of, steel toe boots weigh between 3.5lbs to 4.5lbs (1.8kg). You can choose to wear shorter steel toe boots, which will weigh slightly less. However, taller steel toe boots offer more safety, therefore if you need more protection, they are your go-to choice since a little more weight won’t make much difference. 

Insulation 

Due to various manufacturers and designs of steel toe boots, they come with different insulation qualities as well. Typically, steel toe boots are designed to be chemical, heat, and cold resistant. 

They are also manufactured to be waterproof, and the upper part of the boot is water penetration resistant. Moreover, the many models of the steel shoe sole resists heat up to 300°F for around 30 minutes. On the other hand, the boots are insulated and keep out cold temperatures up to -30°F. Steel toe boots are also skid resistant on ceramic tile floors and steel floors. That’s why we feel safe wearing steel toe boots when we work in hazardous conditions.

Safety Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), founded in 1970, is a part of the US Department of Labor in which they have established strict and secure standards to keep employees safe at their workplace. 

Some of these standards include having safety toe caps which protect workers’ feet in case of accidents and are constructed to comply with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards and have an impact resistance rating of 75 together with a resistance to compression rating of 75.

Steel toe shoes will be suitable for most workers, be that in construction, for road pavers, welders, and so on. Another thing to consider is for the boots to be oil and slip resistant; no matter where you’re working or what’s the floor condition at the time being (oily or wet), the boots need to offer you the comfort of working without the fear of slipping and falling. 

The steel toe boots have to be chemical resistant which means they have to withstand specific liquids and chemical elements. Moreover, within the compiled list of OSHA standards for the workers’ safety, boots need to be puncture resistant, with ballistic nylon uppers and bloodborne pathogen protection. 

Benefits of Wearing Steel Toe Boots 

Wearing steel toe boots come with a myriad of safety features, but below we are going to list the key benefits when wearing these safety footwears and how they protect us:

Prevent injuries

Once you start working with steel toe boots in a working environment with many dangerous tools and objects, you will refuse to ever take them off. This is because the caps of the boots protect you from the intolerable pain of heavy objects accidentally dropping or falling down your feet. You shouldn’t worry about the small sharp tools either, since steel toe boots are puncture resistant. No nails, glass, or other sharp objects will cut open any wounds in your foot. The chances to sprain an ankle are also low because they are oil and slip resistant.

Durability 

Another benefit of the toe caps of steel toe boots is the ability to withstand heavy weights, chemicals, and acids. Just as it is specified on OSHA’s list of standards, these boots should be durable and able to withstand a lot of wear and tear considering the potential threats of working in construction zones. 

Multipurpose

Not only are steel toe boots easy to wear and durable, but they are multipurpose as well.. Since they are partly made of steel, you can wear them when around machinery and dangerous equipment. But, if the boots are EH rated, you can also wear them if you’re an electrian. 

Since steel toe shoes must meet ASTM standards, they are favorite for labourers and mechanics as well.

They are also a perfect choice for asphalt workers, welders, and road pavers since they can withstand heat. Last but not least, those who work in construction or demolition fields, surely need steel toe boots, as they are THE shoe for withstanding impact.

If you work in any of the following work environments and are in need of proper safety shoes, you may want to consider steel toe boots as your next pick. Check out Workwear Guru for more information and reviews on work shoes.

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