No matter what workplace you operate in, one thing is universal. Safety and worker protection should be a priority. For most workplaces, the employers are mandated by regulation to provide all workers with personal protective equipment. This includes a pair of safety boots that will not only ensure your feet remain safe in the event of a mishap, but that you are also comfortable all day long.
One essential feature that a decent safety boot cannot afford to miss is a tested and approved safety toe. Without a doubt, the toes are the most vulnerable part of your body. Working over 40 hours a week in hazardous environments only makes it a matter of time until your feet are in the line of fire. Safety toes come in a variety of styles and designs to accommodate different needs and preferences. However, there are two types which remain popular on a global scale. This article aims to simplify everything with a detailed comparison of steel toe Vs composite toe Work Boots.
What is a Steel Toe Work Boot?
As the name implies, steel toe work boots are made by incorporating a standard heavy duty steel cap into the radius of a work boot. The steel toe cap works in conjunction with a sturdy steel plate inserted in the midsole to protect against punctures. Steel caps have been around since the invention of safety toes and provide maximum levels of protection that exceed safety standards.
What Is A Composite Toe Work Boot?
Composite toe caps, on the other hand, have the benefit of being lighter than steel. Composite toe caps are made or tightly wound fibers that provide a super strong bond. A typical composite toe cap will consist of a mix of Kevlar, carbon fibers, and other lightweight materials. While the composite materials offer substantially reliable protection, they are not as robust as steel caps. However, they allow your feet to feel lighter thanks to a 50% shave off the weight. Like a steel toe work boot, composite toe boots also incorporate a composite plate along the midsole to protect against punctures.
The first step to getting the right boot for you involves consulting with your employer and finding out if there are any specific instructions regarding toe caps. You should also be very keen on the kind of environment you are operating as well. If your choice will not affect or be affected by environment and regulations, you are one step closer to securing the ideal safety toe cap. Having said that, let’s look at how the different safety toes stack up in various aspects.
The nature of your job will also determine which type is most suitable. If you work in heavy duty construction sites or workplaces with risks of falling and piercing objects, then there is no doubt that you need a robust steel toe boot. However, if you work in areas where you may have to go through security checks, airport or medical facilities and metal detectors, then the steel in your boot might make it hard to get around. In such a case, composite boots work best.
Now, don’t get me wrong; in no way should you compromise on your safety for whatever purpose. However, if your job involves plenty of standing, walking or intense activity, then it would be foolhardy to ignore the comfort aspect of a safety toe. Steel toe caps are very thick and heavy. This means that they not only weigh your feet down if you walk a lot, but they also squeeze your toes in a smaller toe box. In such a scenario, composite toe work boots might be more suited due to their lighter weight and a thinner, roomier toe box.