By Jayden Mark
For decades, steel toes have been given preference as the most durable and reliable form of protection in a shoe. After all, it’s hard, tough and unbreakable metal, isn’t it? However, the advent of modern technology knows no bounds. With the invention of entirely new components, the safety footwear industry has changed drastically since then.
Today, some of the most trusted and approved safety toes may not have an ounce of steel in them. However, that still doesn’t mean that metals have been thrown out altogether. Alloy toes have been gaining lots of traction thanks to their innumerable benefits. Let’s look at how the alloy toe safety boots stack up to the classic steel toe.
No matter what job or environment you work in, the first rule that needs to be loosely followed is that safety always comes first. This is why it is of the utmost importance to ensure that all your work boots meet or exceed ASTM safety standards.
If you have to decide between alloy and steel, my guess is that your job does not mind having metallic PPE about their workers. This is great since you now have more options to go with, and you know that metals offer more protection than other materials. When it comes to pitting alloy toes against steel toes, you will realize that both are very similar, with only a few minor details to spare. Before we look at the similarities and differences, let’s describe what the terms entail.
What is a Steel Toe?
As the name suggests, steel toe caps are inserted in your boot during factory construction. Steel toes have been long favored by millions of workers for a few reasons. In addition to offering maximum protection from dangers both above and below. Whether it’s straight up impact or compression forces, shearing from sharp blades or piercing objects from below, steel toes can be trusted to do their job diligently.
What is an Alloy Toe?
Alloy safety toe boots are made from lightweight materials such as titanium, aluminum among others. Since these materials are lighter, workers are able to move around more freely and faster. This is a huge advantage if your job involves lots of walking and covering plenty of ground. Additionally, alloy toes can also be made from a combination of lightweight components to ensure more protection.
How Alloy Safety Toe Boots Compare to Steel Safety Toe Boots
We’ll come right out and say it; Alloy safety toe caps boast of being just as strong as steel toes, but this is not entirely accurate. If you are looking for maximum protection for your feet against hazards like heavy compression or brutally hard impacts, then you are better off going for steel safety toes. Some of these bad boys are so tough that they exceed ASTM safety ratings by a mile. Granted that alloy boots can hold their own when you need them most, but they can’t compare with a classic, hardened and thick steel safety toe cap.
However, there are times when the job calls for more than a cumbersome, tight and unbreakable shell. Lots of workers move around on the job and would prefer something lighter and not too uncomfortable. Thanks to their lightweight construction, alloy safety toe work boots tend to be lighter and easier to get off the ground. The thinner nature of the alloy materials also means more wiggle room in the toes for all-day comfort.
Remember, it’s not about who can do it best, it’s about finding the right match for your job requirements and the environment. Both alloy toes and steel toes are built to meet ASTM safety standards, so there’s nothing to worry about. Just make sure that you get your work boots from a reliable manufacturer to get more value for your money.