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Composite Toe vs Steel Toe What’s Better?

Composite toe boots

When it comes to work safety, there are countless rules, regulations, and recommendations for ways to keep yourself protected and productive on the job. From hard hats to harnesses, emergency stop buttons and bright vests, many different lines of work employ many different types of safety measures. But the one thing that some people might not think about right away is one of the most important: the need to protect your feet.

Workplace compliance and regulations

If you have a job that requires you to be on your feet for a significant amount of time, you are pretty familiar with the idea of having a good pair of comfortable work boots. But if you work in an industry that deals with heavy machinery or other potential hazards, chances are protective footwear is part of the required uniform.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, exists to ensure that workers are not subjected to hazardous work conditions without the proper equipment and training, and the organization requires all companies to conduct an assessment of hazard conditions in order to pinpoint risks in the workplace. This applies to potential foot injury hazards as well. For those jobs that are found to put your feet in danger, protective footwear such as steel toe boots are often standard issue. But there is an ongoing debate about the benefits of composite toe vs steel toe boots, and which does a better job of keeping your feet safe.

Composite toe vs steel toe work boots

When it comes to the composite toe vs steel toe debate, there are strong arguments for each. What it really boils down to is what works best for you. Do you feel a better fit with one over the other? Do you work in an environment where steel toe might be better than composite toe boots, or the other way around? Do they both fall under the safety guidelines in your particular workplace?

Steel toe boots are generally more affordable and provide great protection from punctures where composite toe shoes don’t quite hold up. But composite shoes, which are those made of a blend of materials without the metal, are more lightweight, provide great insulation, and have higher electrical resistance.

There are plenty of factors to consider, and you will ultimately have to make the decision. If you are having trouble though, you can ask for advice from those you work with, as well as a shoe sale expert who is familiar with the differences and your type of work.

Take care of your feet

We may not think of it often, but really are feet are far more important than we give them credit for. Carrying the weight of our bodies, absorbing the impact of each step, and not always provided with the appropriate amounts of support or protection. They may seem indestructible for everything they’re put through, but they are really a complex and intricate system of 26 bones, 107 ligaments, 33 joints, and 19 muscles. While all of those elements generally work in perfect harmony to get us where we need to go, should any one of them sustain injury, you may be off your feet for awhile during the healing process.

This is why protective footwear is so important. One study showed that of all the workers who sustained a foot injury on the job, only 23% of them were wearing safety boots or protective footwear at the time. The right shoes can do a lot to keep you up and moving around the way you want to be.

An average individual might walk about 10,000 steps each day. Compare that with the average of 30,000 steps of a construction worker or one doing heavy labor. Have the composite toe vs steel toe debate and make your choice. Finding the right footwear is important, and ensuring comfort, stability, and protection above all will make all the difference.

3 Ways Steel Toe Boots Protect Your Feet

Comfortable tactical boots

You wouldn’t think that your feet were very delicate, especially if you work in construction or fields where you are constantly walking around. In reality, there are 26 bones and 33 joints in the human foot, because these bones are very small they are more easily damaged. Choosing the best steel toe boots could save you a lot of pain and trouble when working those tough jobs, here are a few things you may want to consider the next time you need to pick up some new work boots.

  1. Safety: Of reported workers with foot injuries, only 23% were wearing steel toe boots, they can protect your feet from damage and can even handle 75 pounds of force dropping from up to three feet. You also may want to go with heavy duty work boots, they will last much longer even if you have to spend a little extra it will pay off. Saving a bit of money now could cause instant regret when those poor quality boots don’t hold up in an accident.

  2. Comfort: Just because steel toe boots have metal in them doesn’t mean they have to weigh a ton, you can find a plethora of lightweight heavy duty work boots that won’t bog you down. When you are going to be wearing a pair of shoes to labor in every day you want them to be comfortable and fit well. Allowing a little wiggle room in the toe is a good idea, as well as picking a par with compression resistance for comfort.

  3. Sweat: Everyday workers in very active positions can sweat up to 200 ml of moisture from their feet and the best steel toe boots should be able to let your feet breath. Having sweaty feet all day causes your foot to slip around in the shoe, which can rub painful blisters and make your workday miserable. Boots with a waterproof skin are another way to keep those feet nice and dry while you’re working, if you are in construction you may work outside quite a bit and besides the morning dew, rain can be an obstacle for having a productive workday; even if it’s from the previous day.

Working hard is admirable and exhausting for some, but it doesn’t have to be wretched because of inferior work boots. Go ahead and splurge a bit for that next pair of boots, your feet will thank you and there will be a noticeable difference at the end of those long days. With all that hard work you deserve some quality shoes, don’t you think?