Steel toe boots (also known as safety toe boots, safety shoes or steel-capped boots) are boots that have a protective reinforcement in the toe. It is usually combined with a sole plate, this gives your feet protection from falling objects and punctures from below.
When buying steel toe boots the most important factors are: durability, good protection and comfort. These are the most important criteria we used in our steel toe boot reviews.
Caterpillar Men's 2nd Shift 6" Steel Toe
These caterpillar boots are around the middle of the price range, of safety boots, but they are very durable.
I have gone through two pairs of these boots. They lasted me around two years of very heavy use.
The water resistance of the caterpillars is excellent, as long as it stays below your ankles. If the water is higher it gets in the front.
The boots handle water, oil and dirt well. Mostly they can be cleaned off easily. The Caterpillars have excellent grip, that helps a lot if you are going to work on slippery surfaces.
The boots have hooks not holes around the top. This makes taking these boots off and putting them on faster and easier.
These Caterpillars are heavy, so hiking is out. But they are very comfortable for standing and walking in. The boots are wider than the counterparts which is great for people like me with wider feet.
The Timberland boots are the ones that competes the most directly with the Caterpillar ones. I have owned a Timberland pair, but I found that the soles on that pair didn't hold up as well as the Caterpillar soles did.
Nautilus Men's Electrical Hazard Steel Toe Lace Up Hiker Boot
The Nautilus are mostly nylon steel toe boots, that makes them less durable than leather safety boots, but also lighter and better ventilated.
The Nautilus features an odor absorbing insole, a fiberglass shank for stability, an EVA mid sole for comfort and a highly durable slip and oil resistant stabilizer outer sole. They also have bumper toe and heel guards to protect against abrasions.
The Nautilus was constructed to protect against electrical hazard. The leather and nylon shoes are also ergonomically-designed to keep your feet happy.
I would recommend the Nautilus for guys who only need to use safety boots periodically.
Timberland Pro Women's Titan 6" Safety Toe
The Timberland was specifically designed for women, giving you a superior fit.
The boot strikes a good balance between being light, durable and comfortable. This is achieved by Timberland's high tech approach to footwear.
These boots are nice and warm, which helps if you are working in a refrigerated environment.
The Timberland women's boot has a nylon diffusion shank that keeps it's torsion rigid.
The Timbeland's outsole provides slip-resistant, oil-resistant and abrasion resistant grip.
Pull-On Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot,Brown
If you end up in higher than ankle depth water regularly the Red Wing Pull-On waterproof steel toe boots are for you.
The Red Wing boots are no nonsense work boots. They have full grain leather upper features and a durable, direct-attach welt construction. The urethane outsole is lightweight slip and oil resistant, and it comes with a sturdy arrowhead tread. There are loops on either side of the boot top, to help you pull it on or off.
Some thoughts on steel toe boots
There are over a 100,000 work related foot injuries in the USA every year. More regularly than not these injuries could have been prevented by appropriate foot wear. Our feet take enough stress from daily use, you really should take proper precautions to yours safe.
If you are in an industry like the industrial or construction industries there are numerous hazards that can damage your feet. Making sensible, safe work boots a must. On many sites, where I have worked, these are actually required, not optional.
It takes quite a while to break in a pair of steel toe boots, much longer than a normal pair. For that reason I would recommend not going with a cheap pair. The higher quality boots last much longer and breaking in a new pair is a real pain.
It is essential to always stay alert when working in a hazardous environment. Use all of your natural senses to ensure that you come home, in one piece. Also keep the safety of those who work around you in mind. Take the time to inspect your safety equipment on a weekly basis so you can be sure everything is working properly. Work at a safe and comfortable pace, also keep the area in which you work organized and clear of debris.
The new safety shoes are not like the ugly, heavy boots of the past. There is no reason why you should not have a safe, durable, stylish and comfortable pair of safety boots.
I hope you have found the information you where looking for in steel toe boot reviews and are now able to make an informed choice as to the best safety boots for your needs.
MC on May 25, 2011:
I currently use timberland Pro's and I cant say enough about these boots. If you are in the market for safety shoes check out the timberlands. Currently waiting on a pair of Doc Martins and looking forward to wearing those as well.
Greg Palmer on May 18, 2010:
Great reviews. It is important to look at the many brands of steel toe boots, especially when purchasing a pair, since finding the right fit is essential in being well protected.