What is the difference between composite toe and steel toe safety boots? Both materials are great for protecting your toes from being crushed or punctured during work. But to the advantage of safety shoes, safety toe caps provide two forms of protection: impact resistance and compression resistance.
1. Materials: Steel toe boots come with steel only, while the composite one is non-metallic materials such as glass fiber, carbon fiber, or plastic.
2. History: Steel toe boots were available since the 1930s and are still popular today. Composite toe boots are the rising star in this decade with high comfort.
3. Strength: Compared with the composite toe cap, the strength of the steel toe one is greater as the material is thinner and more durable.
4. Weight: Compared with the steel toe cap, the composite one is lighter. It can reduce the pressure and fatigue of the legs and joints after working for a long time.
5. Price: The steel toe boots are cheaper than work boots with composite toe caps. The composite boots are mainly available in high-quality and high-priced market sections.
6. Functionalities: The steel toe boots can conduct cold, heat, and electricity effectively, while the composite toe cap does not offer any heat or cold conduction under extreme temperatures.
7. Structure: The composite toe cap boots are thicker than the steelhead. The nano-carbon toe cap is light that solves the size problem.
8. Effectiveness: The metal-free working boots are useful in working in dangerous electrical environments. It is also ideal in workplaces with metal detectors such as courts and airports.
What is the difference between a steel toe cap and a composite toe safety shoe? Understanding the difference between steel toe work boots and composite toe work boots enables you to confidently and correctly purchase the right work boots for your work activities.
Table of Contents
Steel Toe VS Composite Toe
For steel toe and composite toe caps, for workers, they are almost the same. They wrapped both steel and composite materials around the toes in the front of the boots. These types of safety work boots provide unique advantages, so you can choose to accord with your characteristics when choosing to buy.
Before buying a pair of safety toe work boots, it is best to consult others: In some areas, steel toe boots are a compulsory course for this job. In other cases, boots without metallic materials are compulsory, especially if you need to pass through a metal detector regularly.
If you have purchased or plan to buy safety toe-cap work boots, you need to know not only the safety footwear codes and standards but also their materials. Safety boots come with a steel toe, while other shoes come with a composite toe.
It may seem strange because the purpose of both materials is the same. Regardless of the material, a protective toe cap manufactured according to European or ASTM standards can protect the foot from impact.
Steel Toe Boots
Steel-toed boots are protective shoes with steel inserts on the toes of the toe cap, covering the front of the foot. They are especially useful for construction workers and others who are in danger of falling heavy objects, as steel toes can prevent injuries. The anti-toe culture also adopted steel-toed boots that like the sturdy and durable construction techniques used to make them.
Besides steel-toed shoes, steel-toed shoes also use heavy materials such as leather or durable synthetic materials to protect the soles of the feet and lower legs. Most boots terminate the middle of the calf to provide insulation and protection for the ankle, arch, and toes. Most steel-toed boots are constructed with laces, although some zip along the inside of the foot. These boots are ideal for men and women, and besides basic black, you can also choose a variety of colors.
In some workplaces, steel-toed boots are required as safety shoes. This is especially common on logging and construction sites, especially on sites where heavy iron beams are processed. Durable work boots will support the feet throughout the day while protecting ensure that workers’ feet or feet are safe and safe. People with insufficient foot protection may suffer physical injuries, which sometimes causes them no work properly for a long time.
Those who prefer durable and long-lasting shoes can also buy steel-toed boots. We can wear boots every day, and if properly maintained, they can last for many years. People who are worried about moisture can waterproof steel toe boots to prevent rain and cold.
These are two things that can cause foot discomfort. Steel-toed boots also have a practical threatening color, which attracts some consumers who like to cultivate this look. The difficulty in steel toe caps is that they get tested by inspection. You need to work hard with rugged protective shoes.
Composite Toe Boots
The composite toe industrial site may be dangerous for employees. So, the basic safety equipment can reduce the hazards of wear and tear. Steel-toed boots also offer basic safety fits that you can wear when running an industrial web.
The composite toe boots are ideal for preventing the dangers of falling and sharp objects. The total protection features of these boots are imperative. The difficulty is that many potential buyers do not prefer boots that come with steel toe work, because they are rigid.
Manufacturers have been keen to deal with this challenge for many years and have improved the construction of these hard-working shoes. They try to make the composite toe boots to be stylish.
Some people buy other kinds of boots without steel head support. They will not provide any protection. Besides, diverse work boots are also an arduous task for the wearer after deciding. You can assume that it is easy to pick out a pair of shoes to buy. But with so many options, anyone can get confused.
How do you get the right suit? It is necessary to ensure that your functional boots are suitable because it is difficult to walk on them if they are tight or loose. The footwear you get and your socks are advisable. Put on the socks that you often use for operations to ensure an exact match. Then consider using surgical boots.
You can study other sizes and make sure you get the pair that feels the most comfortable. It is your only way to discover your ideals and assemble a pair of boots. When you have installed the shoes, see if you can walk comfortably on them.
If you feel uncomfortable or the composite aid is uncomfortable against your feet, please choose another size or maybe a unique pair of boots. Do not buy uncomfortable shoes because they will not hurt your feet.
Steel Toe Alternatives
Nowadays, there are traditional steel-toed shoes and composite toe boots and two that meet the basic safety technical specifications. Many potential buyers think the latter is light. Some people did not notice the weight change.
The only way to find out how light or big shoes are is to use them and try to walk in them. The basic safety boot maker has also produced styles that will be suitable for precise environments. For example, the work that people do in nuclear facilities or the digital industry must wear the shoes of the people in that place. Here, we offer two steel toe alternatives.
Anti-static boots come with protective insoles that can prevent static power from building up. We can create static vitality when walking, and it can damage fragile digital elements in the facility.
Some winter work boots provide the best insulation for electricians and utility workers because they find large voltages of electrical energy. Without proper protective shoes, these men and women can get electrocuted even while doing work.
How to Buy Steel Toe Boots?
There are a few things to consider when buying the most comfortable work boots. We should try boots on with thick socks and should be slightly looser, preferably half the size. Loose boots will expand the feet, which can happen during a long day at a hot worksite because it swells the feet because of physical exercise. Boots should also be wide enough. If your feet are wide, please warn the salesperson so that he or she can help you choose the best boots. Finally, boots should provide adequate arch support. If not, please purchase an insert to lift the arch.
To maintain new steel-toed boots, please use specially designed leather cleaners such as saddle soap and wet sponge to remove dirt from your shoes. After cleaning the boots and drying them, condition them with leather care products or moisturizers to keep the leather soft and clean. If the shoes are available to synthetic fibers, wash them with neutral soap and water, and treat them with waterproof products when they are dry.
Why Wear Safety Shoes?
7% of accidental injuries in the workplace are foot injuries. Safety work shoes must be compulsory for the employer, maintained, and replaced regularly. Employees must wear safety shoes when entering or working in high-risk locations.
If the employer cannot provide suitable safety shoes for each employee, the labor inspection agency may impose penalties on the employer. Safety shoes are mainly to protect the user’s toes from injury. ESD safety shoes (electronic-grade anti-static shoes) can also protect electronic components from electrostatic discharge. Please check the labor laws and regulations of your country. The law requires safety shoes to be worn in a high-risk work environment.
What Are the Standards for Safety Shoes, Protective Shoes, and Work Shoes?
Safety shoes must meet the requirements of European EN ISO20345 standard :
- It can resist 200 joules of impact on the shoe head.
- Use non-slip soles (XPS 73012 standard) on smooth and greasy floors in industrial environments
- With a closed back.
The European EN ISO20345 standard distinguishes different types of protection corresponding to specific types of protection through different letter codes:
- A: Anti-static shoes
- Fo: oil-resistant sole
- E: Part of the energy absorption performance of the heel and sole
- P: Anti-piercing sole
- Wru: Water resistance and water absorption of the upper
- Wr: Waterproof shoes
How to Choose Suitable Safety Shoes?
When choosing safety shoes, consider those standards related to personal safety protection, such as protection level and additional protection. There are other standards such as the wearer’s aesthetics and comfort that are crucial.
For example, the material used in safety shoes and the shape of the shoes. If you work in Europe, make sure that the shoes you choose have the CE mark. You should also confirm that the safety shoes meet the relevant safety protection standards of your work scene.
The European EN ISO 20345:2011 safety footwear standard defines different protection levels of safety footwear according to protection needs. Please be careful not to confuse the three concepts of safety shoes, protective shoes, and work shoes. When choosing safety shoes, consider the difference in the protection of the toe cap. We list the different protection below:
- European standard EN ISO345 safety shoes: 200 joules impact resistant toe.
- European standard EN ISO346 protective shoes: 100 joules affected-resistant toe.
- European standard EN ISO347 work shoes: no toe cap.