Three Things To Consider Before You Buy A Pair Of Steel-Toed Boots

A good pair of steel-toed boots will protect your feet better than any other type of boot on the market. But steel-toed boots are not all created equal.

Men wearing yellow hard hats
Hard workers need hard working boots.Andrew Leu via Unsplash

Steel-toed boots are made from a number of materials in a range of different styles, and depending on the steel used offer different levels of protection. To find the perfect pair, consider how long you will be on your feet, where you will be wearing your boots and whether you prefer a pull-on boot or one with a lace-up system.

How Long Will You Be On Your Feet?

Cat steel toe boot
This simply designed model features a steel shank for added support and stability.Amazon

Workers who spend a lot of time walking or standing in their steel-toed boots will likely find comfort to be their most important factor to consider. Steel-toed boots gain much of their comfort from the padding used in the inner sole. Those with a cushioned footbed made of a breathable material often are the most comfortable Along with padding, support is also an important comfort factor. Some boots will have a steel shank for support and stability, some use a nylon shank and others might offer little support at all. Consider what is best for your feet when making a purchase decision.

Where Will You Be Working?

Ticcoon steel toe camouflage sneaker
Steel-toed shoes like this model might be your best choice when wearing shorts or when fashion is more important to you than function.Amazon

How warm and dry do you need your boots to be? Indoor workers might not care about how waterproof a boot is. But those who spend a lot of time working in the mud know just how important it is to have a boot that keeps their feet dry all day. Also, an inside boot might not need much insulation, while a boot that will be worn outside during winter should be well-insulated for the wearer's comfort. Depending on work conditions (and fashion preferences), you might even opt for a steel-toed shoe.

Lace-Up Or No?

Wolverine steel toe slip on boot
Pull-on steel-toed boots like this model are preferred by many who work around dangerous equipment.Amazon

This is largely a matter of personal preference and style. However, if you are working around dangerous equipment that you could possibly get your boot laces caught in, a pull-on boot may be your best option. This is also true if you work in areas with lots of stickers or other cling-on type plant seeds. If you opt for a pull-on type boots in those conditions, you'll save a lot of time pulling stickers out of your bootlaces at the end of the day—not a fun task.