I’m very picky when it comes to work shoes. Finding a pair that meets all my needs for comfort, strength and durability is no easy task. But I’ve found the best steel toe shoes to be durable enough for extended periods of daily wear. The perfect pair can provide not only safety but comfort as well. Something every working man needs in his collection.
Okay, your shoes need to give you all the protection and weight for a long day of work, right? They’ll need to protect your feet from falling objects, punctures, and extreme weather conditions. Steel toes are definitely the way to go. Let’s dive in.
Regardless of what your work day entails, the best steel toe shoes (in my opinion) are the Keen Utility Lansing. The shoes feature compression EVA midsoles, asymmetrical support, and are waterproof. While not the most affordable pick on the list, this shoe has it all. What I love about Keens is their durability. Mine show no sign of needing replacing any time soon.
If you’re looking for something that mixes style and function I would recommend the Cat Steel Toe Work Boot. This boot style is the closest to a regular boot with an attractive 100% leather outer and minimal stitching. It also comes in four colors which helps if you’re looking for a certain aesthetic.
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Known for their hiking footwear, Keen shoes offer a wider toe box that will give you the most comfort anytime, anywhere. With its moisture-wicking material, it’s good for all-season wear. As an added bonus, Keen’s expert engineering means these will form to your foot over time for that custom fit.
These boots are also waterproof and sport electrical hazard protection. They may not be the most fashionable shoes on this list but they check all my boxes in a good, reliable work shoe. You can’t go wrong.
Material: Leather | Colors: 2 | Sizes: 7-15 (wide available) Waterproof: Yes | Electrical Hazard Protection: Yes
Most often you’ll find steel toe caps in mid-ankle boots. However, the best steel toe shoes are becoming more popular. Sneaker heads rejoice! These Skechers feature a steel cap that meets ANSI safety standards and thick memory foam insoles to add tons of comfort. I love Sketchers because of the comfort, quality, and price.
The only downfall: this pair is not slip-resistant. I suggest making your shoes slip-resistant by scruffing them with sand paper or mixing rubber glue and salt together to give your shoes an extra grip. Regardless of this small con, this pair will not break the bank and will keep those precious feet protected.
Material: Suede, Mesh | Colors: 4 | Sizes: 7-14 (wide available) | Waterproof: Yes | Electrical Hazard Protection: Yes
Remember when you used to wear the classic Chuck Taylor All Stars? These Timberlands will have you feeling just as cool. They feature an alloy safety toe, anti-fatigue footbed and rugged exterior outsole to protect your feet.
The outsoles are oil and heat resistant and they’ll keep your feet odor free with their moisture-wicking material. Plus, they work great for those with wide feet. The classic black is easy on the eyes and super versatile. Heading out for the night straight after work? These casual classics won’t look out of place at a restaurant or bar.
Material: Leather | Colors: 1 | Sizes: 7-15 (wide available) | Waterproof: Yes | Insulation: Yes
There’s something so satisfying about performance sneakers that make you feel like you’re walking on clouds. The Furuian steel toe sneakers do just that. They feature a steel toe cap, a soften phylon material sole (cushioned MD sole) and puncture-proof midsole with great arch support.
These bad boys are great if you go straight from work to the bar. Their style will suit most post-work casual activities so you won’t have to rush home to change shoes.
Material: Leather | Colors: 12 | Sizes: 4.5-14.5 (wide available) | Waterproof: Yes | Electrical Hazard Protection: No
Chelsea boots will never go out of style. Blundstone is a household name for a reason. These boots feature thick leather, shock protection system, and a removable footbed, perfect if you’re an insole guy like me.
These high-quality boots are also waterproof, but the standard insoles are super breathable so your feet won’t get too steamy. They also sport those iconic finger loops making them super quick and easy to slip on.
Material: Leather | Colors: 1 | Sizes: 7.5-13 | Waterproof: Yes | Electrical Hazard Protection: Yes
If looking good on the job is important to you, you’ll know that it’s not always easy to find a stylish shoe that will also meet your safety criteria. Fear not, the DYKHMATE shoe does a fantastic job at melding function and style. I love the attention to detail, the luxury designer style is really like no other.
This pair has a built-in steep cap that will save your foot from falling or rolling objects. The shoes use shock absorption, absorb pressure and impact and compression forces, meaning they can handle any job on what you give them.
Material: Leather | Colors: 3 | Sizes: 6.5-14 | Waterproof: No | Electrical Hazard Protection: No
Protect your feet in any work environment with the Wolverine Construction boots. These boots are leather, and slip-resistant, and moisture wicking, oh my! I love them because they have everything I want in a work boot, all while looking fashionable.
The boot has EPX technology to fight foot fatigue and several five-star reviewers raved about how the shoes are comfortable, lightweight, and truly waterproof. Although these boots come in one color, they should pair with most outfits. Just steer clear of that black belt brown shoe faux pas.
Material: Leather | Colors: 1 | Sizes: 7-14 | Waterproof: Yes | Electrical Hazard Protection: No
Is stealth protection a thing? Well, it should be. No one will guess these have a steel toe cap. Their lightweight design and athletic look will help reduce any back strain that heavier options could exacerbate.
The shoes feature a massage memory foam to contour to your feet and sport extra foam midsole for cloud-like comfort. The shoe is lightweight and super flexible. The downside: they’re not waterproof, and don’t have electrical hazard protection. If all you’re looking for is a sporty pair of steel toes, these will do the trick without breaking the bank.
Material: Leather | Colors: 5 | Sizes: 4-16 | Waterproof: No | Electrical Hazard Protection: No
This list wouldn’t be complete without an entry from Cat. This ankle-cut boot features full-grain leather and exceeds the ASTM standard with its Goodyear Welt Construction. Plus, it’ll last a very long time and stay comfortable. These are slip-resistant and meet the ANSI standard for electrical hazard protection.
The quality of the shoe gets a round of applause for its craftsmanship. The leather has a ton of flexibility and its steel shank on the cap to give you support and stability.
Material: Leather | Colors: 4 | Sizes: 5-14 (wide available) | Waterproof: Yes | Electrical Hazard Protection: Yes
Timberland boots are my go-tos when it comes to work shoes, especially when I’m working on a project for the house. They provide all the safety you need. The PRO boots have high quality leather and meet all ANSI, ASTM and F2892 safety standards.
Their caps have sealed seams all around the boots to prevent your feet from injuries. They are also breathable enough for your foot and slip-resistant and moisture-wicking to prevent odor from lingering around the boot. The added padded ankle collars will keep you warm and safe on colder work days, too.
Material: Leather | Colors: 3 | Sizes: 7-15 (wide available) | Waterproof: Yes | Electrical Hazard Protection: Yes
Buying Considerations For Steel Toe Shoes
The standard colors for the best steel toe shoes, especially steel toe shoes, are brown, tan, and black. I advise you to go with a black since they’re widely-available, fashionable and will fit in with 99% of workplaces.
Toe caps are typically made of steel or aluminum. I suggest getting steel toe boots since they offer the best protection even though they’re a bit heavier and can be more cumbersome.
You guessed it! Aluminum toe boots are lighter and easier to move around in. Just make sure they meet ASTM standards, protecting your feet from heavy or sharp objects.
Fit & Style
When picking out steel toe shoes, they need to be about a half size larger than usual. Because of the steel cap, the shoe does not stretch like normal shoes and boots. Going a size up will ensure there is plenty of room for your toes and help avoid blisters. As for style, that’s personal preference, so go crazy!
Type of Shoe
There are many different types of steel toe shoes, ranging from boots, sneakers, clogs, or dress shoes. Steel toe shoes give you more protection than other shoes because they have a high impact material. If you pick out shoes that are too narrow or wide, they’ll cause discomfort to your feet over time.
The best steel toe shoes are the Keen Utility Lansing Work Boots. They exceeded my expectations after testing them out a couple times at work. With cushioned footbeds, waterproof construction, and durable midsoles and outsoles, this pair provides durability, comfort, and safety to the next level.
If your steel cap of the boot starts rubbing your little or big toe, then the boot is either too small or narrow. Get a wide boot to avoid this issue.
You want to protect your feet from all injuries. If you’re working with heavy equipment, the steel cap will protect your feet from falling objects. Plus, you need shoes that you can wear for all-seasons.
Surprisingly, yes you can wear them every day. Steel toe shoes will guard your feet all through a long day of work. Plus, if they’re sleek enough and not too dirty, you can wear them after work if you’re planning on going out for the night.