Did u know that foot associated injuries are the most common type of injury in workplaces? Be it slips, falls, objects falling on the feet, or any other dangerous activity at construction sites, workplaces, labour sites, construction areas, etc. any accident can occur anytime and your feet are the most sensitive areas to get injured. If not protected and secured, it may lead to severe fractures and permanent deformities.
The best way to protect your feet from such mishaps is to invest in a pair of high-quality steel toe boots. It not only protects your feet but provides a secure fitting and support for people suffering from deformities.
The reasons to get good quality steel toe boots just do not stop at that. Wonder why? We give you top reasons to invest in quality steel toe boots for your workplace.
Reasons You Should Wear Steel Toe Boots at Work
If you are planning to invest in a new pair of shoes or wondering how can steel toe boots be of help at your workplace, we give you the top reasons to get a pair of these protective shoes for yourself.
Mandatory Under OSHA
OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that works under the United States department of labour. This unit ensures the safety and healthful working conditions of employees working in public and private sectors in the U.S.A. which includes wearing steel toe boots at work.
Especially for labours working in construction sites, industrial areas, and for those who deal with sharp and heavy objects, OSHA has made it mandatory to wear steel toe boots for employee safety.
Withstands Pressure From Falling Objects
Your feet are fully protected and secured once you wear steel toe boots as it can withstand up to 75 pounds of pressure, that means, heavy objects thrown from up to a distance of 3 yards. This makes them quite apt for construction sites where falling objects and sharp items are a common scenario.
Made of High-Quality Leather
Steel toe boots are usually made of extreme quality leather that is very thick and comes in multiple layers. This is either man-made or synthetic leather which is usually used for safety footwear and is known to be very tough.
They are not very flexible and do not easily conform to the shape of your feet. It may have an increased break-in period but is very stiff and protective for your feet.
Prevents punctures or cuts on shoes
If your shoes come in contact with any sharp objects, it can puncture the sole and rip them apart eventually. With steel toe boots, the outsoles are made of superior quality rubber that is puncture-proof and tough.
With nails and sharp items being common in construction sites, it can cause sepsis and bleeding if the sharp objects prick your feet. Steel toe boots not only can withstand being pricked or punctured but also protect your feet from getting injured due to sharp objects as it cannot pierce through the tough outsoles of the shoes.
Water-Resistant, Oil Resistant, and Fire Resistant
Steel toe boots ensure that your feet are secured from all aspects as they are usually waterproof, oil-proof, and fireproof. Whether you are working in coal mines, oil and manufacturing industries, oil rigs, forests, construction sites, riverbanks, rough terrains, etc., these shoes can sustain in any environmental condition and any tough surroundings.
Protects from Electrical Hazards
Open circuits are very common in repair and construction sites and if your feet come in contact with such hazardous, it can give you an electrical shock and can almost be very fatal. Luckily, steel toe boots meet the ASTM F2413 safety standards meaning that they are shockproof Boots and can withstand any hazardous conditions and surroundings.
Combines Both Style & Safety
Steel toe boots usually come with a very secure and closed design that covers the entire feet right from the toes to the ankle and goes up to the shin region. These shoes have a padded tongue, padded collars and even a high shaft that prevents pronation, keeps your gait and feet stable, and also looks stylish above all.
They suit well not only for casual wear but also for formal occasions and campsite trips. With the glossy leather construction and the tough steel toe construction around the toes and forefront section of the shoes, they provide safety to every part of your feet right from the toes to the collar and heels as well as the ankle.
Steel toe boots are comfortable provided you choose the right size. If they are too tight around the toes, it makes your toes feel extremely compressed leaving no scope for movement and very little room for toe movement.
Tip: You can always choose a size larger for that additional secure comfort and look for shoes with memory foam or a soft inner lining. Additionally, you can also wear a pair of socks for ease of slipping in the shoes and to prevent tough surfaces and shoe bites.
Steel toe boots that are of superior quality are known to possess some exceptional features like memory foam cushioning, padded heel support, collar support, and cushioned inners, etc. This is because workers who have to stand for long hours complaint of feet pain and pressure either due to some foot deformity or lack of support from their shoes.
Steel toe boots support for long hours of standing while also keeping the feet energetic and reducing pain and pressure in the weaker sections of your legs.
Due to the tough outer leather, they can withstand any weather, be it rains, snow, or extreme summers. Usually leather does not work well with moist and wet areas. However, keeping its functions and protective features in mind, steel toe boots are designed in such a way that they are waterproof, moisture-proof as well as sweat-proof, and compatible with any environmental condition.
Since steel toe boots are made to work across any terrain, the outsole construction is very tough and at the same time, slip-proof. These shoes usually have a very aggressive outsole design that makes sure to provide a good grip on any slippery or smooth surface. Consider saving yourself the embarrassment while also preventing yourself from slipping anywhere with steel toe boots.
How to Find the Perfect Steel Toe Boot Fit
If you have narrowed down on a pair of steel toe boots online, getting the appropriate size is a struggle. An ideal steel toe boot should be comfortable as well as protective to serve the purpose. It is always advisable to try the shoes first before you buy them. Even if you are purchasing steel toe boots online, you can either try the size at a nearby store or choose a replacement option if it does not fit you right.
Here are some handy tips that you can try to get the fitting right:
Try them with your regular socks
If you are used to wearing work boots or steel toe boots with socks on, try them with the same pair of socks to get an estimate of the thickness and the appropriate fitting once you wear it with the socks. If you wear socks, you would need a size larger than your regular feet size depending upon the thickness of the socks that you wear.
Tip: Usually, to prevent your feet from getting sweaty and crammed up inside steel toe boots, it is recommended to wear these shoes with socks to maintain comfort and allow you to slip them on and off easily.
The ball of the foot should be covered
The ball of the foot should be covered by the steel toe section of the shoes and not keeping hitting or rubbing against it. This can cause rashes and cuts on the skin of your feet. Your heel should also fit at an appropriate place in the shoes and should not slip off towards the top. This would cause your toes to hit against the hard steel toe section, while also damaging your toenails and leading to calluses.
Check the right size
Ideally, you should get a size or two larger than your regular feet size when it comes to choosing the right steel toe boot fit. To check if its the right size, you can do the following:
- Unlace the boot and push your toe against the steel toe section
- Now put your index finger and push it behind your heel
If the index finger has enough space to move and is not getting squished against your heel, then you have the right and comfortable size for you.
Walk around with the shoes
Steel toe boots are not easy to adjust into. Since they are known to be very stiff with tough insoles, they have a high break-in period. They only get comfortable after some intense use, wear, and tear. The more the use, the more comfortable it gets. This is why you must walk around with these shoes often to reduce the break-in time and make them comfortable for work-related use.
Tip: You can look for steel toe boots with an inbuilt memory foam insole that adds to the comfort, thereby reducing the pressure as well as the break-in period.
Allows flexibility and mobility
While steel toe boots are known to be stiff, it should allow a certain level of mobility, stretch, and flexibility for your feet to breathe within the shoes. If they are too stiff and tight and do not open up at all, chances are, it can cause pressure on your feet and cause them to feel stiff.
How to Care for Your Steel Toe Boots
While steel toe boots are extremely tough and durable, if you want to increase their lifespan, you can follow these steps for maintenance and care for your favourite pair of work boots:
Washing Entire Leather
Here is what you will need to wash your leather steel toe boots:
- Mild shampoo and mild detergent
- Baking soda
Here are some quick steps to follow to wash your steel toe boots:
- Make sure to remove the insoles from the boots first and wash them separately. The insoles tend to get sweaty and cause odor.
- Wash the insole with a mild, good quality detergent. This will eliminate the odor as well as the bacteria causing the odor.
- Next, use liquid soap and make a soap water solution. Dip a soft microfiber cloth into the solution and slowly rub the cloth against the shoes. Use the cloth on the insides as well as the outside leather.
- Once done rubbing the cloth, pour some water over the shoes, on the insides as well as the outside to remove any soapy solution from the shoes.
- Use a hairdryer to dry the shoes. Keep the hairdryer on mild heating mode.
- Once dried with a hairdryer, allow the shoes to dry under the sun for some time.
- Add some baking soda inside the shoe and keep it overnight. This will remove all the odor making it smell fresh and dry.
Cleaning Grease & Stains
Here are some steps you can follow to clean grease and water-based dirty stains off your steel toe boots:
Cleaning Grease with Talcum Powder
Here is what you will need:
- Microfiber cloth
- Talcum powder
- Shoe oil
Blot oil on the surfaces where you find the greasy stains on the shoes. Use a microfiber cloth and rub against the blots and grease stains gently. Make sure to not go hard while rubbing as it can uproot the fibers of the shoes and reduce their quality.
Take some talcum powder and sprinkle it all over the shoes. Put some powder on the greasy and stained areas. Allow the powder to remain overnight on the shoes.
Then, take a microfiber cloth and rub off the talcum powder from the boots. This will help in removing the remaining stains and make them clean and grease-free.
Cleaning water-based dirty stains
Here is what you will need:
- Lime juice or Tartar cream
- Microfiber cloth
Here are the steps you can follow to remove water-based stains from your shoes:
- Apply some lime juice or tartar cream on the stained surfaces of the shoes.
- Using a microfiber cloth, rub the stained areas of the shoes gently in circular motions. Do not go hard with the rubbing as it can spoil the fibers of the shoe material.
- Rub off the lime juice with another microfiber cloth.
- Allow the shoes to dry completely and they are ready to use again.
Using a brush
If you just want to remove some dust and dirt from your steel toe boots, you can use a gentle brush. Especially for steel toes made of suede leather, there are special suede brushes available to wipe off the dust.
Polish and conditioner
If you want your steel toe boots to shine like new at work, you can use a leather polish and conditioner and gently rub it on your shoe surface. Use a soft brush or microfiber cloth to apply the shoe conditioner and polish.
Tip no. 1: If you have dried the shoes using a hairdryer, it is advisable to use a leather conditioner to retain the appropriate moisture and not allow the fabric to get very dry and crumbly.
Tip no. 2: Always remove the laces of the shoes before you wash or polish them. Since they are made of cloth, they can be removed and washed separately.
The bottom line
Most workplaces take care of the safety and welfare of their employees, one of the most essential aspects being, wearing steel toe boots at work. Your feet being the most sensitive area and prone to getting injured at warehouses and construction sites, one needs to be extremely cautious.
However, steel toe boots make it easy to take care of your feet so you can work hassle-free. They are resistant to pressure and heavy objects as well as weatherproof and slip-proof, to keep you and your feet protected.
Sure with all the protection, it offers, choosing one online and maintaining it is an equally tough task. But are all in one steel toe boot guide makes sure to help you in all ways to help you get the best workboots as per your workplace.
Read our article above and tell us your reasons for choosing steel toe boots through the comments section below.
William has hands-on experiences with construction sites, and the hazards employees face while working. He has been a dedicated worker since 1995 and is currently looked up to by many of his subordinates for the work he has done throughout his tenure. He has passed several certifications regarding safety at the workplace, including OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Silica in Construction Certificate, and the National Association of Safety Professionals Certification.
He has ample experience in woodwork and welding and understands the importance of a tough work boot in dangerous occupational environments. His achievements, experience, and knowledge allow him to be an expert in the field of work boots. He selects and tries all the products that he reviews and presents to his readers. As per him, the safety of the boot is beyond the beauty of it. He carefully scrutinizes each aspect of work boots, including flex, laces, length, breathability, strength, and more.