The 10 Best Steel Toe Shoes for Walking and Working Comfortably All Day
For many jobs, maintaining high safety levels is of utmost importance. Your working environment may be full of hazards, such as electrical hazards, uneven greasy surfaces, weighty objects, extreme changes in temperatures, and pointed protrusions. If safety measures are not properly taken, such environments can become life-threatening.
For this reason, the importance of work boots cannot be overstated. The right safety shoes are engineered to protect your toes from slippery surfaces, punctures and cuts, cold temperatures, sudden impact or compression electrocution, and even freezing or burning your feet. They are also designed to increase comfort, thus improving effective performance in the workplace. What’s worse than standing around all day? Standing around in a poorly-fitted boot.
Finding the perfect pair of work boots can prove to be a complicated process. If you search online for work boots, you’ll find hundreds of models available. But with so many factors—styles, models, brands— to consider, how can you ensure that you choose the most comfortable and reliable pair of safety boots for your feet?
The good news is that we have done the research for you. We have compiled a list of the 10 best steel toe shoes in 2018 with distinct features, pros, and cons that will help make your decision easier.
Best Steel Toe Shoes in 2018
Skechers for Work Men's Holdredge Steel Toe Work Shoe
Leather and synthetic
KEEN Utility Men's Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe
Leather and mesh
New Balance Men's MID627 Steel-Toe Work Shoe
Caterpillar Men's Brode Steel-Toe Work Shoe
Timberland PRO Men's Titan Safety Toe Oxford
KEEN Utility Men's Destin Low Steel Toe Work Shoe
Reebok Work Men's Sublite Work RB4005 Athletic EH Safety Shoe
Harley-Davidson Men's Static Steel Toe Shoe
Skechers for Work Men's Soft Stride Steel Toe Work Shoe
Reebok Work Mens All Terrain Work
1. Skechers for Work Men's Holdredge Steel Toe Work Shoe
When it comes to safety shoes that are tough, sketchy and can go anywhere with you, Skechers is on the ball. Aside from the safety and slip-resistant sole it offers, the Skechers for Work Men’s Holdredge steel toe work shoe offers comfort and cushioning to women and men working on their feet long hours.
This pair of shoes looks good on the outside, giving you the opportunity to wear them anywhere without looking out of place. Don’t be fooled by the fragile look: Skechers has built into these shoes a steel toe safety that has been tried and tested, and constantly exceeds the ASTM expectations for impact and compression.
Combining aesthetics and safety, Skechers also includes an invaluable quality: they are ultra lightweight, to the extent that you almost forget that you are wearing a pair of safety steel toe shoes. This is why every modern worker values this pair.
To top it all off the inside is lined with memory foam, to give you a comfortable feel. A lot of workers rely on the Skechers brand for safety, durability, and style, and it keeps exceeding expectations.
This pair can go anywhere with you, effective even in environments with exposed electrical wires. The only problem is that the soles don’t last too long. That may not be an issue if you are not carrying out heavy-duty work.
2. KEEN Utility Men's Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe
KEEN Utility Men’s Atlanta Cool steel toe work shoe ensures safety on a whole new level. These shoes make you stand out in the crowd.
The steel toe is designed with extra space to let your feet breathe; this single feature puts this pair in the second position on this list. It doesn’t only secure your feet: its oil-resistant rubber sole prevents grease and oil slips, keeping you safe from work hazards.
It conforms to the ASTM and other approved standards. Cleaning is easy. Embedded in the shoe is a foot-bed design that supports and balances your foot, giving you comfort while you do your chores. There is no better way to feel comfortable at work than when you’re standing in your Keen Atlanta steel toe work shoes, letting your feet breathe fresh air. They also incorporate a CleanSport NXT design to protect your feet from natural odor.
The water-resistant and rugged sole allows for extra stability and a long shelf life. These shoes can go step into anything—concrete, potholes, water puddles, jet fuel—and still come back untainted. So even if you walk long hours on concrete, come into contact with pointed edges, or a heavyweight item hits on your foot, Keen Atlanta’s got you covered.
The Keen Atlanta design is considered one of the best on the market because of its outstanding features. If you are willing to invest in an additional pair of shoelaces, this pair is perfect if you want something to walk about every day.
3. New Balance Men's MID627 Steel-Toe Work Shoe
Dedicated to helping hard-working men and women achieve their goals, New Balance takes safety and style to a whole new level with the New Balance Men’s MID627 steel-toe work shoe. These shoes are made with you in mind, providing comfort and cushioning balance for the rest of the day.
As you work, this pair works overtime shielding your feet from the hazard. The steep design of the heel relaxes your feet, in addition to its electrical insulation. The tough outsole has a slip- and oil-resistant feature providing long-lasting protection from greasy surfaces.
The steel toe is second-to-none and provides a shield for your toes as you go about your business. Because of their athletic design, these shoes will keep you sporty and energetic all day long.
In a bid to design a shoe to cater to athletic and work need, the New Balance brand made the MID627 work shoe. It serves the purpose of safety, but the lightweight and durability just didn’t work out well. So if you’re looking for shoes that serve safety purposes only, these are a good choice.
4. Caterpillar Men's Brode Steel-Toe Work Shoe
Don’t be fooled by appearances, the Caterpillar Men's Brode steel toe work shoe resembles a sneaker but protects your foot like a work shoe. Its adherence to safety standards shows that Caterpillar is not here to mess around when it comes to ensuring safety and style.
This Brode shoe features a steel toe, slip-resistant rubber outsole, and suede or leader exterior covering. With highly rated compression and impact standard, the Caterpillar Brode will stand with you through concrete, electrical leakage, grease and oil spills.
You don’t need to worry about comfort and weight because incorporated into this pair is a Nylex footbed with molded EVA sock liner for cushioning, and a pull tab at the heel for ease-on wearing. The nylon mesh lining is designed to allow your feet to breathe in hot temperatures. A lace-up closure crowns it to give you a perfect fit.
This Brode pair exceeds the ASTM standards and has a high electrical rating, in addition to its flexibility and durability to ensure top-notch comfort and confidence for the workaholic.
The Caterpillar Brode Steel toe shoe keeps exceeding expectations. It is an ideal kick if you want to look chic while you walk and work long hours. If you’re after class, style, comfort and safety, this is the shoe for you.
5. Timberland PRO Men's Titan Safety Toe Oxford
Timberland PRO Men’s Titan safety toe Oxford shoes are work boots you can trust. They are built with your safety and reliability in mind. Its remarkable features help working-class professionals to carry out their duties optimally while keeping them safe.
Timberland Pro Titan conveys high ranking performance with resilience, protection, and comfort that should earn it a spot in top 4 on this list.
Timberland Pro Titan is made of pliable leather that beats all other designs, and steel that allows for ultra lightweight. The outsole sturdy rubber is resistant to oil, abrasions, skidding, heat, and is jagged to ensure a tough grip.
Its design and tough construction will fit you comfortably while allowing for a minimized break-in time. The inbuilt PowerFit comfort system dispatches the shoe elements in the right places to provide support, increase movement and comfort and convey convenience to the owner.
Titan has a sewn-in mesh has anti-microbial properties to ward off bacteria and fungi that cause sore feet. The steel toe is wide, giving your toes plenty of room and a pleasant fit. Titan gives you the confidence to work, climb, jump and run without wearing the shoe out. In addition to of all its remarkable features, it is ultra light and makes you forget you have work shoes on.
Working professionals trust Timberland to deliver good products, and the brand has gone above and beyond with the Titan. Even if you have to work long hours on your feet, Titan is made to ensure those hours are the best. It’s number 3 on our list for 2018.
6. KEEN Utility Men's Destin Low Steel Toe Work Shoe
KEEN Utility Men’s Destin Low steel toe work shoe is the perfect deal for an industrial worker who wants to comply with safety rules while wearing lightweight boots.
The versatility of its different designs makes it multi-functional; the cascade brown design is great for weekends and matches any protective work wear smartly. Keen stands for quality and style, and this is conveyed in the Destin Low design.
Its features include a removable insole available in a variety of sizes and a synthetic sole. The blend of waterproof leather and textile gives it a smart finish with the standard of protection matching that of the toughest safety boot.
The steel toes are both left and right asymmetrical and the outsole is oil- and slip-resistant, offering you all-round convenience even in the most slippery of fast-food restaurants. The EVA footbed provides arch support in addition to foot-relaxing leather lining for optimal comfort. Destin offers stability and support for foot conditions, such as flat feet, roomy flat bottom, broad feet or fragile ankles.
Destin is ultra lightweight and is easy to break in, offering its wearer a comfortable fit. The removable insoles can be taken out and replaced for additional support.
Destin Low steel toe shoes are ESD-safe with non-marking slip- and oil-resistant soles. The steel toe construction is enough to ensure durability and longevity. The heel box is wide to reduce wear and tear at the ends.
The Keen brand has always been trusted by customers to deliver quality. The con of the Destin pair, however, is the fact that they tend to widen after a while and begin to fall apart. This may not be a con if you don’t have to wear them often or for long hours. Overall it provides safety, comfort, and style.
7. Reebok Work Men's Sublite Work RB4005 Athletic EH Safety Shoe
With the Reebok Work Men’s Sublite Work Athletic Safety shoe, you can flaunt a casual look while working without breaking any safety rules.
The Sublite safety shoe features a leather exterior and moisture wicking nylon mesh lining with a cushioned footbed for maximum comfort. For safety, it features a steel toe, dual resistor design, and slip-resistant outsole.
Reebok Work Sublite Work steel toe combines its footbed comfort technology, with electrical hazard protection. Its lightweight conveys a proactive start for the day. The foam technology allows your feet to sit pretty while you carry on with work.
Inspired by athletes, Sublite is designed for high performance providing the hardworking professional an athletic feel that is fit for demanding jobs. Reebok encourages well-being and fitness, hence it extends fitness to the workplace by developing the Sublite Work Athletic safety shoe, fueling your feet.
It can pass through the dirtiest and scruffiest of areas without thinking twice.
If you are tired of wearing regular safety boots and you want a sporty stylish change, go for the Reebok Work Sublite Work Athletic safety boot. This is a premium boot that fits into every environment and social setting.
8. Harley Davidson Men's Static Steel Toe Shoe
The Harley Davidson Men's Static steel toe shoe speaks only three languages: safety, comfort, and durability. It provides protection and comfort for your hardworking feet.
Its unique design with deep dark black suede makes this a great shoe, with interchangeable functions: ideal for serving both corporate and heavy-duty settings.
The Static steel toe shoe is tough enough to absorb shock from impact and compression—no wonder it complies faultlessly with the ASTM and electrical hazard standard!
The abrasion-resistant sole is also oil- and slip-resistant; ensuring maximum protection in oily and slippery workspaces.
Harley-Davidson Static makes work easy as it creates comfort with its full-length cushion sock lining. The Static steel toe shoe creates a whole new experience out of a standard work day
The Harley Davidson Men’s Static Steel Toe Shoes offer comfort, safety, and satiety. All hardworking people trust this brand to cater to their safety needs, and it does so in style. You should definitely buy the Harley Davidson for extra comfort and durability. It may take a while to break-in, but when it does, it’s the ideal pair to stand on your feet with.
9. Skechers for Work Men's Soft Stride Steel Toe Work Shoe
The Skechers brand develops stylish shoes that feel good, and function even better. The Skechers for Work Men's Soft Stride steel toe work shoes are designed with even solid leather and include a lace-up work shoe design, as well as a shielding steel toe for hard jobs.
These tough work shoes also include Removable PU insoles plus a curved arch, a tongue and padded collar for first-class durability and comfort. In these Skechers shoes, you can work with confidence. Regardless of your job type—standing long hours or power commuting—you'll value the blend of the tough-as-rock attitude, sporty style and comfortable fit of this multi-functional Soft Stride work shoe by Skechers.
Crafted in a twist of leather and synthetic materials, the top features a full lace-up panel, a handy pull tab at the heel, a collar and padded tongue. The steel toe provides protection along with its well-textured bumper.
The sole is oil- and slip-resistant, assuring you of safety on greasy and wet surfaces, as well as durability. These shoes are the ideal choice for comfort and safety in the workspace.
This pair of Skechers Soft Stride Work shoes is different from the rest of the Skechers shoes. They last longer and provide more comfort. If you want shoes that stand the test of time, you should consider this pair. Be careful when trying them on: some sizes are bigger than they actually stated.
10. Reebok Work Men’s All Terrain Work
With the Reebok Work Men’s All Terrain work shoes, you can tackle any terrain and face erratic work hazards. As always, the Reebok All-Terrain work shoes are athlete-inspired to ensure you keep fit while working.
The shoe features a static dispersing dual-resistor protection, a lace-up closure, a mesh, a rip-stop fabric top, and a concrete steel toe. The interior is lined with seamless neoprene to keep dirt off your feet.
The steel toe is properly embedded in a memory foam cushion footbed to give you long-lasting comfort. The outsole is slip- and oil-resistant, giving you confidence in spills. This All Men’s terrain pair complies with the ASTM and electrical hazard safety standards, and is ultra lightweight, giving you the sporty feel all day long.
The Reebok brand conveys sporty confidence to all owners. If you’re looking to buy shoes that will feel light like regular running sneakers, the Reebok All Men Terrain is just right for you. However, be sure to buy a size that’s roughly one-inch smaller than your regular size for a perfect fit.
What to Consider when Buying Steel Toe Shoes
It can be a bit confusing to pick a winner among the lot. Here are some of the factors you should consider before paying for those boots.
Obviously, the steel toe comes first. If you work a heavy-duty job—factory, construction— where there is a high probability of getting something heavy crashing down on your feet, you’ll definitely have to buy boots with steel toes. Alternatively, if there’s no danger of things crashing down on your feet, then you might want to stick to soft toes, as steel toes are heavier and would definitely be extra work for you. Consider puncture and slip-resistant boots as more viable options in this case.
Material and Build
Safety shoes are made of various materials and you need to find out the material used to make the boots you want to buy. The material has a lot to do with the weight, durability, and flexibility of the boot. A lightweight boot is preferable if you have to do a lot of walking while at work.
The right heel and sole are equally important, as the bottom of your feet and heels must be protected. Looking out for safety shoes with high puncture resistance will protect your feet from impalement. Hence most shoes include steel, aluminum or Kevlar midsoles for puncture protection and flexibility.
Most safety shoes come with either leather or synthetic welts. Welts are the lining between the upper and lower sole. Shoes with welts tend to last longer, and the degree of durability varies depending on the type of welt used. It’s important to look for shoes with welts for better value and quality.
The durability of a safety boot can be affected by various factors including quality, material and construction type. The quality of the material used to design the shoes also plays a large role; most often, cheaper materials result in shoes with low durability and vice versa.
Brand names don’t indicate how durable a pair of safety boots will be, so the best way to make an informed decision is to read reviews, especially on Amazon.
Shoes with the highest number of bad comments for durability are likely to fall apart in a short time. Durability can also depend on how often you do strenuous jobs that can cause wear and tear. If your job doesn’t require too much, then you can comfortably buy a pair with a significant number of durability complaints and still be satisfied.
Protection is an important feature to look out for before you buy a pair of shoes. How well can the shoes keep your feet safe from electrical hazards, impact, compression, impalement, and extremes of temperature? This is why it’s called a safety shoe, right? So, you should check out for these details in the shoe description before you make a purchase.
Apart from the steel toe safety feature, there are some other safety features to look out for before buying a safety shoe. These features are solely dependent on your work environment. Some of the features to look out for are waterproofing and insulation (for winters and very cold working environments), additional support (such as metatarsal guards), lightweight, abrasion-resistant sole and heel, oil- and slip-resistant sole and heel, comfort, acid resistance, ASTM and electrical hazard safety compliant, and quality brands. Beware of imitation brands that provide features that sound too good to be true. Always double-check for all or some of these features before you make a purchase.
Q. Are steel toe shoes designed to cut off toes?
A. No, steel toes shoes are designed with steel or alloys embedded in the toe region of the shoe. They are made to protect your toes from falling heavy objects, pointed protrusions and compression. The standards for steel toe shoe design cover compression and impact of the steel cap and sole. This makes it safe for your feet and unable to cut your toes.
Q. How long does it take to break-in steel toe shoes?
A. Breaking in steel toe shoes may take as long as a month for some brands or just a few days for others. The length of the break-in time is largely dependent on the material of the shoe, the brand and the number of times you wear it. To break in your steel toe shoes faster, you should wear thick socks for the first few days. You could also try stomping the heels of the boot and stretching out pinch spots with a broomstick.
Q. What's the difference between steel toe and safety toe shoes?
A. Steel toe shoes, also known as safety toe shoes, are durable, sturdy boots made with steel or steel alloys to protect the toe region of the foot from falling objects, compressions and soft puncture. In the past, safety toe shoes were originally made of steel, earning them the name steel toe or steel cap shoes. However, recently, safety toe shoes are now being made with a range of materials, including rubber and aluminum alloy, composite material and carbon fiber. They are usually combined with a mid-sole plate to protect against punctures from beneath the feet.
Regardless of your budget, you should not deprive yourself of the right to safety in a comfortable kit. A decent work boot should keep your feet dry, mold to the shape and comfort of your foot, and provide additional support for tough conditions.
There is no denying it: these safety boots can be quite pricey but taking a bold step to buy them will save you from long hours of endless pain and frustration. All brands may claim to offer the best features and safety, but it’s up to you to seek out the best from the rest.
Our collection lists out top brands trusted for quality and durability. Out of the ten, the Skechers for Work Men's Holdredge Steel Toe Work Shoe tops our list. These boots meet the needs of the pickiest professionals when it comes to safety, comfort, and durability. To crown it all, it is stylish as it fits any professional function without looking too playful or too serious. This pair is definitely worth the buy.