The 10 Best Steel Toe Shoes Reviewed in 2020
If you work in industrial companies or your daily routine involves walking around sharp and dangerous objects, you are a candidate for steel toe boots.
The best steel toe shoes can protect you against falling objects, sharp items, heavy gear and forklifts. Some companies will require you to own at least a pair of steel toe safety kicks that are compliant with regulatory bodies. If this sounds like your situation right now, then you've come to the best place.
We have rounded up the right safety shoes that 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.
If you are short on time, let's introduce you to our top pick: KEEN Utility Men's Atlanta Cool Work Shoe. This shoe has a robust design and sports so many premium features. Alright, let's take a closer look at all the worthwhile options.
Best Steel Toe Shoes
KEEN Utility Men's Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe
Skechers for Work Men's Holdredge Steel Toe Work Shoe
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 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
Here are some top recommendations as voted by safety shoe enthusiasts and previous buyers:
1. 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 front is designed with extra space to let your feet breathe; this single feature puts this pair in the top position on this list.
The outsole sports a serious tractioned outsole that prevents grease and oil slips, thus keeping you safe from workplace hazards. It conforms to the ASTM and other approved standards. Its design makes cleaning easy.
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. This is a kick whose footbed offers stunning arch support for long hours of use. It also incorporates a CleanSport NXT design for odor management.
Last but not the least, the shoe is waterproof, rugged, and ready for the turmoil you would be going through. The stitching is impeccable and the shoe will definitely live long.
If you are here for a safety shoe that doesn't scream 'for industrial use,' you will love KEEN Utility Men's Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe. It can handle so many events and still looks like an everyday walking shoe.
2. Skechers for Work Men's Holdredge Steel Toe Work Shoe
Skechers for Work Men's Holdredge are safety shoes that are tough, sporty, and can go anywhere with you. Aside from the safety and slip-resistant sole, this oxford footwear provides comfort and cushioning to women and men working on their feet for long hours.
Don't be fooled by the almost lackluster design: Skechers has built into these shoes a tried and true steel toe safety that exceeds several ASTM regulations for impact and compression.
Combining sporty aesthetics and safety, Skechers Holdredge Steel Toe also includes an invaluable quality: they are ultra-lightweight, making them just as good as the best Skechers walking shoes for all-day walking. The inside is lined with memory foam to top it all off to give you a comfortable feel. Many workers rely on the Skechers brand for safety, durability, and style, and it keeps exceeding expectations.
The Sportsly editorial team names it as the most comfortable and lightweight safety shoes available in the market today. If you are after a comforting pair, most certainly, this is your pick.
This pair can go anywhere with you, useful 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.
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. This shoe was made with hard-working folks like you in mind to provide comfort and cushioning balance that you need for a tough workday.
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.
New Balance Men's MID627 Steel-Toe Work Shoe has a steel toe that is second-to-none and protects your toes as you go about your business. The sporty looks are a nice addition for casual events and usual daily walks to butter it all up.
In a bid to design an athletic-looking steel toe work shoe, the New Balance brand came up with the MID627 work shoe. It gets the job done in tough environments despite the sporty appeal. This could be a great replacement for your bulky steel toe work boots.
4. Caterpillar Men's Brode Steel-Toe Work Shoe
Don't be fooled by the sporty appearances. Caterpillar Men's Brode steel toe work shoe resembles a sneaker but protects your foot like any other work shoe. Its adherence to safety standards shows that Caterpillar will always be on the lookout for your safety.
This Brode shoe features a steel toe front, slip-resistant rubber outsole, and leader exterior covering. This work shoe will sufficiently shield you from the sharp concrete, electrical leakage, grease, and oil spills with highly-rated compression and impact standards.
You don't need to worry about comfort and weight because these two are incorporated into this pair. The Nylex footbed works with molded EVA sockliner for a plush feel. A nylon mesh lining is added to allow your feet to breathe in hot temperatures.
Caterpillar Men's Brode Steel-Toe Work Shoe exceeds the ASTM standards and has a high electrical rating. Despite its work shoe signature, the design is pretty lightweight and durable for individuals who create value while in their workplaces.
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 shoe could be for you.
5. Timberland PRO Men's Titan Safety Toe Oxford
Timberland PRO Men’s Titan safety toe Oxford shoe is a work boot that you can trust. It’s built with safety and reliability in mind. Its remarkable features help working-class professionals carry out their daily duties.
Timberland Pro Titan ranks high when it comes to resilience, protection, and comfort. That is why it is among the top choices. Its oxford styling can make it easily pass your company requirements for an official not-too-fancy work safety shoe.
Timberland Pro Titan is made of pliable leather that beats all other designs. Its steel toe is also lightweight, so it doesn’t feel like you are carrying tons of stuff on your feet. As you would expect, the outsole quality is sturdy and resistant to oil, abrasions, skidding, and heat.
Titan has a sewn-in mesh with anti-microbial properties to ward off bacteria and fungi that cause sore feet. The steel toe is wide, giving your toes plenty of room to breathe and play around.
Working professionals trust Timberland to deliver excellent 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 productive and joyful.
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 this flatfoot sneaker knows no bounds. The brown cascade design is great for weekends and can easily match any protective workwear. Keen stands for quality and style, and this is conveyed in Keen Destin.
Its features include a removable insole available in a variety of sizes and a synthetic sole. The blend of leather and textile overlays gives it a fair degree of waterproofing for wet environments. The steel toes are both left and right asymmetrical, and the outsole is oil- and slip-resistant for reassuring traction.
The EVA footbed provides arch support in addition to the 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.
The shoe is extremely lightweight, breathable, durable, and allows for sufficient air circulation. There is plenty of room for feet splaying, unlike other narrow shoe types.
Keen Destin is for people who grew up wearing the likes of Chucks and Adidas Stan Smith tennis shoes. Keen Destin could make your work days better if you dig minimalist shoes that give you a lightweight steel toe protection.
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. The sublite technology is the one responsible for this sneaker's lightweight feel. There are no exposed metals. Just a cool-looking work sneaker with an ultra-responsive construction.
The foam technology within it is truly generous. This helps to take away the sting of pounding on hard floors every day. Thanks to the webbing tech and medial posts, the shoe improves stability and fits like a glove.
If you are tired of wearing regular safety boots and you want a stylish sporty change, go for the Reebok Work Sublite Work Athletic safety boot. This is a premium shoe 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 hard-working feet. It wants to look like the classic Chuck Taylors, albeit being a little huge to increase the safety layer.
This Static steel toe shoe is tough enough to absorb shock from impact and compression. It complies faultlessly with the ASTM and electrical hazard standards. The abrasion-resistant sole is also oil- and slip-resistant, ensuring maximum protection in oily and slippery workspaces.
Harley-Davidson Static Men's Work Shoe is appealing to those who love flat-foot sneakers. The design is amazing and you won't look like you are from work on your way home.
Harley Davidson Men's Static Steel Toe Shoes minimalistic design is breathtaking, not to mention its light. It is flat to give you the best contact with the ground while working. This is indeed one of a kind work safety shoe that deserves your attention.
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. One of the work-worthy choices is Skechers Soft Stride steel toe work shoe. This sports a leather top, pronounced midsole, and a nicely padded tongue and collar.
Its work-ready design also includes a Removable PU insole, a curved arch bottom, and a massively treaded outsole. Basically, the sole is oil- and slip-resistant, assuring you of safety on greasy and wet surfaces and durability.
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. The front is loaded with a steel protection layer for your toes. Other than that, the material may be tough for longevity but still deliver the soft touch of high-end sneakers.
Skechers Soft Stride Work shoe is different from the ordinary Skechers sneakers that you are used to. This is an uplifting design made with top-level safety of workplace individuals. On top of that, they last way longer while still offering total comfort. Note that some sizes are bigger than what is stated.
10. Reebok Work Men’s All Terrain Work
With the Reebok Work Men’s All Terrain work shoe, you can tackle any terrain and face erratic work hazards. This is an athlete-inspired safety work shoe that delivers both good looks and great performance.
The shoe features a static dispersing dual-resistor protection, a lace-up closure, fabric top, and neoprene lining. The latter keeps dirt off and makes the shoe fit like a glove for improved safety. Its steel front parts are well hidden and don’t get in the way of comfort.
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 outsole is made of rubber with strategically placed lugs for superior workplace traction. You can count on this sneaker to keep you safe on slippery grounds.
The Reebok brand conveys sporty confidence to all owners. If you’re looking to buy shoes that will feel light like regular running sneakers but with additional safety features, the Reebok All Men Terrain is right for you. However, be sure to go a half size down for a perfect fit.
What to Consider when Buying Steel Toe Shoes
If you are buying steel toe shoes, whether for personal use or work purposes, you must consider a few core issues. Here are a few of them: 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 shoes as more viable options in this case.
Tip: those working industrial jobs might be specifically required to purchase steel toe boots that meet regulatory bodies (health organization’s) statutes.
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. These will protect your feet from impalement. This explains why 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.
A safety boot's longevity can be affected by various factors, including quality, material, and construction type. Boots are mostly fashioned from genuine leather and in some instances suede. Synthetics can also be of good or bad quality. But to be on the safe side, stick with leather shoes unless you want something with a sporty appeal.
Construction-wise, steel toes last fairly longer than composite toes ones. There is also the issue Brand. Red Wing, Timberland, Keen and Caterpillar build some of the top quality safety shoes.
But while shopping online, you can't really tell the quality of a shoe. So how do you know? Reviews. Shoes with the highest number of bad comments for durability are likely to be bad. So try to buy options with a rating of 4.2 and above.
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 temperature extremes? This is why it’s called a safety shoe, right? So, you should check out for these details (in the description section) 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 them include 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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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 and sneakers reinforced with steel or 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 wide 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, it would help if you did not deprive yourself of the right to safety in a comfortable kit. A decent work shoe should keep your feet dry, mold to the shape and comfort of your foot, and provide additional support for harsh conditions.
There is no denying it: these safety shoes 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. So if this is your first time to buy safety shoes, this is the perfect place to start. We hope you get what you are looking for. Good luck.