Best Steel Toe Boots

Best Steel Toe Boots

We've listed the the 10 best steel toe boots on the market today.

Because as far as keeping your toes on your feet is concerned, steel toe boots are an essential piece of gear in a workman's kit.

Top Rated Steel Toed Work Boots - 2017

1. Keen Utility Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot

Keen Utility Pittsburgh Steel Toe Boot

Best All Round Steel Toe Boot

Editors Rating

2. Wolverine Men's W04821 Buccaneer Work Boot

Wolverine Men's W04821 Buccaneer Waterproof Steel Toed Work Boot

Most Comfortable Steel Toe Boot

Editors Rating

3. Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot

Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot

Best Bang For Buck Steel Toe Boot

Editors Rating

1. Keen Utility Pittsburgh Steel Toe Boot

Keen Utility Pittsburgh Steel Toe Boot
Comfort
100%
Durability
95%
Features
100%

The Keen Utility Pittsburgh comes with a lot of features.

This is a waterproof work boot with a safety rated steel toe to protect your feet. The Pittsburgh is also safety rated for electrical hazards and comes with a slip and oil resistant non marking rubber out-sole.

The upper is made of a tough, water resistant Nubuck leather with a gusseted tongue to keep out any unwanted debris.

The tongue and collar area of the boot comes with plush cushioning as well as a removable insole that you can replace with your own orthotic.

The Keen Utility Pittsburgh comes with a five-piece outsold system with a full-footed rubber shank, all the way from heel to the toe. This system gives the boot the extreme stiffness required to support your foot.

The solid underfoot support will reduce potential injuries by keeping your foot on a even plain.

The mid-sole on the Pittsburgh has an EVA strip built into the heel for additional cushioning and comfort. Whereas the forefoot is made of polyurethane, which makes the Pittsburgh's mid-sole that much more durable.

The Keen Utility Pittsburgh also comes in a non-steel toed version can be used as a capable dry hiking boot. Both versions come with a rubber cap over the front of the boot, that protects the leather when you work on your knees.

Who is this boot for?

The Keen Utility Pittsburgh is waterproof and meets ASTM and Electrical Hazard Safety standards.

It is a great choice for those of you looking for an all-round boot.

2. Wolverine Men's W04821 Buccaneer Work Boot

Wolverine Men's W04821 Buccaneer Waterproof Steel Toed Work Boot
Comfort
100%
Durability
95%
Features
95%

The Wolverine Bucaneer W04821 are a steel toed work boot that are extremely flexible and comfortable.

The sole of the bucaneer has been built to absorb shock and return energy. This ensures that you are able to stand long hours without being fatigued.

The lightweight rubber out-sole is slip, oil and abrasion resistant and built to last. We all know that the comfort level of Wolverine boots speak for themselves and the Wolverine Buccaneer is no less.

The lightweight Wolverine welt lets this boot flex, almost like a lightweight athletic shoe. While lightweight nylon shanks offer support when standing all day.

All of this comes packaged in a soft, waterproof leather upper.

Wolverine's Multishox system includes independent compression pads and removable cushioning gel insoles that absorb and distribute shock evenly.

The collar and tongue are padded and add comfort to the ankle area. The inside of the boot has a mesh lining that wicks away moisture, keeping your feet dry.

Who is this boot for?

The Wolverine Buccaneer is the one of the most comfortable steel toe boots for standing all day. It is extremely lightweight, waterproof and flexible.

This is one of the best steel toe work boots for those of you who want that do-it-all protection.

3. Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot

Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot
Comfort
95%
Durability
95%
Features
95%

The Second Shift has been in the Caterpillar line-up ever since they started making work boots. And it won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

This is because it is by far the most dependable, durable, value for money boot that you can get on the market today.

Our favorite part about this boot is the fact that they are made in a variety of sizes. From size 5 to 16 and from medium to wide, Caterpillar has the majority of fits covered with this boot.

The sole on the Second Shift is a heavy duty, oil and slip resistant rubber sole. It is wide and made out of a single piece of rubber.

This wide sole is glued to a welt, inspiring confidence for those of you who rough users.

The leather used on the Second Shift is not waterproof, but it is extremely thick and strong.

At this price point, it's nice to see Caterpillar went so far as to add a speed lace system to the Second Shift.

Even though the hooks are bent metal, it will take a lot of pressure to break the flanges. Another nice little bonus is the lace flanges are double riveted making them firmly secure to the tough leather of the boot.

There are a two downsides to this boot, and that is; they come with a polyester lining on the inside. Coupled with the thick leather construction on the outside, means that you will have to open up and dry out this boot by the end of the day.

Another downside is the glued down insole. We are not huge fans of glued down insoles.

But at this price – point the Second Shift more than earns a pass in our book.

And in any case, these boots do run a bit high which leaves more than enough room for a custom orthotic of your choice.

Who is this boot for?

The Second Shift is a solid, affordable work boot whether you are new to the work force or a seasoned vet on the job!

4. Thorogood American Heritage 8 Inch Steel Toe Work Boot

Thorogood American Heritage 8 Inch Steel Toe Work Boot
Comfort
95%
Durability
100%
Features
85%

The Thorogood American Heritage is a classic that has been around a long time. You'd be surprised to know that this boot was called a farm boot back in the day.

Now the American Heritage is being used by electricians, pipe fitters, carpenters, tile setters and anyone who wants a comfortable work boot.

Being a spring, summer and fall weather boot, the American Heritage is not a good boot for the winter. There is no insulation on this boot (other than leather and the sole) to protect your feet from the cold.

The leather on this boot is of the highest quality. While the collar is finished off exceptionally well, and is extremely soft and comfortable to the touch.

In the past, Thorogood had a problem with the sole on this boot getting worn out too quickly. They've now essentially doubled the life of the boot by improving the materials on the sole.

Aesthetically, this is a beautiful boot. It has classic styling and a quality finish.

The insole on this boot is removable, but Thorogood does such a good job with their insoles, that you wouldn't want to take these off.

Who is this boot for?

This boot if for those of you who want a long lasting, beautifully crafted, American-made classic.

This is an exceptionally good looking steel toe work boot that is comfortable to wear.

5. Irish Setter Men's 83608 6" Steel Toe Work Boot

Irish Setter Men's 83608 6'' Steel Toe Work Boot
Comfort
100%
Durability
100%
Features
80%

The Irish Setter Work Boot comes with a full grain leather upper with a triple stitched construction for added durability. The traditional system leads to the collar with a good amount of padding around the collar, which comes with a handy pull tag at the top.

The inside of the shoe comes with a removable, polyurathane foot bed, that offers long lasting comfort and support.

The sole has a Goodyear welt construction, which means they are resoleable. The EVA midsole offers excellent shock absorption, while the sturdy rubber outsole at the bottom is slip, oil, abrasion and heat resistant.

These boots are also meet ASTM safety standards for Electrical Hazard.

Who is this boot for?

The Irish Setter Work Boot is a great option for those of you who work on surfaces that hold a lot of heat.

6. Timberland PRO Men's 6" Rigmaster XT Steel-Toe Waterproof Work Boot

Timberland PRO Men's 6 Inch Rigmaster XT Steel-Toe Waterproof Work Boot
Comfort
90%
Durability
95%
Features
95%

These 6 inch work boots from Timberland have a really durable construction and come with a full – grain leather upper.

The upper is paired with a waterproof membrane on the inside that keeps the wet elements out.

What is unique about this boot is the Everguard leather material on the top. This is anti-abrasive leather that will keep your feet protected.

The steel safety toe in the front of the boot meets ASTM and EH safety standards.

The sole is attached to the upper by a durable Goodyear welt, ensuring a long wear in these boots.

The sole is is built from a rubber vamp that is extremely durable and heat resistant.

The collar of the Timberland PRO Rigmaster XT is padded well, and comes with an anti microbial lining on the inside.

A nice touch to the back of the boot is the unique pull-on feature for ease of entry.

Our only gripe with the boot is we wish there was more padding on the tongue.

Who is this boot for?

The Rigmaster's heat resistant, Goodyear welt construction sole last really long.

This is a great boot for those of you who are rough users and work on wet slippery environments.

7. Timberland PRO Men's Direct Attach Six Inch Steel-Toe Boot

Timberland PRO Men's Direct Attach Six Inch Waterproof Insulated Steel-Toe Safety Boot
Comfort
90%
Durability
95%
Features
90%

These Timberland PRO Direct Attach is an icon of a work boot.

These boots have been all over the place. From construction sites to television, this is a well known work boot classic.

This boot has been the first work boot for many a generation and for good reason. Many companies have tried to make replicas of this upper with a direct attach sole and have failed.

The comfort, feedback and style of these boots has not been replicated by any other company to this day.

These Timberland PRO Direct Attach is an icon of a work boot.

These boots have been all over the place. From construction sites to television, this is a well known work boot classic.

This boot has been the first work boot for many a generation and for good reason. Many companies have tried to make replicas of this upper with a direct attach sole and have failed.

The comfort, feedback and style of these boots has not been replicated by any other company to this day.

Who is this boot for?

The Timberland PRO Direct Attach is a icon and can be worn by anyone looking for a cold weather steel toed work boot.

8. Caterpillar Diagnostic Hi Steel Toe Waterproof Insulated Safety Work Boot

Caterpillar Diagnostic Hi Steel Toe Waterproof Steel Toed Safety Work Boot
Comfort
95%
Durability
90%
Features
80%

The Caterpillar Diagnostic is designed for a full range of different occupations. This was the first boot designed by Caterpillar with their Ergo design technology.

Ergo by CAT is all about anatomically correct and bio-mechanically considerate design. They start with a contour last, which means the form of this foot mimics the natural curves and surfaces of the foot.

The misdole and the sock liner on the diagnostic supports and naturally cradles the bottom of your foot giving this shoe an extremely supported, comfortable ride.

The outsole is made of full length rubber with a lug deisgn. The outsole of this shoe is extremely grippy and is slip resistant on smoother surfaces. The midsole is made of a full length abrasion resistant material that lends strength and durability to this work boot.

Apart from being contoured in the design, the sock liner on this boot is made of a comfortable dual density EVA. This not only make the ride more comfortable, but is also removable and replaceable for your own orthotics.

The upper of this shoe is made of a sturdy full grain leather and comes with a molded rubber toe piece, that provides extra protection when kicking or kneeling on the floor.

The outsole is rated for EH slip and oil resistance. The welt design of the outsole offers amazing durability to this shoe.

Additional features include generous padding around the ankle area as well as the tongue. The shaft also hosts extra ankle - specific padding, that helps with ankle protection.

The lacing on this boot comes with CAT metal hardware and is extremely durable as well.

The boot is fully gusseted and waterproof and comes with 200 grams of insulation to keep your feet warm on those cold days.

Who is this boot for?

The Caterpillar Diagnostic Hi, is an excellent all round cold weather boot. It is EH, slip and oil resistant and extremely well padded and cushioned.

The rubber guard up front adds protection when kneeling, while the welted design offers excellent durability.

This is one of those boots that can be used by a full range of occupations.

9. Timberland Pro Pitboss 6 Inch Steel Toed Work Boot

Timberland Pro Pitboss 6 Inch Steel Toed Work Boot
Comfort
85%
Durability
95%
Features
80%

The Timberland PRO Pitboss is one of those classic, heavy tanks of a boot that lasts really long.

The out-sole is dual density and made from a combination of polyurethane for the mid-sole and hard rubber at the out-sole. This imparts a good mix of both comfort and durability. It is thick, heavy, abrasion resistant sole that will last for years.

The leather used on the upper is also extremely thick and can stand the test of time, if taken care of.

Now, this isn't a waterproof work boot, but if you treat this boot with oil, it will do an exceptional job at repelling water.

All the hardware used for the eyelets and speed laces are made from durable metal. The insole is removable and gets the job done.

Who is this boot for?

Another great choice for those of you looking for a steel toe boot that lasts long and won't break the bank.

10. Timberland PRO Men's Endurance 6 inch Puncture Resistant Steel Toe Work Boot

Timberland PRO Men's Endurance 6 inch Puncture Resistant Steel Toe Work Boot
Comfort
95%
Fit
95%
Arch Support
100%

The Timberland Endurance safety toe is one of those shoes that walks the fence in terms of comfort and durability.

The bottom of the shoe is built from puncture-resistant rubber that is strong, durable and offers a good level of comfort.

The sole is not only oil and slip resistant, but is also non-marking. It also hosts a ladder locking heel that allows you to grip the ladder rung while climbing.

The rubber cap protects the safety toe of the shoe, which is great if you do a lot of work on your knees.

The Timberland Endurance features an all-metal lacing system with a unique feature. The top two eyelits can be run conventionally, or as a speed lace when in a hurry.

Behind, the boot features a rubber heel, while the full grain leather upper features triple stitching for added durability.

The boot also features a padded collar with antimicrobial lining. This boot meets ASTM standards for electrical hazard. Also comes with anti fatigue insole.

Who is this boot for?

This is a great boot for those working around electrical circuits.

The ladder-locking heel allows for grip while climbing while the rubber cap on the toe guards the boot while kneeling.

Toe Caps Explained

Steel vs Composite vs Aluminum Caps

The safety toes of the boots listed on this website follow and comply with the EN12568S standard. Testing such boots basically involves dropping a big heavy weight onto the toe cap to see if it can take the stress.

Toe caps come in various shapes and sizes, the three types of toe caps are:

1. Steel Toe Cap

These toe caps are (as the name suggests) made of steel. Steel toe caps are fairly heavy due to the properties of steel itself.

Other than their weight, another downside to steel toe caps are that they cant be worn in places where there are electrical hazards and can be an inconvenience around metal detectors and heavy magnets as well.

2. Aluminium toe cap

The Aluminium toe cap is lighter in weight to steel toe caps and provide ample amounts of safety as well.

There are multiple boots with aluminium toe caps that conform to the EN12568S standards. An aluminium toe cap that conforms to the EN12568S standards will have the same strength of a steel toe cap that conforms to the same standards.

3. Composite Toe Caps

Composite toe caps are by far the lightest of the three toe caps and can also conform to the same EN12568S or ANSI standards as the rest.

These toe caps can be made from non – metallic materials such as Kevlar, rubber, plastic, carbon, fiberglass or a combination of the same.

Composite toe caps also don't steal heat away from the foot and thus are better used in cold weather boots.

The not so fashionable history of steel toe work boots and how things have changed

In the early days, when machinery was scarce, most heavy lifting was done by factory workers. In the process, these heavy objects got dropped, feet were injured and toes got smashed.

Fortunately someone invented the safety boot.

These newly invented boots had steel toes that were proven to withstand accidents on the factory floor.

Factory owners embraced this "new technology" and even subsidized the price in order to make it easy for their workers to buy them. After all, a healthy worker is a good worker.

Although, the factory owners started to recognize a trend. Many of the workers did buy the newly invented shoes, but very few actually wore them.

This made no sense. As the safety benefits of these boots had be demonstrated time and time again. There was no logical reason for the workers not to wear the shoes, this was puzzling.

The problem wasn't so much that the shoes weren't doing their job, it was more so that they just looked different. The humble safety boot marked it's wearer with a low status badge that many families found shameful.

Work boots have since come a long way in the way they look, and using stigma as an excuse is no longer viable. In fact wearing safety boots is now mainstream. While, the good old safety boot has become a fashion icon.

An interesting view on how things have changed over the years.

Steel toe work boot technology has also changed since its first design.

The boots are lighter weight, more comfortable, more durable and protect in various hazardous environments and weather conditions.

Why wear a safety boot and what to look for when buying?

Injuries to the feet can be prevented by wearing the right type of safety footwear. Ill fitting boots can lead to corns, calluses, bunions and ingrown toenails. Anyone who has had any of those problems, knows how painful they can be.

The discomfort caused by these injuries can affect your mobility and safety.

Injuries resulting from falling, rolling or cutting objects can be quite severe.

Safety footwear should suit the specific needs of your workplace and comply to international safety standards.

For example:

ASTM is an international standard development organisation that has been around since 1898. It was started when railroads were being developed all across the United States. ASTM developed standards for the type of steel that was being used in the railroads.

Safety footwear also protects from penetration in the sole and upper, explosions and electrical hazards, contact with chemicals, heat and molten metals as well as slipping.

Other things to consider when buying a safety boot are the moisture conditions in your workplace and whether you need anti-static. If that is the case, you can look for a boot that is waterproof and/or anti-static.

Conclusion

The best steel toe boots are lightweight, comfortable, durable and provide ample protection depending on your work environment.

We've chosen only the best all round steel toe work boots that fit all the aforementioned criteria for most job descriptions and job sites.

We urge you to read our boot fitting guide so you can find the best fitting work boot for your foot.

Because a good steel toe boot should protect and last you for a while to come.

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