The Right Size of Safety toe Work Shoes and Boots

This post was last updated on November 18th, 2020 at 05:48 pm

In Safety shoes, Safety Boots, Occupational or Work shoes : Size does matter.

Type of profession, type of job = type of size

Good shoes are essential for anyone whose job involves standing or moving around a lot.

STEEL TOE WORK BOOTS / COMPOSITE TOE WORK BOOTS

Safety toe Work Shoes and Boots come in many versions, each with an impact on the right size and comfort. It all starts with knowing your size. How to measure your feet is handled here, and the importance of width is handled in this post.
If you plan to buy safety toe work boots, it is important not just to know about safety footwear codes and standards, but also to understand the materials they are made from.

You will see Safety toe Work Shoes and Boots with steel toe caps in their specifications while others have composite toe caps. Strange because both materials have the same purpose. A protective toe cap made according to European or ASTM standard will protect the feet from impact, regardless of the material.

But then what exactly is the difference between steel toe work boots and composite toe work boots, and what could be your best choice? Understanding the differences between steel toe work boots and composite toe work boots means that you can make a confident and correct purchase for your work activities.

With all the differences you should know about steel toe work boots and composite toe work boots, this list will help you cut the knot!

THE DIFFERENCE IN STEEL AND COMPOSITE TOE CAPS

STEEL TOE CAP
Made from steel only
Used since the 1930s and steel toe caps are still very popular
Naturally stronger than composite toe caps, a thinner layer is used in the work boots to reach the same strength as a composite toe
Cheaper compared to composite toe work boots
Conducting cold, heat, and electricity
COMPOSITE TOE CAP
Made from non-metal materials such as fiberglass, carbon fiber, or plastics
Gaining popularity due to several benefits in comfort
Lighter compared to a steel toe, reducing stress and fatigue on the legs and joints throughout long workdays
Mostly used in a higher quality- and price range of safety toe work boots
Not conducting heat or cold in extreme temperatures, for extra comfort
More thick and bulky compared to steel toe work boots.
Metal-free work boots, practical when working in electrical hazardous environments, or workplaces with metal detectors such as courts, airports, …
ALLOY TOE CAP (ALUMINIUM or ALUMINUM TOE CAP)
Made from non-metal materials such as fiberglass, carbon fiber, or plastics
Gaining popularity due to several benefits in comfort
Lighter compared to a steel toe, reducing stress and fatigue on the legs and joints throughout long workdays
Mostly used in a higher quality- and price range of safety toe work boots
Not conducting heat or cold in extreme temperatures, for extra comfort
More thick and bulky compared to steel toe work boots. Nanocarbon toe caps are a solution for the dimensional problems, as they are very lightweight and thin toe caps.
Metal-free work boots, practical when working in electrical hazardous environments, or workplaces with metal detectors such as courts, airports, …
NANOCARBON TOE CAP (CARBON TOE CAP)
Made from non-metal materials such as fiberglass, carbon fiber, or plastics
Gaining popularity due to several benefits in comfort
Lighter compared to a steel toe, reducing stress and fatigue on the legs and joints throughout long workdays
Mostly used in a higher quality- and price range of safety toe work boots
Not conducting heat or cold in extreme temperatures, for extra comfort
More thick and bulky compared to steel toe work boots. Nanocarbon toe caps are a solution for the dimensional problems, as they are very lightweight and thin toe caps.
Metal-free work boots, practical when working in electrical hazardous environments, or workplaces with metal detectors such as courts, airports, …

How should my work boots fit?

We make it easy for you

In any job where work boots are part of your uniform, getting the perfect fit is essential. The consequences of wearing an ill-fitting work boot day in and day out can be near catastrophic to your health: we’re talking back pain, foot pain, ankle pain, knee pain and more! Instead of risking your health and wellbeing in a cheap and ill-fitting work boot, make sure your boots are perfectly fitted from the start. Here’s how to find your perfect fit:

1. Begin with the right socks. We recommend wearing Socks because they are designed to reduce bulk, improve circulation and allow your foot to breathe, unlike moisture-absorbing cotton socks.

2. Always try on both boots at the same time. If there is anything keeping your feet from moving freely (like if the boots are tied together at the laces) then untie them so your legs can move independently and you can walk at a natural stride.

3. While your boots are on, try walking, hopping, doing knee raises, standing in place, and sprinting (just try not to knock over store employees as you do so). If you’re trying the boots on in the comfort of your own home, you’ll have an easier time of testing the boots out without feeling silly.

4. When you walk:

  • Your heel should not come up out of the boot or rub against the back
  • Your toes should have about an inch of room in front of them at all times
  • The sides of your feet should not feel painful pressure
  • Your toes should not slide forward or hit the end of the boot

5. Slowly roll your ankle and stand on the sides of your feet to test the boot’s ankle support.

6. Check that the tongue, interior stitching and any other pieces of the boot do not chafe or dig into your foot.

7. Pull your feet out of your boots to check for red spots. Red spots indicate places where the boot has been rubbing or chafing against your feet and may point to potential issues in the future where rubbing can get worse and blisters can appear.

8. Once you find a pair of well-fitting work boots, lace them up in a Heel Lock pattern to keep your feet extra secure and help prevent blisters. This special boot lacing pattern relieves pressure on the front of your foot while making sure your heel stays in place and your ankle is properly supported. It can also be used on running shoes and hiking boots to prevent similar issues from happening.

Special Notes

1. If you have wide feet, do not try to fit your foot into a boot that is too narrow for your foot. You should also not try to size up in regular boot sizes, because even if larger boots fit the width of your foot, the boot will be too long and will cause blisters, chafing and heel slippage. Instead, try on boots that naturally come in wide sizes like ChippewaRocky and Wolverine.

2. If your feet are two different sizes, you can choose to buy two pairs of boots in the sizes you need, or buy a pair of boots to fit your larger foot, and use a heel insert in the shoe for your smaller foot.

The picture in this post is the Steelblue Argyle Zip model

Comfort Size Charts, Fitting, Safety Shoes, Shoe Size Chart, Size Guide

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