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Composite vs Steel-Toe Work Boots

By Dimi | Tips

work boots

If you’re in a line of work where you’re around nails, glass, rubble or heavy equipment, it’s a good idea to invest in a good pair of work boots. These will help keep your feet safe in case of an accident. But how do you decide between composite work boots and steel-toe work boots? The answer largely depends on what industry you work in, as well as personal preferences.

Both composite and steel-toe work boots are approved by OHSA, which means both options are guaranteed to protect your feet against impacts and electrical hazards. However, there are some key differences between composite and steel-toe work boots. Read on to learn more and see which kind is best for you.

About Composite Work Boots

Composite work boots are great if you need a moderate level of protection. They pass all standards, but they can’t take as much weight as a steel-toe work boot.

Here are a few more facts about composite work boots:

  • Relatively new (much newer than steel-toe work boots)
  • Contain no metal (mostly made out of plastic, fiberglass, carbon fibre and rubbers)
  • Lightweight (30% lighter than than steel-toe work boots)
  • Won’t set off metal detectors (which is great for nuclear workers, security personnel and airport workers)
  • Provides great insulation in cold climates (typically making composite boots better for outdoor work)
  • Protection from punctures is generally not as good as steel-toe work boots
  • Usually more expensive than steel-toe work boots
  • Much better electrical resistance than steel-toe work boots (which is great if you’re regularly around live wires)

About Steel-Toe Work Boots

Steel-toe work boots give maximum protection from any falling objects and equipment like chainsaws and grinders.

Here are a few more facts about steel-toe work boots:

  • Tried and true (they’ve been protecting workers’ feet for many years)
  • Made with a super-tough piece of steel covering the toes (so they won’t get crushed if something falls on them)
  • Offer puncture protection
  • Shatter-proof
  • Usually less expensive than composite work boots
  • Relatively heavy
  • Poor insulation in cold climates
  • Will set off metal detectors
  • Available in many toe styles
  • Can handle more straight impact and protection resistance than composite work boots

Which Type of Work Boot is Right For You?

When deciding between composite and steel-toe work boots, the type that’s best for you really depends on your job and personal preferences.

Think about these questions: Do you go through metal detectors often? How dangerous are your responsibilities? How heavy is the equipment around you that could fall on your feet? Do you need moderate or maximum protection? Do you work outside often? Answering these questions can help you decide between composite and steel-toe work boots.

One thing’s for sure: Both options will protect your feet on the job, so make the decision that’s best for you!

image credit: CreativeCommons license Flickr/juan torres

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