What Are Composite Toe Work Boots?
In today’s increasing importance of work safety, anyone working in construction, welding, manufacturing, and many other intense labor professions. Have likely heard of Steel-Toe work boots. It makes perfect sense too, nobody wants to have their toes crushed by the heavy object or machinery that they’re working with. While there are specific companies and professions that specifically require steel-toe work boots, there are others that give you the option of choosing between steel-toe work boots and composite-toe work boots. Otherwise known as composite cap boots. If you’ve landed yourself on this particular piece of content, odds are that you’re wondering exactly what a composite cap or composite toe work boot is. We’re going to break it down from material, comfortability, pros, cons, and hopefully anything else you can think of.
What is a Composite-toe boot?
To start, both steel-toe work boots and composite-toe work boots are considered to be safety work boots because of an insert at the toe of the boot called a toe-cap. Now, composite-toe boots are non-metallic protective toe caps that are made up of plastic, carbon fiber, Kevlar, or fiberglass. Because the composite-toe caps are made of a non-metallic material, they are light-weight, undetectable by metal-detectors, and are a much better insulator of heat than steel-toe boots.
What about safety?
While there may be concern of the level of safety from the composite-cap in work boots, there is a significant standard established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (or ASTM) before any work boot can be considered a safety boot. Standards relevant to protective toe caps include ASTM F2412 & ASTM F2413, the combined standards undergo rigorous testing for impact and compression.
In other words as long as your work boot is ASTM-compliant, you’re in good hands when it comes to your workwear.
What about comfortability? One of the biggest reasons people are switching to composite-toe work boots, is because of it’s supreme comfortability. A steel-toe work boot weighs as much as 2 pounds heavier than composite-toe cap work boots. Now, that doesn’t sound like much but if you’re going to be on your feet for 8 hours, it will make a significant difference, especially if you plan on clocking overtime.
Other than the obvious weight difference, another significant factor when it comes to comfortability, is the heat insulation. If you’re someone who works outside during the cold of winter and you wear steel-toe boots, then you know those boots offer zero insulation. Composite-toe work boots on the other hand, use materials that are far better insulators of heat than steel, making for a far more comfortable work environment during the winter.
What about the price?
You’ll be happy to know that composite-cap work boots are typically more affordable than it’s steel-toe alternative. As a matter of fact, we have plenty of composite-toe work boots available at Crescent Supply. Have a look at our boot collection for yourself.
We’ve talked about a few of the pros when it comes to composite-toe work boots, let’s quickly list them off.
- Composite-Cap boots meet ASTM standards.
- Composite-Cap boots are typically more affordable than steel-toe boots
- Composite-Cap boots are far superior than steel-toe work boots when it comes to comfortability
- Composite-Cap boots do not set off metal detectors. This pro mainly depends on where you work. If you don’t work at a place where you are required to pass through metal detectors on a daily basis, then this one might not be a big deal to you.
Of course, with so many pros, there are likely to be cons. With the debate of steel-toe work boots vs. composite-toe work boots, it is no different.
- While Composite-Toe Boots meet ASTM standards, Steel-Toe work boots are still able to withstand more weight.
- There is a reason that composite-toe work boots are typically more affordable than it’s steel-toe alternative. That’s because the composite-cap weakens after so many impacts. Additionally, the entire boot may need to be replaced in the unlikely but completely possible event of the composite-cap shattering
We have seen both pros and cons of a composite-toe work boot, and we have seen the cons. While the pros sound incredible, especially the level of comfortability, you must take your environment into consideration. If heavy objects are frequently being lifted overhead or if your employer requires steel-toe boots, then as unfortunate as it is, you may be better off with steel-toe work boots. However, if your work environment permits composite-cap boots, you work outdoors in the cold of winter, and there isn’t a high likelihood of frequent heavy impact, then perhaps a composite-toe work boot would be perfect for you!
At the end of the day only you can decide which is best for you, we’re just here to give you the information necessary for you to make your decision.