Steel Toe vs Composite Toe

Which style is Right for You? 

When it comes to choosing the right safety footwear, the decision often comes down to two popular options: steel toe and composite toe boots. Both types are designed to protect your toes from being crushed, and both meet the AS 2210:3.2019 standard for general impact protection. But how do you decide which one is the best fit for your needs? Read on as we compare the pros and cons of steel and composite toe boots to help you make an informed decision based on your specific work environment and requirements.

Steel Toe 


- Puncture protection 

- Shatter proof 

Tend to cost less 


- Weighs more 

- Poor insulation in cold climates 

- Sets off metal detectors 

Steel Toe Boots

Composite Toe 


- Lightweight 

- Metal Free 

- Better electrical resistance (when exposed) 

- Does not set of metal detectors, making them airport friendly 

- Great insulation in cold climates 


- Puncture protection not as great 

- Tends to be more expensive 

Composite Toe

It all boils down to a few questions you must ask yourself: 

How often do you walk through metal detectors? If it’s often - choose composite toes. 

How heavy is the equipment your handling? If it’s very heavy, choose steel toes. 

Are there lots of nails or other sharp objects on the worksite? Choose steel toes. 

Do you work in freezing or cold climates or extreme heat (fire)? Composite toes will insulate better. 

Composite toe boots are best suited if you must pass through metal detectors daily, as they won’t set of the detectors like steel toes do. 

Steel toes are best for you if you work in environment’s where there’s a good chance something could puncture your work boot, like a nail, glass, rubble etc. 

Ultimately, the choice between steel toe and composite toe boots depends on your unique needs and work conditions. If you frequently pass through metal detectors or work in extreme temperatures, composite toe boots offer a lightweight, metal-free, and well-insulated option. On the other hand, if you handle heavy equipment or encounter sharp objects like nails, glass, or rubble on the worksite, steel toe boots provide superior puncture protection at a lower cost. Assess your work environment and consider the factors mentioned above to determine the best safety footwear solution for you.