Pixel Tracking

Which is Better, Steel Toe or Composite Toe Boots? | Safety Boots NZ

Date: 10-12-2021

A pair of safety shoes worn by a man as he walks downstairs.

Which is Better, Steel Toe or Composite Toe Boots? 

Safety boots are crucial work gear for those working in heavy industries and hazardous environments. Unlike your regular shoes, this protective footwear can potentially save your life and prevent accidents while on the job. If you have been wanting to buy your first pair, you might have encountered this common question online: which is better, steel toe or composite toe boots? This blog will help you find the answer.


The Differences Between Steel Toe and Composite Toe Safety Boots 

There are key differences between the features of steel caps and composite toes in terms of materials, level of protection, overall feel and fitting, durability, and other relevant factors.



The most significant difference between a pair of steel toes and composite cap safety boots is their material. Steel toes are the traditional, industry-proven metallic safety shoes that have been protecting heavy industry workers for decades. Composite toes, its modern counterpart, use strong synthetic materials or carbon fibre. 



While steel caps and composite toes both provide the needed safety for light and heavy industrial work, experts agree that in terms of protection, steel cap boots are the winner. Composite caps can offer the same level of protection, but it means using a thicker material. This could make the boots appear larger and could change the fit and feel of the shoes. 



Weight-wise, composite toes are a favourite because of their lightness since they’re made from tough carbon fibre or other durable synthetic materials. Steel toes, from its name, use steel and other alloys as the main toe materials. This makes the shoes feel heavier to wear.



While steel toes lose in the lightness department, their weight and material provide a major advantage: durability. Given its robust, metallic property, a pair of steel toe safety boots can last for years even after experiencing multiple accidents or impacts. Composite toes, on the other hand, decrease in durability after an accident. 



In terms of style, steel toes offer more variations because steel, as a metal, can be shaped into different profiles, without compromising its quality and durability. Composite boots don’t have the same freedom since the durability and level of protection that they offer rely on their thickness and design. 



When it comes to good fit and comfort, composite safety footwear is a clear winner thanks to its light and soft material. This material is a common option for ladies safety work boots. Steel toes can be less comfortable to wear, but it still does its job well, as pointed out in the previous sections.


Types of Hazards 

Hazardous work environments require workers to wear protective footwear because of the risks present on-site. Composite toes are a preferred option for electrical hazard site workers because of their non-conductivity. Composite toes don’t conduct heat and cold, so they’re ideal in extreme temperatures.


Steel toes, on the other hand, conduct cold and heat. While some types of steel toe boots do not conduct electricity and have passed industry-certified electrical hazard tests, make sure to check with your protective shoe dealer before buying your steel cap shoes. Non-conductive steel boots are enclosed in leather, rubber, or other types of insulators. Steel cap gumboots in NZ are a perfect example of this.


Both composite and steel boots cap boots offer slip-proof and chemical-resistant soles.



Steel toes can have a disadvantage, especially if your job site or building requires you to pass a metal detector every day. The non-metallic property of composite toe boots lets you pass through security without worries. However, some manufacturers include a steel shank to composite cap shoes, so it’s wise to check the description and product information.



Which Protective Footwear Is Better for You? 

To answer the question of, “which is better, steel toe or composite?” you must look at the specific requirements of your job and your work environment. After reading the differences between steel caps and composite caps, it should be clear which protective footwear is best for you.


Safety Boots offers high-quality protective footwear that fits your needs! 

If you need help exploring your safety boots options or want to know more about how these shoes can provide protection, safety, and comfort, Safety Boots NZ is here to answer your questions. Contact us and we’ll make sure you get the best quality safety footwear that’s perfect for the job!