There are different types of safety footwear in the market today. All feature different benefits and advantages. Most companies offer lightweight safety work boots. But what is meant by “lightweight” in this context?
Is it that these boots are light on the foot and easy to move in but only paper-thin material that doesn’t protect your feet, or is it a sturdy leather boot with an extra cushioned sole for shock absorption and comfort plus a puncture-resistant midsole?
The safety shoe industry has grown tremendously in recent years. Not only are there different types of footwear intended for specific jobs but the features and benefits of these products have also increased. Combining protection, support, comfort, and durability with lightweight is no easy task. Manufacturers today claim that you can still get all this in their lightest steel toe boots produced.
Unlike steel toe work boots, a pair of soft toe work boots offer greater flexibility and comfort. The soft toe shoes are ideal for work environments where you don’t need to wear steel toe boots but still require some level of protection against injuries, yet want to feel comfortable at the same time.
A typical example is a working environment found in warehouses or distribution centers that require light-duty apparel with protection from the occasional bumps and falls. It’s not uncommon for employees to have aching feet at the end of a long day due to their choice of footwear, even if they wear soft-toe work boots that claim to be lightweight.
Materials Used In Creating Soft Toe Work Boots
Manufacturers create soft-toe work boots utilizing some of the same materials that are commonly found in lightweight safety shoes. This includes plastic, leather, and some synthetic material. Therefore, it is important to consider this when making a purchase decision so you can get the most value for your money. Here’s a quick list of materials used in creating soft toe work boots:
Synthetic Leather can either be made from recycled material or a man-made one. Manufacturers have been able to create different types of synthetic leather with the desired qualities needed for safe footwear. Compared to other types, this material is considered as the most durable and abrasion-resistant. One big advantage it has over traditional leather is that it doesn’t absorb water and perspiration.
Nubuck and Suede Leathers
These types of leather are considered as “top grain” because the outermost layer or “top grain” has not been sanded or buffed off to remove imperfections. The surface is left smooth and treated with a special coating that resists stains and liquids. This type of leather is often used in making soft-toe work boots because of its durability and comfort.
Aramid Plastic Fiber
This material has different names such as Kevlar, Twaron, Technora, and Tecnifibre. All these fibers were created by DuPont and are made from petroleum by-products. They offer high strength, low weight, chemical resistance and are non-combustible. Many manufacturers use aramid fiber to create toe caps for lightweight safety footwear.
Toe Caps or Safety Toes
A toe cap is molded from plastic or steel and attached to the upper of a boot to protect its wearer against impact injuries, compression, shearing, and puncture. It can be made from different materials, either man-made or natural.
Some light to medium duty soft toe work boots are created using all-natural materials such as leather and cork. Natural materials are strong, durable, pliable, and pleasant to the touch even after extended use. They’re also naturally breathable which provides good insulation against heat and cold. Featuring all these qualities, natural materials are also comfortable, making them perfect for workers who have to be on their feet for hours at a time.
Soft Toe Work Boots Industry Standards
Just like any safety footwear, soft-toe work boots are subject to standards that govern their design, construction and performance. Standards ensure that the people who use these shoes are safe from unnecessary risks especially in places where accidents may occur suddenly.
ASTM has established standards for soft-toe work boots that provide protection against accidental contact with electrical hazards. They include:
- Standard F2413-11 – This standard covers performance requirements and testing methods for rubber insulating footwear systems (including rubber insoles) designed to give protection against incidental contact with live electrical circuits rated over 1000 volts.
- Standard F2413-05 – This standard covers performance requirements and testing methods for shoes or boots designed to give protection against the hazards presented by the accidental contact with electrical circuits while transmitting electricity from a power source to a remote usage point at voltages above 1000 volts, but not exceeding 600 volts (RMS) (Class 00).
- Standard F2413-11 – This standard covers performance requirements and testing methods for shoes or boots designed to give protection against the hazards presented by the accidental contact with electrical circuits while transmitting electricity from a power source to a remote usage point at voltages up to 600 volts (RMS) (Class 0).
ASTM International or The American Society for Testing and Materials is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services. Depending on which country they’re made in, the toe caps of soft toe work boots must comply with one or more of these standards.
Who Uses Soft Toe Work Boots
This type of work boots is popular among workers who have to work with electricity. They need this type of footwear in the same way that anyone else working in jobs where safety is a priority would want protective gear.
Since soft toe work boots are lightweight and flexible, construction crews can easily wear them while performing their tasks which are often outdoors or within areas filled with debris.
A lot of electrical accidents involve contact between a live wire and an uninsulated portion of the human body. Toe caps, which are part of soft toe work boots make sure that the wearer’s feet are insulated against electricity even if he accidentally comes in contact with a live wire.
Heavy Equipment Operators
Operating heavy equipment requires constant vigilance and complete concentration. In the event of a sudden emergency – such as a part failure – it’s imperative that the operator is able to react quickly. By wearing soft-toe work boots, he can do just that without worrying about injuring his feet or getting his toes crushed by the equipment.
Warehouse work is also an occupation involving lots of walking on hard surfaces. Wearing soft-toe work boots makes it easier for the workers to walk long distances or stand for hours without straining their feet or experiencing discomfort.
Benefits Of Soft Toe Work Boots
Aside from the protection they provide, there are other benefits that employees in jobs that require the use of soft toe work boots can enjoy. Here are just some of them:
Soft toe work boots are designed in a way that allows the toes to spread out in order to keep the feet cool and comfortable even in warm weather.
Comfortable And Lightweight
Specially designed to be lightweight, soft-toe work boots distribute the weight of the wearer evenly. This makes them more comfortable to wear all day long regardless of whether you’re using heavy equipment or walking around your warehouse or construction site.
Cushioned For Extra Protection
Soft toe work boots are also designed with cushioning in order to absorb shock and reduce the risk of injuries. While this is mainly beneficial for construction workers who need soft-toe work boots, warehouse workers who spend lots of hours on their feet can still benefit from it.
How To Choose the Right Soft Toe Work Boots
Choosing your soft-toe work boots may not be as easy as you think. There are several factors that can affect your buying decision, including the protection needed, level of comfort desired, and the specific job requirements.
It’s important to know what kind of protection you need because some soft-toe work boots are not as durable or protective as others. This factor will determine the material used in designing the footwear, which is why your choice can be greatly affected by what you will be using your work boots for.
Level of Comfort Required
As mentioned earlier, different tasks require a different level of protection and comfort from your soft-toe work boots. In order to choose the best ones for you, it’s important to know how much comfort you need as opposed to what kind of protection you need from your work boots.
Soft toe work boots are designed in a way that can provide all-day comfort and ultimate protection but they’re not suitable for every job. You need to know what your job requirements are and if soft-toe work boots can fit the bill.
Leading Soft Toe Work Boots Brand List
There are several brands that offer the best soft-toe work boots for various worksites. We’ve narrowed down our list to just feature some of the industry’s leading brands which you can choose from if you’re looking for quality footwear.
Caterpillar Soft Toe Boots
Caterpillar is a well-known brand in the industry for making durable work boots suitable for industrial conditions. Caterpillar soft toe work boots are made using the company’s patented Comfort technology which adapts to your feet, supporting them in every activity you do.
Caterpillar Soft Toe Work Boots Features
- Electrical Hazard
- Slip Resistant
- Static Dissipative
Caterpillar soft toe work boots are available from sizes 3 to 15 with 3 widths to choose from. The brand’s safety shoes are price from $200 to $350. You can check out their safety shoes catalog or visit the nearest store near you if you’re interested in purchasing one.
CAT Homepage: https://www.catfootwear.com/US/en/home
Catfootwear Soft Toe: https://www.catfootwear.com/US/en/soft-toe/
Carhartt Soft Toe Work Boots
Carhartt offers several types of industrial footwear but their soft-toe work boots are some of the most popular. Carhartt soft-toe work boots can provide your feet with unmatched comfort and protection in all types of work conditions and are ideal for use both at home and abroad.
Carhartt Soft Toe Work Boots Features
- Slip Resistant
- Waterproof Breathable
- Sweat Wicking
Carhartt soft toe work boots are available from sizes 8 to 15 with 2 widths to choose from. The brand’s safety shoes are also reasonably priced at $80 to $200.
Carhartt Non-Safety Toe Boots: https://www.carhartt.com/c/non-safety-toe-boots?sortCode=relevance
Wolverine Soft Toe Work Boots
Known for making high-quality safety footwear, Wolverine has developed a line of shoes that are designed to be comfortable and offer the protection you need even when working in construction sites and similar work environments.
Wolverine Soft Toe Work Boots Features
- Eletric Hazard
- Slip-Resistant and more
Wolverine soft toe work boots are available from sizes 7 to 15 with 4 widths to choose from. The brand’s safety shoes are also reasonably priced at $50 to $425.
Wolverine Homepage: https://www.wolverine.com/US/en/home
Wolverine Soft Toe Work Boots: https://www.wolverine.com/US/en/mens-soft-toe-work-boots/#srule=top-rated&start=0&sz=48
Timberland Soft Toe Work Boots
Timberland is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to men’s footwear. Their soft toe work boots can provide all-day comfort and protection, making them suitable for construction sites, manufacturing facilities, and similar environments.
Timberland Soft Toe Work Boots Features
- Electrical Hazard
- 30-day Comfort Guarantee
Timberland soft toe work boots are available from sizes 3to 13 with 3 widths. The brand’s footwear is also priced affordably at $95 to $190. You can visit the official website for more information about their products.
Timberland Homepage: https://www.timberland.com/timberlandpro.html
Timberland Soft Toe Work Boots: https://www.timberland.com/shop/pro-men-soft-toe#orderBy=2&beginIndex=0&categoryId=138509
Choosing the right footwear can be a daunting task but with our guide, you should have no trouble finding your perfect match. Make sure to consider what kind of protection, flexibility, level of comfort, and job requirements are necessary for your chosen role.
AIMBOO is one of the leading brands of safety footwear that caters to both domestic and international markets. With our wide range of work boots suitable for on-site and on-ground applications, we’re committed to providing the best on-demand footwear solutions that meet your needs. Contact us today and let’s go on a journey to find the perfect pair of boots that will keep you safe and comfortable!
FAQs About Safety Toe Work Boots
How Much Do Safety Toe Work Boots Weigh?
On average, safety toe work boots weigh around 1.7 lbs or 800 grams per pair. However, there are some models that weigh more while others weigh less depending on their designs and materials used.
What Type of Jobs Require Safety Toe Work Boots?
Are you in construction or in the energy industry? If yes, then you need safety toe work boots. Construction sites and similar environments face various types of hazards that can cause harm to your feet and other parts of your body as well. Good thing there’s a footwear designed specifically for such conditions: work boots with safety toes!
What Are The Benefits Of Using Safety Toe Work Boots?
Safety toe work boots offer the following benefits:
-Protects your feet from heavy impacts and compression.
-Provides protection against falling objects such as tools and other objects.
-Can protect you from electric sudden shocks (great for electrical workers).
-Prevents injuries during chemical spills and leaks.
Why Do I Need To Look For The Certificate Of Approval?
The safety standard that is set by the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) is the basis of every product sold in the market. If you want to make sure that your work boots are compliant with these standards, then check for its approval seal first. A lot of safety toe work boots have an ASTM F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 stamp on them so keep an eye for this when purchasing.
How Long Does It Take To Break In Safety Toe Work Boots?
It’s recommended that you wear safety toe work boots for at least one to two weeks before using them at your workplace. This is because safety toe work boots need time to get adjusted with your feet.