When your work involves a lot of time spent on your feet, every day can be a challenge. Whether you are standing around in one small space for hours on end of walking around a site, field or other places of work, it can have a huge toll on your feet.
Add to that the various dangers and risks that come from working in industries and locations where there are numerous hazards, whether it’s heavy loads or chemicals and other destructive materials.
These are all reasons why it’s very important to invest in a good pair of working shoes. In terms of offering protection against both hazardous materials and heavy loads potentially falling on your feet, steel toe cap shoes are a sound investment.
Buying a suitable pair of shoes for work sounds easy enough then, doesn’t it?
It can actually, for many people, be anything but easy. Have you carried out any searches through Google or Amazon recently for smart steel toe cap shoes? If you have, you will know only too well how many results are found for those kinds of searches – thousands.
So, it is anything but easy to sift through thousands of shoes to try and find one pair that are going to give your feet the protection, comfort and stability you need when you are on your feet all day and working in busy environments where there are lots of hazards.
That, though, is why you should look to us here at Internet Eyes. We have done the hard work for you and in this guide, you will find all the information you need to make the right choice in smart shoes for work. We have not only highlighted what we think are the top 10 but also have put together a buyer’s guide that will help you understand the most important features you need to be aware of when making your choice.
Without further ado, let’s start looking at some great work shoes.
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Best Smart Steel Toe Cap Shoes 2019
1. Groundwork Ladies Steel Toe Cap Boots with Lace-Ups and Tread Sole
First in our list, for all you working ladies out there, we have this awesome pair of steel toe cap boots made by the highly reputable brand Groundwork. Available in a choice of two colours, honey brown and black, these are made from an outer of genuine leather and an interior made of a very breathable and comfortable textile. Importantly the outsole has been engineering to provide protection against fuel oil and hot contact.
With a lace-up closure, they are very easy to tighten and secure on your feet and will not let you down.
2. Zoe Ashley Lightweight Men’s and Women’s Lightweight Safety Trainers with Steel Toe Caps
From the brand, Zoe Ashley comes our next pair of safety work shoes with steel toe caps. These are marketed to both men and women and are a more casual, trainers-style pair of shoes. Available in a multitude of different colours and sizes, they feature steel toe caps that have been hardened to handle forces of as much as 200-joules.
Both the outer and inner material is synthetic, while the sole is a high-quality gum rubber and they benefit from having a very flat heel.
On the subject of the soles, they are designed with special lines that offer greater security and safety, higher performance with regards to anti-ski properties and a reliably strong grip. With all this in mind, they make a great general use pair of work shoes suitable for various industries and professions including gardeners, carpenters, mechanics, construction workers, auto mechanics, office workers, groundworkers, warehouse personnel, airport staff, kitchen staff, delivery drivers and many more.
3. Groundwork Men’s GR96 Steel Toe Cap Safety Ultra-Lightweight Work Trainers
Another pair of great work shoes from Groundwork, this time, made with men in mind. These are very flexible and extremely lightweight trainer-style shoes equipped with steel toe caps, for a smart casual look and feel. They have an outer made of synthetic and feature a sturdy outsole that will protect you from slipping accidentally.
They are very easy to adjust and tighten thanks to the lace-up closure and have a relatively low heel of just 1-inch tall. If you are looking for a comfortable pair of shoes, therefore, that will keep your toes safe from materials, tools and other items falling on them, but don’t want a pair that are too restrictive, these are perfect.
4. Groundwork Men’s Work Boots, GR77, With Steel Toe Caps
Sticking with Groundwork, a company that is known for designing and producing high-quality shoes and boots for use in various industries and professions, we have these fine steep toe cap boots.
Made with a high-quality leather upper and a synthetic inner, they have an easy to tighten lace-up closure and comfortable padded collar and tongue, providing protection and security around your ankle and the bottom of your calf.
The outer sole on these boots is ever-so-slightly raised and includes a robust tread that can help to keep your footing safe and secure and prevent slips, falls and skids.
If you are looking for a short ankle boot and need a very firm upper that will provide your feet with waterproofing while the steel toe cap will provide them with protection against items, equipment and anything else that’s likely to fall and potentially hit your feet, you should consider a boot like these.
5. Black Hammer Men’s Safety Boots with Steel Toe Cap
Black Hammer is a brand known for being made to a high standard with great materials. They provide durability, comfort and stability on top of the protection a leather upper and steel toe cap offers.
Regarding the steel toe cap, they can withstand 200-joules of force, when dropped onto them. Despite their sturdiness, however, they still maintain a level of flexibility you would expect from a more casual pair of trainers. Further to the steel toe, the mid-sole is also enhanced with steel protection too.
The upper is made from well-resourced high-quality leather and this is coupled with a manmade textile. While the sole is made from PU leather. The boots are finished with a thick and deep tread sole and a heel that’s just 3cm height and is tightened and secured around your foot using lacing.
6. Black Hammer Men’s Safety Ankle Trainers With Steel Toe Cap
Next up we have another great pair of Black Hammer safety shoe with steel toe caps. These are a trainer-style pair of ankle boots that are notable for their stylish design, high-quality construction and flexibility.
Rather than being made by genuine leather, to provide you with extra manoeuvrability, these are made with suede leather and feature the same textile inner the other Black Hammer pair includes.
The heel is slightly smaller and lower at just 2cm high and with a PU outer sole and smaller treads, they still provide adequate anti-slip properties.
They also benefit from the same mid-sole steel protection that we highlighted in the pair of boots above. To help bolster them and enhance their durability, they have high-end double-stitching around the most hard-wearing areas.
7. Groundwork Steel Toe Cap Combat Tactical Safety Ankle Boots
Now, take a look at these beasts. From Groundwork, these are very high ankle boots made from smooth leather outer and synthetic inner material. They look like a very substantial and tough pair of work boots. The toes are protected by a steel cap capable of handling up to 200-joules of force, while the outer sole features a deep tread to provide excellent grip and stability, while also offering resistance against alkalis, acids and oils.
These boots have been made to meet various regulations like EN ISO 1SO 20345 and finished with a suitably comfortable cushioned insole, padded tongue and collar and lace-up closure.
As well as being excellent for all lines of work and industries, they also make for perfect protective footwear for paintballing, biking, hunting and various other outdoor activities.
8. Grafters Ladies Ottawa Safety Steel Toe Cap Work Trainer Ankle Boot
Grafters is a very apt name for the manufacturers of these real workhorses of protective footwear designed to be worn in all manner of work situations. The outer is made from high-quality suede leather, that offers a little more room for flexibility than genuine leather with a similar level of durability.
While the toe is protected by the obligatory steel cap that is featured in all of these products. This pair of shoes has been designed to meet the EN ISO 20345 safety regulations and features a very lightweight and flexible sole that will not leave your feeling too painful or fatigued even after a hard day’s work (well not any more than they should if you have been earning your wages properly!). As they are built and designed like trainers and marketed towards ladies, they are finished with a pretty and smart pink inner and laces and provide additional support and comfort via the padded collar and heel section.
9. Dickies Men’s Black Leather Safety Work Boots with Steel Toe Caps
Dickies are a footwear and clothing company that if you are not familiar with them, you should be. They are popular and especially known for designing and manufacturing high quality, smart and stylish and most importantly of all, safety shoes and other protective workwear. These are made with a full PU leather outer construction are a slip-on style boot, so you don’t need to mess around with laces (which often get wet and tangled).
The inner is made from breathable and anti-static textile lining and an elasticated gusset which will make it easy to get them on and off. Even if you have difficulty, there is a high-quality heel puller built into the boots.
10. Black Hammer Men’s Safety Boots with Steel Toe Cap
Finally, last in our list is another great quality pair of work boot from Black Hammer. They feature the same steel toe cap and mid-sole protection we’ve noted is offered with all Black Hammer boots and are built with a high-end and extremely durable outer leather and reliably comfortable textile inner.
Higher than other Black Hammer boots in our guide, these have a padded collar and tongue and stable, anti-slip gum rubber outer sole.
Best Smart Steel Toe Cap Shoes – Buyer’s Guide
The list above includes the smart steel toe cap shoes we think are the best of the best of those available right now. We understand, though, that whittling down hundreds to just 10 still leaves you with 10 you need to choose between. To further help you make the right choice, therefore, we have put together the following buyer’s guide. The best way to differentiate the many pairs of shoes out there that all have steel toe caps and all claim to be the best is to understand the features that are most important in this type of footwear. We have highlighted these below.
The Protection They Provide
As it is likely you will be wearing steel toe cap shoes for work, you need to make sure they will offer protection for your feet. This means more than just the toughened toe cap. Beyond that, you will want shoes that offer a robust and reliable lacing system, additional support in the ankles and heels to prevent injuries from occurring. Shoes that don’t offer adequate protection and support, will put you at risk of suffering from lots of avoidable aches, pains and other problems. Whereas a high quality and supportive pair of shoes will keep your feet safe and help enhance the safety of your whole body.
They Should Be Comfortable
No pain, no gain is not a phrase you should ever apply to work shoes. If you are going to be wearing protective clothing for any length of time, in particular, steel toe cap shoes, you need to make sure they are going to be comfortable. The level of comfort provided by smart work shoes is determined by various features, including the outsole, insole, materials used, fitting and size.
So, don’t dismiss any of those factors as being any less important than others. Obviously, size is important and if at all possible, you should have your feet measured and shoes fitted by professionals.
Even if you don’t want to spend too much on high street prices in a physical store, you should at least get your shoes measured by a professional and then use their measurements to buy the best fitting pair of shoes you can afford.
Material-wise, leather is a great option, but remember that you will need to break them in before they will feel completely comfortable to wear for long hours at work.
Another factor that plays a significant role in how comfortable or not a pair of work shoes will be is their weight. If you buy shoes that are too heavy, it will feel like you are carrying around an unnecessary extra load with every step you take. This is why so many better-quality brands produce shoes that are lighter in weight, thanks to the use of modern technology and shoe manufacturing techniques.
Obviously work footwear, like steel toe cap shoes, should be seen as an investment. An investment that you will want to get the best returns on possible. Depending on where you work and in what industry, your shoes will be put through their paces daily and may be exposed to various hazards. The last thing you want is to spend a couple of hundred pounds on a pair of smart protective shoes, for them to start wearing out and falling apart within just a few months. To ensure you get the best quality shoes possible that will offer the highest durability, you really need to look for those made from leather.
Besides the material itself, you will also want to look at how the sole and the upper are connected together. Longer-lasting work shoes are those made using the cementing manufacturing technique.
How much maintenance a pair of shoes requires to keep them in good working condition is important too. No-one wants to come home from a long and hard day’s work to spend the best part of an hour or two meticulously cleaning their shoes to ensure they suitably kept in good condition. To avoid that, therefore, you need to look at the materials used to make the shoes and choose the materials that require little to no effort cleaning and maintaining them. Shoes made with rubber and high-quality leather are best if you are looking for an easy life, as you normally just need to leave them to dry out and then can clean them off using a very soft brush.
Last, but certainly not least, the final feature you need to give some serious consideration to when choosing the best pair of smart steel toe cap shoes is the sole. The sole is normally most associated with the grip a shoe offers you, but it also plays another important role, that of how comfortable or not the shoe is.
Think about it, if you are always moving as part of your daily activities at work, you will probably not want a sole that’s very cushioned. You are better, instead, choosing one that is flexible but that has EVA midsoles to provide shock absorption that will help prevent you from feeling too fatigued during the day.
There you have it, folks, our guide to the best smart steel toe cap shoes available on the market right now. As well as highlighting the top 10 pairs of shoes, we have also, hopefully, given you some food for thought as to what you should be thinking about and looking for in a pair of protective shoes for work.
If in doubt, you could also consult with the people who you work with or who you will be working with (if you are starting a new job) and find out from your manager or supervisor what the company suggests.