Composite Vs Steel Toe Cap: What’s The Difference?
When choosing safety footwear you’ll be faced with many decisions. Besides colour and size, you’ll need to pick between a composite toe cap vs a steel toe cap. Both materials are sturdy and approved by the CSA Group (the organization that sets the standards for safety and other measures in Canada) but how do you know which type you need?
Steel Toe Work Boots
Steel toe work boots are tough and offer ample protection from falling objects and impact. The steel toe is reinforced with heavy-duty steel (an alloy of iron and other elements) and is covered by the leather of the boot. For those who work in the construction industry or an industrial park, steel toe boots are often mandatory due to their ability withstand major impact. Steel toe work boots offer maximum protection from falling objects and protect against equipment cuts like those that can occur from the misuse of chainsaws and grinders.
Composite Toe Work Boots
Composite toe safety boots are made of nonmetal materials such as carbon fibre, plastic, fibreglass or Kevlar. Each material is molded and placed in the toe cap of the boot. You won’t actually see the toe cap since it is covered with leather (or whatever type of material boots you have) but it’s there and protects your toes from injury. One of the major benefits of wearing a work boot with composite is that the material is lighter than metal meaning you’ll expend less energy when walking. If you need to move around all day at your job, you’ll want lighter boots for added comfort. Also, if you’re someone who works outdoors, composite toe caps will keep your feet from freezing in colder weather and overheating in the warmer months. Finally, composite reinforced work boots do not conduct electricity since they are made with plastic matter. Electricians and those who deal with live wires tend to prefer composite toe capped boots because they are at risk of being electrocuted at their jobs.
What should you choose?
The type of work you do should determine which type of work boot is right for you. Generally, composite toe boots are more costly because the materials needed to manufacture these boots and the manufacturing process is more expensive than that of steel. Steel toe boots are the less-costly option but they also can cause you to expend more resources walking. Another factor to consider when choosing between steel and composite is the weather you work in. If you spend time outdoors in the winter in freezing conditions, steel will freeze whereas composite will not.
If you’re still unsure, Mister Safety Shoes can help. Contact us for more information and we’ll assist you in selecting the right steel or composite toe boot.