Steel toe cap boots (also known as safety boots, steel-caped boots, industrial boots and much more) is a type of protective footwear that is part of the PPE range. These boots are designed to protect your toes from falling object and large amount of pressure, usually made from steel the toe cap is fitted into a safety boot that sometime has other features such as anti-slip amongst others.
For those who don’t know PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment and is part of UK law, PPE covers a broad range of products such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses. It also includes respiratory protective equipment (RPE).
You can read more about PPE at the HSE website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/ppe.htm.
There are many facts about steel toe cap boots that you may not have known, take a look at some of these and let us know in the comments section below if you already knew some of these.
Did you know?
- Steel toe cap boots where invented by Germany after the end of world war II
- In UK law if you are working in potential dangerous environments they you need to wear Safety Boots.
- Not all steel toe cap boots are made of steel, in fact some are made of a plastic known as TPU(thermoplastic polyurethane)
- There are many different types of boots to protect you against different things such as
- Falling objects
- All steel toe cap boots must go through strict tests to ensure they meet standards set in the UK, this means they are designed to not only last but to protect to the best of their ability.
- Steel toes caps are in more than just boots now with many of them being places in shoes and trainers.
There is a common myth about steel toe cap boots actually providing more harm in the event of a heavy object falling on your toes. The myth stated that the weight must be greater than a certain amount, to cause the flat part of the cap to bend round and cut off the toes.
A popular US TV show called Mythbusters looked at this myth and tested it to work out if this was correct. The show was hosted by 2 individuals Jamie and Adam, who has many years in the special effects industry, the show has now finished but after 10 years of testing myths just like this.
They managed to find one example of where this happened, the case in question was in 2002 where steel pipes fell off of a forklift and landed on the toes of the Australian worker. However this wasn’t a direct amputation of the toe rather a crushing of one toe which mixed with the toe cap breaking caused the 3rd toe to be beyond repairing.
Jamie and Adam went on to test this theory by coming up with a machine that would drop a large weight on the toes of a human replica, the weight could be adjusted to continue the testing until they reached the required result.
The steel toe cap could handle up to 6000lbs of pressure before failure which allowed them to come to the conclusion that under normal circumstances the steel toe cap would not reach your toes and would prevent damage. The only time this could happen is under extraordinary pressure and even at this point the steel toe cap would crush your foot not slice it.
However considering that without the steel toe cap boot your toes would have to be amputated anyway it is always a better choice to wear them.
The myth is incorrect
There are three main materials used in the creation of a steel toe cap:
A steel toe cap is traditionally made of steel allowing it to be both strong and durable, these are usually made to be cheaper and offer maximum protection. There are some downsides to using steel such as, they’re heavy which means that they can be uncomfortable. Another is that you cannot wear them as you travel through a metal detector like in some warehouses, however composite solves this problem.
If you boot is made from an alloy, you will find they are made from materials such as aluminium and titanium to offer superb protection but allow the boot to be as lightweight as possible. The main pro to getting an alloy cap is that they are usually around 40% lighter than the steel toe caped boot. However come with negatives like increased cost and like the steel toe cap boot, they set off metal detectors.
Composite toe caps are designed to give a good level of protection although they pass relevant standard they are usually not as strong as metal alternatives. They are usually made from materials like carbon fibre, plastic, fibreglass and carbon fibre which allows the product to maintain a decent level of strength whilst having lightweight qualities. Composite toe caps can sometimes crack or shatter upon impact which means you will need to get new boots upon damaging them.
Composite toe caps are often used by electricians as they do not have the metallic part of the shoes which helps prevent electric shocks.
Some boots also offer different levels of protection such as:
- Flame resistance
- Puncture resistance
- Cut resistance
- Shock absorption
- And much more
We sell a range of safety boots which include both steel and composite toe cap boots, here are the bestselling boots on our website.
Steel toe cap safety boots
Mig Safety Toe Boots
Made from reliable materials that allow the boot to be durable and strong, with great features such as water, oil and pierce resistant. The sleek design also allow for a stylish boot and they come in at a great price.
Composite toe cap safety boots
Mens hardwearing composite safety work boots
A stylish strong high-top safety boot that is 100% non-metallic and offers great protection against falling objects. The boots are also made from oil and water resistant materials whilst having a full grain leather and an energy absorbing seat.