Work. Something that none of us want to really do. Most, or part of the time, anyway. With that said, we have to do it, and if you are going to be working, you need to make sure you have the right amount of protection. Part of that is your footwear. A ball player wouldn’t wear slippers on the field and a doctor wouldn’t wear cleats. One type of footwear that many people could legitimately get a lot of use from is work boots. A specific type of work boots that many know are called ‘steel toed’ boots. However, that is overkill for many. Today, we’ll be looking at composite toe work boots. These boots are great at offering protection without the extremes of steel toes. In our buying guide, we’ll break down all you need to know about them so you’ll be better placed to make a good, informed decision. We’ll then review some of the best and most popular pairs on the market. So, let’s get started!
Top Composite Toe Work Boots Comparison Chart
|Product||Material||Price||Where to Buy?|
|1. Timberland Pro Men’s 8 Inch Boondock Work Boots||Leather & Textile||$$$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|2. Irish Setter Men’s Six Inch Work Boots||Leather||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|3. Timberland Pro Men’s 6 Inch Resistor Work Boots||Leather & Textile||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|4. Carhartt Men’s CMF6366 6 Inch Composite Toe Boots||Leather||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|5. Maelstrom Zion Men’s 6 Inch Waterproof Work Boots||Leather||$||Check Price On Amazon|
|6. Wolverine Men’s Overpass 6 Inch Work Boots||Leather & Textile||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|7. Keen Utility Men’s Tacoma Waterproof Work Boots||Leather||$$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|8. Rockrooster Men’s Composite Toe Work Boots||Leather||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|9. Danner Women’s Quarry 7 Inch Work Boots||Leather||$$$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|10. Skechers for Work Men’s Radford Boots||Leather & Synthetic||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
Composite Toe Work Boots Buying Guide
Identifying Your Job
One of the first steps you need to take when examining the footwear that you need to wear is to figure out what kind of job you are going to be doing. If you are working some place where there is a very high risk of things hitting and/or dropping on your feet, then you need to have more protection than a typical job requires. That kind of job most likely means you do in fact need a pair of steel toe boots. For anything less than that, though, a pair of composite toe boots is probably going to be just the perfect thing for you to have. Boots still go above and beyond the vast majority of shoes, so even if they don’t have the toe, you’ll be getting a ton of use from them.
Why You Need Boots
Not all jobs are going to require boots, of course, but there are some where you will need them. Even if you don’t need steel toes in order to protect your toes from getting injured or crushed badly, you still will want to wear boots on many job sites. The reason why is because they offer supreme protection when compared against regular shoes. Shoes don’t have a whole lot to them in many cases, unless they have been specifically engineered to be more like boots. There are some examples of them out there, but that type is not prevalent by any means. Boots are going to be able to protect you because they are thicker and thus won’t allow things like nails or glass, or screws, to penetrate through them. They are also going to go further than shoes because they cover your ankles, making sure you do not twist your ankles and pick up injuries that way. These are just a couple of extremely good reasons why you need work boots instead of regular old shoes. If your job isn’t all spic and span, then it’s almost a necessity that you’ll need them to keep you safe and on your feet so you can keep racking in that dough!
What Are ‘Composite’ Boots?
Everyone will know what ‘steel toe’ boots are. It’s extremely easy to figure out with common sense alone, such is the name. Two plus two equals four, pretty much. But composite boots are a little bit trickier, and you may not know exactly what it means. It’s not a huge deal, but composite boots, for those that want to know, are boots made out of various materials in the toes. Oftentimes, what you see is that companies will blend together small traces of steel with other materials, like rubber, carbon, Kevlar, and fiberglass. What this does is reduce the weight of the boots greatly, all the while still giving you a lot of protection.
Benefits of Composite Toe Boots
We looked at a couple of general benefits of boots in general above, but here is where we should look at the specifics of composite toe boots. This kind of footwear is going to differ from steel toed boots quite a bit, and other boots, too, so it’s worth mentioning some of the things that set them apart. One of the first things you’ll notice between composite and steel toe boots is the fact that they are so much lighter than their counterparts. One of the main things that people hate about steel toe boots is just how heavy they are. It’s just so much of a drag on you that they suck the energy out of you, especially when it’s a long, long work day. By the end you are just dragging. With composite toes, you do not get that. The other main thing you see is that steel toe boots are very uncomfortable for many people. And it’s not just in the toe area, either, as your feet slide up and come into contact with the solid piece up there. They are just not comfy in general. While composite toe boots are not by any means guaranteed to be super comfortable, some are going to naturally be better than others, you can count on them being much better in general terms than steel toes are.
Perhaps most importantly is the fact that composite toe work boots are still very protective of the toes, even if they don’t have steel in them. We talked about the level of thickness they have earlier, which keeps nails and screws and the like from going through them. Much like that, the thickness of the toe area is going to keep other things from penetrating and injuring as well. Some of the composite toes have shown to be just as effective as steel, in fact, particularly when the circumstances aren’t as extreme. You don’t have to worry about stubbing your toes, though you definitely aren’t going to want to drop a big weight on your foot with them on. Then again, the same could be and should be said about steel toes. Just because you have them does not guard fully against injury.
Composite Boot Features
Even within the subset of composite boots, you will see a whole lot of variety. As you go from one job to the next, it’s easy to see some major differences, so each boot is going to tend to be different from one another to meet those needs. While most composite boots are going to have things in common, like a thicker toe and ankle protection, there are other things that you can look for if your industry calls for it. Here’s a look at some of them.
Electrical Hazard Proofing
One of the more common things you’ll see with work boots of all types is that they can be proofed against electric shocks. The way that this is done is by the boot being composed out of materials that are not ‘conducive,’ meaning they don’t have any materials that appeal to electricity. Steel toes, obviously, are not so good around that stuff, so this is one very big reason why composite toes are preferred.
Depending on where you work and the type of work you are going to be doing, have boots that are waterproof may be a huge deal for you. Nobody wants to be trudging through mud all day only to end up with gangrene looking feet. A lot of people that work inside even get these kinds of boots, simply because it’s a just-in-case kind of thing. You may not need them, but if things start going wrong you’ll sure wish you had them.
Another major factor that causes injuries in the workplace is slipping. It may sound silly at first, but there are plenty of people that fall every single day in all kinds of walks of life and job types. From the simplest to the most difficult, it’s just something that happens when oil, grease, or liquid is put down on the ground or floor. Some boots are going to be able to keep you on your feet, no matter what may or may not be covering the ground. If you are in a line of work where you see a lot of changing with the environment around you, then you need to realize that you have to do everything in your power to protect and arm yourself, basically. If you overlook slip resistant boots and end up falling, you are very unlikely to get any benefits. If you equip yourself and something happens, you at least have protected and covered yourself, and you’ll be taken care of. Injuries are no fun, so you need something to keep you upright at all times. And this is just the best way to do it.
We talked about literal shocks earlier, but this is not the electrical variety we are talking about. Instead, what we mean is shocks to the lower body. As you go throughout a day, your feet, knees, hips, back, and neck all take a pounding. This is the case whether you are on your feet walking or ‘just’ standing. Some boots will do a better job at absorbing these shocks and wicking less energy away from you. It may not seem like a big deal to you at first glance, but boy can this be a big savior for you as the days, weeks, and months go by.
Brands, Durability, and Price
One of the things that you’re going to want to do is look over the brand name that you are attempting to buy. A lot of sectors of the footwear market can be ignored for this, but with boots it’s hard to do so. If you don’t know the name of the boots, you are going to want to find a lower price, naturally, since you are just unsure of them. However, you can expect to see a bigger price attached to bigger names, simply due to the fact that they have been around a long time and are known for high quality goods. Prices for work boots can get very high, but one thing you have to remember is that they are very, very durable pieces of equipment that have the real potential of lasting you a long time. Of course, it’s going to depend on how well you wear them, picking the right size, and also the brand you choose. A lower priced option might be fine, but they are probably not going to last as long. So, yes, you do get what you paid for, just like Mamma told you.
The Top Ten Composite Toe Work Boots of 2019 Reviews
Timberland Pro Men’s 8 Inch Boondock Work Boots
Kicking off our list here is a pair of Timberland boots, much to no real surprise. These boots are going to be super protective at eight inches, though some people may find them to be a bit restrictive due to how high they rise. With waterproofing built into them and a super super thick sole, especially in the heels, you can count on them wicking moisture away if and when it happens and for shocks to be absorbed much more easily. The lacing system used goes to the very top and offers a lot of variables, that way you can adjust more easily, all the while the whole thing is reinforced well. The toe is made out of molded rubber and fiberglass, which makes them protective while giving the entire structure integrity and ensuring they don’t fall apart. These do run very expensive, but as stated above, you get what you pay for.
- Rubber and fiberglass is durable and protects
- Very thick sole
- Pretty expensive
Irish Setter Men’s Six Inch Work Boots
If you want a little bit less restriction, then this could be the way you go. These boots from Irish Setter are going to rise up six inches, and though that doesn’t seem like a big difference, you can feel it with the weight difference and more flexibility and movement being available to you. The leather upper is made to be very durable, while a PU footbed is used to make them soft and comfortable. These have both waterproofing ability and are going to protect your from electric shocks, as they are certified for that purpose. They even have a heat ‘resistant’ outsole, which protects you in temperatures of up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. That seems excessive, but if you are on hot pavement, it’s a huge relief to know your boots will not melt on you. The soles aren’t quite as thick as some others, but this is also a benefit in a way because it reduces weight. They also don’t cost as much as the Timberland offering above, so that is pretty helpful, too.
- Certified to guard against electrical hazards
- Waterproof and heat resistant design
- Not as heavy as many others
Timberland Pro Men’s 6 Inch Resistor Work Boots
Timberland comes back to the list here at number three with another fine offering. This time, it’s a six inch boot to cut down on some of the clutter, all the while being able to resist the effects of hazards on the floor. These boots are made to resist oils and grease through the use of deep lugs, all the while also making sure that they do not form abrasions, too. On top of that, they have two layers of foam, which greatly decreases the chances of getting fatigued quickly since they will absorb shocks better than most. One other major plus of this offering is going to be the fact that they are able to be extremely warm. They have a lot of insulation placed within them, 200 grams each, making them warmer and able to keep you from freezing in the chilliest of settings. With a padded tongue and collar, these also work to make you comfy, giving you an all-around feel good factor.
- Deep lugs prevent slips
- Absorbs shocks due to dual layer foam
- Super warm and resists abrasions
Carhartt Men’s CMF6366 6 Inch Composite Toe Boots
The first thing we should mention with these boots from Carhartt, apart from the low price they bring to the table relatively speaking, is going to be the ‘rugged flex’ that they offer. Many boots are not made to be moved in, but these do, giving you support and protection all the while bending in key areas so that you don’t get slowed down. On top of that, the rubber sole they have used makes them both warmer and much more welcoming when it comes to absorbing shocks. With a midsole composed out of EVA- a huge advancement in the shoe market that reduces weight and improves cushion- and an insole that is super soft and cushioned, you shouldn’t have many worries over comfort. On top of all of that, they have oil, water, and slip resistance and are much warmer than they appear. Overall, an awesome purchase you will have a hard time looking past!
- Cushioned midsole and insole
- Resistant to oil, water, and slips
- Very good price
Maelstrom Zion Men’s 6 Inch Waterproof Work Boots
Up next is a very low price, relatively speaking, and thus is one worth your consideration. These boots from Maelstrom are made to be very durable yet flexible and ‘athletic,’ using water resistant leather and rounded toe that helps you be a bit more agile. The soles are made into lugs, helping them absorb shocks thanks to that and the EVA used in the midsole, which also works to reduce the overall weight. They are resistant to slips and oil, as well as being able to resist against abrasions from occurring. The inner liners are used to make them waterproof, aiding you when the weather gets snowy or rainy outside. Even if you are unsure of the brand, you can count on them a bit more as they are American made and have a one year warranty, both of which are going to only help ramp up buyer confidence.
- Extremely low price
- Resists harsh weather
- One year warranty breeds confidence
Wolverine Men’s Overpass 6 Inch Work Boots
Wolverine is another of the major players in the boot and work game, and they come onto the list seeking to continue that tradition with these Overpass boots. These boots, which are priced at a medium price point come with a number of features that make them comfortable and resistant to all sorts of danger. Many of the listings we have seen so far have been resistant to water, oil, and slips, but these are also going to guard against chemicals as well, so that will be of service to a certain demographic that works with them. With their ‘contour weld’ construction, you can count on these being able to flex and move along with you, helping you to be less stiff as you work all the live long day. With a removable cushioned Ortholite footbed, you get lots of comfort and lasting support, too!
- Comfy and cushioned
- Guards against chemicals, water, oil, and slips
- Moves as you move
Keen Utility Men’s Tacoma Waterproof Work Boots
Keen are one of the big dogs in the outdoor footwear game, and they make the list via their Tacoma boots. These all leather boots are made with wet conditions firmly in mind, as well as having a non-metallic construction. This means you’ll be able to meet electrical standards, making you safe in the event of hazards being around you. Unlike so many on the list, these are also pretty breathable, which is a big step up that will allow you to get some much-needed airflow on warm days. They meet non-slip work standards, too, which are going to help ensure you do not fall and get injured. On top of that, the toe is nice and super thick, which is going to help if you are in a more rugged job that doesn’t quite require the use of steel toes.
- Waterproof and good for electric work
- Will not slip
- Very breathable selection
Rockrooster Men’s Composite Toe Work Boots
This is another one of the ‘outside of the box’ choices, and a result of that, they are cheaper than many on the list, though not the least expensive. These boots, though, still pack quite the punch, using a ‘welt’ construction to help them hold up under heavy scrutiny on the job site. They are waterproof, too, helping to keep you dry and warm all the while making sure you are more nimble on your feet than with heavier steel toes. These boots are not only resistant to water and slips, but they are also going to resist abrasions and punctures, too, which can protect you from losing a digit or two in some circumstances. With a warranty that spans 180 days, they also are putting their money with their mouth is and supporting you, which speaks volumes.
- Waterproof and warm
- Resists abrasions and punctures
- Relatively inexpensive
- Not a super well known brand
Danner Women’s Quarry 7 Inch Work Boots
Our penultimate selection is one for the ladies, as we don’t want to leave them out. It’s hard to find work boots for them, so these are going to be some of the best you can find. These boots rise up seven inches, giving you plenty of support without holding you back too much in the ankles. All the while, they are going to help you resist all sorts of potential dangers. They protect against electrical hazards, and they also brilliantly utilize Gore-Tex lining to make them waterproof. All the while, they are also breathable, such is the wonders of that technology. On top of that, they have worked in conjunction with Vibram on the outsoles, which means they are going to provide exceptional support all the while keeping you on your feet by resisting slips, oil, and water. With debris release, they also make sure you don’t get annoying things caught in them, too! The downside here is that they are quite expensive, likely due to their collaboration with other brands.
- Gore-Tex breathes and waterproofs
- Supportive but not over demanding
- Debris doesn’t get stuck
- Very expensive
Skechers for Work Men’s Radford Boots
Rounding out our list today is a pair of boots, yes boots, from Skechers. They have moved into the work area in recent years, branching out from mere comfort shoes, and this pair shows how far they have come. The boots are made from leather up top in the upper and synthetics lower down you go, giving you the pluses of each while ensuring you have some flex to them. With 400 grams of insulation inserted, you can count on them being very warm on even the coldest of days out. With a rubber shell construction on the outside, these have been made to protect the seams from bursting open in big way. With padded collars and tongues, too, you’ll be getting extreme comfort, all the while the fabric inside is breathable, helping you to air it out bit. With memory foam insoles, as per usual with Skechers, you’re gonna get a ton of comfort. It is very stiff up top, so that is one big strike against this pair.
- Reinforced seams
- Very warm thanks to insulation
- Memory foam insoles
- Very stiff upper
Conclusion And Final Composite Toe Work Boots Recommendations
Finding the right pair of work boots can be tough, especially when you don’t know exactly what you are looking for. The first thing you have to do is make sure you fully understand the type of work you’re going to be doing. If it’s a pretty hazardous job, you’re not going to want to wear the same kind of attire as a job that’s a little less crazy. If you’re going to be fairly safe, then a pair of composite toe work boots will be just perfect for you. You’ll get plenty of protection for your feet, but you will not have to worry about the cumbersome nature of others. You will also be able to experience real comfort, which is never gonna be something you turn down. After our guide and reviews, you’ll now be set to make a good call on what to purchase!
FAQ’s About Composite Toe Work Boots
How Do I Know What Kind of Boots I Need?
To figure out what kind of boots you need, you need to either do some research yourself or be prepared to ask questions. One way to get an idea of what the workplace requires is to look at any manuals that the company gives you. By consulting this, you will get an idea of what you need to have. Not only will it have information about steel or composite toes, but it will also have what other things you need as well. Things like the boots being waterproof or protected against electrical hazards may be wished for. You can also ask fellow employees, bosses, or HR personnel, too, if there is not a readily available manual or set of instructions. This way you are clear on what you need. Common sense does go a long way, but sometimes that is not going to answer all of your questions.
How Long Is Break In Time?
Break in time varies from one pair of shoes to the next, and the same rings true with boots. With that said, composite boots are much better, in general terms, at breaking in than steel toed ones are. However, that’s not a sure-fire guarantee that you’re going to have an easy time with them. If you wear them on the job straight away, you should count on them taking about a week to break in. The reason why is because it’s not so much you breaking them in, really. It’s more about you getting used to them. That’s how you should approach this entire process, so make sure to account for that. If you wear them around the house some, little by little building up your endurance, you will also find it much easier once you get to work. But, you’re not going to experience the real thing until you hit the job.