Steel-toe boots are the personification of the meme that says “What my mom thinks I do, What my friends think I do, What I actually do.” There are so many thoughts and misconceptions about steel-toe boots that they can be an intimidating purchase for someone required to wear them for work.
So, like the trusty BFF that we are, we wrangled some steel-toe boot rookies and set them to the task of buying their first pair to get ready to work at one of our warehouse partners. Here’s how it went:
Holly’s first thoughts about steel-toe boots were, “These better be available on Amazon,” and straight to the phone she went. She searched for “steel-toe boots for women,” with the hopes of avoiding the purchase of cement blocks to strap to her feet. She was pleasantly surprised that
her search yielded results, quite a few of them at that.
Originally considering steel-toe boots to be clunky and uncomfortable, Holly was happy to allow reviews to guide her in this journey. Aside from being comfortable, she also wanted to be able to use them outside the jobsite. She wondered- did they make them insulated and waterproof so they could work as winter boots and for hiking? The answers were all “Shift yes”. She discovered multiple options offering a combination of comfort, fashion, and function. After deciding on the seemingly perfect pair and wearing them for 8+ hours operating a pallet jack and walking through sections of refrigerated warehouse, Holly was pleasantly surprised to not find a single blister. It was a match made in Amazon heaven.
Adam admits it, fully. He procrastinated and waited until the night before he needed to be at the jobsite to even start thinking about steel-toe boots. He needed to find some the old-fashioned way. At a store. In real life. In his own defense, “I have never bought shoes online. I don’t trust the sizing and don’t want to have to order 4 pairs and return 3 of them.” He went to Walmart and Tractor Supply – figuring they had to carry what he needed since Walmart literally carries everything ever made and Tractor Supply is just a really cool store with chainsaws and chicks (easy there, we’re talking about the little yellow fuzzy kind).
Adam went into this venture knowing he wanted something for indoor and outdoor use – warehouse work, construction, and cutting down trees in the backyard. He wanted something that looked decent and fit well; also, wasn’t mad about the extra height they offered.
In the fashion department of steel-toe boots, Adam wanted to ensure they’d fit with his pants. Literally. He found if the high-top boot was too bulky it was hard to pull his jeans over it, and he did not want to sport the tucked or tight-rolled look – even though we think that trend should definitely be brought back.
After wearing them for 8+ hours, he found them to be heavy but durable. They were able to be worn all day while learning how to operate a pallet jack on site and then used them over the weekend while clearing a new area in the backyard for a garden. He also proudly claimed they cleaned up well with a hose (Popular belief is he also used them to jump in mud puddles, but that is unconfirmed).
No longer being steel-toe boot rookies, both Adam and Holly had similar advice for future rookies:
- Preconceived notions were not true (not hideous cement blocks)
- They can be fashionable and functional
- There are so many different uses for steel-toe boots including: hiking, yard work, puddle jumping, line dancing, wood chopping, and more
They also are willing to share their picks for those that want to follow their leads. After all, they now have experience. Holly is very pleased with her scoop of the Timberland Pro6‘s. Adam went with the Men’s Flex Steel Toe 6 in. Work Boots,but, if he is being honest, he wishes he had purchased the Reebok All Terrain ESD SR Steel Toe Trail Running Oxford.
The moral of these two stories is singular- steel-toe boots are so much more than the preconceived ideas of them: they are more. More comfortable, more fashionable, more useful, and most importantly make you feel like a bad ass while protecting your feet.
One final thought to noodle on – the options have expanded to type of shoe too – there are steel-toed sneakers and even a mesh-looking sandal version. Obligatory caveat: before buying a non-boot option, check with your jobsite to ensure that it is okay.