Steel Cap vs Composite Toe Boots: Which is Better?

If you are looking for safety boots, you will be confronted a tonne of alternatives, but two of the most popular would be composite toe and steel cap boots. If you only have to choose one, which will you pick?

Steel Cap Boots

Steel toe cap safety boots and shoes have a heavy-duty steel cover cap across the toes and have protected the toes of countless workers across the globe and are considered the original safety boot.


  • Recognised in the industry
  • It is also shatter-proof and can provide high level of protection from punctures.
  • Designed to offer the highest level of protection from falling objects. Because steel is a durable material, your foot will be protected from being crushed.
  • To meet Australian OHS standards (AS/NZS 2210.1) they are required to provide protection against 200J of energy and bear a compression load of at least 15kN


  • Heavier then composite, can cause foot fatigue at the end of a working day.
  • Unable to be worn in extreme hot or cold conditions.

Composite Toe Boots

This type of safety footwear is a newer technology, but it is quickly being the norm as it is able to offer a wealth of benefits as well. Unlike steel cap boots, this is made from non-metal materials, which can include Kevlar, fiberglass, plastic, and carbon fiber, among others.


  • Much lighter then steel caps
  • To meet the Australian OHS standards they are also required to provide protection against 200J of energy and a compression load of at least 15kN.
  • If your job will require you to be passing through a metal detector regularly, this will also be an excellent choice as it is made from non-metal materials.
  • It has better ability to resist electrical hazards. It should be also pointed out that it can offer great insulation, which makes it the ideal pick for safety boots if you work in cold climates.


  • Usually more expensive then Steel toe
  • Its puncture resistance may also not be as commendable.

Which Should You Choose?

There is no definite answer with regards to which among the two safety boots should be chosen. At the end of the day, individual circumstances can have an impact on which one should you pick. Steel cap boots will be the perfect choice if there is a high risk of being punctured and if there are dangers from heavy falling objects in the workplace. Composite toe safety footwear, on the other hand, will be a better alternative if you need to pass through a metal detector and if you are working in freezing climates.

Shop steel caps here:

Shop composite here:


At The Coalface Boots, Workwear & Safety
Shop 1/66 Lower Gibbes St,

Chatswood NSW 2067


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