PPE Articles

What is the difference between metal and composite toe caps for safety shoes!?

Metal toe shoe - a classic method of protecting the legs among workers. When it comes to impact protection, steel socks are the winners. They have been around for many years and are used in many industries.

Composite type toe cap — a new form of safety footwear. This type of protection is provided by non-metallic materials. The most common composite safety shoes use carbon fiber, fiberglass or plastic.

Both types of safety shoes have their pros and cons. Metal toe shoes are safe because they can take a lot of pressure, slightly more than composite safety shoes.

Composite safety shoes are good because they are light and comfortable, although they are more expensive to manufacture. Unlike metal, the composite is not subject to corrosion and conducts heat much worse. Being in such shoes for a long time is much more comfortable. 

There are several types of composite toe caps:

  • Reinforced with Kevlar threads for increased strength;
  • With perforation - the strength of the product decreases slightly, but the comfort increases significantly, since the shoes remain dry from the inside.

Steel safety shoes is more traditional. Some people argue that composite safety shoes are more practical because they are made from non-metallic materials. It is undesirable to use special footwear with a steel toe cap in environments with aggressive temperatures, because it is very easy to frostbite or burn feet protected by metal protection. In addition, the ability of socks to be magnetized can play a trick on people working with high voltage or flammable materials - metal is a good conductor of electricity, including static electricity.

metal carriers
Composite toe caps
maximum shock load (MUN) 200 joules; maximum shock load (MUN) 200 joules;
small volume, thanks to thin walls of protection; large volume, requiring appropriate space inside the boot;
heavy weight: steel-200 grams/pair, aluminum-140 grams/pair; light weight: composite with reinforcement with Kevlar threads - 120 grams / pair, composite without reinforcement - 100 grams / pair;
low price; high price;
there is practically no possibility of moisture removal due to the lack of perforation; the structure allows the use of ventilation holes;
there is a danger of severe injuries and amputations at loads exceeding the EOR; at loads over 200 J, the toe cap collapses into small pieces, which does not entail high risks;
do not protect against cold, high temperatures and can be magnetized; heat and cold resistant, due to low thermal conductivity; are not magnetized;
steel is susceptible to corrosion; not subject to corrosion.

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