Can I Wear Steel Toe Boots Everyday? Why Steel Toe Only Is a Bad Idea

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by  Tyler Fischer | Last Updated: 
steel toe boots everyday

As a hardworking blue collar man, steel toe boots are your go-to.

But what about when you’re taking someone on a date? Or meeting your buddies for pool? 

Can you wear steel toe boots as a casual, everyday boot without looking awkward? Probably not. 

What’s more, if you wear your heavy steel toe boots everyday, you could end up with foot issues. Not to mention feeling like your toes are frozen in the winter. 

Here’s why sticking to steel toe only is a bad idea (and what you can wear instead).

Are Steel Toe Boots Good for Everyday Wear?

Several guys I know (myself included) don’t want to put much thought into what we’re wearing. Just give me a button-up and comfortable pair of jeans and I’m good to go. 

But when it comes to slipping on my steel toes every day, I have to draw the line. Here’s why:  

They’re Not Stylish

People aren’t used to seeing clunky work boots outside of a jobsite. Steel toe boots can make you stick out like a sore thumb when you’re running errands or hanging out at the bar. 

There are definitely work boots that can double as casual wear because they’re made to look better and more like regular boots. Like the Red Wing Iron Ranger. Or the Oxford Steel Dress Shoes reviewed in this video.

Your Toes Will Get Cold

If you wear steel toe boots in the winter, you can count on your toes being refrigerated all day long. Steel is great at conducting temperature and terrible at insulation. 

If you don’t want freezing cold feet, don’t wear steel toe. 

They’re Hard to Clean

Steel toe boots are hard to clean. This is because they’re made out of thick material that doesn’t absorb water very well. 

Dirty boots aren’t a problem if you only wear them for work. But if you want to wear steel toe boots out and about, keeping them nice and clean is a pain.

5 Hidden Consequences From Wearing Steel Toe Boots Everyday

Steel toe boots are meant to protect your feet from getting cut or crushed. They shouldn’t cause problems if you only wear them during work hours. If you start to wear them every day though, they can be hard on your body.

1. Tiny bone growths

The steel toe on the boot limits the amount of shock absorption your foot receives when you run or walk. This can lead to tiny bone growths in your foot and ankle. And that hurts.

2. Bone fracture risk

Wearing steel toe boots every day can increase the risk of bone fractures more so than not wearing heavy boots.

3. Nerve damage

Wearing steel toe boots over long periods of time can damage nerves in your feet and legs, resulting in numbness or tingling sensations.

4. Uncomfortable

Carrying around 2-4 pounds of weight every day by wearing steel toe boots is enough to make even the strongest person tired. Your feet, ankles and legs can grow tender and uncomfortable having that much pressure all day long. 

I’ve heard a lot of guys complain about how uncomfortable their feet get. Granted, this is mostly true if they don’t have enough room in the toes. Or if their boots feel too tight around the ankles. 

If that’s the case, that’s a whole different problem because it means your boots aren’t the right fit. Take a look at this article to get tips on how to make sure your boots fit right—you’ll notice a world of difference with the right fitting boots.

5. Achilles heel 

When your feet lift an extra pound or two with every step, every day, you put unnecessary pressure on your feet and ankles. This can cause you to overuse your Achilles tendon, which connects your calf muscles to your heel bone.

Steer clear of problems like achilles heel and plantar fasciitis by wearing lighter-weight shoes when you’re not hard at work on the job site. 

3 Surefire Ways to Lessen Issues From Wearing Steel Toe Boots

1. Use Shock Absorber Insoles

A good pair of insoles that absorb shock like these from Arm & Hammer helps prevent too much pressure on your feet every time you take a step. 

With a nice, cushy insole, you’re less likely to get problems like tiny bone growths and achilles heel.

Arm & Hammer Work Insoles

These insoles are lightweight and durable and are pretty good at absorbing shock to help prevent too much pressure on your feet, especially at work if you're on your feet all day.

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2. Wear Good Wool Socks

Thick wool socks prevent moisture from building up on your toes and feet, which helps prevent blisters and corns. Wool also allows for better breathability and helps reduce sweating inside of your boots.

If your feet get too hot wearing thick wool socks all day, try wearing thin athletic socks underneath them. This gives you extra cushioning without making your feet too hot or sweaty.

Thermoregulated wool work socks like these from Camel City Mill are thermoregulated so your feet stay comfortable all day long.

Camel City Mill Lightweight Wool Work Sock

Made with Ironside Merino wool, these work socks feature compression through the calf which promotes better bloodflow and helps your feet recover after a long day. Plus, because they're Merino wool, they're breathable and completely knock out foot-sweat.

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3. Use Foot Powders 

Sprinkle on a good foot powder (or even cornstarch) each morning before putting on your boots. 

This helps reduce friction between your skin and the inside of the boot—which helps prevent blisters and tenderness. 

Steel Toes Every Day? Give ‘Em the Boot

Your feet will thank you if you slip on something lighter than a steel toe when you’re not at work.

And they won’t awkwardly stand out when you’re wearing a nice shirt and jeans. 

FAQs

Can you wear steel toe boots all the time?

You shouldn’t wear steel toe boots all the time. Carrying that much extra weight can be hard on your feet, ankles and legs. You can get issues like tenderness and tiny bone growths due to excessive shock.

Can I wear work boots casually?

You can wear work boots casually. However, some work boots look better than others. Clunky steel toe work boots usually look awkward and don’t work well for casual wear. Other work boots are made to both look good and keep your feet safe.

Should I tuck my jeans into my work boots?

You should tuck your skinny jeans into your work boots but not looser-fitting jeans. If you’re wearing bootcut jeans, they look unnatural tucked into your boots. But if you’re wearing a tighter pair of jeans, they’ll fit right in your boots so you can show off your footwear.

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