The History of Safety Toe Boots

The History of Safety Toe Boots


There are various jobs that require you to wear safety toe boots, such as steel toe boots or composite toe boots. You may think wearing specialty boots isn’t going to do much except slow you down, but the truth is, your employer is trying to keep you safe. In fact, certain occupations now require that employees wear safety toe boots. As you browse through our Coastal Boot online store for your new pair of safety toe boots, keep in mind what type of job you have, the conditions you work in, and the type of protection you need to keep safe. In this article, we will introduce you to the history of safety toe footwear and who were the first people to wear them.

At the end of World War II, industrial safety became a serious issue for employers. Before the war, it was easier and cheaper to replace an injured worker than it was to introduce new safety measures.  As liability costs increased, companies needed to find new and better options. One solution, steel toe boots which were originally introduced in Germany for workers, but soon the German military began to issue steel toe boots to its soldiers.

In the United States, Red Wing released their first steel toe boots for both military and industrial workers. The brands Grinders and Dr. Martens became popular around the 1960’s mainly by extremist subculture groups because they could be used as weapons in fights. In the 80’s and 90’s steel toe boots become the go-to footwear for the punk subculture as well.

Steel toe boots were designed to last a long time. In addition to steel, there are other types of materials used to reinforce safety toe boots, such as aluminum, plastics, and composites. Many of these styles also come with sole plate, which prevent nails from puncturing the bottom of the shoe. When wearing steel toe shoes your feet are protected from getting crushed by a falling object or work equipment.  If you work in construction you probably know how dangerous it is to step on a nail or drop heavy equipment on your feet. Wearing steel toe boots can help you prevent serious injury.

You probably already know that OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Act) enforces workplace standards and safety. OSHA was passed in 1970 and requires that all employees wear proper footwear in the workplace. Steel toe boots have to pass impact and compression tests, which essentially put a lot of weight and pressure on the boots in order to make sure the steel toe area isn’t easily crushed. So the next time you drop something on your foot and your toes are not severed, thank your boss for making you wear steel toe boots.

Today’s steel toe boots are no longer a single design, they now come in various styles and colors. Mechanics, construction workers, police officers, soldiers, and even civilians wear steel toe boots to help give their feet the much needed extra protection.

We at Coastal Boot have a wide variety of steel toe boots, composite toe boots, and aluminum toe boots for you to choose from. Give us a call today at 1 (800) 972-7627 to place an order over the phone or go to our website and take a look at all of our available brands and styles. 


Get Social With Us...

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.