Cinder blocks, forklifts, nails. Many workplaces have hazards that can injure your feet. That’s where steel toe work boots come in. They’re original in safety footwear, designed to protect the foot from falling objects or compression. Though today there are other options, steel toe boots are still the industry standard and are required on many job sites. Which one is right for you?
Why steel toe boots?
They meet OSHA requirements.
Our safety footwear meets or exceeds applicable ASTM testing standards.
They deliver heavy-duty protection from falling debris.
If you work on a construction site where falling bricks, lumber, tools, or heavy equipment tend to go with the territory, then steel toe boots might be just what you need. Like a hard hat for your feet, steel toe boots can help prevent falling objects from taking out your toes.
Steel toe boots stand up to the wear and tear you inflict on your boots day in and day out. So if your job is rugged and the conditions are challenging, a steel toe boot can be your best ally.
Which steel toe boot is for me?
KEEN Utility makes a variety of steel toe boots and shoes to meet the demands of all kinds of jobsites and workplace conditions. Because slips, trips, and falls are the top hazards on the job, an oil- and slip-resistant outsole comes standard with every pair. Check out the options below to see which one might suit you best.
Pro tip: KEEN Utility work boots and shoes are designed with asymmetrical toe protection, which means that each toe cap is designed to fit your left and right foot respectively. That means our boots provide an optimal fit as well as protection.
Rugged Steel Toe Work Boots
“I work in harsh conditions.”
For boots that work as hard as you do in tough situations, we recommend the men's Milwaukee waterproof boot. Whether you’re a site manager or a heavy equipment operator, you can depend on its all-day wearability. Abrasion-resistant Tough-Tec leather stands up to the demands of the job. A KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane ensures you can handle rainy days and wet ground with ease.
“I am a construction superintendent for a pipeline crew and spend at least 10 hours a day on my feet and have arthritis in both feet. As soon as I tried these boots, I was very impressed with the level of comfort. I spend my day walking through mud, water, and over asphalt and concrete and am impressed with the overall quality of these boots. Could not be more pleased.” — James W.
“Bought a pair of these when I started a new oil field job. Wore them for two years day in and day out. Summer heat and bitter winter here in Wyoming can be extreme. Loved these boots for the comfort and especially the durability.” — Chris
Uneven terrain and changing weather conditions can be hard on your boots. Made for tough environments, the men's Logandale waterproof boot has a synthetic upper that incorporates KEEN.WEB-TECH abrasion-resistant panels for added durability. Wet, muddy ground won’t slow you down thanks to a KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane. Part of the American Built collection, they’re assembled in our Portland, Oregon facility using the finest materials from around the world, so you can take pride in getting the job done while you wear them.
“I work highway construction and paving, 16-hour days. With these boots, my feet never get tired or sore. I’ve tried lots of boots in 10 years of construction and none come close to the comfort of these. I wear them for everything outside of work as well.” — Ben
“We were breaking down a 550-ton Hydro crane with 200 feet of jib in it. While busting pins out of the jib, my toes were under a lacing (my fault), and a 17,000-pound section fell on the tip of my toes. I got three broken toes. With a lower-quality safety toe, they would have been severed for sure. I will continue to buy this boot until they stop making it. Thanks to KEEN, I can still count to 10!!!” — Dro
Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boots
“I work outside in all kinds of weather.”
Because work doesn’t stop when it rains, waterproof boots are essential. KEEN Utility boots made with a KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane shrug off the rain to keep you working efficiently through it all. The men's Pittsburgh waterproof boot adds a KEEN KEY-TECH full-length interlocking torsion plate for multidirectional support and forefoot protection against rocks and stones.
“As an arborist who climbs, but also rotates through the other duties (ground work, chipper duty, sawing, and tree planting), these have been a very versatile boot. I find them to be very comfortable, so I keep coming back to KEEN! When you have your boots on for 10-12 hours and your feet are not really screaming to take the boots off at the end of the day, you know that you have a winner.” — Michael
Landscapers working in the hot sun and warehouse workers moving boxes in a stuffy warehouse will appreciate the moisture-wicking lining and natural odor protection of the men's Lansing Mid waterproof boot. Reflective webbing helps you stand out in low-light conditions.
“I walk close to six miles a day on a warehouse floor, which has ruined a couple of pairs of steel toe shoes. So far the Lansing are holding up perfectly while breathing well, protecting my foot, and also handling ice and snow quite well! No water has gotten in the shoe. These are work shoes that look and feel like hiking boots, and I couldn't be happier.” — Bis
If you’re looking for work boots that can take a beating, try the men's Coburg 8" waterproof boot. The extra height adds support and protection while Tough-Tec abrasion-resistant leather stands up to rough terrain. They’re part of the American Built collection assembled in Portland, Oregon, using responsibly sourced materials from around the world. For an additional waterproof option with an all-leather design, check out the men’s Braddock AL Mid waterproof boot.
“As a land surveyor, I use the Coburg in the woods, fields, and wetlands. I also use them on all types of construction sites. Dirt, mud, concrete, blacktop. These boots are fantastic! They fit so well and feel really good. They also last a long time.” — Rick S.
Sneaker-like Steel Toe Work Shoes
“I work long hours on my feet and need a boot that helps keep me going.”
Steel toe work boots don’t have to weigh you down. For game-changing support that’s ideal for the warehouse or the factory floor, we recommend the men’s Flint II waterproof shoe. This series has KEEN.ReGEN midsole cushioning that returns 50% energy with every step to keep you feeling light on your feet all day. Its hiking-inspired fit and feel is ideal for long days of walking and standing. The siped outsole disperses water quickly to increase traction on wet and slippery surfaces. Plus, it’s electrical hazard (EH)-rated to help guard against electrical hazards.
“I got these shoes for my new job in a warehouse. They are really comfortable and not heavy considering they are steel-toed. I feel protected in a harsh environment.” — G.
The men’s Atlanta Cool II shoe combines the breathability of a sandal with the protection of a leather work shoe. The well-ventilated leather-and-mesh upper helps keep feet cool and is ideal for light industrial work. A responsive KEEN.ReGEN midsole provides 50% more energy return with every step than standard EVA foam. A version is available with an Electro Static Dissipative (ESD)-rated outsole for additional jobsite protection.
“These shoes are like walking with clouds on my feet. They both breathe and offer protection. The shoes are superlight and don’t weigh down my step” — Diesel191
Met-Guard Steel Toe Work Boots
“My job requires extra protection against impact.”
Your toes aren’t the only part of your foot that might need protection. If the hazards at your job make a metatarsal guard a necessity, choose the men’s Detroit XT Internal Met shoe. An internal, lightweight Poron XRD® metatarsal guard offers enhanced impact protection. Supportive KEEN.KEY-TECH FLEX provides structure and stability underfoot and works with the dual-density EVA midsole to keep you moving smoothly from clock-in to clock-out. Or try the Louisville 6” MET waterproof boot. Made of abrasion-resistant leather, it has a burly design with an internal met guard and KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane.
“I test large diesel engines for a living, so these Louisville boots are constantly exposed to fuel, oil, and coolant. The engines are mounted on an overhead carrier, and we have to physically push them into the test cells. These boots provide the traction and support I need to perform my job. I own two pairs and alternate them. Excellent boots! I highly recommend them.” — Undisclosed
Welders, industrial maintenance workers, and anyone who works with arcs and flames should check out the men’s Mt Vernon 6” MET waterproof boot. It has an external met guard that wraps around the foot for optimal impact protection. Kevlar thread stands up to abrasion, sparks, and heat, and the rubber outsole is heat-resistant up to 572° F.
“I do maintenance for a car wash. The chemicals at this job eat boots alive. I needed the external met guard since slag and torch/welding spatter was burning through other boots and into my feet when welding. On top of protecting my feet from burns, my last pair lasted over a year. Really hope these ones don't get discontinued anytime soon. — Mark
If steel toe boots aren’t right for you, take a look at our aluminum toe, carbon-fiber toe, or soft toe work boot options. With so many work boots and shoes to choose from, there’s a pair of KEEN Utility work boots for you.