For a long time, wearing safety footwear meant wearing steel toed boots. Steel toed boots are great, but they have some definite drawbacks, the biggest one being their weight. Steel toed boots are heavy and if your job involves doing a lot of walking, the extra weight can take a toll. Fortunately, there’s now an alternative that is still CSA approved but is lighter than steel toed boots – composite.
As the name suggests, composite safety footwear is made up of multiple materials that together, give the same safety as steel toed shoes. The most common formulation of the composite material is plastic, Kevlar aramid fiber, and carbon fiber. Together these materials create a super strong compound that protects against crushing and impact injuries just like the steel toed boots that immediately come to mind.
Another benefit of composite safety shoes is that they can be worn in work places where having metal in footwear could present safety and security issues. If your workplace has metal-detectors, then steel toed boots can become a huge nuisance as you would have to remove them to pass through the detectors. Composite boots with no metal parts however, can be worn through metal detectors.
One thing to be aware of is that unlike steel toe shoes which can dent, composite shoes often bounce back to their original shape after an impact. Do not be fooled by the fact that the shoes look unharmed. While composite toed shoes return to their original shape, their ability to protect against further impact has been compromised and they are no longer offering the same protection. After a significant impact, both steel and composite toed shoes / boots should be replaced in order to ensure that you are covered.
If you’re in the market for new boots, but want to try out a composite toe instead of the traditional steel toe, there are lots of choices for both men and women at Work Authority – come in and take a look in store or check out our selections online.