That is the sound we make when working wearing steel-toe boots.
Steel toe boots are designed for safety purposes. They are strongly built with a steel cap on the toe side. It protects our feet from heavy impact and compression.
But it also brings pain to our feet. Here comes the question, ‘how to stop steel toe boots from hurting?’
Well, pick the most comfortable steel-toe shoes for your work. Make sure they fit perfectly and deliver enough arch support. You should break in the shoes before using them for the first time. Try wearing thick socks and tongue pads. You can even try Band-Aids and Vaseline to reduce pain.
Why Do Steel Toe Boots Hurt Our Feet?
Table of Contents
If you know the reasons why steel toe boots hurt, you can understand how to keep your feet from hurting in steel toe boots. Your shoes are new and unbroken.
Steel Toe Shoes Are Not Wide Enough
Most steel toe shoes come with a narrow design. The steel inside them also prevents stretching. It causes your toes to rub against the wall of the shoes.
This creates friction and causes pain. The problem gets worse if you have wide toes. It will create even more friction and pressure on your toes.
Some steel toe boots come with alignment issues. This wrong alignment can create stress in your toes, ankle, and even hip. It ultimately leads to pain in your feet.
The steel construction of the steel toe boots makes the shoes heavy. Sometimes this weight becomes too much to wear throughout the day. It can cause discomfort and pain.
Wrong Size and Shape
The size and shape of the shoes have a lot to do with discomfort and pain. When you pick smaller size shoes, they do not stretch with time like general shoes. It creates huge pressure on your toes.
Too large also causes a problem. It can sway on and rub against both walls of the shoes. This friction causes serious problems in the feet.
Wrong Arch Support
The arch support of your shoes plays a vital role in pain. If your shoes do not have proper arch support, your foot may move inside the shoes. It causes rubbing against the shoe wall and ultimately leads to foot pain.
How To Stop Steel Toe Boots from Hurting Your Foot?
The way to stop toe boots from hurting depends on the reasons. Let’s see how to make steel toe boots comfortable for your feet.
Pick The Most Comfortable Steel Toe Boots
People ask, “are steel toe boots comfortable?”
They are comfortable only when you pick the right shoes.
Picking the most comfortable steel toe boots for standing all day or working all day is the best way to stop hurting. A wrong pair of shoes is the main culprit for your pain.
Let’s see how to pick the right steel-toe boots for your work life.
Pick The Right Size
The size of your steel-toe shoes has to be perfect, neither smaller nor larger. Most people think that the shoes will get stretched about half to one inch after wearing them.
But this is not the case for steel toe work boots. These shoes can stretch a maximum of a quarter inch. So, try to have shoes considering the quarter-inch increment in size. It is always better if you wear the shoes before making a purchase.
Choose The Right Type
Different types of work boots are available with steel toes. You have high heel boots, waterproof boots, and so on. Make sure you pick the right type. Avoid high heel boots if you do not need superior traction. High heel steel toe boots can cause pain due to the improper position.
Good Arch Support
You need to pick steel-toe shoes with good arch support. Inadequate arch support will cause serious pain and foot injuries.
But how can you find whether it offers good arch support or not?
Well, check whether the ball of the foot is placed perfectly at the widest part of the shoes. If it does, the shoes offer good arch support. Check Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot if you want to get shoes with proper arch support.
Try To Get Laced Shoes
Laced shoes offer you the flexibility to adjust the fitting. It helps you make the shoes more comfortable to wear.
You can check Timberland PRO Men’s Pit Boss 6 Inch Steel Safety Toe Industrial Work Boot. It is a good shoe with a rubber outsole, pure leather construction, and higher comfort.
Have Wider Shoes
You may experience your big toe hurts after wearing boots. That is because of the narrow toe area. Try to have shoes with a wider toe box. Most of the steel toe boots come up with narrow toe boxes. But you can also find some wide-toe shoes.
Break-In Your New Shoes
The pain problem comes with the new shoes most of the time. Shoes stay unbroken when they are new. You need to break in your shoes. Breaking down means making the shoes conform to your feet’ shape and be more comfortable.
Many options are there to break in your shoes. Here are a few:
Wear Your New Shoes at Your Home
The best way to break in your new shoes is to wear them at home. Wear them for at least 10 minutes a day and increase the time day by day. The shoes will slowly break in according to your feet’ shape.
Make sure you wear the same sock you are going to wear in your workplace. The warmth of your feet will help the shoes stretch smoothly. It will make your shoes perfectly fit.
If You Do Not Have Time to Wear
Sometimes we do not get enough time to wear the shoes around the home. You will find some shoe stretchers in your nearest shoe repair shop. If you do not want to visit your nearest shop, you can try it yourself.
Remember that the shoe stretcher will break in the shoes, but it will not conform to your feet’ shape. Lots of shoe stretchers are available in the market. Here are some suggestions for you.
EachWay Shoe Stretcher Shoe Trees
Plixio Shoe Stretcher Women and Men’s Shoe Widener
Apply Spray to Your Leather Shoes
Leather-made shoes can be broken easily with leather conditioners. It will soften the construction and make your shoes more comfortable to wear. Try using it daily for new shoes and once a week for your work. Here are some suggestions for you.
FootMatters Professional Boot & Shoe Stretch Spray
Kiwi SELECT Universal Shoe Stretch (1) 7oz
How Much Time Does It Require to Break In?
The time required for your shoes to break in varies. Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks to break in, whereas it sometimes takes only a week. So, try wearing them for at least a couple of weeks until they become comfortable.
Add Some Padding
One of the main reasons for the hurting is the friction between your feet and shoe walls. A great solution to this problem can be adding some padding. This extra cushion layer will prevent your feet from rubbing against the shoe wall.
You can use different types of material for padding. Here are a few for you.
Wear Athletic Tape
Athlete tape is an easy solution. Simply tie the tape to the feet area you experience pain in before wearing shoes. It will prevent friction. Try not to tie it too tight. It can reduce blood circulation, leading to a bigger problem.
Band-aid is a common practice to reduce pain in steel toe boots. Find out the hurting part of your feet and wrap band-aids. It will create padding and help you get rid of the pain.
You can also use wool for your hurting areas. Simply place the wool in the hurting areas and wear socks to prevent the wool from moving. Wear the shoes then. You can use wool from your old clothes or purchase it online. A suggestion for you will be Premier Lambs Wool 3/8 oz.
Wool may not stay in place for a long time. You can try gellows in this case. It is thick enough to prevent friction and also reversible. Simply place the gellows in the hurting area, and you are done.
You can make it on your own or buy readymade PILLOW Super GELLOWS if you find them making a hassle. Make sure you know the right size to cover the affected area.
Put Paper Towel
Paper towels can be a simple solution. Yes, it is not that thick. But it can absorb a little pressure and sweat to prevent you from hurting. Use an old paper towel from your home and see whether it works for you or not.
Wear Thick Socks
Wearing thick socks is the easiest solution you can follow. If you don’t have thick socks, you can wear double socks. Try to avoid loose socks since it increases the chance of chafing and blistering.
Add Additional Insole or Change the Existing One
The built-in insole might be uneven sometimes. It can cause serious discomfort. You need to change the existing one or add an additional insole to get more comfort.
Cut The Toe from The Insole Area
Steel toe area or steel toe box keeps your feet tucked. It leaves very little to no room for your toe to move inside. This can lead to pain when wearing the shoes for a long time. The best way to solve this problem is to cut the toe from the insole area.
Take the insole out and remove or cut some toe region part from the insole. Then place the insole back. You will get some space to move your toes to reduce pain and discomfort.
Try Tongue Pad
Try a tongue pad if you feel that the toe box is hard and causes you pain. It is an easy yet effective solution. Simply cut the tongue pad according to the toe size and attach it to the toe cap. You will have the protection of steel and comfort from the pad.
Vaseline works like magic. It delivers protection against blisters and calluses. Apply a thick layer of Vaseline in the hurting part of your feet before wearing the shoes. Then wear the shoes, and you will experience less pain caused by blisters and calluses.
Relax Your Feet
Another common reason for pain in steel toe boots is improper blood circulation. So, how to make steel toe shoes more comfortable?
Well, to make your steel-toe shoes comfortable, you need to relax your feet. Try to take off the shoes after every few hours and apply a gentle massage to your feet. It will improve blood circulation and reduce pain.
Try To Avoid Standing Day Long
Standing all day long wearing steel toe boots can make your experience even more painful. Try to avoid that and bend your knee every hour. Try moving here and there every hour to keep your feet running.
Have Additional Inserts for Better Arch Support
Another common reason for feet pains in steel toe boots is the low arch support. Low arch support causes foot movement inside the shoes, leading to friction and pain. It is better if you have shoes with good arch support.
What if your shoes do not offer good arch support?
Well, you can get additional Plantar Fasciitis Feet Insoles Arch Supports to support your arch.
Retie Your Shoelaces
Loose or too tight shoes cause pain. You can get rid of this problem with the help of shoelaces. Try to retie the laces. Make them tight if they are loose and loose if they are loose. You will notice the differences.
The Best Alternative to Steel Toe Shoes- Composite Toe Boots
If none of the methods work, you should try an alternative to steel toe boots. Composite toe boots are the best alternatives in that case. You will get good protection yet full comfort. Remember that steel toe boots offer way superior protection compared to composite toe boots.
These composite toe boots are suitable for projects where you need less protection. But these shoes will give you high comfort and less pain. Here are some suggestions for composite toe boots for you.
- WOLVERINE Men’s Overpass 6” Composite Toe Waterproof Insulated Work Boot
- Carhartt Men’s CMF6366 6 Inch Composite Toe Boot
- Timberland PRO Ridgework Composite Safety Toe
Frequently Asked Questions
Have you still got some questions popping up in mind? If the answer is YES, go through the section below for the answers.
Is it bad to wear steel toe boots every day?
Not at all. You can wear steel toe boots every day as long as they are comfortable to wear. Stop wearing them daily only when they cause you pain or any discomfort.
No, steel toe boots are not supposed to cut off the toes. They are designed to protect your toes from crushing. Anything heavy can fall on your toe in the workplace, and these shoes protect your feet from such impact.
How much weight do you need to crush steel toe boots?
You need more than 6000lbs of weight to crush steel toe boots. It needs only 1200lbs to crush traditional work boots.
Can wearing steel toe boots cause foot problems?
No, if the steel toe boots are comfortable to wear, they will not cause any problem. But wrong size, bad shape, and uncomfortable shoes can surely cause foot problems.
Are steel toe boots heavy?
Yes, some steel toe boots are heavier than composite toe boots or traditional work boots. The steel inside the boots makes them heavy.
Time To Wrap Up
A lot of people experience hurting problems with steel-toe boots. You can also experience it if you do not know how to stop steel toe boots from hurting your feet.
Learn the reasons why your shoes are causing pain. It will be easier for you to solve the problem when you know the exact reasons.
See the shape and design, understand whether it fits perfectly or not, and check the arch support. You can also check whether your feet rub against shoe walls or not. The problem can be due to unbroken new shoes.
Depending on the problems, take the right steps and prevent hurting. You can never enjoy working if you have pain in your shoes. It is also risky not to wear steel-toe shoes. So, stop your shoes from hurting and make them comfortable to enjoy your work.