The Best Steel Toe Boots Are Tough as Nails and Handsome as Hell

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The best steel toe boots are designed for practicality, of course. They need to stand up to the rigors of hard physical labor, and keep your feet safe and protected at all times. In addition to those signature steel toes, they should be equipped with shock absorption properties, water-resistant materials, and highly grippy soles. But utility aside, steel toe boots can also look really good, too.

Here it’s important to note that steel toe shoes aren’t the only type of safety toe boot on the market. Composite toe boots, also known as non-metallic safety toe boots, are made from materials such as kevlar and fiberglass. Compared to their steel toe counterparts, they’re lighter, more breathable, and offer premium insulation, all of which makes them better suited to extended periods of wear. However, they’re generally more bulbous, less impact-resistant over time, and more expensive. Steel toes are heavier and conduct heat and cold, but they’re also widely available, cheaper, and longer-lasting.

Workwear has always influenced fashion, but its influence feels particularly strong right now. So is it really overkill if we ask for a pair of safety boots that can protect our health and our drip? (Hey, if you’re gonna be putting in the hours day-in and day-out, your shoes might as well be nice to look at, especially if you plan on going out after work.) So with that in mind, we unearthed a dozen of the best steel toe boots to wear just about anytime, anywhere. They’ve all got the grizzled chops to perform on the job, but they’re good-looking enough to pair equally well with jeans on a date or even cargos on a cute hiking excursion.

All products featured on GQ are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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