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Old 02-25-2013, 04:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Magnum Stealth Force, composite toe
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I'll check with safety at my work regarding composite being able to be worn. The nice thing is they reimburse upto $50 for the shoes. I'm really liking the Pumas and they do come in composite. But you guys really have some good suggestions I'm looking into.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I have a pair of Sketcher steel-toes that are probably the most comfortable steel-toe shoes I have ever worked in. I have done A LOT of warehouse work in my day and being on your feet on those hard-industrial floors all day will do a number on your legs. I really noticed a major reduction in fatigue when switching from heavy work boots to the sneakers.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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As for the 'slicing off your toes'. If you are working with materials heavier then your boots are rated for then MAYBE it MIGHT happen .00001% of the time. Broken bones, yes, severed digits? not highly likely.
I know a lot of people disagree with them but the Mythbusters tested steel-toes in the same way that the ANSI testes.
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Episode 42: Steel Toe Amputation, Bottle Rocket Blast Off

Steel toe boots have a higher amputation risk than regular boots: mythbusted

Steel Cap Amputation

Myth: Steel-toed boots are more dangerous than regular boots -- if something falls on the boots, the steel can curl in and cut off your toes

They were able to find one occurrence of amputation while wearing steel-toed boots occurring in real life. In 2002, an Australian worker lost his 3rd toe when some steel pipes feel from a forklift.

Adam and Jamie constructed various tests for this myth using both a guillotine toe-smasher and an arbor-press. Initially they used frangible feet that Adam made, but it turned out that they made a mistake in assuming that their frangible feet would model real human feet being crushed. For better comparisons they ended up using clay.
Frangible Feet Construction

Adam constructed frangible feet to test with based on landmine frangible feet. After testing chicken legs, bamboo, and fiberglass as substitutes for human bones, he decided to use fiberglass bones. The bones were set in a ballistics gel cast of Adam's leg.

For those wondering, the full frangible leg construction process was: * Pour dental alginate over leg and surround with plaster bandages to get leg mold. (link to website on making plaster casting with dental alginate) * Fill alginate mold with silicon-based rubber to make a rubber leg * Make plaster mold of rubber leg * Make a plaster mold of a skeletal foot * Fill mold with hard resin fiberglass cocktail to make bones * Use hot glue gun to make tendons to connect bones * Place resin bones inside plaster leg mold and fill with ballistics gel mix (used a different ballistics gel mix than usual)
Guillotine drop test 1

NOTE: in turned out that the results from this test were somewhat invalid. After testing with the steel-toed boots they tested with the regular boots and discovered that the ballistics gel was too springy and was invalidating their results. While ballistics gel is good for simulating bullet impacts on flesh, it's not so good for testing crushing.

Setup: * Guillotine-style toe crusher that drops a flag metal bar onto the toe of a boot beneath. * Used the highest-rated (ANSI-75) steel toe boots.

Results: * 75lbs from 3 feet (official ANSI test height and weight): mashed the leather down a bit, but nothing injurious. * 400lbs from 3 ft: more deformation in the steel plate, but only damage to frangible foot was a broken metatarsal (big toe). Adam: "I want to see some toes cut off or crushed beyond all recognition" * 400lbs from 6 ft: a lot of pancaking of steel cap and lots of broken bones beneath, but no toe amputation.

They didn't detail the results from the regular boot because of their discovery about the ballistics gel being too springy.
Guillotine drop on boots filled with clay

Because of the ballistics gel problem they decided to use clay instead of the frangible bone legs they had constructed. Clay is the method ANSI uses to test boots.

At the official test height of 3ft with 75lbs there was 0.5" of clay compression with the steel-toe boot, which is exactly to spec. The regular boot failed horribly, with the clay being completely splattered.
Arbor press test to find total failure point

They used an arbor press to squish boots to their total failure point. The steel-toe boot was able to take 6000lbs of pressure before total failure; the regular boot was only able to take about 1200lbs, which was hard to measure as it failed so quickly.
Shearing attachment tests

In order to test a worst case scenario, they made a shearing attachment, which was a thin metal plate that would hit the boot on edge.

They mounted the shearing attachment to the arbor press: at 750 lbs it broke every bone in the frangible foot; at 1400 lbs it severed all the bones in the feet.

They then mounted the shearing attachment on the guillotine and raised it to it's max height of 6ft and max weight of 400lbs. The blade glanced off the steel plate, shearing the entire shoe in half. They tested again and got the same result. In this particular scenario, were a heavy blade to drop on your foot you could actually lose more of your foot as the steel cap could direct the glade further up the foot as it did in the test. This isn't the failure mode described in the tests, though, and regardless of what type of boot you used there would be amputation.

Mythbusted: They had to mount a blade in order to get amputation with the steel toe boot and all their other tests showed much more damage to the foot when regular boots are used.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I only buy and wear Terra boots, it was terra lites for ever untill they stopped production. Now I have the bridges and they're very nice. Composite, and lite for a size 13. I also have terra winter boots, comp again and very very warm.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:42 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I used be an avid fan of Terra; before their production moved to China and their quality went down the toilet. That and they do not stand behind their products.
I urge folks to stay away whenever possible.

That being said, I've been using Original Swat as my replacement duty boots and have been very happy with them thus far.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:46 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:03 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Remember to size them for double socks and replacement insoles. Being able to swap that out every few months will be a real saver on the knees.

As for the steel/composite issue, don't fear the steel toe too much. Depending on the actual job you are doing you can actually want the extra mass of a heavy boot anyway. (I often had to nudge pallets a quarter inch. Easy to do in a pair of heavy old steel toed. Wore light weight comps for a day before going back to a heavy boot for that reason.)

If the impact is enough to mangle the steel cap to the point it does 'extra' damage to your foot, then your foot would be a write off without the boots, and the composite caps would have failed anyway and probably embed in your skin. Depending on the material used, it can potentially splinter into something that is very hard/impossible to see on xray, increasing chances of missed material encouraging infection afterwards.

Moral of the story is: Don't stick your toes in stupid places like multi-ton steam hammers.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:54 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Darkapollo View Post
I have a pair of Sketcher steel-toes that are probably the most comfortable steel-toe shoes I have ever worked in. I have done A LOT of warehouse work in my day and being on your feet on those hard-industrial floors all day will do a number on your legs. I really noticed a major reduction in fatigue when switching from heavy work boots to the sneakers.

I second all of this.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:54 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Red Wings has a series of boots with what they call a King Toe. I have wide feet and they are not the usual cruel shoes that most steel toes are. I am unsure if they make it in a shoe.

Good luck in your quest
Redwings for the win!
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