What Is a Soft Safety Toe?

Soft safety toe boots are meant to be worn in working conditions where there is minimal to no risk of falling or rolling or penetrating objects.

Whenever you hear safety toe, the first thought that would pop up in your mind would be a strong and sturdy protective reinforcement that would keep your toes safe and sound. 

But if you have been out there hunting for the perfect pair of Safety Toe boots you would’ve definitely come across soft safety toes

Soft Safety Toe

So what are these soft safety toes? Are they any good when it comes to protecting the toes? How will they protect if they are soft? Well if such questions have been popping up in your head, you have come to the right place.

We will help you understand what soft safety toes are, and that too in detail, so that you can make a well informed purchase. 

What is the difference between regular shoes and soft toe shoes? 

Since soft toe shoes do not provide any form of protection from object related accidents, you must be wondering why you can’t just wear a regular shoe to work.

You should know that soft toe shoes have certain built-in features that are well equipped to tackle workplace mishaps, and this is something casual sneakers lack. 

The upper portion of soft safety toes are breathable and water/oil resistant. It will keep the feet cool and comfortable while working in high temperatures and will help keep the feet dry at all times. 

The outsoles of soft safety toe shoes possess electrical resistance and can be isolating or conducting depending on the requirement of your work. Hence it will help save you from electrocution.

Outsoles are also oil and chemical resistant to ensure your protection even during leakages or spills and the slip resistance they provide guarantee that you can walk firmly on your two feet without the fear of slipping and falling.

Soft safety toe shoes Regular shoes 
Breathable Yes  No 
Waterproof Yes  No 
Electrical resistance Yes  No 
Oil resistance Yes  No 
Chemical resistance Yes  No 
Slip resistance  Yes  No 

Pros of soft safety toes

1.) Electrical hazard safety 

The outsoles of soft safety shoes provide good electrical resistance. They can be electrically isolating or conductive depending upon the requirements of work.

If there is not object impact risk involved soft safety toes are perfect for electricians. 

2.) Underfoot protection

The outsole of soft safety toe shoes are thick and sturdy to prevent harm from sharp objects.

The outsole is also oil and chemical resistant which reaffirms the safety of your feet even during spills or leakages. 

3.) Slip resistance

The outsole is usually made of rubber and has intricate tread patterns to improve friction so as to provide great grip.

Soft safety toe shoes can promise you that you won’t break your back by slipping and falling. 

4.) Comfort 

Soft safety toe shoes come with a cushiony insole and reinforced shanks to provide greater comfort while walking. Some shoes even have padded collars to provide extra protection. 

5.) Breathability 

The upper part of soft safety toe shoes are extremely breathable. The good ventilation enables the feet to remain cool even after hours of walking and working.

Your feet won’t swell up due to the heat if you wear soft safety toe shoes. 

6.) Lightweight 

Soft safety toe shoes are much more lighter than other safety shoes, therefore they won’t act like a dead weight holding you down that gives your feet a hard time. 

7.) Affordable 

You can always find a high quality soft safety toe shoe without spending a fortune. They are pocket friendly. 

8.) Will not set off metal detectors

As soft safety toe shoes do not contain any metallic reinforcements they do not set off metal detectors while you check in and out of work. 

See also: Are Soft-Toe Work Boots Any Good?

Cons of soft safety toes

1.) Minimal protection

Soft safety toe shoes provide less to no protection from rolling, falling or sharp objects. Hence they are not a preferred option in workplaces where there is high risk of object impact accidents. 

2.) Not good at low temperatures 

Soft safety toe shoes are not well equipped to keep frostbite at bay if your are working in extremely low temperatures. 

When to use soft safety toes? 

Soft safety toes can be used in situations where: 

1.) There is no risk of rolling or falling objects 

2.) There is no risk of sharp objects falling. 

3.) There is a magnetic field that prevents use of metal 

4.) There is great need for mobility( ie, running, walking or climbing)  

5.) There are electrical/ chemical hazards 

Soft safety toe Vs Steel Toe 

1.) Steel toes provide great protection from rolling or falling objects whereas soft safety toes do not

2.) Steel toes are heavy whereas soft toes are lightweight. 

3.) Steel toes are not as breathable as soft toes 

4.) Steel toes can set off metal detectors whereas soft toes do not. 

5.) Steel toes are thermally and electrically conductive whereas soft toes are electrical insulators and moderate conductors of temperature. 

Soft safety toe vs Composite Toe

1.) Composite toes can protect you from object impact accidents but soft toes cannot.

2.) Composite toes can protect you from puncture injuries but soft toes cannot.

3.) Both composite toes and soft toes do not set off metal detectors.

4.) Soft toes are lighter than composite toes 

5.) Composite toes provide better thermal insulation than soft toes 

6.) Both composite toes and soft toes provide electrical insulation. 

Top 3 Soft safety shoes 

1.) Timberland PRO Pit Boss soft toe work boot 

This sleek and stylish leather boot provides safety and comfort at a moderate price. ANSI approved, these work boots are lightweight, breathable, oil and slip resistant and can be worn anytime anywhere with pride, style and comfort. 


2.) Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Work Boot 

This pure leather durable boot provides great slip resistance, safety and comfort all day long. 


3.) KEEN Utility Men’s Pittsburgh 6” Soft Toe Work Boot 

This versatile and flexible boot provides greater comfort with an EVA midsole- and provides odor protection for fresher feet. 


While working in low risk environments it is okay to wear something lightweight and breathable instead of choosing a heavy steel toe shoe.

Soft toe shoes do not have steel or any other solid material caps to protect the toes.