November 09, 2020

What are the differences between Steel Toe Shoes, Aluminum or Composite Toe Shoes?

At Mister Safety Shoes, we believe in providing workers, health & safety managers and employers with all the facts to find the right safety footwear for themselves and their workforce.

Customers often ask us for steel toe shoes or steel toe boots because that’s what they think of when they think of “safety footwear”. However, CSA approved toe protection is made up of 3 different materials now and all are CSA approved for toe protection. Some may be better suited than others to your work environment or the needs of employees in your company.

Here’s a quick breakdown.

What are the options? Steel Toe, Aluminum Toe, and Composite (Metal-free) Toe.

Here are the pros and cons of each type:

Steel Toe Shoes and Steel Toe Boots


  • The grandfather of safety footwear protection. Well known for its protection and a great option for many work environments.


  • Steel can hold the cold longer and may make feet colder if the work environment includes cold conditions and/or extreme weather
  • Not an option for those who work around metal detectors

Aluminum Toe Work Shoes and Work Boots


  • Lighter than steel and may have a slimmer profile (but ultimately the overall design and weight of the shoe will dictate the weight of the footwear)


  • Not metal-free so not an option for those who work around metal detectors

Composite Toe Work Shoes and Work Boots


  • Generally the lightest option – up to 30% lighter than steel toe


  • The material tends to be thicker, which may result in an overall bulkier safety shoe

Selecting safety footwear for yourself or your employees can sometimes be overwhelming but remember that all toe protection today from good brands provide fully CSA-approved protection.

Whether you are a worker looking for your next pair of safety shoes or work boots or an employer making sure your staff members have the proper protective footwear for the job, Mister Safety Shoes is committed to providing the best safety footwear. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have or contact our business solutions team to look for your company’s safety footwear program.

You can also shop at any of our retail locations in Ontario and Alberta. We are strictly adhering to the guidelines necessary to keep you safe and ensure all our stores and mobile services remain safe for our customers and staff’s safety during this pandemic. We are all in this together!