A steel-toe boot (also known as a safety boot, steel-capped boot or safety shoe) is a durable boot or shoe that has a protective reinforcement in the toe which protects the foot from falling objects or compression, usually combined with a midsole plate to protect against punctures from below.
Although traditionally made of steel, the reinforcement can also be made of a composite material, a plastic such as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) or even aluminum. Steel-toe boots are important in the construction industry and in many industrial settings. Occupational safety and health legislation or insurance requirements may require the use of such boots in some settings and may mandate certification of such boots and the display of such certification directly on the boots. The markings on the boot label will indicate the national or international standards that the boot was intended to meet, and identify the level of protection offered for impact, penetration, electric shock, and chemical hazards. Safety shoes are effective in keeping the feet of industrial workers safe from sharp and heavy objects while working in factories. Footwear for use in chemical processing or semiconductor manufacturing may also be rated to dissipate static electricity while still protecting the wearer from electric shock.
Safety footwear now comes in many styles, including sneakers and clogs. Some are quite formal, for supervising engineers who must visit sites where protective footwear is mandatory.