fiberglass toe cap

fiberglass toe cap

Jul 29, 2022

Fiberglass toe cap– Advantages

Designed to overcome some of the disadvantages of the traditional steel safety boot, composite materials (such as kevlar, carbon fibre, fibreglass and hard plastics) can firstly be more comfortable to wear: they are light – meaning they don’t drag your feet down like heavier boots can, and they don’t get excessively hot or cold. Non-metallic anti-penetration midsoles are also softer and more flexible than steel. This means that at the end of a hot summer’s day on site, composite work boots can definitely feel like an advantage. Secondly, as they are not metal based, they can be worn in high security workplaces without setting off metal detectors – though note it is still possible for composite safety boots to trigger metal detectors if they have other metal components (like eyelets). Some composite work boots are explicitly marketed as “metal free” to signify their compatibility with security systems.
Likewise, composite toe caps and midsoles pose no increased risk of electrical shock or of causing sparks, even if the boot becomes worn out or damaged. Composite midsoles can also be easily fitted along the whole length of the sole while with steel alternatives this is not always possible, due to the need for this part of the shoe to be flexible. This means they can offer more protection against nails, screws and other sharp objects.

Fiberglass toe cap VS. Steel – Disadvantages

However, steel is not without its drawbacks. Firstly, adding steel components to footwear quickly makes it heavier, and this extra weight can be fatiguing, especially if you have to move around a lot at work. Compounding this issue somewhat, metal toe caps also tend to trap heat and during the summer months steel toe capped safety boots can get uncomfortably hot. Conversely, metal can also become extremely cold when it is exposed to low temperatures, meaning that steel safety boots are often not choice footwear for working in cold storage facilities and similar environments. Additionally, if you work in a high security workplace like an airport or prison, you will most likely have to walk through a metal detector on a regular basis, and steel safety boots will trigger it every time.
Metal can also be hazardous in certain situations due to its high electrical conductivity and propensity to cause sparks if struck by another metal object, though as it is normally insulated by other materials inside the footwear this is not normally as much of a problem as might be assumed. Steel toe caps by themselves are not considered to pose any increased risk of electrocution as they are insulated by the rest of the shoe and do not typically come into contact with the ground. Metal midsoles are also typically insulated by other materials though they could potentially come into contact with the ground if the soles of the footwear are badly worn, and in this case they could pose an increased electrocution risk when working around live circuits. Likewise, if safety boots have been worn to the extent that metal components are exposed, there is a chance that they could cause sparks – making them hazardous for use in combustible environments. In any case, it is recommended that safety boots should be replaced as soon as possible in the event that the soles or toes become worn out.