Ask the Boot Guy

My Steel Toe Hurts! What can I do?

Posted by The Boot Guy on September 11, 2012

What can you do when a steel toe rubs your toes?Steel toe hurts my foot

There are lots of things you can do to get relief. The answer depends on how it hurts. If a steel toe is rubbing your little or big toe it is probably because the shoe is either too short or too narrow. The best answer in that case is to get the correct size. But what if you can't return the shoe or boot and you want to make it feel better.

Ok, here are a few things you may try:

  • Make sure the boot is laced snug. This will pull your foot back away from the toe and keep your foot from sliding forward.
  • Adding some padding can help, especially if the edge feels sharp or rough. We use an adhesive felt tongue pad, cut into strips and stick the strips to to the inside edge of the steel toe.
  • If the shoe has a removable insole or insert, then you could either remove the insert and wear the boot or cut the toe off of the insert. Doing this will give your foot more room in the toe of the shoe. This works very well if you have a hammer toe or a middle toe that rubs on the top edge of the safety toe.

How you can prevent having a safety toe hurting your foot.

If you consistently have problems with steel toes rubbing your toes and causing problems, there are some alternative answers. Look for safety footwear that has a wider style safety toe. Look for Asymmetrical or Oblique safety toes. These are special safety toes that come in true right and left shapes. Most safety toed footwear have the same safety toe on the right and left. Keen Work shoes all have Asymmtrical toes. Some select styles of Carolina, Rocky and Timberland boots and shoes have Oblique Safety Toes.

Buying composite safety toes often can help eliminate toes from rubbing too. Composite toes carry the same safety ratings and do not conduct the winter cold through to your toes. And they are usually bigger to give you more room.

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