Steel Toe vs. Composite Toe Caps

Steel toe and composite cap boots

What is the difference between Steel Toe and Composite Toe Safety Boots?

Steel toe caps are mandatory on many work sites and are often the more popular choice over composite toe caps but do you know the benefits of choosing a composite cap?

Composite toe caps are more lightweight than steel caps and are non-conductive. They are also handy for FIFO workers so they do not need to remove their boots to pass through security metal detectors at airports.

Steel Toe Cap


  • Weight: 108g

  • Cut resistance to power saw

  • Puncture resistance to nail gun

  • Mandatory on many industrial work sites

  • Prevents injury from falling objects at a drop force of 200 joules

  • Complies with: AS/NZS 2210.3


  • Heavier than composite toe caps

  • Can become an ignition hazard, reduce the risk by choosing a bump cap and always maintaining your boots

  • Need to be removed for airport security checks

Composite Toe Cap


• Weight: 60g

• Significantly lighter with superior flexibility

• Metal detector friendly

• Can be X-rayed

• Excellent thermal regulation – insulates against hot and cold

• Protects against spark ignition and will not transmit electricity

• Rebounds after vertical or roll compression

• Complies with: AS/NZS 2210.3


• Not as resistant to punctures as steel toe cap

• Can be more expensive

Still not sure which boots are right for your team? Contact the ATOM Safety team for expert advice.

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ATOM acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands in which we operate in Australia. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them, their cultures; and to elders both past, present and emerging.