Aluminum, Titanium and Alloy Toe: Lighter, Harder Option for Steel Lovers


Yeah, you’ve got me! I’m a big advocate of comp and nano toes but there’s nothing as reassuring as metals. I mean, how would you express hardness (thus resulting into intuitive reliability)?

Yup, people always say, as hard as steel. You may have forsaken steel (at best), how can you go for non metallic plastic/carbon toes? Moreover, there’s no way I could say that there are no crappy non metal toes! Okay, let’s explore it a bit.

The 9 Article Safety Toe Series

This post is part of the safety toe series, 9 articles that mythbust, explain, suggest, and answer FAQs on:

  1. Safety toe
  2. Steel toe
  3. Composite toe
  4. The versus article (compares each type of safety toe)
  5. Carbon/nano toe
  6. [this article] Aluminum and other alloy toes
  7. Metatarsal guard
  8. Soft protective toe and abrasion resistant
  9. Soft toe

Alloy Toe

A mixed derivative of steel, aluminum, titanium or more.

There’s a bit of confusion. Are all aluminum or titanium toes necessarily `alloy’?

What does aluminum alloy or titanium alloy mean?

Well, alloy simply means a mixture of metals (or a bit of other material with metals, like our famous carbon). When someone is saying `aluminum alloy’, they mean the basic or most used metal is aluminum while there are other things mixed with aluminum.

Alloy can be a mixture of metals and other things too.

Alloy are more abundant than pure aluminum toe or titanium toe boots and shoes. Timberland and Reebok are famous for making alloy toe boots and shoes. You will find some nautilus products as well. Sketchersand LaCrosse produce them too.

Brands go alloy for the following reasons:

  1. To make it harder
  2. To keep cost low
  3. To reduce weight
  4. To create some more space
  5. To infuse non-metallic elements

Please make sure you buy these toes from a famed brand as `alloy’ itself is a uncertain and vague terminology. As you can see, there are numerous alloys available.

Are alloys metal detector proof?

Nope, they can’t be for sure. However, detectors can’t detect metal but the magnetic field that metal produces. Having said that, some alloys create less magnetic field, so, less amount of those metals would not blow the whistles off.  

Aluminum Toe

Lighter, warmer & harder metal caps.

Lighter enough compared to their steel counterparts. Some argue against them. The common tendency is: You go for either steel toe or comp ones.

Others may say, aluminum is not as good as steel.

The answer is, brands like Red Wing (and Irish Setter), Keen (Utility), Wolverine, Carolina and Rocky build aluminum boots. Especially Red Wing and Irish Setter heavily depend on these. So, aluminum caps can be better than steel toes if made by the better relied class.

Are aluminum toe boots OSHA approved?

Yes. Aluminum, titanium or other alloy toes are OSHA approved as long as they meet the safety standards.

Do aluminum toe boots get cold?

Yes, but they get less cold. Steel toes get the most. Then comes aluminum. If you like to inhibit, composite toes are the best for that.

Titanium Toe

Costly yet better than steel

Probably the rarest breed. Titanium toes cost higher but take less metal, weigh 30-50% less, providing more wiggle room.Timberland Titan boots used to contain titanium toes. However, they are making other `titan’ toes lately.

Does titanium set off metal detectors?

That’s a great question! Less amount of titanium usually never ever set off metal detectors. Iron has a very high magnetic field, so, all steel and other iron based alloys set metal detectors pretty quick and sharp whereas titanium has a very low magnetic field which would not do so. However, titanium toes are bigger chunky ones with a lot of metal on it. You better not take a chance. Technology is evolving. Avoid harassment and use composite/carbon toes instead.

Just one more thing, you need wider boxes:

That would be all folks for now! Keep shining. We would always be happy to hear from you!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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