Steel Shank: What is it and Why you should use it

Many times customers walk into shoes stores or even contact their shoe suppliers, knowing that they need to buy protective steel toe boots for work, featuring something called a steel shank. Normally, they have not the slightest idea what a steel shank is and that is very much understandable. However, knowing everything about these safe pairs of boots can help every potential buyer to make smarter steel toe shoe buying decisions. While some buyers believe that all steel toe shoes or boots have a steel shank, not all varieties of these outdoor or industrial boots has got this. The following paragraphs provide you with valuable insights into the nature of steel shank boots, advantages of these sturdy boots and how to break in a new pair;

What are steel shank work boots?

steel shankA shoe shank is a part of the supportive structure between the insole as well as outsole. It’s essential to the performance of work boots as the shank does reduce the load incurred by the wearer’s feet.

Just as the name implies, steel shank work boots feature a shank that is made out of steel. These boots are very popular nowadays thanks to their strength as well as durability.

Why obtain these boots that feature a metallic boot shank?

These boots can be a worthy investment for everyone. They offer a whole lot of advantages including but not limited to the following;

  1. Steel Shank Work Boots Provide Protection to the Feet 

steel shank bootsOne of the major benefits of these boots that feature a steel shank is their ability to minimize injury significantly or even prevent it while on the job. Most of them come with a steel toe or cap which encases the front of the foot and serves as the primary form of protection. This layer that is made up of steel functions as a barrier for any sharp object that might otherwise pass through the top of the boot causing damage to your feet. The steel shank or midsole is equally important as far as safety goes. It keeps your feet safe in the event that you step on a sharp object like a thorn or nail.

  1. Steel Shank Boots make for an Incredible Means of Self-defense

Steel toe boots with steel shanks can be a great way for you to protect yourself from bad people. For instance, if somebody decides to leap out of nowhere and demand your valuables, a rapid kick to his groin can leave him lying down on his stomach. The metallic toe cap can be a lethal weapon not easily endurable.

  1. Work Boots Featuring Steel Shanks Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls

steel shank work bootsSlips, trips, and falls are a common scenario in any workplace and often result in numerous accidents every year. Although businesses can take steps such as installing anti-slip floor tape, this doesn’t eliminate the risks of these mishaps completely. Always having on proper work boots with steel shanks is the only way you can be totally safe from slips, trips, and falls. The metallic shank enhances grip by increasing surface area and roughness.

The Best Steel Shank Work Boots

Georgia Boot Men’s Georgia 8″ Lace-to-toe Steel Toe Work Boot Work Shoe

Amazon rating 5 out of 5

Georgia Boot Men's Georgia 8" Lace-to-toe Steel Toe Work Boot Work Shoe

The Georgia Boot Men’s Georgia 8″ Lace-to-toe Steel Toe Work Shoe in a nutshell is a great boot. It fits well as expected. I know some people stay away from waterproof boots as they don’t breath well, especially in hotter environments, however this boot stays very cool. This boot moves quite well straight out of the box as well, break in should only take a week. Only bad thing is the insoles that came with the boot are no good. The material that covers the insole has already come off (I’ve worn them twice). Nothing a dr schoels insert won’t remedy. Overall the boot performs well.


Rocky Men’s Iron Clad Eight Inch Steel Toe Work Boot

Amazon rating 4.5 out of 5

Rocky Men's Iron Clad Eight Inch Steel Toe Work Boot


The design of the Rocky Men’s Iron Clad Eight Inch Steel Toe Work Boot takes the impact, not your foot. We LOVE the hook at the ankle/foot location. All of my other brand boots have an eyelet. This made the fit SO much better. The boot stays fitted to me, as to spreading out when the boot is bent. Better ankle support. PLUS the time it saves! (Now it’s not an effort taking off and putting on. With the eye, I have to loosen ALL of the laces, to get my foot out or in. With the hook, none.) You wouldn’t think that one hook would make such a difference, but it does!

I haven’t had this boot very long, but I can already tell, it will out last the other brands I have. Iron Clad is a good name for them. I’ve had them this summer and working/wearing them in 90 temps, my feet do not get hot. After hours of digging, my feet feel fine. They’re not very old, but so far, waterproof. I can’t feel the steel toe.They support my foot well.

I’m happy I came across them while looking for boots. I hadn’t hear of them, so I didn’t know what I was missing. I want to tell everyone about them! They are the most comfortable and well constructed boot. Made for real work. Made with people on mind. Well worth the money!

How to Break In Your New Boots

A new pair of boots usually doesn’t fit perfectly right out of the box. A few aches and pinches are common, especially around the sides of the toes and heels. You will need to break in your new pair of boots featuring a metallic shoe shank first before you begin wearing them for extended periods to avoid the rough and painful experience of an ill-fitting pair of boots.


Steel toe work boots with metallic shoe shanks come in plenty of styles and with various features. For instance, some steel shank boots are slightly taller and provide better ankle support. This can be quite helpful especially if you have experienced ankle injuries.

Also, other boots have padded collars that protect your ankles from rubbing on the edge of the boots and becoming chafed. The padding also provides additional comfort which is crucial if you need to stand up most of the time while at work.

Selecting the right work boots for your job is crucial as these study footwear are not only used to cover and keep the feet comfortable, but also to provide protection against different safety dangers as well as extreme conditions while at work.




    Stephen Ryan

    (September 19, 2021 - 7:36 am)

    The work boot steel shank is a narrow piece of rectangular, thin, flat, and molded steel that a shoemaker tuck inside a boot for an added layer of protection for the wearer. The primary purpose of a steel shank in boots is to protect the wearer’s feet. It helps stabilize the outsoles of a boot so you can walk or run with a good balance while using it during work.

    Stephen Ryan

    (September 25, 2021 - 2:40 pm)

    Thanks so much for sharing! Great article!

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