Work Boots for Kids: Steel Toe or Non-Steel Toe

Kids Steel toe boots first came into existence to protect the feet of the wearer from potential injury associated with hazardous activities. From work to outdoor activities like extreme sports, hiking, gardening and so on, kids steel toe boots are a necessity. In fact, internationally, the use of steel boots is now a statutory requirement for workers in high risk jobs like construction, electrical and civil works.

steel toe boots for kidsThough, such work is associated with adults, we can’t rule out the fact that children may need to from time-to-time participate in some of these hazardous activities. This fact seems to be lost on footwear manufacturers as steel toe boots appear to still be the sole preserve of adult footwear. Steel toe boots now come in different shapes, colors and designs but surprisingly, big brands like Nike, Clarks, KEEN and so on do not produce kids steel toe boots.

Youth Steel toe boots for kids will provide the much needed protection for their feet. Unfortunately there are presently NO steel toe boots for kids. In the absence of that, there are a number of tough boots available that do a good job of protecting little feet. Here are a few tips for buying the best boots for kids and our review of the best 5 boots each for girls and boys.

Tips on Buying the Best Boots for Kids

Note that when selecting any kind of foot wear for kids, you will not use the same criteria as when buying adults boots or shoes. This is due to a number of reasons: quality, durability and the fact that their feet are still growing.

These boots come in different designs and styles and should be selected not just for their protective qualities, but the individual style and taste of the child in question. Kids are notorious for abandoning garments they don’t like even when brand new, so watch out for that. These are not steel toe boots for kids but they generally have the below protective qualities:

  • Slip resistant for the outdoors.
  • Suitable for multiple terrain.
  • Well cushioned to protect from some level of compression and impact during sports, play, hiking and other activities.
  • Built from durable and breathable materials.
  • Protection from puncture with sharp objects in the ground.
  • Wide toe area providing suitable wiggle room for growing feet.
  • In some cases, they can protect from insect and animal bites.

Review of 10 Best Work Boots for Kids

Best Boots for Girls

Nike Girls’ Woodside 2 High (GS) ACG Girls Boots Hiking Shoes

Amazon rating 4.3 out of 5
Nike Girls Woodside 2 High (GS) ACG Girls Boots Hiking Shoes

The Girls’ Woodside Hiking Shoes from Nike is an excellent shoe for hiking and other outdoor activities regardless of the weather. Great work boot for kids as it’s designed to withstand tough conditions and features a leather upper, soft textile lining, phylon midsole and non-marking firm grip rubber outsole. It comes in a high-top design that cushions the ankles, waterproof inner membrane and Nike’s classic cushioning.

Available in Dark Obsidian/Metallic Dark Grey-Blue Chill only.

Comfortable and stylish.

Cons: Runs narrow.

Dr. Martens Delaney Boot

Amazon rating 4.6 out of 5
Dr. Martens Delaney Boot

The Dr. Martens brand remains hard to beat with this eye-catching but tough boot for girls. The upper body is shiny lace-up leather with contrast stitching at midsole and side zipper for easy on/off. Eight-eyelet design and their signature air-cushioned rubber sole. The main shaft measures about 5″ from foot arch with 1″ heel. This is one tough boot that could serve as an alternative for steel toe boots for kids.

Available in 32 colors.

Pros: Very comfortable and durable.

Cons: Laces are rigid and hard and may be tricky for younger kids to tie by themselves.

Ugg Australia Libbie Round Toe Suede Ankle Boot

Amazon rating 4.8 out of 5
UGG Australia Toddlers Libbie

A winning design for girls from Ugg, Australia. It’s not a steel toe boot for girls, but it’s hard to beat in comfort and style.

The body is suede with a pretty, patent leather bow. It features medial zipper and Ugg logo pull-strap for easy on/off. Moisture resistant upper lining, natural wool inner lining for breathability and warmth. Well cushioned UGG footbed for lasting comfort and lightweight, flexible specially molded rubber outsole.

Available in 2 colors.

Pros: Warm, comfortable and stylish.

Cons: None.

Hi-Tec Kids’ Renegade Trail Hiking Shoes (Unisex)

Amazon rating 4.4 out of 5
Hi-Tec Kids' Renegade Trail Hiking Shoes (Unisex)
This hiking shoe is designed for the outdoors with durable leather body, synthetic materials, and breathable mesh. It’s very close to steel toe boots for kids with its abrasion-resistant toe bumper.

The feet remain dry courtesy sealed seams on the nylon/suede leather body. The molded EVA midsole guarantees shock distribution and optimum comfort, and is board lasted with steel shank to give added durability and rigidity. Thickly padded interior for added ankle support, heavily treaded man-made carbon outsole for firm traction no matter the terrain and/or conditions.

Available in Hot Grey/Warm Grey/Rose

Pros: Attractive design, comfortable at a reasonable price.

Runs a bit small (about a half size).

JFF Shoes Mango-31 Kids Round Toe Military Lace Up Combat Boots

Amazon rating 4.3 out of 5
JFF Shoes Mango-31 Kids Round Toe Military Lace Up Combat Boots

This synthetic leather Mango boot features a roomy round toe, decorative side zipper, adjustable lace-up closure, contrast knit fabric ankle cuff and stitching details. The shaft measures about 5.75” from the arch with 1” heel. Soft inner lining for extended comfort, cushioned insole and non-skid sole. Though not steel toe, it’s a perfect accessory for Fall or Winter.

Available in 3 colors.

Pros: Stylish and comfortable.

Cons: Not waterproof. Zipper is decorative not functional. The paint tends to chip off at the toe area after some months of wear.

Best Non-Steel Toe Boots for Boys

Timberland 6″ Premium Waterproof Boot

Amazon rating 4.5 out of 5
Timberland 6 Premium Waterproof Boot

Timberland remains one of the best makers of footwear for all ages and gender and this model is no different. This may not be a youth’s steel toe boot, but its premium quality and comfort is guaranteed to distinguish it from the pack. It’s a leather ankle boot with padded collar, durable nylon laces and rust-resistant hex-shaped eyelets. The shaft measures about 3″ from arch with 0.75″heel. Moisture resistant inner lining, cushioned EVA foam footbed, seam-sealed waterproof upper with 200 g insulation and synthetic sole.

Available in 18 colors.

Pros: Very stylish and durable.

Cons: Be wary of imitation/fakes.

Nike Air Max Goadome Boots

Amazon rating 4.4 out of 5
Nike Air Max Goadome Boots

Of course our list would not be complete without the renowned Nike Air brand making a strong appearance. If you’re looking for steel toe boots for boys, this comes close with its extremely rugged build and roomy toe area.

These boots are popularly known for tackling whatever Mother Nature offers due to their rugged construction. The Nike Air Max Goadome Boots features moisture-resistant, full-grain leather upper: ice, mud or snow you name it this boot is up to the task without losing a step. It has full-length encompassed Air-Sole unit throughout the sole for the ultimate in plush cushioning. The whole ensemble is finished with a rugged, lug pattern, solid rubber outsole for firm grip.

Available in 12 colors.

Pros: Lightweight, comfortable and durable. Feet are well protected from the elements.

Cons: None.

Clarks Boys’ Fleet Up GTX Junior

Amazon rating 4.4 out of 5
Clarks Boys' Fleet Up GTX Junior

Clarks is one of the oldest and trusted names in footwear but they also do not produce kids steel toe shoes. The Fleet Up GTX Junior has a unique folky, utility-inspired look suitable for casual and outdoor wear. Its waterproof leather body comes with hiker lacing, breathable GORE-TEX® technology, odor resistant Agion antibacterial lining and inner zipper for easy on/off. Finished with colorful rubber sole.

Color Cognac leather only.

Pros: Stylish looks, firm construction and good waterproofing.

Cons: None.

Merrell Capra Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Amazon rating 4.7 out of 5
Merrell Capra Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

This best-selling boot comes from the Merrell brand and it’s not hard to see why it’s a firm favorite with kids and parents alike. It’s designed to allow the wearer confidently take on the outdoors. Some forward thinking features really set this boot apart from the competition like M-select fresh that naturally prevents order even before it starts for guaranteed all-day fresh smelling feet.

The upper body is a 4.5” leather shaft from arch with M-select waterproof, impermeable membrane and removable EVA footbed. Rubber sole M-select grip tunes each outsole providing durable traction that grips when and where you need it. These are all reasons to choose these shoes since there are no steel toe boots for boys available.

Available in 3 colors.

Pros: Very good waterproofing. Lightweight and durable.

Cons: Runs narrow and may feel stiff to some users.

KEEN Pagosa Mid WP Hiking Boot

Amazon rating 4.7 out of 5
KEEN Pagosa Mid WP Hiking Boot

The KEEN brand is commonly recommended as one of the best shoe brands for kids. The Pagosa Hiking Boot is designed for little explorers and it’s easy to see why we recommend it as an alternative to boys’ steel toe shoes. It comes with waterproof leather/mesh body and mesh upper, secure fit lace-up for quick on/off. The shaft measures about 4.5″ from arch and the moisture-proof, breathable membrane keeps feet dry for outdoor walks. The rubber outsole is non-marking and traction rich for stability and support.

Available in 4 colors.

Pros: Good grip. Comfortable and durable.

Cons: Requires breaking-in for a few days.


The above boots are not steel toe boots for kids but with the other safety and durability features they come with, they rank top among the toughest but comfortable work boots for kids you can buy today.




    (June 28, 2015 - 2:41 pm)

    I am looking for steel toe boots for kids size 2.50 or 3


      (July 6, 2015 - 10:36 am)

      Hi! Here is Rocky Kid’s Ride Wellington Waterproof Boot Rocky Kid’s Boots


        (October 31, 2020 - 10:01 am)

        I’m looking for size 4 steel toe boots.


    (January 8, 2016 - 1:38 am)

    My question is the same as Alicia’s so please don’t give the same answer. Looking for STEEL TOE boots size 2.5-3, not waterproof ones like you gave the link to.

    A Cotr

    (June 4, 2016 - 3:54 pm)

    yep, i am looking for size 2 – 2.5 steel toed boots for a petit friend. Anyone found any?


      (October 30, 2016 - 5:48 pm)

      you may want try your local wolverine/hytest distribution warehouse. there is a hytest steel toe shoe that comes in a size 3. it runs small so it may fit your friend thats what ive been wearing.


    (June 18, 2016 - 1:57 am)

    Hi, Was anyone able to find steel toe boots or shoes in kid size 2.5 – 3?


      (June 18, 2016 - 4:36 am)

      Hi! You could buy them on amazon – link


        (November 7, 2016 - 10:48 pm)

        The link says “steel shank” but I specifically need steel toes for work. Anyone found any kid’s sized steel toed shoe or boot? I need a 20 cm shoe. I believe its something like 3 in US size.

    Ann Finn

    (August 11, 2016 - 11:38 pm)

    I wear a 13.5 in children size I have the hottest shoe by wolverine work shoes

    scot selbee

    (August 13, 2016 - 7:40 pm)

    a size 3 in kids would be a size 5 in womens boots


    (December 23, 2016 - 10:54 am)

    Im a lady truck driver and have a child’s size 13-1 foot and can’t find steel to boots anywhere, without these my work is limited

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