How To Stop Steel Toe Boots From Hurting Your Feet

Foot Picture

Are you experiencing pain from your new steel or safety toe boots? If so there are some key actions you can take to eliminate this pain and get on with your workday. Below you will learn how to stop steel toe boots from hurting your feet.

Break the boots in

If your experiencing pain in a new pair of boots, it’s probably safe to say that the boots aren’t broken in yet. Every leather boot has some kind of break-in period. It is during this break in period that the leather of the boot stretches and forms to your specific foot shape. Every boot has a different break-in period, ranging anywhere from a couple of days up to four weeks in some rare cases like Whites or Nicks Boots. If you are still experiencing pain past the four-week mark it’s time to look for another solution to the pain your steel toes are causing.


Pain caused by safety toes is often the result of too much movement of the foot inside the boot itself. One way to combat this is to add an insole insert.

The insert can help your foot stay in place better by eliminating slip inside the boot and by removing space between the top of your foot and the boot.

This is an absolute must if you are wanting to stay comfortable and on your feet for 8+ hours a day.

Most built-in insoles are not the highest quality and are manufactured to fit the masses.

Trying to find the right insert can be difficult so if at all possible go to a local pharmacy or your boot manufacturers store and have an experienced sales person help you find the right one for your boot and foot.

If you are in a hurry or in a more rural area I would recommend picking up a set of Spenco’s.


Having a thicker sock can provide some relief to the pain a steel toe boot can cause.

The extra layer of cushioning and moisture wicking provided by a high-quality sock can really help.

Moisture wicking is important here, most blisters are caused by the friction of the foot slipping around inside the boot according to Healthline. Moisture-wicking socks will prevent this by removing the moisture, causing your foot to slip less.

We have a whole article on how to stop your feet from sweating in work boots because this is such an important topic.

If it is the dead of winter and you need a pair of socks please check out our Winter Sock Guide.


Make sure your boots are laced tight enough that your foot will not slide forward during your stride. Do not lace the boots so tight as to cut off circulation, just enough to stop the foot from moving while walking. This will also keep your toes off of the steel toe itself providing some relief.

If you need a great pair of work boot laces check out our full guide.


This really should be at the top of the list but I’m assuming you already own the boots. When purchasing your work boots, you have to take the time to make sure you get a boot that fits you correctly.

This cannot be overlooked and is essential to you finding a steel toe boot that will not cause you pain.

I have found the best way to do this is to work directly with a salesperson at the manufacturer’s store, they truly are the experts on their product and they want nothing else than to get you the right pair of boots.

I quick rule of thumb on how your boots should fit is that your arch should be directly over the arch of the boot and the ball of your foot should be at the widest point of the boot.

If you find that the boot is not wide enough for you, you may need to look into wide work boot sizing.


Hopefully, we were able to narrow down why your steel toe boots are causing you pain and offered a solution to stop that from helping. If you have any questions comments or your own solutions to stop steel toe boots from hurting, please leave them below in the comments. As always take care and stay safe out there.