Steel Toe Air Force Ones – Does Nike Make Them for Work? [AF1]


At this time, Nike does not currently make steel toe Air Force Ones. But if you are interested in steel toe Air Force Ones because you want an athletic-style steel toe work shoe, the good news is you do have plenty of options made by other well-known companies. I have tried a lot of these shoes and can give you a pretty good idea what to expect out of each of them.

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These are my favorite alternatives to steel toe Air Force Ones:

As you can see in the list above, Reebok makes a lot of work shoes, including steel toe shoes. I have tried many of their work shoes and consider them to be some of the most comfortable steel toe shoes that I’ve worn. Here I am wearing my Reebok Zprint steel toe work shoes:

reebok-zprint-worn
reebok-zprint-breathability

What jumps out about these shoes is the breathability. These are the most breathable steel toe shoes that I tried.

If you are working in a hot climate and need something that won’t trap heat, I think these are your best option. In the picture above, I tried to capture just how breathable these shoes are. When I hold them up to the light, you can see through these shoes.

I also really like the Reebok All Terrain Steel Toe Shoes. These Reebok All Terrain Shoes have an athletic design that is very comfortable and easy to work in. Here is a look at mine:

reebok-all-terrain-shoes
reebok-all-terrain-design

The thing I really like about these Reebok All Terrain Shoes is they have a more complex outsole than other types of athletic steel toe work shoes, which allows them to handle outdoor terrain and gravel much better than other work shoes.

Ultimately, there are several nice steel toe athletic shoes that can act as an alternative choice to steel toe Air Force Ones. In this article not only do I want to discuss some of my favorite alternatives, I also want to discuss in further detail what type of work shoes Nike does make.

Steel Toe Air Force Ones Information

Does Nike Make Steel Toe Air Force Ones?

As we discussed at the top of the article, unfortunately Nike does not currently make steel toe Air Force 1s. But if you are interested in Nike work shoes, there are some options, but they are not steel safety toe shoes.

Has Nike Ever Made Steel Toe Air Force Ones?

Yes, Nike did at one point make a steel toe version of the Air Force One shoes. In 2004, Nike made special edition “SWAT” Air Force Ones that were worn by security personnel for the 2004 Olympics held in Athens, Greece. These special edition safety Air Force Ones did have steel safety toes.

These rare steel toe Air Force Ones do pop up for sale occasionally on third party re-sale sites like Ebay. This is what those special edition “SWAT” Air Force Ones looked like.

What Type of Work Shoes Does Nike Make?

Nike does make tactical-style work boots that are used often by first responders or people in the armed services. These types of tactical field boots provide premium ankle support for uneven terrain and have a lightweight, responsive design that allows you to respond quickly in an active environment. Again, these tactical boots that Nike makes are not steel toe shoes.

This is what one of the most popular versions of Nike’s tactical field work boots looks like (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Many people like these types of boots due to the ankle support and because the overall design is an athletic style that is still quite durable.


Best Alternatives for Steel Toe Air Force Ones

So, steel toe Air Force 1’s don’t currently exist. What are your options? There are actually a wide range of steel-toe athletic shoes on the market today that provide a comfortable, lightweight solution for work.

But it is worth noting that many of these options are low-top, so if you were searching for mid or high-top steel toe AF1s, it is a bit hard to find alternative options. This is where you can view the selection of high-top steel toe shoes available at Amazon (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

Below are my favorite alternatives to steel toe AF1’s, and what I think you should know about each option.

Reebok Work Men’s Soyay Steel Toe Shoe

It’s probably fair to guess that if you are specifically looking for Nike steel toe Air Force Ones, that you aren’t a huge fan of Reebok. Well, I was maybe a little skeptical myself at first, but after trying several types of Reebok work shoes, I was absolutely shocked at how much I liked them.

Reebok offers a wide range of athletic and casual steel toe shoes that give you plenty of options to find something that fits your particular needs. This Reebok Soyay work shoe has a similar design when compared to low-top AF1s.

Here’s what these Reebok Soyay steel toe work shoes look like:

This is the current price of this Reebok Soyay steel toe shoe available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about alternative option to steel toe Air Force Ones:

  • Design – These shoes are made using suede uppers to give a casual vibe to the shoe. There is a nylon mesh liner to help add some breathability to the shoe. The tongue and collar has padding for extra comfort around the ankle. The outsole is rubber and is slip-resistant. Yes, this is a steel toe shoe.
  • Style – These casual steel toe shoes have an athletic design that makes them stand out from typical work boots. The toe is rounded and overall the shoe is wider than other types of low-top athletic-style work shoes. Wide sizing is available for this shoe. This shoe has a standard lace-up front.

Click here to buy this Reebok Soyay steel toe work shoe available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). The cushioning insert for this shoe is removable so you can swap them out when needed.


Reebok Work Men’s Zprint Steel Toe Shoe

I mentioned these shoes briefly at the top. There are two specific things I like about these Reebok Zprint shoes. First, they are very breathable and great for hot weather work and second, they provide excellent comfort under the foot.

These Reebok Zprint shoes have a very lightweight build. They weigh 1.15 pounds per shoe for a men’s size 12 regular. They use memory foam insoles (Reebok calls this insole “MemoryTech Massage”) that have groove pods which help relieve stress off the bottom of my foot.

In the video below, I tried to capture just how soft these Reebok MemoryTech Massage insoles are in my shoes:

If you are looking for a lightweight, ultra-breathable shoe that has great under-foot comfort, these are great alternative to Nike steel toe work shoes. For summer hot weather, this is my favorite steel toe shoes to wear.

Click here to buy these Reebok Zprint lightweight steel toe shoes available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). In my experience, these Reebok shoes fit true to size, but do have a narrow fit common of athletic shoes. If you have wide feet, I’d recommend ordering wide sizing.


Caterpillar Men’s Woodward Steel Toe Shoes

If you prioritize lightweight work shoes, then these Caterpillar Woodward shoes might be your best option. I recently tried 10 different steel toe tennis shoes to use for work, and these Caterpillar Woodward shoes weighed the least.

My size 12 men’s shoe weighed just 1.09 pounds per shoe. To put this into perspective, I also recently tried 14 different composite toe shoes, and the average weight for those 14 composite toe shoes was 1.25 pounds per shoe, so these Caterpillar Woodward shoes come in significantly lighter than the average composite toe shoe despite being steel toe shoes.

In fact, if I were to rank the weight of this Caterpillar Woodward steel-toe shoe with the weights of those 14 lightweight composite toe shoes that I tried, this shoe would have ranked 6th most lightweight of the entire group. I’m saying all of this to say that these Caterpillar Woodward shoes would even be considered reasonably lightweight if they were compared to composite toe shoes.

To find a steel toe work shoe that is this lightweight is really uncommon, and if you prioritize lightweight comfort, these will be your a nice substitute for steel toe Air Force Ones. These Caterpillar Woodward shoes feel like lightweight athletic shoes when I wear them.

Click here to buy these Caterpillar Woodward steel toe shoes available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). In my experience, these Caterpillar Woodward shoes fit true to size. Like most low-top athletic work shoes, these Caterpillar Woodward shoes are built for light-duty work.


Reebok Work All Terrain Steel Toe Shoes

I really like these Reebok All Terrain steel toe shoes. As I mentioned at the top of the article, I think these are one of the most versatile athletic-style work shoes on the market today.

They have a lightweight, comfortable design that makes them great for indoor jobs, but they also have a more advanced outsole that allows them to take on certain outdoor terrains as well. This can be especially helpful if you spend your day working on gravel and dirt.

These shoes use Reebok’s “MemoryTech” memory foam insoles that provide a soft cushioning under all parts of my foot. The overall weight of these shoes is still reasonably lightweight. My size 12 men’s shoes weigh 1.29 pounds per shoe.

These have an ultra-flexible design and truly feel like an athletic shoe when you wear them. They have a light-duty toe overlay for some extra abrasion resistance. Overall, if you are looking for an alternative to steel toe Air Force Ones that you can use both indoors and outdoors comfortably, I’d recommend these shoes.

Click here to buy these Reebok All Terrain steel toe shoes available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). In my experience, these Reebok All Terrain shoes fit true to size. To read more, visit my article about the Reebok All Terrain Steel Toe Shoes.


Caterpillar Brode Steel Toe Work Sneakers

Recently I tried 10 popular steel toe work shoes, including this Caterpillar Brode Steel Toe Shoe. I named this shoe my favorite “sneaker-style” shoe due to the casual style that it has. This is a shoe that transitions easily off the clock and looks very natural paired with jeans.

This is not a lightweight, flimsy work shoe. Overall I found this to be heavier than most other low-top steel toe shoes. It has a durable build made with 100% leather on the upper.

brode-steel-toe-caterpillar-weight

My size 12 men’s shoe weighs 1.53 pounds per shoe. This shoe also has a rubber overlay over both the toe and the heel for extra abrasion resistance.

Overall, I found this shoe to be much more durable than other lightweight, low-top work shoes on the market today. It combines a casual vibe with a durable toughness needed on the job. But even though it is more durable than most other low top steel toe shoes, I found the flexibility to still be very good:

brode-steel-toe-caterpillar-flexibility

Ultimately, this is a casual steel toe shoe that has a flat outsole that is similar to the design of AF1 shoes, and might make for a reasonable replacement for steel toe Air Force Ones. This shoe blends very well with both jeans and shorts, and looks good even off the clock.

Click here to buy this Caterpillar Brode casual steel toe work shoe available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). In my experience, this shoe fits true to size. Wide sizing is available.


Where to Buy Nike Work Shoes

Steel toe Air Force Ones might not exist, but as we discussed earlier in the article, Nike does make other types of work shoes. Click here to view Nike’s selection of boots currently available at Nike.com. To read about safety toe shoes in other brands, visit our resources linked below:

Nike field tactical boots are popular for first responders and people in the armed services, but they also might make sense for you if you work on rugged terrain and are looking for something that is comfortable and responsive.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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