Many of us like Vans shoes due to their lightweight comfort. Unfortunately, the majority of steel toe shoes tend to be heavy and uncomfortable, leading to foot pain. Does Vans make steel toe shoes? No, Vans does not currently make steel toe shoes. However, I recently tried 10 different types of steel toe shoes so I could find options that were actually comfortable. In this article, I will discuss the best options.
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These are my favorite alternatives to Vans Steel Toe Shoes:
- Skate Style – Reebok Soyay Skate Style Steel Toe Shoes (click here to view)
- Slip On Style – Nautilus Slip-On Westside Steel Toe Work Shoes (click here to view)
- Athletic Style – Reebok Work All Terrain Steel Toe Shoes (click here to view)
- Feel/Fit Like Socks – Larnmern Mesh Steel Toe Sock Shoes (click here to view)
- Ultra Lightweight – Caterpillar Woodward Steel Toe Work Shoes (click here to view)
- Most Breathable – Reebok Work Zprint Steel Toe Safety Shoes (click here to view)
- Women’s Skate Style – Reebok Soyay Skate Style Steel Toe Shoes (click here to view)
- Women’s Athletic – Reebok Memory Foam Hyperium Steel Toe Shoes (click here to view)
- Women’s Lightweight – Caterpillar Woodward Steel Toe Shoe (click here to view)
- Women’s Slip On Style – Nautilus Westside Steel Toe Work Shoes (click here to view)
In this article I want to discuss Vans steel toe alternatives in more detail by highlighting some of my favorite steel toe shoes. I also want to discuss why Vans footwear does not make steel toe shoes.
Steel Toe Shoes Like Vans
Vans does not currently make steel toe shoes. I recently tried 10 different types of low-top athletic steel toe shoes so I could compare them on many things, including comfort. We will discuss my favorites in the next section. But first, I want to discuss a two steel toe shoes that are like Vans.
- Reebok Soyay Skate Steel Toe Shoes – If you want Vans steel toe shoes because you like skateboarding shoes, these Reebok Soyay work shoes might be a good option. This skateboard-inspired work shoe is made with a suede upper and has an EVA cushion removable footbed with a sponge rubber heel wedge and ‘Grip Master’ slip resistant outsole. These shoes are available for both men and women. Click here to view these shoes at Amazon (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
- Nautilus Westside Steel Toe Shoes – If you want Vans steel toe shoes because you like Vans Slip-On shoes, these Nautilus Westside safety shoes have a similar slip-on style. They use a canvas upper for durability, but still have a flexible design for comfort. These shoes are available for both men and women. Click here to view these shoes at Amazon (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
My Favorite Vans Steel Toe Shoe Alternatives
Reebok All Terrain Steel Toe Shoes
As I mentioned earlier, one drawback to athletic safety shoes is most options are built for indoor, flat surfaces. These Reebok All Terrain steel toe shoes are a bit different. They have more complex outsoles that can handle a wider range of terrains, but still have a comfortable, athletic style.
Here I am wearing mine:
Here is a better look at the grooved outsole on my shoes:
These shoes are very breathable, flexible, and lightweight for a safety shoe. They bend just like a normal athletic shoe:
What I really like about these shoes is they use soft memory foam insoles (Reebok calls these insoles “MemoryTech”).
I think memory foam provides the most under-foot comfort and provides relief for those of us spending our whole days standing on a hard work surface. These shoes also have a thick foam midsole that is lightweight and also helps absorb shock and provide the under-foot comfort you’d expect in an athletic shoe:
They are also very lightweight for a steel toe shoe. My size 12 shoe weighs only 1.29 pounds per shoe. Although this is very lightweight, the Caterpillar Woodward shoes we discuss later are even more lightweight.
Click here to buy these Reebok All Terrain steel toe comfortable safety shoes available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These are my favorite Vans steel toe alternatives if you prefer your safety shoe to feel like a running shoe on your foot.
Reebok Zprint Steel Toe Shoes
The Reebok Zprint Steel Toe shoe is another steel toe option that has a very athletic design. The two things that stand out the most about these shoes are the breathability (they were the most breathable steel toe shoes that I tried) and the soft memory foam insoles.
Here I am wearing these shoes:
These Reebok Zprint shoes have unique memory foam insoles that also have groove pods that help relieve stress off the bottom of my foot (Reebok calls this insole “MemoryTech Massage”). In the video below, I tried to capture just how soft these Reebok MemoryTech Massage insoles are:
What makes these steel toe shoes a great alternative to Vans steel toe shoes is these Reebok Zprint shoes are extremely breathable. For example, when I hold mine up to the light, you can actually see light passing through the shoe:
These shoes are also very lightweight for steel toe shoes (but the Caterpillar Woodward shoes we discuss next weigh even less). My Reebok Zprint weighs 1.15 pounds for a size 12 shoe:
What is the drawback to these shoes? Like most low-top comfortable safety shoes, these shoes are not built for rugged work. Yes, they have a thin toe-overlay to provide some extra durability, but these shoes are built for light-duty work on predictable terrain.
The outsole is very similar to a running shoe, which adds comfort and flexibility, but they won’t make sense for rugged terrain or for workers that climb ladders all day.
Click here to view the current price of these Reebok Zprint shoes available at Amazon (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shoes will be a nice alternative to Vans steel toe shoes if you prioritize breathability. In my experience, these shoes fit true to size.
Caterpillar Woodward Steel Toe Shoes
What makes these Caterpillar Woodward steel toe shoes stand out from other options? These weigh less than all the other steel toe shoes that I tried. They are very lightweight for steel toe shoes. My size 12 shoe weighs only 1.09 pounds per shoe.
When I recently tried 10 different types of steel toe shoes, this is how they compared regarding weight:
|Caterpillar Woodward||1.09||View My Photos|
|Reebok Zprint||1.15||View My Photos|
|Fila Memory Reckoning||1.21||View My Photos|
|Reebok Sublite||1.25||View My Photos|
|Reebok All Terrain||1.29||View My Photos|
|Skechers Cankton||1.30||View My Photos|
|New Balance 627||1.50||View My Photos|
|Keen Atlanta Cool 2||1.50||View My Photos|
|Caterpillar Brode||1.53||View My Photos|
|Keen Lansing Low||1.55||View My Photos|
These comfortable safety shoes feel like lightweight running shoes on my foot. However, they don’t have thick memory foam insoles like the Skechers Cankton and Reebok Zprint, so if you are looking for a soft sole safety shoe, those two options may be best. Still, these Caterpillar Woodward shoes are very comfortable to wear.
These shoes are available for both men and women. This is the current price of these Caterpillar Woodward shoes available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). In my experience, these shoes fit true to size.
Why Doesn’t Vans Make Steel Toe Shoes?
As you already know, Vans is a popular brand known for producing trendy and stylish shoes for casual wear. However, the brand has not ventured into producing steel toe shoes for several reasons.
Firstly, steel toe shoes are primarily designed for work-related purposes, such as work sites and factories, and therefore require specific features to meet safety standards and regulations. These safety features often include reinforced soles, puncture-resistant materials, and a snug fit, which may not align with Vans’ core design aesthetic of producing lightweight and fashionable skate-style shoes for everyday wear.
Also, Vans’ target market is focused on lifestyle and fashion, rather than industrial or work-related purposes. The brand’s slip-on style and relaxed fit may not provide the necessary level of support and stability required for safety, as steel toe shoes typically have laces or straps that ensure a secure fit during physical activity.
Overall, Vans may feel that it is better to focus on its core competencies of creating trendy and comfortable shoes for casual wear, rather than expanding into a market that does not align with the brand’s values and design principles.