Large selection of products and fast shipping!

Shopping cart

Your cart is currently empty

My Steel Toe Hurts! What Can I Do?

  • Posted on
  • By The Boot Guy
  • Posted in All
  • 27
My Steel Toe Hurts! What Can I Do?

What you can do if your steel toe hurts your feet

What Can You Do When A Steel Toe Rubs Your Toes?Steel toe hurts my foot

There are lots of things you can do to get relief. The answer depends on how it hurts. If a steel toe is rubbing your little or big toe it is probably because the shoe is either too short or too narrow. The best answer in that case is to get the correct size. But what if you can't return the shoe or boot and you want to make it feel better.


Ok, Here Are A Few Things You May Try:

-Make sure the boot is laced snug. This will pull your foot back away from the toe and keep your foot from sliding forward.


-Adding some padding can help, especially if the edge feels sharp or rough. We use an adhesive felt tongue pad, cut into strips and stick the strips to to the inside edge of the steel toe.


-If the shoe has a removable insole or insert, then you could either remove the insert and wear the boot or cut the toe off of the insert. Doing this will give your foot more room in the toe of the shoe. This works very well if you have a hammer toe or a middle toe that rubs on the top edge of the safety toe.


How You Can Prevent Having A Safety Toe Hurting Your Foot.

If you consistently have problems with steel toes rubbing your toes and causing problems, there are some alternative answers. Look for safety footwear that has a wider style safety toe. Look for Asymmetrical or Oblique safety toes. These are special safety toes that come in true right and left shapes. Most safety toed footwear have the same safety toe on the right and left. Keen Work shoes all have Asymmtrical toes. Some select styles of Carolina, Rocky and Timberland boots and shoes have Oblique Safety Toes.

Buying composite safety toes often can help eliminate toes from rubbing too. Composite toes carry the same safety ratings and do not conduct the winter cold through to your toes. And they are usually bigger to give you more room.


Slim, The Boot Guy 


  1. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Drew,
    This can be caused by a shorter heel than you are used to or a higher one. You could add heel lifts to help heighten. Or perhaps there isn't enough cushion. You can add a different cushions/ insoles. If it's the actual boot collar rubbing your ankle I would recommend, thick boot socks scrunched down around your ankles to pad while you break your boots in.

  2. Drew Roden Drew Roden

    Hi, I started a job where I needed steel toes . They’re causing my heels and back ankle to ache till I can’t walk . What do I do this pain is becoming unbearable

  3. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Sannie,
    There are a few different things that could be causing this problem. To me it sounds like some sort of nerve neuropathy. Have you seen a foot doctor about this issue? It might be the best idea to check and make sure everything is right with your feet.


    What can do I had to buy composite safety boots for my job they are fairly comfortable but I have this intensely sticking pain in my big toes it feels like someone is sticking me with a needle in my big toe. What can I do to ease this feeling when wearing my boots?

  5. Marquita Banks Marquita Banks

    Hi, I started a job where I needed steel toes . They’re causing my heels and back ankle to ache till I can’t walk . What do I do this pain is becoming unbearable.

  6. Ryan Gilbert Ryan Gilbert

    I own composite toe boots. They were recently delivered and unfortunately they are rubbing on the side of my big toes. It hurts like hell and I’ve reordered them once before. Is there anyway I can bend or fix this.

  7. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Jill,
    Sometimes wearing a longer, narrower boot is the best answer to keep your toes from bending in the wrong place and the steel from hitting the top of your foot.
    You might try taking out the original insole and putting in a thinner insole or a 3/4 length insole so it's not as thick in the toe box and gives you more room.
    You might also try a composite safety toe instead of steel toe. They provide a roomier fit while still protecting your toes.

  8. Jill Jill

    My steel toe shoes are comfortable everywhere on my feet except my left foot. When I walk, (the left shoe only) the steel plate digs into the top of my foot and within an hour that spot is so sore. I've tried other sizes and brands. When I find a pair that doesn't do it, they end up giving me an issue with too much pressure on the outside of my big toe on the right foot! My job is requiring safety toe shoes and I can't afford to leave my job because of this. I'm on my feet for 9-13 hours a day and walk an average of 8 miles (according to my Fitbit)..... I need comfortable shoes.......

  9. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Steve,
    If you need safety toe boots composite toe runs wider than a steel toe cap, generally.
    One of my favorite boots for wide feet at the moment is the Timberland PRO Boondock ( ) it has an extremely roomy composite toe box that I highly recommend for wide feet. It is also made in an 8" version if you prefer taller boots. And in soft toe if you don't need the safety toe cap.
    Keen is another great brand that makes asymmetrical safety toe caps that are generally roomier for your toes.
    Many American made boots will come in extended width sizes this can be helpful in finding a wider boot as well.

  10. Steve Steve

    When I wear any boot especially steel toe.
    My left pinkie toe swells up . I tried a wider boot ,helped a little. What the best boot for toe room? Does steel toe boots give you more toe room?
    Thank you

  11. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Certain types of safety toe boots will run bigger in the toe box. Such as composite toe. There are also brands that have asymmetric safety toe caps that are made to fit the shape of your toes. Keen is a nice brand with a wide asymmetrical toe box. It could also be you're buying short, wide boots and your feet need a narrower, longer boot.

  12. Cindy Sorendon Cindy Sorendon

    I have tried boot after boot. Bigger sizes, different brands. When I buy steel toe boots, the steel toe on my right foot, only, puts pressure at very end of my foot where my toes are. I’m assuming this foot may have a different arch, or something. But it makes no difference if I buy men’s boots or woman’s boots. The left is perfect, always. I have to have steel toe for my work, nothing else. If I could get the steel lifted just a little on my right foot it would be perfect. Anything I can do apart from buying new boots? Thanks.

  13. Chris Chris

    Got a new pair of boots that have a safety toe and I’m curious I have the right fit, when taking the insole out it fits on the insole just right but they almost look like clown shoes on my feet. The bend in the boot is right at my pinky toe, they feel comfortable but I’m unsure if this is a proper fit. The pinky toe is not under to the toe cap

  14. Rebecca Rebecca

    I just got new leather/gortex hiking boots. There is slight pressure on the side of my pinky toe. Will this get better over time? Trying to decided if I should return or they need breaking in?

  15. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Mooda, if you just got these shoes and at all possible I would take them back for this problem because it sound like a defective shoe.
    It isn't possible to alter the steel toe cap unfortunately and if they were altered they would no longer be safe. You could try getting them stretched behind/around the safety toe (the leather part). You can also shave down the insole under your toes (pull it out and sand the underside down to make it thinner and give you more room in the toe box). Or try taking out the old insoles and getting some thinner ones to provide you more room. Best of luck.

  16. Mooda Mooda

    The toe cap in my safety shoes is smaller than the other which hurts my big and small toe , how can I make it wider without removing it?

  17. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Denise. Tell me more about where you're feeling pain/what kind. Is it the ball of the foot or the heel? Arch or toes? If its the ball of the foot that's a classic sign you need better arch support.

  18. Denise Denise

    My feet hurt with my boots on when Iam standing in one place what can I do to make them feel better y Iam standing

  19. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hi Russ, tell me more, are you experiencing hammer toes? If so metatarsal arch support will help lift up your instep and relieve pressure on your toes.

  20. Russ Russ

    After wearing my shoe style boots, my heels and my tos pads hurt and feel swollen. The bottom of my toe pads touch the foot pad without even bending my toes. I am on my feet all day every day. Should I worry

  21. KC Van De Graaff KC Van De Graaff

    Just got a couple pairs of steel toes, but my big toe hurts after a few hours. It feels like there’s been contrary pressure (like someone standing on my foot) but ONLY on the big toe nail. Just On the nail, pressing Downward....

  22. Joe Bell Joe Bell

    Just bought a lovely pair of Dickies steelies thing is the steel is cutting into my toes! Help please!

  23. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Sella, even though it is effecting only one foot I would still try some of the suggestions in this blogpost to try and fix it. Sometimes we have one foot either bigger or wider than the other. If you've tried the suggestions above how did it go? Did any help some? What happened?

  24. Sella Sella

    I recently bought doc marten steel toes & only the left side bothers my foot & swelled up my pinky toe! Not sure what to do it’s hurts so bad

  25. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Donna, what kind of steel toe boots are you wearing right now that make you feel this way? Have you worn other boots in the past that worked well for you? If so what kind were they? A bit more information may help me give you some better advice.

  26. Donna Donna

    After I wear my steel toe boots the bottoms of my feet and ankles hurt so bad that I can not walk. While I wear my boots my feet burn and feel hot

  27. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Tell me more, where are they hurting your feet at? Is the steel digging in? Or are the bottoms of your feet hurting?

  28. Bernard moore Bernard moore

    My steel toe shoes are tennis shoes and as I said make hard for me walk they hurt my feet after wear them a few mins

Leave a comment
* Your email address will not be published
← Return to the back office    Free Shipping on any $ 199+ Order . Hide