Toe protection for kids
October 11, 2022 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to get steel toed boots for kids? If not, what's the next best option? My daughter is engaging an activity that recommends steel-toed boots, and I haven't been able to find anything in her size (4.5 US).

She is interested in rock hunting, and wants to go on some group outings. The recommended equipment includes steel toe boots, presumably for protection in case a big rock drops on your foot. My internet searches have come up empty. I tried Option 1 and Option 2 from Zappos. They look sturdy, but when they arrived I was disappointed to see that the toes were very soft.

The people running the outings have not been able to provide guidance. Do you have any ideas for protective footwear for kids?
posted by Winnie the Proust to Shopping (13 answers total)
I sometimes need to wear safety shoes for work. There are specialty stores for safety shoes. The specialist store in my area is called "mr safety shoe" and has a few pairs of women's size 4. This might give you an idea of shoes to look for.

From experience, composite toe shoes are more comfortable and lighter than steel toe shoes and if you have the option I would buy composite.
posted by ice-cream forever at 7:50 AM on October 11, 2022 [3 favorites]

Hiking boots are available with 'safety toes' - no idea if they come in kids' sizes.
posted by koahiatamadl at 7:50 AM on October 11, 2022

There also exist safety toe overshoes - not necessarily recommending that site/product, but their small goes down to women's size 4.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:53 AM on October 11, 2022

Red Wing makes safety toe boots down to a women's size 5. I'm a women's 6/6.5/7 depending on brand, but used to be able to wear kids' 4.5/5 from Target, so a small women's might actually work for your daughter.
posted by jabes at 7:58 AM on October 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Keen makes women's steel toe shoes starting at a US Womens 5. Shoe sizes are confusing AF, but in theory your daughter's 4.5 is a womens 6.5, right?
posted by mumkin at 7:59 AM on October 11, 2022

Also, no personal experience with the site, but here's some available in a 4.5.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:59 AM on October 11, 2022

(Horse) riding boots may be an option, and they are available in very small sizes.
posted by sacrifix at 8:18 AM on October 11, 2022 [5 favorites]

Do they have places like Tractor Supply or Atwoods in your neck of the woods?

That would be where i would start. Might be able to order from Tractor Supply online.
posted by domino at 8:20 AM on October 11, 2022 [2 favorites]

(Horse) riding boots may be an option, and they are available in very small sizes.

Just came in to say this very thing. Here are some options. The hard toes of the boots protect people toes from getting squashed if a horse steps on your foot.
posted by Dolley at 9:54 AM on October 11, 2022

Where do you live?! I needed to buy them when I was working for the phone company. (never used them) I'm woman- size 5. They look like sneakers.
posted by beccaj at 10:46 AM on October 11, 2022 [2 favorites]

Keen steel/composite toe boots run really small, in my experience. I'm usually a women's 10 or 11, with extremely low volume feet, and I actually had to size up to a men's 10 when I wore Keen composite toe boots. Also, I'm pretty sure that mumkin is correct in suggesting that a youth 4.5 is an adult 6.5. I bet a women's 6.5 or even a 7 would fit your kid. If there's a little extra room, maybe a thicker insole and heavy socks would be a good temporary stopgap until her feet grow a little.

Also, depending on the climate where you live, she may want composite toes rather than steel or aluminum. In my experience at a former job, the metallic alloy toes made people's feet cold.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 11:31 AM on October 11, 2022

4.5 in kids is about 5.5-6 womens. I order my safety shoes for work from They also have horse-riding boots. Another term is “safety toe” if you are searching elsewhere.
posted by gryphonlover at 8:27 PM on October 11, 2022

Since you're searching pretty far and wide to find appropriate sizes, I want mention something to keep an eye out for. Not all steel-toed boots are safety boots! I have encountered some that are steel-toe for confusing fashion reasons (Doc Martens used to make some, and I'm sure there are others). These boots are much less safe than boots without any sort of toe reinforcement -- in an impact, the metal can crimp down and trap the toes, creating a much worse injury.
posted by duien at 5:09 PM on October 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

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