What Is A Steel Shank In A Work Boot? [Easily Explained in 2024]

Written By Mahia

Have you ever thought of how the mountaineers or hikers climb thousands of feet up the mountain that too in work boot?

Well, there is a tool designed especially for the work boots, which offers the optimum support and protection for the feet. And that is a steel shank.


What is a Steel Shank?

A shank is a rigid material made from steel mostly, fiberglass, plastic, or synthetic fiber. A steel shank is a uniform piece of item that is placed inside the boots. It is found between the ball area and below the ankle and underneath the arch.

Let’s learn thoroughly about a steel shank and see how it works by providing support to your feet.


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What Are The Features Of A Steel Shank In Work Boots?

Steel shanks are mostly preferable for work boots. It is placed between the insole and outsole of the shoes. Its thinly featured steel makes the shank very lightweight, which doesn’t give any discomfort or heaviness.


The steel in the shank is stainless, which makes it resistant to discoloring and rust. The steel is also very flexible, which makes a perfect match for the boot. Mainly we use a steel shank for its extreme amount of protection.

In most of the boots, the boot manufacturer already places the steel shank in the work boot. Before purchasing, make sure you buy work boots with steel shanks, ensuring protection and support.

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Why Should You Use A Steel Shank?

You should use a steel shank because it protects your feet and eliminates extra weight that your feet experience during a climb.

A brief explanation is given below:

Steel shanks in a work boot are mostly used for people who climb mountains. The steel shank removes the excessive load that your feet suffer during the climb and reduces discomfort. The most crucial use of steel shank is, it gives protection and support to your feet.

The steel shanks also decrease the number of accidents by protecting your feet from wounds and bruises. If you are a climber, a steel shank in your boot will keep your feet safe from the penetration of sharp objects or rupturing the boot’s bottom.

Read more on What is A Soft-Toe Work Boot

Steel shank also helps you to save a few dollars! If your work boots erode and lose their shape and you plan to buy new work boots, then the steel shank will be your lifesaver. No need to buy a new pair of boots; the steel shank will make your old worn-out boot strong, reliable, and will last for a longer time.


Steel shank also gives optimum support to the workers who spend a lot of time on their feet. For the overworked muscle of the arch, steel shanks can provide significant relief. It gives excellent support and prevents our foot muscles from getting exhausted.

To keep the shape of your work boot intact, the steel shank can be very helpful. It keeps the shape of the boot’s sole undamaged and keeps the boot condition good.

Steel shank also helps to keep balance on an uneven surface. Shanks replace the strain by decreasing the load on your arches, calves, heels.

Shanks come in different sizes-full-length, half-length, 3/4 length of the outer sole. Full size is the heaviest one because it is not that flexible and doesn’t crook in half.

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Frequently Asking Questions

Question: Do all shoes have a shank?

Answer: The shank holds up the foot and gives the shoe a structure. Shanks can be made from different materials, including steel, plastic, fiberglass, and synthetic fiber. Steel shanks are mostly found in work boots that keep the boot’s shape intact, and they toughen the outsoles for a more solid fit.

Question: Are steel shank boots comfortable?

Answer: The shoe shanks are made up of nylon, fiberglass, and synthetic fiber, this is because of their pliable and soft material structure. Steel shank work boots do provide some ease and durability.

Question: Is steel shank the same as steel toe?

Answer: A steel shank is entirely different than a steel toe. However, both the shank and steel toes protect your feet in dangerous conditions and keep the boot’s shape intact. Shanks also serve to shield the foot, specifically underneath your foot, from rupture wounds, but unlike steel toes, they are very lightweight and don’t feel heavy.


If you plan to buy work boots, don’t forget to buy them with the steel shank in them. I promise your investment will be worth every penny. Not only the shank will give comfort to the fatigued muscle of your feet, but it will lower any chances of injury or accidents.

I hope this article will clear all your doubts about steel shank in work boots.

About The Author
Since childhood, Mahia is a shoe freak. And this is what lead her to do more research and gather knowledge about shoes.Mahia has always wanted to share her skill and knowledge about footwear with a mass audience, which ended her up in this amazing workplace.When Mahia is not writing, you can almost always find her in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes to upgrade her catering menu.

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