Will Steel Toe Boots Set Off Metal Detectors? [Important Facts]

Written By Nawar

So you want to wear your steel toe boots to the airport but aren’t sure if they’ll beep-beep and embarrass you when passing through the metal detector?

Not to worry anymore! This article will clear up all your confusion.

Thanks to long hours of in-depth analysis, I have found whether steel toe boots are metal detectors friendly or not. And, I’m going to tell you all about it.


So without further ado, let’s dive straight into the writing to find out the answer.

Do Steel Toe Boots Set Off Metal Detectors?

Yes, steel toe boots set off metal detectors. Security checks are found everywhere, from airports to malls. Metal detectors detect even the smallest object containing metal. So, if you don’t want to embarrass yourself, remove your steel toe boots or notify the staff before passing the detector.

No wonder steel toe boots are widely popular for their safety features. However, the outlook of the boots is so fashionable that most people wear them to shopping malls, airports, banks as well as parties.

And just when you pass through the metal detector in steel toe boots, the alarm goes off, and you get that suspicious look from the staff. Have you ever been in a situation like this? I did, though!

To avoid any suspicion, remove your steel toe boots or inform the security personnel about them before entering the security check.

Check out our separate post: Are Steel-Toe Boots Heavy

What Is Steel Toe Boot Made Of?

Steel toe boots are safety boots whose toes are made with steel. Steel toe boots are a savior for people who work on construction sites, as they keep the toes protected from falling heavy and sharp objects.

Steel toe boots are heavyweight, so they keep your feet secure even if you drop anything heavy on your toes.

Steel toe boots also provide puncture resistance with steel plates. As a result, even if the boots collide with sharp things, your feet will be safe.

Steel toe boots provide a number of advantages, but one disadvantage is, that the toe box is composed of steel. The toes become excessively small and uncomfortable to wear.


However, as the saying goes, “you win some, you lose some.” The excellent quality and safety features far outweigh the tiny toe box issue at the airport.

You may also like to read: Do Steel Toe Boots Make Your Feet Colder.

Why Steel Toe Boots Set Off Metal Detectors?

In the toe area of steel toe boots, there is a piece of steel. Steel is an alloy composed primarily of iron, while the iron is a metal. Since there is the presence of steel and steel has metal thus, the steel toe boots set off when passed through metal detectors.

Metal detectors are used to identify metal inclusions in even the tiniest objects, such as key chains, nail clippers, and even metal ear studs.

No metal objects can pass through the metal detector without making a beeping sound and setting off the alert, no matter how deeply you buried them or packed them in your suitcase.

As a result, if you need to pass a security check while wearing steel toe boots, remove them or inform the person in charge that your boots are steel-toed. They must have other options for inspecting the metal objects.

Also read, Composite Toe Vs Steel Toe Boots.

Do Steel Toe Boots Conduct Electricity?

No, steel toe boots do not conduct electricity. In fact, steel toe boots meet the American Society for Testing Material (ASTM) standard. Since the steel is welded inside the boots, there is no risk of conducting electricity; that’s why steel toe boots are a number one choice for electricians.

Many people believe in this phenomenon because of the presence of metal. But, steel toe boots keep you protected from electric risks.

They are safe to wear as long as the steel is enclosed within the boots and does not contact the floor.

However, if the steel toe comes into contact with the floor, which usually occurs when you kneel, electricity flows from the knees to the toes, causing the steel toe boots to become electrically charged.

Are Steel Toe Boots An Electric Hazard?

Steel toe boots do not conduct electricity hence they are not an electrical hazard.

Steel toe boots indeed have metal in their toes, but because the steel is bonded within the boots, it does not come into touch with the ground directly.

And, as long as the steel material does not come into contact with the feet and is not exposed to the floor, you won’t get electrocuted when wearing steel toe boots.


Steel toe boots pass the ASTM test and the standards for Electrical Hazard (EH) safety shoes, indicating they are suitable for use in electrically hazardous environments.

You may like to read: Is Non-Metallic Toe The Same As Steel Toe.

Do Composite Toe Boots Set Off Metal Detectors?

No, composite boots do not set off metal detectors. Composite toe boots are made up of carbon fiber, Kevlar, plastic, or fiberglass, all these materials are non-metal. Since no metal is used in the composite toe boots, there is no element to conduct electricity.

The heel and sole of composite toe boots are made of rubber. Rubber is a great insulator that doesn’t let current flow easily.

Additionally, the rubber sole and it’s sole construction makes sure that even if the toe area is exposed, they keep the shoe, and the wearer insulated and prevent them from being grounded.

All in all, composite toe boots are non-metallic and non-conductive, making them ideal for working in electrically hazardous areas.

Do check our latest post on the Are Cowboy Boots Comfortable.

The Differences Between Steel Toe And Composite Toe Boots?

Steel toe and composite toe boots are two of the greatest safety boot options. Because of their non-conductive properties and foot protection, they are perfect for electricians and construction workers.

However, each of these toe styles differs in ways that distinguish them from one another and allow them to be utilized for various purposes.

Here are the differences between steel toe and composite toe boots:

Steel Toe Composite Toe
Offers more protection as they withstand higher impactDoesn’t provide much protection to the feet
The toe cap is made up of steel, which is a metalThe toe cap is non-metallic, made up of materials like plastics, fiberglass, carbon fiber, etc.
Sets off when passed through a metal detectorDoesn’t set off when passed through a metal detector
Very strong and heavy-duty bootsNot so strong
The steel toe adds extra weight to boots and weighs between 3.5 lbs to 4.5 lbsVery lightweight as it doesn’t have any metallic toe caps and weighs between 1.75 lbs to 4 lbs
Very hard and not breathable at all that makes the boots uncomfortable to wearBreathable that makes the boots comfortable to wear for a long time

Final Thoughts

Steel toe boots are, without a doubt, the best safety footwear for providing optimum foot protection in hazardous environments.

True, passing through the metal detector sets off the steel toe boots. But that’s not a problem; it’s just time-consuming and leads to confusion during the security check.

However, you can easily avoid this problem by alerting the person in charge of the security checkpoint that you are wearing boots that set off the metal detector’s alarm.

You can also remove your boots while passing through the sensor, but I wouldn’t recommend it because the steel toe boots are difficult to slip off and on and cause people to wait longer in line.

Was this article helpful in clarifying your confusion? If so, please let us know in the comments section. Until then, goodbye.

About The Author
Since she was a child, Nawar always had a fascination towards her shoes. There was not a time, she stopped researching or experimenting DIY methods on her precious shoes.As she continued growing up till now, her passion and her love towards shoes attracted this awesome place to work in.Now, her expertise and knowledge isn’t only helping herself but also the whole wide world we live in.


    • Hi Karen, despite common misconceptions, carbon fiber is identifiable by common eddy-current metal detectors because it disturbs an electromagnetic field. So if you’re wearing a Carbon fiber work shoe, chances are it’ll set off metal detectors.


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