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What Is a Steel Shank in a Work Boot? Let’s Find Out Now!

Writen by Joshua Clark

Fact checked by Daniel Rocha

what is a steel shank in a work boot

Maybe you should have wondered how to make the best use of your work boots? A steel shank work boot is an obvious solution to your issue.

You’re probably curious to know what is a steel shank in a work boot? A steel shank is a flat, piece of steel placed between a work boot’s outsole and insole. It is rectangular and made of a solid steel composition that protects the foot from harm in the event of a major issue. They also help to maintain the shape of the foot.

So, What Is a Steel Shank?

The steel shank in a work boot is the reinforcement for the arch, which provides stiffness and strength to the shoe. Steel shanks are made of tempered steel, which is more durable than other metals. Steel is also lighter and better at absorbing shock. Steel shanks are usually rolled steel or tempered steel shanks.

The steel shanks must be riveted onto the heel and counter of the shoe, and they run from the heel to about two inches above the toes. Steel shanks provide excellent protection for the feet, ankles, and toes by distributing weight evenly. Triple rib steel shanks can provide more grip on slippery surfaces like snow or ice because of their metal composition.

See now for more information:

What Are the Best Steel Shank Work Boots to Buy?

A steel toe workbook is certainly something you’ve heard of. Even though not all steel shank work boots feature a steel toe, they can serve similar functions. A steel toe work boot protects the toes, while the shank protects the beneath. They both preserve the footwear in good condition.

Polyester, steel, metal combinations, fiber combinations, and other materials can be used to make shanks. Steel shanks are the most common and provide a professional look for your work boots.

Check the reviews on the top work boots I’ve used before here!

What Is the Purpose of a Steel Shank?

When your work boots start to lose their form, you need to replace them. Purchasing new work boots or switching models will result in you spending money that you do not need to spend. Using a steel shank will offer you long-lasting, dependable footwear. This is something to think about and invest in if you want to work with peace of mind.

Another benefit of having a steel shank is that it can absorb the force of bruising, injuries, and pain caused by climbing mountains, walking on uneven terrain, or rough difficult terrain. You will discover better balance and pleasure.

What Sort of Employment Necessitates Using a Steel Shank Work Boot?


Wear steel-shank work boots if you work in a construction area, a factory, a power station, or in a firm that deals with sharp materials or heavy gear. This will guard against anything penetrating the foot.

If your profession demands you to be on your feet all day, a steel shank work boot will be quite advantageous since it gives increased comfort and reduces weariness.

What Else Can Steel Shanks Help You With?

Steel shanks in boots have various advantages.

  • Prevents the entrance of sharp things and reduces injury.
  • Provide comfort, stability, and assistance to strained arches
  • Keep costly work boots in good shape.

How Much Do They Cost?

You already know that purchasing a good pair of work boots will be a costly endeavor. Work boots with steel shanks might be pricey as well, but keep in mind that it is a one-time purchase.

You only need to get a pair from a reputable brand. Its longevity is well worth the money because you won’t be worried about the boots losing their form, form, or durability.

Furthermore, you can check the newest price of steel-toe boots here.

Is It Correct That Shanks Are Only Available in Steel?

No, it isn’t. Shank is an essential component of a work boot. While initially constructed of steel, manufacturers have also produced composite shanks. These are made of fiberglass, polyester, plastic, wood, and carbon fiber, among other materials.

Composite shanks have benefits and drawbacks. They protect the user in a range of jobs that do not contain heavy gear or harmful things. Because it has a higher level of resistance to electricity, it is an excellent choice for defending oneself from electrical hazards.

Tips for you

If any of the following apply to you, steel shanks may be of use:

  • If you use a ladder frequently, steel shanks will avoid “rung bruises” by absorbing all of the power.
  • If you work on rocky terrain or in a working area with abandoned nails or metals on the floor, you will be protected against penetration.
  • You will be more balanced if your employer needs you to walk on uneven or steep terrain.

Q&A About a Steel Shank in a Work Boot


Q: Won’t a steel shank weigh my work boots down?

A: No, it won’t. They are thin and flexible bits of metal, thus not necessary.

They are available in many sizes. The heaviest shank will be the full-length shank.

Q: Is there anything else that distinguishes a steel shank work boot from a composite shank work boot?

A: Yes. Some examples include:

  • Composite shank boots are somewhat heavier than steel shank boots.
  • When compared to steel shank boots, composite shank boots are more costly.
  • Steel shanks have a greater life expectancy than composite shanks.
  • Composite shank boots are more comfortable than steel shank ones. (Check the ways to make your boots more comfortable here)


Steel shanks on work boots are not only an excellent investment, but they also provide support and protection. When working in a dangerous workplace, remember that it is always better to be safe than sorry by investing in dependable footwear.

Examine your budget, the type of business you work in, and any other elements that are deemed important to meet your needs.

Hope you like this guide on what is a steel shank in a work boot. Please do not hesitate to share your opinion with us. We’d love to hear from you!

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