Can You Wear Steel Toe Boots Around Horses?

I am really scared of getting stomped on foot by a horse, which is why I wear my steel-toe work boots whenever I visit the barn.

This was a very controversial topic as people used to think if a horse stomped on your feet when you were wearing a pair of steel-toe boots, you might have your toes cut off completely.

Is that true?

No! That myth has been long busted!

So can you wear steel-toe boots around horses?

Yes, actually! You can wear steel-toe work boots around horses. And you definitely think of doing so if you want to keep your feet protected from a stomping horse or other things that can hurt your feet at a barn.

This also means that your toes won’t be cut off when you wear your steel-toe work boots to the barn around a stomping horse.

Why Can You Wear Steel-Toe Boots Around Horses?

Why Can You Wear Steel-Toe Boots Around Horses?

Now you know that you can wear your steel-toe work boots around horses that might stomp you on your feet.

Here’s the thing!

We all know that a pair of steel-toe work boots are generally heavier than normal boots. And that’s because it carries the weight of the steel-toe box.

If you want to put a number on it, a pair of steel-toe work boots are at least 1.6 pounds heavier than a pair of paddock boots.

How does that help?

Well, that doesn’t necessarily help you directly. It only helps because the added weight is the result of the steel-toe box, which is the reason your feet can stay safe.

Let me make it easier for you!

A standard pair of work boots (soft-toe work boots) that don’t come with a steel-toe box can usually withstand around 1200 pounds worth of pressure.

On the other hand, a single pair of steel-toe boots can withstand so much more than that. That number can go up to 2500 pounds, that’s considering they have ASTM ratings.

Here’s the kicker!

If you’re worried that the steel from the steel-toe boots could possibly cut your toes off, then stop worrying.

That’s because the Mythbusters have proved through their experiments that to sever your toes, steel-toe boots need to come in contact with at least 6000 pounds worth of weight.

And a stomp from horsefeet simply can’t put that much weight on your feet by any means!


Did you know that it’s so important to wear steel-toe work boots to either ride your horse or do groundwork near horses that even the University of Kentucky Equine Program suggest you wear them?

Yeah, well, they do!

Thus, your feet and toes will remain intact and will even avoid any possible injuries if you do intend on wearing your steel-toe boots around horses.

What Kind of Steel-Toe Boots to Wear Around Horses?

What Kind of Steel-Toe Boots to Wear Around Horses?

You can’t just wear any kind of boots when you’re around horses, be it for riding or doing some groundwork around the barn.

And steel-toe boots are a great option, as they can protect your feet from different kinds of injuries.

But what kind?

First of all, you need to avoid metatarsal guard work boots that also have steel-toe boxes. That one just surrounds the whole feet.

And the reason for avoiding this kind of work boots is that they are really heavy and oversized on the feet.

So if you wear them for working around horses or for riding, you might become uncomfortable or, worse, hurt yourself.

Other than that, you should first decide what purpose you’re wearing your steel-toe work boots for.

What kind of steel-toe boots?

For riding and groundwork, you should wear steel-toe boots that have a sole that is smooth enough. Not too smooth, which makes it easy for you to slip, and not too grippy either.

If you wear boots with soles that have more traction and grip, you might get your feet stuck on the stirrup when you fall off your horse.

Another thing that you need to keep in mind when choosing your steel-toe boots for riding horses is that they have to have short heels of around 1 to 1.5 inches.

Why the heel?

A little bit of heel will save your feet from slipping off the stirrup when you’re riding your horse, which is why most horse riding boots have a bit of a heel.

And you also need your steel-toe work boots to be narrow enough that they can fit the stirrups without being stuffed.

What about the fit?

Now that you know what kind of steel-toe boots you should be looking for, you need to understand what kind of fit you would need to be around the horses.

First of all, you need the steel-toe boots to be just wide enough that they don’t fit too tightly around your toes.

Just to keep you feeling comfortable!

As I’ve already mentioned that MetGuard work boots are going to be too big on your feet, so you might also find them to be really uncomfortable.

Stay away from them!

However, if you have to wear those kinds of work boots for whatever reasons you might have, make sure you wear the right size, which should be bigger than your usual size.

Steel-Toe Boots Around Horses: What to Look for?

Steel-Toe Boots Around Horses: What to Look for?

Whatever kind of boots you choose to wear to be around horses or simply for riding horses, you need to consider a few things beforehand. What are they?

Hold your horses!

I’ll tell you what they are right about now!

Safety Measures

You need to think about safety before you even start thinking about your style when you go horseback riding or go to a barn to do the groundwork.

Safety from what?

First of all, you could get steeped or stomped on by the horses, which is pretty hurtful to say the least.

Other foot injuries can result from you falling off a horse or getting knocked over by one. These can hurt your feet and result in sprains or strains.

And you could avoid all that if you keep your feet covered with steel-toe boots as they don’t only protect the feet but also the entire foot.

This is why you need to avoid shoes like open-toe shoes!

What else?

As I’ve already mentioned, you should get boots that have a bit of heel on them. This will save your feet from slipping off the stirrups when you’re riding.


Like most boots, steel-toe work boots can be made out of different materials, which are usually rubber or leather.

Other than that, there are also materials that make a pair of steel-toe boots waterproof, insulated, or even boots with breathable materials.

Which to wear and when?

Well, it all depends on your circumstances!

Imagine this, you’re working in a barn, and you’re exposed to a lot of wet puddles and mud. Which one do you think will be best for you?

Let me tell you!

You could either go for the steel-toe rubber work boots or steel-toe leather boots that have the waterproofing technology applied to them to resist the water.

Now if you have to be around those puddles for hours on end, you better get leather boots that have some insulation on them.

What about hot days?

Well, for hot summer days when the heat is too much to bear, you need to find steel-toe boots that are made out of breathable materials.


If you’re really into riding horses, you must be into different styles of riding. And each of these styles has a specific requirement for footwear.

What requirements?

I’ll tell you through this list of different styles of horseback riding:

  • Dressage: You would need to wear boots that have a lot of padding inside when you go for this style of riding.
  • Cow Work: If you’re into the cow work style, you should know that you need to wear boots that are made out of breathable materials, waterproof, and have good traction.
  • Trail Riding: For trail riding, you would need a pair of boots that have enough grip, and usually, they need to be leather boots.
  • Pleasure Riding: If you are just riding for the fun of it, you won’t really need to find a pair that needs to meet any particular requirements. Anything comfortable and protective will do the job!

There are more styles of riding, but these are the most popular ones, which is why I mentioned them here.


It’s true that style is the last thing you should be thinking of when you’re buying steel-toe work boots for being around horses or for riding.

But that doesn’t mean that you need to totally take style off the list and not consider protection to be the only factor when buying.

This is why, after you’re done thinking about what kind of boots will give your the best protection for your feet, you should think a little about how they will look too.


It’s really easy to say that you need to do this and that and think and this and that when you are looking for the perfect steel-toe boots to be around horses.

But while you try to meet all of the requirements, you would need to see if you can afford the end result of a pair of boots as well.

So decide on a budget first and then decide what your requirements are the most important ones and what you can afford.

The Best Steel-Toe Boots to Wear Around Horses

Now that you have a pretty good idea about what you should be wearing when you are around horses, which can be steel-toe boots, I’ll give you a few examples you should consider wearing:

  • Justin Men’s Steel Comfort PullOn Brown Boot: This pair of steel-toe work boots are made out of leather and are great for riding. And you can even take off and replace the insoles!
  • Durango Ladies Maverick Steel Boots: These steel-toe leather cowboy work boots are great for riding because of their non-slip soles, among other features.
  • Ariat Groundbreaker Wide Square Toe MetGuard Steel Toe Boots: If you’re doing heavy-duty work around the barn, you might want to use a pair of MetGuard boots like these.
  • Justin Ladies Gypsy Katerina WP Steel Work Boots: If you’re not looking for tall boots, these are great short boots for being around horses.
  • Rebel Durango Men’s Steel Toe Boots: These leather cowboy boots with steel-toe boxes are an excellent option for riding your horse because they’re lightweight.
  • Ariat Women’s Krista Pull-on Steel Toe Western Cowboy Boot: This pair of steel-toe leather cowboy boots are really comfortable for their 4LR technology.
  • Justin Men’s Roughneck Steel Toe Work Boots: Another pair of this brand that I brought up for quality is waterproof with other qualities that make this one great for working around mud and puddles.
  • Justin Ladies Gypsy Tasha WP Steel Work Boots: If you want a pair of steel-tope cowboy leather boots that look great because of their style, this is the one for you.

What Shoes to Avoid When Around Horses?

You need to avoid a few different types of footwear that can cause your feet injuries when you’re around horses.

Let’s talk about them!

  • Open-Toe Shoes: These kinds of shoes can really hurt your toes as they are going to keep your toes completely exposed to the injuries that being around horses can induce. So you can’t even think about wearing open-toe shoes of any kind.
  • Slippers: If you want to wear slippers to be around horses or even for riding, think again! Not only are these slippers slippery, they completely keep your feet exposed to all the harsh conditions you might have to face when you’re around horses.
  • Crocs: You might think that you’re just going to the barn to check out the horses. So nothing could happen if you wear crocs. You’re wrong! They are simply not the best kind of footwear for these circumstances.
  • Hiking Boots: You shouldn’t wear hiking boots to do horseback riding because they have too much traction on their soles, which can cause your feet to get stuck on the stirrups.

Final Words

Can you wear steel-toes boots around horses? Yes, you can actually wear steel-toe boots around horses, and they will provide you with great protection against certain situations.

I always go for my steel-toe work boots when I’m working around horses or even riding them.

So should you!

Therefore, if you’ve decided to wear these kinds of work boots to be around horses, just make sure you take the lessons you learned in this article with you.

Happy riding!

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