Does Hoka Make Steel Toe Shoes? nO but you have substitutes

Have you ever been in a situation where you want to wear your Hoka shoes everywhere? You probably find them nice and cozy and want to wear them to your construction job. While they will keep the feet comfortable all day, they will not be ideal for job sites. And the reason is simply because they do not have steel toes.

Hoka shoes will not provide enough protection for your toes. The good news is that there are many good alternatives out there. And so you can preserve your Hokas for runs and get another pair with steel toes for work.

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about Hoka and steel toes. I will tell you why Hoka does not make steel toes and if they will eventually start making them.

I have been a runner for over a decade and a construction worker for much longer. You can be sure I know enough about running and work shoes. So make sure to stick with me to the end, as I also answer a few FAQs at the end.

Does Hoka Make Steel Toe Shoes? No

As of now, Hoka does not make any steel toe shoes. Many people often assume they have a steel-toe shoe line. And this is because it is one of the biggest shoe manufacturers in the world. The truth is that steel toes are not part of the brand’s focus.

Here are some other reasons Hoka does not make steel-toe shoes:

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1. Signature Lightweight Design

Hoka shoes are famous for their maximalist design. They have a chunky-looking midsole. Contrary to their appearance, their shoes are some of the lightest on the market. For instance, the Hoka Bondi, one of their most popular models, weighs around 10 ounces. Most running shoes typically weigh about 13 ounces. Adding a steel toe would significantly increase the weight. Steel toes are made from metal. Steel-toe shoes can weigh up to an incredible 5 pounds.

2. Market Focus and Dynamics

The Hoka brand was started by runners with a focus on creating shoes that can improve their performance. Since then, athletes have been the brand’s primary market focus. Steel-toe shoes, hence, do not fit their typical market focus. Making them means Hoka has to venture into a new market with different dynamics.

3. Cushioning

Steel-toe shoes often have a stiffer midsole. The extra stiffness works with the steel toes to protect the toes from impact. Hoka shoes are known for their plush cushioning. Making steel-toe shoes will impact Hoka’s traditional plush cushioning.

4. Cost

Hoka shoes don’t come cheap. You typically need to spend anything from $100 to over $250 to get a pair.  Steel-toe work boots are even more expensive. Some brands will cost hundreds of dollars. Hokas are already costly, so adding steel toes would make them even pricier.

Steel Toes – Not Part of Hoka’s Typical Construction

Does Hoka Make Steel Toe Shoes

Steel toes are not part of Hoka’s typical shoe construction design. They are also unnecessary for what their shoes are intended for and their target market.

Steel-toe shoes are a type of occupational footwear. They are designed to protect the toes from impact and compression. For instance, construction workers wear them to protect their toes when working.

These shoes protect the feet from various injuries like fractures and dislocations. They also prevent cuts, abrasions, and punctures.

Unlike regular sportswear, steel-toe shoes have to meet various safety standards. There are also some testing requirements like ASTM F2413 before they get into the market. Shoes need to withstand the following to meet the ASTM F2413 standard:

  • 75 pounds of force
  • 2,500 pounds of compression resistance
  • Provide 75-pound force metatarsal protection
  • Meets the ASTM F1677 slip-resistance standard

A shoe that meets these conditions will end up being quite heavy. Besides the steel toe, the shoes have a leather or synthetic toe cap. All this adds extra weight to the shoe. The end product will contrast Hoka’s philosophy of keeping their shoes lightweight.

When to Choose Steel Toes from Other Brands

If you need a comfortable shoe with protective toes you can wear to work, go for brands that make safety shoes. Here are some of the best Hoka alternatives and examples of their protective shoes:

  • Reebok: All Terrain Work-RB4090 and SOYAY – RB1910
  • Skechers: Goodyear Air Envoy Steel Toe Work Boots
  • Brooks: Adrenaline GTS 22 and Ghost 15

If you still need to get that Hoka shoe feeling, make sure you choose steel-toe shoes with the following:

  • Well-cushioned midsoles
  • Highly flexible midsole
  • Maximum breathability.

With these features, you get that Hoka-like feel and still protect your toes.

I also recommend looking for steel-toe shoes with all the safety certifications. Make sure the shoe has at least an ASTM F2413 certification. This way, you can be sure it will effectively protect your toes. Also, ensure the sizing is right by trying out the shoes in-store.

Does Hoka Have Composite Safety Toe Shoes?

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Hoka has no composite safety toe shoes as they are not part of their typical shoe design. Composite safety toe shoes serve the same purpose as steel toe shoes. They provide similar impact protection. The main difference is that they are non-metallic. Composite safety toe shoes often use carbon fiber, Kevlar, or fiberglass. Some cheaper models use plastic.

Composite safety toe shoes have several benefits over steel toe shoes, including:

  • They are relatively lighter than steel toes as they do not include any metal.
  • Composite materials are safe for use in electrical environments. The materials do not conduct electricity.
  • These safety toes are also less prone to temperature extremes. Steel toes get hot or cold. Composite materials are less susceptible to temperature changes.
  • The composite materials will offer more flexibility. For instance, carbon fiber or Kevlar is tough but can still flex a little. Steel is a stiff material.

You should also note that composite toes offer less impact and compression protection. It will be at least less than what you get from steel toes.

Composite safety shoes do not align with Hoka’s focus on soft cushioning. They also don’t promote athletic performance. There are, however, some other athletic shoe brands that make composite safety shoes. They include:

  • New Balance
  • Reebok
  • Saucony 
  • Brooks

Will Hoka Eventually Release Steel Toe Models?

Hoka has been expanding its shoe lines significantly in recent years. It is hard to say Whether they will venture into producing steel toe caps. There are signs they might release steel toe models to conquer new markets.

Hoka actively protects its key technologies like meta-rockered midsole with patents. This suggests that Hoka is serious about protecting its intellectual property. The company may be planning to expand into new markets. Safety shoes look like a good area to venture into.

Another sign is the fact Hoka’s parent company, Decker, targets safety shoes with other brands. Their other brands, like UGG and Teva, are known for their steel-toe hiking and work boots.

Hoka can incorporate steel toes by using a lighter steel material. They can also use composite materials like kevlar. This way, they can make their shoes protective while keeping the weight down. Using a lighter fabric also maintains flexibility and does not affect the cushioning.

Another direction Hoka could take is partnering with other brands. For instance, they can partner with brands like Skechers with good steel-toe technologies. Hoka can leverage the brand’s technology to create well-cushioned steel-toe shoes.

Why don’t more athletic brands make steel-toe shoes?

Steel toes add a lot of weight to the shoe. Athletic brands want their shoes to be as light as possible. Lightweight shoes ensure minimal fatigue and maximum flexibility. Most runners prioritize these two features. Another reason is their target market is athletes rather than workers. Steel-toe shoes also have less cushioning, making them uncomfortable for athletes.

What are the main differences between soft-toe shoes and steel-toe?

The main difference is largely the design. Overall, steel-toe shoes have a metal sheet over the toe cap. Soft-toe shoes do not have any protective metal. Steel toe shoes are often heavier, given the presence of the metal toe cap. Plus, steel toe caps have a stiffer midsole compared to soft-toe shoes.

Can you remove steel toes and convert shoes to regular ones?

No, for most shoes, that is not possible. Removing the steel toe often means cutting it out, as it is an integral part of the shoe. If, by chance, you can remove it, you will ruin the shoe. Removing the steel toe also compromises the safety and structural integrity. It is, however, worth noting that some shoes come with removable steel toes. With such shoes, you can take out the steel cap if you want.


Hoka does not make steel-toe shoes. And this is mainly because they do not fit into their focus. Hoka focuses on making lightweight and highly flexible shoes. Their target market is also different from what steel-toe shoes serve. Their shoes are for athletes and people who want something comfortable and well-cushioned. 

Steel toe shoes are for workers in different industries. The steel toe caps protect workers from impact and compressions. These shoes will, however, not give you the cushioning you get from Hokas. They are also not as flexible or lightweight.

Hoka has yet to introduce steel-toe shoes, but they might in the future as they seek to enter new markets. For now, the brand is a good choice for athletes looking for comfort. They can also work for anyone looking for a lightweight shoe they can wear for long periods.

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