People who work in certain trades may be required by law or by employer policy to purchase and wear ASTM boots as a condition of their employment. In such cases, footwear can and/or is considered to be personal protective equipment (PPE) and thus must be worn while on the job site. 

What are they, though? 

In this case, it refers to boots that are rated by the ASTM to protect the wearer's feet. More specifically, it's a certification for steel-toe boots, as ASTM steel toe boots testing and ratings are one of the few third-party measurements as to the quality of construction and also how effective they are at protecting your feet. 

OSHA relies on ASTM certification for boots, so many employers do require ASTM boots for employees. If your employment requires steel toe boots, ASTM certification is likely necessary for your job. 

Let's talk about that a bit more. 

What Is The ASTM And What Are ASTM Steel Toe Boots? 

ASTM steel toe boots are boots that have been tested, verified and certified by ASTM International. ASTM International was formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials but has since become an international organization in scope. 

The organization was founded by scientists and engineers, looking to establish a body for evaluating and rating technical standards across a broad spectrum of industries, services and so on.

In short, it's a group that's devoted to figuring out how to measure and rate stuff. 

When it comes to, say, leather work boots, ASTMI is not so much concerned with the boots themselves, but mostly the protective properties of the boot itself. There are two rating specifications - ASTM F2412 and F2413 - which outline the testing procedures and parameters (ASTM 2412) and performance standards (2413) which a boot must meet in order to be ASTM-approved for use as PPE. 

The test includes impact tests on the toe box and upper foot, electrical shock and static electricity tests, puncture resistance and other evaluations. Testing includes dropping objects on the top of the boot to test impact resistance, tests for conductivity including subjecting the boot to a live wire and even puncture testing including the use of a chainsaw. 

The tests subject a boot to harsh treatment. Footwear has to be pretty serious to pass them. 

ASTM Steel Toe Boots by Nick's Custom Boots

As it happens, ASTM steel toe boots are available from Nick's Custom Boots. While not all of our leather work boots are ASTM-approved, our safety series are. This model line includes our Contender Toe Builder Pro and Safety Toe Contender boots. The Contender Toe boots have a composite toe for protection, while our Safety Toe Contender boots have a steel toe. 

These boots are based on the traditional Nick's Boots design, much like our fire boots. They feature the raised heel, our legendary arch support system, and the handmade quality and rugged construction that Nick's Boots are known for. 

Both boots are ASTM F2413 boots, meaning that they have been subjected to and passed ASTMI's F2413 protocol for impact, shock and puncture resistance. Just as with our other leather work boots, they can be made to order, though a fitted sheet or a visit to our shop will be required in order for precise fitting. 

An investment in a pair of work boots is an investment in your health, safety and in your comfort. If you make a prudent investment, it will pay dividends in the long run.