Thursday, June 2, 2011

Steel Shanks, What Are They and Why Should You Have One

There are many times when I have customers come into our Rogan's Shoes stores or even called our Internet Office, at 888-382-3111, knowing that they need to purchase steel toes for work with something called a "steel shank". They have no idea what it is and that is understandable. But knowing that you may need a steel shank when purchasing steel toes and not every steel toe shoe or boot has a steel shank makes it important to look for it. But what exactly is a steel shank? Here is the answer:

Shoe Shank

First it's important to understand what the general shank in a shoe is. A shoe shank is a flat piece of material located above the outer sole at the waist, or narrowest, middle-part of the shoe located between the heel and ball area of the foot just below the arch. A shank is needed to help add extra support to the arch area of the shoe.

Steel Shank

Knowing this, it is obvious that a steel shank is a shoe shank made of steel. Many people think that a steel shank is a bad option to have in their shoe because the weight of the steel will make the boot unbelievably heavy. However, this not true. The shank is in fact a thin piece of steel that features both a natural flexibility and springiness and makes it a great option for it to be placed in the boot. And while a steel shank like a steel toe is sensitive to cold-weather conditions and will set off metal detectors, it helps prevent injury by preventing objects from penatrating the shoe from underneath.

Here are some examples of different styled steel toe shanks:

Steel Insole

In addition to having a steel shank, a steel toe shoe will also feature a steel insole. A steel insole runs the entire length of the shoe. A steel insole is installed by the manufacturer to work with the steel shank in helping prevent sharp objects from pentrating the shoe underneath and causing injury.

Be sure to visit us at for all of your work footwear needs.


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  2. I really liked your blog. It has a sense of humor and quite interesting. Good job guys. Looking forward for more updates.


  3. Some metal detectors do no register steal toes and shanks.

  4. How does a steel shank compare to a fiberglass one? After wearing new construction boots for1 week I realized the nylon Shank wasn't working (my foot began hurting) for climbing extension ladders which have a narrower rung than the more common folding ladder.

    1. Steel shanks are way better! I had fiberglass in previous boots and like you my feet would hurt after climbing. Not so with a steel shank. I think they flex less than the fiberglass so your foot remains in it's natural position better. It seems to not curve with the shank. I think that's where the pain comes from

  5. You have done a great work. Thanks for making this blog. You helped me a lot on my research topic. Keep it up guys!

  6. Who makes a full length steel shank safety boot