Taofledermaus, a .22, and steel-toed boots

Lately we’ve gone over gun safety from various angles including negligent discharge, accidental discharge, muzzle awareness – the list goes on. We’ve gone over the four golden rules – rules you should all know and practice – and some interesting comments have been made.

One of Taofledermaus’ recent videos covers this very issue by taking a look at whether or not a .22LR can penetrate steel-toed boots. While it’s tempting to take his video a step farther and demonstrate with a wide range of calibers, I do not actually have the desire to sacrifice any part of my boot collection to YouTube videos. So we’ll stick with .22LR and the finding of Taofledermaus, the results of which can be seen below in his video “Will A .22LR Go Through A Steel Toe Boot?”

Yes, this is a video post, but it brings up yet another aspect of gun safety (and addresses part of the issue of ADs and NDs). Whether a gun owner is wearing steel-toed boots, sneakers, or hiking boots, just how safe do you really believe your feet are from errant bullets? Easy answer: as long as you observe the four golden rules of gun safety, your feet will be perfectly safe. Well, assuming anyone shooting with or near you also observes the rules. Then again…are you safe? Should there be some sort of footwear standard just as there is an expectation of eye and ear pro? For example, is it a wise idea to go shooting while wearing flip-flops? How about thin sneakers? If we’re going to pick apart footwear, where would the line be drawn?

Just a little something to think about…just saying.

TFB Staffer

TFB Staff, bringing you the latest gun news from around the world for a decade.


  • 624A24

    This brings up another question:

    Are you well-trained enough to ND only on your toes?

    • Sho Rembo

      I’m sure anyone who has been shot in the toes said “Good thing I wasn’t wearing steel toe boots”. And of course this only applies to those shot with a .22

  • Y-man

    I think that is definitely 22Plinkster’s video and NOT Taofledermaus – Both of whom I admire GREATLY.

    • M.M.D.C.

      Right. If this were a Taofledermaus video there would be tumbling shotgun slugs and a corn field in the background. Sheesh.

      • Giolli Joker

        Let’s try to load a fire a steel toe in a 12GA shell…

        • M.M.D.C.

          HA! Would stumble instead of tumble.

  • gunsandrockets

    Okay, I’m really shocked. Failure to penetrate? That’s some freaking impressive steel toed boots!

    • Steel toe boot cap is more likely to remain intact where your toes under it are going to be destroyed say if a 700 pound object lands on it. But without the cap your toes would be jello anyway. The cap is meant to protect against sharp objects, small to medium weight objects that would break your toes if they landed on a regular shoe.

      • Sho Rembo


      • Y-man

        I witnessed an industrial accident once when a 150kg+ drill toppled and part of it fell on someone’s toes. Steel toe in his safety shoe cut down and neatly sliced all toes off. Guy was just unlucky. Same guy lost an eye some years later when a component loosened and flew off into the assembly area he was then working seated…
        He’s retired now, tells them stories in the village about the combat and battles he had been in, in Liberia, in Sierra Leone…
        I guess he has the wounds to show for it… LOL!

        • Well his toes would have turned into paste without the cap. Severed is better then be turned into paste.

        • Edeco


          I’ve heard speculation about the steel cap cutting off toes. Fundamentally I’m surprised to read of it happening.

  • Bill

    Someone sells a lace-in pad for the toe of your boot for clay shooters to rest the muzzle of their shotguns on.

    No, just no.

    • Sianmink

      An open break-action shotgun is not going to shoot you in the foot, no matter what you do.

      • A number of clay shooters use pumps and semi autos for clays.

        • Sianmink

          And those people don’t rest the barrel on their foot.

  • politicsbyothermeans

    Closed toed shoes are the bare minimum. No telling what sort of havoc you’ll wreak dancing around with hot brass between your toes. Early on in the Current Unpleasantness we didn’t have breaching rounds or decent protective footwear so a few of our breachers will never be able to count to 21 again. The Seabees working on our FOB ending up making some pretty good deals for their extra pairs of steel toed boots.

    • KestrelBike

      Yikes. So you’re describing buckshot rounds ricocheting/spalling downwards at the feet of those closest to the entry point?

      • politicsbyothermeans

        Yup. Most of the mockups we trained on had wooden doors. I don’t remember anyone in the stack catching any 00 shot in training so we never really thought about it. In a stroke of amazing bad guy foresight, lots of doors in the OE turned out to be metal. Luckily, most of them were very poorly made with very low quality materials. Unluckily, breachers were not yet taught proper angles and standoff for dealing with an all metal door so more than a few have a little less work to do when clipping their toenails.

        We didn’t have breach standoffs/breach barrels, Maxx tools or Halligans yet either. You had to worry about more than buck too… a friend of mine has some nice implants after taking a door handle that bounced off of his boot and ricocheted into his grill.

        • KestrelBike

          Damn. Your sharing is much appreciated!

          gah door handle : (
          And all those stories aren’t even involving the enemy, just housing materials.

  • That Taofledermoos guy is an ugly dude! I think the confusion here is we posted a video a while back shooting steel toed boots with shotgun slugs.

    • suamredelfoaT

      !edud ylgu na si yug soomredelfoaT tahT

    • Concept

      Are Taofledermous and 22 Plinkster one in the same? That’s the better question. Never seen them together at the same time.

  • The Wound Channel

    Fail lol

  • Uncle Festet

    They aren’t going to stop a centerfire rifle round or a centerfire pistol round a close range. Thus, any protection from STB’s is likely to provide minimal extra protection over normal closed toe footwear.

    Basically: 22LR and low velocity rounds (i.e. spent rounds).

  • USMC03Vet

    I’ll never forget when PFC Schmuckatelli shot himself in the foot during a fire and movement range on Camp Lejeune in 2005. I don’t think he’ll forget it either.

    • noob

      Ow. Did he stay in the Corps or was that a career ender?

      • USMC03Vet

        It was right before an Iraq deployment, so I’m not sure. I bet he got out of deploying though. Had two Marines shoot each other in the legs with shotguns to get out of a deployment before too.

  • Lonnie

    First off, there is NO SUCH thing as an “accidental discharge!” Never has been, never will be. They are only “intentional,” or “negligent!” PERIOD!