The best way to protect toes is a good fitting shoe with a strudy midsole. (Like Vans)
I’ve broken close to half my toes while unicycling and i dont think i would have broken a single one with if i were wearing proper riding footwear. (I must admit a few of those breaks were while barefoot or wearing open toe shoes)
I do love my vans and that is what I wear unicycling primarily. Although I wear traditional checkered slipons, my preference because I’m flat footed and these are very comfortable to me. When they are new they have great grip but one of my toe breaks happened when I slipped off of my pedal wearing a set of extremely slick worn out vans. I also suffered a bad upd when the shoe strings of running shoes wound around my pedals. I have converted all of the shoes I would possibly ride wearing to Bungie laces to prevent that happening again. I also own and ride wearing a shoe made by indestructible shoes they are a bit heavy but have a steel toe and a super grippy kevlar lined sole. The fact that toe breaks happen because you are jamming you toes directly into the ground, I’m just not sure any shoe can protect against that
I wear knee, shin, wrist and head protection on every ride. If I’m trying to learn something that scares me, then I’ll really armor up. When I start riding down flights of stairs or doing big drops, (for me a big drop is more than 30cm), I plan on having elbow, back, tailbone and a full face helmet on.
So here is my question, will a shoe with a steel or hardened toe keep you from jamming your toes? My thoughts are they are just going to jam into the hard surface of the toe inside of the shoe. I’m going to take a look a the shoe you recommended.
The O’Neal shoe looks like it has great features and very affordable. Here is the link to the indestructible brand shoes I was referring to 44 % OFF Ryder Green - Indestructible Shoes
They are not really a biking shoe and I haven’t had the privilege of jamming my toes in them yet to give a real world review.
If your foot is well supported, and the sole is sufficiently stiff, there will be some protection. The foot should be held in fairly well with the laces on a well fitting shoe, so that the toes don’t hit the front with full force (or at all).
I don’t think hardened toecaps should be necessary, but there is good reason that most shoes designed for exercise are not slip on…