First of all, if your horse is stepping on you during ground work, you two are too close to each other. You might want to start working on getting your hrose to move off, away from you, and to go right / left/back up, etc, without coming closer than 3 or 4 feet, at most.
That's why she hasn't stepped on me so much lately. She came to us after living with goats for a year and never being asked to do anything, so there was a lot of work to be done about "manners" on the ground. I have finally gotten to the point where I understand a bit more about how to tell her... "No, you're not allowed to crowd me and walk on me. Get off me and walk over here instead." Or, "You're way too close to me and not paying attention so now I want you to back up." After being corrected several times consistently she caught on really fast. She's known all this at some point, I just didn't know how to ask for it starting out. We are to the point now that when we are inside the fence with tack on, she'll walk at my shoulder about an arm's distance away without a lead. Usually. We still have our slip ups but are doing much better lol.
I think with steel toes and horses the same principles apply as any other reason to wear steel toes. For example in most factories you must wear steel toe protection. However, if something heavy enough falls or rolls on your foot you still risk having the toe bent in. 9 times out of 10 it will protect you, but there is always a situation that it could make worse. Although with horses, I don't know if the action or angle behind the force coming down on your foot might make the steel toe more likely to bend in. I've also read about shoes with protection across the top of the foot but I've never seen any in stores. I'd prettymuch decided against steel toed boots anyway since I don't want to spend the money on two more pair of shoes and I haven't been stepped on so much lately
I know this started off as a thread about leg position and stirrup length on the trail, but since we've meandered into the topic of shoes:
While looking up what a roping style boot was, I stumbled across these: https://www.ariat.com/SCOUT_ZIP_W_FO...OO_color=BLACK
They're not the western style boot I envisioned myself eventually purchasing but I like the look of them and could see myself wearing the heck out of them as an everyday shoe besides riding. I had a pair of Ariat boots once and remember how comfortable they were. Would there be a safety or other reason to now choose a boot like this? (Or any brands to avoid based on them wearing out quicklyl?)