For safety, or to play soccer
Between the uppers and the lining, at the toe of the shoe, there is very often a toe-cap or end which serves both to give the shoe its shape and to protect the feet.
On safety footwear the toe end is made of tough material in order to provide extra protection.
In sports shoes, on the other hand the toe tip or end may be very thin (v. football boots for example) and composed of several parts so as to allow the toes greater freedom of movement and sensitivity.
[Photo: Soldier’s goodbye & Bobbie the cat, Sydney, ca. 1939-ca. 1945 / by Sam Hood – State Library of New South Wales]