Imagine you were at a construction site, wearing sandals, and rubbles or metal pieces hit your foot. The pain you will suffer is unexplainable. To ensure your feet are safe, you need to wear the best work boots for construction.
Best work boots for contractors are made in a manner that focuses on guarding your feet against all sorts of accidents that are a norm on construction sites.
One such a boot you will trust is Caterpillar Men’s Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Boot. The boot has an excellent design and comes with high-end safety features. Some of the safety features that put this boot ahead of the rest include padded collar at the back of the ankle, shock diffuser plate, electrical hazard protector, and a steel toe.
With those features, you will agree that the boot is perhaps the only footwear that guarantees you maximum feet safety when you are on the site. Do not forget that the top of the boot is waterproof yet breathable.
In this write-up, you will get seven other safety boots that you can wear to your construction ground without the fear of injuring or losing your foot. Also, check on this list of boots for walking or standing on concrete floors.
Best Work Boots for Construction
1. Caterpillar Men’s Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Industrial Boot
From the name, it is easy to say Caterpillar Men’s Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe is one of the best work boots for contractors. However, until you look at specifics, you will not appreciate this boot. What do you expect?
The boot has a fitting expectancy of 83 percent, meaning many men who order the footwear do not have problems with the size. A work boot with waterproof leather upper enables the wearer to continue doing all the necessary chores, whether it is on a construction site, a garage, or leveling the ground.
With a rubber sole, the construction boot is ideal for any ground because you will not slip. Still, on the leather upper, it is essential to mention that the material allows for easy breathing of the feet, thus avoiding bad odor and feet suffocation.
A steel toe covers a larger part of the toebox, enabling the wearer to continue working without the fear of losing a toe to falling matter when at the site. The raised shaft is another feature to reckon with. Measuring some 5.3 inches, the shaft is a sure way to support the arch.
- The non-slip outsole makes it possible to work without the fear of falling;
- Breathable upper reduces heat on the feet when it is hot;
- A waterproof leather top makes it possible to work in wet conditions;
- Excellent arch support thanks to the 5.3” shaft;
- Very comfortable boots, durable, and offer a great fit;
- The steel toe is a strong charm that guards the toes.
- There are not many colors to choose;
- A few pairs are bigger, even if you order the right size.
Caterpillar Men’s Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Industrial Boot satisfies the standards set by ASTM, as shown by the seal inside the boot’s tongue. The boot is light, allows easy feet breathability, and guards your toes.
2. KEEN Utility Men’s Lansing Mid Waterproof (Steel Toe) Boot
Imagine you are searching for footwear, and when reading the reviews online, you realize over 98% of the customers are leaving a positive review about the boot. Doesn’t it assure you that you, too, have found what you wanted?
Interestingly, that is what people say about KEEN Utility Industrial boot with steel toe. The top of the boot is 100% waterproof. From what you will read, many say the footwear has over 91% fitting expectancy.
From the arch upwards, the boot is high to support the support. A majority of contractors who tend wearing shoes that support the ankle, the boot is much better because it supports both the ankle and the arch.
For many years, KEEN is known to produce world-class boots for various works. For instance, this list of 5 boots by KEEN is best for workouts and hiking. Nonetheless, KEEN Utility Boot with steel toe is excellent for construction work.
A removable dual-density metatomical EVA insole covers the footbed to offer comfort.
- Very comfortable interior thanks to the EVA footbed;
- Water does not enter the boot through the upper;
- The removable dual-density insole makes it easy to clean the boot;
- 100% toe guard because of the steel toe;
- Excellent design;
- The boots are versatile. You can wear them to work at a construction site and later when walking casually on the street.
- The boot is heavy;
- Laces fray fast.
Everything about the boot is good. You can mention the design, the removable EVA insole, which makes cleaning easy, rubber sole, and a waterproof leather upper. However, beware of the weight.
3. Timberland PRO Men’s 26011 Direct Attach 8″ Soft-Toe
Timberland PRO has an 8-inch shaft from the arch upwards, giving you superior arch support. With a rubber sole and full-grain leather upper, the boot stands out unique among its peers. Heel measures 1.8 inches, has 400 grams Thinsulate insulation.
The boot is equipped with important safety features such as padded collar at the back, electrical hazard protector, and a steel toe, among others.
To ensure your feet stay dry, comfortable, and adequately moisturized throughout the time, Timberland PRO 26011 comes with a seam-sealed leather top. Besides, the leather is waterproof, something that protects water from accessing your feet.
Unlike other boots in this list, Timberland PRO Direct Attach has an anti-microbial mesh lining. Because of this treated mesh lining, your feet will not emit any odor even if you wear the boots for several hours.
The 8’ and 6” Thermolite shock insulation plates that weigh 400 grams and 200 grams respectively guard your feet against shocks when working on shaky grounds that cause instability.
- The boot has excellent color and design;
- Additional safety features make the boot safe to wear;
- Anti-microbial control makes you work the whole day without odor;
- Thanks to the nylon diffusion plates, the boot ensures stability by guarding the feet against shocks;
- Top-notch traction;
- Say goodbye to electricity shocks thanks to the electric hazard protector.
- Timberland PRO 8” is heavy measuring approximately 2.5 pounds;
- Irregular stitching;
- Tongue fabric is done loosely.
With an electric hazard protector, nylon diffuser, padded collar, anti-microbial treatment, and a waterproof top, Timberland PRO stands out tall as the safest yet heaviest construction boot.
4. Carhartt Men’s Ruggedflex Safety Toe Work Boot
These boots are designed to support you through long working hours. They have a leather upper. Leather does not wear out easily. You will get a lot of use out of this pair.
Rugged Flex work boots have a rubber outsole. This is a sturdy feature that will give you support. The soles are also slip-resistant to protect you from wet floors.
The midsole of the Rugged Flex boots features EVA construction. There is also an Ortholite footbed and PU strobe. These give you a 5-layer cushioning. Your feet will not hurt even if you have to stand the whole day.
The Rugged Flex has an 8” shaft for maximum foot protection and support. The work boots with composite safety toe construction protect you from falling objects. It also features a waterproof membrane and Thinsulate membrane that keeps your foot dry and comfortably warm.
- Reduced chances of injury due to slip-resistant outsole;
- Feet remain dry and warm due to waterproof and insulation membranes;
- Several cushioning layers prevent foot pain for people who spend a lot of time on their feet;
- Composite construction protects foot injury in case objects fall on it;
- Ortholite footbed is designed to relieve pain in people with chronic foot pain.
- The exact fitting can be too tight during extremely cold weather conditions;
- The insulation is not enough to protect from the winter cold.
The Rugged Flex boots from Carhatt are for anyone who works long hours on their feet. The foot cushioning and safety features on these boots are unmatched.
5. Ariat Men’s Groundbreaker 6″ Work Boot
The Groundbreaker boots are the perfect daily companion for your job. The upper is made from premium full-grain leather. This gives you unmatched durability. Your boots will not fall apart even with long-term use.
They feature a 6-inch shaft. This means your ankles will be fully covered. This is important for proper foot support and protection. The round toe construction adds to the comfort of the inner. It gives you more wiggle room for movement.
These boots have Ariat’s 4LR cushioning technology. This means that you have four layers of padding for foot comfort. The boots also have shanks so that your arches are adequately supported.
Groundbreaker Work Boots feature Duratread outsoles. The deep treading pattern keeps your foot connected to the ground at all times. They are slip-resistant to both oil and water. They are also insulated to protect you from shock around open electric circuits.
- Spacious inner with a round toe construction for better movement and less toe injury;
- Four layers of cushioning protect from foot pain even when one stands for long hours;
- Shanks provide arch support for better stability and less foot pain;
- Outsoles that are slip-resistant to both oil and water guarantee workplace safety;
- Electric hazard certification means you are given protection from electrical shocks at work.
- The rubber outsoles can be squeaky on smooth floors;
- They require a breaking-in period for a good fit;
- The treading pattern picks up small stones.
Ariat Groundbreakers are a versatile pair of boots. They are optimized for safety with their electrical hazard certification. They guarantee you a painless and safe working day.
6. Danner Men’s Bull Run Moc Toe Work Boot
The Bull Run work boots have proved to be quality work boots. The upper is made from full-grain leather. This leather is oil-tanned and tested to give you boots that are strong and durable. They are also easy to maintain and water-resistant.
The upper is unlined. This makes your boots fit better on your feet without being heavy. The midsole features an Ortholite footbed that gives your feet the much-needed comfort. There is a steel shank for maximum arch support.
The soles of these work boots are wedged and are made from soft rubber. They will not mark wooden or marble floors. It’s slip-resistant work boots that will keep you steady on wet floors.
The soles are cushioned in order to add comfort to your feet. The rubber is also shock-absorbent to protect you from foot pain. The soles and heels are insulated from electrical currents.
- Floors are protected from markings by the soft rubber soles;
- Reduced chances of falling due to slipping because outsoles are slip-resistant;
- The shock-absorbent outsoles enhance pain relief;
- The arch support provided by the steel shank is necessary for people who stand for a long time;
- The Ortholite footbed is good for protecting your feet and back from pain.
- The boots need a breaking-in period, which can be painful on the feet;
- They are not suitable for working long-term on asphalt.
The Bull Run Work Boots by Danner gives you the perfect balance between stylish and functional. Optimized for comfort by the padded mid and outsole, you will not be disappointed by their performance.
7. Skechers Men’s Burgin-Tarlac Industrial Boot
Renown shoe company Skechers really cut its teeth designing this industrial boot. The Tarlac Boot is made from full-grain leather. The leather gives you a functional and durable shoe. The material is smooth and easy to maintain.
The attraction lies in the steel toes. This feature ensures that your foot is protected from falling objects. This makes the boots suitable for construction sites and the outdoors.
The boots have a spacious inner. This provides for more natural foot movement within the shoe. The midsole is fitted with memory foam. This makes it fit better on your feet. It also gives you cushioning for better comfort.
The outsoles of the boots are made from high-quality rubber. The rubber makes the boots water-resistant. They also have deep treads. The treads give you stability on any working or walking terrain.
- Leather upper and rubber outsoles provide moisture protection;
- Toes are protected from injuries by the steel safety toe construction;
- Memory foam cushioning provides support for people who stand for longer times;
- The deep treading pattern offers stability on a variety of grounds;
- Eyelets make it easy to loop the laces throughout the boot.
- They have a long and painful breaking-in period;
- The relaxed fit design may make the boots too loose for some users.
Skechers knew what they were doing with these working boots. If you want comfort and support for when you are on your feet for a long time, then these are the boots for you.
8. Irish Setter Men’s Wingshooter ST-83632 Work Boot
This is a pair of stylish and functional work boots. The upper is made entirely from leather. Leather is water-resistant. This function is enhanced by the UltraDry technology lining that keeps your feet comfortable for longer.
The toes are rounded for a more spacious fit. You have room to wiggle your toes, which makes movement easier. The toes are protected from falling objects by the compact safety toe construction.
The EVA insoles feature removable footbeds. You can place your custom orthotic insoles for enhanced comfort. The outsoles of the Wingshooter boots are made from rubber. Rubber is pliable and adapts easily to different terrains. The treads are EVA for better traction on different surfaces.
The outsoles are heat resistant up to 475F. This means that you can wear boots even on high heat surfaces without the fear of getting injuries.
- Highly resistant outsoles keep you steady even on slippery floors;
- Toes are protected from falling objects without being squished in by metals;
- Lining with drying technology keeps the inner free from the discomfort that comes from moisture;
- Removable footbeds can be replaced with custom orthotics for better support and comfort;
- Heat resistant outsole allows you to work in areas with hot floors without the fear of injury.
- The leather around the toes can wear out quickly;
- They do not have enough support for the arch and foot.
The Irish Setter Wingshooter are boots designed for a variety of surfaces. If you want heat protection from hot factory floors or a steady tread on oily ground, these boots will serve you well.
What to Consider When Buying Work Boots For Construction
Every time you want to shop for a safety boot, you must be wary of certain features. Unlike any other footwear, best work boots for construction must meet specific features. These features draw the difference between contractor boots and those used by farmers and ranchers
Here are top considerations when you are looking for construction site boots:
Conventionally, leather is one of the quality materials for a quality shoe. However, some manufacturers decide to use fabric when producing work boots. While this is not wrong, the type of leather used on construction boots must meet high standards.
For instance, some leathers wear out after a short while; others are rigid or have a very thin layer. They are all leather, but they cannot serve the same purpose. Construction boots require heavy, flexible, and durable leather.
Because of the nature of the work, immersing feet in debris or construction materials falling on the feet, the leather must be able to resist any form of injury, water, or dirt that might reach the feet.
Besides, the leather must have breathability. Waterproof and breathability are also key elements of the type of leather ideal for contractor boots. See if you can draw any difference between these boots for mechanics and construction boots.
Tips: You can use oil for leather to make your leather work boot long lasting.
Without ensuring the safety of your toes, the boot does not qualify to be a construction boot. Remember, when you are at the site, your whole foot is functional. However, because of their natural position, the toes are always in jeopardy in case something falls on your foot.
To protect your toes, best work boots for contractors must have steel toes. This section, which is inside the toebox, is usually made of a metal cap that is placed ingeniously on the area just above the toes.
While it depends on the discretion of the manufacturer to see where to place it, most steel toes are placed in between the outer leather and the inner lining of the boot. This way, you will not notice if the boot has a steel toe unless you feel it or are told.
What would be the need of purchasing footwear that gives you endless discomfort, especially when you are forced to work for long hours? Various work boots offer different types of comfort. Some may have a very conducive interior while working but are very heavy and vice versa.
Whatever the case, a construction boot has to have enough padding, especially on the sensitive areas of the foot, such as the arch, the ankle, and the footbed. If you look at the eight boots on this list, you will realize that all of them come with some sort of lining, padded collar, and or EVA insole for the footbed. All these are features that enhance feet comfort.
A hazard protector or electrical hazard protector guard the foot against an electrical malfunction. Hazard protection is the distinctive feature that differentiates construction boots and Vasque hiking boots that do not need to protect your feet against any electrical shock.
With the feature intact, you will not suffer an electric shock even if you stepped on a loose live wire.
The construction work boots must offer the wearer the support he/she needs during the turbulent times of construction. As you well know, contractors stand for long hours. Because of the nature of their work, they hardly have enough time to rest in between the work.
Since they stand and strain for long hours, their feet will begin to ache. Common culprits are the ankle, the arch, and the footbed. Because of this, quality construction boots must come with sufficient padding in all these areas in support of the sensitive parts.
An EVA insole, a padded collar at the back of the boot, and thick but soft lining are some of the things that indicate the boot is ideal for construction work.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What is referred to as a composite shank, and how is it important to a construction boot
A. This is a piece of plate (non-metal) that is usually placed inside the sole of many work boots for contractors. Any contractor who has been in the construction industry will confess that their work entails standing a lot. As such, construction boot manufacturers want to make the lives of contractors simple and easy.
With this noble course in mind, a composite shank provides ankle support. It becomes comfortable to stand for long. Besides, a composite shank on a work boot makes it easy to climb utility poles when needed.
Q. What is the difference between a steel shank and a composite shank?
A. The two pieces serve the same purpose – helping the wearer gain a lot of stability when working and climbing. The main difference between the two is the material. A steel shank is made of metal, while a composite shank is NOT made of metal.
Q. Is there a difference between insulation and waterproof, and if yes, which is better?
A. Yes, there is a great difference. Insulated leather helps retain warmth inside construction boots. A lightweight work boot comes with insulated leather and is quick to dry up after getting contact with wetness or after cleaning.
Waterproof, on the other hand, is leather that is designed to protect water from gaining entry to the boot. In many cases, the leather is thick, resulting in a heavier work boot. Thanks to the seam-sealed construction, the thick, water-resistant leather aids in ending up with dry feet throughout the construction period, even in adversely wet conditions.
Most of these Red Wing boots have waterproof leather tops, making them ideal boots for any work in wet conditions.
Q. Must I look for a construction work boot with ASTM F2412 certification?
A. Yes, you should, and it is necessary. First, it is important to note that ASTM F2412 certification requires all construction boots to offer some form of protection from electrical shocks that are common in construction sites.
According to ASTM F2412 certification, the work boots for construction must have at least 10.6 ohms power resistance. The highest electrical resistance for the right construction boot is 10.8 ohms.
Besides, the guideline requires that all construction boots must meet Class 75 and offer compression resistance of 30, 50, and 75, which translates to 1000, 1750, and 2500 pounds, respectively.
Q. Do I need to care about the durability and comfort of both the outsole and insole of a construction work boot?
A. You should be concerned about the comfort and durability of the insole and the outsole of a construction boot. If you do not get work boots that offer much durability, you will be forced to buy boots for contractors now and again.
Goodyear Welt is so far the most durable outsole. It is followed by Cement, and then Direct Attach comes in the third position. When it comes to insoles, Polyurethane is the most durable and comfortable. Following closely is Ethyl Vinyl Acetate, commonly referred to as EVA insole.
Although an EVA insole comes second after Polyurethane in terms of durability, critics argue that it is more comfortable.
Feet accidents are inevitable when you are on a construction site. However, if you take your time to do research and then an informed selection of the best work boots for construction, you will say goodbye to accidents, especially those that target your feet.
This article has helped you know some of the best construction boots the world has ever produced. Besides, you are now in a better position to sample the boots from the most comfortable, durable to the least comfortable and durable. Some of the boots in this list deserve to be ideal for contractors who want to take care of their plantar fasciitis.
To get the most from this article, consider all the parts. Look at the pros and cons of each boot. While the focus has been given on how the boot will help you with your construction work, the main aim is to give an honest review, which touches on things such as the boot being heavy, smelly, and such like.
Lastly, before you decide on a certain boot, look at the factors to look at before you say, “This is the right construction boot I’ve been looking for.”