Best Work Boots in 2018: The Definitive Guide
A good pair of work boots can mean the difference between continuing to support your family or getting injured and losing your job. The right boots protect your feet and take you places injury-free, protecting you from falling and electrical hazards.
It is even more important if your work takes you outside and exposes you to job-related injuries. After all, a big percentage of disability claims in the US today is due to foot injuries in the workplace.
There are hundreds of work boots in the market today, each one claiming that they are the perfect work boots for you. Don’t be fooled; there’s more to a work boot than just its brand or the price.
We have looked at 200 of the best work boots for men and women and chose the top 21 based on various factors, including the kind of toe protection (e.g., steel toe), boot construction (e.g., Goodyear welt), or type of sole (e.g., Vibram), among others. Given all these, it can be hard to choose the best work boots for you.
If you are looking to buy a pair of work boots, read our in-depth review of the 21 best work boots for men and women and choose one that best fits your needs and circumstances.
Best Work Boots for Men - 2018
KEEN Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot
Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift 6” Steel Toe Boot
Timberland PRO Men’s 6” Pit Boss Steel Toe
Irish Setter Men’s 6” 83605 Work Boot
Timberland PRO Men’s Hyperion Waterproof Work Boot
Keen Utility Men’s Cody Mid Soft Toe Waterproof Industrial and
Red Wing Heritage Men’s Iron Ranger 6” Vibram Boot
Nitrile Cork sole
Caterpillar Men’s Device Comp Toe Waterproof/Black Work Boot
CONDOR Men’s Colorado
Dr. Martens Men’s Ironbridge Wide ST Work Boot
1. KEEN Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot
If you need to work hard outside all day, your boots need to keep up with you, too. Spending up to 12 hours a day on your feet can take a toll on your body if your boots cannot provide you the support and comfort you need. This KEEN Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot is the most comfortable picks for working men who toil every day in the sun and rain for their families. These boots fit like a glove and sturdy enough to last for years even if worn every day in harsh conditions. It is lightweight for a steel toe boot, and waterproof, too, to keep your feet dry even if it rains.
Its EVA and PU inner sole can be removed for easy cleaning and serves to double the thickness of the inner soles, providing comfort like no other boots can. This inner sole is coated with a material that prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria and the Dri-Lex footwear lining keeps your feet dry and infection-free.
These KEEN boots also have a "worn-in feeling" so there is no need to break it in for a long period of time. You can wear it to work when it arrives. It has all the features of a work boot but the feel of a more comfortable boot. It has good traction and an oil- and slip-resistant non- rubber outsole that will prevent you from slipping and injuring yourself at work.
With all its features, it’s no wonder this steel toe KEEN work boot is highly-rated in the market today.
2. Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift 6” Steel Toe Boot
Caterpillar is a company well known in the construction industry. As the largest construction equipment manufacturer in the world, its name is synonymous to high-quality work. They brought this reputation for excellence in their footwear.
The Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift 6” Steel Toe Boot is built to last. It is worn by construction workers all over the world, loving the protection its steel toe and its slip-resistant rubber outsoles provide. With durable Goodyear welt construction and a rugged full-grain upper, you can wear this pair of work boots day in and day out for years.
The boot's rugged detailing and classic style also make it look good, and it is very comfortable to wear, even when worn for more than 12 hours a day. Breaking in period is expected to last a couple of days; once it’s properly broken in, it will be as comfortable as you want it to be while still providing you all the support your feet need in construction sites.
While this is not exactly a winter boot, you can still wear this all year round, just pair with thick woolen socks and foot warmers during cold weather.
For boots that cost less than $100, this well-made, durable, and sturdy pair of boots is a bargain indeed.
3. Timberland PRO Men’s 6” Pit Boss Steel Toe
When it comes to rugged and high-quality footwear, Timberland is definitely a market leader. Its work boots, especially the Timberland PRO Men’s 6” Pit Boss Steel Toe boot, is loved by consumers for the comfort, support, and protection they provide.
If you are working in construction sites, standing and walking on concrete the whole day, getting exposed to spilled oil daily, and at risk for having a heavy object dropped on your feet, these Timberland boots would be perfect for you.
These boots’ steel toe is tough and can withstand heavy weight dropped on it. It's made of nubuck leather uppers with Goodyear welt construction for durability. Its top collars are padded and the midsoles are Polyurethane for additional comfort. The Cambrelle fabric linings prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria, too, while the nylon shock-diffusion plates provide all the support you need.
Most importantly, these boots meet ANSI safety standards, making it the work boot to wear in construction sites.
Timberland indeed continues to produce boots that last for years, and this Timberland PRO Men’s 6” Pit Boss Steel Toe boot is no exception.
4. Irish Setter Men’s 6” 83605 Work Boot
Red Wing Shoes is another industry leader that produces the most trusted, high-quality work boots that consumers love. If you are working in a job site where extreme heat can be an issue, their Irish Setter Men’s 6” 83605 Work Boot would be very good for you.
Its EVA traction tread Heat-resistant Outsole (HRO) was designed to resist high temperatures of up to 475 degrees F, making the boots perfect for roofing and paving work, among other high-heat jobs.
The boot’s USA-made, full-grain leather is durable, handcrafted, and waterproof. It has a nylon lining, too, making it a comfortable pair to wear. Its polyurethane insole is removable to make it easy to clean, and its heel-molded counter makes sure the boot is a good fit.
This Irish Setter boot also provides Electrical Hazard protection that meets ASTM safety standards. Built to be worn for long periods of time, they provide a good level of support to your feet that no other boot can.
When it comes to men’s work boots, you will never go wrong with choosing Red Wing Shoes, especially its Irish Setter models that have proven themselves for years.
5. Timberland PRO Men’s Hyperion Waterproof Work Boot
For those who need to work outdoors in all kinds of weather, the Timberland PRO Hyperion Waterproof Work Boot would be best for you. These boots have a premium leather upper given special treatment to make it waterproof and then coated with a waterproof membrane that will repel water easily.
The Hyperion’s alloy safety toes make this a good work boot, protecting your toes from work-related injuries caused by dropped objects. It has a TiTAN XL last for maximum protection and molded EVA midsoles to ensure the boots has a comfortable fit.
It has a padded collar, too, that makes it comfortable to wear even the whole day. Its Dynamic Anti-Fatigue Technology absorbs shock and keeps you energized all throughout the day. Its mesh lining prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria and keeps the boots smelling fresh.
The Vibram sole of this Timberland PRO Hyperion boot is built to be durable no matter what your working condition is. It is also oil- and abrasion-resistant.
Timberland knows its boots, and the Timberland PRO Hyperion is just one of their many durable and high-quality footwear out in the market today.
6. Keen Utility Men’s Cody Mid Soft Toe Waterproof Industrial and Construction Shoe
For a durable and versatile work boot, the KEEN Utility Men's Cody Mid Soft Toe would be a good choice. It's waterproof and built to last in industrial and construction sites. As it is a KEEN boot, it is also great for hiking, or for work that requires a lot of walking around.
The leather upper, while strong and durable, has a mesh lining that makes the boot breathable, keeping your feet cool throughout the day. It is built in such a way that your ankle is secured and stable even when walking in uneven terrain.
It has a well-defined tread, too, that provides good traction and prevents slipping. It has a molded EVA outsole that provides more comfort.
This KEEN Utility Men's boot has a stylish design that looks good no matter where you bring it. It does look like a hiking shoe but with its additional features, e.g., soft safety toe and high-quality leather, it is perfect as a work boot as well.
With this KEEN footwear, you get a reliable work boot with the feel and style of a hiking boot. Definitely a good buy for those who are on their feet the whole day.
7. Red Wing Heritage Men’s Iron Ranger 6” Vibram Boot
Another high-quality Red Wing work boot is the Heritage Men’s Iron Ranger 6” Vibram Boot. Featuring the durable Amber Harness leather that’s oil-tanned to be water-, stain-, and perspiration-resistant, as well as exceptionally durable.
This Iron Ranger line was made to meet the demands of American miners who needed a pair of boots tough enough that could stand up to the harsh mining environment and yet comfortable enough so they can keep working on their feet for longer than 12 hours.
Nowadays, it is not only miners who wear this Heritage Men’s Iron Ranger boot, but anyone who works hard in all weather conditions. The boot has thick leather uppers capped with a double layered toe for additional protection, speed-lacing hooks, and cork midsole that provides added comfort. It also has a Vibram sole that provides excellent traction.
If you are in a harsh working environment where all your gears need to be tough, you will do best with this Iron Ranger boots from Red Wing. It can give you all the support and protection your feet need, so you can do whatever you need to do every day.
8. Caterpillar Men’s Device Comp Toe Waterproof Work Boot
Caterpillar boots are built to be tough and meant to be worn even in harsh work environments. Their footwear will endure the challenges posed by industrial and construction sites, supporting the feet of men who toil day in and day out in the sun.
The Caterpillar Men's Device Comp Toe Waterproof Work Boot is one of the company’s most advanced boots. It has a composite safety toe made of carbon fiber that is as strong as a steel toe but gives a little under pressure, providing more protection for your toes.
Lighter than steel toe work boots (but just as strong), you can comfortably wear these boots at work the whole day, especially with its EASE comfort technology that provides 30 percent more cushioning.
Its full grain leather upper coated with waterproof membrane keeps moisture from seeping into your feet, while its rubber outsole is slip-resistant and oil-resistant and provides excellent traction, too.
Caterpillar is known for producing a hardy and high-performing construction vehicles. Now they’re known for their work boots, too. If you need a boot that you can use for years, definitely get a pair from Caterpillar.
9. CONDOR Men’s Colorado Boot
High-quality work boots can be pricey, but you don’t have to break the bank to buy a good one. The Condor Men’s Colorado work boot is affordable and provides good protection with its steel toe that’s ASTM certified.
The boot features genuine 100% full grain leather that’s assured to last as well as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) support for durability. It has a mesh fabric lining to keep the boot breathable, and cushioning in the midsole and outsole to provide comfort and additional support. The synthetic outsole is oil-, slip-, and abrasion-resistant to make working in construction sites and industrial environments safer for you.
For comfort, safety, and affordability, this Condor Men's Colorado pair is indeed one of the best cheap work boots in the market today.
10. Dr. Martens Men’s Ironbridge Wide ST Work Boot
Dr. Martens boots are well-known for their style, durability, and value for money. However, they don’t just make stylish city boots, they make rugged working boots, too, like this Ironbridge Wide ST Work Boot.
For those who are outside on their feet all day, working with materials that could be dangerous to feet if dropped, this Dr. Martens pair is perfect for you. These are not hiking boots; these are industrial boots that are a bit heavy because of the superb protection that the boots offer.
This leather work boot has a steel toe cap, and an oiled and water-resistant leather upper. It has a wide, comfort fit and a padded collar and tongue. It has a moisture wicking lining, too, as well as an anti-bacterial insole that keeps your feet dry.
The PVC air-cushioned sole that Dr. Martens is known for is oil-, water-, fat-, petrol-, and alkali-resistant. It has additional insulation, too for protection against electrical hazards.
Dr. Martens boots are known all over the world for their style, look, and performance. This work boot lives up to the company’s reputation, too, as it does the job an industrial boot is supposed to do, and more.
11. Thorogood Men’s 814-4200 American Heritage 6” Moc Toe Boot
When it comes to stylish boots with a lot of protection against electrical hazards, the Thorogood Men’s 814-4200 American Heritage 6” Moc Toe Boot is definitely a good choice. Electricians spend a lot of time on their feet, climbing posts and walking from one site to another. Even at the end of a very long day, these boots will still feel good on your feet.
The tobacco oil-tanned leather upper is made in the USA. It is thick and supple with Goodyear Storm welt construction. The polyurethane MAXwear wedge sole protects against electrical hazards and is slip-resistant. If you're worried about the color of the sole, don't. It will look better and better the longer you wear the boots.
The boot's stitching is also even and adds to the beauty of this work boot. It has a fiberglass shank that provides the support your feet need. Its removable footbed offers cushioning that absorbs shock, making the boot comfortable to wear the whole day.
This Thorogood work boot may be a little expensive, but it is definitely worth it if you want boots that are durable, reliable, and provide all the support and protection your feet need on the job.
12. Danner Men’s Quarry USA 8-Inch Steel Toe Work Boot
If you need steel toe work boots for your job, this Danner boot would be an excellent choice.
These boots are made of soft full grain leather that's made in the US. It is 100% waterproof, built with GORE-TEX lining that's also breathable to keep your feet from sweating. It has an alloy toe and an electrical shock-resistant Vibram soles and heels that meet ASTM electrical hazard standards as well as an asymmetrical tread pattern that provides a lot of traction.
This work boot has a fiberglass shank that provides support for your feet. The tongues are cushioned with synthetic material over the ankle, ensuring a blister-free experience. These boots don't need a lot of time breaking in; wear them when they arrive and you'll see they will still feel great at the end of the day.
For steel toe boots, this Danner work boot is certainly worth considering, as it is a pair that can protect your feet on the job day after day.
13. Dickies Men’s Raider Steel-Toe Work Shoe
When it comes to work boots, you need a pair that you can trust, especially if your job has you on your feet the whole day. You need boots that will not only protect your feet but also cope with the pressure placed on them.
An affordable but high-quality work boot that meets these criteria is the Dickies Men’s Raider Steel-Toe Work Shoe. The company has been manufacturing rugged and tough work boots for more than 80 years, and they have proven they know what they're doing.
The Raider boot is made of imported leather with a moisture-wicking fabric that keeps your feet from sweating. Its collar is padded for additional comfort, and the memory foam insole ensures you feel your best even when standing and walking around for hours.
This inexpensive work boot has a steel toe that provides protection to your toes against falling objects, as well as a synthetic outsole that is resistant to electrical hazards. The outsole is oil- and slip-resistant, too.
You don’t need to break the bank to get high-quality work boots. With this Dickie's pair, you get the utmost protection a steel toe work boot provides at a very affordable price.
14. Wolverine Men’s Legend 6-Inch Waterproof Comp Toe Work Shoe
Steel toe work boots are a must if you are working in job sites that pose a lot of hazards. However, those boots are heavy and hurt your feet, making you feel tired before the end of the work day.
The solution? Wolverine Men’s Legend 6-Inch Waterproof Comp Toe Work Shoe. This work boot has composite toes that make the boot much lighter while still providing the same protection. It is made of high-quality leather that's built to last.
You can use these boots the whole day, on concrete floors, and your feet won't get tired. It's because Wolverine uses a unique cushioning design that provides a lot of support in the heels and the step. Its Wolverine Durashock gives comfort every step you take throughout the day.
These boots are water-resistant and don't have any breathable holes in it. It may make your feet sweat but it won't make a difference on the comfort level as it also uses H-plate suspension system to stabilize your foot.
For those standing and walking around the whole day, getting this Wolverine work boots would be a wise investment. It is relatively light while at the same time providing the support your feet would need on the job.
15. arctiv8 Men’s Nortiv8 161202-M Insulated Waterproof Work Snow Boot
If your job has you spending a great deal of time outdoors, even during winter, it’s best to get a pair of boots that are good for cold weather.
The arctiv8 Men’s Nortiv8 161202-M Insulated Waterproof Work Snow Boot, for example, is great for snow. This pair has been specifically designed for wearing in cold and wet conditions. Aside from being waterproof, it is also lined with microfiber and heat-reflective material, ensuring that your feet stay warm and dry in the worst weather, but also providing a good level of comfort.
The curved heel and toe make walking in these boots feel more natural, placing less strain on your feet and legs even when walking on uneven terrain.
These work boots provide good traction, too. The hard rubber soles with sharp edges make it slip resistant and prevent you from slipping on wet or icy roads.
When it comes to work boots for the winter, nothing comes close to arctiv8 Men’s Nortiv8 161202-M Insulated Waterproof Work Snow Boot in terms of cold protection and price. It’s definitely worth looking at!
Best Work Boots for Women - 2018
Skechers For Work Women’s Workshire Peril Steel Toe Boot
Timberland PRO Women’s Titan Waterproof Boot
KEEN Utility Women’s Detroit Mid Steel Toe Work Boot
Wolverine Women’s Floodhand Waterproof 6” Soft Toe Work Boot
Avenger Women’s 7125 Leather Waterproof Steel Toe Boot
1. Skechers For Work Women’s Workshire Peril Steel Toe Boot
Skechers is well known for its comfortable walking shoes. When it comes to being on your feet all day or walking around the city for sightseeing, Skechers is the brand to go.
Since they have entered the work boot industry, they are starting to get a reputation, too, for having work boots that provide utmost comfort and protection to women’s feet. Their Skechers for Work Women's Workshire Peril Steel Toe Boot is actually considered the best work boots for women.
It is a tough, lace-up boot that provides a roomier fit and its signature Memory Foam cushioning. It has side and heel leather overlays to improve its stability. Its padded tongue and collar ensure additional comfort, while its steel safety toe meets ASTM and EH standards.
This Skechers work boots for women is also oil-resistant and has excellent traction. It was designed to cope with the harshest conditions while offering a high level of protection to your feet at all times. The upper part is made using specialist leather so are very durable.
Each pair is relatively wide and provides a little more room for your feet. This in turn offers a much higher level of comfort when being worn.
With their work boots for women, Skechers has proven that they are more than just a pretty pair of shoes, they can protect women’s feet in hazardous industries, too, while still keeping their reputation for comfort and style.
2. Timberland PRO Women’s Titan Waterproof Boot
Finding suitable women’s work boots can prove difficult, but these boots from Timberland are definitely worth checking out.
The good quality, waterproof soft full grain leather used means you don’t have to spend time on breaking them in. You can start wearing them as soon as you take them out of the box. It’s so comfortable you can use them for hours without getting tired. This is a huge benefit if you spend long periods of time moving around in your job.
You will also appreciate how little these boots weigh. In fact, these are some of the lightest women’s work boots available. Worried about your feet sweating or getting wet? Don’t be. These boots have a mesh comfort lining that keeps your feet dry all day.
It has an ASTM rated TiTAN alloy safety toe cap, too, to protect your feet from dropping objects or any falling debris while you’re on the job. It is also resistant to electrical hazards (EH), and its outsole is slip-, oil-, and abrasion-resistant.
If you are on your feet the whole day, in all kinds of weather, it is best to get these Timberland PRO Women’s Titan Waterproof Boots. Let not the critical reviews on Amazon detract you from buying these; Timberland boots are known for its functionality and dependability and offer high quality work boots that provide all the comfort and protection your feet need.
3. KEEN Utility Women’s Detroit Mid Steel Toe Work Boot
KEEN footwear is known for its quality hiking shoes. They have brought their expertise as well as producing women's work boots.
Their KEEN Utility Women's Detroit Steel-Toe Work Boots, for example, is very light and in fact, it's hiker-inspired, so you can wear them the whole day at work without getting tired.
It has an asymmetrical steel toe for safety and the waterproof nubuck leather uppers keep your feet dry even in inclement weather. It has Dri-Lex linings inside the shoe as well to make sure your feet don't get sweaty.
It also provides additional comfort through the removable EVA footbeds and midsoles. Best of all, it meets ANSI standards for electrical hazards, making it invaluable at work.
When it comes to women’s work boots that are more like hiking boots in weight and comfort level but provide maximum protection to the feet, this KEEN Utility work boot is all you will ever need.
4. Wolverine Women’s Floodhand Waterproof 6” Soft Toe Work Boot
An iconic name in the footwear industry, Wolverine continues to provide high-quality footwear.
Their Wolverine Women's Floodhand Waterproof 6" Soft Toe Work Boot is made of 100% full-grain leather that's waterproof and guaranteed to keep your feet dry throughout the day.
It has a removable footbed and rubber midsole, too, that is fully cushioned and meant to absorb shocks, giving your feet all the support that they need.
Its rubber outsole is slip-resistant, reducing risks of slipping and injuring yourself at work. It is also oil-, water-, and abrasion-resistant to provide more protection.
These Wolverine boots are guaranteed to withstand the most stringent demands you may face at work. They are certainly one of the best work boots for women at their price point.
At its price point, the Wolverine Women’s Floodhand Waterproof 6” Soft Toe Work Boot is a good buy, given its durability, comfort, and protection.
5. Avenger Women’s 7125 Leather Waterproof EH Slip Resistant Steel Toe Boot
Avenger has made this work boot specifically for women.
It's made of full grain leather using a direct attach and waterproof membrane construction. It has a steel toe cap to provide utmost protection from falling objects at work, and an oil- and slip-resistant outsole that keeps you from slipping and sliding on the job.
It meets ASTM standards for electrical hazards, too, which protects you from dangers from open circuits.
This Avenger Women’s 7125 Leather Waterproof EH Slip Resistant Steel Toe Boot is definitely something you should expect from a company who specializes in making safety boots for women.
With its advanced manufacturing techniques combined with traditional styling and quality materials, Avenger provides safety footwear for women that are durable, affordable, and reliable.
6. Timberland Women’s 6” Premium Boot
Timberland makes high-quality boots for both men and women. What sets this Timberland Women’s 6" Premium Boot apart, however, is its rugged style that would look good in a variety of outfit and the wide range of colors you can choose from.
These boots are made of premium waterproof nubuck leather using direct-attach, seam-sealed construction to maximize durability. It has a padded collar and footbed as well for additional comfort. The laces are made with Taslan fibers, and the hardware are rust-proof.
These women's boots can be worn all day, every day without causing foot fatigue because of the anti-fatigue technology built into the midsole. Its lugged outsole improves traction and prevents slipping.
When it comes to style, fit, and performance, these Timberland women's boots are definitely one of the best to have.
The Importance of Finding the Right Type of Work Boots
For quite a lot of jobs, wearing the proper work boots is a must. The right pair will do much more than just protect your toes from falling objects, it will also protect against falls on slippery surfaces, cold temperatures, exposed nails, and even protect you against electrical charges.
It isn’t all about protection, too. The right type of work boots is comfortable. It will fit your feet well while giving a little breathing room, and you can use it the whole day without giving you blisters and other discomforts.
By investing time into looking for the right kind of work boots, you will provide your feet with all the protection and support they need which is essential in your job.
Given there’s a lot of work boots on the market today, how will you choose the right one? Should you choose based on price? Maybe choose based on the brand? Should you buy a pair that’s a size smaller or larger?
Only you can answer these questions. The most important factor to consider is what your job requires.
Those who work in construction, for example, need boots that will safeguard against puncturing objects or heavy objects falling on to your feet.
If you work within the concrete industry, you need boots that aren’t only waterproof but have a deep tread. Electricians, on the other hand, need a pair that will protect against electrical hazards.
Most employers will usually specify what boots their hires should buy. If yours doesn’t, use this buying guide to help you choose the best work boots for you.
What to Look Out for When Buying Work Boots
There are several factors you need to take into consideration when trying to decide which kind of work boots to buy.
To help you with this task, we’ve listed some of the most important features to look at. All of these will help to ensure that the boots you select are the right kind for the work you do.
1. Safety Toes
Some work boots are fitted with a steel toe cap, while others tend to be made either from alloy or composite materials. There are even some pairs fitted with a soft toe cap.
- Steel Toes – These are the most accessible and have been designed to offer optimal protection to the wearer. You can drop any heavy object on your feet and you won’t feel anything because your steel toes will prevent any injury. The problem, however, is that the steel makes the boot weigh more. Also, they may become uncomfortable when worn over long periods of time.
- Composite Toes – These are made using special polymers and ceramic materials. Despite not being as heavy as steel, these are as strong and will provide feet with ample protection.
- Alloy Toes – These are an interesting alternative to boots that have steel toe caps. Alloy works in much the same way as steel does, but is around 30 to 50% lighter. It also tends to be a lot thinner than steel, which provides toes with more room to move.
- Soft Toes – More commonly known as non-protective boots, these definitely don’t offer the level of protection as the others do. These boots are ideal for people who work with electronic materials or live cables.
2. Boot Construction Method
How boots are constructed will impact a great deal on how durable they are. There are three basic methods used by boot manufacturers today in order to attach the sole to the upper part of the boot. Each of them comes with their own set of strengths and weaknesses.
- Cement – This is the most popular method used for the construction of work boots, as it is the most inexpensive. The upper part of the boot is simply glued to the sole using an industrial strength adhesive. One of the big issues with this is that over time, the adhesive can begin to degrade, leading the sole to be removed from the boots.
- Goodyear Welt – This is made from the same material used to produce Goodyear tires. Rather than sticking the sole to the upper part of the boot, they are stitched together, making the boot much stronger and water resistant.
- Molded – A few manufacturers have chosen to construct their work boots using this method. The upper part of the boot is placed in a mold. Then rubber in liquid form is injected or poured into the bottom of the mold. As the rubber starts to cool and dry, it fuses to the upper part of the boot. The main advantage of using this method is that no stitching or adhesive is needed.
3. Comfortability of the Boot
Another very important factor in choosing a work boot is the comfortability aspect. When you spend long periods of time on your feet, comfort is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
It can be hard to determine if a boot will be comfortable based on the manufacturer’s descriptions only. What you can do is read buyers’ reviews and pay attention to what they say their experience was in using the boots for hours.
A work boot that is well insulated will offer a good amount of protection when the weather turns cold. It will also help to protect your feet when it starts to get warmer.
Some boots may be good at everything else. If you like them but fear that they’re not insulated enough, you can always wear wool socks and other similar materials to prevent your feet from getting cold.
Ideally, you should get boots that are constructed to last for years with daily use on the job. If you get boots that are not durable, you may end up having to replace it every 6 months or so, which isn’t such a good idea given the general price of work boots.
Most people tend to ignore how much their work boots weigh. Don’t make this mistake! Weight plays a very important role when choosing which boot to buy.
If you spend a lot of time walking around the job site, for example, heavy boots can place more strain on your feet and legs, leading to major discomfort at the end of the workday. A lighter boot, on the other hand, will make you feel like you’re using sneakers instead of work boots.
7. Fit Matters
The right fit is a very important factor to consider. If the boots are too small, you will suffer from blisters and other foot complaints. If the boots are too big, you could find walking around uncomfortable and even dangerous in certain job sites.
If you intend to buy work boots with a steel toe cap, choose a pair that would be slightly larger than you would normally wear as this will ensure they fit better. Remember, the material around the steel toe cap won’t stretch so if you get a pair that’s your exact size, you may find the toe part uncomfortable.
8. Ankle Support
For those who spend a great deal of time moving around over rough terrain, boots with good ankle support are vital. They provide more stability to this area of the foot and prevent injury.
If you work in areas where there is a lot of heat, you need a work boot that offers plenty of breathabilities. Heat won’t just make your feet feel uncomfortable, it can cause them to sweat more, too, and if your feet are sweaty all the time, it can lead to discomfort and even foot infections.
Boots that are breathable will help encourage the flow of air around your feet. Such boots will also prevent too much sweat being trapped inside them.
10. Additional Support
Choosing boots that come with additional support can help prevent such problems as plantar fasciitis from occurring. There are work boots that contain additional support in the base. These will help to stop you from placing a strain on this ligament in the foot.
Also look for a work boot that offers additional support for the arch of the foot.
11. Price Factor
When it comes to buying work boots, the price is a major concern for many. Some work boots, for example, can be a bit expensive. Of course, they provide a lot of features, too. And since they’re made with high-quality materials, they will last longer and be a better investment in general.
12. Shaft Height
You’ll find that work boots for men and women come in a variety of shaft heights. Shaft height is the measurement from the middle of the arch up to the boot's outsole and to the top of the boot shaft.
When it comes to working boots, most people tend to buy ones with a shaft height of between 6 and 8 inches. The main benefit of such boots is that they offer a lot more support to the wearer’s ankle because the top of the boot sits just above it.
Types of Protection Used in Work Boots
Another factor to take into consideration before purchasing your work boots is what kind of protection they provide. As you will see, the level of protection varies from one pair of boots to another.
If your job involves working outdoors, you need a pair of boots that will protect your feet when it rains. Nothing can be more uncomfortable than wet feet inside the boots. It can also lead to unpleasant odors and foot infections.
The most effective work boots are the kinds that have been fitted with a waterproof membrane inside the boot.
During the winter months, you need a pair of boots that aren’t just comfortable but will help to protect your feet against the cold as well.
Look for boots that have an additional lining that conforms to the shape of your foot and doesn’t only keep your feet warm, but will help to remove any excess moisture when your feet become hot and sweaty.
These work boots are different from those with waterproofing. These boots are only suitable to be worn when light rain or snow is falling, as it will only have the exterior of the boot coated with a water repellent product.
Waterproof boots, however, will have an additional lining inside to prevent water from getting inside.
A good pair of oil-resistant work boots will have durable glue lines along with specially designed uppers. The soles of these boots tend to be made from polyurethane.
The treatment of such boots ensures that they can withstand being used around petroleum and oil products.
Whatever work boot you choose, make sure to get one that’s slip-resistant. You would want footwear that will reduce the risk of you slipping and injuring yourself. Look for boots that offer a good level of traction; soles with a multi-directional tread pattern to them would be a good choice as it provides more grip even when moving over very slippery surfaces.
As well as being slip-resistant, look for boots that are acid-resistant. It will help you keep your footing even when walking on the ground where chemicals have been spilled.
If your work exposes you to electricity or makes you handle electrical equipment or components, the risk of you getting electrocuted is quite high.
You, therefore, need to look for work boots that are made from 100% non-conductive material. It would have composite toe caps (rather than steel toe caps) and include rubber in their construction.
Make sure to read the description closely to see if the boot has a good electrical hazard (EH) rating. It means that the boots can withstand having 18,000 volts at 60 Hz applied to them for 1 minute.
It doesn’t mean, though, that you are free to just touch any live wire. Such footwear should only be used as a secondary protection against any kind of electrical hazard.
Work boots that come with this feature help limit how much static electricity is allowed to build upon your body. They also provide a reasonable amount of protection against certain electrical hazards you may find in your work.
Such boots can be easily identified as they will have either “SD” or “ESD” printed on to the ATSM label that is shown into the boot. You should also look for the letters “CD” on the label as these tell you the boots are designed to help discharge static electricity from the body.
The right kind of heat-resistant work boots will protect you against exposure from materials that need to be heated up to high temperatures.
The soles, as well as the outsoles, are always made from heat-resistant rubber to stop them from cracking or charring at high temperatures. Such boots are able to protect against temperatures that can exceed 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius).
Having a puncture-resistant pair of work boots is a very important feature in some job sites. On construction sites, for example, there are higher chances of you stepping on broken glass, protruding nails, exposed metal points, and other sharp debris. So, if you are working in such an environment, having a pair of boots thick enough to resist puncture is a necessity.
Look for work boots that have been fitted with aluminum or Kevlar midsoles, or that can resist penetration force of up to 1100N.
The quickest way to identify if the work boots you are buying provide sufficient protection against puncture is to look at the label inside the boot. If at the bottom of the label you see the letters “PR,” this tells you that these are puncture resistant. Such boots are able to withstand nail penetration force up to 270 lbs.
As well as a toe box, you may find it useful to get boots with a metatarsal guard. This particular component fits over the tongue of the boot and then extends down the boot to the toe box.
This boot is going to provide a good level of protection to your upper foot, not only against anything heavy coming into contact with the foot but also with any hot materials. The label inside the boot or the description on the website should include the letters MT.
7 Trustworthy Work Boot Brands
You already know just how important wearing the right work boots is. Not only will a good pair of boots protect your feet and ensure you remain injury-free, it will also help to ensure you work better. If the boots you are wearing are comfortable, for example, you’ll find that you can work harder and for much longer periods of time.
Below are 7 of the most trusted work boot brands to look at when you are planning on buying a new pair of work boots.
Timberland is one of the most popular brands around the world when it comes to footwear. The company was founded over a century ago in Boston, MA, but now have hundreds of offices around the world.
Although they have been making boots all this time, it wasn’t until 1998 when their collection of “Work Boots For Professionals” became available. Their boots are reasonably priced and offer the wearer a good level of protection.
Each boot is available in both standard and wider variants to ensure each pair fits perfectly. The use of quality materials in the boots ensures that they are built to last. Aside from durability, their boots also offer a high level of comfort even when worn for an extended period of time.
When you see the name “Caterpillar,” what comes to mind? Like most people, you would probably think of construction vehicles. The company has been known in this industry for decades, and their trucks and backhoes and payloaders, among others, can be seen in most construction sites around the world.
More than vehicles, Caterpillar is also known for producing good quality work boots.
Like their construction vehicles, their boots are designed to withstand the toughest of situations. Workers around the world wear their Cat boots for years, being protected in all sorts of job sites. Price-wise, you will be surprised to learn that the boots produced by this company are affordable. A pair of their boots won’t cost much more than a $100 and are made from materials that ensure that they will last for many years to come.
Caterpillar boots take a few days to break in. You may feel that this is too long to wait, but it will be worth it. When you take the time to break them in, you will ensure the perfect fit for the boots.
Like Timberland, Caterpillar has also spent time coming up with designs that are both stylish and practical. You will definitely be proud to have a pair of their boots on your feet.
KEEN is a relatively new company to the work boot industry. They started selling work boots back in 2003 and has since then gained a reputation for producing high-quality work boots.
This is a company who promises to not only make your time at work better but your life in general better as well. Each pair of boots is comfortable and durable and will help to ensure that you are safe when wearing them.
Best of all, the KEEN handmade boots are affordable, too.
Thorogood is part of the Weinbrenner Shoe Company that was founded over a century ago, in 1892. All their boots are made using high-quality leather and include a collar that has more padding to provide additional comfort. Their boots provide better protection for the ankles, too.
These boots are quite expensive in comparison to the other brands mentioned here. However, they are still very much in demand because they are built to last for many years and provide all the protection and support your feet need.
Carhartt has been making work boots since 1889. They are now known for producing high-quality boots that you can depend on. Each pair is made from high-quality leather and fitted with a durable Ortholite sole.
This company has definitely come a long way since selling their first pair of work boots. They keep up with the latest trends and styles, too. They aren’t the cheapest work boots you can buy, but they are more reasonably priced compared to other brands.
Irish Setter makes a wide range of boots. They offer work boots, for sure, but also have ones ideal for hiking or hunting. Their first pair was made back in 1950, making sure that each of their boots meets the needs of their customers. They do this through materials that will ensure the boots fit properly and can provide a good deal of protection at all times.
Danner produces less variety of boots than their competition but what they do have is quality, rather than quantity. Their craftsmen work to ensure that each pair of boots meets the company’s exacting standards.
As well as being fairly priced, Danner boots look stylish and are comfortable to wear. They last for years, too. Danner is now starting to become one of the most popular of all the work boot brands available today.
Each foot is made up of 36 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles, and 107 ligaments. All of them need to be protected when you spend hours on your feet throughout the day.
As you can see, when buying work boots, the primary consideration should not be price and brand. It should be about protection, support, and comfort. If you buy a very inexpensive work boot, for example, and end up having to replace them every few months or so, it will prove to be more expensive in the end.
Worse, if you prioritize price, you may end up with a broken foot if the toe cap doesn’t hold.
So, yes, be prepared to pay at least $100 for a pair of the best work boots available on the market today.
When buying any boots for work, it is also vital that they meet relevant health and safety standards. Look closely at what standards relate to the kind of industry that you work in. If your work boots don’t meet that standards, not only are you putting your feet at risk but yourself as well.
Finally, don’t forget that each boot is made differently and will fit differently. Take the time to try out several different pairs, read the best work boots reviews, and you will end up with a pair that will fit you perfectly and offer the best level of comfort and protection you need.