Bear in mind that safety begins with feet, which is particularly true for those working at a factory, construction sites, or any other hazardous working environment. This is where work boots come in!
The importance of work boots and shoes should not be understated at all. For many jobs, it’s essential to select the proper footwear that will not only keep your toes safe, but also protect you against electrical charges, exposed nails, slippery surfaces, and cold temperatures.
Work boots are also supposed to provide enough comfort for everyday walking and those long hours. Make sure to choose wisely when buying the best work boots. With hundreds of different models on the market, choosing the proper ones may be a difficult challenge.
Keep reading to find the work boots most suitable for the environment you work in.
10 Best Work Boots 2018
|Timberland Pro Pitboss|
|KEEN Utility Pittsburgh Steel-Toe Work Boot|
|Caterpillar 2nd Shift|
|Timberland PRO Boondock|
|Irish Setter 83605|
|Wolverine W02421 Raider|
1. Timberland PRO Pitboss Steel-Toe Boot – Best Overall
Offering both incredibly comfortable fit and excellent value, Timberland Pro Pitboss is deemed to be the best work boots on the market. These solidly-constructed boots are a great choice for the warehouse, as they are proven to adapt easily to harsh work conditions.
Built utilizing a rugged Nubuck leather and Goodyear welt construction, these boots are made to last for years. Durability is assured by a long list of high-end features.
- steel safety toes
- antimicrobial treatment
- heat resistant rubber
- polyurethane midsole
- padded top collar
- electrical hazard protection
- nylon shock-diffusion plate
Another feature you will surely love is the price-value relationship this pair of work boots have. Given the exceptional features and protection, the Pitboss boots go for a quite fair bargain.
These boots perfectly blend comfort and safety. They get top marks for their lasting premium leather that as tough as nails yet very comfortable. Besides this sturdy leather, the upper also features the outsole consisting of a rubber that is resistant to abrasion, slip, oil, and electrical hazards.
For maximum protection, the outsole comes with a Nylon shank that is reinforced with the anti-puncture plate.
More on the TImerland PRO Pitboss
Safety steel toes will guard your toes against any hazardous accident, such as heavy objects falling down from height. Comfort level is enhanced by a removable sock insert that offers maximum support to your feet.
Outstanding comfort is also provided by a padded top collar, footbed, and polyurethane midsole which are specially designed to afford comfort to the foot.
There is only one little criticism concerning the break-in period of these boots. They take a bit while to break in when used for the very first time. But once you have done so, the boots will get shaped according to your feet for all time.
2. KEEN Utility Pittsburgh Steel-Toe – Best Steel Toe Work Boots for Men
One of the first things you’ll notice about these medium-duty boots is that they do not look like typical men’s work boots. They actually resemble hiking shoes at first glance.
Nonetheless, this pair of boots ticks each right box with regards to durability, safety, and comfort. If you are searching for something that can be used either as hiking or work footwear, this is the ideal purchase.
As far as durability, the KEEN Utility Pittsburgh boots highlight the unique incorporated features and rugged construction that let the boots withstand almost every type of working environment. With the gripping rubber outsole, rubber toe guard, and asymmetrical steel toes, these work boots excel at durability.
There’re a few built-in features that offer extensive protection for any dangerous jobs. The rubber sole is resistant to abrasion, oil, and slips. Because they are waterproof, you can safely use them on dirt surfaces. The Nubuck leather and breathable membranes prevent soaking of boots. Your feet will remain completely dry while you walk through mud and dirt on your job.
Further Reviewing the KEEN Utility Work Boot
What’s more, the boots are designed to protect you against electrical hazards, too. Heavy machinery operators and electricians should take note of this feature, in particular.
Note that they’re partly made from a textile, which has its own benefits. That textile is more breathable and more flexible than leather, which maximizes the comfort while minimizing feet fatigue. They also contain EVA midsole and EVA footbed for extra comfort and support.
Those with flat feet or plantar fasciitis will appreciate that additional support for sure.
3. Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift – Best Soft Toe Work Boots
If you are looking for the men’s work boots that can be used in a variety of environments, be sure to look at the Caterpillar Second Shift boots. These soft-toe hardworking boots combine dependable functions with a comfortable design to meet the demands of the heavy-duty jobs.
The boots are primarily aimed at those working in different terrains for long hours. They are convenient for hiking, hunting, and other outdoor activities.
The durability doesn’t call into question either. Goodyear welt construction and a breathable leather upper ensure maximum protection and extreme comfort. Thanks to the strong outsole, climasphere sock liner, and full-grain upper, your feet (especially ankles) will be protected over the course of the day.
Not only that you’ll be protected from temperature extremes but also from oils and slippery surfaces. The boots are fitted with oil-resistant traction outsole and slip-resistant synthetic sole.
Yet, bear in mind that they are neither water resistant nor waterproof, thereby not suitable for wet conditions. Also, note that those are soft-toe boots, so you can’t expect safety to the toes as with steel-toe work boots.
Like any other Caterpillar footwear, the Second Shift work boots are manufactured with returning energy and absorbing shock to ensure full satisfaction. Other features worth mentioning include a plush logoed collar, speed lacing shaft, and hex-shape grommets.
4. Timberland Men’s Flume Waterproof Boot – Most Comfortable Work Boots
Are you looking for the men’s boots that are equally good for working and hiking? Do you need a footgear that can keep your feet comfortable and dry in just about any weather condition? Chances are you’re seeking something like the Timberland Flume Waterproof Boot!
These men’s waterproof boots boast a seam-sealed construction with a robust leather fabric and padded collar. Their logo patch on the fully gusseted tongue and D-ring lacing are quite likely to grab your attention. Actually, each detail on the boots is designed in such a way to feel and look nice.
The Timberland Flume is considered to be one of the most comfortable work boots on the market. Considering how many features are focused on comfort, this should come as no surprise.
Removable EVA footbed is foamed for extra convenience, collars are padded with a super-soft material, whereas a support cushion prevents the toes from getting hurt or blistering. On the top of this, the boots fit most feets right out of the box so that there’s no need for a break.
In addition to comfort, the boots also offer a high durability. That said, they come with a sturdy traction outsole that consists of water resistant leather fabrics which keep the interior dry and clean. The long-lasting rubber sole ensures you won’t slip and fall down while working in slippery harsh conditions.
More on the Timerland Men’s Flume Boots
Even though these boots are not steel toe, they work well for any work environment. You can also wear them for hiking and yard works.
As a customer, you will definitely like their price tag since these are one of the cheapest work boots today. Given the excellent comfort and waterproof construction, the Timberland Flume boot is a great value for money without a doubt.
5. Timberland PRO Boondock Non-Insulated – Best Waterproof Work Boots
There are a lot of good reasons like Timberland Pro Boondock boots. These 6-inch rugged work boots emphasize a scuff resistant membrane and waterproof leather to keep the feet unscathed and dry.
They come with a rubber protector for toes which prevents abrasion from tear and wear. To keep your feet tightly on the ground, the heel features Goodyear welt construction.
Extra thick traction easily grips any surface. The stylish dual stitching surrounding the shaft provides the additional support, whereas quad stitching around the toe adds extra strength when needed. Thanks to the padded collar and lace-up leather shaft, the boots do offer continuous support and comfort.
The Boondock work boots are strengthened with high-quality Ever-Guard leather for high durability in tough working conditions. For strong grip, the deep lug sole is reinforced superior traction. Traction outsole is oil resistant.
As you can notice, these boots are constructed with the out-of-doors in mind, so they’re ideal for any outdoor occupation. Those who work on concrete and construction jobs will also love them. Additionally, they provide resistance to electrical hazards and hence are perfect for those working as an electrician.
Further Review of the Timberland PRO Boondock
Because they’re fitted with the anti-fatigue technology, your back and knees will suffer less stress while working insane hours on the job. Weighing only 2.5 pounds, these waterproof work boots are fairly lightweight and comfortable to wear. They also run wide so that those people with wider feet will find it convenient.
If you’re not completely satisfied, you can make use of a 30-day comfort guarantee the Timberland offers to their consumers. It’s really hard to go wrong with the Timberland PRO Boondock boots.
6. Carhartt Men’s CMF6366 – Best Composite Toe Work Boots
Carhartt is a well-known brand famous for the work clothes and footwear, which has been around since 1889. These years of extensive experience has made the company easily recognizable and popular worldwide.
This is not a fly-by-night company, either. The only question is whether the Carhartt men’s work boots are on a par with the bigger names.
The Carhartt CMF6366 is one of the models that proves top-quality craftsmanship with its high durability, functionality, and comfort. If you’re looking for a supportive, lightweight, solid work boots at a low price, this is the way to go. Though, note that they are not suitable for all conditions.
These composite-toe boots feature an abrasion-resistant heel bumper offering fairly long wear. You’ll be able to work without having to worry about getting injured thanks to the electrical hazard protection and composite safety toes that keep the toes safe from impact. Besides cushy materials and moisture wicking lining, those features make the boots extremely safe in most conditions.
More on the Carhartt Men’s CMF6366
However, they are not completely waterproof (as the manufacturer claims), so it’s not the best choice for snowy or wet work environments.
These work boots are actually water resistant, meaning they are capable of repelling small amounts of rain or water rather than keeping your feet dry when working in constantly wet conditions. As for the insulation, they are about average so that you can use them in moderate climates.
What’s most imposing about the Carhartt Men’s CMF6366 boots is actually what is underneath your feet. There are OrthoLite removable thick insole and EVA midsole that give you multiple cushioning layers for your convenience. Plus, a well-padded collar and tongue ensure all-day comfort.
7. Irish Setter Men’s 83605 Work Boot – Best for Walking All Day
Derived from the popular Red Wing, Irish Setter is a popular brand known for the excellent craftsmanship in their line of men’s work footwear. They are particularly designed to give abundant cushioning for all-day standing and walking on rocky concrete, and tile surfaces. Same goes for the Irish Setter 83605 model in question.
These lace-up work boots boast a beautifully crafted full grain leather, triple stitching, removable polyurethane footbed, and mock toe. They are not merely designed to be sharp-looking but also highly durable and supportive. The solid traction offers a strong, secure grip, even when working on a bumpy surface, while a 6-inch shaft provides a great support to feet a the same time.
The durability and comfort go hand in hand. Combined with a cushioned footbed and Eva midsole, the thick rubber outer makes sure you will enjoy superior comfort while working in harsh conditions. Stress on legs and knees is reduced notably. They are designed with a padded collar, soft toe, and a pull up tab for quick and easy slip on.
All of this makes the boots perfect for contractors, cement workers, and factory workers. However, these boots are not ideal for those working in heavy machinery, outdoor labor, and construction sites because they don’t have those required protective features included in their construction.
8. Danner Men’s Quarry – Best Alloy Toe Work Boots for Men
Although the Danner is one of the least well-known names on our list, they make fairly good men’s work boots. Their Quarry line includes some high-quality handcrafted boots. Produced from full grain triple-stitched leather, the Danner Quarry is truly built to last.
As opposed to the models mentioned above, these ones measure 8 inches, so they may be too big for some people. However, they are large for a reason.
The additional length yields both more insulation and additional ankle protection. So if you are on the lookout for the big waterproof winter boots, the Quarry USA 8” alloy toe boots could be an ideal choice for you.
Compared to its predecessors, this model is notably re-engineered. With that being said, the boots come with an upgraded midsole and a brand new Vibram Quarry outsole that can last for years.
Wear and tear are reduced thanks to the triple stitching. The collar liner is also updated to be more comfortable. The wider platform is meant to offer an improved stability. Safety features include electro hazard protection, alloy safety toes, and Vibram sole that is abrasion, slip, and oil resistant.
When it comes to the style, the combination of orange laces, black leather, and white stitches looks surprisingly nice. In general, the boots feature a classic, elegant design that suggests the admittedly higher price.
9. Stanley Men’s Dredge – Best Slip-On Work Boots
Looking for an utmost convenience and comfort of slip-on work boots? If so, we recommend that you consider looking the Stanley Dredge steel-toe work boots. Let’s see why.
Unique Chelsea-boot styling, safety toe protection, electrical hazard coverage, and full grain leather are some of the key features that make many people opt for these boots.
No-laces style significantly simplifies their use. They are particularly recommended for those working at industrial or construction sites for long 10+ hour shifts. That’s because these work boots are made with the consumer’s safety and comfort in mind.
The toe box provides plenty of space for your toes while the steel toes don’t chafe nor hurt at all. Besides, the steel shank protects your feet against any hazard, averting any trauma or injury to your feet.
In fact, the boots protect you from pointed or heavy falling objects. The EH protection means that you’ll receive adequate protection from an open circuit that may cause dangerous electric shocks. Yep, it’s all about your safety!
More on the Stanley Men’s Dredge
Another significant feature is the oil and slip-resistant rubber outsole. That shock-absorbent outsole is created to keep you safe while working on chemical-strewn or slippery floors.
Polyurethane midsole and outsole can absorb shock while reducing aches and exhaustion when working on concrete surfaces. Many people find that these slip-on work boots offer a fairly good hazard protection for the price.
Furthermore, you’ll probably find that the boots are pretty comfortable, as they’re equipped with a well-padded tongue. The ankle collar is also padded and made from soft foam for exceptional comfort.
In addition, the removable EVA insole has an additional cavity for improved cushioning.
10. Wolverine W02421 Raider Boot – Best Boots for Concrete
Wolverine is another popular brand known for top-notch, comfortable work boots.
Being made of high-quality materials, they can last very long. They’re actually made to meet the blending between a heavy-duty construction and hiking footwear. Each boot features the Multishox Comfort System, Contour Welt construction, and individual pressure pads.
These boots are equipped with a contour welt that combines the durability of tough work boots with cushioning of athletic shoes. That results in extremely flexible boots which do not require any break-in period. The boots are well known for strength and support they offer.
The Wolverine Raider boot also features a well-crafted leather and soft well-cushioned interior. Contour Welt construction ensures great flexibility and outstanding durability.
A wave mesh lining is added to increase breathability during the hot summer days. However, they aren’t the good choice for extremely cold winters because of poor insulation.
There’s also a rubber lug outsole for increased traction while working on the slippery, dirty, or messy sites. It can resist abrasion, oils, chemicals, and more. The boots work well on both rough concrete and slick surfaces. You can also use them for casual wear after work.
Things You Must Know Before Buying Work Boots
Selecting the best work boots that meet all your needs could be a daunting task.
You should consider a lot of things, including size, weight, durability, flexibility, support, design, and much more. Not to mention safety features like safety toes, waterproof capabilities, slip resistance, insulation, and shock resistance.
Below are some key things to take into consideration when shopping work boots.
Toes are deemed to be the most vulnerable parts that suffer intense pain during the hard physical work. That’s because they are positioned at the most protruding and lowest part of our body, thereby often get tripped and bumped when working.
There are a number of risks you may face with while working at a tough construction site. The risks may include electrocution, falling objects, and everything in between. This is why you have to protect your feet by wearing boots that have safety toes.
As their name suggests, safety toes take care of the safety of your toes by preventing possible injuries. In fact, this feature is meant to protect the feet against any accidents by employing solid materials which can shield your toes from hazardous situations, such as hot construction materials, dropped tools, and falling objects.
As per the ISO safety footwear standards, toe protection must be capable of withstanding 200 joules (about 147 foot-pounds) of impact, i.e. it must be able to carry 2,200 pounds of resting mass.
While the majority of work boots are fitted with the steel toes these days, you can also choose between soft, aluminum and composite alternatives.
Steel-toed work boots have graced the footwear market for years. Those boots boast great compact properties and sturdy construction. What’s more, they can bend under a high pressure without getting damaged. So it should come as no surprise why steel-toed boots are the traditional choice for people working with heavy equipment.
On the downside, steel toes conduct temperature so that they aren’t the best choice if you’re working in a cold or hot environment. Those boots are magnetic and metallic, meaning they tend to conduct electricity.
That makes them dangerous to wear in an environment with a strong magnetic or electrical field. They are also on a heavy side, which could present a serious problem if you need to wear them over the course of 8 or 10-hour shift.
The steel toes are unnecessary for a range of jobs when, so wearing them can only detract you from the functionality and comfort of your boots.
If you’re performing the task that doesn’t involve any danger of crushing or stubbing your toes, then you may go for soft toes with peace of mind. Soft-toed boots incorporate protective features without encumbering your toes. Those work boots are not suited for tough, dangerous jobs though.
Aluminium (Alloy) Toes
Aluminum toe caps present a great protection from toy-related injuries. They weigh half as much as steel toes while offering much the same level of protection.
Because of the thin construction, these work boots offer more room in the toe area. That makes them ideal for people with wider feet.
Okay, we’ve seen all the advantages, but what’s the catch? Alloy-toed boots are generally bulkier than the steel ones. They conduct electricity and temperature alike.
Those are typically made of carbon fiber, plastic, or Kevlar. They are not metallic, meaning you can safely wear them through metal detectors. Since composite materials do not suffer any cold/heat retention, these safety toes do not conduct heat at all.
Compared to the steel toes, they are considerably lighter and more comfortable to wear. On the top of that, composite toes don’t conduct electricity, which makes them perfect for the workplaces with electrical hazards. The only downside is a bit bulkier design.
Sole & Heel Resistance
Take special care of heel if your job involves lots of climbing. To ensure a secure grip when you are on a ladder, the boots must have a heel with a minimum slope of 45 degrees and that is at least 0.75 inches high.
Regardless of safe toes protection, it’s all in vain if your sole and heel remain unprotected. No matter what type of surface you’re working on, make sure to pick the boots which soil is both oil and slip resistant. Otherwise, you may end up slipping over and falling.
That’s why everyone working in a wet area (like a garage with oil slicks or slippery warehouse) is advised to wear boots with slip resistant sole that provides high levels of traction.
Aside from being slip resistant, the good work boots should also be puncture proof to keep your feet safe from nails and other sharp objects, such as broken glass, thorns, and debris. The work boots with high penetration-protection levels can protect your feet against any dangerous impalement.
For some occupations, it’s important to choose acid resistant soles as well. This especially applies to the extreme work environment where dangerous chemical spills are common.
How durable your boot will be, mainly depends on the connection between its upper and lower part, i.e., the boot’s sole and outsole.
The boot construction has an effect on the durability, flexibility, comfort, performance, and overall weight. That’s why it is wise to get familiar with the methods of work boot construction.
Most manufacturers use the following 3 methods to attach leather uppers to rubber soles:
- Cement construction: This is one of the most popular methods for boots construction because it’s quite simple and relatively inexpensive. The rubber sole and leather upper are simply “cemented” with an industrial strength glue adhesive. While those work boots are usually less expensive, the adhesive is prone to degrade over time.
- Goodyear welt construction: This construction boasts an exceptional water-resistance and strength. It uses a welt made from diverse materials (like plastic, rubber, or leather) to connect the sole of a boot with its upper part. While these boots are more expensive than their competition, they last longer and can be re-soled or repaired with ease.
- Molded construction: It involves the injection technology to put together the sole and leather upper. In fact, the upper part is gripped in a mold whilst the heated rubber is either injected or poured into the mold. As the rubber compound dries and cools, it strongly fuses to the leather upper so that neither a stitching nor an adhesive is required. This method ensures a superior connection and weather resistance but once broken, it’s virtually impossible to repair it.
It’s also important to consider what type of support your ankles will need. That being said, think carefully about whether your job requires the flexible movements of the lower ankles. Will you need the high-shaft work boots to prevent your ankles from twisting?
If your tasks involve the weird movements, you can easily end up hurting yourself if you don’t wear the appropriate boots. To prevent this, you must choose the pair of boots which provide a great additional support for each movement you’re going to make at your workplace.
Consider buying those with the metatarsal guards if your job involves lifting heavy objects. They’re proven to provide better feet portion than safety toes. Loggers and railroad workers may want to buy work boots with both calf and ankle support just in case.
Comfortable footwear can ensure effective performance whatever work you’re doing. The last thing you’ll want to experience when performing a job is pain and discomfort in your feet.
Remember that comfort isn’t a luxury but a necessity when it comes to the security of your feet. Wearing safe, comfortable, high-quality boots that provide excellent protection is a must for time-consuming, tough jobs. Skimping on comfort to save a couple of dollars doesn’t make sense.
This is an essential feature for people working in or around water, as well as those who are often subjected to wet or damp conditions at work.
If your workplace includes wet gravel, mud, puddles, rubbles, or even heavy snowfalls, waterproof work boots are a must-have. They are also useful when fishing or sojourning somewhere with extremely snowy conditions.
These boots are specially designed to prevent water from reaching your feet. Nobody likes to get wet. If you spend all day with wet feet, it commonly leads to itchiness, dryness, pruning, or painful blisters.
Water doesn’t only affect your feet, but also the material of your boots. Footwear that is frequently subjected to moisture or water is more likely to fall apart.
Most people neglect or overlook this feature when purchasing the boots. Keep in mind that weight plays a critical role in determining the best work boots.
If you move about or walk for long distances at your work, the last thing you want is an extra burden weighing on your feet all day long.
The overly heavy boots aren’t suited to activities that involve walking long distances. Therefore, try to choose lighter alternatives to heavy steel-tip boots. The boots with steel tips should always be avoided when possible unless they are required for the particular job.
What is the best brand of work boots?
There are two top-tier brands of work boots. One is Keen and the other is Timberland.
Keen boots are an incredible brand. Even through significant wear and tear, the boots maintain much of their padding. This is important as the boots will keep your feet and ankles cushioned for a long period of time.
Additionally, most Keen boots are waterproof. This waterproofing holds up for a long period of time and through a long amount of wear. By staying waterproof, you can keep your feet from suffering damage if you wear them for a long period of time while wet.
Once again, Timberland boots are waterproof. This ensures that your feet stay protected. As with Keen boots, the Timberland boots also maintain their waterproofing over long periods of time.
Timberland boots also manage to keep their nonslip bottom for a very long time. This is often a feature which wears out on boots. However, you can trust that your Timberland boots will keep you upright and safe on the job.
Finally, most Timberland boots are insulated. This means that your feet will be protected in heat and they will also be protected from cold. No matter your work environment, your feet will be safe.
How do you keep your feet from sweating in work boots?
There are several strategies for keeping your feet from sweating in your work boots. These range from inexpensive to very expensive, so read each explanation before you choose your method.
Rest Your Shoes
The first and easiest strategy is to rest your footwear. This is done best when you can purchase two pairs of work boots and alternate the night you are wearing the boot. However, this can be costly. If you live in a warm climate, you can attempt leaving your shoes outside to fully dry and rest.
Newspaper in Work Boots
Additionally, you can use newspaper around your foot. Newspaper is known for absorbing liquids quickly. This can keep your shoe from becoming too sweaty and can keep your foot from blistering. You can also use the newspaper as an insulation, which will keep your foot cool. This is incredibly cost-effective
Antiperspirant or Foot Powder in Work Boots
Either of these options will stop your foot from sweating. Keep in mind, they do not keep the foot itself cooler. Instead, the antiperspirant and foot powder literally block the sweat from forming on the foot. This obviously protects the foot, but you will still have to pay for these products.
Pick the Right Socks for your Work Boots
Socks are the most important part to your work boots, however. Making sure that your socks fit correctly in the work boot is always essential. However, if your feet easily perspire, you also want to make sure your foot can breathe. If you wear, say, wool socks with your work boots, you will simply sweat and sweat. Instead, consider comfortable athletic socks to keep your foot from perspiring.
Our Final Review for the Best Work Boots
There are no universal work boots which perform well in all working environments. Most of them are designed to serve a specific purpose rather than suiting all situations and all workers.
As a consumer in a demanding working industry, you should aim to choose the high-quality work boots which will help you overcome challenges in your workplace.
Therefore, be sure to consider above-mentioned criteria when evaluating the best work boots. Pay close attention to safety features, comfort, and durability.
That will help you pick the most appropriate model and make the right decision.
What’s important to you when it comes to work boots? Share with us!