15 Best Work Boots Reviewed

In a working environment, the importance of work boots cannot be over-emphasized. In fact, the perfect work boot is not just that which offers safety and protects your feet, but good work boots should protect you against exposed nails, electrical charges, and temperature. Furthermore, they should provide the comfort to get through long hours on the job.

Best-Work-Boots-construction-worker-outfit-hard-hat-gear

Protection and comfort go hand-in-hand. Labor workers can be on the clock for hours and, typically, eight to twelve hours a day. Without the proper shoes and adequate comfort, that’s almost impossible. With those long hours ahead of you, finding the time to weigh out all the important metrics (to find the perfect boot for the long hours) is difficult. To make it easier for the hard worker in you, we’ve done the hours of research to find the best!

Last Updated: August 9, 2017
By Daniel Gonzalez:

The best work boots contains an update that reflects the top rated according to 2017. This includes boots such as the Timberland Pro Direct and others from brands such as Keen and Caterpillar. Also included is an overview of the criteria we used to evaluate each work boot, and the most frequently asked questions in the category of work boots.

With all the many factors to consider, choosing a perfect pair of work boots can be complicated. Should you consider the price or brand; steel toe or soft toe;  shank or no shank; maximum protection, or just enough to remain lightweight? Should you look at the size, protection, comfort or break-in period? Don’t worry; we sort it all out for you.

Featured Recommendations

Timberland Pro Pitboss Steel Toe
  • Timberland Pro Pitboss Steel Toe
  • 4.1 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Shock-diffusion Plate
  • Anti-slip Outsole
  • Price: See Here
Timberland Pro Direct Attach
  • Timberland Pro Direct Attach
  • 4.4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Waterproof
  • Mesh Lining; Breathable
  • Price: See Here
Ever Boots Ultra Dry
  • Ever Boots Ultra Dry
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Waterproof
  • PU Midsole
  • Price: See Here

We have all the information you need below. To us, quality and your safety are more important than anything. In this article, we use a combination of all these factors to come up with the best work boots, according to wear-testers and compared user feedback.

 

 

15 Best Work Boots

 

 

1. Timberland Pro Pitboss Steel Toe

This Pit Boss is all steel toe boots should look like. It is a very tough work boot and perfectly blends the attributes of comfort and safety. These boots are made of premium leather and meet all the requirements of ANSI safety standards. The outsoles offer the best traction since they are anti-slip to oil and are abrasion-resistant. The upper contains rugged Nubuck leather for durability and comfort.
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Protection
Apart from the steel toe, the outsole is resistant to slipping, oil, and abrasion. It, also, offers maximum protection from electrical hazards. It is spacious and features a Nylon shank with an anti-puncture plate for maximum protection.

Durability
They adapt to harsh work conditions and durability is assured. Don’t even worry about having to replace them. The upper features a rugged, sturdy leather and the outsoles are made of an abrasion-resistant rubber.

Cost and Value
A pair of these boots goes for a very, fair bargain; given the fact, this boot will give you maximum protection and comfort. It meets all the ANSI requirements, and the outsole offers the best traction.
Pros
  • Shock-diffusion Plate
  • PU Midsole
  • Anti-abrasive
  • Anti-slip Outsole
  • 5.5-inch Shaft Height
Cons
  • A bit pricey

2. Timberland Pro Direct Attach Soft Toe

The famous Timberland Pro Direct Attach Soft Toe is one of the best work boots that, fully, adapts to on-site survival. It boasts of a combination of waterproof leather and seam-sealed construction. The Thermolite insulation ensures these boots keep your feet dry and warm all of the time. It has a non-marking outsole made of rubber lugs which ensure maximum traction while at work.
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Waterproof Leather
A critical feature of this shoe is in its construction made of seam-sealed direct-inject. It contains premium waterproof leather that makes it usable in any working environment.

Comfort
Here, comfort is assured. The premium full-grained leather means minimal break-in and a very, comfortable fit. They are lightweight with an interior lining made with Thinsulate insulation; keeping your feet warm, as you work.

Cost and Value
The cost of these boots is the average price for a perfect work boot. It looks cool and the value is worth the price. It combines a waterproof leather and has seam-sealed construction; both of which, are major factors for good work boots.
Pros
  • 6-inch Shaft Height
  • Waterproof
  • Thermolite Technology
  • Steel Toes
  • Mesh Lining; Breathable
Cons
  • Light-duty work

3. Thorogood 814-4200 Moc Toe

Thorogood 814-4200 Moc Toe is a popular brand known mainly because of its quality and comfort. Being one of the firm’s best-selling work boots, it features tobacco-color leather with contrasting stitching meant for individuals in tough working environments. The steel toe provides extra protection to the workers at all times. Comfort is assured by the removable shock-absorbent insert.
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Comfort
The interior has a shock absorbing insert which can be removed and replaced. A comfort cushion has, also, been incorporated into these boots to prevent the toe from blistering and/or getting hurt.

Protection
The rubber midsole (Goodyear Storm Welt Construction), cotton drill lining, and the perfectly engineered composite shank ensure perfect protection to your feet.

Cost and Value
These best work boots are worth the cost and is a pair of boots you won’t regret buying. They are made of high-quality materials and their endurance is great for longevity. The shock absorbing insert gives perfect comfort while the steel toe provides extra protection under any working environment. Moreover, you will feel great wearing these stylistic work boots.
Pros
  • Electric-hazard Rated
  • PU MAXwear Wedge Sole
  • Fiberglass Shank
  • Rubber Midsole
  • Slip-resistant Outsole
Cons
  • Size runs slightly big

4. Caterpillar Second Shift Soft Toe

4. Caterpillar Second Shift Soft Toe
These boots have been created mainly for working in varied environments and for long hours. It features a breathable upper which makes it perfect for maintaining extreme comfort and dry feet all day. Maximum protection is assured with the oiled full-grain Nubuck upper. This leather upper works in conjunction with a strong outsole; working perfectly together to protect your feet.
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Protection
The Honey Nubuck upper provides maximum protection; especially, to the ankle and the upper part of the feet. In addition, the Climasphere™ sockliner will help to keep your feet both comfortable and cool.

Durability
These boots are meant, primarily, for those people who work in different terrains for long periods of time. The Goodyear welt construction makes it perfect for long-working hours while retaining comfort.

Cost and Value
The price of these boots correctly represents the value it offers; including protection, comfort, and durability. The breathable, leather upper and the high outsole provide maximum protection to your feet. It is perfect for any work environment, whether construction, hunting, and/or hiking.
Pros
  • Breathable, Mesh Lining
  • Removable, PU Insole
  • 2-speed Hooking System
  • 6.5-inch Shaft Height
  • Oil-resistant Traction Outsole
Cons
  • Not ideal for wet conditions
  • Non-safety toe

5. Timberland Flume

5. Timberland Flume
These boots are made in such a way that they are perfect for both hiking and working. It is covered with strong, leather fabric and has seam-sealed waterproof construction. The lacing is a D-ring with a logo patch on its tongue. Its collars are padded, and the tongue is, fully, gusseted to keep out debris. Furthermore, these boots look and feel nice.
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Comfort
These boots are very comfortable to wear. They have padded collars and a support cushion which has, also, been incorporated into these boots to prevent the toe from blistering and/or getting hurt.

Durability
The shoes have a sturdy and durable outsole. The leather fabrics are water-resistant; thus, keeping the interior clean and dry. A dry interior means this will, essentially, cause them to last longer.

Cost and value
Given the seam-sealed waterproof construction and well-padded collars, Timberland Flume remains one of the cheaper (cost-wise) working boots. It is lightweight with a long-lasting sole; thus, it can work well in harsh conditions. The value is, definitely, worth the cost.
Pros
  • Full-grain Leather
  • Rubber Outsole
  • Waterproof
  • 5-inch Shaft Height
  • Removable, EVA Foam Footbed
Cons
  • Minimal Color Variety

6. Skechers Verdict

6. Skechers Verdict
This pair of best work boots gives a high-level blend of both quality and comfort expected out of such a brand as Skechers. It has a tongue and collar which are padded, a well-cushioned insole, lugged outsole, and is designed for heavy-duty work environments. It is, also, one of the cheaper of the work shoes available in the market. Apart from the comfort and protection, these boots have a nice aesthetic to them.
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Safety
With these boots, safety is nothing to worry you. The padded tongue and collar, cushioned insole, and the heavy-duty lugged outsole gives your feet maximum protection from getting blisters and/or becoming hurt.

Durability.
With this pair, there is no need to worry about your sole wearing down. These boots last long under any working environment. They hardly crack or tear and are made with high-quality materials.

Cost and value
At a very low cost, you get a perfect blend of comfort, safety, protection, and durability. It is among the cheaper of such quality boots available. The boots look very nice and are perfect for climbing and working.
Pros
  • Padded Tongue and Collar
  • Air-cushioned Memory Foam Insole
  • Waterproof Leather
  • 1.25-inch Heel Height
  • 0.75-inch Shock-absorbent Midsole
Cons
  • Size runs small

7. Keen Utility Flint

7. Keen Utility Flint
Desiring a pair of work boots which feel a bit more like sneakers with high comfortability? This pair of best work boots is the choice for you. With an anatomical footbed design, a hiking-inspired fit, and molded-reinforcement on the toe box, your feet will as though they are in sneakers instead of work boots; albeit, the steel toes may make them feel a bit heavier.
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Anatomical Footbed
This design helps to promote good arch support; providing you with all-day comfort. Following the natural contour of your feet, this footbed feels more like a sneaker and less like a work boot.

Asymmetrical Steel Toes
In essence, these steel toes are created with both your left and right foot in mind. They are designed to bring you a better fit; thus, you will experience greater comfort, as a result.

Cost and Value
Mid to lower-upper is the cost-range associated with this pair of best work boots. With comfortability at the forefront in conjunction with safety, these shoes are worth the asking price. They would make a great addition to any workwear collection.
Pros
  • Nubuck Leather
  • 1.25-inch Heel Height
  • Rubber Outsole
  • Asymmetrical Steel Toes
  • Waterproof Leather Upper
Cons
  • Sole may come unglued

8. Irish Setter 83605

8. Irish Setter 83605
These Irish Setter best work boots are made of good-quality leather and with a rubber sole which is known mainly because of its traction. It, also, offers great protection; especially, while working in the electrical sector. These boots, apart from being worn in working environments, can be worn on several other occasions. They are of a lace-up design and the material is full-grain leather; waterproofed for those moments when you need it.
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Comfort
These boots require a very, minimum break-in period; making them very comfortable, as they take the shape of your feet. The removable, footbed and the EVA midsole both provides sufficient cushioning for total and absolute comfort.

Material
They contain Red Russet leather and a mock toe that features triple stitching. The outsole has a thick rubber for ample traction and grip. In addition, these boots are made with heat-resistant technology; as well as, rated for electrical hazard.

Cost and Value
These best work boots offer great value for your cash. Durability and comfort are assured by the sturdy, Red Russet leather. Furthermore, the boot provides ample traction; thus, you gain protection against slipping while at work.
Pros
  • Electrical-hazard Rated
  • Full-grain Waterproof Leather
  • 5.5-inch Shaft Height
  • Heat-resistant
  • Vamp Lining
Cons
  • Size runs big

9. Wolverine W02421 Raider

These boots are of a top-notch class. They last very long, thanks to the high-quality material employed by the manufacturer. The leather is well-crafted with a comfortable and soft interior; offering incredible support to your feet. These boots are designed to work correctly in dirty and messy conditions. Even after work, the boots are a great fit for casual wear.
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Comfort
The boots are ultra-comfortable and a great fit. The interior is well cushioned and very soft on your feet. The boots are flexible, due to the contour welt construction.

Durability
The durability here is outstanding. Apparently, Wolverines are well-known because of the strength they offer. They are well-crafted and sturdy, leather boots of good quality.

Cost and value
The cost of these boots is perfectly in line with its ability to withstand the toughest environments; while at the same time, upholding utmost comfort. Slip-resistant traction, a highly-breathable environment, and good flexibility are among some of the great features this pair of best work boots offer.
Pros
  • Anti-slip Traction Outsole
  • Easy On-and-Off
  • Full-grain Leather Upper
  • Breathable, CK Mesh Lining
  • PU Midsole
Cons
  • Requires Leather Care

10. Caterpillar Second Shift Steel Toe

10. Caterpillar Second Shift Steel Toe
With steel toes, a removable PU sockliner, quick-lacing system, and oil-resistant outsoles, this pair of best work boots is an ideal choice for those who face extreme conditions while working. In addition, the mesh inner lining helps to promote airflow; a great choice when you prefer to remain cool in warmer conditions.
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Rubber Outsole
The rubber outsole is oil-resistant; thereby, providing you safety in conditions where you might traverse over oily spots. In addition, this outsole is perfect for transitioning from a dry-to-wet surface; giving you the best in support.

Mesh Inner Lining
A mesh inner lining is provided to allow your feet to breathe in warmer conditions. Additionally, a removable PU sockliner is in place to help promote greater comfortability. Airflow is a nice attribute when it matters most.

Cost and Value
The cost associated with this pair of best work boots is mid to lower-upper. With features such as speed lacing, an oil-resistant outsole, and a steel toe, this is worth every penny. These work boots would make a great addition to your workwear.
Pros
  • Steel Toe
  • Rubber Outsole
  • Hex-shaped Grommets; Speed Lacing
  • Oil-resistant Traction
  • Mesh Inner Lining; Breathable
Cons
  • Size runs big

11. Keen Utility Pittsburgh Steel Toe

11. Keen Utility Pittsburgh Steel Toe
First, they don’t look like boots at all but instead, appear more like hiking shoes. Each boot features an asymmetrical safety toe and soles that are resistant to oil, abrasion, and/or slipping. Additionally, they are waterproof and have protection against electrical hazards.
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Comfort
Comfort is a must for those who work in heavy-duty environments. This is why these boots feel exactly like a well-padded hiking shoe. The waterproof, breathable lining keeps your feet warm and dry. Moreover, they can be worn all day long while you enjoy the aspects of a comfortable work boot.

Waterproof
These boots boast of a waterproof Nubuck leather lining. In essence, a breathable membrane keeps water from soaking into your boots. This waterproofing technology is great for those who might find themselves in such situations.

Cost and Value
These boots cost less than their worth; that is, they are worth every penny. With an anatomical footbed, asymmetrical steel toes, and breathable inner lining, these best work boots are a great addition to your workwear wardrobe.
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Eva Footbed and Midsole
  • Asymmetrical Steel Toes
  • Anti-slip; Oil-resistant Outsole
  • Dry-Lex Footwear Lining
Cons
  • Width runs narrow

12. Ever Boots Ultra Dry

12. Ever Boots Ultra Dry
Have you ever been caught out in the rain with work boots having no waterproofing capabilities; not to mention, it is the worst time to find out? Well, with this pair of best work boots, you do not have to worry about it any longer. These work boots are ready for the rainy action; dry feet remain dry. The stitching, laces, lining, and upper have all been waterproofed. Moreover, the rubber outsole helps to keep your traction when transitioning from dry to wetter surfaces.
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Waterproof
These best work boots are, indeed, waterproof. Everything from the stitching to the lining is waterproofed; a perfect choice for those who work in wet conditions, in addition to the nicer days. Furthermore, they look good, too.

PU Midsole
The midsole is put in place for comfort. This is a must-have for those who work long hours and in heavy-duty situations. Moreover, you can enjoy the benefits of your feet experiencing less pain and aches, as you make it home from your hard day at work.

Cost and Value
These work boots are very, budget-friendly. Furthermore, they are made with high-grain leather and are waterproof. As such, this pair of best work boots is an ideal choice for anyone who may find working conditions in the wet variety.
Pros
  • Waterproof Upper
  • Waterproof Lining
  • Waterproof Laces & Stitching
  • PU Midsole
  • Rubber Outsole
Cons
  • Size runs big

13. MuckBoots Chore

13. MuckBoots Chore
This pair of best work boots is great for farm work. Designed to withstand the muck, these boots from MuckBoots are ready for action. With a steel shank and reinforced heel and toe, these boots are created with you in mind. The wide heel allows for greater stability and comfort. In addition, the lining is made of mesh; providing your feet with greater airflow.
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Mesh Lining
There is nothing worse than having sweaty feet while trying to work in tough conditions. When it happens, there can be a miserable feeling associated with it. These boots, however, are designed to allow your feet to breathe. With a mesh lining put in place, you can remain confident in staying cool under pressure.

Four-way Stretch Nylon
The build of this boot is created with the idea of allowing you the mobility you need while, simultaneously, providing you adequate support. This produces an environment conducive to greater comfortability.

Cost and Value
This pair of best work boots is valued in the low-to-mid range against other products on this same list. When examining the high-quality elements this boot offers, the price is set well. In other words, this pair of best work boots is worth the purchase price.
Pros
  • Rain & Chore Work Boot
  • 12-inch Shaft Height
  • Four-way Stretch Nylon
  • Mesh Lining; Breathable
Cons
  • Wide Heel

14. Maelstrom Work Boots

14. Maelstrom Work Boots
These best work boots look good. But more than this, however, they perform well. Designed to withstand water-related conditions and, also, provide comfort in heavy-duty work environments, these work boots will not disappoint. Made with a composite shank for added lateral support and stability; your feet can remain secure while you buckle down for the tougher stuff.
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EVA Cushioning
A work boot can be strong; yet, if it cannot keep you comfortable, then you are headed for a much longer day than planned. With this pair of best work boots, however, you do not have to worry about such things, as these boots provide good cushioning.

Waterproofing
Waterproof liners and water-resistant leather help to ensure your feet will remain dry; even in wetter conditions. When your feet can remain dry, you will feel better; thereby, you will be able to concentrate on the task at hand.

Cost and Value
The cost associated with this pair of best work boots is budget-friendly. Furthermore, these boots are created for heavy-duty construction work while, simultaneously, providing you comfort. As such, these best work boots are an ideal purchase.
Pros
  • Water-resistant Leather
  • Non-marking & Oil-resistant Outsole
  • iH20-Tex Liners
  • EVA Cushioning
  • Toe & Heel Reinforcement
Cons
  • Size runs small

15. Timberland PRO Pitboss Soft Toe

15. Timberland PRO Pitboss Soft Toe
While coming up with these boots, the Timberland Pro series had both comfort and safety in mind. They are a perfect fit for jobs that require additional protection (e.g. building and mining). With additional safety features, these boots can work well in hard labor environments and still last long. The Goodyear welt provides a long-lasting chemical bond which connects the Nubian leather boots to the outsole.
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Comfort
These boots feature a suspension system which ensures maximum comfort and reduced foot fatigue. It features a removable sock liner; as well as, a padded collar; all meant to guard your feet against blistering.

Durability
Goodyear welt construction has provided a sustainable chemical bond which connects the Nubian leather boot to the outsole. Combine this with the polyurethane midsole and a Pro rubber outsole, and you are left with a very, strong work boot.

Cost and value
The price of this pair of best work boots is a big save on other similar products, as these boots have the best of comfort. In addition, they do well against slipping, oil, and are abrasion-resistant. The Goodyear welt construction is a real assurance of comfort and durability, both of which have been made available at a cheap cost. In other words, these best work boots are worth the purchase price.
Pros
  • Heat-resistant Rubber Outsole
  • Electrical-hazard Rated
  • Ample Traction
  • Nylon Shock-resistant Plate
  • Removable, Contoured Sockliner
Cons
  • Minimal Color Variety

 

How to Choose the Best Boots for Work

From this list covering the most bought and highly-rated working/construction boots, there are a few factors that you can consider when looking to buy a work boot. The factors include safety to the toes, sole and heel resistance, additional support, electrical surge protection, construction type, waterproof and insulation ability, weight, durability, break-in period, and the brand name. When all these factors are well considered, you will not miss one of the best work boots reviewed above.

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Work Boots

Best-Work-Boots-pair

Standardization

“Standardization is the process of implementing and developing technical standards based on the consensus of different parties that include firms, users, interest groups, standards organizations, and governments,” this according to the definition posted on Wikipedia’s website. In layman’s terms, standardization is a system put in place to protect all parties involved, as this applies to a particular product and/or place.

For example, let’s say I am interested in the manufacturing of shoes. Furthermore, my interests fall into the category of basketball shoes. To produce the best basketball shoes possible, I would, first, need to gain an understanding of how a basic shoe is constructed (e.g. footbed, outsole, insole, upper, etc.). Second, I would need to expand my knowledge to produce an appropriate pair of basketball shoes (e.g. shock-absorbent midsole, ankle support, arch layout, etc.).

Now, the best way to accomplish all of this is to gather a group of other basketball shoe manufacturers. In addition, I would need to gather a group of consumers (testers and feedback personnel). But it does not stop there. There, also, needs to be a group of professionals (e.g. sports medicine, basketball authorities, etc.).

And after all of this, in order to produce a pair of the best basketball shoes possible, I would need to implement all of the answers gained from the groups gathered. The good and the bad would need to be weighed; thereby, eliminating the bad and putting into practice the good.

  • ANSI

Thankfully, we have ANSI (American National Standards Institute). This is a non-profit organization who oversees the set standards put into practice for any particular product and/or place. We can look at them like they are the queen bee of a hive (e.g. the monitoring of sub-overseers). The worker bees would then be the sub-overseers for standardization processes (e.g. overseeing by testing footbed construction, insole construction, etc.).

  • ASTM International

For the best work boots, we have ASTM International. Their primary focus is to monitor and produce the set standards for children’s outerwear and protective footwear; “covering the procedures for testing and classification of materials of every sort.” (2018). In addition, these set standards are implemented and agreed upon with ANSI in mind; a family of sorts with ANSI at the head.

Now, here is the best part concerning all of this: You, the consumers, are what matters above all else; as far as, ANSI and ASTM are concerned. Furthermore, a pair of legitimate work boots will have a tag/stamp placed on and/or within them which signifies they are, indeed, approved by ASTM and ANSI within the realm of work-related gear. This tag helps us to differentiate the footwear which is considered to be work boots versus shoes that are made to appear like work boots. In other words, an ANSI tag/stamp is a great thing to have when considering work boots.

  • The ASTM International Stamp of Approval

For the standardization of work boots, “ASTM footwear standards define minimum requirements for the design, performance, testing, and classification of protective footwear. These standards are intended to protect users from electrical shock, puncture, abrasion, and more,” (2018) this according to ANSI.

Furthermore, in order for a manufacturer to gain an ASTM marking for their work boots, certification must be acquired from an independent third-party laboratory responsible for testing. This ensures the manufacturer is not cutting corners, as it were. More importantly, this ensures you are well protected in the realm of safety protocols, as this applies to a pair of work boots. Your safety matters and both ANSI (queen bee) and ASTM International (worker bee) agree, as do we.

  •  ANSI Specifications for Soft-Toe (Non-Safety / Non-Protective Toe) Work Boots
    • ASTM F2892-17: This standardization entails that the best work boots have the following qualities associated with them:
  1. Reduction of static electricity buildup (conductive (Cd) properties)
  2. Electric-hazard protection (EH)
  3. Static-dissipative properties (SD)
  4. Puncture-resistance (PR)
  5. Any addition and/or removal of components (e.g. footbed/inserts) can compromise the integrity of the gear; as such, the ASTM Soft Toe Protective Footwear label becomes invalid.

 

  •  ANSI Specifications for Safety (Toe Cap) Work Boots

In addition to the previous standardization, ASTM F2892-17, the following must, also, be present for a pair of work boots to be eligible for the ASTM F2412 / ASTM F2413 – Foot Protection and Performance Package:

  1. Impact-Resistance
  2. Compression-resistance
  3. Electrical conductivity-resistance
  4. “This specification is not applicable to overshoes with safety toe caps or strap on devices with safety toes.” (2018).

 

The Correct Protection for the Job

At the end of the day, when you are mulling over which pair of best work boots to consider in combination with an ASTM label, you must, first, consider the type of work environment you will be in. If working with heavy iron, you will need work boots with a toe cap; thus, reducing the risk of injury associated with a heavy item falling on your feet. If, however, you are working in a garden setting and installing lighting components, there is no reason to endure the added weight associated with the toe caps. In this scenario, you may want to choose a work boot without a toe cap but still labeled with the ASTM stamp of approval. In this, you will be better guarded against hazards such as an electrical mishap.

Best-Work-Boots-Protection

Durability & Toughness

A good pair of work boots must have longevity. The average lifespan of a pair of boots, used every day, can be from 8 months to a year. If you had to spend over $100 for a pair of boots, the assumption is that they can last long enough to match the purchase price.  There are, however, times (and only a few of them, fortunately) that you’ll get a pair of boots which has been improperly manufactured; improper sewing here, lack of glue there, or quality control wasn’t doing the job at that time. This is not so much ‘buyer beware,’ as it is, ‘you should keep your receipt.’ You can get a pair of work boots that fit well and are tough. Just be prepared for those unfortunate mishaps when something goes wrong (manufacturer-wise).

Durability and toughness is a requirement when examining the best work boots. After all, they are going to be utilized in extreme situations. Well, more extreme than the usual trip to the mailbox, per se. In addition, these shoes are going to be worn day-in and day-out; that is if you are wearing them for an everyday job. As such, although style may come into play, it should not be the qualifying factor when considering your safety; nor, should it be considered above the importance of toughness and durability.

Weight

Best-Work-Boots-steel shank

There’s been an effort to replace the steel within the work boots with a composite material (the mixture of plastic, Kevlar aramid fiber, fiberglass, and carbon fiber). While the material is lighter, it’s supposed to give your feet the same protection as steel. There are probably reasons for this. Steel is not something you want to wear when you’re working around electricity and; especially, near water.

With that being said, there’s, also, the weight in the rubber soles; as well as, the material to make the shoe to consider. For those of us without cars, it’s a chore to lug these sometimes heavy work boots in a place such as your backpack; especially, for distances amounting to about an hour to and from home.

Protection against the Elements

Best-Work-Boots-working outside

It’s a no-brainer that work boots are required when working outside during severe weather conditions. Keeping your feet, along with the rest of your body, warm and dry is highly important. Otherwise, environmental conditions such as extreme cold will physically impair you. So, wearing steel in your boots is out of the question. Furthermore, having the required amount of insulation in your boots is important. Making sure the outsoles are not flat; that they have enough of a grip to walk through the snow with enough stability is, also, highly important. The same can be said when traveling through the desert in the extreme heat.

Protection against the elements requires your work boots to be made for the environment in which you may find yourself in. Will you be in the snow? Maybe, you will be working near a waterfall? Try and consider environmental elements when choosing the best work boots for you. Also, consider the surface in which you may be standing upon. Is the surface slick, oily, or dry? Surface types can be considered part of the elements. All in all, the best work boots can withstand the elements; allowing you to concentrate on your work.

Damage Reduction

Best-Work-Boots-pair of boots

People who work in the industries dealing with projects such as concrete, flooring, and roofing, choose work boots that can minimize any damage done to the projects they work on. Idealistically, it’s best to walk around and avoid the work that had just been done. But sometimes, what needs to be done is unavoidable. Outsoles with flat surfaces (i.e. wedges) are the best choice; especially, on work boots that are easy to clean. They must, also, fit tightly and comfortably with laces tied properly.

Flexibility & Breathability

It’s important to wear work boots that fit comfortably around your feet. It’s, also, equally important to make sure those said work boots don’t fit too tightly. In other words, you don’t want them so tight that they end up giving you an uncomfortable feeling. In addition, bad angles within your shoes can cause unnecessary bruises and scars.

The feet must be able to bend freely within the boots and flexibility must be insured. And then, if required, you must make sure there is adequate airflow within the boots; so, the feet won’t sweat and cause odor within them. This calls for holes around the boots and special cushions designed to suck up the sweat caused by overheating; sometimes associated with wicking properties.

You should, also, take into consideration the concept of heat-resistance. A work boot designed to withstand extreme temperatures does not, necessarily, imply it has great breathability factors. Sure, your feet may remain cooler in those higher temperatures for which the shoes are rated to handle, but breathability may still be minimal. It is important to not confuse the two concepts, as they are independent of one another. If the shoe environment is, indeed, low in the breathability department, you might want to consider shoe rotation, as this promotes a lifestyle with healthier feet.

Best-Work-Boots-flexibility

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Q: Why “Steel-Toe Boots?”

A: Most jobs require you to lift things. And unfortunately, you’ll end up dropping them by accident. It’s important to be able to protect your toes because they will hurt if heavy objects get dropped on them.

Q: Is Leather Good with Boots?

A: A good-sized pair of boots made of leather will fit you comfortably, but they’re not very good with cold weather.

Q: So then, What Makes for Good Cold-weather Work Boots?

A: Insulation that’s rated between 100 and 1000 Thinsulate gram rating. The common rating is 200, which means your feet will remain dry and warm during the high activity of work.

Q: Which Work Boots are Made in the USA?

A: Justin, Thorogood, Chippewa, Bates, Danner, Wolverine, Reebok, Rockport, Keen, Avenger, Florsheim, Sheplers, Red Wing, and Hampton. Just know that some may be manufactured in other countries and assembled in the U.S.A. They can, also, be a bit more expensive than the ones you, usually, buy at the store.

Q: What Stores Sell Work Boots?

A: While any big box store can sell work boots; the better choice would be to go to a local specialist. Or you can buy online straight from the work boots’ manufacturer (mileage may vary depending on the manufacturer and the service).

Q: What Brand of Work Boots is Best?

A: Current numbers are pointing to Wolverine but there’s, also, Ariat and Skechers.

Q: What are Metatarsal Work Boots?

A: Metatarsal work/safety boots are boots that protect the middle of the feet; long bones in your feet that are between the toe bones and the ossa tarsi (the rest of the feet).

Q: What are Wedge Work Boots?

A: Wedge boots are boots specially designed for flooring professionals. These types of work boots help to minimize the impact on the variety of unfriendly and unforgiving surfaces like concrete. They have flat, heel soles mainly made of rubber.

Q: What Work Boots are the Most Comfortable?

A: The vote seems to be for composite-toe work boots; since they are replacing steel-toes. You should, also, see if they have well-sewn welt construction, shock absorption, slip-resistant outsoles, composite metatarsal guards, ankle-supporting shafts, and are waterproof. They, also, should be made of a breathable material. They must be lightweight and flexible. Votes are currently going for Thorogood, Timberland, and Caterpillar.

 

Are you dealing with foot odor? If so, check out our guide and get rid of it for good!

Do your shoes need a cleaning? Take a look at our complete guide on how to go about doing so.

Is hard work causing blisters to form? You can prevent them!

Sources

  1. SafeShoes, Metatarsal Work Boots,
  2. WorkBootsGuru, Insulted work boots,
  3. MagnumBoots, Composite Toe Versus Steel Toe,
  4. HiConsumption, Best American Made Work Boots,
  5. ANSI, ASTM International, Article, May 23, 2018
  6. Wikipedia, Standardization, Definition; Web (open source), Mar 12, 2018
  7. Wikipedia, American National Standards Institute, Definition; Web (open source), Mar 23, 2018
  8. ANSI, Safety standards for Footwear and Outerwear, Article, May 23, 2018
  9. ANSI, ASTM F2892-17, Article, May 23, 2018
  10. ANSI, ASTM F2413-17, Article, May 23, 2018

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