Best Work Boots Reviews & Comparison (2021)
After getting into the plumbing trade, I quickly realized that skimping on work boots adds up financially and physically.
Not only did I run through about 4 pairs in a year, but I felt like someone took a 2×4 to my back and knees. Constantly being exposed to falling objects, various work hazards, mother nature, and the grueling hours spent on your feet (or under a rotting sink) can really take its toll.
After much procrastination, I decided to figure out the whole internet research thing and find some answers. That’s when I hammered out the time to choose the best work boots for men and keep me away from the desk job.
But, it can be a real pain to find out what work boots are really high grade. To save you fellas time, I drafted this blueprint so you spend less time searching and more time making money. (Just keep in mind how the boots’ features apply to your job, and you will make the right decision.) Steel toe work boots for men are the unsung hero of work comfort and safety.
It is very common that boots are taken for granted, which can put you at risk of having sore, uncomfortable feet if you do not take care when you purchase your new pair of steel toe work boots.
- 1 13 Best Work Boots to Buy in 2021
- 1.1 1. Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift 6″ Plain Soft Toe Boot
- 1.2 2. Chippewa men’s 9 inch waterproof steel-toe super logger boot
- 1.3 3. Wolverine Men’s Hudson W02194 Work boot
- 1.4 4. Chippewa Men’s 6 Inch Rugged Handcrafted Lace-up Boot
- 1.5 5. GW Men's 1606ST Steel Toe Work Boots
- 1.6 6. Condor Men’s Work Boots
- 1.7 7. Condor Men's Wyoming
- 1.8 8. Condor Arizona Men’s Work Boot
- 1.9 9. LABO Men’s Genuine Leather Work Boot
- 1.10 10. Everboots Men’s Steel Toe Industrial Work Boots
- 1.11 11. DDTX Work Boots Review
- 1.12 12. Thorogood Men’s 814-4200 American Heritage 6″ Moc Toe Boot
- 1.13 13. Wolverine Men’s W03122 Work Boot (Non-safety toe)
- 2 Core Foundations of the Best Work Boots
- 3 Safety First for Work Boots
- 4 Best Work Boots Construction
- 5 Safety Features of All Best Work Boots
- 6 Does Quality of The Work Boots Natter?
- 7 Top 5 Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Work Boots
- 8 Becoming Acquainted with the Work Boot
- 9 Work Boot Symbols Revealed
13 Best Work Boots to Buy in 2021
What happens when you take the best leather and the most durable construction? You get this boot which kicks tail and takes the Badassedness award. Not to mention, you won’t dent your wallet too hard, because they are priced quite nice.
Yes sir, the Goodyear Welt Construction and Full-Grain Leather on these boots provide the foundation that allows for these boots to take a beating, day in and day out.
If you just take a quick look at the Amazon reviews, you will find that they are full of customers buying their 2nd or 3rd pair of these. That’s because they have stood the test of time longer than other competitive work boots, and they are seriously comfortable.
Yes, as you might expect, you are going to need to give these boots a little break in time. After all, the durable foundation just mentioned usually requires that. But hey, there are plenty of people that claim that these boots are 100% comfortable straight out the box.
To provide superior comfort out on the job, this work boot features a nylon mesh lining to wick away moisture and a Climasphere sock liner ensures that you stay comfortable and dry, no matter the situation.
Top it off with a padded collar, and your feet will be nice and cozy.
Last but not least, the safety features. Because this boot is held in such high regard among the boot wearers, CAT has provided a few options for this boot. This particular boot does not feature a safety toe; however, the exact same boot is available with a steel toe.
Now, regardless of which one you buy, this model of boot will come equipped with a slip-resistant rubber outsole so you don’t wipe out on slick terrain. To sum it up, you have durability, comfort and OPTIONS. Now you can tackle the biggest options.
If the above couple of features are not enough to galvanize you into action, then the number of positive reviews on Amazon and in most review sites will surely do.
The Caterpillar Second Shift boot has proven to work in a number of situations. As a result, it has become a favorite for people looking to protect their feet, or are under a budget. Grab yours from Amazon.com.
Chippewa is at it again coming up with a ridiculously unique work boot which is a bulldozer of sorts. The Chippewa men’s 9 inch waterproof steel-toe super logger boot is nothing to be played.
The Chippewa team have been able to create a very functional boot as well as making a boot that is in every way unique. They have been able to come up with a boot that clearly speaks about what they stand for; individuality.
The Chippewa men’s 9 inch waterproof steel-toe super logger boot is in route to becoming one of the best work boots out there in the market. Let me tell you the reasons why I think that this is so.
The Chippewa men’s 9 inch waterproof steel-toe super logger boot that I am seeing has a wonderful looking bay apache color; but do not be discouraged because the boot also comes in a variety of colors such as black or chocolate apache, just to mention a few. These dark colors are preferred by most of the work boot users.
The slick leather upper has a Goodyear welt construction which means that it is not only durable but also flexible at the same time. For being a hefty boot, the Goodyear design makes it that much easier to walk in.
The leather upper also has waterproofing properties as hinted by the name of the boot (Chippewa men’s 9 inch waterproof steel-toe super logger boot). It has a chip-A-Tex waterproof bootie. The leather is made in such a way that the liquids that fall on the surface of the boot end up being beaded up and simply fall of the work boot. This ensures no water enters the boot. This Chippewa leather is truly diverse in its uses and yet it is still able to look good for a long time. This is very impressive.
Another feature of this brilliant boot is the round steel toe profile that Chippewa has decided to install into the boot. The Chippewa men’s 9 inch waterproof steel-toe super logger boot’s steel toe is actually very comfortable because it has a lot of free toe space and it does not in any way squeeze your feet. The steel toe is meant to protect your toes from knocks and abrasions that may occur when you are doing your daily work.
Though the Chippewa men’s 9 inch waterproof steel-toe super logger boot is a hefty looking boot, it has a lightweight Texon 460 waterproof insole as well as the logger outsole. By decreasing the weights of the soles, it has made the work boot very light in actuality. Some of the more technical features of the Chippewa boot include the Ruby Dri lex 2000 lining which is just to add on to its unique style. The Chippewa men’s 9 inch waterproof steel-toe super logger boot also has an ATSM electrical hazard preventer which is very important if you’re working somewhere with high voltages.
This boot is a born and bred U.S.A work boot which shows that the Chippewa company stay true to their root and we all know that originality and authenticity is usually a big factor to these work boot users out there. They have truly outdone themselves and come up with a remarkable work boot. It is a little bit expensive going for around $ 229 but for the durability and feel of these boots, it is worth every single penny.
These Wolverine boots feature a suede and mesh construction. 6″ lace-up shaftfort mesh lining. Padded collar offers added support and comfort. Round steel toe profile.
This is one of the most recent unveiling from the Wolverine team and they have really come up with a magnificent work boot. The Wolverine Men’s Hudson W02194 Work boot has merged both the design aspect as well as the function of the boot in perfect harmony and the results of this are very nice.
It is said to be one of the best work boots out there in the market and I do not disagree with that notion at all. It is very simple and bold at the same time. The Wolverine Men’s Hudson W02194 Work boot has very many features that add to its functionality. Let me start by explaining what you see when you look at the work boot.
The Wolverine Men’s Hudson W02194 Work boot has a suede leather upper which is meshed. The leather upper comes in a variety of colors such as black or brown. These two colors happen to be the most popular ones that most work boot users prefer.
The mesh upper also serves a purpose; it acts as a waterproofing system and preventing your feet from getting wet. If there is one thing manual laborers dislike, it is having wet feet. It works very well and you will not notice any water getting into the shoe.
Providing comfort is usually one of the top priorities of most work boot manufacturers and the Wolverine team has certainly seen that this sector has not been neglected. The Wolverine Men’s Hudson W02194 Work boot has a removable comfort cushion foot bed which reduces the rigidity of the base of the work boot. It allows your feet to sink into the shoe and so it makes it very flexible and comfortable to walk in.
To add onto the function of comfortability, they have also installed a nylon shank. This has made the Wolverine Men’s Hudson W02194 Work boot that much more flexible when you walk in them.
The boot also has a man made Fulton lug rubber cup sole which is very original and typical of the Wolverine team. The sole is slip resistant to surfaces like oily, watery or muddy ones and so it offers much needed traction or grip to the ground. You will be able to avoid those falls and slips which, in most manual jobs out there such as construction work, can be dangerous or even fatal.
The Wolverine Men’s Hudson W02194 Work boot has a springy midsole to make you have the extra hop to your step. It therefore allows you to move much quicker on the field and you will not feel like you are carrying around a weight on your feet.
They also put a padded collar to make it more comfortable by reducing the friction between the boot and your feet. Like most Wolverine work boots in the market today, the Wolverine Men’s Hudson W02194 Work boot has the round steel toe profile option to protect your toes from hard knocks or abrasions during your work.
This is truly a remarkable boot because I could not find anything wrong with it. The durability might be questionable depending on the type of job you do with it, but apart from that it lives up to its Wolverine name. It is also not that expensive and goes for around $ 85 on average. So go ahead and get it.
Work Boot Highlights
This is one of those massive work boots that simply screams out masculinity and that is very bold looking but not too extravagant.
The Chippewa team have certainly tried to come up with something different from the normal, but that is very typical of the Chippewa team. They are always looking to be different and unique and they clearly embrace individualism; and the Chippewa men’s 6 inch rugged handcrafted lace-up boot is certainly nothing less of an individual. It is a very interesting looking boot and it will obviously catch your eye. It has very many qualities about it. Let me walk you through a few of them.
The Chippewa men’s 6 inch rugged handcrafted lace-up boot has a beautiful leather upper. The one that I am looking at has a chocolate Apache leather upper but it also comes in a variety of colors such as black; but these dark colors are the ones that are preferred by the work boot users. The leather upper looks very well made and constructed and it is very durable. it is not rigid at all; on the contrary it is very flexible and allows the work boot to breathe and so lacing it up becomes very easy because when you lace it up the leather upper will simply move according to how tightly you want to tie the lace, as opposed to the vice versa.
Another one of the Chippewa men’s 6 inch rugged handcrafted lace-up boot’s features is that it has a 6 inch lace up leather shaft that measures from the shaft. It is very important to have this long shaft because it will provide additional support to your legs so that you will not end up tumbling down which in some jobs, such as construction work, can be very dangerous if not fatal. Also to allow for the boot to be tightly latched onto your foot and for it not to wobbling about as you walk around, the Chippewa men’s 6 inch rugged handcrafted lace-up boot has an boot opening that is 11 inches around. It is wide enough to slip your feet into the work boots with a lot of ease but at the same time narrow enough to clam onto your leg comfortably. This increases the stability of the work boot and avoids those falls.
Onto the more technical information about the Chippewa men’s 6 inch rugged handcrafted lace-up boot. It has a 5 iron Texon insole which is simply very comfortable to walk in. This coupled together with the removable cushion insert, wearing the Chippewa men’s 6 inch rugged handcrafted lace-up boot feels like putting on a pair of well fitting gloves, but on your feet. Another addition to the technical features of the Chippewa men’s 6 inch rugged handcrafted lace-up boot is the Vibram controlled sole which helps keep the work boot grounded by providing a lot of traction and grip. This sole has very many modifications which make it accommodating to any environment, whether you are working on a construction site or you are taking a stroll out in the park.
The Chippewa men’s 6 inch rugged handcrafted lace-up boot however has a few problems which include the Vibram sole not being well crafted at the toes and they may end up splitting if you are not careful. Another problem is that the sole may not last very long and they may wear out if you do very heavy duty work with the pair.
If you are however able to put these problems at the side, you can get the Chippewa men’s 6 inch rugged handcrafted lace-up boot for around $ 139, so stop sitting around an go order them.
Work Boot Highlights
The 1606ST boot is an ideal option for workers who work in tough work environments with increased risk of falling objects or where heavy-duty machinery is involved. This work boot is not just one of the best steel toe boots on the market. It’s also one of the most affordable boots you can find.
Premium Full-Grain Nubuck Leather
There are several benefits of full-grain leather that makes it the best option between it and other types of leather. It’s the strongest and the most durable of all leathers. It also requires low maintenance, has a unique appearance, and ages gracefully.
The GW 1606ST steel toe work boot features premium full-grain leathers that are as durable as they are beautiful. The leather is firmly sewn into the sole in a Good Year Welt construction for superior toughness and durability. The Nubuck leather is also water resistant, thus prevents fluids from getting into the inside of your boot. This helps keep your feet dry.
Protective Steel Toe
There are different types of work boots available, but steel toe boots are the ones that are designed to provide optimal protection at the work site. This is because the steel that is affixed in the toe cap helps to reduce the risk of foot injury from falling objects and heavy machinery. Like all the best steel toe boots, the GW 1606ST work boot comes with a protective steel toe that keeps your toes safe throughout your shift.
Slip Resistant Rubber Outsole
If walking on oily or slippery surfaces is part of your routine, you need a work boot that guarantees sure footing. The GW 1606ST is such boot that will prevent you from slipping and falling, thanks to its slip-resistant rubber outsole.
Work Boot Highlights
Good work boots are meant to be comfy. They are meant to protect your feet from all the elements and hazards of the workplace.
The expert craftsmanship, state-of-the-art technology, and the quality materials put into designing these Condor Men’s work boots, coupled with the features discussed below, rank them among the best for comfort, reliability, and protection.
Comfortable Mesh Lining
Condor work boots come with a mesh lining around the collar to help cushion your feet and ankles. This is especially handy if your job requires you to walk around a lot.
The mesh lining dives all the way through the tongue, ensuring the crown of your foot is just as comfortable.
This mesh accounts for the breathability of the shoe, so your feet won’t feel too hot.
Full-Grain Leather Construction
One of them is that it’s well known for its durability and when featured in work boots as it is not too constrictive on the foot.
As you break the Condor work boot in, the leather molds in well, maintaining that fantastic brand-new-shoe feeling.
A feature unseen in most, if not all, competing work boot models, this work boot features a TPU support. This feature enables the shoe to maintain its upright shape when wearing it, even after years of use.
Protective Steel Toe
Additionally, Condor attempts to solve a problem common in most work boots. Right above the steel toe, it is fitted with a polyurethane toe cap. This cap stops the leather on top of the steel toe from wearing out, leaving a shiny steel toe like in most steel-toe boots.
Dropping cinder blocks and sledgehammers have nothing on you with the steel construction of the toe of the boot.
The sole of the Condor comes with well-designed treads that makes the boots oil, slip, and abrasion resistant. The sole is injected directly ensuring that it will never fall apart. That said, these boots are a good buy, and will last you a very long time without wearing out.
If you are looking for a good boot work boot that has a tactical style, and a number of very great features that are sure to last you a very long time, then you have just found your stomping good deal. Click here to purchase this work boot on Amazon.Com.
What comes to mind when you hear the words “budget work boots”?
Most people associate inexpensive things with low quality and poor craftsmanship. Undeniably, in many situations, this is usually the case, but there are also a number of affordable work boots, such as the Condor Men’s Wyoming, that offer features just as good as their pricier counterparts.
Quality Design: Similar to other Condor boots, the Condor Men’s Wyoming has a genuine full-grain leather cover, and four patches of mesh nylon, two at each side.
This, coupled with the lining of mesh fabric inside it, helps with comfort and breathability. They also prevent the build up of odor. The rubber outsole is made with a scientifically engineered and finely tuned single density polyurethane construction, adding little to no weight to the overall weight of the boot.
Comfortable interior: The Wyoming is a very comfy boot, which can be made evident through the use of the full-grain tumbled leather. It fits snugly around your ankle as it has a thick padding in the ankle which runs down to the tongue. One of the things to look for when choosing a work boot is insoles that provide great arch support. To add on comfort, this boot features a single-density polyurethane that has an ultra-cushioning feel. This additional support is especially handy to those who are on their feet for most of the day.
Very Durable Work Boots: The use of 100% genuine leather is enough to answer any question you may have about durability. Additionally, the use of AM-TECH direct soling technology to bind the outer sole to the upper contributes to its durability. The boot also featuresa TPU toe guard that looks like an extension of tge sole to enhance safety of the toe area. No matter your weight, or how roughly you use these shoes, you are assured of their longevity.
AM-TECH Direct Soling Technology: In using this technology, the Condor Wyoming’s outsole is bound to the upper without using any glue. As such, you can expect this shoe to outlive its competitors.
Slip & Oil Resistant Outsole: The outsole is not only slip and oil resistant, it also provides excellent traction and has great shock absorbing capabilities.
Fast Lace-Up System: Also featured in the Condor Men’s Wyoming is a fast lace-up system. The system features four studs to lace up and down fast and conveniently.
Cheap doesn’t always stand for low quality – you only have to know the right places to look. The Condor Wyoming Men’s work boots, despite their price, can meet, and possibly exceed, the needs of even the pickiest carpenters, construction workers, and technicians.
The best work boots on the market are built to last, and are meant to be comfortable to wear all day long. Most work boots come with features that guarantee that. What if you found a work boot that promises that and so much more?
Well, the Condor Arizona Men’s work boot comes with some extra amazing features that aren’t found in many work boots. Take a look:
AM-TECH® Direct Injected Soling Technology:
Utilized by about 1 percent of the footwear industry, the AM-TECH soling technology is a unique state-of-the-art soling construction that’s quite different from others. Unlike others that make use of glue, this technology involves direct injection of the outsole to the upper. The direct binding of the outsole with the upper helps create an inseparable bond. The Condor Arizona Men’s work boot features this outstanding technology, resulting in a tough work boot that can’t easily come apart.
Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) Outsole
There are various properties of TPU that make it a valuable addition to work boots. High elasticity, abrasion resistance, oil and grease resistance, high elasticity, and high sheer strength are some of the properties of this material. Since the Condor Arizona Men’s work boot has a thermoplastic polyurethane outsole, it is oil/grease/slip/ and abrasion resistant. This makes it safe for walking in a wide variety of surfaces.
100% Genuine Leather Upper
The Condor Arizona men’s work boot has a 100 percent genuine leather upper. The boot is available in three colors: black, brown, and wheat.
Polyurethane (PU) Midsole and Insole
This work boot is fitted with flexible PU midsole and insole that provide excellent cushioning and superior comfort for maximum support all day long.
ASTM F 2413-11 Certified Steel Toe
A protective steel toe is a great inclusion in a work boot, as it protects the toes from the risk of injury by falling objects. The Condor Arizona Men’s work boot has an ASTM certified steel toe that meets the requirements needed to prevent a wide range of injury hazards in the workplace.
Ideal performance in work boots is relative. The type of job, industrial standards, and personal preference are some of the things that determine how well or poorly a work boot performs.
LABO Men’s Genuine Leather Work Boot took the steel-toe industry by storm.
Apart from its low price point and quality craftsmanship, this boot has been accepted by many as it can be used for a number of jobs and even worn daily as a fashion statement.
What makes this shoe such a steal?
Design and build quality
This Labo construction model is made from 100% genuine leather, marking the durability checkbox. The sides of the forefoot are kept in shape by side-by-side leather paneling. Its outsole is fused and shaped like a natural foot to help apply some form of presence to movement.
Its undercarriage has small grommets to apply the appropriate terms of footing, maintaining a reliable and flexible base even on uneven surfaces.
The top of the foot is greeted by a thick, elongated tongue. This allows for easy fitting as you can pull stretch it forward and secure it back with a lace. The ankle area has a padded overlay made of lightweight synthetics to allow for flexibility and comfort. Its interior is made of a breathable and removable thin insulation, allowing you to select your desired level of comfort.
Slip and oil resistant
As a standard feature in most work boots, this allows you to host traction in surfaces of all type as it is resistant to both oil and slipping.
With Labo’s work boot, you can work in all kinds of environmentas it ensures your foot remains dry and odorless.
Apart from the standard features of steel toe boots such as a steel toe, slip resistance, and a fast lacing system, Everboots Men’s Steel Toe Industrial Work Boots have a couple of above-standard features that place it well away from the rest.
For instance, they can protect you from a surprisingly huge amount of electricity. This, plus some of the features discussed below, makes it usable for almost all kinds of jobs.
Design and build quality
Standing tall as the epitome of durability and fashion, this work boot boasts of one hell of a construction. It’s made using full grain leather. There are several benefits of full-grain leather that make it a valuable addition to this boot. It measures 6” from top to arch, and covered with a full-grain leather for durability. At the front is a steel cap that protects your foot from any work-related hazards while giving your toes enough space to move around. The caps are tested to meet ASTM F2413 M/I-75/C-95.
As they were designed for concrete contractors, these Everboots have cushioned insoles to offer comfort even when under a lot of stress. They are fitted with shanks made of steel to provide support and the appropriate break at the ball of your feet to minimize pressure, keeping your feet stable on uneven and dangerous surfaces. The PU midsole included offers additional comfort.
Removable oil and slip resistant outsole
The outsole featured in this work boot is removable and entirely slip resistant. They come off easily thanks to the back and speed hooks so you won’t need to stack them away when the sole wears. Although somewhat tough, you will not need a time period to break them in. The oil and slip resistant qualities also prevent sole deterioration.
The boot is well insulated to offer the most conducive environment for your feet, whatever the weather conditions. Your feet remain insulated not only from the weather but also from electrical hazards. They are tested to withstand up to 18000 volts, making them ideal for electricians, engineers, and linesmen as well.
Any person who works and has a sense of style will surely love the DDTX Work Boots.
Available in only the high cut design, the boot looks hip with a sleek black body and white & yellow accents. The stylish collar design has further added to its groovy look.
Material and construction
The upper part of the boot is made of leather and a synthetic material at the tongue. The material is 100% cow leather and is imported from Brazil. These give the boot its water resistant qualities and durability. The outsole is made of polyurethane, making it slip and oil resistant.
DDTX Work Boots have a padded collar and tongue for comfort around the ankles. What you will really love about this shoe, however, is its light weight. Working in them for hours is not very exhausting. This is furthered by its memory foam insole.
A breathable mesh lining helps wick away moisture and keep your feet dry and odorless. The boot also offers a snug fit with a speed-lacing system. However, its sizing runs almost half a size bigger than most other brands.
The shoe is fitted with a steel toe cap for protection against heavy things dropping on your foot or bumping into sharp objects. Included in its design is a penetration resistant midsole. This midsole is made of a non-metallic material to maintain its lightweight, and prevent nails and other sharp objects from piercing the foot from below.
As the top is made of cow leather, there is nothing left to be desired in terms of durability. The double and triple stitching adds extra toughness and shapes it nicely. The PU outsole is sturdy and is attached to the upper firmly. No matter how hard you abuse them or how harsh the work environment may get, these bad boys got your back.
The rich leather on this boot, plus the moc toe design is truly vintage. And what better way to pay homage to a vintage style then to make them right here in the USA. Thorogood boots have a long history of putting out some killer American Made Boots, and these are no exception. Rounding out the durability is the Goodyear Welt Construction, and the Vibram oustole. Virbam? Oh, they’re just the world leader in rubber oustoles…That’s about it. To take the brunt of the pavement pounding, these freedom fighters absorb shock with the removable dual-density insoles while the fiberglass shank provides exceptional support. And there you have it, a durable, comfortable, made in USA work boot!
Can you see that soft full-grain leather on the boot? Look at it. That is just screaming comfort. But really, the signature to the boot is Wolverine’s Durashock direct attach comfort outsole. Mix that in with the shock absorbing compression pads, and you have a recipe for serious comfort. Because of this type of support and cushion, you will not only feel great while you’re in them, but for the hours after. Top it all off with a padded collar, and you will be kicking up your feet and relaxing after that long day of work. I hope this list helped with your decision, because I know picking out the right pair of boots can sometimes be like matching the right tie with a suit…Wait a second…86 that. More like choosing the best beer with your shot of whiskey. And if you are wrapping that tie around your neck, DONATE IT!
Core Foundations of the Best Work Boots
Figuring out all the features of the best work boots kind of reminds me of my first time buying tools. While different brands offer various innovations and quality, there are still some core features that always apply. I take a “keep it simple stupid” strategy when it comes to these things, because too much information can often be, well, too much information. So…
While boot construction is essential to durability, it is also key to having a lightweight and flexible boot. And there are three main types, all with certain trade offs.
- Welt: The old school method of manufacturing a boot, well known for the stitching technique where a welt strip (typically leather, linen or synthetic) is sewn to the inner and upper sole.
- Direct Attach: Uses a mold attached to the Upper (area of the boot above the sole) which is then injected with a molten rubber to form the sole.
- Cementing: Bonds the outsole to the boot by using an adhesive.
Areas of Support & Comfort
- Insole (AKA Footbed): Being the area that our foot rests on, it is essential to comfort. Too often companies neglect to add value here. How many times have you replaced the factory insole?
- Outsole (AKA Sole): Like treads on a tire, the outsole ensures our traction. There are slip, oil, and abrasion resistant boots available, among the most notable. Outsole specs will often highlight which resistant options are provided.
- Midsole: Located between the insole and the outsole, it absorbs the shock and protects against sharp objects penetrating from the bottom of the boot. While some boots don’t even have a midsole, most good work boots do and they come in handy. Look for indicators like shock absorbent and steel midsole.
Safety Toe Types
For those of you new to your trade out there, take heed to my warning. Protect your toes! The proper safety toe type will not only fend off painful situations, but they will prevent your toes from getting crushed by a ton of bricks.
So what are the options:
- Steel Toe: The originator of the safety toe world, they meet the ASTM standards for impact and compression. Basically meaning your toes won’t get flattened out like a pancake from a heavy blow. Now, even though your toes won’t touch the steel, they do conduct temperature. So, if you are in a cold climate you will want to beef up with some thermal socks.
- Composite Toe: Typically made of carbon fiber, plastic or Kevlar, they meet the ASTM standards. Due to the materials used, the toe does not conduct temperature and the boots are lighter than your steel toe option. But they tend to be bulkier. Needless to say, if you are dealing with electrical currents, this is a great option to stay metal free.
- Aluminum Toe: Also meeting the ASTM standards, they provide a great lightweight option. Still bulky, but if you are hauling materials up and down stairs all day it will keep you fresh.
- Soft Toe: While not safety toe boots, you will see this option when looking for work boots. Geared to those on their feet all day, but not exposed to falling objects, these are a great option for, let’s say the mailman.
Slip, Oil, and Abrasion Resistant Boots: What makes them great features?
While most work boots provide a decent level of traction, there are still upgrades available. Since a majority of work related injuries are due to slipping and falling, and not necessarily from great heights, we should all consider these features.
- Slip Resistant: This will “help prevent” you from slipping on surfaces that are wet, icy, oily, greasy, etc. But this doesn’t mean slip proof, because in really harsh environments you can still wipe out onto your backside. Or maybe you are just a bit clumsy…
- Oil Resistant: When I first saw this, I thought that it meant that you wouldn’t slip on an oily or greasy surface. But that’s not the case. It simply prevents oil from absorbing into the material of the boot, which can leave permanent stains or soak in and cover your feet.
- Abrasion Resistant: A great feature to have to get more longevity out of your boots. Protecting against wear and tear on the sole, abrasion resistant boots will reduce tearing, ripping or shredding.
Choosing the best work boots is one of the most important job related decisions a person can make. Choosing the right boots can mean the difference between comfort or pain.
In many professions it could even mean the difference between safety and serious injury or even death. Figuring out which boot is best for you can be very difficult with all the options available.
What attributes should you be looking for? What brands are best? These questions and more are the focus of this article. When your health is on the line, taking the time to invest in selecting the best pair is critical. And if an accident should happen, having the top boots for the job will be priceless.
Safety First for Work Boots
In April 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released an update to the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) which is used in the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) and the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII).
Among their findings in each census were a staggering 2,986,500 non-fatal injuries and illnesses in the private industry with nearly a million of those resulting in days away from work. As reported by United States Department of Labor, 666 out of 4,600 fatal injuries on the job were at least partially caused by falls, slips, and trips.
Safe work boots is essential to protecting the feet and toes, and improving traction and stability in a variety of conditions and situations. Foot and leg related injuries are among the leading causes of days away from work. Preventing these types of injuries is essential to productivity and profit.
Best Work Boots Construction
How a work boot is constructed one of the most important factors when picking the right footwear for your needs. It will have an influence beyond initial cost and will extend to its performance, comfort and longevity.
One of the most durable techniques is the Welt construction. In this construction a welt (strip of leather or synthetic material) is stitched to the upper and insole of a shoe, as an attach-point for the sole.
The space enclosed by the welt is then filled with cork or some other filler material (usually either porous or perforated for breathability), and the outsole is both cemented and stitched to the welt.
Some welt-construction processes use double stitching for maximum durability and stitch the upper, outsole and innersole securely together through a leather welt. Boots made this way are among the most rugged you can buy, making them a good choice for heavy-duty jobs that may involve extreme conditions and work environments.
The direct-attach method is another common technique. This is a method of construction that molds the outsole directly to the leather or fabric of the boot. This bond created is very strong and typically lasts longer than cement construction. It uses a mold attached to the upper part of the boot that’s injected with molten rubber to form the sole.
Direct-attach boots are comfortable, lightweight, durable and shock absorbing. For jobs that require fast movement and traction are needed, these types of boots offer excellent stability.
Cement construction is the third most used construction process. It uses a durable and flexible high-strength adhesive to bond the out-sole to the rest of the boot.
Boots constructed using the cementing method are often less expensive and can offer lightweight comfort features that make them a good choice for light-duty jobs involving extended time on your feet.
Furthermore, if you work indoors or in warm weather most of the time, you might prefer boots made from a combination of leather and nylon-mesh because these boots tend to be less water-resistant and ideal attributes for hot and dry environments.
They are also lightweight and flexible. Leather boots take longer to break in and are less breathable than boots made of a combination of materials, but they are highly water-resistant and supportive. However, one positive is that they generally last longer.
Other options for your boots include waterproof liners and padded insoles. When choosing the right boot for the job, remember to keep in mind your needs and the option available.
Safety Features of All Best Work Boots
There are several features of safe footwear that may be very important depending on the situation.
- Steel-toe boots offer reinforced tips for jobs that require you to work with heavy objects. However, there are other materials that work just as well, if not better, when weight and comfort are also important considerations.
- Waterproof and protection from caustic chemicals are also common safety features of work boots. In addition, acid-resistant soles are available if required.
- Electrical hazard boots are insulated, offering protection from electrical charges up to 600 volts in some cases. Boots that protect from shock are the most commonly required; however, with the computer industry and others that involve sensitive technology, preventing static discharges can be just as important. The ultimate in protection from electrical shock is achieved when all components are nonconductive. ASTM tests boots for resistance to electrical conductivity, resistance to electric shock and static dissipative performance. A boot can be rated for electrical-hazard use, or for its static dissipating abilities, but not all boots have both. Make sure you select the boot that meets your job requirements as directed by OSHA.
- Slip-resistant boots have special soles that provide traction on wet or oily floors.
- Insulated boots can keep your feet warm if your work requires you to spend time in cold weather.
- Additional options may include all-terrain, medical and soft-toes work boots.
Work boots are essential for workplace safety. It is a must, mainly, for those who manage blue collar jobs. Just like every other item available in the market, not all work boots are created equal. There is no single standard for manufacturing these safety shoes. That makes it important for any prospective buyer to weigh down all the options and see which fits right into their needs perfectly. What are your criteria? Below, we have listed the top five considerations that would usher you to the best work boots choice.
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Caterpillar Second Shift boots
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- Durable build
- Snug and comfortable fit
- Slip-resistant rubber outsole
- Safety steel toe caps
More often than not, durability, comfort, and protection are features that you would have to break the bank to enjoy. As such, it is natural to doubt the competence of these boots.
Is all the positive hype surrounding these boots justified? Well, let’s find out.
The surface of the Caterpillar Second Shift boots is made of pieces of full-grain Nubuck leather that does not degrade easily. It is held together by triple and double stitching, assuring you of years of service.
The rubber sole is flexible but rigid enough not to break off easily. The inclusion of metal hardware makes them suitable even for the harshest of weather conditions. What sets them apart from other low-end footwear is the Goodyear welt construction that lets you rely on them for years.
Snug and Comfortable Fit
Caterpillar Second Shift boots are designed to offer all the support required for standing and walking all day. It comes featuring a padded tongue and collar that protect your feet regardless of the aggressiveness of the movements you may make. In addition, the breathable mesh lining makes them breathable, and keep your feet dry and odorless. They also come with a speed lacing system for a snug fit around the ankle and vamp.
Safety Steel Toes
One of the advantages of a steel toe boot is that it significantly reduces the dangers of foot injuries at the workplace. The Caterpillar Second shift boots come with steel toes to protect your feet from falling objects and other foot related accidents.
Slip-resistant Rubber Outsole
Although the rubber sole is somewhat stiff when new, once you break the shoe in, it becomes pliable, with a degree of stiffness. This sole does not slip in most work environments however harsh it may turn out to be.
- They look stylish and can be used outside of work
- Great value for the price
- Features a Goodyear welt
- Made of genuine leather
- Speed lacing system allows for quick adjustments
- Heavy, thus cumbersome
If the above couple of features are not enough to galvanize you into action, then the number of positive reviews in most review sites will surely do. The Caterpillar Second Shift boot has proven to work in a number of situations. As a result, it has become a favorite for people looking to protect their feet, or are under a budget.
Does Quality of The Work Boots Natter?
Quality always matters, but quality does not mean expensive. Depending on your specific needs, a great work shoe can cost anywhere between twenty dollars for a no-frills rubber work boot to well over two hundred for something that can really survive the elements.
If you’re on a tight budget, look for a dependable brand with the bare essentials. On one hand, you don’t want to purchase the cheapest pair only to have to go through the entire process in a few months. It’s also a waste to pay for extra bells and whistles if you don’t need them.
Some brands offer boots specifically designed for construction workers, loggers, farmers, mechanics and miners. Popular brands for work boots for men include several that are over a hundred years old, such as Michelin, Red Wing, and Wolverine. Others include Ariat, Timberland, Caterpillar, Dexter Fargo, Rocky, and those famous Doc Martens.
How long do the best work boots typically last?
This may seem like a straight forward question, but the answer is far from simple. Some people are pleased when their shoes last a single year, while others expect several years of use. This depends on the intensity and wear and tear you put your shoes through. Even within the same industry, work boots for men in various departments will have varying life spans.
When in doubt, it’s always safer to toss the shoe. It is expensive (and unsafe!) to be cheap when you skimp on proper protection.
For reinforced shoes:
If the steel toe or shank of your shoe is exposed, you should give it the boot as it is no longer safe. Many experts advocate replacing impact-resistant safety footwear anytime something heavy is dropped on it. Sometimes you don’t know how bad the structural damage is until it’s too late.
For waterproof shoes:
Leather shoes with seam-seal stitching should be regularly sealed with either a paste, wax, or oil. For waterproof or chemical-resistant footwear made with rubber or PVC materials, it is recommended that boots be replaced immediately if the rubber or PVC parts begin to separate. This includes the outsole, the area between the outsole and the upper, or the toe cover.
For slip resistant shoes:
Once tread, or outsole, shows signs of damage or wear, you should look for another shoe. If an area of the shoe’s tread is worn smooth or the tread design is not discernible to the eye or touch, then the need to replace the shoe becomes urgent, as the shoe isn’t providing the required slip protection.
Luckily, heavy drops and punctures are few and far between. Most shoes simply wear out over time. You can use to prolong the life of your work boots by regular cleaning. Dirt and debris can deteriorate the shoe. You can rotate shoes so that excess moisture, which would normally eat at the shoe, has time to evaporate. If your work boots are regularly exposed to moisture, purchasing a boot dryer might be a great investment. They can dry a heavy pair of boots overnight.
Leather shoes need a little extra care to keep them supple and sturdy. The regular monthly or bimonthly application of shoe grease, oil, or cream prevents the leather from drying out and cracking. However, you should always with the manufacturer before slathering away.
Finding the perfect pair of work boots may sound like a difficult quest, but it works one pair at a time. When searching for work boots, make a checklist for all the criteria you need. For instance, if you work indoors, you can probably cross waterproofing off your list. Although comfort is essential, also keep in mind that many work boots, especially those made of leather, can take some time to break in. A little stiffness and chafing is to be expected. Our site specializes in work boots for men so check out our articles, reviews, pages, and product pages!
Top 5 Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Work Boots
Fit & Comfort
Fit is king when it comes to something that you wear. Since work boots fall under that classification, you should pay attention to your level of comfort, which mostly depends on how well they would fit on your feet. If your pair of work boots barely fit, you will feel the pinch after just a few hours of wearing them. This could take a toll on your productivity. This could also put you at risk for foot injuries.
Under comfort, there are three important points:
* Design. This is all about the shape and overall outward appearance of your work boots. Ideally, a comfortable pair of safety shoes have rounded toes, thick and flat soles, and extra padding on key areas (i.e., heel, toe, collar, tongue).
* Material. Leather is the preferred boot material that’s not only guaranteed to offer the best comfort but also durability. It is a strong material; it is also pliable. The best type of leather to make a good, comfortable, durable pair of work boots is the thicker, full-grain kind. Otherwise, if the work boots are made up of the softer kind, it must be reinforced by extra padding or leather strips to make them stand the common wear and tear of regular, heavy use and close in on the difference.
* Insoles. The quality of the insoles of your safety footwear is very important when it comes to comfort. You feel it right as you first slip on the pair. If it feels like tiny pillows are set up to cradle your foot, you are in the right shoe. Insoles provide another layer of comfort, separating your bare foot from the soles. They should be thick but feel springy and light. They should also be made of a moisture-wicking material to keep your foot dry amid getting sweaty from the heavy demands you are mostly up to in the course of fulfilling the demands of your job.
The best work boots for the money need to be weatherproof to stand the test of times. It is not always sunny or rainy or freezing cold, whichever part of the world you are in. There are those days when you might get wet, get really sweaty, or get frozen – all while you are in the midst of
performing your job. To keep up, your pair of work boots must be able to deal with the kind of day you are facing. When it is raining and wet all over, you normally need waterproof work boots. When days get really hot and you can get all sweaty, losing concentration on what you are set out to do in the process, you need a pair that’s non-metallic and will not transfer heat. It’s a pair made of a material that’s pliable and lightweight and durable, like leather. When temperatures in your workplace hit low, you need an insulated pair of work boots. Insulation helps keep feet warm from the inside, keeping your toes from freezing out and falling off. Can you get all three features in a single pair? The answer is yes, but it may come with a hefty price tag.
3. Job Type
Another important consideration that should define the best kind of work boots for you is your job type. What you will need it for will give you an idea on which you should put your money on.
Are you working in a construction site? Then, you will need something that has midsoles made of steel to keep you from injuries in case you step on a nail or you figure in a similarly dangerous situation.
Electricians need a pair of work boots that could protect them against electrical charges. There are those available that could keep you safe for up to 600 volts. Armed men and women who work in the police or military department would ace their jobs if they are in a pair of comfortable and durable pair that will allow them to move freely. A lightweight material that makes flexible movement possible is ideal in this case.
Safety is the point of wearing work boots. That’s exactly why they are also known as safety shoes or safety footwear. There is no sense going for something that look handsome and charming on your feet but will not have even a level of protection against common hazards that exist in your workplace. Safety first, aesthetics last. Put that in mind when considering what kind of work boots to buy.
Of course, there is always the money issue that you cannot simply put aside. Let’s face it, the features that are a must to reinforce the idea of wearing work boots come with a price. If you cannot afford it, all your efforts for discerning go to waste. Then again, since work boots are considered primarily for you to be able to perform well in your job post and earn a living, it is definitely worth investing. The better idea, instead of settling down for a less ideal pair that’s inexpensive, is to save up for the best pair. There is so much at stake here: your safety, your comfort, and your productivity in the work that you need to do.
Your work boots choice can make or break you. When workplace safety is an issue, you will need a good amount of time deciding what fits you perfectly, in all aspects. It will not hurt to be doubly sure because your life – yes, your entire life – is on the line here.
Safety is a top concern in any industry. This buyers guide helps you understand the different safety metrics to check out in a work boot.
An employee may actually need safety shoes only once, but you have to be confident that when that one time occurs, the employee is protected against disabling injury thus reducing workers compensation claims.
Enough Work TM only reviews quality name-brand work boots, to insure that ANSI’s strictest requirements are met.
You know how important safety is. However, not everyone realizes the impact an accident can have on the workplace. These are just a few examples of hidden costs related to losing an employee to an accident that could have been prevented. Obviously, the cost of providing proper footwear pales in the comparison.
Becoming Acquainted with the Work Boot
For industrial lines of work like demolition, workers choose protective steel-toe boots. Photo taken by Washington State Department of Transportation.[/caption]
There’s a boot out there for everyone. Whether you are a construction worker or a lumberjack, manufacturers produce a variety of protective footwear tailored for specific lines of work.
But how does one select a work boot?
Most employers will provide a set of regulations for workplace footwear; however, some may expect you to make your purchase without guidance.
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) provides a number of minimum requirements for the work boot. Their standards cover the performance of boots and shoes in resisting puncture or chainsaw penetration.
Safety footwear is designed to protect feet against a wide variety of injuries – the most common of which are impact, compression and puncture. This is why it’s important to identify the hazards that will be encountered throughout the workday.
For example, you may want to evaluate the following:
- The materials handled.
- Risks of objects falling onto or striking feet.
- Any material or equipment that might roll over feet.
- Any sharp object that might cut the top of feet.
- Object that may penetrate the bottom or side of the foot.
- Possible exposure to corrosive substances.
- Possible explosive environments – risk of static electrical discharges.
- Risk of electrical discharge damaging sensitive electronic components or equipment.
- Risk of coming into contact with energized conductors of low to moderate voltage.
Also remember to account for injuries that may results from walking on rough terrain or slippery surfaces, extreme hot or cold temperatures, and/or exposure to abrasive machinery. Additionally, remember to consider any exposure to liquids or water that may damage boots or harm feet.
Steel-Toe Versus Composite Toe
Steel-toe boots offer reinforced toes for jobs that work with heavy materials, such as construction workers. As mentioned above, a number of risks would be resolved with these boots. Composed of a single sheet of steel, the reinforced toe safeguards against punctures and falling objects.
Composite toe boots are also reinforced, but instead of a steel composition, they are produced from composite materials, or plastics like thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Composite materials are made from two or more materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties. Composite toe boots are 50 percent lighter and resist extreme cold and heat. They are as strong as steel.
Styles of Work Boots
Careers of the outdoor variety will require a waterproof or water-resistant boots to keep feet dry. For example, forestry employees, back-country guides, or park rangers might find these boots useful.
- Electrical hazard boots have insulation that protects the wearer from electrical charges up to 600 volts. Those who work with electricity, such as linemen, electricians, and inside wiremen, should consider these work boots.
- Slip-resistant boots have special soles that provide traction on wet or oily floors. People who work in auto body shops or in factories may want to invest in a pair of these.
- Insulated boots keep feet toasty during frosty conditions. Lined with materials to keep feet warm, the boot has a bit more weight to it. They are ideal for those who work in cold conditions, such as employees of refrigerated warehouses, ice road truckers or anyone who has to work outside during the winter.
Work Boot Symbols Revealed
If you have figured out what you are looking for in a boot, how do you know if they have these characteristics? The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety offer some helpful advice on identifying symbols. The symbols are the same throughout the North American continent, so they are applicable to many U.S. boots.
- The green triangle signifies a puncture protection of Grade 1 protective toe, ideal for any industrial or heavy work environment, including construction, where sharp objects are present.
- Yellow triangle means the boots have puncture protection in the sole and Grade 2 protection toe. Those employed in light industrial work, such as warehouse workers, would wear this boot.
- The white rectangle with the omega symbol indicates that the boot has soles that provide electric shock resistance. If an industrial worker may come into contact with live electrical conductors, they should look for boots with electric shock protection.
- A yellow rectangle with green letters SD and a grounding symbol signifies the soles are static dissipative. Boots with this characteristic should be worn in industrial environments where a static discharge may harm workers or equipment.
- A red rectangle with a black letter C indicates the footwear has soles that are electronically conductive. These boots should be considered when the workers may come into contact with low-power electrical charges that could be a hazard for workers or equipment.
- The white label with a green fir tree means that the footwear provides protection against chainsaws, which is ideal for forestry workers and others who work with or around hand-held chainsaws and other cutting tools.
- A blue rectangle signifies a Grade 1 toe with no protective sole that is ideal for industrial work that does not require puncture protection.
- The grey rectangle indicates that the footwear has a Grade 2 toe with no protective sole. Those in an institutional or non-industrial line of work and do not require puncture protection should buy this style of boot.
Internal Protection Codes
Additional markings that indicate the level of protection will be found on the boots. They include:
- 1 or 2 will indicate a Grade 1 or Grade 2 toe protection (0 if not present).
- P for puncture-resistant soles (0 if not present).
- M for metatarsal protection (0 if not present).
- E for shock-resistant sole, S for static dissipative sole or C for conductive sole (0 if not present).
- X for chainsaw protection (0 if not protection).
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