Best Work Boots: Complete Buying Guide & Reviews

For anyone who works in an environment where there’s a lot of heavy duty work to be done, the right work boots can be an important aspect. You want something that will keep your feet protected no matter what happens and that can be difficult, depending on what you do. The best work boots, like some of them we’re going to talk about here, are going to help you with that.

Last update on 2021-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Work Boots

Image Product Price
Caterpillar mens Second Shift Steel Toe Work industrial and construction boots, Dark...TOP RATEDCaterpillar Work Boot
  • $114.99
Ever Boots'Tank' Men's Soft Toe Oil Full Grain Leather Insulated Work Boots...Ever Boots Insulated Work Boots
  • $59.99
Maelstrom Men's Zion Waterproof Work Boot, Size 11WBEST BUDGET PICKMaelstrom Work Boots
  • $64.99
Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6' Steel-Toe Boot, Brown , 10.5 D - MediumTimberland PRO Pit Boss
  • $108.95
KEEN Utility Men's Davenport Mid Composite Toe Waterproof Work Shoe, Cascade...KEEN Utility Shoe
  • Price not available

Last update on 2021-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ever Boots Insulated Work Boots

Last update on 2021-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These work boots are fully insulated to keep you warm and comfortable, even in the cooler months of the year. Even more than that, they are also made with full grain leather, which is designed to be durable and long lasting. Moderately priced, these boots come in two different colors and have a shaft that’s 7” from arch to top.

There’s a 3 month warranty included as well, saying that if there’s any problem or defect with the shoes you won’t have to worry about a thing. Designed for industrial construction concrete contractors, these boots offer cushioned insoles with a removable slip resistant outsole made with rubber. They have speed hooks and a back loop that make them easy to get on and off and come in a range of sizes from 6 to 13, including a number of half sizes.

They have anti-fatigue shanks made with steel to provide support and a heavy tread that makes sure you can continue working even on slippery surfaces. There’s no break in period and the outer area of the boot is oil resistant, which means they don’t deteriorate like other work boots.

Things We Like:

  • 7” shaft from arch
  • Several size options
  • Anti-fatigue
  • Full grain leather
  • Quality traction
  • Things We Don’t Like

  • Short warranty period
  • Run somewhat large
  • Scuff somewhat easily
  • Maelstrom Work Boots

    Last update on 2021-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    The Maelstrom Work Boots here come with a 1 year manufacturer warranty against workmanship and are rated for industrial construction and safety. They have a unique design that makes them fit more like a tennis shoe with all the protection that you expect from your favorite work boot. Available in a range of different colors, these boots are made with water resistant leather and a removable cushioned footbed.

    This is alongside the shock absorbent and lightweight EVA that keeps you feeling even more comfortable. They are non-abrasive and have a non-marking slip resistant and oil resistant outsole. Available in sizes from 7 to 15, including several half sizes, these work boots are made to work even on rough or uneven terrain.

    They are designed in the United States and can withstand a range of different weather conditions. They have a slightly shorter shaft than other work boots but still provide a good range of support in rough conditions. There’s a composite toe that is designed to protect against drops and the speed hooks make them easy to lace up when you’re ready to head off to work again.

    Things We Like:

  • Water resistant outsole
  • 1 year warranty
  • Several size options
  • Composite toe design
  • Shock absorbing footbed
  • Things We Don’t Like

  • Run somewhat small
  • Take some time to break in
  • Only come in wide
  • Timberland PRO Pit Boss

    Last update on 2021-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Though slightly more expensive than some other options, these Timberland PRO boots come in several colors and are made with leather for extra durability. They have a 6” shaft from the arch to the top and also feature a steel toe that protects the wearer even from more serious drops.

    The speed hooks for lacing make them easy to get on and off when you’re ready to go and the nylon shock diffusion makes them more comfortable to wear for an extended period of time while adding to the support level of the boot. The collars are padded to increase comfort while the back loop makes them ready to go when you are.

    They’re made by a company that’s well known for work boots of all types and feature a roomier toe box than similar work boots from other companies. You’ll also get excellent traction for wet or uneven areas and a sock liner that keeps you from developing blisters while you work. These water resistant boots are great for just about any conditions and keep your feet ready for anything.

    Things We Like:

  • 6” shaft from arch
  • Leather uppers for durability
  • Padded collar for comfort
  • Roomier toe box
  • Steel toe for protection
  • Things We Don’t Like:

  • Takes time to break in
  • Speed hooks are not durable
  • Run somewhat narrow
  • KEEN Utility Shoe

    Last update on 2021-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    These are definitely some unique looking work boots but they provide a lot of the features that you’re going to be looking for at the same time. They are a bit more on the expensive side, but if you’re looking for something high quality you’re going to get what you’re paying for. They are waterproof and designed for industrial work with two different color options.

    The leather and textile uppers are made durable and long lasting and the shaft measures approximately 6” from the arch. Not only that but they have natural odor control built right in. The left and right composite toes are asymmetrical to provide just the right fit and there’s a waterproof but breathable membrane throughout.

    They’re also made with absolutely no metal so you don’t need to worry about airport security or cold weather. The midsole is made to last and to keep you comfortable and the outsoles are not only oil and slip resistant but also non-marking. These boots are available in sizes from 7 to 15 including half sizes and wide sizes so just about anyone will be able to wear them.

    Things We Like:

  • Size options
  • 6” shaft from arch
  • Waterproof and breathable
  • Non-metallic construction
  • Leather uppers
  • Things We Don’t Like:

  • Higher pricing
  • Sizing runs large
  • Not ideal arch support
  • Caterpillar Work Boot

    Last update on 2021-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Caterpillar is another brand that knows what they’re doing when it comes to work gear and these steel toe boots definitely prove it. They are a little more expensive than similar options but they have a number of great aspects to them that help to counter that price. Available in two different colors these boots have a plush color and tongue to keep your foot more comfortable over the long term.

    They have hexagonal shaped grommets that make them easier to lace and are completely oil resistant on the outsole. The leather construction means that they are breathable and comfortable and the steel shank keeps them more stable and keeps you better protected while you’re using them.

    There’s a removable sock liner that keeps your feet dry and protected as well. Available in sizes from 7 to 14, including half sizes and wide sizes, these boots have a great deal of traction to keep you moving even on wet or uneven ground. They’re ANSI approved for protection against open circuits and have a 6” shaft that supports your feet and ankles.

    Things We Like:

  • ANSI approved for electrical protection
  • Full grain leather construction
  • Regulate internal temperature
  • Several size options
  • Breathable design
  • Things We Don’t Like:

  • Higher price tag
  • Can be heavy to wear for extended periods
  • Take a little time to break in
  • Features to Consider

    There are actually a number of different features you’re going to want to at least look at when it comes to work boots. Keep in mind that different work boots are better for different types of tasks, so you’ll want to consider where you’re using them and for what exactly before you decide to pick out a specific pair. Each of these features will help you along that path and get you ready to go for that next job.

    Toe Material

    Do you need steel toe boots or will a composite work just as well? Do you even need a composite or should you opt for boots without either? The type of protection that’s provided throughout the toe is going to affect the type of job that you want them for.

    If they have steel toe or at least composite toe they should be acceptable for more strenuous or potentially dangerous jobs in the construction industry. On the other hand, most other types of jobs won’t require that level of protection for your feet.

    Shaft Height

    You want the shaft on your boos to be tall enough to support the foot and ankle but not so tall that you have difficulty moving around or bending when the need arises. Consider the type of movement that you’re going to need and then get a boot that’s going to provide you with that movement while still giving you as much support as possible.

    A higher shaft will provide you with better protection but that’s not necessary for everyone. Not only that but some would even prefer that the shaft be shorter for their own level of comfort while moving.

    Overall Weight

    The weight of the boot that you look at is another important aspect to consider. You want boots that you can wear for an entire day and while you may not think that a few ounces more is much when you’re first starting out that weight can feel like a lot bigger problem when it gets to later in the day and you’re trying to get through the rest of the day with heavier boots. Try to get the lightest boots you can that still provide all of the other features that you need.

    Soles or Insoles

    The type of soles that are present in the boot that you’re getting are important because they are what support your feet throughout the day. You want soles that are going to be comfortable and keep you feeling great as you move, but you may not always get that with the soles that come in your boots.

    Sometimes you may have to purchase additional insoles for the inner part of the boot or you may be able to remove the ones that come in the boot already and replace them with something that you prefer.

    Cement vs. Welted

    When it comes to the more durable option a welted boot is sewn together with leather to give it a strong attachment and then when the sole comes apart it can be resoled and you’ll be able to wear the boots again. On the other hand, a cement constructed boot is sealed quite well, but when the seal comes apart and the sole wears out you won’t be able to replace it and you’ll need new boots.

    Wrap Up

    When it comes down to it you want the best possible boots you can find and that means boots that are available in plenty of sizes to fit you just right as well as boots with the protection that you’re looking for. Unfortunately, when it comes down to it, you’re going to need to spend a bit more money in order to get the level of quality and workmanship that you need.

    Our favorite boots overall are the ones by Caterpillar, which provide you with steel toes as well as full grain leather, all of which contribute to the strength and durability. They also provide ANSI protection and are breathable. If you’re not so sure about buying the most expensive boots on our list you’re in luck, because there are several options that aren’t going to cost you as much money and will still provide you with some good features.

    One of our favorites on the more budget friendly end of the spectrum are the Timberland PRO boots which provide a good height shaft, though slightly shorter and also the roomy toe box and steel toe. They’re going to help save you a bit of money however and cut down on things like size options.

    If you’d like to purchase our top pick you can check it out here.

    Gus Donaldson
    About Gus Donaldson

    I built houses for over 30 years and recently retired. I've made lots of mistakes and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones. I still love to build and have a garage workshop that I use for hobby projects like the walnut bookshelf I made for my wife. I like to write and let people know that working with your hands and tools does not need to be intimidating.

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