For many professions, the importance of the correct protective pair of work boots certainly cannot be over-estimated and depending upon your trade, will do so much more than just protect your toes. Of course, they’re working boots with a very specific purpose so they’re not necessarily going to be either the most comfortable or the most attractive and you probably will be desperate to get out of them at the end of the day and pop your slippers on! Pipe and dressing gown of course purely optional! The best work boots will have an adequate grip to provide traction and support in slippery conditions, be thick enough to withstand the odd nail or two scattered on the floor and also keep your feet warm and dry, no matter the working or weather conditions. An excellent pair of work boots might even save your life in the case of an electrical charge. Some professions and places of work can be challenging and fraught with danger so if you are on your feet most of the day, you need a pair of supportive but also well-fitting safety shoes.
If you are currently considering purchasing a new pair of construction boots and wondering what brand you should invest in, then you have come to the right place as were about to review our recommendations of the best work boots for men, all from brands you can trust to deliver the goods.
The Best Work Boots
This boot is firm favorite, Pit Boss steel toe boot which is all about both safety and comfort. It’s always a popular choice based on its classic Timberland styling as well as demonstrating excellent value for money with superb support. Coming in four colors, it’s a low key boot which makes an excellent option for warehouse workers or anyone else likely to be on their feet for long periods of time. Utilizing a Goodyear welt construction, this Timberland Pit Boss has certainly be manufactured to last. Timberland claim that they are pretty much indestructible and they certainly are tough as old nails! We’ve even heard reports that some workers have worn their Pit Boss’s happily for over three years which is quite some going if you work in a heavy duty industry.
On the flipside, while they are comfortable, yes, they do take a bit of breaking in because of the robust nature of that leather construction. Once you’ve got through that initial period though, they will mold to the contours of your feet and fit like a glove. Comfort is also additionally provided in the shape of a removable sock liner.
Safe, tough and comfortable, classic Timberland design
Comfort suspension technology supports wear for prolonged periods of time
Large and roomy toe box plus steel reinforcements
Oil, slip, and abrasion resistant traction outsole
The anti-fatigue removable comfort sock liner
- Weight2 lbs
This pair of work boots comes from popular brand Timberland and as it goes, they are impressively stylish and allow you to work safely without having to sacrifice your send of style and fashion. Turns out a work boot can be trendy after all! That aside, the Timberland Pro Direct Attach boot is also seriously comfortable with plenty of padding around the ankle collar plus they are super easy to break in meaning you can get to work quickly. So far, so very good! They’re a boot that is built to last and will build your confidence too as you step out sure-footed onto the construction site looking every bit a winner! Your chances of getting blisters are next to none which is a big bonus, and as the uppers are made from a soft premium full-grained leather, they are also exceptionally comfortable too. The leather comes in a range of stylish color options, or you can just opt for the most popular regular choices of either light brown or black.
This is a soft toe boot so not designed for environments where there might be falling objects to contend with, but it is waterproof and comes with seam-sealed joints, so no water is getting in, even if you are outside in heavy raining conditions. When it comes to those all-important safety features, they’re slip and oil resistant meaning that you can securely walk on all kinds of surfaces thanks to their rubber traction soles. As a bonus, they are also lightweight to wear so you can run, not just walk, wearing these Pros. That full-grained leather also means that this is a robust and durable boot which will be resistant to abrasions and scratches too. A 6-inch shaft installation adds to the overall secure feel when wearing this work boot. A solidly dependable yet stylish choice. Our handy guide to the best Chukka boots offers more great boots so check it out.
Premium weatherproof full-grained leather construction
Contoured and comfortable nylon shock diffusion plate
Feature 200 grams of Thermolite insulation
Antimicrobial and fully breathable footbed
Padded ankle collars for added protection and comfort
- Weight2 lbs
Next up we are reviewing an incredibly attractive looking boot as far as work style boots go from Thorogood which is their American Heritage lace up safety boot. These are one of the best-selling boots in their category, and it’s not difficult to see why. Not only have they been loving built to last but they look great even if you’re not on the construction site. These might actually be one pair of boots that you are happy to wear even after you’ve clocked off. Constructed from stylish tobacco oil-tanned leather, they are also super breathable too which means your feet are comfortable and dry no matter hot or wet the working conditions might be.
Made in the USA by union workers, it’s little wonder then that they’ve designed and manufactured a protective, comfortable and yet at the same time the stylish pair of men’s work boots. With electric shock resisting soles they’ve certainly got your back and are capable of withstanding an application of 18,000 volts although we seriously don’t recommend you trying putting that stat to the test. They also feature a removable shock-absorbing footbed sat on top of a Praxon comfort cushioned insole which means who can be on your feet all day and still stay feel comfortable and fresh. We’d go as far as to say that they need virtually no breaking in which is quite something for a pair of heavy-duty, protective work boots. They’re designed to fit slightly higher up the ankle than many of the other work boots we’ll be reviewing, and you will either love or loathe that feature. Personally, we think it adds to the stylish good looks of the book and of course, provides more ankle protection and foot stability too.
Made from 100% full grain leather
Feature Poron comfort cushion outsole
Removable Shock Absorbing footbed
Slip-resistant MaxWear wedge outsole
Sturdy storm welt construction
- Weight5 lbs
We move on next to our first steel toe work boot which is going to be perfect for anyone working in construction and needs a good pair of pull on, lace-up boots. This is the Pittsburgh workwear boot from Keen, and it’s a seriously constructed utility shoe that actually resembles more of a hiking shoe concerning its design aesthetics. Don’t let those looks put you off though as this boot certainly ticks all the essential safety boxes. Like the Tacoma boot, also on offer from Keen, it features an asymmetrical safety toe as well as soles that have been manufactured to resist abrasion, oil and any slipping and sliding over treacherous surfaces. They also happen to be both waterproof as well as featuring electrical hazard protection so do make a most excellent choice for heavy industrial situations.
One of the things we love about this work boot, besides the styling which we’re already mentioned, is that it’s made from Nubuck leather with a choice of color options. It’s a supremely breathable and comfortable boot to wear and will minimize foot fatigue for those of you wearing your construction boots for prolonged periods of time thanks also to a Dry-Lex lining. The rubber outsole offers plenty of grips and slip-resistant support, but it’s also non-marking too which is handy if you are working where there are any rubber floors.
Asymmetrical utility toe caps with large toe box for comfort
Anatomically engineered metatomical footbed design supports the arch and cradles contours
Multi-purpose hiking inspired design and fit
Keen Dry technology features breathable and waterproof moisture wicking membrane
Slip and oil resistant non-marking rubber outsole
- Weight2 lbs
Red Wing sure knows a thing or two about making solidly dependable boots for hard-working men that’s for sure. They’ve been putting boots on feet since World War One and have gone on to garner one of the most respected reputations in the industry for being purveyors of premium quality work boots. With their highly distinctive and thick constructed sole, they are an instantly recognizable and iconic men’s working boot which contour perfectly to the foot. Also featuring plenty of toe and foot support, they are favored by anyone working on hard surfaces such as concrete floors.
From a design and construction perspective, we particularly like the triple stitched seams and welted outsoles which give these comfortable work boots a premium look which belies their accessible price point.
Durable and stylish work boot with a round toe design
Manufactured from premium water, stain and perspiration resistant leather
Easy to clean and maintain, simply with a damp cloth
Comfort and traction support Vibram lug outsoles
Ruggedly stylish with triple stitched seams and welted outsoles
- BrandRed Wing Shoes
- Weight5 lbs
Next up we’re headed over to see what Carhartt have on offer, another global brand with a firm reputation for safely and stylish kitting out workers everywhere with all kinds of gear, work boots included. Carhartt has been manufacturing premium quality workwear since 1889 and is a brand synonymous with endurance and exceptional dependability. If its protection for your feet that you require, then Carhartt offer an excellent choice with both safety-toe and non-safety-toe designs.
We’re taking a look at their composite toe boot, and they like to market it as the Everyday Boot for the Everyday job. You can guess by that claim that this boot is designed to be comfortable and to keep your feet safe but without compromising on the flexibility, comfort, and support that wearers require if they are in boots for an extended period of time. With rugged good looks to match the construction, this Carhartt Men’s work boot features layers of polyurethane that sit under the insole in order to provide maximum comfort and onboard cushioning. They’re rugged, waterproof as well as being durable and can be seen on the feet of many varied professionals from farmers and ranchers to construction and manufacturing workers as well as just lovers of the great outdoors.
Premium leather construction
Carhartt branding throughout
Maximum comfort and cushioned support
Rugged, durable and waterproof construction
Plenty of ankle padding for support and protection
- Weight2 lbs
If budget is a major consideration for you and you need a new pair of work boots but need to find an inexpensive pair, then take a look at the Kingshow Men’s work boot which is certainly lightweight on the wallet. They may not be suitable for all working environments, but crucially, they have a thick supportive rubber sole as well as being water resistant. They’re of a synthetic construction, hence the cost-effective price point but they are reasonably neat looking and feature a secure lace-up system so that your foot will remain safely ensconced in this boot. They’re one of the shorter style boots that we’re reviewed today so might not be appropriate if you work in an environment where there is lots of debris flying around but as a basic and functional pair of lightweight working boots, they make a sensible choice.
They’re also comfortable and don’t require any breaking in so you are good to start wearing and working in them straight out of the box. If you do like your brands though and the superior quality of real leather these won’t be to your taste, and they’re certainly going to be nowhere near as durable in the long run but with such an inexpensive price point, you can probably just throw them away when you’ve finished up your latest contract!
Cost effective and budget-friendly option
Synthetic construction so lightweight and easy to break in
Secure lace-up closure
Water resistant so suitable for outdoor working environments
Good supportive rubber resistant outsole
If you are looking for a new pair of leather work boots, but you don’t have the big bucks to spend on one of the more popular brands, then these Tank men’s soft toe work boots could be a good option for you. It’s not always about brands, we appreciate that, and when it comes to keeping your feet protected in your working environment, it’s safety and not style that should come first. That said, these are actually a decent enough pair of construction style boots that come in a classic dark brown and the tan color popularized by Timberland boots.
They constructed from top quality full grain Nubuck leather and feature speedy hooks for comfortable wearing. One of the key features of these boots though and a firm reason as to why we’ve recommended that you consider them, especially if you are on a budget, is that they come with Goodyear welt construction. What that means is that you are getting a superior and durable outsole that is certified safe for an industrial construction concrete safety contractor. It’s not just the outsoles that provide you with security and confidence in the workplace either, the insoles are removable and are comfortably cushioned.
Cost-effective and affordable leather work boot
Feature soft nubuck leather which doesn’t require any breaking in
Oil and slip resistant with durable Goodyear welt construction
Feature signature Tank tread pattern
Secure across slippery and uneven surfaces
- BrandEVER BOOTS
- Weight4 lbs
Another brand with a solid reputation for building products that last, Caterpillar is loved both on and off the construction site and is instantly recognizable with that yellow and black iconic CAT logo. These Second Shift steel toe work boots are of course everything you have come to expect from a pair of Caterpillars and one of the first things you will notice is the exceptional quality of the leather construction. The definitely look like they have been built to withstand the test of time and plenty of rigors thrown at them. They are a quality looking work boot, and that attention to professional craftsmanship is instantly apparent. Again, down to the quality and durability of the leather used in the manufacturing process, they do take just a bit of breaking in but believe us when we say it’s worth it as you will end up with an incredibly comfortable pair of construction boots once you’ve persevered through that initial stage of having a few blisters! In part, that’s also due to the fact that they feature protective steel toe caps which of course is going to make them tough as old boots! We say that in just as actually, once you put these boots on, they really are made for walking and the steel toe cap is barely noticeable. In fact, thanks to intuitive ergonomics, the Caterpillar Second Shift boot is actually very comfortable.
Style wise you can’t really miss them. What’s not to leave? They’re a classic contemporary work boot and will certainly stand the test of time. You can easily transition from work to a night out without worrying about having to change your shoes. They also come to a wide range of color options too, so there is bound to be a pair of Cat’s to suit your own unique style, even if you are in your workwear.
Protective steel toe cap
Oil, slip, and abrasion resistant outsole
Leather nylon mesh lining for breathability and comfort
Stylish design with iconic CAT branding
All day comfort and support thanks to removable PU sock liner
- ModelSecond Shift ST-M
- Weight12 oz
We’re wrapping up our review of the Best Men’s Work Boots with an insulated and waterproof construction pair from Maelstrom which is perfect for industrial use and are yet another very cost-effective recommendation. Available with a composite toe, this makes them at the same time durable yet comfortable and flexible to wear. They feature an athletic cemented construction and are crafted from premium water-resistant leather with a removable cushioned footbed. Maelstrom work boots are regularly worn by all kinds of employees from construction, utility, and industrial backgrounds, and they pride themselves as a brand in delivering boots that look professional, but that also offer adequate protection and comfort too.
These particular Maelstrom men’s working boots offer advanced weather resistance and are fitted with their unique iH20 Tex Liners. These ensure that the boots remain entirely waterproof no matter how challenging the weather conditions and can withstand heavy rain as well as sleet and snow. All the while they should successfully keep your feet both dry and warm, cool and comfortable. They’re backed by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, so it’s clear to see that the brand really takes pride in their manufacturing process. The outsoles are slip and oil resistant, the insoles cushioned for all-day comfort and the midsoles designed with compression molded EVA to absorb shock. Toes and heels are both reinforced with a thermoplastic board which helps these boots to retain their semi-rigid shape while being flexible and lightweight to wear.
Proprietary waterproof full bootie liner
Composite safety tor cap to ASTM standards
Non-marking rubber outsole which is slip and oil-resistant
Featuring a two-layered Texon platform providing torsional stability and lateral support
Athletic cemented construction proven to extend durability
Work Boots Buying Guide & FAQ
If this is the first pair of work boots that you have had to purchase, then we appreciate it might be a little bit daunting knowing where to start, especially because of the sheer volume of choice that’s available. There are so many different styles including with and without toe protection, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! There’s no need to be intimidated though as we’re about to run you through our Buying Guide and FAQ to take the trial and error and the pain of trying to break in a pair of men’s work boots that will never be comfortable, firmly out of the equation. Who would have thought that buying your next pair of work shoes would be such fun!
How We Chose Our Selection of Work Boots
As always when pulling together our comprehensive product review guides we consider Price, Brand as well as critical reviews. Our recommendations offer value for money, rather than being necessarily focused on price point alone. Sometimes a budget-friendly boot from an unknown brand may have just as many excellent features as it’s a more popular branded counterpart. We do however aim to bring a wide cross-section of work boots from to suit all budgets and representative across a number of price brackets.
While you will find many famous brands in our reviews, our primary objective is to pull together a list of boots that can offer you durability and dependability. So you will find some lesser known and more affordable non-branded options alongside popular and well-known choices.
Customer feedback, reviews, and research are also critical, and we enlist the help of people across the globe to pull together our expert reviews.
Features To Look For In Work Boots For Men
There are plenty of features worth considering when you are looking at investing that hard earned cash into a new pair of bovver boots! We’re going to quickly recap, not toecap, you through what we believe to be the most important ones to consider.
Safety Toes - As you can guess by the name, a safety toe is designed to provide extra support specifically to the toe area and in some professions and dangerous work environments or places where you’re likely to find lots of heavy machinery, are actually obligatory. If you ain't packing steel, you ain't getting on the construction site. So while they may well be a strict and necessary requirement of some occupations, these days you do have options, and you can opt for steel, composite and also aluminum. Let’s quickly review the difference and key benefits of all three.
Steel - These are the most traditional and popular choice but also the heaviest too. Steel conducts temperatures which means these aren’t advisable if you work outdoors in cold temperatures. You really will feel the chill if you’re working outside in a steel-toed boot when that mercury drops.
Aluminum - A good choice if you want strength, but you don’t want anything that is too heavy. They’re lighter than steel but tend to be bulkier. Again, you will experience the same issue with those colder temperatures.
Composite - They’re not metallic so straight away they won’t conduct heat, plus they won’t set off the metal detectors either! Generally speaking, a composite will be made of either plastic, Kevlar or carbon fiber.
Sole and heel resistant support - No matter what conditions you physically work in or where you might be stationed, it’s always prudent to invest in a pair of work boots that have adequate traction, grip, and support. Slippery surfaces can be found just about anywhere, and you don’t want to come to a cropper. We recommend that you look for a pair of outsoles that are both oil and slip resistant. Always it’s better to be safe than sorry. Another feature worth looking out for, depending upon your occupation, is acid resistant soles too. Again, your employer will no doubt make you fully aware of this and acid resistant boots will be a pre-requisite of the job. You might also want to consider purchasing boots that have a puncture resilient plate, especially if you work in construction and are likely to come across random nails on the floor regularly.
Definitely, if your job entails you going up and down ladders, don’t even think about scrimping on the integrity of the soles of your work boots. This is one instance where you are going to benefit from having a bit of a heel. We’re talking a minimum of ¾ inches and with a bevel too of around 45 degrees to be on the safe side.
Consider Having Additional Metatarsal Support - If your job requires you to be regularly carrying heavy objects, then it’s definitely worth considering purchasing a pair of work boots that come with metatarsal guards so that they can provide more significant and substantial coverage to a larger part of your foot and not just your toes. You may even consider longer length boots with ankle and calf support if you are a logger for example, but that’s a much more specialized footwear purchase.
Electrical Surge Protection - Working around electricity can certainly be dangerous so will find that many work boots have been designed to withstand an electrical hazard which means they have component parts that are totally non-conductive. So no materials of any kind with any metal in order to minimize the risk from of electrocution. On the other hand, static dissipation boots have a special insole that is conductive and has been designed to prevent the build-up on static electricity over time if you are working in a manufacturing environment that handles sensitive electrical components.
How work boots are primarily constructed - There are various methods adopted in the construction of the best work boots, not dissimilar to any type of footwear really. The first and most common involves the use of leather or synthetic welt which is placed between the lower and the upper sole to which the boots are then attached. This creates a rugged, durable and highly robust boot. The other method is called direct attached and is when a mold is attached to the upper of the boot, filled full of molten rubber, then left to harden to form the sole. This process results in a more lightweight and comfortable boot that’s very effective at absorbing shocks.
Finally, there is a third method that might be deployed, and that is known as the cement method. It involves the use of very high strength and flexible bond that fuses the sole to the rest of the boot. It’s the least expensive and the most lightweight of all the options and creates an exceptionally comfortable experience for the wearer.
Insulating and Waterproofing - If you are going to be spending time outdoors or in damp, wet or cold conditions then ensuring that your feet are kept warm and dry has to be a top priority. The best pair of insulated work boots will protect your feet in temperatures as low as -30 degrees so are perfect for snowy winter conditions. Just remember, that amount of insulation and waterproofing will make these boots incredibly uncomfortable when it comes to those summer months!
Weight - Work boots by nature of their construction are going to be heavier than your regular boots so if you do have to walk long distances keep this in mind and only opt for steel toe caps if your work environment or job really necessitates them to keep foot fatigue to a minimum.
Durability - Don’t just go by the brand name and the price tag. That’s not really the best indicator of whether you are investing in a pair of work boots that are built to last. Do your research and check out online reviews. The one thing that will soon be evident from customer feedback is if the boots weren’t up to the job and quickly fell apart. This is usually the best indicator of whether you are buying quality or not.
Break in period - Not all boots can be worn straight out of the box. At least not for a prolonged initial period without being uncomfortable. Many boots, especially sturdily constructed leather ones, will require a small period of breaking in before they become like second nature to your feet. If you do need to get straight into your boots for a new job, then refer to the breaking in period so that you can feel comfortable from the get-go. There’s nothing worse than a pair of boots that are ill-fitting, especially when you have to wear them all day long.
It pays to invest in reputable brands - Don’t be tempted to scrimp on the budget to such an extent that you purchase a cheap imitation boot that just isn’t fit for purpose. Most of the well-respected brands are popular for a reason, and it’s generally speaking because they specifically understand how to manufacture a work boot that is stylish, supportive and comfortable. So check out the big name brands and see what they have on offer. There are plenty of recommendations in our guide today including Timberland, Red Wing, Caterpillar, and Carhartt. You are bound to find the perfect ones for you.
Types of Work Boots For Men
While plenty of industries do require you to wear safety or work boots, there are subtle differences, as we’re established in our key features section, that you need to be on the lookout for, so you need to understand and assess the risks of your working environment to select the appropriate boots for you. By that, we mean things like safety caps, insulation, waterproofing, slip-resistant soles, shock absorbing heels, etc. Consider the safety hazards you are likely to encounter in your own workplace and then choose a boot that will keep you safe. The main categories to be mindful of include:
- Electrical Safety
- Exposure to flammable materials
- Proximity to Spinning blades
- Molten metal protection
- Falling objects in the workplace
- Puncture resistance
- Working with heavy machinery
- Protection from extremes of cold
- Resistance from moisture
- Slip and oil resistance
Work Boots FAQ
Q: What are the Advantages of Using Work Boots?
A: If you work in any form of a harsh environment or potentially dangerous workplace, then you need all your equipment to be durable, robust and to protect you against potential hazards. What you wear on your feet is certainly no exception, and the best work boots will keep you safe from potential accidents and injuries that could come from literally anywhere. As we just identified in the previous list of hazards, the correct work boots can provide that all-important protection and stand up to the rigors of your particular working environment. The other advantages, of course, is that your work boots can also keep you comfortable and dry as well as protected, all day long.
Q: What is the Best Fit for Work Boots?
A: It’s likely that your work boots are going to form an essential part of your daily uniform so to speak, so it is absolutely critical that they fit correctly otherwise the consequences of wearing an ill-fitting boot all day long are going to be far worse than just sore feet at the end of the day. It’s no exaggeration to say that a poorly fitted boot can be catastrophic for your health and well-being and lead to prolonged pain and a range of issues in the future including foot and ankle pain, problems with a backache and also knee and joint pain. Do not under-estimate the importance of finding the perfect fit for you when it comes to those all-important work boots. As a very general rule of thumb, you need plenty of wriggle room as well as support, so you will generally find that the best and most comfortable work boots have a more full toe box.
Below are a few recommendations from us on how to find your perfect fit.
Start By Wearing The Right Socks
If you are road testing a new pair of work boots, make sure that you try them on with the right socks. You won’t be wearing your boots barefoot! You should also ensure that the sock you wear isn’t too bulky and are also moisture wicking and breathable too. Wearing the wrong socks will just add to your overall discomfort so make sure you get off on the right foot!
You’ve Got Two Feet So Try Your Boots On Both
Until you pop both your feet into your work boots at the same time and really get a sense for how they fit and feel, you’ve no idea whether they will be appropriate for you. They need to feel comfortable and natural so that you can move both your legs independently with a natural stride and rhythm.
Replicate Some Of The Movements You Might Do At Work To See if They Are Suitable
Don’t worry about what you might look like in the shop! It’s important to make sure that the work boots you are investing in can support you as you go about your daily job which won’t just entail walking in a straight line from A to B. Can you raise your knees, can you stand on one leg, hop, run, walk and also just stand still on the spot?
These Boots Were Made for Walking. So That’s What You’re Going To Do Right?
When you walk your heel should remain securely and comfortably inside your work boot, not come out or rub against the back of the shoe. Your toes should ideally have an inch in front of them at all times, and they should not slide forward and hit the end of the boot when you walk, nor should there be any painful pressure on the sides of your foot from the boot pinching. You also need to be able to slowly rotate your ankle from side to side inside your work boot and feel as though it is comfortable but also secure. Also double check that the tongue or any interior stitching isn’t going to rub and chafe your feet when you’ve been wearing them for a prolonged period of time. If you are good with all of that, then you’ve found yourself a pair of perfect fitting boots!
As one final sense check before you hand over your cash, pull your feet out and check to see if you have any red spots on your feet. If you do, that’s a sure fire sign that the boots are going to rub and chafe in the future and may well lead to blisters and worse so best to be on the safe side when ensuring your work boots really are the best possible fit for you.