Finding good protective gear as a professional is quite a challenge these days, mainly because of all the sub-par items that somehow made their way onto the market. This is also the case with work boots, the backbone of any protective apparel worn by handymen, construction workers, and pretty much any other job that requires people to work outside for hours at a time. In this respect, let us point out that quality work boots do exist but that you have to, first of all, learn about what the market has to offer before settling on a pair that appeals to you for one reason or another. That said, here are the ten best work boots the market has to offer at this point in time.
10. Rugged Blue RB2 1800
A superior quality work boot for men, the Rugged Blue RB2 1800 stands apart for its great durability. It is a waterproof, steel-toe design premium leather model perfect for industrial, construction, or outdoor jobs. It also offers great protection to the toes in the event of having objects falling down on your feet. Again, its quality membrane sock liner plus Cambrelle synthetic fiber lining help keep your foot dry and comfortable, even when it’s hot.
9. Caterpillar Carlie ST
The Carlie ST by Caterpillar combines the work-significant toughness with impressive athletic shoe convenience. It is a sturdy lace ankle boot made for durability and strength thanks to its full-grain leather upper and authentic Goodyear welt construction. Its Ortholite footbed guarantees a much more accurate odor and temperature control. It offers stability with excellent EVA cushioning and energy management, keeping you comfortable all day long. Moreover, its electrical hazard design offers protection from open circuits up to 600 Volts.
8. Maelstrom Men’s Tac Force
Maelstrom Tac Force is a great waterproof work boot for men, and it ensures durability and comfort. Thanks to its high-quality polish-safe leather textile construction, it doesn’t just offer perfect insulation but a wonderful warmth standard as well. Moreover, it has removable, shock-absorbent and high-support cushion inserts for added comfort, stability. Even with such wonderful features, this boot is quite reasonably priced.
7. Timberland PRO Men’s
Delivering ultimate job site foot safety and performance, the Timberland Pro Endurance outsmarts many others in the water-proof men’s work boot class. It has a steel-toe design for toe safety, while its stable premium rubber outsole is slip and abrasion resistant. It has a low profile to ensure better traction, while its anti-fatigue innovation improves flexibility and absorbs shock, combining your underfoot protection by an integrated puncture-resistant plate.
6. SafetyGirl Steel Toe Waterproof Womens Work Boots
Featuring a light pink theme that most women like, these are highly durable boots made of quality nubuck leather upper and with a double-color fashionable rubber outsole. They have a waterproof membrane for keeping your feet dry and comfortable the day long, as their steel-toe design deters toe injuries. They also come in different sizes, all sharing high safety, and functional standards.
5. The Original MuckBoots
A convenient yet tough construction—top-quality synthetic upper plus enduring rubber outsole—are what make this work boot stand out. Regardless of the terrain or weather, the top performance Jobber boot always delivers the needed support. It features a 100 percent waterproof design for foot comfort and longer value, while integrated air mesh lining offers foot comfort by reduced pressure as it keeps the foot dry, cool. Furthermore, its diamond-tread premium rubber outsole is flexible, stable, and slip-proof.
4. EVER BOOTS “Ultra Dry” Men’s
This men’s work boot utilizes a Seal-Direct Attached build, forming a superior and weather-proof bond to its uppers. Its water-proof membrane offers protection from liquid elements yet allows foot-generated moisture to vent, keeping your foot dry. That is made further possible by its mesh-insulated moisture-wicking liner. It is also designed for superior traction and shock absorption on your heel and foot arc. Moreover, enduring polyurethane midsoles limit foot fatigue to keep you feeling comfortable for longer.
3. Timberland PRO Women’s Titan
Offering excellent day-long comfort, support, and great work performance, the Timberland PRO Titan is one of the best women’s waterproof work boot today. Custom-designed for ladies, it has a quality leather upper and high profile for added ankle protection. At the same time, the leather is supple with seamless flexibility and support. It also features a mesh comfort lining integrating an Agion antimicrobial treatment for ideal odor, sweat management. As such, an enhanced inner technology design with premium-grade materials offer added comfort, support, and a high standard of protection due to a quality rubber outsole.
2. Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic
For its unique Thinsulate insulation system, the Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic is considered a high ranking waterproof work boot and understandably so. This boot has a removable EVA foam insert for keeping your feet feeling comfortable throughout the day. Even more, its steel-toe design protects your feet against accidents, while remaining lightweight and comfortable beyond a basic level.
1. Timberland Men’s Flume
The Men’s Flume by Timberland has a premium leather plus textile construction, even with a padded color and high-grade rubber outsole. Not only that, its fully gusseted tongue keeps debris away, which many experienced workers tend to appreciate. We should also point out that this boot enjoys a waterproof design with a D-ring lace system, therefore offering an ideal fit and extra comfort. Last but not least, it has to be said that these boots are a lot more flexible than many other work boots in this price range.
A Guide To Buying The Best Work Boots
A good pair of work boots can make or break your workday. The best work boots provide the wearer’s feet with the best support possible. This allows them to remain on their feet during the day and do it without their feet killing them all night long. However, great work boots are not just about comfort. A good pair doesn’t just give the user better feeling and healthier feet, but they can also provide the level of protection the wearer needs for some potentially dangerous jobs.
The average working person walks anywhere from 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day. If that average is maintained five days a week and 52-weeks a year from the age of 18 to the retirement age of 65, that means that the average worker will have walked more than 103 million steps in their lifetime. Yes, you read that correctly—103 million steps. With all of that walking to do, the average worker better gets themselves a good pair of boots that will help them get through their workday.
In order to help our readers find the best work boots available, we’ve decided to not only compile the above list but to also write this guide. In this guide, we’ll give you the tips you need to get a good pair of boots for working. That way, it will be a whole lot easier to walk those 100+ million steps through the course of your work life.
Determine Your Safety Needs
The first thing a worker is going to have to figure out are which work boots they need. After all, not all jobs will require the same protective equipment. Although the federal government’s OSHA regulations are fairly complete on the subject of safe standards for work boots, we’re afraid that the regulations presented in them are too numerous to be included in a guide of this size. However, we can state some of the workplace situations where foot protection is necessary.
To paraphrase OSHA standards 29 CFR 1910.136(a): The employer should make sure that each employee should use the appropriate protective footwear when they are working in areas where their feet may be in danger of receiving injuries from rolling or falling objects, when they’re electrical hazards (including not only electric-shock but also static-shock discharges), or when there’s a danger of objects piercing through the boot. Other instances when foot protection may be needed include the following situations:
- Slippery Surfaces
- Corrosive Materials
- Splashed Molten Metal
- Hot Surfaces
In most situations, it’s the employer’s job to determine what work boots are appropriate for the job and meet OSHA guidelines, so workers should definitely check with their employer to get the guidelines that are specific to their work environment and job. When choosing a work boot that protects against crushing or rolling objects, the worker will probably want to take a look at steel-toe boots or aluminum-toe boots. Both of those are good for protecting the toes against these dangers. However, if the potential threat to the foot comes from a falling object, then the worker may want to find a boot that offers a little more protection. In those instances, Metatarsal Guards on the boots are usually a good choice and one often used by welders and other workers who deal with heavy materials.
Consider Outsole Composition
Another important consideration to think about before buying your next pair of boots for work is the composition of the sole. Although there are a variety of different shoe and boot soles made nowadays, most work boots have one of two different outsoles. These outsoles include Rubber and TPA outsoles. Let’s take a look at each of these separately.
Rubber Outsole: Although each boot manufacturers have their own proprietary rubber outsoles these days, we feel confident that most of them can be grouped under this category. Rubber outsoles are suitable for construction jobs, most manufacturing jobs and where there may be a risk of slipping. Of course, they’re also pretty good for working outdoors and provide a good amount of traction for both dry and wet surfaces.
TPU Outsoles: These outsoles are designed for use at work sites where they may be a lot of abrasions or where there may be a chance of chemicals or oil spilling on the wearer’s feet. This material is designed to be lighter than rubber outsoles, but to do a better job of resisting splitting and wear. This makes them a good choice for many tough jobs.
Consider Water Resistance
Water resistance is an important consideration for some jobs. The jobs that can benefit from water-resistant boots include some civil engineers, plumbers and other professionals who may have to wade through some sort of water on the job. Although not every worker will need a pair of water-resistant boots, those who do should take their time and find the best ones available.
The last thing to consider when purchasing a new pair of work boots is how comfortable they are going to be. In order to make sure that you purchase ones that are as comfortable as possible, be sure to take some time to properly measure your feet, so you can get the correct size. If you wear thick work socks with your boots, then you may want to measure your feet with your socks on, so that the thickness of the socks don’t throw off your measurements. If you do that, then you can rest assured that your boots will fit well and are more likely to be comfortable.
Some Final Work Boot Tips
Before we go, we’d like to give you a few bonus tips that will ensure that your work boots will provide you with the comfort and protection you need. Please consider the following tips:
- Replace Your Boots When They Wear Out
- Keep Them Clean & Dry
- Use Leather Conditioners On Leather Boots
- Use A Gel Insole Insert For Maximum Comfort
- Store Your Boots In A Cool, Dry Place