Did you know that over 25% of injuries that require long term disability are from foot injuries? Take the necessary steps to protect your feet so that you're able to continue working on your own terms and don't have pay for large hospital bills, surgeries, or premium health insurance.
Purchasing the best work boots is a great investment not only for your money, but protection, and health, and your family that relies on you.
Below, you'll find the top 10 work boots that I reviewed. At the bottom of the post created a buyer's guide to assist you in purchasing the right ones for you.
Caterpillar does not disappoint with these Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boots. They are the best steel toe boots available by having a great combination of comfort and protection.
Who doesn't like comfortable boots? Well if you're like everyone else then of course you do. Unfortunately, these aren't the most comfortable.
They're not the most uncomfortable either, but the hard insoles can make it rough on your feet so wearing thick socks and some Dr Scholl's inserts would do you a world of good.
They are pretty nice and snug on your feet. They don't leave a lot of wiggle room so blisters tend to not be a problem - even when breaking them in.
They are particularly good if you tend to have flat feet. I don't personally, but my boss and coworker do and like these boots.
How are they for Work?
These Caterpillar Steel Toe Boots are among the best if you require heavy duty boots that are made to last and will protect your feet without a doubt. They are compliant with all work regulations - steel toe, 6 inch boot and slip resistant.
The tread itself is really good in addition to giving good traction on water and oil, but if you work in a place that has a LOT of water then you may want to consider other options. They are water resistant, but not water proof.
In general if you work in the snow or freezing cold they aren't great. They are not that well insulated which is great for me since I'm in California, but probably aren't best if you're in a northern state or Canada where you want better insulation.
These boots are heavy duty - if you walk a lot on your feet or are on your feet for ~10hours/day then these aren't for you since they're heavy and not the most comfortable. They are best suited for stationary workers who get some sitting time but require the heavy duty protection these offer.
I've dropped a few things before and didn't feel a thing. Granted, the drops were on the steel toe (I have yet to drop on the mid section with these shoes), but I have a lot of confidence in the protection they offer.
Material Quality & Craftsmanship
The overall quality of the materials is very solid. The sturdiness and durability can only come from quality leather and seams and is probably the best amongst medium priced work boots.
The steel toe itself is extremely solid. Before purchasing these myself I read how one individual made a cut into one steel toe and after 4 months it didn't get any larger.
Bottom Line: These are hands down the best safety shoes at the mid range price. They offer great protection and have amazing quality, but aren't for everyone.
Though are water resistant, but not great for work environments with lots of downpour or water (like swamps/meadows/soaked grass). Also better for those who are stationary as they are heavy and aren't particularly comfortable for those standing and walking 10+ hours/day.
EDITOR RATING: 4.8/5
Wow oh, wow. The Wolverine Men's Raider Boots definitely aim to impress.
Below you'll find where it stands in each category - and why we enjoyed it so much as our #1 option.
These are our top rated work boots in our entire work boot reviews list. One of the reasons is the quality. The leather and stitching of these boots is definitely some of the best you get with work boots.
It really seems like everything is made of top notch stuff despite the modest pricing. This includes both the exterior leather and the interior touches.
Breaking Them In:
Breaking them in is a pretty normal process - it usually takes anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Before they are broken in they're still mildly comfortable, but are a little stuff. After they are broken in... well find out in the next section!
Are they Comfortable?
These are some of the most comfortable work boots available. While the leather in the exterior is hard, it has a really soft interior for maximum comfort.
For example, there is extra padding in the heel that will withstand pressure and handle shock with ease. The insoles are also gelled which is a nice touch - particularly if you're on your feet all day and have to do a lot of walking.
How Well do they Work?
They're great heavy duty boots with some nice touches that Wolvermine has added. For example, I mentioned that the extra padding in the heel absorbs pressure and shock.
Another great thing about these boots is that they are flexible which allows more comfortability and makes it easier to walk and climb around. If you've walked ladders up that are stiff you'll know how tough it could be.
The high quality material also makes sure that they are very durable and protect your feet well. In fact, after hours of walking around or on your feet you'll notice your feet aren't aching and sore.
For this reason they are particularly great for individuals who walk anywhere from 6-10 miles because of the extra padding and gel insoles.
Even under intense use you can expect them to last 2-3 years. The only thing that about the durability is that the top 2 eyelets tend to come off. It's not a deal breaker which is why I've had several pairs, but it is something to be aware of.
These boots are a bargain - they're about the same quality as the ones that are about twice as much so they are truly the best boots for the money.
Bottom Line: The Wolverine's Men Raider Boots are hands down the best work boots for men and women alike. The quality leather offers good protection and support, but these aren't steel toe boots.
They are extremely comfortable and great to work in - particularly if you have to do a lot of walking and climbing.
EDITOR RATING: 4.9/5
The Red Wing Heritage Moc 6" Boots is a solid overall boot, but is definitely the best boot for wide feet.
These boots are the perfect casual work boot. They are stylish and lightweight making it perfect to wear in and out of work. These aren't made for heavy duty protection and if you need some then it's better to get a steel toe boot.
The top ankle part is a bit stuff and can make walking a little uncomfortable until it's broken in. However, at least the sole on the bottom is pretty flexible so climbing and hiking around is pretty easy.
In the beginning it was a little hard to get my feet through the throat of the boot. If you have similar problems then when you aren't wearing it then keep the first 2 eyelets unlaced and it'll widen up a bit as you break them in.
It takes about 2-3 weeks to break in which is not too bad. Once you do break them in they are really comfortable. However, during that time you'll have a little bit of discomfort.
The actual quality of the boots is really high. You can tell it's not made out of some BS synthetic mix, but real cow-hide leather. The workmanship to tie it all together is also really good, with the seams really well finished.
The Moc toe, short for moccasin style toe is hard and solid, but won't protect your foot from bigger objects, but will definitely protect you from lighter objects. If you work with a lot of heavy objects then this won't be the boot for you.
For extra comfort if you're on your feet a lot I recommend getting an insole of your choice because the leather sole is a bit hard and can wear out pretty quickly. Long, thick socks will help out but I personally prefer an insole.
If you do decide to go with your own insole then be sure to get another half size larger than you normally would or else you'll end up cramping your foot.
Bottom Line: It's one of the best work boots for light-medium protection - if you need a heavy duty boot then go with a steel toe. It's comfortable for walking and climbing once it's broken in, and is great for casual outdoor work.
Be sure to order half a size smaller (if you're getting an insole just get your normal size though).
EDITOR RATING: 4.7/5
Another one of the best work boot brands, Timberland's PRO Men's TItan 6" Waterproof Safety Toe Work Boot is a solid pair.
First of all, these Timberland work boots offer truly excellent support. The boots stay tight against your foot and are well sized so that there is no moving room for your feet - which will also reduce blisters.
One of my favorite things is that they were great to put on from the beginning. They require no break in period so that you can purchase these and start moving around comfortably with light to medium socks.
My buddy John who is a landscaper actually referred me to these shoes and they are his favorite hands down. He works outside a lot and has some occasional indoor work, and believes these are the most comfortable work boots.
I agree that they are quite comfortable (maybe not the most), but I do love the fact that they are quite lightweight despite having a steel toe. If you're on your feet and have to walk a lot then these are great choices since you want a lightweight boot.
They do really well in various weather conditions for 2 reasons.
1) They are slip resistant and
2) They are water resistant which is probably another reason John loves them for his line of work.
When they do get wet the breathable mesh line will help your feet quickly air out and dry. If you work in a decent amount of water or have sweaty feet these are great choices to maintain dry and comfortable feet.
They typically last about 1-2 years based on the weather conditions you're in and how much you walk. I walk a medium amount of 2-3 miles a day on average and don't have to deal with too much rain. My 2 pairs have lasted me a little more than 18 months and 2 years respectively.
For John he works in a lot tougher conditions with lots of water and trekking through wet grass. He also tends to do closer to 5 miles a day of walking and these still tend to last him a little more than a year so they're very durable no matter what type of work you're doing.
They are particularly good if you're on ladders a lot. Even though they have heavy duty leather, they are surprisingly flexible and let you easily go up and down ladders. Stiffer boots can it difficult when you require a little more dexterity with your feet (such as hiking or going up and down ladders) so they are great options if you walk less and climb more.
The only con I have is that the laces are a little short. It still lets me to do my typical solid knot and they don't become undone, but it doesn't leave me a lot of lace to play with. By the time you're done lacing them up you'll find yourself with little room and it can be hard to create the perfect knot.
Bottom Line: These are really good work boots especially if you're both indoors and outdoors a lot. Lightweight, and flexible, they are great choices if you are walking around a lot or tend to move up and down ladders frequently.
The protection they offer and durability make them work boots that do their job - so you can do yours.
EDITOR RATING: 4.8/5
You can't go wrong with Keen's Utility Men's Milwaukee Wide Work Boots.
Keen has always been one of the best brand of work boots and this product is no exception.
First of all, when you order it you'll find it's pretty true to size. Some boots may run a little larger or smaller and require re-ordering, but with these Keen Steel Toed boots you'll find that the size will be true to order.
When you first put them on they're actually not too bad before even breaking them in. However, once you do break them in you'll fall in love. They're very comfortable and high quality boots with a good width from heel to toe.
Some people found that the sole was a little rough but I thought it was okay. If your feet get rubbed raw easily just purchase an extra insole of your choosing.
They're very versatile too. With great tread and a slip resistant rubber sole [anti slip against oil too] you'll fine that not only are they great in the workplace, but they also serve as popular hiking boots as well.
Even though they are quite heavy duty they are actually surprisingly light weight which makes using them as your primary work boot great when paired with the durability.
The biggest problem I with this boot had more to do with the seller than the actual boot. They claim it's water proof in the product description, but they definitely aren't.
After walking through some a wet football field I'll notice that they get quite damp. I'm not even sure if they are even water resistant.
However, I did notice that after my socks got a little wet that they dried up relatively quickly. The breathable membrane that they claim to use actually works and helps your feet get good airflow so if you move in and out of wet areas a lot or get sweaty feet then they are definitely good choice.
This makes sense given that Keen designed these boots for versatility - to work both indoors and out for a variety of situations.
They'll also last anywhere from 18-24 months. This is assuming every day use and these boots are among the most popular choices.
Bottom Line: The Keen Utility Milwaukee Wide Work Boots is one of the top work boots available with their dependability and quality. Best suited for a variety of working environments, these boots won't disappoint.
If you need more specialized boots for either indoor or outdoor there may be better options, but these are no doubt solid.
EDITOR RATING: 4.6/5
The Thorogood Men's American Heritage 6" Safety Boot is one of the best steel toe boots available.
Unlike other shoes these Thorogood shoes are actually made in the USA. It's not clear if all of it is, but the fact that they are legally allowed to claim so means a decent portion is.
When you first take a look at them you'll notice the high quality of the leather. Thorogood didn't skimp out on the quality or on the thickness. They're okay before being broken in and aren't too rough, but once they are broken in you'll really enjoy wearing them.
If your feet tends to be on the wider side then make sure to order EE as these were perfect for me. Overall, they were pretty comfortable because of the dual density outer sole gives a lot of comfort and support.
One thing that makes it a little less comfortable is the steel toe cap. It would definitely help if it gave a little more room and had a little bit of extra lining, but this is me just being picky. Wear some thick socks and you won't even notice it.
The insoles are nothing special - like with most work boots you'll end up replacing them pretty quickly.
Surprisingly, you'll be surprised by the laces because they are among the best that come with work boots. They're long and well textured to make tying easy and keep them stable across the boot.
The thick leather and steel toe offer good protection for your feet and support. I've worn them for 8-10 hours standing up and haven't had much problems.
A slight con is that while they do work well on oil, they are a bit slick. You'll still have an easier time walking around than non-oil slip boots, but they aren't total anti oil slip.
Bottom Line: One of the best indoor work boots, they offer great support, and protection with its steel toe, thick, durable leather, and slip resistant rubber soles.
If you're on your feet for hours at a time the comfort of these boots will save your feet. Great buy for heavy duty work and lots of standing.
EDITOR RATING: 4.5/5
The Caterpillar Men's Diagnostic Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boots are decent boots, but definitely aren't among my favorite.
First of all, they tend to run a little large which can be really annoying. When I got my first pair I coudln't even get them on so I had to wait another week and a half to return them and get a new , smaller pair.
Definitely a buzz kill.
However, I have to say the quality is pretty damn good - especially when you take into account the pricing. You gotta love average price for above average quality. You don't always get what you pay for and these are great bargain buys.
The leather is really durable and supportive. Also, unlike other work boots, these boots' eyelets won't fall off. However, to just be a little annoying it seems like Caterpillar gets more from you than you get out of their boots.
This is because the boots make you a huge, walking billboard. After all, they have the brand/company name on the shoe at least 4 times. It's impossible to miss.
How are they for Work?
The one area the Caterpillar Diagnostic Work Boots excel in is their ability to stand up to the elements. They were specifically made for cold/freezing temperature with great heat insulation and being water resistant (even though they claim in the title it's waterproof).
Granted, it stands up to water better than most boots, but I still hate the fact that it is false advertising. Because of the insulation it's great in the freezing cold and winter, but not in areas where it's hot most of the time like in Cali.
The steel toe offers great protection, but tends to pinch a little. The boot seems to narrow down a little bit towards the toes so I wasn't surprised by the pinching. Other than that they are fairly comfortable.
They tend to be good if you're on your feet for long periods of times since they offer good support with no chance of getting blisters. They are medium to medium-light weight and are pretty light considering they are steel toe boots.
Unfortunately, they're not for everyone. I mentioned that they tend to narrow towards the toes so they're not great for people with flat feet. They aren't wide enough and tend to not have good enough arch support.
Bottom Line: They're good work boots, but they aren't the best boots you can get. I would recommend any other steel toe boot that I mention over this one unless you really love Caterpillar.
Warning: Not for people with flat feet and people in warm temperatures (insulation will make your feet sweat a lot).
EDITOR RATING: 4.3/5
The Danner Men's Quarry USA 8 Inch Black Work Boots are definitely worth a try if you don't need a steel toe boot.
First of alll the quality is amazing. It's triple stitched so the seams are never undone. The best part is they are made right in Oregon which makes sense why they are so high quality.
The full grain leather and great laces will definitely stick out to you. In fact, it took 2 years before the laces started even fraying a little bit.
They're also quite comfortable. Since they aren't steel toe boots there is no pinching, narrow toes, or heaviness you have to worry about. Best of all, it only took me a couple of days to break it in.
There are other users who said that they didn't need to break it in at all which is pretty amazing. Either way, the process is pretty easy since there is minimal chaffing even before being broken in.
Like I mentioned before - they aren't steel toe boots so if your job requires them then these aren't for you. If you don't need them then you definitely want to check these out. They have solid protection because of the sturdy leather and stand at 8 inches tall.
Despite the height they're still pretty light. They're great for standing at long periods of time since they're pretty comfortable, have good arch and ankle support, and have decent insoles (though they wear out fast). These boots are also useful for lots of walking as well.
They're good for different kinds of weather to. They're ALMOST waterproof and will do a damn good job of keeping your feet dry. Don't expect them to be perfect though.
They also have a breathable design so if it gets too hot your feet can still get some air. Unfortunately, this means no insulation so if you're in the freezing cold then forget about them.
Like most boots they are slip resistant for both oil and water. I actually thought they had better grip than other boots when it came to oily substances. Granted I didn't have to walk through them more than several times, but that's what it seemed like to me.
One of the best things about these boots is the durability. Since they're made in the USA and only use the best materials it's no surprise they easily last 2 to years. Although they're on the pricey side, the lifetime of the boots definitely end up making you spend less $ per year.
Bottom Line: This is probably our #1 or 2 in this list of best work boot reviews. Although they aren't steel toe boots they offer great protection in addition to everything else they have to offer.
If you're looking for high quality boots then look no further!
EDITOR RATING: 4.8/5
The Original Muckboots Adult Chore Hi-Cut Boot is the best in the business.
Featuring a 50-50 nylon-rubber blend, this uinsex boot
is extremely comfortable and made specifically to stand in for long periods of time.
The 1 inch heel offers good support and it's easy to take on and off. This is because of the large opening of about 18 inches circumference and the fact that it has a kick rim so you can take them off without laying a hand on them.
They are completely waterproof and will keep your feet nice and try provided that water doesn't come in through the top. A great benefit is that if they get dirty you can easily wash them off with a hose so they'll be shining for the next day.
These boots were specifically made for long hours of outdoors work so they are good boots for ranch hands, warm workers, landscapers, outdoor contractors, and any other type of outside work.
They're great for chores that require lots of standing - just make sure you get some extra inserts since the boot is a little firm. Additionally, these work boots are lightweight which makes it easy to stand and walk around in. However, it may take you some time to get used to the height since it may change up your walking motion.
The height does help provide some strong protection. This is in addition to a reinforced toe, achilles, and heel areas so that the most common injury spots are protected. They may not be steel toe boots, but they still do a good job of protecting you.
The Muckboots will also prevent you from hurting yourself - it's hard to slip in these and they'll absorb any shock that you might try to apply such as from jumping down. Unlike the other boots we've reviewed, they also have great grip int he snow. Which leads me to my next point...
If you deal with a lot of extreme weather then these are the boots for you. First of all they're solid for people who are in the sun and hot weather. They're light weight and allow your feet to breathe so they don't get too hot and sweaty.
However, these boots really excel in the cold weather. This is because they truly protect your feet from the cold and from rain/snow - nothing goes through the boot material since it's rubber and nylon.
If dry feet are really important to you these definitely do the best job. They also do a great job if you want warm feet. It doesn't make sense to me, but they are able to let your feet breathe and also use insulation to keep them warm which is why they're useful in the snow. Unfortunately, there isn't enough insulation in arctic areas, but they'll do for most people in snowing environments.
Bottom Line: These are some of the best waterproof work boots if you are outside a LOT. They aren't recommended for inside work and there are better choices. However, it's hard to beat these if 95% of your work is outdoors and in the harsh elements.
EDITOR RATING: 4.8/5
The Chippewa Men's Suger Logger Waterproof Boot is the best logger work boots available.
First of all, they're great out of the box. These are some of the most comfortable boots out there and almost feel like you're just wearing some big slippers. Seriously.
They come with removable orthotics so you can choose how hard/soft they'll be when you wear them. I tend to put the orthotics on if I'm going to on my feet for hours at a time, but will remove them if I need extra support and control in short durations.
Overall, all of the materials are really high quality. They are definitely not the cheapest boot out there but you pay for what you get. It's made in the USA with premium leather, stitching, and other materials. You'd be hard pressed to find fault with a new pair.
I was really surprised by the great support. I've noticed a lot of comfortable shoes tend to have average support at best, but these have awesome support - particularly for the feet and heel.
In the past I used to get some back pain for certain tasks such as chopping firewood. However, when wearing these boots I no longer hurt. It might not be the boots but I suspect it's because of the 2" heel which really gives great feet support and in turn to your whole body.
These Loggers are water resistant and do a pretty good job of keeping water from your feet. In fact, these boots are made for a variety of outdoor weather conditions so you can get them insulated or not (make sure you double check that you have the right ones before ordering them).
I actually tend to keep both an insulated pair for the winter when I visit my cabin in the mountains and non-insulated pair more for every day use.
One of the great things about the Chippawe Logger Boots is that they last forever. If you're sick and tired of mediocre products that are built to break then check these out. They typically last anywhere from 5-8 years but I know some people claim up to 10.
Even though they're not as cheap as some other boots, when you factor in how long they last these will definitely save you money over the long run.
Bottom Line: Great boots if you're outdoors and in extreme weather conditions. They are extremely comfortable and are great for being on your feet whether you're doing chores or hiking.
In addition to these high quality boots they tend to last 3-4 times longer than most other boots. If you're looking for real quality work boots then these are the ones for you.
EDITOR RATING: 4.7/5
How to Choose the Best Work Boots
Although I rated these boots myself and have cross checked with many co workers and other research methods the best ones for me may not be the best ones for you. The top rated work boots fit my needs and met the criteria that I look for but for everyone it could be different.
On that note, you’ll want to understand what to be aware of when you ‘re looking at boots to purchase. There are several key things to look out for when buying the best work shoes / boots for you. I go over them in detail in no particular order of importance.
Are They Comfortable?
You’re in your work boots a LOT – potentially 10-12 hours a day 6 days a week. You want to definitely make sure that what you put on your feet are comfortable. Nobody likes cramped toes and rashes.
What comfort means is different to many people. If you have flat feet then you’ll want to find the best work boots for wide feet and have great arch support. You’ll also want to understand the types of insoles used and if you need to buy a pair of Dr. Scholl’s inserts or not.
You probably know what’s best for your feet.
However, one important thing to be aware of when it comes to comfortability is the type of boot you are purchasing. If you need steel toe boots then naturally they are a little less comfortable – there is a piece of fricking steel at the end. There are some that are still very comfortable, but most of them tend to pinch and narrow towards the toes. They’re also heavy so don’t get them if you don’t need them and you walk a lot.
On the other hand, there are tons of great work boot options that don’t have a steel toe. Like steel toe boots, they have sturdy leather to protect your feet, ankle, and legs which is fine for most people anyway. However, some may still have reinforced toes for extra protection.
They tend to be more comfortable and light weight and are much more comfortable. But the thing is…
Do they Offer Enough Protection?
You want work boots because they protect your feet – otherwise you would get normal shoes. The work environment is a tough place and foot injuries are the most common type so you want to make sure that your feet are protected.
The protection you need depends on what you need them for. For example if you’re a landscaper or general contractor then you don’t need steel toe boots. Instead, you’ll want boots offer good protection, but also allow you to be mobile by being light, flexible and comfortable.
On the other hand if you’re working with a lot of heavy machinery or other items then you need the best feet protection possible. Steel toe boots are able to absorb a lot of force and will protect your toes much better than typical work boots that don’t have a steel toe.
While ordinary work boots and steel toe boots all have study leather for support and protection the steel toe can make a huge difference when it comes to protection.
You’ll also want to see what kind of slip resistance the boots have. They all have varying degrees of water slip resistance, but only some are oil slip resistance too. What you need depends on the workplace so you’ll want to consider this accordingly since many workers get injured from slips and falls.
What Weather are they good in?
If most of your work is indoors then this probably won’t matter as much to you. However, if you work outside a lot then you definitely want to take this into account as the weather conditions the boots are made in can have a huge effect.
I live in California so it’s normally pretty warm. I don’t need my boots to be great in snow and heavy rain. Instead, I look for boots that let my feet breathe and can air out.
However, if you’re living in areas with more extreme weather conditions you’ll want heavy duty boots that are slip resistant, water proof (or almost), and have good insulation to keep your feet warm. It’s especially important to take note of if you live in really cold areas.
Really good work boots can be the difference of your feet getting frostbite or not. Even if they don’t, having frozen and stiff feet can impair your ability to work and may lower the safety they provide.
If you live in an area with a lot of different weather conditions then getting a couple of boots – one for each extreme kind is a great option.
Do they Last?
As with any product you want to know how long each product lasts. I have an estimate for each work boot about how long they can be expected to last. The more you use them and the more extreme the weather is will have a negative impact on how long it lasts.
Personally, I think investing in really high quality boots are definitely worth it for a few reasons. First of all they are much more higher quality. It makes sense since you get what you pay for.
When it comes to personal safety you don’t want to skimp. You want to buy the best boots you can afford so that you get that extra protection and reliability since low quality boots tend to easily break down and get holes, rips, or tears.
The pricier boots also tend to last a lot longer. For example a boot that is twice as much as another one may end up lasting three times as long. This means in the long run you’d be saving money – in addition to having more protection.
All in all, you want quality boots that last a long time. It may be tempting to purchase a cheap boot but there is a reason they are cheap. They break easily and they aren’t good. Purchase a nice one and save money in the long run. You won’t regret it.
Buying the right work boot isn’t easy. It is a very important decision that could be the difference of having a broken foot or not. Great work boots are among the best investments anyone can make.
They not only impact your safety, but also your job performance. With so many things on the line make sure you keep in mind all of our factors. While not all of them may apply, most of them definitely will.
There is always a trade off between price and quality. It’s tempting to buy cheap work boots, but I have personally found it to be worth investing in top work boots that may cost a little more.
If you have any questions about this best work boot reviews then feel free to drop a comment!