tough-boots-for-tough-jobs

Any working man (or woman) will tell you that being on your feet all day can be a complete pain.

You’ve found the one place on the Web to get authentic and unbiased advice about how to match your work boots to your work environment. EVERY single boot review is written by me, Tom Harmon, and you can read my qualifications here.

 

Product

Toe

Lightweight

EH Rated

Waterproof

8. Timberland PRO Powertrain

Alloy

Yes

Yes

No

9. Timberland PRO 26078 Titan

Alloy

Yes

Yes

Yes

10. Timberland PRO Boondock

Composite

Yes

Yes

Yes

11. KEEN Utility Davenport

Composite

Yes

Yes

Yes

12. Carhart​​​​t CMF6366

Composite

Yes

Yes

Yes

13. Thorogood MAXwear

Soft

Yes

Yes

No

14. Red Wing Blacksmith

Soft

Yes

No

No

15. Irish Setter 83605

Soft

Yes

Yes

No

16. Wolverine W02421

Soft

Yes

Yes

No

17. Timberland PRO Pitboss

Soft

Yes

Yes

No

18. Thorogood MTWH

Soft

Yes

Yes

No

19. Danner Quarry USA BR

Soft

Yes

Yes

Yes

20. Ariat Workhog Wide

Soft

Yes

Yes

No

Steel Toe Work Boots

 

Alloy Toe Work Boots

Replacing steel with alloy is actually very beneficial and some people might find that steel is a little too heavy for the entire shoe and makes walking more effort. The alloy toe shoes will be decent, but expensive replacement. The alloy can still keep your toes protected, but will be a little more expensive to purchase. This is thanks to the added refinement of the steel.

Composite Toe Work Boots

Composite toe boots are slowly replacing steel and alloy boots and they are slowly becoming the new norm when selecting safety boots to keep your feet from getting crushed. Since no metal is used in these boots, they are ideal for passing through metal detectors and they are also more comfortable to work with outdoors. The composite toe boots are also much lighter and will reduce fatigue.

American Made Work Boots

Choosing a pair of work boots made in USA will always be a daunting task and with so many to brands, it is sometimes only by one or two small features that one does excel above the other. We have chosen our choice for American made work boot and this was measured on absolute quality and durability.

 

Work Boots for Standing on Concrete

Concrete is found in many places and it can be found in warehouses as well as on construction sites. Since concrete does not have any give to it, your feet might sometimes become painful and also take some damage when constantly standing or being on your feet. With a decent shock absorbing outer sole, you could work on concrete with less excruciating pain and more comfort.

8 Inch Work Boots

Longer work boots are slowly fading away, but many people still like to wear them. This is especially true if you work in swampy environments and you would like to keep the bugs and the sharp thorns from getting inside the boot. These boots are also a little more expensive, but they do offer unrivaled protection and we have selected the number 1 longer work boot for your quarry of swamp jobs.

Pull On Work Boots

Pull on work boots are great for those needing to quickly slip on the boots and get to work, but they might not be ideal for outdoor environments since they cannot be tightly secured like many of the other outdoor boots on the list. Pull on work boots also have a cowboy presence around them and while this following pair of boots might be good for work purposes; we also like them for the style they do show off.

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Work Boot? 

Work boots are essential as we have already mentioned and we believe you have established and while you might like some comfortable work boots on our list and we highly recommend them, there are also multiple other work boots that you will come across when searching for a pair of work boots. We have decided to create this buyer’s guide to help you make the right choice and get the most value for your money. Here are the top features that you should consider when buying a good pair of work boots of 2018:

Durability

Durability is key no matter the type of boot or even the type of work you do. As you have seen, the right work boots are actually a little expensive and it will not be easy to buy them on a constant basis. When searching for a comfortable pair of boots, you should pay special attention to the materials that have been used in construction as this will give you a good idea of the overall durability of the boot.

We highly recommend leather and some sort of rubber for the outer sole. This combination has proven to be really great and will definitely allow you to wear them for prolonged periods of time without showing any weakness.

Midsole comfort

​The midsole is the part of the boot that you will be walking on most of the time and this needs to be very comfortable if you do spend a lot of time on your feet. The midsole can be made from various materials and many of them can even be removed to be washed or replaced when needed. But, you should be looking at the midsole and ensure that it molds to the shape of your feet for added comfort.

We highly recommend that you consider the EVA midsole or the open-cell polyurethane midsole as both of these will mold to the shape of your feet. The polyurethane midsole also has shock absorbing properties to reduce the strain on your legs.

Abrasion resistance

The inner lining and the composition of the toe will generally work towards reducing the abrasions that you could potentially get from wearing these shoes. Since many of our jobs do require us to walk a lot, having a good lining on the inside will be ideal for allowing you to reduce possible abrasions. We do recommend the Gore-Tex lining as this will ensure that you are protected from water and keep you fairly well insulated on the inside.

Slip resistance

Oil and water spills are extremely hazardous and could potentially lead to serious injury if you are not careful about where you are treading. Having a slip resistant outer sole will keep you upright and avoid a lot of potential hazards that might occur. We do suggest that you pay attention to the features on the boot and find out if the boot you are choosing, does have some backing when it comes to resisting spills.

Protective toe

A protective toe is not a necessity, but many jobs do require this and we also highly recommend that you do invest in one of them. Having a protective toe will ensure that your front area of the feet is fully protective, but since steel toes are so heavy, you might want to consider looking at the composite toe work boot. The protective to will also keep the abrasions down in the front end of the boot and these boots are also generally safe for almost any working environment.

Style

Is the style of your boot important or will any boot design work. If the style is important and functionality is not as important to you, you should be looking at the design of the boot as well. Many low-cut boots will also work, but if you are in construction, the high or medium-cut boots will offer you the best protection. The color is also something to look at and ensure that it matches your works clothing.

Brand

Last but certainly not least, you should look at the brand and find out more about them. If you continue reading, you will find the next section is dedicated to our favorite work boot brands. We generally do recommend brands established and based in the US. These brands are also widely trusted and will ensure that your boot is of the highest quality and made from the best possible materials. The customer support is also very helpful.

We consider these features to be the most important features that you should look at when purchasing your next pair of work boots. While having all of them as well as a trusted brand might be a little expensive, you will find that the price will definitely be worth it in the long run. If you are set on value and quality, we recommend that you follow these features to ensure that you can judge the boots more strictly and get exactly what you need.

People generally gravitate towards a certain brand and if the brand has been working for them, they will continue to use this brand. Finding your brand might take some time and therefore, we have chosen our top brands that you can consider to choose from for your first work boot. These brands are all established and highly rated. They have also been trusted for a very long time.

​Timberland is the most well-known brand on the list and you also might have noticed that we have selected many of their products for our list. The brand has been established for a very long period of time and they always focus on using the best leather materials they could find. One of the main attractions of these boots is the polyurethane midsoles and the lack of a break in period.

These boots are also designed for multiple working purposes, but sometimes they do lack in terms of durability. Many other brands prefer to double or even triple stitch the boots and this does let them above the Timberland brand. Luckily, these boots are not all that expensive and you should be getting some great value for your money.

Caterpillar is one of the leading brands when it comes to designing quality boots that will last you years. Caterpillar boots are also really expensive, but you will be paying for this durability. We have not included caterpillar due to the high price tags, but they are great alternatives to the Timberland brand.

One of the only downsides that you will find in caterpillar boots is the long break in period. Many people do get frustrated by this as it can sometimes even last up to a few months before the boots are sitting comfortably. If you do have the funds to buy these boots and you have the patience to take the pain for a while, you will certainly not be disappointed.

KEEN is a cheaper alternative to the above-mentioned boots, but the brand still focuses on quality. The one major draw we have seen from the KEEN boots is the amount of style and uniqueness of their boots. The boots might not be as durable, but they will work with virtually any wardrobe to keep you comfortable and looking good in your works clothing.

If you are on a tight budget and want a decent working shoe that will be great for multifunctional use, the KEEN brand is really something that you should look into. The shoes might not last you much longer than 1 year or about 18 months if you do put a lot of strain on them, but they are good as a budget option.

Danner is a brand known for their outdoor boots and their boots are generally bigger than most of the other brands. Danner does like to cater for the lumberjacks and the swamp workers and these longer designs will ensure that not only are your feet protected, but also most of the lower part of your legs.

We like the fact that Danner work boots also use high-quality leather in all of the boots and features wider boot opening that will allow you to stick your pants inside. This will not only keep you warm and insulated but with so many bugs and sharp bushes in the swamp, there will be virtually no way for you to get injured.

Thorogood: We like to look at Thorogood as the sweetheart of the United States when it comes to working boots and with the addition of the American Heritage soles, you will have maximum durability and comfort. Thorogood does focus on giving you comfort and also reducing the amount of fatigue that your feet and legs will face when you need to be on your feet for most of the day.

In terms of pricing, Thorogood is great and they are not overly expensive. The customer support is also really great and since the boots have been made from mostly US materials, you can rest assured that your boots will be lasting you multiple years on end. Thorogood is our favorite brand and we do stand by their boots, but, they do lack a little when it comes to style and their boots are sometimes ugly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

With a better understanding of boots, you should now be able to easily select the right boot for all of your needs and you should not need to worry about anything that should keep you back. Now you will have all the fact when it comes to selecting the right boot. However, we have found a couple of questions that many people have and we have decided to put in the time to try to answer them:

What is the benefit of wearing steel toe boots?

While steel toe boots might not be for everyone, there are a couple of benefits associated with wearing them. These boots offer excellent protection and while may be heavy, you can be sure that your feet will always be protected from falling objects that might cause some significant damage. This is beneficial in the construction industry.

Composite toe vs. steel toe boots

Composite toe boots are ideal for most working situations. However, they are a little more expensive. The composite toe boots will offer the same amount of protection as the steel toe boots, but with slightly reduced weight, they also lead to less fatigue.

What is the difference between waterproof and water resistant?

The water-resistant boots are the ideal boots that you will be using if you are not really trekking through wet areas. The waterproof boots are mainly designed for extremely wet conditions and they will help when you work in the rain. Waterproof boots are much better in general, but also more expensive.

Where are work boots made?

Work boots are generally constructed in a factory and they will vary from brand to brand. Most of the top brands are made in the US and they feature materials that are exclusive to the United States and not imported. This ensures the quality of the boot is much better and easier to control.

Do boots come with a warranty?

Unfortunately, much like other clothing items, boots will not have a warranty that goes along with the boot. The boot might have some sort of protection from manufacturer defects, but we have not really seen a boot that comes with a full warranty.

Are the boots true to size?

Boots will not always run true to size and certain brands have boots that run a little larger. This might not be any real problem, but having a boot of the right size is certainly something that you need to focus on. Here is a break down of the sizes of boots and how to choose the right sizing:

  • B – extra narrow
  • C – narrow
  • D – regular
  • E – wide
  • EE – extra wide
  • EEE – triple wide

How to break in work boots?

If the boots are a little stiff at the start, you will need to break them in and this could be a painful process and it will put a lot of stress on your feet. When it comes to breaking in your work boots, the simplest solution is to wear them. There are a couple of other methods that can be used but could also damage the boot.

How to make the boots more comfortable?

Making the boots more comfortable is something we all love to do, but they will be comfortable after the break-in period and this means that you will need to wear them. If the inner sole tends to be a problem, you may remove this and replace it with an inner sole that you feel more comfortable with. EVA is generally recommended.

How to clean leather boots?

Cleaning your leather boots is important and it keeps the durability going. If the boots are cared for, you will find it to last longer. One of the best ways to clean your leather boots will be the use of a leather cleaning product and something that will oil and protect the leather. This should be done often to ensure the boots are in peak condition.

How long will leather boots last?

This will also depend on the quality of the leather and the type of leather. Some leather will last longer, but the amount of punishment you put the shoes through will also play a major part in the longevity of the boots.

Three Tips and Tricks to get the best out of your work boots

During all the years of reviewing and using work boots, we have come across a few tips and tricks that you should try and do to get the best out of your work boots. These tips and tricks will also help to preserve the boots and you could potentially get more longevity out of them.

If no antimicrobial treatment is added, do it yourself – You might not know, but bacteria thrive in sweaty and moist conditions. One of the best features many boots have is the addition of antimicrobial properties to help destroy bacteria. If you do buy a boot and the boot does not have this already added, you should try and do this yourself. This will not only keep the boot odorless, but it will also stop any potential foot fungus and other foot problems from arising.

Keep the boots clean – Like most things in life, keeping stuff clean is really important and this is not only for the inner part of the boot but for the outer part of the boot as well. If you do have the means of polishing the boot, you should do that. The polish will strengthen the leather and aside from making the boot look as good as new, you will also be making the boot much more durable. Many people lose trust in their work boots, but how can you expect something to take care of you if you cannot return the favor.

Buy a new insole to save money on expensive built-in ones – The insole generally comes with the boot, but sometimes this can be removed. If you do find one that can be removed and the insole is not of the highest quality, do not be discouraged. You will be able to buy new insoles from most pharmacies and these will be much better-suited for your feet. This trick could potentially save you a few bucks and you will be able to buy a better pair of work boots.

Conclusion

Buying new work shoes or boots are tough and these boots will certainly help you to get the job done. In terms of recommendations, we would like to recommend the entire Timberland PRO brand and especially the specific range. The brand is not all that expensive and you should get your money’s worth.

We would like to thank you for reading this article and we do hope that you have found the most comfortable work boots to meet your needs. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below and let us know if we might have missed any of your favorites

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