BEST WORK BOOTS 2017 | BUYER’S GUIDE

Work boots are made with heavy duty materials such as leather or steel to keep the toes and feet safe in the hazardous working areas. Boots for work are used by industrial workers since they are the ones who work in the factories and under the influence of heavy machines and harsh atmospheres. There are many types of work or safety boots available for both men and women, which are chosen specifically based on the hazard level of the working area.

Many shoes provide many types of benefits for the working areas. Some boots can offer traction and arch support as well, along with safety. A hazard assessment with determining the risk of the work place is necessary to find out the necessary type of best work boots. Some working places will need to have steel toe boots while other might not. Selecting the right kind of safety boots is the important factor here.

Top Ten Best Work Boots Comparison Chart

Boots Image

Boots Name

Brand

Product Dimensions

Shipping Weight

Price

Caterpillar Men's 2nd Shift 6 Plain Soft-Toe Work Boot

Caterpillar Men's 2nd Shift 6 Plain Soft-Toe Work Boot

Caterpillar

12x8x4 inches

2 pounds

Timberland PRO Men's Direct Attach Six-Inch Soft-Toe Boot

Timberland PRO Men's Direct Attach Six-Inch Soft-Toe Boot

Timberland

12x12x 4 inches

3 pounds

Ariat Men's Rambler Wide Square Toe Western Cowboy Boot

Ariat Men's Rambler Wide Square Toe Western Cowboy Boot

Ariat

12x8x4 inches

3 Pounds

Timberland Men's 6 Premium Waterproof Boot

Timberland Men's 6 Premium Waterproof Boot

Timberland

11x4x7 inches

3 Pounds

Caterpillar Men's 2nd Shift 6 Steel Toe Boot

Caterpillar Men's 2nd Shift 6 Steel Toe Boot

Caterpillar

12x8x4 inches

2 Pounds

Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6 Soft-Toe Boot

Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6 Soft-Toe Boot

Timberland

13x10.5x5 inches

2 Pounds

Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot

Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot

Caterpillar

1x1x1 inches

2 Pounds

Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-Inch Boot

Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-Inch Boot

Red Wing

12x8x4 inches

5 Pounds

Caterpillar Men's Diagnostic Waterproof Steel-Toe Work Boot

Caterpillar Men's Diagnostic Waterproof Steel-Toe Work Boot

Caterpillar

12x8x4 inches

5 Pounds

Caterpillar Men's Second Shift 6 Plain Soft Toe Work Boot

Caterpillar Men's Second Shift 6 Plain Soft Toe Work Boot

Caterpillar

Depend On Size

5 Pounds

Benefits of Best Work Boots

Shoes might not seem like the most important thing to put emphasis on when it comes to safety, compared to eyewear and gloves, but the importance of the best work boots can’t be neglected either. There are multiple benefits that the best work boots have to offer and here are some for you.

Protection from Falling and Flying Objects

When workers work in a heavily hazardous working area with dynamic atmosphere where many people and heavy duty machines are working at the same time, falling and flying objects are one of the most common hazards. Protective shoes as in the best work boots such as the steel toe boots can prevent those crushing injuries to the feet and save the worker’s life.

Protection from Cutting Hazards

Machineries that operate with moving parts or which have cutting edges are extremely dangerous to work with. Even though gloves are a must for these types of machineries, you can’t neglect the best work boots in such a scenario either. For example, workers in the logging industry can face danger from the chainsaws. If a chainsaw comes into contact with someone’s feet or toe, the aftermath will be terrible. Steel toe work boots are required by the OSHA standards for such environments, which will protect workers working in the logging industry with chainsaws. Such best work boots are also water repellant and they support the ankles. Waterproof work boots can help prevent from getting discomfort and cold.

Protection from Punctures

Workers might step on sharp objects or be stabbed on the feet or toe from sharp objects coming from above. Best work boots which have heavy duty soles and are made with thick materials surrounding the work boots offer the best kind of protection in such situations. And in construction work sites, it is common to have sharp objects lying in one’s path which might puncture and stab a worker’s feet from underneath, leading to even more terrible results as those sharp objects might be rusted and what not. A soft soled regular shoe will not be able to provide enough protection in such cases and thus best work boots become a necessity in these scenarios.

Protection from Electrical Hazards

Electricity poses a variety of hazardous scenarios in the working place. Workers can face potential electric shocks at any given time, which can lead to terrible accidents. And if workers accumulate static electricity it might lead to electric sparks in certain environments. To reduce such risk from electrical hazards, it is important to wear work boots made with non conductive material such as rubber, leather etc. In the locations of the working place where the buildup of static on the body poses a hazard, conductive or anti static types of best work boots can be used. These types of shoes decrease the amount of static that accumulates in the worker’s body, which in turn prevent the static electric sparks.

Prevention from Falls, Slips and Trips

Things such as trips, slips and falls can happen at any type of workplace and they generally cause a huge number of work place accidents every year. Businesses should take important steps to installing anti slip floor tape and implement on housekeeping measures to reduce the risk of such accidents from occurring. However, wearing the best work boots can also help in such situations. Shows that have appropriate traction will help in preventing the falls in the slippery environments. These shoes can also prevent falls from ladders, which is very common to occur when workers don’t wear shoes with proper treads. The most comfortable work boots can also improve the wearer’s balance, which will help in preventing the slips, trips and falls as well.

Prevention from Fatigue

For workers who need to stand for longer hours or even for all day long and on hard work surfaces on top of that, fatigue can be real problem for them. Muscles in the feet as well as in the other body parts such as the legs, back and other parts of the body grow tired eventually, and this situation will become worsened for workers who don’t wear proper footwear. Shoes which come with adequate cushion and arch support can make the workers feel more comfortable, which decreases the strain on the muscles. This means workers wearing such best work boots will grow fatigued less quickly compared to those who don’t. Workers who are less fatigued at work are more alert so they will be doing their jobs more efficiently and safely. Wearing such shoes will not only decrease the chance of fatigue but also help protect against musculoskeletal disorders such as lower chronic back pain.

Prevention from Burns

Burns from fire can happen anytime and anywhere in any sort of work place but we are talking about burns from chemicals or even for cement that can occur in the industrial work places. Best work boots which are made with heavy duty materials can prevent the burns from molten metal splashes, chemical splashes and other dangerous substances that can potentially injure the skin of the worker’s feet.

Protection from Harsh Conditions

Harsh conditions such as a change in the weather can lead to work place injuries as well. For example, cold weather can lead to injuries such as hypothermia and frost bites and those types of dangers should be overlooked even in the work place. Workers that work in the outside area during the colder months are at risk from such hazards. Workers that work in wet or refrigerated environments are exposed to the same types of threats as well.

The cold can lead to some lesser known work place injuries as well. For example, Raynaud’s syndrome is a type of disease which can turn the fingers white due to poor blood flow in them. This condition is related to vibration created from the power tool used. This can become way worse when the workers are exposed to extremely cold temperatures. In some cases, this particular disorder can even impact on the feet as well, so keeping the feet warm is important too, and that is where the best work boots come. Moreover, keeping the feet warm keeps the overall body temperature up as well, which is another important aspect for working longer hours in the cold weather.

Note that not all work boots are insulted or water proof to provide needed protection against the rain, cold and snow so make sure to select the appropriate shoes which are made from appropriate materials. Men’s waterproof work boots are also available so be aware of the features before buying.

Now let us take a quick look at the types of different parts that go around making the best work boots to see how individual parts can provide vital protection to people using them.

How to Choose the Best Work Boots

Now that you know what to look for in your work boots and what exactly are the individual benefits and how they fit with your working environments, it is time to choose a pair that will give you the best comfort with most safety. Men’s work boots come in various features so you should get a good grip of it.

Do Your Research

As I have mentioned earlier, it is necessary that you know about the work hazards and then buy the best work boots to save yourself from those hazards. Buying a pair that is not suitable for the work place you are working in will be nothing but a waste of time in the future. Moreover, it can prove to be extremely dangerous as well so be very wary of such things.

Perfect Fit Matters

At the end of the long and tiring work day your feet should not be feeling tired and gloomy because they have been rubbed raw from being squeezed tight in a pair of shoes unfit for you or are sore with blisters and abrasions. Moreover, a wrong fit may cause discomfort in the toe box from the safety toe cap. A leather boot will eventually conform to the shape of your foot as leather will stretch with wear. However keep in mind that steel toes will never stretch so never purchase steel toe boots with the idea that they will eventually break in and fit your feet. Finding the right size boot is very important for having comfort throughout the day. Today’s manufacturers offer regular and wide widths. While you are trying on a boot for the first time and it feels too snug on your feet, you should try on the one with a wider width. Don’t get a pair of cheap work boots if they don’t fit you as in the long run, you will suffer as well as end up paying more.

But what if your feet come in a half size? Of course, you should go half size up so if you are a 9 and a half, get work boots that are size 10. It is always the rule of thumb to get the half size over your actual size. This will save you from getting blisters on your toes.

Time of Shopping

This might seem a bit weird but it is true that you should shop for your best work boots either in the early evening or in the afternoon. Our feet tend to get swelled up throughout the day, especially those who stay on their feet all day long. If you try on work boots when your feet are at their largest, your work boots will feel more comfortable even on the longest days while you are standing for the whole day.

Come Prepared

Meaning, you should bring the pair of socks that you usually wear to work so that your best work boots will fit you perfectly when you take them to work place where they will actually get to work. It will help you understand how your pair of boots is going to fit you in the actual setting.

Comfort over Everything

This should be always the first thing in your mind. Yes, safety and protection is paramount but the comfort is the king. Since you are going to be working for the longest hours wearing the best work boots, the importance is paramount that they are comfortable for you. Brands these days have incorporated multiple features to make the work boots even more comfortable. Features such as anti microbial insoles, additional padding, lighter material, asymmetrical steel toes etc. make a pair of boots more comfortable. These features will make sure that you don’t cry out in pain while taking off your best work boots at the end of the long and tiring day.

After Care

Your job is not done once you have paid for the pair of work boots. When you take after care of your work boots, they last longer and provide you more benefit for the longest time. You need to know what type of care is needed for what type of material. For example, leather can be treated with either mink oil and leather treatments to keep the material of your work boots resistant to water and to also make them supple. You need to store the best work boots in a clean and dry place so that the odor is kept at a minimum and the leather is well preserved. Also, do talk to your peers about these work boots during your lunch time as they might know a tip or two for you to make your best work boots last comfortably for years to come.

Now let’s take a quick look at some of the available best work boots in the market to get a better idea of the assortments.

1. Caterpillar Men's 2nd Shift 6" Plain Soft-Toe Work Boot Review

This leather made imported caterpillar work boots is available in three attractive colors. These shoes come with a synthetic sole. The shaft measures to approximately 6.5 inches from the arch. The heel measures about 1.5 inches. The platform of the work boots measures approximately 0.75 inches. This is a lace up soft toe work boot which come with hex shaped grommets, plush logoed collars and speed lacing shafts.  Caterpillar work boots are a trusted name in the industry of work boots so there is no compromise when it comes to quality. The plush logoed padded collars offer added support and comfort to the feet while you work for longer hours. The Goodyear welt is single stitched.

This 2nd shift work boot is styled in the classical style and it is made to last. This pair of long lasting and hardworking work boots is also loaded with a full grain upper that has single stitched Goodyear welt construction and a slip resistant rubber outsole for providing strong footing at all times.

Pros

  • Slip resistant rubber outsole.
  • The leather breaks in the shape of the feet and makes the perfect fit.

Cons

  • Heavy to be worn for longer hours.

2. Timberland PRO Men's Direct Attach Six-Inch Soft-Toe Boot Review

Timberland PRO Men's Direct Attach Six-Inch Soft-Toe Boot

The Timberland PRO Direct Attach series is the pioneer when it comes to making all purpose work boots. The Timberland work boots are rugged and long lasting with rubber outsoles which will offer durable traction. The uppers are made with waterproof leather that was seam sealed to keep the wearer’s feet comfortable and dry. These shoes were especially made with the PRO 24/7 comfort system so they will support in the arch and in turn reduce the foot fatigue, meeting the demands of the most rigorous work places.

The toes are soft toes so that keep that in mind if you happen to work in a place with falling or flying objects. The padded top collar will give you comfort even in hot weather. There is Nylon shock-diffusion plate for support and rigidity in the torsos. The rubber soles will provide protection against electrical shocks.

Pros

  • Six inches high work boots cover ankles and provide support to them.
  • Waterproof uppers keep the feet dry and comfortable.
  • Can be worn for longer hours without inducing fatigue.

Cons

  • The inside breaks down within 2 or 3 months of usage.

3. Ariat Men's Rambler Wide Square Toe Western Cowboy Review

Ariat Men's Rambler Wide Square Toe Western Cowboy Boot

This imported Ariat men’s work boots are available in three attractive colors. They are made with leather. These shoes come with a duratread sole which can give the maximum wear resistance. The shaft measures to approximately 11 inches from the arch, which means it gives a lot of support to the ankle and it is possible to wear it for all day long and to stay away from fatigue. The heel measures about 1.62 inches. The platform of the work boots measures approximately 0.5 inches. The Ariat work boots’ boot opening measures approximately up to 15 inches all around.

The foot bed is suitable for wicking the moisture away. The gel cushioned foot bed is great for shock absorption. The shoes are lightweight. These shoes are great for everyday prolonged wear and are styled to make a statement. This square toes boot is crafted from premium and full grain leather with a worn out look in mind. The shoe has been unlined to provide flexibility to the feet that is needed in the work place. The shoes are aligned with ATS technology for excellent support and stability.

Pros

  • Great support for ankle.
  • Flexible because of the unlined soles.
  • Lightweight shoes.

Cons

  • The sizing is wrong and fits too tight when bought online.

4. Timberland Men's 6" Premium Waterproof Boot Review

Timberland Men's 6 Premium Waterproof Boot

This leather made imported Timberland work boots come with rubber soles and removable insoles. These shoes’ rubber soles are waterproof and non conductive against electricity. The shaft measures to approximately 7.25 inches from the arch. The heel measures about 1.25 inches. The platform of the work boots measures approximately 0.75 inches. The work boots have padded collars which are good at keeping the feet dry and comfortable even in the hottest weather. The lace up vamps can be worn according to the wearer’s wishes and can be tightened or loosened accordingly.

There is a logo detail on the side heel of the boots that makes the shoe look more trendy and stylish. The removable insulation weighs 40 grams and the Primaloft kind that gives superior comfort and warmth to the wearer. Since these shoes are waterproof they can be worn in both rain and shine.

Pros

  • 7.25 inches arch gives superior support to the ankles to stop them from getting strain.
  • Logo detail on the side gives the rugged look even more versatility.

Cons

  • The sizing at the online stores is completely off.

5. Caterpillar Men's 2nd Shift 6" Steel Toe Boot Review

Caterpillar Men's 2nd Shift 6 Steel Toe Boot

This leather made imported caterpillar work boots is available in the colors black and tan. These shoes come with a synthetic sole. The shaft measures to approximately 6 inches from the arch so there is ample support in the ankles. The heel measures about 1.25 inches. The platform of the work boots measures approximately 0.75 inches. The ankle cut work boots are made with steel toes so these can be used in the hazardous areas where there are flying and falling objects. The ankles are padded to give extra support. The outsole is oil resistant so the grip on the shoes is really great.

This 2nd shift work boot is styled in the classical style and it is made to last. This pair of long lasting and hardworking work boots is also loaded with a full grain upper that has single stitched Goodyear welt construction and a slip resistant rubber outsole for providing strong footing at all times.

Pros

  • Ample amount of ankle support.
  • Outsole with superior grip since it is oil resistant.
  • Steel toes give added safety.

Cons

  • The material beneath the steel toe pokes and rubs on the feet.

6. Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6" Soft-Toe Boot Review

Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6 Soft-Toe Boot

The Timberland work boots are rugged and long lasting with rubber outsoles which will offer durable traction. The uppers are made with waterproof leather that was seam sealed to keep the wearer’s feet comfortable and dry. There are removable contoured sock liners on the upper part to make the wearer feel comfortable and dry even in the hottest atmosphere. The shaft measures approximately 6 inches from the arch, giving ankle support to the feet. These shoes were especially made with the PRO 24/7 comfort system so they will support in the arch and in turn reduce the foot fatigue, meeting the demands of the most rigorous work places.

The toes are soft toes so that keep that in mind if you happen to work in a place with falling or flying objects. These shoes are available in four attractive colors and designs. The toe area is soft and roomy. The insole is cushioned and comfortable enough to be worn for longer hours.

Pros

  • Long lasting and durable.
  • Removable sock liners to keep the feet dry.

Cons

  • The toe area gets thin really fast.

7. Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot Review

Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot

This leather made imported Caterpillar men’s work boots is available in attractive dark brown and honey colors. These have rubber soles and an oil resistant traction outsole. Since the outsole is oil resistant, it means these shoes have great resistance to slipping, tripping and falling. These shoes have a rugged full grain upper in the original Caterpillar fashion. The tread and leather are both superior and comfortable to wear for long hours at work, without having to come home with feet full of painful blisters.

This is a lace up soft toe work boot which come with hex shaped grommets, plush logoed collars and speed lacing shafts. The plush logoed padded collars offer added support and comfort to the feet while you work for longer hours. The Goodyear welt is single stitched and is going to be long lasting for years to come. There are steel toes in these shoes, so they are ready to be worn in heavy duty and hazardous working places.

Pros

  • Oil resistant outsoles to save the wearer from slipping, tripping and falling.
  • Long lasting and superior made leather quality.
  • Heavy duty work boots for highly hazardous places.

Cons

  • The shoes feel very tight on the feet at the beginning.

8. Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-Inch Boot Review

Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-Inch Boot

This imported Red Wing Heritage work boots are available in a variety of attractive colors and designs so you have a round of options to choose from. They are made with leather and they have a synthetic sole. The shaft measures to approximately 6 inches from the arch, which means it gives ample support to the ankle and it is possible to wear it for all day long without getting fatigued. The heel measures about 1.00 inches. The platform of the work boots measures approximately 0.5 inches.

The shoes are comparatively lightweight so they are great for wearing for prolonged usage. These work boots are in the mid height range that feature a stitched cap toe with a lace up closure system that features speed lace eyelets at shaft, so there is flexibility in making the shoes fit according to your feet size to some extent. The outsole of the shoes is both non marking as well as oil resistant, to keep them shiny and long lasting while giving the wearer enough grip in hazardous areas with rough surfaces.

Pros

  • Provides ankle support to lower the strain.
  • Lightweight.
  • Speed lace up feature.

Cons

  • Even though made with leather, the shoes don’t conform to the wearer’s feet.

9. Caterpillar Men's Diagnostic Waterproof Steel-Toe Work Boot Review

These imported shoes are made with leather and they have rubber soles. As rubber is non conductive material, these shoes are safe to be worn in heavy duty construction areas where electrical works are done. The shoes are waterproof so they can be worn in both rain and sun. These high quality work boots are insulated. They feature an antiqued lacing hardware. The colors are contrasting at the toe and color of the shoes, giving them a unique look. The Thinsulate insulation weighs 200 grams.

There are steel toes in these work boots so obviously they can be worn in heavily risky work sites. There is gel technology incorporated in these work boots as there are removable EVA foam inserts inside these shoes. The 10 inches edge work is pull on and that makes these shoes simultaneously rough and stylish looking. The shoes are 6 inches in height, meaning they will give the wearer ample comfort in the ankle area.

Pros

  • Made with waterproof leather.
  • Insulated inserts.
  • Heavy duty steel toes.
  • Removable EVA foam inserts.

Cons

  • These work boots don’t last long for heavy users.

10. Caterpillar Men's Second Shift 6" Plain Soft Toe Work Boot Review

Caterpillar Men's Second Shift 6 Plain Soft Toe Work Boot

These pair of Caterpillar men’s shoes is made with leather and they are imported. They are available in a tan color that looks attractive and stylish enough to be worn every day. These shoes have soft toes so they can’t be worn in hazardous working places, so keep that in mind. The height is 6 inches, meaning the shoes will provide ample support to the wearer by putting less strain on the ankle.

These shoes have rubber soles with oil resistant traction outsoles. The tread and leather are both superior and comfortable to wear for long hours at work. This is a lace up soft toe work boots come with Climasphere sock liner and padded collars. The plush padded collars offer added support and comfort to the feet, even when you stand for the entire day. These shoes feature single stitched Goodyear welt so they are obviously going to last for a long time with prolonged usage. These shoes have round toes with enough room for your toes to not feel cramped.

Pros

  • Slippage free outsoles.
  • Padded collars for comfortable and dry feel.

Cons

  • The shoes sizing is wrong in the online stores.
  • The stitches come apart after heavy usage.

Who Makes The Best Work Boots? (Video)

Final Words

In general, best work boots are the ones that fit you comfortably and keep you safe in your hazardous environment. It is important to know what kind of hazards your working place carry so that you can be prepared. Since work boots have many benefits, it is essential that you invest in a pair of them. The best work boots will be comfortable and best for you since not one size can fit all. Since there are many available options coming from different brands, you should do your research carefully. I hope this article will be helpful for you to make that decision.

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