Selecting the best work boots is one of the most important health aspect for many jobs. Human toes and feet are vulnerable to environmental hazards and needs thorough protection for a healthy life. Remember, the best work boot you choose today will help you to have a peaceful sleep overnight or in the long term have a healthy retirement life. Typically work boots can also give protection from wet conditions, electricity, slippery surfaces, sharp metal parts, nails etc. depending upon the work conditions of your industry.
While selecting the best work boots for men, the first matter which everyone consider is the comfort to wear it. A poorly fitted work boot will give you horrible experience through out the day. It can even affect your mind and physical work efficiency. Proper work boots will give your feet and toe the kind of support they need for healthy being.
Now that you understood the importance of best work boots, choosing the right one is rather complicated. Many questions will be flashing in your mind: what brand should I select? Is the costly work boots are always the better ones? How to select the proper size? etc etc…. Don’t worry, here I will give a list of best work boots for men suited for each and every work condition. I will also provide in depth reviews of various kinds of work boots and recommendations of the best models to buy.
The best work boots to buy now
I will give a quick review of the best work boots currently available in the market.
Timberland PRO Men’s 26078 Titan 6″ Waterproof Safety-Toe Work Boot
This beast from Timberland has been here for years and it is the undisputed champion of men’s work boots. It is the master piece of Timberland which has been a best seller item for the last many years.
The Timberland PRO Titan series boots gives lightweight, durable protection for different types of uses.This work boot have The PowerFit comfort system which uses a combination of ergonomically designed elements at key zones to supply movement and provide critical support—delivering maximum comfort all day long.
It has a Mesh antimicrobial lining for odor control and comfortable feet. The outsole is slip, oil and abrasion resistant.
The Timberland PRO Titan has Virtually no break in period, no sore feet. It will keep your feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
If during the first thirty (30) days of owning your Timberland PRO TiTAN series footwear you are not completely satisfied, return them with your dated receipt of purchase for a full refund—no questions asked.
Keen Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe
Look at the photo of Keen Pittsburgh work boot. I am pretty sure that you don’t actually feel it like boots at all, but like simple hiking shoes. Despite this confusing appearance, Keen Pittsburgh work boot is one of the best work boot for men in all features.
This boot has an asymmetrical safety toe. It’s soles are oil resistant, prevents slips and abrasion. Also they are waterproof and have electrical protection feature.
Another good feature of this work boot is that it is made of Leather and textile. Having a textile composition makes it more breathable and increased air flow, thus reducing the fatigue on wearing a work boot the whole day.
As I told in the beginning, its hiking shoe appearance makes it wearable for other occasions also. If you need a multipurpose boot, this could be the perfect buy.
Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift ST Work Boot
This is a Steel-toe work boot in rugged leather featuring plush collar and tongue with logos. The out sole is oil resistant.
Cat Second Shift ST Work Boot offers extreme cushioning with a reasonable break in period. You can feel the extreme comfort once the break in period is over.
Looking at this, you can say that it is a most fashionable and trendy work boot. It serves multi purpose usage, other than your work. They come in a wide range of different attractive colors.
A con is that this work boot is not water proof.
Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic Steel Toe Waterproof Boot
These are very good better pair of cat boots, if you need water resistance. They are slightly different in design from the Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift ST Work Boot.
Even though it is a water proof work boot, these Cat boots are also highly breathable. Be in rain or hot sunlight, your feet will never get a fatigue.
Steel Toe Waterproof Boot needs literally no break in period. They will be comfortable from day one.
I have noticed that these boots are surprisingly heavy. Keep in mind that if you need a lightweight work boot, this is not for you.
Wolverine Men’s Raider 6″ Contour Welt Boot
This beast come from the trusted brand of Wolverine, who have been making work boots for over a century. Wolverine Men’s Raider 6″ Contour Welt Boots are made with genuine full-grain leather uppers. The Wolverine exclusive MultiShox full-cushion foot bed offers extra cushion in the heel and foot thus absorbing pressure and shock.
MultiShox rubber lug out sole is resistant to oil, water, abrasion, chemicals, heat and even slips. The excellent Wave mesh lining helps your feet breathe properly, even though this is a water proof work boot.
From my experience I feel it cleverly combines the comfort of an athletic shoe with the ruggedness and durability of a work boot. This combination helps in having absolutely negligible break in period. The steel toes are not available with the model shown in the picture. They are to be purchased separately if needed.
Red Wing Heritage Men’s Classic Work 6-Inch Moc Toe Boot
Do you know that Red Wing established their boots manufacturing business through the times of World War 1 and World War 2? Yes. They are having a solid history and trust among customers for producing some of the top quality work boots for men.
This Red Wing Heritage Men’s Classic Work Boot is no different. It is totally made up of leather have white Traction Tred rubber outsole, triple stitched quality and Goodyear welt construction.
The break in period is slightly longer compared to other best work boots for men detailed here. It may take a few days to get used to it, but once you are in, I am pretty sure that you will love wearing it even for casual occasions.
Another factor which impressed me in this lightweight boot is the triple stitched seams and welted out soles which you can not get usually in this price range.
Remember that they are not Waterproof, but it is water-resistant a little bit.
Glossary of Important Features -Work Boot Buying Guide
Here are the top features to consider before buying a work boot. I have given a brief explanation of common terms used in the industry. If you keep in mind these factors well, you won’t find it difficult to choose the best work boots for you.
Safety toes are meant for protecting your toes. While working in hard industrial conditions, your toes are the most vulnerable to injuries. Typically toe protection is given by Safety toes made of Aluminium, Steel or Composite.
Steel toes: The heaviest of the three types of safety toes. They offer excellent protection from pressure and collision with other hard substances. They are heat conductive and hence many not be suitable for cold working conditions.
Aluminium Toes: They are Lighter compared to steel toes, but as strong as steel. Typically Aluminium toes are bulkier and they are also heat conductive.
Composite toes:They are usually made of Kevlar, plastic, or special kind of carbon fiber. They are light weight and non conductive of heat.
Apart from the basic technicalities, here are a few things you should keep in mind before heading to buy Work boots for men:
Do your homework
Almost all industries keep you informed about the possible hazards you may face while working with them. Go through the safety guidelines to understand the requirements of your work and look for boots accordingly.
One should also be aware of their personal needs, whether you need anti-microbial insoles, additional padding or any other feature specifically. If you step out into the market without knowing what you want, you will be flabbergasted by the range of choice at your disposal.
The right time to try boots
Always try to shop for boots during the day or early evening because feet generally tend to swell during the day. If you go to buy work boots first thing in the morning, you will most likely end up with a size smaller than the one you need. On the other hand, if you try them after a day’s work, you will be able to buy the right size, which will remain comfortable even on the longest days.
Depending on your work environment, you need to invest in steel, aluminum or composite work boots. While steel and aluminum are strong, they have a major drawback. Metal conducts heat or cold and you will feel the effect of strong temperatures directly on your toes. If you work in extremes, it is advisable to go for boots with composite safety toes.
If you work outdoors, in a region that often sees rain or snow, it is extremely important to have water-resistant work boots. Having water in the boots you will be wearing for long hours is not just uncomfortable but also unhygienic, causing serious bacterial infections.
If your work environment involves electrical hazards, avoid opting for metal safety toes as they conduct electricity. Instead go for boots with composite safety toes which counter threats of electrical conduction and also reduce static shock significantly because of the plastic composition. You can also go for boots made of naturally electricity resistant materials such as rubber.
Logger Boots are work boots that are specially designed for people working in highly risky environment. These are the most powerful boots that combine some of the best features like anti-slipping, anti-twisting, high heels (to protect feet against nails and glass), thick soles (to ensure grip), etc. in one!
If your workplace exposes you to chemical hazards, you need to be extra careful. Outsoles made of TPU (Thermo Poly Urethane) are highly recommended in these cases because of their abrasion, oil and chemical resistance properties.
If your work involves balancing yourself on difficult terrain, you need to be extra careful while selecting shoes to avoid slipping and falling. Go for boots that have additional padding to reduce precipitation and decrease your chances of a slippage. Make sure the outsoles have notches that add to the grip and offer the best possible traction.
Most often people fail to realize how important it is to invest in a good pair of work boots. They not just provide safety but also help you move around easily, performing challenging tasks on the go.
The kind of work boots you will need depends on your occupation and the hazards it poses. These days most employers provide guidelines to ensure that you buy the right kind of work boots. Some of the things you should keep in mind are:
Safety Toes are a basic requirement for most of the jobs in order to keep your toes protected. There are mainly three kinds of safety toes: Steel, Aluminum and Composite.
Steel Toes have been the erstwhile option to protect toes. They are stronger though heavier than the composite ones and can stand greater forces. Today, most manufacturers use asymmetrical steel toes to increase fit and comfort while reducing the bulk.
They are comparatively lightweight, though quite thicker than the steel ones and therefore do not make any compromise on the safety standard set by the steel toes.
These are generally made of carbon fiber, plastic or Kevlar and are the thickest and bulkiest of all. However, they are quite lightweight and are a great option for those whose worksite is metal-free. Kevlar fibers offer wonderful protection against fire as it doesn’t melt when heat is applied.
Metatarsal Guards is an additional protective feature that protects the delicate metatarsal bones of your toe and the upper foot. It stands against the impact of heavy falling objects and at the same time offers protection against falling embers or hazardous substances. These metatarsal guards can be added to any regular footwear as well.
Most manufacturers aim at making soles that are long lasting, strong as well as slip resistant. Three basic varieties available are: Rubber, TPU and EVA.
Rubber outsoles are the most common and popular ones, given their slip resistant quality. They work efficiently in difficult terrains as well. Most manufacturers have started using their own propriety rubbers to offer the best services to their customers.
TPU: Thermo Poly Urethane outsoles are lightweight, chemical resistant and durable as compared to their rubber counterparts.
EVA, ethylene vinyl acetate, is a soft and flexible foam-like material used to make midsoles. It cushions the foot and adds to the stability and comfort.
How a boot is constructed directly impacts its performance. Manufacturer constantly innovate new methods to construct the perfect work boots. Two of the most popular construction methods are:
Cement Attachment: this means that the outsole is directly attached to the boot using an adhesive. Though they are inexpensive, they fall apart and easily and sadly, once broken they cannot be mended/replaced by a cobbler.
GoodYear Welt Attachment: this classic construction is still the most reliable. It involves stitching together the inner and upper sole through a welt (leather strip). Not only is it durable, but can be easily repaired/ replaced on wear and tear.
Some manufacturers like KEEN Utility have been able to combine these two methods, taking things to the next level. It uses the GoodYear welt with a cemented toe cap, making the boot more flexible and long lasting.
For those working at construction sites, a puncture plate is a must so that you don’t end up stepping on nails or glass. Puncture plates are a general safety feature that would be welcome in any work boot. It is usually located between the insole and midsole, providing support.
Insulated Work Boots are a must if you are working in harsh weather conditions, particularly cold weather. They keep your feet warm, allowing you to fully focus on the work at hand. Insulation against severe cold is necessary irrespective of the fact that you are working outdoors or not. However, since the feature comes with a considerable price, invest in it only if you are in need. This will not only save your money but will also make working conditions bearable during warmer months.
Fit and Comfort
Buying shoes that fit right are absolutely important. You will be spending 8-10 hours in your work boots and if they are not comfortable, you will end up with a range if problems like blisters, corns, etc. Make sure that the footwear is comfortable even when you are trying it for the first time. Do not expect it to stretch over time. While leather boots may get comfortable with time, the steel toe safety cap would never!
The lighter the boot, the more convenient it will be for you to walk around wearing them. Unless and until your work really requires some heavy duty boots to protect against dangerous hazards, always try to look for boots that are not too bulky.