How do you recommend the best pair of work boots for men and women in the trades?
Everyone has their own unique set of features and priorities and each person’s feet are different. Add in literally thousands (or even millions) of choices from plenty of different quality brands with different designs and styles, and that’s overwhelming.
We’ve been trying to narrow down our list of best boots for months now and we’re leaving out so many great options to keep this from becoming an encyclopedia-length review! We’ve narrowed down our list of the best work boots in several categories, but we couldn’t include every single one.
So please write a good answer for us and our fellow readers. If you see a brand, collection, or product you love that we didn’t include on our list, let us know in the comments below!
Comparison Table Editor’s Pick 2023
5 Best work boots for men 2023
1. WOLVERINE Men’s | Best waterproof workboots
- Premium waterproof full-grain leather upper looks and feels premium
- Breathable waterproof membrane with moisture wicking mesh lining. Removable Durashocks dual-density PU footbed supports every step
- Advanced comfort and protection from PU midsole. Wolverine DuraShocks high-abrasion TPU pads on wedge outsole are 3x stronger than alternates
- Time-tested Goodyear Welt construction. Nylon shank adds extra strength
- Astm F2413-18 M I/75 C/75 EH rated composite toe
There is only one waterproof boot in the running for this contest, and it puts all other competitors to shame. From its premium waterproof full-grain leather to the waterproof membrane and moisture-wicking liner, there is no doubt that this product is a marvel! But what really sets it apart from its competitors is that it includes aDuraShocks insole and wedge outsole which offers better comfort while protecting you from oil, chemicals, and excessive heat.
2. Thorogood 1957 Series 8 | Best Waterproof Steel toe Boots
- PREMIUM FULL-GRAIN LEATHER BOOTS in Thorogood’s moc toe work boots design, in dark Briar Pitstop brown (804-3800), are both comfortable and stand up to punishing jobs
- MAXWEAR WEDGE TRACTION OUTSOLE flexes better than other work boot outsoles, absorbing impacts and protecting your feet and ankles while working on difficult surfaces, keeping you on your feet on loose gravel and wet and oily surfaces. Meets ASTM F3445-21 Slip Test Standards for work boot sole sole
- Shaft measures approximately 8" from arch
- AMERICAN MADE with USA and globally sourced components by the skilled craftsmen and women at Thorogood’s US plants
- WATERPROOF BOOTS for men, with gusseted tongue to keep water and liquids at bay while moisture-wicking lining inside pulls sweat away and out, so you can work without worry
We love the look of classic boots that come with a safety toe, like the Classic 6″ Men’s Plain Toe Leather Side Zipper Shoe by Thorogood. A wedge sole storm welted onto the upper and the unique moc toe design set the tone for this amazing one (which is also waterproof). The shoe is very comfortable and has a durable steel toe integrated into its construction. Plus, it’s made in the USA using global materials.
3. KEEN Utility Men’s Flint | Best Lightweight Workboots
- STEEL TOE: Left and right asymmetrical, wider steel toes offering maximum comfort and unobtrusive fit that meet or exceed ASTM F2412 and F2413 EH compression and impact safety standards
- WATERPROOF: KEEN. DRY is a waterproof, breathable membrane liner that lets vapor out without letting water in for keeping your feet dry and comfortable; This boot does have a liner that integrates with the waterproof membrane
- TRACTION: Oil- and slip-resistant, non-marking, siped, rubber outsoles for improved traction that meet or exceed ASTM F1677-96 and F2913 SATRA standards
- SUPPORT & COMFORT: Features KEEN. ReGEN technology; a lightweight, compression-resisting midsole providing 50% more energy return than standard EVA foam making safety footwear more comfortable; Includes removable PU insole
- UNDERFOOT PROTECTION: Electrical hazard (EH)-rated footwear provides a secondary source of protection incase accidentally coming into contact with live electrical circuits
Eliminating our work boot collection wouldn’t be wise. After all, you never know what type of work you’re going to get up to. However, a great way to ease the strain on your feet is by getting a lightweight pair that won’t weigh you down but will still give you all the support and durability you need on the job. The Flint II found in Keen Utility’s Boot Collection is the perfect companion for anyone who gets in and out of site frequently because they are both relatively light while also being sturdy enough to withstand a little wear and tear. These pair of boots are made keeping in mind all the safety standards.
Getting these lightweight work boots also means sacrificing quality and stability, a trade we’re not willing to make. That’s why we selected Keen Utility’s Flint II as our top choice for the best lightweight boots. At 20.8 ounces (1.3 pounds) on average, it still has the stability and builds quality we need to survive those all-nighters in the office when something goes wrong and we have to stay up working all night long
4. KEEN Utility Men’s Cincinnati 6 | Most Comfortable workboots
- COMPOSITE TOE: Left and right asymmetrical, non-metallic, carbon-fiber safety toes offer unobtrusive fit and are 15% lighter than steel toes, and meet or exceed ASTM F2412 and F2413 EH standards
- WATERPROOF: KEEN.DRY is a waterproof, breathable membrane liner that lets vapor out without letting water in for keeping your feet dry and comfortable; The Cincinnati 6” Composite Toe work boots have a mesh liner that integrates with the waterproof membrane
- SUPPORT & COMFORT: Featuring KEEN Luftcell, an air-infused midsole for weightless comfort and aerated pillow-top cushioning to keep your feet comfortable while walking on the job site
- CONSTRUCTION: Continuous Goodyear welt construction for enhanced durability under extreme working conditions; Full-grain barnyard resistant leather helps resist the damaging effects of oleic acid, urea, sodium chloride, and ammonium hydroxide
- TRACTION: Oil- and slip-resistant, non-marking, siped, rubber outsoles for improved traction that meet or exceed ASTM F1677-96 and F2913 SATRA standards
The most comfortable work boots we’ve put on our feet from Keen are the Keen Utility Cincinnati. They’re incredibly comfortable thanks to a wedge sole and air-infused polyurethane midsole which can help you avoid injury and discomfort after long days of wear. I’m 200+ and it’s my go-to boot for shows such as World of Concrete where we’re running around a lot on asphalt, concrete, and brick all day.
Finding the most comfortable boots requires a few specific things. First and foremost, it needs to fit correctly. Sometimes shoes come in different widths and that is something you should really be taking advantage of when looking for pair of boots.
There is nothing worse than being stuck in shoes that don’t fit properly. It’s also important to have good materials like leather or non-leather options with proper insulation support. They will help your feet stay dry during a long day, even if you are on your feet all day long!
5. WOLVERINE Men’s Raider | Best Waterproof Boots
- Premium full grain leather upper Moisture managing mesh lining Removable full-cushion insole Advanced comfort PU midsole Wolverine DuraShocks Flex rubber lug outsole that is slip, oil and abrasion resistant Wolverine ContourWelt direct-attach construction engineered for flexibility ASTM F2413-18 M I/75 C/75 EH rated composite toe Backed by Wolverine's 30 day comfort guarantee
We just couldn’t leave out Wolverine’s Raider Durashocks Carbonmax. For us, the Raider design has been around for more than 10 years but the Durashocks Carbonmax combination is newer on the scene and helps this classic style to become even more flexible while also being comfortable. You can also get the toe either with a soft boot or with a Carbonmax material that adds even more durability to your boots so they last longer than ever before!
What to look for while Choosing the Best Work Boots
This best work boots review 2022 is entitled to make easy for you while buying the best one for your work; Review some main points:
- LongLasting Work Boots
- Material and Overall Quality
- Safety Toes
- Sole Type and Heel Support
- Waterproofing and Insulation
- Electrical Surge Protection
Did you know that nearly 25 percent of disabling workplace injuries come not from accidents involving the head or neck but from accidents involving the feet? We’re talking about cuts, bruises, broken bones, sprained ankles, etc. They’re all hurting the working man’s foot. It has to stop.
One of the reasons I built the site was to help people choose the best work boots for their needs.
Comfort is important. If you buy the right work boots for your job, your whole body feels good, your mind is clear and full of energy.
Standing all day on your feet can cause fatigue and body stress. And say hi to a more energetic and more motivated you. All just by choosing the right keywords.
When is time to get things done? The best work boots allow your brain to be free from preoccupations. That’s because you won’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable or the risks that you’re exposing your feet to. And, it also helps you relax thanks to its great ergonomics.
Long Lasting Work Boots
You go to work for a company, you get paid. That money was earned by hard work.
You want to buy the best work boots you possibly can, don’t you? So, that’s what I’ll be helping you with. If you achieve that then the boots that you choose should last for a long time. It is designed for the environment where you spend most of your time.
The best work boots buying guide: Everything you need to know now. They’re my favorite thing to talk about. And I enjoy advising people. That’s why I wrote this guide so you can choose the best work boots for your needs. Let’s get right to it. You can be a:
- Construction worker
- Railroad worker
- Various other occupations/professions.
- Or maybe you just like work boots
With every type of job, there are different activities that require different features. Why? Because all jobs have different work environments.
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There are work boots for:
- The Cold Winter, Hot Summer, and the Rest of the Seasons
- Wet Environments
- Slippery Surfaces
- Uneven and Hard Terrains
- Long-Standing Work Shifts
- Hazardous Environments
- Against the Elements
- Jobs that Make You Work in Great Heights
Looks For Durability
Durability is the most important feature when choosing work boots. It’s what will give you the feeling that you’ve made the best choice. That’s why it’s so important.
How do you know if something is durable? You should look for reviews from customers who own that specific model you’re interested in. There are two ways to do this.
The first thing to do is look for reviews on Amazon, where previous clients write their opinions on how they felt about the product. The problem is that there’s no way for you to know whether the people who made those reviews are in the same situation as you are.
And the second way is to read this site, which I recommend. Because when reviewing products, I read every single Amazon review out there to finally give my opinion and experience and tell you whether it is good and for who it will be the best.
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Material and Overall Quality
The second thing to consider when looking for good work boots is the materials they’re made of.
Work boots typically use three different types of materials: waterproof material (rubber), full-grain leather, and nylon mesh. These materials are designed for different purposes.
The waterproofing material makes the shoes very durable by protecting them from liquids and is well known for its durability. It’s great, but it’s also quite expensive! If your job requires this type of protection, a pair of high-quality waterproof work boots are what you need.
Full-grain leather is what most top work boots use, which makes them very protective and rugged, and they’re also a little bit heavier than other types of footwear. This is the kind of content that works for almost any job if it isn’t too specific in certain needs (e.g., “I need a writer who specializes in writing articles about business”).
Nylon mesh is what makes lightweight hiking boots. It is a very comfortable material that is great for hot environments where you need warmth and comfort. The downside is that it is nylon, which doesn’t last as long as previous materials.
When buying something that comes from a well-known brand name, most of us feel we’re paying for the brand rather than the quality of the product itself. Not at all. When choosing the best pair of work boots, you have two options: Buying the most famous brand or buying a cheaper but good quality pair. Why not Because those brands offer high-quality products at a reasonable price that no other brand can match.
We’re talking about brands such as:
- Red Wings
Of How Weight?
Another thing to look for is the weight. This is related to material aspects discussed earlier. If you want to get heavier boots, then you need to buy them from a store that sells heavy boots.
I always say that a good work boot is both protective and comfortable.
Keep your Toes Safe!
Many occupations require safety shoes. It is what makes you feel safe and secure when performing at your job There are three different types of safety toes:
This is the most common choice because the best steel-toe boots are very protective against different kinds of environments. They are mainly made of steel. The only downside is they make the work boot heavier and conduct temperature, so they have to be careful with hot or cold environments.
This is another similar choice to the previous one. It’s one of the most protective kinds of safety toe for incredibly lightest work shoes. The only drawback is that they are bulkier than the steel toe boots and they also conduct heat.
These types of safety toes are made from one of these materials: plastic, carbon fiber, or kevlar. You may know that these materials are very light but they do have a high level of resistance and durability
The most positive aspect of these shoes is that they don’t conduct heat, making them ideal for situations where the other types of safety toe aren’t able to handle well.
Sole Type and Heel Support
Depending on your profession, you might need different types of work shoes. For example, if your job requires you to work on slippery surfaces, you would probably need a shoe with a slip-resistant sole to prevent slipping accidents. If you’re working on the construction site, you might need work boots that have puncture-resistant soles so you don’t get injured by nails, or maybe you need acid-resistant soles. If you carry heavy objects, you would like to look at work boots with metatarsus support.
Do you usually climb at work? You may need to look for a pair of boots with special heel support, with soles that are fairly high. We’ve written about everything related to shoes and heels in our shoe reviews, so don’t worry if you’re not familiar with them.
Waterproofing and Insulation
These are two specific characteristics of work boots that only some workers find helpful. These waterproof work boots let you keep your feet protected from any kind of liquid, and they’re great for rainy and snowy weather.
On the other hand, insulated work boots are great if you’re working in really cold environments up to 30 degrees. The only downside is they’re nearly impossible to use during the summer months because your toes would get too hot.
Electrical Surge Protection
There are two types work boots that are made specifically for working around electricity: electrical hazard and static dissipation work boots
Electric hazard work boots are designed to reduce the risk of electrical shocks to the minimum. The method is to use non-conductive materials for the boot, which are not metallic.
These boots are unique because they’re made with a conductive sole that prevents the buildup of static electricity. If you work with electrical sensitive items, then these might be the best work boots for both men and women.
To sum up, I told you that when choosing work boots, you need to consider the activities you do at work and the features they offer. It sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? Don’t worry… What I’m going to do is to review the boots available in the marketplace analyze their features and tell if they are recommended for different occupations and activities. So you can make a well-informed decision. You don’t have to suffer!
Features and Certifications to Consider
- Pull-on, lace, or BOA systems
- Long, medium, or short
- Waterproof or non-waterproof
- Steel, aluminum, carbon steel, non-metallic, metal (steel
- EH: Electrical Hazard Protection rating
- CSA: Canadian Safety Authority approval
- Oil and slip resistance
- Synthetic Materials
- Heat resistance
- Puncture resistance
- Composite Safety
- Chemical/Banyard chemical resistance
- Anti-bacterial/anti-odor treatment
We have a collection of waterproof work boot, Leather boots, Rubber sole, boots for wet surfaces, protective footwear with a breathable membrane, that feels comfortable, branded, and high quality affordable boots.
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We’ve been in business since 2008, covering tools, reviewing products, and reporting on industry trends. Our Pro reviewers work for companies that specialize in the trades and have extensive experience using tools in their jobs.
We review more than 350 individual items each year. We’ll be using our hands-on hundreds of new tools at media events and tradeshows throughout the year.
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