Best Work Boots for Men: 2020 Expert Reviews

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You’ve finally secured a job with that popular construction company and you can’t wait to get started. But have you thought about the safety of your feet while at work? Fact is, if you haven’t given it a thought, you are exposing yourself to injurious work boots for men

If you are like me and many others, on the other hand, you just sourced for a rustic pair of safety shoes without thinking much about their ergonomics and their suitability to the job at hand.

What you may actually not know is that wearing the ‘wrong type’ of work boot leaves your feet exposed to a myriad of challenges such as falling objects, exposed sharp points and misplaced tools. Worry not though.

In this guide, we will explore the sphere of safety toe work boots, how to choose them and basically how wearing the wrong work boots can end up inflicting pain on your feet.


What Kind of Work Boots Should I Go for?
Well, the kind of work boot you should source is dependent on a number of determinants. Here are 5 most important pointers you should check on;

Remember, there is little room to experiment with a work boot given that there are hundreds of deleterious accidents can happen in your place of work.


A work boot keeps your foot from the harm of falling debris, hard blocks and everything else that can injure you as you go through your line of duty.


Whether you work in water logged zones, walk through dew and simply had to get yourself wet, work boots keep your feet dry and essentially warm amidst cold surroundings.


As you work through¬†the debris, you’ll, once in a while, be forced to make that awkward landing that lead to a fall or a disabling injury. Fortunately, work boots are designed to allow for such awkward movement and also provide a soft landing.

Feel confident:

You will definitely have a peace of mind when you know you are protected from possible accidents in your line of work.


Work boots are made of sturdy materials that withstand harsh terrains and all the odd jobs that can come their way. With a good selection, you can be sure of having your boot for years.

Without further ado, let’s delve into the reviews of the best work boots that are trending in the markets in 2017. These reviews are based on real customer reviews, price differentiation, and suitability to given industries.

Best Work Boots of 2016 at a Glance.

Image.BrandSpecial FeaturesEditor's Ratings$$
Timberland PRO Men's 50507 Titan 6" Composite Toe Boot,Black,10.5 M
  • Full-grain leather upper

  • B.S.F.P. System

  • Breathable Footbed
Latest Prices.
Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6" Steel-Toe Boot,Brown/Brown,10 M
  • Oil-, Slip-, and Abrasion Resistant Synthetic Sole.

  • Electronic hazard protection.

  • Removable sock liner.
Latest Prices.
Timberland Womens 6" Premium Boot Wheat Nubuck 7 B - Medium
  • Waterproof leather upper

  • Hangtag Present

  • Lugged synthetic outsole
Latest Prices.
Caterpillar Men's Diagnostic Steel-Toe Waterproof Boot,Dark Beige,11 W US
  • Waterproof Leather Uppers.

  • 200g Thinsulate insulation.

  • Easy to remove EVA foam insert.
Latest Prices.
Ariat Men's Overdrive XTR 8" Steel Toe Work Boot, Aged Bark, 10.5 M US
  • Duratread‚ĄĘ sole

  • Uppers made of Leather and Mesh

  • Shock absorbing EVA midsole
Latest Prices.

How to Pick a Work Boot that Suits Your Needs.

It doesn’t matter whether you have been wearing work boots for years or if you are just starting out, you will want to have some knowledge of the points to check out when buying a work boot. Remember, buying the wrong type of work boot is just as dangerous as not wearing a work boot at all.

‚ėĎ The Make of the work boot‚Äôs inner and Outsoles

Soles differ in material and tread make. Basically, soles have 2 parts;

The outsole– this is the part that comes into contact with the ground,

The midsole which is a sole above the outsole and which makes the footbed comfortable and the boot durable.

Check out for the cement– the adhesive that binds the upper leather and a direct attach of the sole and the leather. Also established the type of material the sole is made of.

Basically, rubber is the most comfortable but less durable while dual density foam is the most sturdy but isn’t very convenient.

Always Check if the work boot has a Green Triangle which is indicative of a class 1 toe cap and whose sole is puncture resistant. Yellow Triangle represents a class 2 toe cap with puncture resistivity.

‚ėĎ The Height of the Work Boot

The height of work boots range from 5-inch for hikers to 12-inch for Wellingtons. To give you a better idea, a 6-inch high boot reaches around the ankle and supports the joint while a 12-inch boot reaches mid-shin.

‚ėĎ Insulation and Waterproofing Properties

The key to choosing a boot that will protect you from wetness is ensuring that the boot you choose has waterproof leather lining that keeps the water out.

Alternatively, you can opt for a pair that has a Gore-TeX membrane which keeps the water out. If you have the means, you can order a pair of work boots that offers both systems of protection.

‚ėĎ Estimated Time to Break In

Wearing a work boot for the first time will leave you with some aches and probable blisters due to the pressure exerted on areas such as the heels and the toe area. As you prepare to purchase your work boot, think of the estimated time that it may take to make the pair of boots comfortable on your feet.

A general observation is that those boots that are made of fabric break in easier than the stiff leather varieties. If you need a leather work boot, find an alternative wear to cover you till the boot becomes bearable on your feet.

‚ėĎ Brand trustworthy score

There is no denying that some brands are popular than others. Checking on sites such as will give you a good hint on which are the best and most trusted brands in the market.

‚ėĎ Electrical Surge Protection Capability

If you you interact with electrical components in your working space, it’s vital to take precautionary measures against electrical hazards. Check to which level a given a work boot brand protects you against electrical surge capabilities

A work boot with a White Square on the side is an good indicator of electrical surge protection capabilities. A boot with a Red Square is no go zone if you work with electrical devices as the red mark indicatives that the boot conducts electrical charge.

‚ėĎType of leather used on the boot’s body

Work boots mainly come in one of the four main grades of leather;

Full grain ‚Äď which offers unrivaled fiber strength and longevity.

Full grain patches out in place of wear and tear, has better breathability and is generally used on majority of footwear.

Top-grain leather ‚Äď is thinner but more refined than full grain. It‚Äôs often used in the making of high end leather products. Split leather is basically the residual of top-grain leather. It‚Äôs often embossed with an artificial layer of bycast leather to give it some traction.

Drop split is often used in making of suede. Corrected-grain leather ‚Äď have an artificial grain embossed onto their surface to make them more solid and appealing.

‚ėĎ Impact and Compression Ratings

Impact rating is an indicative number of pounds that the shoe protects you against on impact. The rating is presented as a fraction with the lower number indicating the pounds the boot pair can withstand. The numerator value is always presented as a unit.

As a way of elaboration, a work boot whose impact rating is indicated as 1/76 means the boot can protect your for up 76 pounds impact weight. The minimum impact rating for working boots is 1/50.

Compression rating, on the other hand, is a representative value of the total number of loads a work boot can withstand before reaching the breaking or cracking point. Basically, compression rating is designated as C/a number x.

‚ėĎ The type of the safety toe

Safety toe work boots are either classified steel-toe, composite-toe or soft toe depending on the protective material used on the toe cap. Your choice of a safety-toe is largely determined by the environment you intend to use the work boot in.

Your choice of a safety-toe is largely determined by the environment you intend to use the work boot in. If you are in the construction industry, for instance, then a work boot that has a metallic toe is your best bet.

The Top 3 Safety-toe Profiles for Work Boots:

Toe caps are broadly categorized into 3 main categories of steel toe, composite toe, and soft toe. Let’s have a look at each of these in some more detail.[/su_box]

Steel-toe Work BootsComposite toe Work BootsSoft-toe Work Boots

Steel-toe Work Boots.

Typically, these are working boots that have a steel cap at the toe area. They are designed to give you maximum protection while you ago about your duties.

Structure of a steel toe boot
Courtesy: Honeywellsafety.

The toe box¬†is wide enough to give your toes room to spread out. As such, you won’t feel uncomfortable even on wearing these boots for ¬†long duration.

That’s not all, the design of the boot’s toe region is¬†asymmetrical ¬†and mimics the shape of your foot and this ultimately makes for a good fitting boot.

Steel-toe boots often designed as Lace-up so that you can tighten them to your comfort. The out soles are made of hardened rubber making them slip-, and abrasion-resistance.  A padded collar adds an extra layer of protection and comfort to the front parts of your feet.

The raised side covering means your ankles are less exposed to hazards as such as protruding edges, falling objects and electrical devices.

Not to forget, the outer cover is made of durable leather meaning it can service you for extended duration and help you save some bucks in the long run.

Best Steel-toe Work Boots of 2017 Reviewed.

Timberland PRO Men's 26078 Titan 6" Waterproof Safety-Toe Work Boot,Dark Mocha,9.5 M Timberland PRO Men's 6 Inch Rigmaster XT Steel Toe WP Work Boot, Brown Tumbled Leather, 10 M US Wolverine Men's W02421 Raider Boot, Brown, 11 M US KEEN Utility Men's Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe,Black,10.5 D US
Upper body made of Premium, full-grain leather. Uppers made of waterproof full-grain leather. Uppers made of genuine full-grain leather. Uppers made from Leather and mesh.
Rugged rubber outsole.

TiTAN alloy safety toe
Nonmarking PU outsole.

Anti-Fatigue technology
Oil-, slip- and abrasion resistant outsole.

Heels enhanced with compression pads to absorb any resulting shock.
Non-marking rubber outsole

Ssymmetrical Steel Toes
Latest Prices. Latest Prices. Latest Prices. Latest Prices.

Steel toe work boots are further classified into Men’s¬†and Women’s¬†steel-toe Work Boots.

Composite toe Work Boots.

For those looking for lighter, non-metallic footwear, composite-toe boots offer an excellent alternative to work boots

Composite toe work boot
Courtesy: Sears

with a steel-toe. For composite-toe boot, the toe cap is made of a composite, non-metallic material.

The key ingredients of the composite material include Kevlar aramid fiber, plastic and carbon fiber.

These types of boots are ideal for individuals who work in metal-sensitive areas and who often have to pass through metal screening detectors in their line of duty.

If you work in one of these areas, then a composite shoe is your best fit: airport, a nuclear laboratory and security departments¬†Continue reading….

Soft-toe Work Boots:

Sometimes a steel toe comes with an added burden weight on the feet. For those who do not necessary work in tough conditions but still want to adorn a work boot, a safety toe is an ideal alternative they can turn to.

Milwaukee Men's 6
Non-Protective toe boot

Basically, a soft toe work boot differs with both composite and steel work boots in that they don’t have a hardened toe area.

Even then, they still offer other protective properties present in composite and steel toe boots. These include protection from electrical hazards, are water proof, the sole offer offer durable traction and the interior lining offer support and comfort to the feet.

Does a Soft-toe Work Boot Fit Your Working Area?

Soft toe boots are ideal for people working outside of construction and industrial sites. These people may include landscaping professionals, hiking enthusiasts, and pretty any one who stands or walks for long duration but aren’t in direct line of hazards such as falling objects.


Why it’s Important to Buy Top Quality Work Boots for your Employees.

Work sites pose a lot of hazards that can lead to disabling injuries and financial losses if there aren’t proper safety measures put in place.

Besides such losses, it’s a law¬†requirement¬†that for employees who are at risk of injuries caused by¬† crushing, punctures, sprains and lacerations should be provided with safety toe boots at no cost. These also includes industries where employees can suffer trips, slips and falls.

To Safeguard the welfare and health of your employees

Work boots reduce the occurrence of injuries in work place. The employees can go about their duties with some piece of mind knowing they are protected from every day hazards such as slips, lacerations, punctures and occasional trips.

Compliance with government regulations

Different governments have laid down regulations regarding the safety of employees in various. As an employer, it’s important to be on the right side of the law by availing the necessary safety wear for your employees working under your watch.

Avoid/ minimize law suits resulting from work place injuries.

If an employee is injured while working for your industry, they are entitled to compensation packages based on guidelines existing in different states.

Without providing protective footwear to your employees, your establishment can face numerous law suits resulting from injuries- even those that may have resulted from carefree attitude by employees.

A Form of motivation

Let’s face it, no employee would have the urge to work harder in an environment where they feel they employees don’t care about their welfare.

By providing the right boots and under no conditions makes them feel valued and likely to put more thought in their line of work. The motivation will reflect on the overall performance of your company.

The Top Work Boot Leather Variations- Choose Your Style.

Leather used in making work boots come in four grades; Top-grain, Full-grain, Split leather and Corrected grain. The quality and the grade that a leather belongs to is majorly determined by the refining done to remove imperfections on the leather.

Top-grain leather.

The top layer is split out and separated from the rawhide so as to create a smooth end product. The surface of top grain leather undergoes buffing, sanding, stamping to make the surface smooth and remove scratches, insect bites, and other unsightly markings.

It’s then dyed to produce a sleek finish. Top grain leather is used in making high end leather projects.

Full-grain leather.

Typically refers to the leather that has not been snuffed or sanded. It thus retains it imperfections. It’s, however, far stronger as the fiber layout remains intact.

Aniline dyes are used to furnish the surface of full-grain leather and give it an appealing natural look. This kind of leather is often used on quality footwear products such as the ARCTIV8 work boot.

Corrected-grain leather.

As opposed to full-grain leather, corrected-grain is given a nominal level of artificial grain to mask out surface defects such as scratches and insect bites. This kind of leather is often used in manufacture of heavy duty products such as household furniture and work boots.

Split leather.

It’s created out of the¬†fibrous part of a¬† rawhide. The split leather is reinforcing¬†artificial layer embossed into it to bulk out the thin layers. If you have ever owned a pair of suede shoes, then that was split leather that you won.

Top 2 Split Leather Work Boot  You Can Buy in 2017.

1.¬†Maelstrom Men’s Tac Force 8 Inch Zipper Tactical Boot– Army hardened Foot Wear:

This boot is made with security and work professionals in mind. Maelstrom boots are light in weight, durable and Split leather work bootswaterproof. The boot’s inner linings are made of¬†Dri-Lex¬†waterproof membrane liner that avails enough movement and breathing space, a soft and comfortable foot bed and a side zipper so that put them on and off with ease. What’s more? The¬†TAC FORCE 8′ boot features an¬†athletic design ¬†ideal for people who are always on the move.

Enough work


Light thus ideal for walking long distances and standing for long periods.

A side zipper that makes it easy to remove or wear the boot.

The Dri-Lex membrane liner protects your feet from moisture.


Caterpillar Women’s Jace Waterproof Work Boot Steel Toe – P90562– A Woman’s Stylish Shoe.

This rugged suede are made for the hardworking ladies in need of stylish yet protective work boot. They are slip caterpillar's women's work boot.resistant and have enhanced electrical hazard technology. The PVC Midsole makes a soft landing for the feet. This is of great help to ladies who start for long hours during their duty.

A combination of a sturdy T1170 Outsole and a Goodyear welt construction makes the boot ideal for even the most rugged work sites that a lady can work in.


The upper part of the boot is made of a soft woolen cover that makes it enticing. The boot’s protective toe cap is wide enough for easy breathing and maximum protective. The leather used is easy to clean and is durable. A Nylex sock liner provides for a soft landing of the foot.


Those with narrow feet may be forced to wear padded socks so that the boot fits on them perfectly.

How to Tie Your Work Boot’s Laces for Most Comfort.

Lacing your boots provide a better support to your feet and can also add a tinge of style if they are done rightly.  The fact that work boots have longer laces than your ordinary footwear means that tying them needs might require you to spend some more time on it and some skills to do right.

Keeping the laces in place is especially if you work with machines that can grasp loose end and cause accidents. This video helps you understand how you can tie your work boot laces and step out in style. Watch it out.

How to Maintain and Care for your Leather Work Boot.

Any time your wear your leather work boot you mean serious business. This means grinding through rocks, wood cuttings, mud and such. Unless you take good of your loved and  most comfortable steel boots, they will fall apart in a matter of months.

Here are some great tips to keep your pair of work boots  in great condition.

♦ Clean and wipe away the embedded dirt.

First remove the shoe laces and inner soles to make cleaning much easy. The two should be washed separately in some soapy water, rinsed and dried.

Now that the boot is a little more free, its easier to clean it off. Use a soft-bristle brush, such as one made of a nylon,  to remove the loose dirt and the accompanying debris.

  • Double Sided Sneaker Cleaning Brush
    Double Sided Sneaker Cleaning Brush

    It’s important to avoid using brushes that have hard bristles as they can easily graze your work boot’s¬†leather surface. Once you remove the loose debris, untie the laces and wash them in some soapy water.

  • Using a soft cloth and warm¬†soapy water, clean the outer surface taking care of the hard to clean areas such as the collar padding and the interiors.
  • You can remove the inner soles and wash them separately. Place them on an exposed patch to dry out. It’s good practice to give your boots a thorough scrub once a month to keep them in top condition.

‚ô¶ Dry and condition the boot

Leave your clean work boots a well ventilated and airy room so that they dry out. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight as this may cause rapid drying up and possible cracking.

Too much shade will also mean your boots will take much longer to dry out.

‚ô¶ Polish up the surface.

Once your boots are  completely dry, apply a layer of mink oil to condition them out. Saddle soap is also an ideal alternative to mink oil as it also possess softening and preservative compounds that are ideal for leather.

♦ Apply a waterproofing product.

There are different approaches that you can apply to waterproof your work boot. You can either opt to use wax, or creams or paste or alternatively opt to use waterproofing sprays that are much easier to apply than creams.

‚ô¶ Store the boots appropriately when not in use.

‘Dumping and heaping’ your work boots after work leads to moisture accumulation, maligning of the inner soles, build up of¬†acidic conditions and the ultimate loss of shape. It can also cracking of the leather.

It is, therefore, a good practice to always place your work boots on an anchor material such as cedar shoetree supports which do not only help maintain the shape but also absorb any moisture that have accumulate in the interiors of the work boot.


Parting shot

A work boot is one of your most important assets in your line of work. For this, you should ensure you choose an ergonomic, durable and stylish boot that can survive even the most rugged environments.

A good starting point is reading through expert reviews on the different categories and brands of work boots. This way, you will be in a position to choose a boot that fits your needs.

 Related Buyer’s Guides and Enough work Lists:

♦ Best Composite toe boots                                                                   ♦ Best winter boots

♦ Best Steel-toe Boots for Women                                                          ♦ Best steel toe boots under $100

♦ Best Work Boots for the Diabetic                                                         ♦ Best steel toe boots for men

‚ô¶ Best Caterpillar Work Boots

‚ô¶ Work boots for construction