Best Work Boots for the Money

Work boots are essential for workplace safety. It is a must, mainly, for those who manage blue collar jobs. Just like every other item available in the market, not all work boots are created equal. There is no single standard for manufacturing these safety shoes. That makes it important for any prospective buyer to weigh down all the options and see which fits right into their needs perfectly. What are your criteria? Below, we have listed the top five considerations that would usher you to the best work boots choice.

1.     GW Men’s 1606ST Steel Toe Boot Review

best work boots

Product highlights
  • Premium full-grain nubuck leather
  • Steel toe cap
  • Slip-resistant rubber outsole

The 1606ST boot is an ideal option for workers who work in tough work environments with increased risk of falling objects or where heavy-duty machinery is involved. This work boot is not just one of the best steel toe boots on the market. It’s also one of the most affordable boots you can find.



Premium Full-Grain Nubuck Leather

There are several benefits of full-grain leather that makes it the best option between it and other types of leather. It’s the strongest and the most durable of all leathers. It also requires low maintenance, has a unique appearance, and ages gracefully.

The GW 1606ST steel toe work boot features premium full-grain leathers that are as durable as they are beautiful. The leather is firmly sewn into the sole in a Good Year Welt construction for superior toughness and durability.

The Nubuck leather is also water resistant, thus prevents fluids from getting into the inside of your boot. This helps keep your feet dry.

Protective Steel Toe

There are different types of work boots available, but steel toe boots are the ones that are designed to provide optimal protection at the work site. This is because the steel that is affixed in the toe cap helps to reduce the risk of foot injury from falling objects and heavy machinery. Like all the best steel toe boots, the GW 1606ST work boot comes with a protective steel toe that keeps your toes safe throughout your shift.

Slip Resistant Rubber Outsole

If walking on oily or slippery surfaces is part of your routine, you need a work boot that guarantees sure footing. The GW 1606ST is such boot that will prevent you from slipping and falling, thanks to its slip-resistant rubber outsole.


  • Sturdy and durable
  • Water resistant
  • Slip resistant
  • Protective
  • Affordable
  • Available in a variety of colors


  • The boot is heavy and cumbersome
  • Not amply padded, thus neither the most comfortable, nor perfect for freezing climates
  1. Caterpillar Second Shift boots

Product Highlights
  • Durable build
  • Snug and comfortable fit
  • Slip-resistant rubber outsole
  • Safety steel toe caps

More often than not, durability, comfort, and protection are features that you would have to break the bank to enjoy. As such, it is natural to doubt the competence of these boots.

Is all the positive hype surrounding these boots justified? Well, let’s find out.


Durable build

The surface of the Caterpillar Second Shift boots is made of pieces of full-grain Nubuck leather that does not degrade easily. It is held together by triple and double stitching, assuring you of years of service.

The rubber sole is flexible but rigid enough not to break off easily. The inclusion of metal hardware makes them suitable even for the harshest of weather conditions. What sets them apart from other low-end footwear is the Goodyear welt construction that lets you rely on them for years.

Snug and Comfortable Fit

Caterpillar Second Shift boots are designed to offer all the support required for standing and walking all day. It comes featuring a padded tongue and collar that protect your feet regardless of the aggressiveness of the movements you may make. In addition, the breathable mesh lining makes them breathable, and keep your feet dry and odorless. They also come with a speed lacing system for a snug fit around the ankle and vamp.

Safety Steel Toes

One of the advantages of a steel toe boot is that it significantly reduces the dangers of foot injuries at the workplace. The Caterpillar Second shift boots come with steel toes to protect your feet from falling objects and other foot related accidents.

Slip-resistant Rubber Outsole

Although the rubber sole is somewhat stiff when new, once you break the shoe in, it becomes pliable, with a degree of stiffness. This sole does not slip in most work environments however harsh it may turn out to be.


  • They look stylish and can be used outside of work
  • Great value for the price
  • Features a Goodyear welt
  • Made of genuine leather
  • Waterproof
  •  Speed lacing system allows for quick adjustments



  • Heavy, thus cumbersome

If the above couple of features are not enough to galvanize you into action, then the number of positive reviews in most review sites will surely do. The Caterpillar Second Shift boot has proven to work in a number of situations. As a result, it has become a favorite for people looking to protect their feet, or are under a budget.


  1. Condor Men’s work boots


Good work boots are meant to be comfy. They are meant to protect your feet from all the elements and hazards of the workplace.

The expert craftsmanship, state-of-the-art technology, and the quality materials put into designing these Condor Men’s work boots, coupled with the features discussed below, rank them among the best for comfort, reliability, and protection.


Comfortable Mesh Lining

Condor work boots come with a mesh lining around the collar to help cushion your feet and ankles. This is especially handy if your job requires you to walk around a lot.

The mesh lining dives all the way through the tongue, ensuring the crown of your foot is just as comfortable. This mesh accounts for the breathability of the shoe, so your feet won’t feel too hot.

Full-Grain Leather Construction

There are various advantages of Full-grain genuine leather. One of them is that it’s well known for its durability and is featured in work boots as it is not too constrictive on the foot.

As you break the Condor work boot in, the leather molds in well, maintaining that fantastic brand-new-shoe feeling.

TPU Support

A feature unseen in most, if not all, competing models, this work boot features a TPU support. This feature enables the shoe to maintain its upright shape when wearing it, even after years of use.

Protective Steel Toe

Additionally, Condor attempts to solve a problem common in most work boots. Right above the steel toe, it is fitted with a polyurethane toe cap. This cap stops the leather on top of the steel toe from wearing out, leaving a shiny steel toe like in most steel-toe boots. Dropping cinder blocks and sledgehammers have nothing on you with the steel construction of the toe of the boot.

Slip-Resistant Sole

The sole of the Condor comes with well-designed treads that makes the boots oil, slip, and abrasion resistant. The sole is injected directly ensuring that it will never fall apart. That said, these boots are a good buy, and will last you a very long time without wearing out.


  • Well priced: great bang for your buck
  • Well-padded ankle and crown support
  • Flexible toe area
  • Amazing craftsmanship
  • Easy to clean
  • Handy TPU support
  • You don’t need to break them in


  • A bit too heavy

If you are looking for a good boot to work in that has a tactical style, and a number of very great features that are sure to last you a very long time, then you have just found your stomping good deal.


  1. Condor Men’s Wyoming


What comes to mind when you hear the words “budget work books”? Most people associate inexpensive things with low quality and poor craftsmanship. Undeniably, in many situations, this is usually the case, but there are also a number of affordable boots, such as the Condor Men’s Wyoming, that offer features just as good as their pricier counterparts.


Quality Design

Similar to other Condor boots, the Condor Men’s Wyoming has a genuine full-grain leather cover, and four patches of mesh nylon, two at each side. This, coupled with the lining of mesh fabric inside it, helps with comfort and breathability. They also prevent the build up of odor.

The rubber outsole is made with a scientifically engineered and finely tuned single density polyurethane construction, adding little to no weight to the overall weight of the boot.

Comfortable interior

The Wyoming is a very comfy boot, which can be made evident through the use of the full-grain tumbled leather. It fits snugly around your ankle as it has a thick padding in the ankle which runs down to the tongue.

One of the things to look for when choosing a work boot is insoles that provide great arch support. To add on comfort, this boot features a single-density polyurethane that has an ultra-cushioning feel. This additional support is especially handy to those who are on their feet for most of the day.

Very Durable

The use of 100% genuine leather is enough to answer any question you may have about durability. Additionally, the use of AM-TECH direct soling technology to bind the outer sole to the upper contributes to its durability.

The boot also featuresa TPU toe guard that looks like an extension of tge sole to enhance safety of the toe area. No matter your weight, or how roughly you use these shoes, you are assured of their longevity.

AM-TECH Direct Soling Technology

In using this technology, the Condor Wyoming’s outsole is bound to the upper without using any glue. As such, you can expect this shoe to outlive its competitors.

Slip & Oil Resistant Outsole

The outsole is not only slip and oil resistant, it also provides excellent traction and has great shock absorbing capabilities.

Fast Lace-Up System

Also featured in the Condor Men’s Wyoming is a fast lace-up system. The system features four studs to lace up and down fast and conveniently.


  • Super light
  • They are warm in cold days
  • Excellent breathability
  • Extra top protection and TPU outsole
  • They look sleek and can be used for purposes other than work.


  • They are not water proof

Cheap doesn’t always stand for low quality – you only have to know the right places to look. The Condor Wyoming Men’s work boots, despite their price, can meet, and possibly exceed, the needs of even the pickiest carpenters, construction workers, and technicians.


  1. Condor Arizona Men’s Work Boot


The best work boots on the market are built to last, and are meant to be comfortable to wear all day long. Most work boots come with features that guarantee that. What if you found a work boot that promises that and so much more? Well, the Condor Arizona Men’s work boot comes with some extra amazing features that aren’t found in many work boots. Take a look:


AM-TECH® Direct Injected Soling Technology

Utilized by about 1 percent of the footwear industry, the AM-TECH soling technology is a unique state-of-the-art soling construction that’s quite different from others. Unlike others that make use of glue, this technology involves direct injection of the outsole to the upper. The direct binding of the outsole with the upper helps create an inseparable bond. The Condor Arizona Men’s work boot features this outstanding technology, resulting in a tough work boot that can’t easily come apart.

Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) Outsole

There are various properties of TPU that make it a valuable addition to work boots. High elasticity, abrasion resistance, oil and grease resistance, high elasticity, and high sheer strength are some of the properties of this material. Since the Condor Arizona Men’s work boot has a thermoplastic polyurethane outsole, it is oil/grease/slip/ and abrasion resistant. This makes it safe for walking in a wide variety of surfaces.

100% Genuine Leather Upper

The Condor Arizona men’s work boot has a 100 percent genuine leather upper. The boot is available in three colors: black, brown, and wheat.

Polyurethane (PU) Midsole and Insole

This work boot is fitted with flexible PU midsole and insole that provide excellent cushioning and superior comfort for maximum support all day long.

ASTM F 2413-11 Certified Steel Toe

A protective steel toe is a great inclusion in a work boot, as it protects the toes from the risk of injury by falling objects. The Condor Arizona Men’s work boot has an ASTM certified steel toe that meets the requirements needed to prevent a wide range of injury hazards in the workplace.


  • Tough construction
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Oil/grease/slip resistant
  • Offers maximum toe protection
  • Variety of colors to choose from
  • Excellent cushioning for maximum comfort and support


  • Not water resistant
  • Not breathable
  • Does not offer electrical hazard protection



  1. Dexter Men’s Douglas Steel Toe Work Boot


According to a report by the Bureau of statistics, at least 60,000 foot injuries are responsible for keeping workers from their jobs every year. 80% of those injuries are caused by objects weighing 30 pounds or less. It goes without saying that every worker has a personal responsibility to invest in a steel toe work boot.

One such investment is a quality steel toe boot, such as Dexter Men’s Douglas Steel Toe Work Boot, that promises not only safety, but also comfort and breathability for your feet. What features make this boot suitable for dangerous work environments? Let’s find out.

Design and build quality

The top of the shoe is made of a soft and smooth manmade material that can easily be mistaken for leather. It is, however, not original.

Its shape is held in place by the sturdy triple and double stitching, which also account for its durability. It has a flexible rubber outsole, synthetic laces, and metal grommets that are designed to maximize overall stability.


Unless you have very thin or wide feet, the boots are sized to give a snug fit. The padded tongue and collar make the boot cozy enough for continuous use over a number of hours. Also included in its design is a breathable mesh that does away with foot sweating and odor.

The squishy insole is made of memory foam for comfort. However, if your work requires you to do a lot of heavy lifting, it won’t offer you support for long and will need replacement after a while. You can work your way around this by using a better footbed.

Durable construction

Though made of synthetic leather and a rubber outsole, the service you will get out of these boots is very commendable. Even after taking many blows, it doesn’t deform or wear out much.

Water resistant

This boot will keep your feet dry even when trekking through snow and water puddles. In heavy rains, however, your feet may get wet when the level of water rises past the eyelets.

Slip-resistant outsole

The oil-resistant lug outsole protects you from slip related accidents. The traction, nonetheless, works better outdoors compared to indoors.



  • Comfortable padding (memory foam)
  • Stylish design
  • Snug fit.
  • They look stylish
  • Offer great ankle support.
  • Oil and slip resistant.



  • Not completely waterproof







  1. LABO Men’s Genuine Leather Work Boot



Ideal performance in work boots is relative. The type of job, industrial standards, and personal preference are some of the things that determine how well or poorly a work boot performs.

LABO Men’s Genuine Leather Work Boot took the steel-toe industry by storm. Apart from its low price point and quality craftsmanship, this boot has been accepted by many as it can be used for a number of jobs and even worn daily as a fashion statement. What makes this shoe such a steal?

Design and build quality

This Labo construction model is made from 100% genuine leather, marking the durability checkbox. The sides of the forefoot are kept in shape by side-by-side leather paneling.

Its outsole is fused and shaped like a natural foot to help apply some form of presence to movement. Its undercarriage has small grommets to apply the appropriate terms of footing, maintaining a reliable and flexible base even on uneven surfaces.


The top of the foot is greeted by a thick, elongated tongue. This allows for easy fitting as you can pull stretch it forward and secure it back with a lace. The ankle area has a padded overlay made of lightweight synthetics to allow for flexibility and comfort.

Its interior is made of a breathable and removable thin insulation, allowing you to select your desired level of comfort.

Slip and oil resistant

As a standard feature in most work boots, this allows you to host traction in surfaces of all type as it is resistant to both oil and slipping.

Water resistant

With Labo’s work boot, you can work in all kinds of environmentas it ensures your foot remains dry and odorless.


  • Very comfortable shaft.
  • Sturdy and durable design
  • Stylish traditional design
  • Made by a trusted brand


  • The boot runs big



  1. Everboots Men’s Steel Toe Industrial Work Boots


Apart from the standard features of steel toe boots such as a steel toe, slip resistance, and a fast lacing system, Everboots Men’s Steel Toe Industrial Work Boots have a couple of above-standard features that place it well away from the rest.

For instance, they can protect you from a surprisingly huge amount of electricity. This, plus some of the features discussed below, makes it usable for almost all kinds of jobs.

Design and build quality

Standing tall as the epitome of durability and fashion, this work boot boasts of one hell of a construction. It’s made using full grain leather. There are several benefits of full-grain leather that make it a valuable addition to this boot.

It measures 6” from top to arch, and covered with a full-grain leather for durability. At the front is a steel cap that protects your foot from any work-related hazards while giving your toes enough space to move around. The caps are tested to meet ASTM F2413 M/I-75/C-95.


As they were designed for concrete contractors, these Everboots have cushioned insoles to offer comfort even when under a lot of stress. They are fitted with shanks made of steel to provide support and the appropriate break at the ball of your feet to minimize pressure, keeping your feet stable on uneven and dangerous surfaces. The PU midsole included offers additional comfort.

Removable oil and slip resistant outsole

The outsole featured in this work boot is removable and entirely slip resistant. They come off easily thanks to the back and speed hooks so you won’t need to stack them away when the sole wears. Although somewhat tough, you will not need a time period to break them in. The oil and slip resistant qualities also prevent sole deterioration.


The boot is well insulated to offer the most conducive environment for your feet, whatever the weather conditions. Your feet remain insulated not only from the weather but also from electrical hazards. They are tested to withstand up to 18000 volts, making them ideal for electricians, engineers, and linesmen as well.


  • They protect against electrical hazards
  • Tough and comfortable
  • Budget-friendly
  • Goodyear welt construction
  • Fast-lacing system.
  • Steel shanks provide stability.



  • The loops used to lace the boot don’t withstand immense pressure




SAFETOEM8356B Men’s Safety Boots



Comfort, safety and durability are, generally, the most important considerations when selecting a steel toe boot. It is in these areas that SAFETOEM8356B Men’s Safety Boots excels on, featuring a superior-quality material and expert workmanship.

This safety boot is designed for extreme conditions. As such, it is perfect for security offices, factory workmen, security officers, doormen, and fire officers. It can also be used for a number of outdoor activities that include adventure and hunting.


Design and build quality

The upper side of these boots is crafted using a 100% cow leather so there is no questioning their durability. You will be able to use them for a long time without wearing, thanks to the double and triple stitching holding the leather in place.

It also has a sleek shape and a unibody design that complements clothing, so it can be used as an everyday fashion statement. The stylish eyelets are made of stainless steel for sturdiness.

It is fitted with a polyurethane sole that keeps out all water and moisture. Despite its design and size, it adds little to no weight on your feet.


The breathableinsole of the SAFETOE M8356B is 0.59” thick to absorb shock. Its quarter lining is made of an abrasion resistant and breathable sandwich mesh to keep your feet dry and odorless. The ankles are well padded to provide additional comfort. Whatever conditions you are working under, you are assured of comfort and stability.

Added safety

The steel toe cap in M8356B is extra wide to leave some space for toe freedom. This cap has been tested to withstand up to 200 joules so your feet remain safe even at immense pressure.

Also included in its construction is a steel midsole plate that can resist nail penetration. With these, your foot will remain as safe.

Slip and oil resistant

The SAFETOEM8356B Men’s Safety Boots come with a superior PU doubled outsole. The sole is oil and slip resistant, making it safe for you to walk on slippery floors.


  • Anti-nail penetration steel midsole.
  • Water, slip, and oil resistant.
  • Lightweight.
  • Electrostatic discharge midsole.
  • Sleek design.
  • Water proof
  • Very comfortable.



  • They run somewhat big





DDTX Work Boots Review




Any person who works and has a sense of style will surely love the DDTX Work Boots. Available in only the high cut design, the boot looks hip with a sleek black body and white & yellow accents. The stylish collar design has further added to its groovy look.


Material and construction

The upper part of the boot is made of leather and a synthetic material at the tongue. The material is 100% cow leather and is imported from Brazil. These give the boot its water resistant qualities and durability. The outsole is made of polyurethane, making it slip and oil resistant.


DDTX Work Boots have a padded collar and tongue for comfort around the ankles. What you will really love about this shoe, however, is its light weight. Working in them for hours is not very exhausting. This is furthered by its memory foam insole.

A breathable mesh lining helps wick away moisture and keep your feet dry and odorless. The boot also offers a snug fit with a speed-lacing system. However, its sizing runs almost half a size bigger than most other brands.

Safety features

The shoe is fitted with a steel toe cap for protection against heavy things dropping on your foot or bumping into sharp objects.

Included in its design is a penetration resistant midsole. This midsole is made of a non-metallic material to maintain its lightweight, and prevent nails and other sharp objects from piercing the foot from below.


As the top is made of cow leather, there is nothing left to be desired in terms of durability. The double and triple stitching adds extra toughness and shapes it nicely.

The PU outsole is sturdy and is attached to the upper firmly. No matter how hard you abuse them or how harsh the work environment may get, these bad boys got your back.


  • Durable and water resistant
  • They look stylish
  • Stylish design and a hip look
  • Protects from nail penetration
  • Padded collar and tongue
  • Very supportive insole



  • The sizes run big


Top 5 Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Work Boots

Fit & Comfort

Fit is king when it comes to something that you wear. Since work boots fall under that classification, you should pay attention to your level of comfort, which mostly depends on how well they would fit on your feet. If your pair of work boots barely fit, you will feel the pinch after just a few hours of wearing them. This could take a toll on your productivity. This could also put you at risk for foot injuries.

Under comfort, there are three important points:

* Design. This is all about the shape and overall outward appearance of your work boots. Ideally, a comfortable pair of safety shoes have rounded toes, thick and flat soles, and extra padding on key areas (i.e., heel, toe, collar, tongue).

* Material. Leather is the preferred boot material that’s not only guaranteed to offer the best comfort but also durability. It is a strong material; it is also pliable. The best type of leather to make a good, comfortable, durable pair of work boots is the thicker, full-grain kind. Otherwise, if the work boots are made up of the softer kind, it must be reinforced by extra padding or leather strips to make them stand the common wear and tear of regular, heavy use and close in on the difference.

* Insoles. The quality of the insoles of your safety footwear is very important when it comes to comfort. You feel it right as you first slip on the pair. If it feels like tiny pillows are set up to cradle your foot, you are in the right shoe. Insoles provide another layer of comfort, separating your bare foot from the soles. They should be thick but feel springy and light. They should also be made of a moisture-wicking material to keep your foot dry amid getting sweaty from the heavy demands you are mostly up to in the course of fulfilling the demands of your job.

2. Weather

Work boots need to be weatherproof to stand the test of times. It is not always sunny or rainy or freezing cold, whichever part of the world you are in. There are those days when you might get wet, get really sweaty, or get frozen – all while you are in the midst of

performing your job. To keep up, your pair of work boots must be able to deal with the kind of day you are facing. When it is raining and wet all over, you normally need waterproof work boots. When days get really hot and you can get all sweaty, losing concentration on what you are set out to do in the process, you need a pair that’s non-metallic and will not transfer heat. It’s a pair made of a material that’s pliable and lightweight and durable, like leather. When temperatures in your workplace hit low, you need an insulated pair of work boots. Insulation helps keep feet warm from the inside, keeping your toes from freezing out and falling off. Can you get all three features in a single pair? The answer is yes, but it may come with a hefty price tag.

3. Job Type

Another important consideration that should define the best kind of work boots for you is your job type. What you will need it for will give you an idea on which you should put your money on. Are you working in a construction site? Then, you will need something that has midsoles made of steel to keep you from injuries in case you step on a nail or you figure in a similarly dangerous situation. Electricians need a pair of work boots that could protect them against electrical charges. There are those available that could keep you safe for up to 600 volts. Armed men and women who work in the police or military department would ace their jobs if they are in a pair of comfortable and durable pair that will allow them to move freely. A lightweight material that makes flexible movement possible is ideal in this case.

4. Safety

Safety is the point of wearing work boots. That’s exactly why they are also known as safety shoes or safety footwear. There is no sense going for something that look handsome and charming on your feet but will not have even a level of protection against common hazards that exist in your workplace. Safety first, aesthetics last. Put that in mind when considering what kind of work boots to buy.

5. Price

Of course, there is always the money issue that you cannot simply put aside. Let’s face it, the features that are a must to reinforce the idea of wearing work boots come with a price. If you cannot afford it, all your efforts for discerning go to waste. Then again, since work boots are considered primarily for you to be able to perform well in your job post and earn a living, it is definitely worth investing. The better idea, instead of settling down for a less ideal pair that’s inexpensive, is to save up for the best pair. There is so much at stake here: your safety, your comfort, and your productivity in the work that you need to do.

Your work boots choice can make or break you. When workplace safety is an issue, you will need a good amount of time deciding what fits you perfectly, in all aspects. It will not hurt to be doubly sure because your life – yes, your entire life – is on the line here.

Safety is a top concern in any industry. This buyers guide helps you understand the different safety metrics to check out in a work boot.

An employee may actually need safety shoes only once, but you have to be confident that when that one time occurs, the employee is protected against disabling injury thus reducing workers compensation claims.

Enough Work TM only reviews quality name-brand work boots, to insure that ANSI’s strictest requirements are met.

You know how important safety is. However, not everyone realizes the impact an accident can have on the workplace. These are just a few examples of hidden costs related to losing an employee to an accident that could have been prevented. Obviously, the cost of providing proper footwear pales in the comparison.

Becoming Acquainted with the Work Boot

​Pier 48 warehouse demolition

For industrial lines of work like demolition, workers choose protective steel-toe boots. Photo taken by Washington State Department of Transportation.[/caption]

There’s a boot out there for everyone. Whether you are a construction worker or a lumberjack, manufacturers produce a variety of protective footwear tailored for specific lines of work.

But how does one select a work boot?

Most employers will provide a set of regulations for workplace footwear; however, some may expect you to make your purchase without guidance.

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) provides a number of minimum requirements for the work boot. Their standards cover the performance of boots and shoes in resisting puncture or chainsaw penetration.

Safety footwear is designed to protect feet against a wide variety of injuries – the most common of which are impact, compression and puncture. This is why it’s important to identify the hazards that will be encountered throughout the workday.

For example, you may want to evaluate the following:

  • The materials handled.
  • Risks of objects falling onto or striking feet.
  • Any material or equipment that might roll over feet.
  • Any sharp object that might cut the top of feet.
  • Object that may penetrate the bottom or side of the foot.
  • Possible exposure to corrosive substances.
  • Possible explosive environments – risk of static electrical discharges.
  • Risk of electrical discharge damaging sensitive electronic components or equipment.
  • Risk of coming into contact with energized conductors of low to moderate voltage.

Also remember to account for injuries that may results from walking on rough terrain or slippery surfaces, extreme hot or cold temperatures, and/or exposure to abrasive machinery. Additionally, remember to consider any exposure to liquids or water that may damage boots or harm feet.

Steel-Toe Versus Composite Toe

Steel-toe boots offer reinforced toes for jobs that work with heavy materials, such as construction workers. As mentioned above, a number of risks would be resolved with these boots. Composed of a single sheet of steel, the reinforced toe safeguards against punctures and falling objects.

Composite toe boots are also reinforced, but instead of a steel composition, they are produced from composite materials, or plastics like thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Composite materials are made from two or more materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties. Composite toe boots are 50 percent lighter and resist extreme cold and heat. They are as strong as steel.

Construction workers- best work boots to buy

Photo by MSU Campus Archaeologist


Styles of Work Boots

Workers can rely on several well-known styles of work boots to address potential workplace hazards, as discussed on and in “Men’s Steel-Toe & Composite Toe Boots.”

Careers of the outdoor variety will require a waterproof or water-resistant boots to keep feet dry. For example, forestry employees, back-country guides, or park rangers might find these boots useful.

  • Electrical hazard boots have insulation that protects the wearer from electrical charges up to 600 volts. Those who work with electricity, such as linemen, electricians, and inside wiremen, should consider these work boots.
  • Slip-resistant boots have special soles that provide traction on wet or oily floors. People who work in auto body shops or in factories may want to invest in a pair of these.
  • Insulated boots keep feet toasty during frosty conditions. Lined with materials to keep feet warm, the boot has a bit more weight to it. They are ideal for those who work in cold conditions, such as employees of refrigerated warehouses, ice road truckers or anyone who has to work outside during the winter.

Work Boot Symbols Revealed

If you have figured out what you are looking for in a boot, how do you know if they have these characteristics? The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety offer some helpful advice on identifying symbols. The symbols are the same throughout the North American continent, so they are applicable to many U.S. boots.

  1. The green triangle signifies a puncture protection of Grade 1 protective toe, ideal for any industrial or heavy work environment, including construction, where sharp objects are present.
  2. Yellow triangle means the boots have puncture protection in the sole and Grade 2 protection toe. Those employed in light industrial work, such as warehouse workers, would wear this boot.
  3. The white rectangle with the omega symbol indicates that the boot has soles that provide electric shock resistance. If an industrial worker may come into contact with live electrical conductors, they should look for boots with electric shock protection.
  4. A yellow rectangle with green letters SD and a grounding symbol signifies the soles are static dissipative. Boots with this characteristic should be worn in industrial environments where a static discharge may harm workers or equipment.
  5. A red rectangle with a black letter C indicates the footwear has soles that are electronically conductive. These boots should be considered when the workers may come into contact with low-power electrical charges that could be a hazard for workers or equipment.
  6. The white label with a green fir tree means that the footwear provides protection against chainsaws, which is ideal for forestry workers and others who work with or around hand-held chainsaws and other cutting tools.
  7. A blue rectangle signifies a Grade 1 toe with no protective sole that is ideal for industrial work that does not require puncture protection.
  8. The grey rectangle indicates that the footwear has a Grade 2 toe with no protective sole. Those in an institutional or non-industrial line of work and do not require puncture protection should buy this style of boot.

Internal Protection Codes

Additional markings that indicate the level of protection will be found on the boots. They include:

  • 1 or 2 will indicate a Grade 1 or Grade 2 toe protection (0 if not present).
  • P for puncture-resistant soles (0 if not present).
  • M for metatarsal protection (0 if not present).
  • E for shock-resistant sole, S for static dissipative sole or C for conductive sole (0 if not present).
  • X for chainsaw protection (0 if not protection).