Last Updated on March 31, 2022 by Jack Sanders
It’s impossible to describe the mix of pain and frustration you get after you fall on the hard and cold floor at your job site due to your boots not fitting the way they’re supposed to.
That irritation doesn’t get away when you try to find a pair of lace up work boots with a suitable fit for your feet. It seems impossible to come across something of value that can help you not tripping and smashing your face into the concrete.
Hopefully, this article helps you to find the best lace up work boots of your liking, so you don’t have to waste your time nor lose your temper (which, believe me, I did)!
The Best Lace Up Work Boot: 5 Choices For The Regular Worker
This is the list of the best lace-up work boots I arrived at after extensive testing:
- 1) Thorogood Men’s American Heritage Work Boots
- 2) Timberland Pro Men’s Direct Attach Work Boots
- 3) Danner Men’s Vicious 8 Inch NMT Work Boots
- 4) KEEN Utility Men’s Wenatchee Steel Toe Work Boots
- 5) Georgia Boot Men’s Loggers Work Boots
1) Thorogood Men’s American Heritage Work Boots
If I wanted to do my best at work, I need to be comfortable no matter what. Otherwise, I’ll just be thinking all day long about how miserable I am.
I thought I was walking on clouds at one point during these boots testing period, then I realised this was possible thanks to their dual-density shock absorbing inserts, cushioned with the so-called “Poron 4000 cushion”.
They also had a great airflow which made them awesomely breathable thanks to their cotton drill vamp lining.
I would walk on bumpy surfaces at the construction site heavy and hot summer day without having my sweating feet as I’m used to.. it was unbelievable, I almost cried!
I mean, they even spared me the frustration of having to constantly get down and tie them as they came with easy-to-tie metal eyelets and hooks. Can you believe that?!?
Over The Top Protection
If it weren’t for the protection of all the safety boots I had over my years as a construction worker, I’d have 70% of my toes completely gone!
This may seem too much for most people, BUT most people haven’t seen what workers have at a construction site… yeah, pretty scary stuff.
I frequently have this thought of me falling and injuring myself when I walk around the construction site. This fear was gone as I felt the traction of the boots tremendous oil and slip resistant outsoles.
I also have nightmares about my toes getting completely crushed at work (yeah.. I’m mentally ruined, I know). I’ve seen that happening, and it’s not an image that’ll get off your head easily, I tell you.
That’s why I loved the protection that prevented my toes from getting smashed thanks to the heavenly safety steel toes that were covering them. They even surpassed the ANSI/ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75 standards, which helped in giving that boost of confidence I needed!
When testing these boots I’d walk around completely excited about how the objects laying around the construction site that previously scared me couldn’t even touch toes now.
Getting completely electrocuted by those goddam wires that are hanging around my construction site was also out of the table, as the boots were EH rated, meaning they wouldn’t conduct electricity from the exterior to my feet!
Great addition, huh?
Salesman: What do you need?
You: A goddam pair of lace up work boots that lasts more than 6 months, please!
Yeah.. I feel you, man. It’s tough to waste money in boots you know aren’t gonna last you for more than 5 months!
Which is why I loved how happy these boots made me, as far as durability was concerned. They had years of use stored to give me as they weren’t only made here in the USA but also were constructed following the freakily awesome Goodyear storm welt construction method.
For those who know nothing about boots, this is a famous manufacturing process that binds the boots elements really good and doesn’t let them fall apart, even after years of demanding use.
I would look at my coworkers while using these Thorogood boots and a big smile would transform my face as I thought how well I had spent my money!
Features and Specifications
- Steel toe meets or exceeds ANSI/ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75 EH safety standards (Optional).
- Metal eyelets and hooks.
- Removable, dual-density Ultimate Shock Absorption insert with Poron 4000 comfort cushion.
- Rubber midsole.
- Engineered composite shank.
- Non-marking MAXwear wedge outsole is slip and oil resistant.
- EH Rated.
- Goodyear storm welt construction.
- Made in the U.S.A.
Customer Reviews and Scores
There are more than 291 reviews in Amazon.com about these work boots at the time of writing and they have given them a 4.4 out of 5 rating on average. The reviews of this pair of work boots are positive overall.
2) Timberland Pro Men’s Direct Attach Work Boots
Protection From The Risks of My Job
If it weren’t for my safety boots my feet would’ve taken a tough beat after all these years working my butt off at the construction site..
Fortunately, my toes remained untouched in front of the risks that come with my construction job thanks to quality steel safety toes just as the ones these awesome Timberland boots had.
I avoided the painful discomfort of getting my feet wet as these boots came built out of a seam-sealed waterproof leather that kept my feet dry. So, I could avoid blisters and sweat build-up which are terrible consequences from the contact of the feet with liquids.
The 400gr of insulation also helped me in protecting my feet from the cold temperatures I’m used to working on, that usually make me catch a cold.
I mean, during the testing period, I would walk around outdoors of the construction site without feeling my feet getting cold, not even a little bit!
Sturdy Durability.. Even Under Demanding Use
Knowing that you paid a good price for a product that lasts you more than 10 years is one of the best feelings in the world, right? Or is it just me and how cheap I am?
I mean, who doesn’t strive for it in before each purchase they make?
Unfortunately, not all products are that awesome. However, these lace up work boots deserve a nice feedback regarding their durability features, or at least that’s what I think.
They felt pretty sturdy, resisting my demanding use, even in tough external conditions (like rain and mud). They seemed strong also, which is a result of the reliable direct-inject construction method the guys at Timberland followed to manufacture this boot.
It was crazy feeling how hard I was beating these boots up some days and seeing them maintain their as-new looks!
Comfort In Any Position
Comfort is a feature that all work boots must have. Hell, employers should’ve “Comfortable” as a condition next to the “Safety Toes” requirement we’re used to getting before entering to the construction site.
Fortunately, I was comfortable all the way while testing these awesome Timberland boots as they came with open-cell polyurethane footbeds and lightweight midsoles which made my walking experience overwhelmingly comfortable.
I’m not kidding when I tell you that through all the testing period, I thought I was wearing Nike shoes all the time!
Stability is another big part of my job. And a big one, not to be too overstating.
If I can’t be flexible and walk freely I might end up spraining my ankle or worst, completely ruining my knees.
That’s why I loved the support I got in any position and movement I wanted to adopt while testing these wonderful Timberland lace up boots.
The nylon shock-diffusion plates were to blame for this awesome advantage, as they let me have the torsional rigidity I needed for doing my job. So nice addition there by the guys at the Timberland headquarters!
Features and Specifications
- Steel safety toe for protection (Optional).
- Seam-sealed waterproof leather uppers.
- Thermolite® 400g insulation.
- Mesh lining with antimicrobial treatment.
- Timberland PRO oil-resistant, non-marking rubber outsole features rubber lugs.
- Direct-inject construction.
- Padded top collar.
- Lightweight blown-thermal plastic midsole.
- Nylon shock diffusion plate.
- Open-cell polyurethane footbed with antimicrobial treatment.
Customer Reviews and Scores
There are more than 344 reviews in Amazon.com about these work boots at the time of writing and they have given them a 4.3 out of 5 rating on average. The reviews of this pair of work boots are positive overall.
3) Danner Men’s Vicious 8 Inch NMT Work Boots
Quality Materials Used
5 years is the minimum length of time I expect from a pair of work boots to last. I know it sounds a little bit too much, but it’s the least I can expect from a product I spent 100 dollars on, right?
The problem is most brands out there use worthless materials to save a few bucks of costs and boost their profits, something that considerably reduces their durability.
As far as these Danner boots are concerned, I avoided the headache of getting really mad as they were made out of full grain leather, which, as the Danner Ad says, “It was put through six different tests before using them as part of the boots”.
Sounds nice, huh?
Well, at least it sounded great for me.
And let me tell you when I first touched the boots, that leather felt so awesome that I wanted to use the boots as a pillow from then on!
All The Protection I Could Ask
In the beginning of my years as a construction worker, I cared about nothing. There was no “wrong type of boots”, anything would work.
But now that I’m a grown man, things have changed. I look for more features, especially protection wise.
That’s why I loved how comfortable it felt to work next to electrical stuff (which I’ve been a long-term detractor of). This confidence was a direct result of the great electrical hazard protection and composite safety toes that were non-conductors of electricity.
Working next to electrical wires has never been so comfortable! (I guess I never thought I’d say that..ever)
They also came with slip-resistant outsoles and waterproof protection for those days that I had to work near water and I wanted to keep my feet dry, preventing those goddam blisters from coming out.
I mean, what else could I ask for in a pair of the best lace up work boots?
Enough Space Maintaining a Snug Fit
If there’s anything I hate is feeling my toes smashed into each other while working.
When that happens, I feel them swirling around one on top of the other and it’s just an awful sensation that I can’t get out of my head!
Feeling the space between my toes while maintaining a snug fit was something I didn’t think any boot could provide me until I tested these Danner boots!
Features and Specifications
- Non-metallic Composite Toe (Optional).
- Full-grain Leather Upper.
- 100% Waterproof and Breathable, Gore-tex Liners.
- Electrical Hazard (Eh) Footwear.
- As Expected, It Meets or Exceeds Astm F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 Eh Standards.
- Vibram Vicious Outsole.
- Speed Lace System.
- Danner Trailguard.
- Additional Space in The Toe Box.
Customer Reviews and Scores
There are more than 110 reviews in Amazon.com about these work boots at the time of writing and they have given them a 4.3 out of 5 rating on average. The reviews of this pair of work boots are positive overall.
4) KEEN Utility Men’s Wenatchee Steel Toe Work Boots
I was raised in a family where anything me and my brother would do we’d be closely watched by my mom who would quickly scream and spank us if we’d do something dangerous.
That’s where I got my constant fear of getting injured, I guess..
Lucky for me, these Keen Utility lace up work boots gave me that insane level of protection I expect from any gear I take to work. I mean, it felt as if a plane had fallen into my toes, it wouldn’t have the possibility to do anything to me!
Do you like smashing your face into the pavement after slipping at your construction site? Yeah, me neither.
But.. that’s what happens if you’re so cheap that you buy a pair of lousy boots with outsoles that don’t have any traction at all.
You’re screaming for an injury!
Which is why I appreciated the confidence these boots gave me thanks to their oil and slip resistant rubber outsoles that gave me the traction needed to walk on any surface without the fear of losing my teeth in the process.
Endurance.. Even Under Heavy Use
If the boots I’m looking at aren’t built out of high-quality materials and following a great construction method, then I don’t even consider them.
Well.. just think about how fast can a pair of work boots that has low-quality materials and a flawed construction method break if you use it in the insanely demanding conditions we use them.. the answer is pretty obvious, right?
I avoided the outrageous frustration of watching my boots break apart after a couple of months thanks to the welt construction method the engineers at Keen decided to follow, as it not only binds the materials together very tightly but also holds them in that position even after putting the boots to heavy use.
Comfort That Energises You
Sometimes, a pair of lace up work boots looks so good on paper that you can’t wait to buy them and take them home.
The boots are attractive, they have the most protective features of them all. However, it seems they lack a few comfortable features. But, you buy them anyways to later find out it was one of the worst decisions you made in your life! (Yeah.. I’m being a little bit too dramatic)
But what’s not dramatic, is the importance of a comfortable pair of boots that not only protects you but also comforts your feet in every step you take at the construction site or wherever you work at.
That’s why I loved the pleasure I felt every time I took a step while using these Keen boots thanks to awesome features such as the:
Removable Metatomical Dual Density EVA Footbed: These footbeds were anatomically designed to provide the worker with an excellent arch support which gave a much-needed break to my feet after hours of straight work.
TPU Stability Shank: These TPU shanks gave me the support to adopt any physical position always adapting to the ergonomics of my feet, which contributed a lot to my stability!
I remember feeling even more energised after hours passed at my job. It seemed as if the comfort features were literally giving me more energy to go through the day!
I mean, they even had locking metal hooks and lacing eyelets which gave me the comfort of a snug and tight fit all day long!
Features and Specifications
- Left And Right Asymmetrical Steel Toe: Meets Or Exceeds Astm F2412-11 And F2413-11 I/75 C/75 Eh Standards.
- Dry Waterproof Breathable Membrane.
- Oil And Slip Resistant Non-marking Rubber Outsole.
- Welt Construction.
- Left & Right Asymmetrical Safety Toe.
- Locking Metal Hooks And Lacing Eyelets.
- Removable Metatomical Dual Density Eva Footbed
- Tpu Stability Shank.
Customer Reviews and Scores
There are more than 176 reviews in Amazon.com about these work boots at the time of writing and they have given them a 4.1 out of 5 rating on average. The reviews of this pair of work boots are positive overall.
5) Georgia Boot Men’s Loggers Work Boots
Just the Protection I Needed
When I want to do a good job, I always seek out to find the “classic” protective features in a pair of lace up work boots as I find them to be enough to keep me safe from 100% of the possible misfortunate events that might happen at my job.
Which is why I liked the assurance that these Georgia boots safety toes and its electrical hazard protection provided me. I mean, with these two features I felt as if I was invincible, even during the usually risky tasks that I’m always afraid to do.
“Just use a pair of quality socks and be aware of not getting your boots wet” that was the answer a coworker gave me after I asked him how he kept his feet safe from getting wet.
As much as I hated that answer, I took it as a universal truth and kept on my way. I tolerated colds and blisters for years, until I brands started offering the famous waterproof work boots just like these Georgia boots.
I mean, I can’t stress enough how important was for me to keep my feet dry and clean without any kind of water coming from the exterior thanks to the boots awesome waterproof material that kept my feet dry no matter what!
Durability That Makes You Happy
I don’t know how you might feel about knowing you wasted your money in boots that didn’t last you more than 6 months, but in my case, I’d just want to kill myself!
I know it sounds a little bit too over-dramatic, but it’s the truth.
I’ve seen so many boots get ruined after just a couple of months of light use… I can’t handle it anymore.
Fortunately for me, I don’t have to take that dreadful decision yet. At least when it comes to these Georgia boots.
They weren’t only made to endure tough conditions thanks to one of the most splendid types of leather I’ve touched in my entire life, but they also were manufactured following the Goodyear Welt construction method which contributed a lot to the boot’s durability.
I would go back home after months of having used these boots, sit on bed, take them off, hold them in my hands at my eye-level and just smile… smile for how new they looked!
Comfort That Makes Your Day a Whole Lot Better
I don’t think I’ve ever met someone in my years as a construction worker that told me “My boots are killing me, but I could get used to it”.
I mean, everyone that use work boots knows that comfort is key. Without comfort, you’re just miserable.
I loved the freedom I had to adopt any position I liked without the fear of injuring myself. I mean, I move so weirdly that I’m constantly worried about getting an ankle sprained, which is why I worshipped the boots steel shanks that gave me that support I so desperately needed!
What I really despise about work boots, beside them being uncomfortable, is to feel my feet dancing around inside them, it’s the worst.
That’s why I loved how snug and comfy the boots were thanks to their solid stud hooks and steel eyelets. I know it seems too much, but a cozy fit can make your work day a whole lot better!
Features and Specifications
- Protective Toe Steel Toe (Optional).
- Electrical Hazard.
- Our Electrical Hazard Boots Meets And Exceeds Astm F2413-05 Electrical Hazard Standards.
- Georgia Waterproof.
- Abrasion-resistant Rubber “”Georgia Logger”” Outsole.
- Goodyear Welt Construction.
- Full-grain Leather.
- Steel Shank.
- Solid Stud Hooks & Eyelets Set On Steel Washers – Will Not Pull Out.
Customer Reviews and Scores
There are more than 82 reviews in Amazon.com about these work boots at the time of writing and they have given them a 4.4 out of 5 rating on average. The reviews of this pair of work boots are positive overall.
My Verdict: The Best Lace Up Work Boots
Thorogood Men’s American Heritage Work Boots.
Quick Comparison Table
What 3 Features I Looked For In The Best Lace Up Work Boots
I know almost everyone has the same aversion of wasting money as me.. that’s why I’m gonna reveal a couple of attributes I looked for in the boots I reviewed in this article which almost always guarantee me endurance.
Obviously, the first thing that comes to mind is a good pair of quality laces. If they’re good, they won’t break just after a couple of months, saving you from the annoyance of having to go out and spend money on something it was supposed not to break in the first place!
The second most essential aspect of a lace up boot is the leather. If they have a nice and superior type of leather, the boots will bear your use while also making the boots look awesome which is always a nice addition, right?
Additionally, these might be other durability features I’d look for in a pair of work boots: Superior outsoles: Many outsoles get completely destroyed after walking in oily, uneven, or just corrosive surfaces
- Superior outsoles: Many outsoles get completely destroyed after walking in oily, uneven, or just corrosive surfaces on my construction site. I hate it.
- Trustworthy construction method: This will stop the boots from coming apart after only a couple of months.
Protection That Prevents Agony
One of my deepest fears in life is getting my toes crushed, having to end up in agony in a cold and harsh hospital room. And I know that the only thing that will keep this from happening is a pair of boots that have good-quality safety steel toes. Nothing beats the solid protection of steel!
That’s why those are at the top of my list when looking for protection in a pair of lace up work boots. If the boot I’m looking at doesn’t have that attribute, then I just don’t consider it and continue with my search.
It might seem a little bit picky, but that’s just how I am.
Every time I see someone shattering their bodies into the hard-concrete floor of a construction site, I see low-quality outsoles as the main reason why they end up in this dreadful situation.
So.. slip, abrasion and oil resistant outsoles are also what I looked for in the best lace up work boots I reviewed in this article. And I also ditched them if they didn’t have them!
That Comfortable “Something”
When you have your work boots uncomfortably hurting your feet you know something is wrong. And that “something” is that your boots don’t have those comfy insoles that all lace up work boots should have.
I’m talking about those footbeds that feel as if you were walking on a cloud when you use them.. yeah.. those.
That’s why cushioned insoles were one of my main concerns as to the “comfort features” I looked for in the lace up boots I got to review for this article.
Are you used to work 10-hour-long shifts? Yeah? Well.. Me too! And I know how awful they can get, especially for your feet.
I look for good quality shanks in all the boots I test to solve this problem. Because they are responsible of comforting my feet and knees through the day, which ends up giving me more energy for enduring those days when my feet just won’t keep going.
The Process of How I Tested The 5 Best Lace Up Work Boots
This article is supposed to help you find the best lace up work boots that are comfortable, durable, and protective, so you don’t have to waste your time by doing it yourself.
Which is why I tested these boots while doing precise tasks and movements and then analysing how the boots felt and reacted to them.
First I tried to do as many movements as possible putting the boots to the test. I did this to see how they fit before and after. If they stayed snug and comfortable I then would continue with the following tests.
- Walking around the construction site to see how comfortable they were.
- Walking on slippery and abrasive surfaces to see if they had the necessary traction and quality materials to tolerate it.
- Letting objects, that would be laying around my construction site, fall on my toe area to test their toe protection.
I did these tests over a period of 2 to 4 months with each boot intermittently, which also let me analyse, at the end of each boot’s test, how well they endured my demanding tests and if they were durable or not.