The Ultimate Guide to Find the Best Work Boots | 2021 Update + 9 Reviews

Last Updated on October 26, 2021 by Jack Sanders

So this is what you’ve been looking for. After all the talking, it’s time to shine baby.

A couple of things to take in mind when reading these short work boot reviews:

  • I am a construction worker with 15 years of experience. And I love to give my anecdotes on the work boots I review.
  • The following are short reviews of what I think are the best work boots. You can check the full reviews by just clicking the name of each boot.
  • I own 90% of the boots I talk about. Yes, I’m a fanatic and this is an expensive hobby to have, I know… you don’t have to tell me.
  • I will in the future upload video reviews.
  • I offer links to my full work boot reviews and the product listings on amazon so you can maybe help me earn a small commission if you buy a pair via that link. And if you don’t there is no problem. Thanks if you do tough!

The List of The Best Work Boots of 2021

1) Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Work Boots

When you buy a pair of these, you get right away why they are one of the best work boots out there. After you take them out of the box, you can feel and smell the high-quality leather that this beautiful item has. If you are like me, then you get what I’m talking about.

The protective features and quality are great. They are built to last. After talking with different workers in all types of occupations, you don’t stop hearing that they are rock solid. You can beat them all year long and they will look just like new, like the ones I own!

Then, as you analyze part by part these boots, you quickly realize the high quality and advanced technology used to build them. You can feel it with your hands just by touching. The sole, the body, they’re great.

After the break-in period is passed, you won’t believe how comfortable these boots are. They are made for standing all day, they really are. I once used them in a 9-hour work shift and my feet didn’t even notice it!

The other great feature is the style they provide. I mean, I’ve never seen a pair of boots more manly than these. If you like footwear that not only satisfies your work needs but also that can be worn to go out with a pair of jeans, then you’re probably looking at the best work boots for men and men. They are even in different colors to choose from.

If you don’t mind the break-in period that most have, then you’re looking at the all-around best value work boot out there. The one that gives you the best bang for the buck.

Check price at Amazon.com

2) Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic Steel Toe Waterproof Boot

These are in my humble opinion the best steel toe boots made by Caterpillar in the waterproof department. You can be working in a wet environment and you won’t even notice it thanks to these babies. You can rest sure that they are a great option to keep your feet dry and protected at all costs.

Let me say you won’t believe how breathable they are. It’s incredible. I’m used to be a little bit uncomfortable using waterproof boots in non-wet places, but with these.. man.. your feet will be dry and cool with no fear of overheating. They also are comfortable just right out of the box. When I used them for the first time I was greatly surprised with how little time it took the boots to settle.

Like many others, they have safety steel toes, and the sole, apart from being extremely comfortable as I’ve just told you, is slip-resistant.

The downside with these boots is that they are a little bit heavy, as all waterproof work boots are. And after reading what various customers had to say, I realized they are a little bit too wide. So, if you can deal with these two things maybe this could be a pair of boots to take into consideration.

Check price at Amazon.com

3) Red Wing Heritage Men’s Classic Work 6-Inch Moc Toe Boot

Red Wing is that brand you think is really expensive and not worth it. But when you get a hold of one pair of its work boots, then you get why all the fuss exists.

Yes, they are extremely comfortable. The sole of these boots is highly ergonomic. When you try them on the first time you can feel it settling into your feet as a pillow would do.

Yes, they are incredibly durable and protective. After reading too many work boot reviews, talking with some co-workers, and finally buying a pair, after many hours of thinking about it. I can tell you that the Red Wing Heritage Work Boots will last you AT LEAST 10 YEARS! Why? Well, they are handmade in America, they have triple stitching to make every part of the boot really durable, and the leather used is inexplicably good quality.

Then there is the obvious, the price. Yes, they are quite expensive. But man, when you hold these top-rated work boots in your hands you just can’t believe how stylish they are. We’re talking about gems that will make you feel sad when you take them to work!

If you are passionate about work boots and you would love a long lasting, quality, and stylish pair of boots, then this is your best option.

Check price at Amazon.com

4) Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6-Inch Moc Toe Boot

This is the pair of boots that you really can’t say anything bad about. I’m not kidding, nothing.

After you take them out of the box the first thing you notice is the beautiful tobacco tanned leather that the boot is made of. You just can’t get your eyes out of it. It’s soft and smells incredible, just as you are imagining right now. It gives the work boot an overall sensation of quality and power, without leaving behind the style that all best work boots should have.

Thanks to this great material the product is protected against any kind of temperature. You can order a pair with or without the steel toe boot, so it’s your choice. But you shouldn’t care about the sacrifice of weightlessness because these are lightweight work boots in both models.

The sole works against wet surfaces and is shock absorbent, which is a plus in certain kinds of occupations.

I‘ve had this pair for almost one year now and I can tell you they are highly durable. They look just the same as the first day I bought them.

Finally, when talking comfort this pair of boots is one of those that really do not take the time to break in and settle. So it’s great if you are the kind of person who likes not to be bothered with that “break-in period”.

Check price at Amazon.com

5) Timberland PRO Men’s Titan 6-Inch Waterproof Work Boot

The Timberland Titans Work Boots are one of the most classic and timeless pairs of boots I’ve ever seen around. They are made by one of the most famous brands worldwide. They are easily the best selling pair of work boots, thanks to the reputation built over time around its durability and features.

It is the go-to work boot for the majority of people. It is really comfortable, thanks to its Power Comfort System which gives maximum support to the user’s ankle. And it has safety steel toes with a sole that protects the feet from oil, abrasion, and slippery surfaces. Oh, and is also waterproof and electric shock resistant. So.. now you know why these are some of the best steel toe boots in the market.

When you put them on, you quickly realize they have a great construction quality thanks to the high standards that Timberland sets to this special model. After you buy them, you just feel that you made the best choice. You can’t go wrong with these.

However, for a little group of people, the only downside they find is that they are really “generic-looking”. But, the majority thinks they are a great pair of best work boots that fits all needs with certainty and class.

Check price at Amazon.com

6) Timberland Pro Men’s Pitboss 6-Inch Steel Toe Work Boot

Regarded as one of the best work boots all-around, the Timberland Pro Men’s Pitboss work boot is looked at as high quality with plenty of features.

I’m really in love with the durability of these boots. They use tough leather as the main material which makes them rugged, just how I like it. The overall construction quality and technology have notoriously high standards. This is why is recommended for intensive occupations.

On the protective side, I can say I like the fact that they have many features:

  • Slip and oil resistance
  • Waterproofing
  • Electrical Hazard Protection
  • Extra Sole Traction for Stability
  • Steel Toes for protection against punctures
  • Etc

I told you they were all–round.

I not only like what I’ve just told you but I also like that when you use them for several weeks they start to get really comfortable. Another important thing to mention is that if you have big toes as I do, then you will love the extra room that this product offers.

Finally, on the style side, this model is offered in various colors and all of them are really classic and low-key. So if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to stand out and likes functionality, maybe these are the best work boots for men.

Check price at Amazon.com

7) Wolverine Men’s Raider Boot

If you say Wolverine, you say value at a good price. A brand that is recognized in the market for being comfortable and long-lasting is a brand that could offer top-rated work boots designed to be both durable and functional. Leaving customers happy.

When you try these boots, the feeling of comfort is really exceptional and the break-in period is almost nonexistent. This is because the Multishox Comfort System offered by Wolverine. What is that? It’s a new technology that combines pressure pads and high-quality gel to build the insole, which brings an incomparable experience of pleasure.

As it is with all the footwear I buy and review, this boot has a nonslip and abrasion-resistant sole. And it is exceptionally breathable. Which added to its comfort, makes a good alternative to taking into consideration when looking for good work boots.

Finally, after talking with some other owners of these workboots, we all agreed that they come with a wide heel. In my case, this isn’t a real problem because I can solve it with a pair of socks, but to some people, it can be deceiving.

Check price at Amazon.com

8) Keen Utility Men’s Tacoma Steel Toe

When you buy a pair of these boots, you’ll feel smart all the way. The Keen Utility Tacoma Steel Toe Work Boot has two types of technology that really interested me.

The first is the Dri-Lex technology that makes this boot really dry and comfortable under most weather conditions making this a lightweight steel toe boot. After buying it, I put it to a hard test working in the pouring rain and my feet ended up as dry as a piece of paper. So the technology really worked, it’s not just marketing.

The second technology I fell in love with was its design. It is one of the best work boots I’ve ever tried. That’s because it only has steel in the toe part of the boot and leaves the rest of the body free of this material, decreasing the overall weight of the boot but maintaining a good level of protection.

I’ve owned this pair of boots for 5 years now. I started using it a lot after making the purchase and then as I bought others I slowly began to decrease its use. But let me tell you, they do not look like they are 5 years old, they look like 1 year old, at most. It’s impressive.

The only thing I don’t like is the yellow lines that are so famous in Keen Utility’s designs. Then, the other detail is that they run a little bit large in size so you may have to ask a size shorter. However, if you don’t mind spending a little bit more, then you will get one of the most advanced and best-rated work boots out there.

Check price at Amazon.com

9) Chippewa Men’s 6-Inch Rugged Handcrafted Lace-Up Boot

This handcrafted in USA pair of work boots made by Chippewa has one of the features on a boot I love the most. And that’s the old-school lace-up. I love to have good quality lace-up. It’s so stylish and classic. And when you add the American flag pin in the middle of the laces then you just can’t stop drawing (I know, I have problems). They are just beautiful.

But don’t get me wrong, these don’t end up in just the style, they have very interesting features.

Like its “Vibram Sole” which is made by a synthetic compound that perfectly combines everything an outsole should have: slip resistance, weightlessness, and insulation. Making these an overall high quality of work boots.

But they do have a downside, and that’s the leather material used to build them. It is a little bit thin in comparison with other top-rated work boots, like de Timberland Pitboss. Which makes you feel somewhat not protected in some situations.

Check price at Amazon.com

Quick Comparison Table

Work Boots
ProtectionComfortDurability

Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Work Boots






4






4






4



Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic Steel Toe Waterproof Boot





4.5






4.5






4



Red Wing Heritage Men’s Classic Work 6-Inch Moc Toe Boot





4






5






5



Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6-Inch Moc Toe Boot





3.5






4.5






4.5



Timberland PRO Men’s Titan 6-Inch Waterproof Work Boot





5






4.5






4



Timberland Pro Men’s Pitboss 6-Inch Steel Toe Work Boot





5






4






5



Wolverine Men's Raider Boot





4.5






4






4



Keen Utility Men’s Tacoma Steel Toe





4






5






4.5



Chippewa Men's 6-Inch Rugged Handcrafted Lace-Up Boot





5






4.5






5


The Importance of Choosing the Best Work Boots

If you came across this website, chances are you are a hardworking man or woman who is looking for the best work boots in the market according to your needs and possibilities. Or maybe, you are just curious about what are the top work boots.

Either way, this is the place for you…

Nobody can tell the risks that working involves. Just within a second, things can get rough. It is impossible to get a grasp of what can happen in the future, but you have to be preventive in every way possible. The importance of a high-end work boot is known among workers. Choosing the right pair can achieve a lot more than just protect your toes. It can give you the certainty that it will keep you safe from slippery surfaces, frozen toes from cold winter temperatures, nail injuries, and electrical accidents.

Each industry demands various features in the best work boots. So there are different criteria to choose from. If you are a construction worker, you would get a different model than a mechanic, a logger or even an electrician would.

The problem is… there is TOO MUCH to think about.

Well… if you don’t know how to pick, then you came to the best site out there. Why? Because I have the knowledge and the passion to help you choose the top-rated work boots you can think of, and the best part is that it’s FREE.

How? I make the most in-depth reviews and I have the most detailed guides to help you pick the right pair according to your needs.

Just so you get a glance, take a look at the following table. It has a very simple way of putting the best work boots out there with a few important features they have.

The Benefits of Choosing the Best Work Boots

Safety

Did you know that almost 25% of disabling workplace injuries come from accidents involving the feet? We’re talking about punctures, crushed toes, sprains, lacerations, etc. All of them hurting the working man’s feet. That has to stop.

This is one of the reasons I built this site, to help people choose the highest-rated work boots to feel safe.

Comfort

We all know that comfort is key. If you buy the best work boots you can buy, your whole body feels great, your mind is in place and full of energy.

Say goodbye to fatigue and body stress caused by standing all day on your feet. And say hello to a more energetic and motivated you. All just by choosing right. Who knew…

Performance

When is time to work performance is key. The best work boots leave your brain free of preoccupations. That’s because you don’t have to worry about being uncomfortable or the risks that your feet are exposed to. And, it also rests your body thanks to its great ergonomic features.

So.. both your mind and body are ready to get to work.

Long-Lasting Work Boots

You go to work, you earn money. That money is hard-earned.

You would like to spend it in the best work boots you can get, don’t you?. Well, that is what I’m going to help you with. If you achieve that, the boots that you choose will last a long, long time. Why? It’s because they will be engineered to be in the environments that you’re regularly in.

The Best Work Boots Buying Guide: All you need to know

Now we’re getting into the good part…

I love work boots. I love to talk about them. And I love to advise about them. That’s why I made this guide, so you can pick the best work boots for all your needs. Let’s get right into it…

You can be a:

  • Logger
  • Plumber
  • Construction worker
  • Electrician
  • Mechanic
  • 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.

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
  • And many others…

No need to panic. You just need to know what are the types of places that you will use them in. Then, with each review, you will get advice on the occupations each boot is for.

Must-Have Features of the Best Work Boots

There are a lot, I mean… A LOT OF FEATURES. So, the most rational thing to do when choosing something that has many features is selecting criteria based on the important aspects. And I did, I made that criteria for you.

This is the list of features to pay attention to:

Durability

Durability is the feature that will make the work boots last longer. It’s what will make you feel you spent your money the right way. That’s why is so important.

How do you come to know about durability? Well, you have to look for what other customers are saying about that specific model you like. There are two ways of doing this.

The first one is to look for work boot reviews on amazon, where previous clients write ratings on how they feel about the product. The problem is that you don’t know if the people making those reviews are real, or if they are in the same situation that you are.

And the second way, the one I recommend, is to read this site. Because when reviewing a product I look at every single amazon review out there to finally add my opinion and experiences and tell you if it is good and for whom it will be the best work boot. All in great detail.

Material and Overall Quality

The second thing to look for in good work boots is the material they are made of.

Most commonly, work boots use 3 different kinds of materials: waterproof material, full-grain leather, or nylon mesh. As you may guess, these materials go according to different needs.

  • The waterproofing material aims to make the feet protected from any kind of liquid and is well known for making very durable work boots. As great as it is, it’s also quite expensive. But if your job demands this type of protection, then a pair of high-quality waterproof work boots are what you need.
  • The full-grain leather it’s what most top work boots are made of, a hard and durable material that makes the boots very protective and rugged, but also a little bit on the heavy side. This is the type of material that fits almost any job if it doesn’t go too specific in certain needs.
  • Lastly, the nylon mesh is what makes lightweight work boots. It is a very breathable material that is great for very hot environments where you need protection and coolness. The downside is that as it is nylon, which won’t last as long as the previous materials.

Brand

When buying something that has a well-known brand, most of us feel that we are paying for the brand and not for the quality of the product. Well, this is not the case. When choosing the best work boots, you have to know that buying the most famous brand is the way to go. Why? Because those brands offer great quality and a good price to value ratio that no other brand can achieve.

We’re talking about brands such as:

  • Timberland
  • Keen
  • Caterpillar
  • Justin
  • Wolverine
  • Red Wings
  • Carolina

I love the sensation of buying a boot with a great brand knowing I’m not being ripped off.

Weight

The weight is another thing you have to look for. This is related to the material aspect talked about previously. As you choose boots that are made of heavy materials, more are the chances that you end up with a heavy boot.

I always say that a good work boot is both protective and comfortable.

Break-in Time

As more protective, heavy, and bulky your work boots are, more are the chances that you have to wait until they fit perfectly. This could take days, months, or even years to happen.

There is a lot of people that say they don’t mind this, but I do. I don’t like waiting 6 months for a pair of boots to settle in.

So, if you don’t want to wait too long until the break period goes away, then you have to choose a pair of really comfortable work boots that have a shorter break-in period.

Manufacturing Method

After the material, the second factor that greatly influences the price of the boots is the construction method. There are 3 different types of techniques in this area:

  • Cement Method:

This method is the cheapest, most popular, and the one that makes the most lightweight work boots on the market. It consists of gluing with a high strength adhesive the work boot’s sole with the rest of its body.

The downside is that with heavy use the sole has a stronger chance of being detached from the rest of the boot’s body.

  • Direct Attach Method

This method consists of attaching a mole to the bottom part of the body of the work boot and then pouring molted rubber and filling it up, then letting it rest for 1 to 2 days so the rubber hardens.

This allows the sole to really stick making it very hard to detach in the future. It’s what also makes comfortable and lightweight work boots, especially in shock absorption situations.

  • Stich-down Method

This method is one of the most famous methods to construct the best work boots considering high quality. It was invented by a guy named Charles Goodyear Jr. And it consists of stitching a strip of quality material, most commonly leather, between the bottom part of the body of the boot and the sole.

This allows the footwear to be the most durable work boots and also allows the owner to have the possibility to repair the sole very easily adding years of use.

Safety Toes

Safety toes are one of the requirements that many occupations have. It is what makes your toes be under all safety when performing at your job. There are three different kinds of safety toes:

  • Steel Toes

This is the most famous choice because the best steel toe boots are very protective against all kinds of environments. As the name tells, they are made mainly of steel. The only downside is that they make the work boot heavy and conduct temperature, so you have to be careful with really hot or cold environments.

  • Aluminum Toes

This is a similar choice to the previous. It is one of the most protective types of safety toes for incredibly lightest work boots. The only downside is that they are bulkier than the steel toes and they also conduct temperature.

  • Composite Toes

This type of safety toe is made from one of these three kinds of materials: Plastic, Carbon Fiber, or Kevlar. As you may know, these materials are very lightweight but they do have a good level of resistance and durability.

The most positive aspect is that they do not conduct temperature which makes them great for situations that the other types of safety toes are not able to confront well.

Sole Type and Heel Support

Depending on your occupation you may need different types of work boots soles. For example, if you work on slippery surfaces you would probably need a slip and oil resistant sole to prevent any accidents. On the opposite, if you work on construction you may need work boots that have a puncture-resistant sole so you don’t get hurt by any nail, or maybe you need an acid resistant sole. And if you carry very heavy objects you would like to look for the best work boots with metatarsal support.

Are you used to climb at work? Maybe you’ll need to look for a work boot that has special heel support, with a sole fairly high.  Everything related to soles and heel treatment is in all of our reviews, so don’t be afraid to take a look at them.

Waterproofing and Insulation

These are two specific features of work boots that only certain workers find helpful. The waterproof work boots let you protect your toes from any kind of liquid and it is great for wet and snowy weathers.

On the other hand, insulated work boots are great for really cold environments up to -30 degrees. The only downside is that it’s nearly impossible to use them in the summer months because your feet would get really hot.

Electrical Surge Protection

There are two types of work boots that are made for working around electricity; these are the electrical hazard and the static dissipation work boots.

  • Electrical Hazard Work Boots: This kind of boot is made to reduce the risk of an electric shock to the minimum. The method is to build the boot with nonconductive materials, which are only nonmetallic.
  • Static Dissipation: The special thing about these boots is that they are made with a conductive insole that is engineered to prevent the buildup of static. So if you work with electrical sensitive objects maybe these are the best work boots for men and women.

To summarize, I told you that you have to take in mind the activities you do at your job and the features that the work boots offer. That seems tedious, doesn’t it? Don’t worry…

What I’m going to do is to make reviews of the boots available in the market analyzing their features and telling you if they are recommended for certain occupations and activities. So you can make an educated decision. You don’t have to suffer!

Author: Jack Sanders
Hey there, I’m Jack, founder and editor in chief here at WorkBootsGuru.com. After my best friend spent hundreds of hours trying to convince me, I decided to take control of my life and finally got to make this site. I’m on a mission to share my insider tips with every man who has a skilled trade job.