17 Best Work Boots for Men: Your Buying Guide

Best Work Boots for Men

123rf.com (Christopher Hall)

We know that you working guys put in a full shift each and every day. When that whistle blows at the end of your shift, there’s nothing worse than a pair of aching feet.

If your work boots just aren’t cutting it, we’re glad that you’re here. Take a look at our list below of the Best Work Boots for Men. We looked at all of the major brands (and some smaller names, too) and came up with 17 of the hardest-working boots around.

You’ll find steel-toed, soft-toed, composite-toed, and everything in between to address your respective needs wherever it is that you punch the clock. Out in the snow, hunched over a workbench, or using a wheelbarrow, give your feet some well-deserved attention and treat yourself to one of these great pairs of work boots.

One more thing: ladies, we know that you rock the work boots just as hard as the guys. We’ll have a post of the best work boots for you very soon.

These are the Best Work Boots for Men

Rockrooster Walker 6-Inch Soft Toe Wedge Work Boots Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Great non-slip ability
  • Rich, oiled, full-grain leather
Price: $99.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 100% leather construction
  • 1-1/4-inch heel with 3/4-inch platform
  • Steel toe with padded ankle
Price: $79.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Danner Men's Bull Run Moc Toe 6-Inch Work Boot Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Available in four rich colors
  • Insanely comfortable
  • Will last for years with proper care
Price: $189.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Keen Utility Pittsburgh 6-Inch Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot Amazon Customer Reviews
  • One of the safest boots out there
  • Stability plate built into the midsole
  • Super-comfortable
Price: $184.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Carhartt 6-Inch Waterproof Wedge Steel Toe Work Boot Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Proprietary dry wicking qualities
  • Goodyear welt construction
  • They look great and feel better
Price: $131.74 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Ever Boots Tank S Steel Toe Industrial Work Boot Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Rubber sole
  • Steel toe that meets tough ASTM standards
  • Goodyear Welt construction
Price: $69.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Dr. Martens Winch Steel Toe Light Industry Boots Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Synthetic non-slip sole
  • Solid Dr. Martens styel and construction
  • Steel toe and additional insulation to protect against electric charge
Price: $109.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Thorogood Men's Infinity FD Series 6-Inch Work Boot Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Full-grain waterproof leather
  • Removeable polyurethane footbed
  • Composite toe provides lightweight protection
Price: $179.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Rockrooster 6-Inch Steel Toe Slip-On Work Boots Amazon Customer Reviews
  • TPU non-slip sole dissipates static
  • Composite toe provides protection and is lightweight
  • Good fitting boot with no lacing required
Price: $91.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Wolverine Overpass 6-Inch Composite Toe Work Boot Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Bullet-proof toughness
  • Waterproof and breathable
  • Lightweight composite toe protection
Price: $141.39 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Thorogood American Heritage MAXWear Wedge Boot Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Goodyear Welt construction
  • Fiberglass shank
  • Oil-tanned, full-grain leather
Price: $224.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Golden Fox 6-Inch Boondocker Service Boot Pro Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Perfect for the office and the field
  • Goodyear Welt construction
  • Steel shanks for extra arch support
Price: $129.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Keen 59 Moc Toe Hiking Boot Amazon Customer Reviews
  • All leather construction with a rubber sole
  • Quick break-in period
  • They simply look incredible
Price: $159.94 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Wolverine Raider 6-Inch Work Boot Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great pair of boots for just about anything
  • Comfortable and rugged
  • Flexible sole is more like a sneaker
Price: $94.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Timberland White Ledge Waterproof Boot Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Comfortable right out of the box
  • Great value especially when compared to other boots in its class
  • Incredibly stylish
Price: $99.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Timberland PRO Direct Attach Steel Toe Work Boot Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Thick TPU sole
  • Seam-sealed waterproof construction
  • Insulated with Thermolite
Price: $144.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Georgia Giant Work Boot Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Rubber sole with great tread
  • Oil-resistant bumper guard
  • Durable and rugged boots
Price: $124.23 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Rockrooster Walker 6-Inch Soft Toe Wedge Work Boots

    Pros:
    • Rich, oiled, full-grain leather
    • Incredibly comfortable
    • Great non-slip ability
    Cons:
    • Old-school break-in period
    • Heavy
    • Non-safety toe

    The Rockrooster Walker 6-Inch Soft Toe Wedge Work Boot is an incredibly comfortable pair to wear daily, once you get them broken in, that is. Yes, these boots seem to be the only pair on our list that require an old-school period of time to work in the leather. That’s okay, wear them with comfy socks on the weekend for a few hours at a time and you’ll be good to go.

    The Walker provides a long-wearing rubber outsole designed for superior grip and durability as well as a comfortable footbed. The support shank is made not of steel or fiberglass, but carbon fiber. The wedge heel is beveled for help with slip-resistance.

    Keep in mind that this moc toe work boot doesn’t feature a safety toe of any kind. This is going to be your casual wear or office meeting pair of work boots. The leather is oiled, full-grained, and resistant to water. The interior of the boots features a good moisture-wicking material to keep your feet nice and dry.

    For what they’re designed to do, and especially for the price, these Rockrooster Walker work boots are a very good pair to take a look at.

  2. 2. Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot

    Pros:
    • 100% leather construction
    • 1-1/4-inch heel with 3/4-inch platform
    • Steel toe with padded ankle and oil-resistant outsole
    Cons:
    • I'm not a fan of the Cat logo in so many places
    • Laces need to be stronger
    • Inside padding can wear faster than the rest of the shoe

    As soon as you grace your feet with a pair of these Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boots from Caterpillar, you’ll understand what taking care of your feet really feels like. These boots will go the distance and then some. The Second Shift will deliver what you expect from a great pair of work boots: protection, comfort, and durability, no matter your vocation.

    That Caterpillar name means more than quality for earth-moving equipment. Their handsome styling and quality 100% leather make for an amazing combination for the handyman for construction work, landscaping, manufacturing, and much more. Rubber soles provide electrical hazard protection against open circuits up to 14,000 Volts in dry conditions while the full-grain leather uppers are oiled to deliver solid performance.

    Finally, these steel toe boots are rated the highest available for strength, impact, and compression. But perhaps most important of all, they feel amazing. Throw on these boots and everybody had better get out of the way of your full-on eight-hour shift (not including lunch).

  3. 3. Danner Men’s Bull Run Moc Toe 6-Inch Work Boot

    Pros:
    • Available in four rich colors
    • Insanely comfortable
    • Will last for years with proper care
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • No additional toe protection
    • I'm not a fan of the light colored sole

    Danner has been making tough footwear since 1932 so right away I know that the Bull Run Moc Toe 6-Inch Work Boot is going to be something great. This utilitarian boot features a timeless design that is appropriate for the worksite and looks great on the town. And how do you argue with a color like “tobacco”? You don’t.

    You’re going to find that just after a couple of days of wear that the Bull Run boots will be insanely comfortable. Oil them up twice a year and they’ll still feel incredible for years. Danner puts the leather used in their work boots through seven different tests to grade it on strength, pull, and density. The boots you buy after such scrutiny will do you well.

    The sole is pure rubber and the footbed features a cushioning open-cell OrthoLite material. These things are just sharp no matter how you look at them. They come in a steel toe option as well as eight-inch high varieties as well.

    Keep in mind that these boots are simply a moc toe, with no additional protection provided. But if you’re looking for a great work boot that’s at home in a garage as it is at a nice dinner with your significant other, the Danner Bull Run is definitely it. Recommended.


    VideoVideo related to danner men’s bull run moc toe 6-inch work boot2021-01-29T16:32:00-05:00
  4. 4. Keen Utility Pittsburgh 6-Inch Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot

    Pros:
    • Super-comfortable
    • One of the safest boots out there
    • Stability plate built into the midsole
    Cons:
    • Personally, I think they're the ugliest boots ever made
    • Expensive
    • Not meant for high-industrial applications

    First off, allow me to say that I don’t like the Keen Utility Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot. I should clarify that I don’t like the look of these boots. Maybe I’m hung up on the hiking boot fashion or that weird nylon strap on the side of the heel. But that’s where my own personal negative opinion on these boots ends.

    Because, you see, these Keen work boots may be the most comfortable, durable, and well-loved boots on our list. I’ll list out the reasons why this is. For one, the steel toe (yes, steel toe) is asymmetrical to better fit each foot. For another, the outsoles wrap up and over the toes for better protection. And for a third, Keen inserts a full-length stability plate into the midsole that helps to provide heel stability, medial and lateral support, and bruising protection.

    The outsole is oil and slip-resistant as well as non-marking. The uppers are made of waterproof nubuck leather. The Keen Utility Pittsburgh Work Boots meet or exceed all of the ASTM safety standards (F2412-11 and F2413-11 I/75 C/75 EH) and on top of that, the webbing on the shoe reflects light for yet another great safety feature.

    What I’m getting at is that working guys love these boots. And if they enjoy them so much, I’ll have to get over my dislike of how ugly they are. Who really cares what I think, anyhow? Comfortable feet on the job is much, much more important than the words coming out of my piehole.

  5. 5. Carhartt 6-Inch Waterproof Wedge Steel Toe Work Boot

    Pros:
    • Proprietary dry wicking qualities
    • Goodyear welt construction
    • They look great and feel better
    Cons:
    • They're expensive but they're Carhartts
    • The tan color is a bit darker than you'd expect from the photos
    • Fabric lining may not hold up as well as the rest of the boot

    If you’re looking for work boots that are rugged, stylish, AND match all the rest of your Carhartt gear, look no further: the Carhartt 6-Inch Waterproof Wedge Steel Toe Work Boots meet all of those criteria. Your feet won’t even feel like they’re working wearing these bad boys. These boots feature a number of amenities that will make you want to take them home and go remodel something.

    Carhartt’s FastDry technology lining will wick away sweat to keep your feet nice and dry. The cushion comfort insole features a foam cushion to offer up support and reduce foot fatigue. They’re built with Goodyear welt construction with a Carhartt rubber outsole as well.

    What about protective qualities? Glad you asked. The boots are waterproof with a breathable membrane to keep your feet comfortable and promote airflow. They also feature a steel safety toe to protect against impact and compression hazards. ASTM F2413-18 standards are met for peace of mind and to warrant approval for the job site. 

    Carhartt produces work boots like the rest of their popular blue-collar gear: detailed, tough, and a little style thrown in to make you feel awesome. And, of course, that little square white patch with the C logo is featured on each boot tongue. As a finishing touch, that logo is also branded on the heel as well. That’s cool.

  6. 6. Ever Boots Tank S Steel Toe Industrial Work Boot

    Pros:
    • Rubber sole
    • Steel toe that meets tough ASTM standards
    • Goodyear Welt construction
    Cons:
    • Needs a better quality of laces
    • You'll need to oil up the leather for true waterproofing
    • Basic insole doesn't have much arch support

    The Tank S Industrial Work Boot from Ever Boots is a classic leather work boot that’s highly rated on Amazon and over 1,150 reviews. Classic design paired with reliable construction offers ample comfort and protection. The Tank S is made with steel toe guards and shanks to provide the safety you need wherever you’re placing your precious feet.

    The steel toe meets the ASTM F 2413-11 standard along with that pesky job site protection your boss is always screaming at you about. The rubber sole will keep electricity from zapping you, too. The boots are stitched together using Goodyear Welt Construction, the toughest darn shoe construction ever invented.

    Soft leather used to make the boots will take the pain out of breaking them in. Within a couple of days, these Tank S boots will be uniquely yours. The insole removal option offers you the chance to provide a custom insole of your own to ensure maximum comfort. Speed hooks make it easy to loosen or tighten those upper laces so you can get busy or take the night off.

  7. 7. Doc Martens Winch Steel Toe Light Industry Boots

    Pros:
    • Synthetic non-slip sole
    • Solid Dr. Martens styel and construction
    • Steel toe and additional insulation to protect against electric charge
    Cons:
    • Be careful of rocks stuck in your tread
    • Sizing is a little larger than average
    • They're a little heavy for a "light industrial" boot

    If you’re looking for a good work boot with a steel toe but don’t necessarily need the ultimate in protection, the Winch from Dr. Martens is a great choice. The Winch is a 7-eye boot designed for general service industries. Sizing is true to form and available in a generous fit.

    Dr. Martens were introduced to me by way of skateboarders and punk and new wave bands in the late 1980s. Their almost-always black leather profile and tall height aren’t just for stomping to the beat, however. They’re great for working in the field when the wearer may be spending inordinate amounts of time on their feet. 

    The leather stretches almost immediately during use so breaking them in is less than a chore than expected. Speaking of the leather, it’s of a softer variety (this is a light industry boot, after all) so you may notice some abrasions and scratching over time. They’re slip-resistant, comfortable, and stylish to the point of exhaustion.

  8. 8. Thorogood Men’s Infinity FD Series 6-Inch Work Boot

    Pros:
    • Full-grain waterproof leather
    • Removeable polyurethane footbed
    • Composite toe provides lightweight protection
    Cons:
    • They run a bit narrow
    • Heavy for a composite toe work boot
    • Lots of little logos and words all over the boot looks chintzy

    Now we’re talking. Thorogood makes some amazing work boots and their Infinity FD series delivers a modern boot and traditional reliability. Your feet may feel incredibly almost to infinity and beyond in this boot. Whatever you do for a living, slaving away for The Man, these boots won’t compromise comfort for performance.

    The flex-drive rear-welt construction allows for incredible stretch in the toe with exquisite craftsmanship. Thorogood’s “Anti-Fatigue” high rebound sole returns energy back to you with every step. The combination of these elements means simply: great boots.

    Don’t worry about your feet suffering while getting used to the Infinity FD boots. There is literally no break-in time to get through. The boots also provide what Thorogood masterfully describes as weather defiance. Even the color names the boots come in are defiant: “studhorse brown”, “butterscotch tan”, and, er, black. 

    The leather is full-grain and waterproof with 3M Thinsulate Insulation used inside the boot. The toes use a composite shank and the 51% welt construction will keep you going for many, many workdays to come.

  9. 9. Rockrooster 6-Inch Steel Toe Slip-On Work Boots

    Pros:
    • TPU non-slip sole dissipates static
    • Composite toe provides protection and is lightweight
    • Good fitting boot with no lacing required
    Cons:
    • That goofy loop on the front of the boot opening
    • A little too much room in the ankle for skinnier people
    • Make sure you treat them with conditioner for total waterproofing

    Sometimes laces can be a pain. These Rockrooster 6-Inch Steel Toe Slip-On Work Boots provide all of the toe protection of a great work boot while offering up comfort and style. Some men need a boot that looks good in an office and safety while out in the field. These Rockrooster boots provide that.

    Rockrooster’s Coolmax fabric is great to draw moisture away from your feet to keep them cool and dry no matter what the weather. These boots are breathable, comfortable, and lightweight even with the steel toe. The outsole is a non-slip, TPU material that dissipates static electricity and will help keep you on your feet if you’re walking through water and oil.

    Wear these boots in the rain or snow and you’ll find that water beads and rolls off with no issue, then fully dries just a little later. You won’t slip at all on slick floors due to the properties of the sole, either.

    Don’t be put off with the “extra-wide” notation when looking for your size. Rockroosters fit normal feet just fine; the “extra-wide” signifies extra room in the composite toe box and ankle, not the entire boot. You may need to size down with these boots but your mileage may vary. Look at Rockrooster’s size guide for more information.

  10. 10. Wolverine Overpass 6-Inch Composite Toe Waterproof Work Boot

    Pros:
    • Bullet-proof toughness
    • Waterproof and breathable
    • Lightweight composite toe protection
    Cons:
    • Contour welt feature may contribute to eventual fail
    • Not as much ankle support as other 6-inch work boots
    • Takes around a week to fully break them in

    For a more modern-looking work boot, check out the Wolverine Overpass 6-Inch Composite Toe Work Boot. Sure, there’s some hard-hitting leather in there but there’s also a lot of tough synthetic material that makes these boots tough as nails. The composite toe will keep your feet protected while also not feeling like your wearing dock anchors all day.

    Wolverine employs something called a “contour welt” that supports and protects your feet with the durability of a work boot, but with more flexibility and comfort like a sneaker. The waterproof breathable membrane will make sure your feet stay dry all day as well. There’s an ordinate amount of material around the front part of the foot that seems to shrug off anything that comes into contact with it.

    The Overpass 6-Inch Work Boot is very highly rated on Amazon with 4.5 stars and over 3,100 reviews. The fit is fantastic and they stand up with the best of the traditional work boots out there. Yes, they sort of look like you’re wearing steel-belted radial tires on your feet but that’s kind of cool, in my opinion. Comfort, durability, and cool-looking? Yes, please.

  11. 11. Thorogood American Heritage MAXWear Wedge Boot

    Pros:
    • Oil-tanned, full-grain leather
    • Goodyear Welt construction
    • Fiberglass shank
    Cons:
    • Soles don't grip like a good work boot should
    • Non-safety toe
    • Speed laces along the full boot instead of just at the top would be nice

    When I think about true, honest-to-goodness work boots, the Thorogood American Heritage MAXWear Wedge Boot immediately comes to mind. Just take a minute and look at that photo of those boots. It’s okay, I’ll wait.

    These boots will allow you to get to work just about anywhere and not have to worry about how bad your feet will ache by the end of the day. They’re made of full-grain oil-tanned leather that’s rugged yet comfortable. The 8-inch height will provide excellent protection for your ankles and lower legs, too.

    The single-density wedge outsole provides good shock absorption but keep in mind that it’s not made of rubber or TPU but something called Vibram, a newer technology designed to provide grip and durability. Reviews online were mixed whether Vibram was really all that or not. Some folks complained about a lack of grip in wet conditions.

    The fiberglass shank delivers excellent support. The Goodyear Storm Welt construction provides the tops in long-lasting wear to boot (yes, I meant to type that). Here’s something for all you electricians out there: these boots are constructed with electric shock-resisting soles and heels capable of withstanding an application of 18,000 Volts (root mean square (RMS) value) at 60 Hz for 1 minute with no current flow or leakage current in excess of 1.0 milliamperes under dry conditions.

  12. 12. Golden Fox 6-Inch Boondocker Service Boot Pro

    Pros:
    • Perfect for the office and the field
    • Goodyear Welt construction
    • Steel shanks for extra arch support
    Cons:
    • Not meant for construction-type work
    • Crepe outer sole doesn't have much grip
    • Scuffs easily

    File the Golden Fox 6-Inch Boondocker Service Boot Pro under the heading of light work boot. While you’re not going to wear these boots to work at a construction job, they’re tough enough for work in the field and they look incredible. See, during the Second World War, soldiers were given trench boots that they called “boondockers”; these ended up being the official working shoe of the US Armed Forces.

    They feature steel shanks for extra arch support and your feet will know the difference after standing for hours, climbing ladders, or digging a hole. A Goodyear welt is used to secure the uppers to the sole and is the strongest construction you can find in a boot. The Boondocker Service Boot is also made of 100% real leather, available in suede or Crazy Horse leather that’s easy to clean and maintain.

    Most of the work boots for men on our list are for situations dealing with heavy machinery and material. The Golden Fox Boondocker is a hard-working boot for hard-working men that don’t require as much protection as some other guys. They’re comfortable, need next to no breaking in, lightweight, breathable, and (I’ll say it again) comfortable.

  13. 13. Keen 59 Moc Toe Hiking Boot

    Pros:
    • Quick break-in period
    • They simply look incredible
    • All leather construction with a rubber sole
    Cons:
    • This is a moc toe boot so watch your toes
    • Laces are thick and difficult to keep tied
    • A little tough to get your foot in the opening

    Full disclosure: my day job is writing up witty things to say about nifty-keen products. But I’m also a do-it-yourselfer so I need good, solid work boots to test things out and make stuff. Speaking of Keen, their 59 Moc Toe Hiking Boots are what I wear each and every day. They were easy to break in, they fit like a glove, and they’re super comfortable.

    The 59 Moc Toe Boots are good to wear around in an office environment, in outdoor, woodsy locations, and at rough work sites. They’re really good wherever you want to go. Last week I spent the day writing up posts, worked on a project with power tools, and went on a three-mile walk, and not once did I take things off. They’re awesome.

    These boots are constructed with 100% real leather and feature a thick non-slip rubber sole with a heel that’s not out of whack. The tread is designed to grip where you’re walking without picking up too many small rocks. The interior mesh lining is good for breathability, too. 

    They come in rich brown leather or a black that’s fancy enough for a steakhouse. Fellas, one more thing: my wife loves the way they look when I’m wearing them with jeans so I have that going for me. Which is nice.

  14. 14. Wolverine Raider 6-Inch Work Boot

    Pros:
    • Comfortable and rugged
    • Flexible sole is more like a sneaker
    • Great pair of boots for just about anything
    Cons:
    • Insoles will most likely be the first thing you'll replace
    • Eyelets need to be of better quality
    • Soles could use more grip, especially on ice and snow

    The Wolverine Raider 6-Inch Work Boot is a reliable piece of footwear, perfect for guys who work a trade, drive a truck, or forced to walk miles on concrete. The rubber sole features Wolverine’s proprietary “Contour Welt” feature which allows flex like a sneaker but provides the durability of a work boot. Breathable CK mesh lining allows for airflow to the foot which is important…well, you know why that’s important.

    This work boot is a good, all-around pair for men. It lands square in the middle between major industrial safety apparel and night on the town. The Raider can be worn to an office, on a job site, out to dinner, or working out in the yard. Some folks reviewing the boots on Amazon have made comments about the insole needing to be replaced after a short amount of time; I wonder if they just needed a different pair of boots made for a more industrial application.

    The Wolverine Raider are not safety boots however they make a version of the Raider with a steel safety toe. For the rest of us who don’t have to worry about dropping a cinder block on our toes, these work boots make for a really good utilitarian pair for just about anything.

  15. 15. Timberland White Ledge Waterproof Boot

    Pros:
    • Comfortable right out of the box
    • Great value especially when compared to other boots in its class
    • Incredibly stylish
    Cons:
    • Not available in wide or half-sizes
    • Soles will wear out before the uppers
    • The boots may squeak when walking

    These Timberland White Ledge Boots are more of the hiking boot variety but their comfort and 100% leather construction are great for men who drive trucks or work in an outdoor setting. They have premium full-grain waterproof leather uppers, seam-sealed waterproof construction, and rustproof speed lace hardware with hooks at the top for secure lacing.

    The sole is rubber so the non-slip properties are excellent. They’ll definitely keep your feet dry with oil-finished leather and feature a padded collar for added cushioning. 

  16. 16. Timberland PRO Direct Attach Steel Toe Work Boot

    Pros:
    • Thick TPU sole
    • Insulated with Thermolite
    • Seam-sealed waterproof construction
    Cons:
    • Make sure to check sizing; you may have to size up
    • Breathability could use some upgrading
    • Steel toe may keep things too cold for your toes

    These Timberland PRO Direct Attach Steel Toe Work Boots are constructed of a waterproof leather upper and a Thermoplastic Urethane (TPU) sole. The included steel toe makes these boots ASTM F2413-18 compliant but make sure you wear warm socks in the winter as the steel toe may keep your toes colder than you’d like. And that’s despite the Thermolite insulation.

    The boots come in a wheat color that Timberland is known for (they call it “yellow”) and also this biker-looking black version. I’m a big fan of the hexagonal steel eyelets. Plenty of folks on the Amazon entry page for these work boots comment that the sizing is too small. If you usually wear an 11, make sure you get a 12 or larger. Unfortunately, it looks like 1/2 sizes aren’t available past 11-1/2.

  17. 17. Georgia Giant Work Boot

    Pros:
    • Durable and rugged boots
    • Rubber sole with great tread
    • Oil-resistant bumper guard
    Cons:
    • Stitch line behind heel may rub and blister - YMMV
    • Check sizing chart carefully; they tend to size large
    • I'm not a fan of the large tongue label

    It says something about a boot company when they feature a tired, mud-encrusted pair of their work boots for their main publicity photo. Georgia Giant Work Boots are about comfort and quality. This is a company that italicizes the word work in their product name.

    The uppers of Georgia Giants feature full-grain brown leather and a bumper guard that resists scuffing. The interior of the boots is lined to help maintain the interior and to help keep your feet dry. The steel shank provides steady footing while supporting the arches.

    A Goodyear Welt construction enhances the boot’s strength and durability and will keep you working without having to purchase another pair nearly as fast. It also allows you to have the outsole repaired easily and (winner!) inexpensively once it begins to wear down. The polyurethane outsole is light and supplies great flexibility while resistant to oil and toxic substances.

    While the Georgia Giant Work Boot isn’t the least expensive boot on our list, it’s not nearly as costly as other name brands. For the price, you’ll get incredible quality from a company that’s been making boots for America’s workers since the 1930s. They’re comfortable, durable, flexible, and perfect to protect your feet from all the abuse you subject them to on the job.

What Kind of Work Boots Do You Need?

Great question! First, ask yourself what you'll primarily be doing while you wear your new pair of work boots. Are you a landscaper? Plumber? Demolition Man?

There are many, many different varieties of work boots out there. But there is one very important part of your body that must decide the boots you get: your toes. Have you ever dropped anything even remotely heavy like, say, a drill press on your toes? It makes for a seriously bad day.

Your work boots should be an extension of what you do for a living and feature the amenities that your job calls for. At the end of your week, healthy (and attached) toes are what you're aiming for.

Work boots primarily come in four distinct styles and all of them center around, you guessed it, toe protection. The four styles are steel toe, composite toe, moc (short for moccasin) toe, and soft toe.

Steel toe boots feature the best defense against protection against punctures and large weights. They're typically shatterproof as well. Construction workers swear by their excellent protective qualities. One large drawback is that they're the heaviest of any work boot out there however the pros definitely outweigh the cons for people in the trades.

Composite toe boots are slightly more expensive than steel-toed boots but the difference in weight is considerable. They also feature better resistance to electricity and a more even temperature because of the insulating properties of the composite material.

If you're walking more or working in a colder environment, composite toe boots might be the boots for you. An alternative to composite that's now available is an aluminum toe work boot. The alloy used in these can be just as strong as steel yet remain exceptionally lightweight. Cost may be a factor here, however.

Moc toe boots feature a ridge of material, most likely leather, around the top of the front part of the foot. This arched ridge throws up a decent amount of protection for your foot and toes, and it looks cool as well. 

Soft toe boots are just fine for casual wearing but you're not going to get any sort of reasonable protection from them. They're truly meant more for workbench time in the garage or walking in the woods than framing up new construction. For hiking or casual wear, they're great. 

What Makes a Good Work Boot?

Apart from toe protection, a good work boot depends greatly on what you need it for. A lumberjack needs a different list of options than someone driving an earth mover. But anyone who wears work boots, no matter what they wear them for, all need one very important thing: comfort.

That means everything that goes into the construction of the boot all has something to do with your enjoyment of it: material, type of assembly, shape, size, and much more. Let's go over some of your options below.

Safety is key on the job site. Apart from protecting your sensitive toes, the next point of concern is falling. Great work boots clearly should have a sole with slip-resistant properties. Design, tread pattern, and what they're made of all have a lot to do with keeping upright.

The bottoms of your work boots are primarily made with one of three materials. Rubber has a natural grip which works great with any wet or damp work site. It also has particularly good resistance to oily surfaces. Rubber is also the best to wear for anyone working around electricity.

TPU stands for thermoplastic polyurethane. It's a plastic that's stretchy and resistant to abrasion, splitting, heat, oil, and chemicals. TPU is durable and long-lasting along with a lower price point.

Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) is our last sole material. You'll see this used with a lot of sneakers and hiking footwear. It's lightweight, stable, and infinitely flexible. If you want a solid-performing material for a boot made for walking or climbing, EVA is it.

What Else Goes Into a Good Work Boot?

Water. Or rather, a boot's resistance to water. Long ago, leather boots were treated with oil to make them more resistant to water. That worked but the oil had to be reapplied again and again.

These days, leather can receive a waterproof coating at the factory. Some boots use synthetic materials such as Gore-Tex to keep dry. Most work boots on the market are "water-resistant" meaning they'll stand up to most conditions.

Ironically, your feet will feel hot and wet more with a waterproof boot than anything else. Still, if you're a landscaper working with sprinkler systems and wet grass on most days, stick to waterproof boots.

Height. Are you working on power lines? Do you cut down trees for a living? Maybe you're a park ranger. If so, the height of your boot will be of importance to you.

Taller is better for extensive time spent in the outdoors and will protect your ankles much better. That said, they're heavier and tougher to pull on and off at the end of the day. A mid-range height is typically best for the average handyman.

Insulation. Cold feet are the worst. When you're out working in frigid temperatures, make sure your boots are well insulated. They're not so great for summertime so when the mercury goes up, consider some work boots with more fabric and mesh than leather if you can.

Fit and Style. Finally, consider how the work boots you like fit your feet. Good work boots will break in after a day or two and really start to feel like they were made for you personally. If they don't, consider trying another pair or size.

And while style should be the last thing to consider when protecting your feet, I still put it on the list here because a good-looking pair of boots will make you feel better. I'm not sure why that mental trick exists but it's definitely something to keep in mind. Just like a great tool, the right pair of boots simply work.

Everyone should feel proud of their work boots whether on the job site or walking around town. Ugly footwear is nothing to put up with, believe me.

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