Welcome to BootRatings.com! We’ve built this website with the most comprehensive work boot reviews on the internet.

On this page, we have researched and thoroughly reviewed the top-rated options including the best steel toe work boots available.

Here, you will find all the info you need to find the best work boots for men!

Finding the most comfortable work boots can be a difficult process.  You have to consider safety features, such as slip resistance, shock resistance, steel toe vs. composite toe, waterproof, and insulation. With that in mind, we would like to take the frustration out of finding a boot that meets your needs.  As you know, we only list the best and leave the rest by narrowing our selection down to the elite.

Let’s start with our top picks.

The 15 Best Work Boots

KEEN Utility Men's Pittsburgh 6" Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot,Brown/Slate Black,13D
  • 4.6 Customer Rating
  • Keen Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe
  • Price

    $$

  • Toe

    Steel Safety

  • Waterproof
Timberland PRO Men's 52561 Endurance 8" Puncture Resistant Workboot,Brown/Brown,12 M
  • 4.7 Customer Rating
  • Timberland PRO Men’s Endurance PR 8″
  • Price

    $$

  • Toe

    Steel Safety

  • Waterproof
Irish Setter Men's 6" 83605 Work Boot,Brown,10 D US
  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • Irish Setter Men’s 6″
  • Price

    $$

  • Toe

    Soft

  • Waterproof
Timberland PRO Men's Boondock 6 Inch Waterproof Non-Insulated Work Boot,Brown Oiled Distressed,9 M US
  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • Timberland PRO Men’s Boondock 6"
  • Price

    $$$

  • Toe

    Composite Safety

  • Waterproof
Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot, Black Full Grain, 10.5 M US
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift 6″ Steel Toe
  • Price

    $

  • Toe

    Steel Safety

  • Waterproof

Keen Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot

KEEN Utility Men's Pittsburgh 6" Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot,Brown/Slate Black,13D

The Keen Pittsburgh Steel Toe work boot fits more like a rugged hiking boot and provides unlimited comfort, support, and safety.

Pros

  • Designed specifically for industrial and construction occupations
  • Left and right asymmetrical steel toe
  • Tough slip-resistant, non-marking rubber toe and outsole
  • Completely weatherproof, inside and out
  • Breathable membrane lining helps prevent sweating
  • At only 3 lbs. it’s one of the lightest, rugged steel toe boots

Cons

  • Like most Keen work boots, these run a little wide.  Pro or con depending on your foot width
  • Durability is not as good as it used to be

Click to read our full review.

Check The Price on Amazon

Timberland PRO Men’s Endurance 8″ PR Work Boot

Timberland PRO Men's 52561 Endurance 8" Puncture Resistant Workboot,Brown/Brown,12 M

The Timberland Pro Endurance is built for men who spend long hours on their feet.

Pros

  • Waterproof full-grain leather with waterproof membrane
  • Steel safety toe for protection and a roomy fit
  • Mesh lining with antimicrobial treatment for odor control and comfort
  • Fiberglass shank for structural support
  • Metallic puncture-resistant (PR) plate for flexible underfoot protection
  • Anti-fatigue technology reduces shock and returns energy to the foot
  • Cement construction for flexibility
  • Mesh lining with antimicrobial treatment for odor control and comfort
  • Rubber outsole is slip-, oil- and heat-resistant

Cons

  • Timberland work boots run narrow
  • Heavy compared to other boots

Click to read our full review.

Check The Price on Amazon

Irish Setter Men’s 6″ Work Boot

Irish Setter Men's 6" 83605 Work Boot,Brown,10 D US

The Irish Setter 6″ work boot is a beautifully crafted leather, mock toe, triple stitching, lace-up work boot with sharp-looks and durability.

Pros

  • 100% leather
  • Electrical Hazard – meets ASTM F2413-11 Safety Standards
  • Heat-Resistant outsole – resistant to melting at a minimum of 475 Fahrenheit
  • Light weight

Cons

  • Soft toe
  • Some complain about a tight fit in the heel

Click to read our full review.

Check The Price on Amazon

Timberland PRO Men’s Boondock 6″ Work Boot

Timberland PRO Men's Boondock 6 Inch Waterproof Non-Insulated Work Boot,Brown Oiled Distressed,9 M US

The Timberland Pro Boondock is built to keep you safe and protected from on-the-job hazards.

Pros

  • Waterproof leather with waterproof membrane and Ever-Guard™ leather heel for abrasion resistance and dry feet
  • Composite safety toe for non-metallic protection and a superior fit
  • Molded rubber toe protector for increased abrasion resistance and durability
  • Dual-purpose top hardware for instant lacing customization
  • Rigid external heel cup for lateral stability
  • Fiberglass shank for structural support
  • Dual-density thermal plastic urethane (TPU) outsole features deep lugs for traction and is slip-, oil- and abrasion-resistant

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Soles can have durability issues
  • Rubs on some people’s ankles

Click to read our full review.

Check The Price on Amazon

Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift 6″ Steel Toe Work Boot

Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot, Black Full Grain, 10.5 M US

One of the best boots for construction, the Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift Work Boot delivers that extra protection for tough, hazardous jobs.

Pros

  • Less expensive than many comparable boots
  • Steel Toe protects against impact and compression (ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75)
  • Rated ASTM F2413-05 1/75 EH for electrical hazards
  • Quality oiled full grain leather or nubuck deliver long-term durability and protection
  • Climasphere™ breathable insole keeps your foot comfortable
  • Rubber outsole delivers slip resistance for optimal traction
  • Steel Shank for added support and stability

Cons

Click to read our full review.

Check The Price on Amazon

KEEN Utility Men's Braddock Mid Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot
  • 4.1 Customer Rating
  • Keen Utility Men’s Braddock Mid Steel Toe
  • Price

    $$$

  • Toe

    Steel Safety

  • Waterproof
Timberland PRO Men's Rigmaster Steel Toe 8" WaterPROof Workboot,Brown,12 M
  • 4.7 Customer Rating
  • Timberland PRO Men’s Rigmaster Steel Toe 8″
  • Price

    $$$

  • Toe

    Steel Safety

  • Waterproof
Danner Men's Super Rain Forest Uninsulated Work Boot,Black,10 D US
  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • Danner Men’s Super Rain Forest Uninsulated
  • Price

    $$$$$

  • Toe

    Soft (2x Thick)

  • Waterproof
Timberland PRO Men's Hyperion Waterproof Work Boot,Gray/Gray,11 M US
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • Timberland PRO Men’s Hyperion Boot
  • Price

    $$

  • Toe

    Soft

  • Waterproof
Carhartt Men's 4" Romeo Waterproof Breathable Non Safety Toe Pull-On Boot CMS4100, Dark Brown Oil Tanned, 12 W US
  • 4.3 Customer Rating
  • Carhartt Men’s CMS4100 4 Romeo
  • Price

    $

  • Toe

    Soft

  • Waterproof

Keen Utility Men’s Braddock Mid Steel Toe Work Boot

KEEN Utility Men's Braddock Mid Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot

Designed for medium to heavy-duty jobs, this steel-toe work boot has out-of-the-box comfort.

Pros

  • Left and right asymmetrical steel safety toe provide a roomier toe box and maximum comfort; meets ASTM F2412-11 and F2413-11 I/75 and C/75 standards
  • Waterproof nubuck leather upper
  • Proprietary waterproof, breathable membrane that lets vapor out without letting water in
  • Oil- and slip-resistant outsoles that meet ASTM nonslip testing standards
  • Meets or exceeds ASTM F2412-11 and F2413-11 I/75 C/75 EH electrical hazard standards
  • Keen is known for comfort

Cons

  • Durability is an issue
  • Lace straps can break in some instances

Check The Price on Amazon

Timberland PRO Men’s Rigmaster Steel Toe 8″ Work Boot

Timberland PRO Men's Rigmaster Steel Toe 8" WaterPROof Workboot,Brown,12 M

The Rigmaster Steel Toe Boot is designed specifically for those who work in the oil and gas industries or need superior slip resistance.

Pros

  • Steel safety toe for protection and a superior fit
  • Premium waterproof leather and abrasion-resistant leather uppers for durability
  • Waterproof inner membrane
  • Steel shank for structural support
  • Anti-fatigue midsole geometry
  • Padded top collar
  • Mesh lining with antimicrobial treatment for odor control
  • Durable chemical and mechanical bonding
  • Contoured footbed with antimicrobial cover for breathable comfort and odor control

Cons

  • Can feel too narrow on some feet
  • Sole material is not as durable

Click to read our full review.

Check The Price on Amazon

Danner Men’s Super Rain Forest Uninsulated Work Boot

Danner Men's Super Rain Forest Uninsulated Work Boot,Black,10 D US

The Danner Super Rain Forest offers exceptional durability with double-thick leather and maximum waterproof protection with GORE-TEX lining.

Pros

  • Double-thick leather offers exceptional durability
  • GORE-TEX lining is 100% waterproof and provides breathable protection
  • Stitchdown construction guarantees a wider platform for greater stability and support
  • Leather resists alkali, lime, and other industrial hazards
  • Triple stitched
  • Electrical Hazard (EH) rated
  • Deep-lugged rubber outsole provides unparalleled traction in any work environment
  • This boot is eligible for a number of paid services, including part replacement, leather care and restitching

Cons

  • Danner work boots are expensive compared to other options
  • Insoles don’t provide enough shock absorption
  • Run a bit small

Click to read our full review.

Check The Price on Amazon

Timberland PRO Men’s Hyperion Work Boot

Timberland PRO Men's Hyperion Waterproof Work Boot,Gray/Gray,11 M US

Built like a hiking boot, the Timberland PRO Hyperion is made for long days without compromising safety.

Pros

  • Alloy safety toe for lightweight protection and a superior fit in cold climates
  • Leather upper with waterproof membrane for extreme abrasion resistance and dry feet
  • Timberland PRO rubber toe and leather backstay for increased abrasion resistance and durability
  • Vibram® outsole for durability and traction is oil- and abrasion-resistant
  • Fiberglass shank for structural support
  • Lightweight molded EVA midsole for athletic performance
  • Mesh lining with antimicrobial treatment for odor control and comfort
  • Dual-purpose cast metal hardware for lacing customization
  • Dynamic anti-fatigue technology absorbs shock and returns energy at key zones of the foot while providing moisture management

Cons

  • Soft toe
  • Durability issues reported
  • Water proofing may not be 100%
  • Timberland work boots run narrow

Click to read our full review.

Check The Price on Amazon

Carhartt Men’s CMS4100 4 Romeo Work Boot

Carhartt Men's 4" Romeo Waterproof Breathable Non Safety Toe Pull-On Boot CMS4100, Dark Brown Oil Tanned, 12 W US

The Carhartt Romeo is a general purpose, slip-on work boot that looks good but doesn’t have many advanced safety features.

Pros

  • Storm Defender® waterproof membrane keeps feet protected from outside elements
  • Stretchy gore panels for easy on and off
  • OrthoLite® insole supplies underfoot cushioning
  • Blown rubber outsole is slip, oil, and chemical resistant
  • Non-safety toe meets ASTM F2892-11 EH safety standards

Cons

  • Soft toe
  • Runs wide

Click to read our full review.

Check The Price on Amazon

Timberland PRO Men's 26078 Titan 6" Waterproof Safety-Toe Work Boot,Dark Mocha,12 M
  • 4.2 Customer Rating
  • Timberland PRO Men’s 26078 Titan 6″
  • Price

    $$$

  • Toe

    Alloy Safety

  • Waterproof
KEEN Utility Men's Atlanta Cool Low Steel Toe Slip On Work Shoe
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • Keen Utility Men’s Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Shoe
  • Price

    $

  • Toe

    Steel Safety

  • Waterproof
Thorogood 804-4200 Men's American Heritage 6" Moc Toe, MAXwear Wedge Safety Boot, Tobacco Oil-Tanned - 12 2E US
  • 4.7 Customer Rating
  • Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6″ Safety Toe
  • Price

    $$$

  • Toe

    Steel Safety

  • Waterproof
Caterpillar Men's Diagnostic Steel-Toe Waterproof Boot,Dark Beige,8.5 M US
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic Steel Toe
  • Price

    $$

  • Toe

    Steel Safety

  • Waterproof
Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6" Steel-Toe Boot, Brown , 10 D - Medium
  • 4.3 Customer Rating
  • Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss 6″ Steel Toe
  • Price

    $

  • Toe

    Steel Safety

  • Waterproof

Timberland PRO Men’s 26078 Titan 6″ Work Boot

Timberland PRO Men's 26078 Titan 6" Waterproof Safety-Toe Work Boot,Dark Mocha,12 M

The Timberland PRO Titan is a standard work boot that provides dependable comfort and safety.

Pros

  • Soft full-grain leather for comfort and minimized break-in time
  • Alloy safety toe for lightweight protection and a superior fit
  • Cement construction for flexibility and reduced break-in time
  • Molded polyurethane midsole provides lightweight, durable cushioning
  • Moisture-channeling mesh liner with antimicrobial treatment for odor control and dry feet
  • Nylon diffusion shank for structural support and torsional rigidity
  • Contoured open-cell polyurethane footbeds
  • Low-profile rubber outsole is abrasion-, slip- and oil-resistant
  • One of our picks for those with Plantar Fasciitis

Cons

  • Timberland work boots run narrow
  • Complaints about durability
  • Can rub on the ankles

Click to read our full review.

Check The Price on Amazon

Keen Utility Men’s Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe

KEEN Utility Men's Atlanta Cool Low Steel Toe Slip On Work Shoe

Not a boot but a shoe, since sometimes you need the safety of a steel toe but the comfort of a good shoe.

Pros

  • Asymmetrical steel toe protection specifically made to fit your left and right foot with a roomy toe box for comfort.
  • Meets ASTM F2412-11 and F2413-11 I/75 and C/75 EH Standards
  • Breathable mesh fabric
  • Reflective webbing for additional safety
  • Secure fit lace capture system
  • Torsional Stability Shank (TSS)
  • Oil and slip resistant non-marking rubber outsole

Cons

  • Only water resistant, not water proof
  • No ankle protection
  • KEEN shoes run wide
  • Included insoles don’t provide maximum shock absorption

Click to read our full review.

Check The Price on Amazon

Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6″ Safety Toe Work Boot 

Thorogood 804-4200 Men's American Heritage 6" Moc Toe, MAXwear Wedge Safety Boot, Tobacco Oil-Tanned - 12 2E US

The Thorogood American Hertiage is a classic, American made boot with unique comfort features and advanced safety.

Pros

  • MAXWear Wedge sole is built to be more comfortable and last longer than the competition
  • Steel toe
  • Tobacco Oil-Tanned, full-grain leather
  • Removable Ultimate Shock Absorption footbed
  • Comfort cushion insole
  • Fiberglass shank
  • Class I/75 EH Electrical hazard rated

Cons

  • Reviewers complain about sole durability
  • Run narrow

Click here for our full review.

Check The Price on Amazon

Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic Steel Toe Work Boot

Caterpillar Men's Diagnostic Steel-Toe Waterproof Boot,Dark Beige,8.5 M US

The Caterpillar Diagnostic offers all of the standard safety features plus thermal insulation for cold weather.

Pros

  • ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75 Steel Toe protects against impact or compression
  • Waterproof Leather Upper keeps feet dry and protected
  • Insulated with 200 Grams of Thinsulate™
  • ASTM F2413-05 1/75 EH Electrical Hazard Protection
  • Nylon Mesh Lining for added breathability and comfort
  • Outsole is oil, water, and abrasion resistant
  • Slip-resistant rubber outsole

Cons

  • Durability is sometimes an issue
  • Lacing hooks can be frustrating
  • Runs large

Click here for our full review.

Check The Price on Amazon

Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss 6″ Steel-Toe Work Boot

Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6" Steel-Toe Boot, Brown , 10 D - Medium

One of the most popular work boots, the Timberland PRO Pit Boss is safe, tough, and comfortable.

Pros

  • Rugged nubuck leather uppers for comfort and durability
  • Steel safety toes
  • Padded top collars for comfort
  • Polyurethane midsoles for durable comfort
  • Linings with antimicrobial treatment for odor control
  • Cast metal top hooks for increased durability
  • Nylon shock-diffusion plates for support and torsional rigidity
  • Removable, open-cell polyurethane footbeds with antimicrobial treatment for comfort and odor control
  • Timberland PRO® rubber outsoles are abrasion-, slip- and oil-resistant

Cons

  • Timberland boots run narrow and can rub
  • Poor quality and reliability issues
  • Lace hooks can cause problems for some

Click to read our full review.

Check The Price on Amazon

How to Choose a Comfortable Work Boot?

As consumers in the working industry, we are always on the search for the most comfortable work boots that will assist you in your everyday challenges but also provide safety features, durability, and especially comfort.  Men aren’t the only ones who work in tough, demanding jobs.  Women also endure rugged working conditions and they require a boot that will accommodate their needs as well.  That’s why we have provided valuable information for both genders and reviewed brand name boots to assist you in making a well-informed decision when selecting comfortable steel toe work boots.  What exactly is incorporated in a well-manufactured boot?  The answer depends on your needs, which we address here and in our detailed reviews.

So you’re a hard working individual and you spend long, unrelenting hours on your feet in some of the most unfavorable conditions.  For that purpose, you require a work boot that can accommodate your lifestyle.  At the end of the day, you may be tired, but you probably have to keep moving.  After all, the day doesn’t end just because you’ve finished your job.  When choosing a comfortable work boot, several features need to be considered before making your selection.

  • Type of Work – What type of job do you have and what features are most important for comfort in the environment you’ll be subjected to?  For one, do you work outside?  What’s the average temperature?  Are you working in snow, ice, or rain?  Or is it hot, humid, or dry?  Variations tend to change dramatically when it comes to the functionality of work boots.  In addition, what types of terrain do generally tread on?  Is it concrete, rocky, unstable, or flat dirt?  These questions are designed to raise awareness of what you need in order to select the comfort level that’s specific to your line of work.  Now that you’ve thought about it, let’s take the comfort level further.
  • Cold Weather – Let’s say that you subjected to freezing temperatures where snow and ice might be a factor. Your feet are generally one of the first body parts that feel the cold and damp environment.  It can be miserable.  For that reason, it’s essential to select boots that offer additional insulation and are waterproof.  These features prevent your feet from getting cold and wet, or even worse…frost bit.
  • Wet Weather – Just as waterproofing is required by someone who works in snow and ice, it’s also essential for those who work outdoors in the rain or near bodies of water where getting wet is unavoidable. There’s nothing more uncomfortable when working than having your feet soaked through to your socks.  Plus, wet boots also tend to create additional rubbing or blisters.
  • Hard Surfaces – Walking or standing on hard surfaces such as concrete or cement can pound on your feet, knees, and back causing unnecessary pain that can last years. A proper sole or cushioned insert designed especially for these circumstances can help avoid that pain, plus, additional support in areas like your arch will alleviate pressure caused by these hard surfaces.
  • Uneven Terrain – Maybe you’re a logger, or a fireman who works in the mountains or on rocky surfaces and you need that additional support and traction. Added traction and slip resistance will keep you on your feet and prevent injury from slips.  In addition, your ankles are at risk and a boot with a sufficient shank will help eliminate the possibility of a twisted ankle.  Shock absorption is another factor to consider for comfort in this type of environment.  A good sole or cushioned insert will absorb the shock and impact of walking on rocks or other uneven terrain.
  • Fit – Lastly, a proper fitting boot that is not too loose or too snug will conform to your feet the way they are supposed to. Having an improper size will create rubbing, blisters, and soreness.  The boots you choose should feel like they were made specifically for you or as an extention of your feet.

How Should You Pick a Lightweight Work Boot?

When you’re in the market to buy a new pair of work boots, how do you know if you’re selecting the right boots for your particular situation?  With all the brands and styles available, it’s important to be aware of the environment you’re subjecting yourself to.

First and foremost, you want your boots to be comfortable.  Comfort is not a feature you want to compromise.  A well-selected work boot allows you to perform your task without pain and discomfort from rubbing and lack of proper shock absorption. To determine the comfort level required, you will first need to know your feet.

Do you have flat feet, wide feet, or a certain medical condition such as plantar fasciitis   Certain work boots cater to these specific conditions, so it’s good to research the features when purchasing.

Another important factor in selecting the perfect work boot is whether or not they are for outdoor wear.  Will you be working in the elements such as rain, snow, or in ice?  If you answered yes, then you will want to consider purchasing a waterproof work boot.  Working in snow or ice  and you should consider  insulated work boots. If you need boots for ice fishing, check our special list!

Let’s not forget slip-resistant, traction, and electrical hazard soles.  Will you need these added safety features?  If you’re working on wet surfaces, uneven, difficult terrain, or around electrical equipment, these will be necessary for your protection.

Lastly, there is the issue of toe protection.  Work boots come in a variety of toe strengths that offer different degrees of protection for your feet.  Depending on your job, you’ll want to consider which one will accommodate you best.

Types of Boot Safety Toes Available

There is steel toe, composite toe, aluminum toe, and aluminum toe. Each variation of safety toe is designed for toe protection, but with different materials.

Steel Toe – The ideal steel toe boots offer maximum protection in dangerous working conditions.  They are designed to cobest work boots for menmpletely seal the toe area, preventing serious injury from kicking hard surfaces, or from heavy falling objects.  Generally constructed out of steel, and sometimes are combined with an electrical hazard rating for additional protection.  Some employers have requirements per their insurance company stating that all employees must wear steel toe boots on the job site.

Composite Toe – A composite toe is also considered a safety toe.  Lighter than a steel toe, and won’t set off metal detectors since it is constructed out of a composite ceramic material  Other materials include but are not limited to Kevlar, carbon fiber, and plastic.  For instance, if you’re employed at an airport or government building and require safety toe boots, a composite toe would be ideal.  Similar to the steel toe, it also protects your feet against impact and crushing. In addition, composite toes are designed to withstand extreme heat and cold. See below for more information on composite vs. steel toe.

Aluminum Toe – Aluminum toe, also known as an alloy toe, is another form of safety toe that offers protection from injury of impacts.  Also, lighter than a steel toe, it’s generally constructed out of aluminum or a titanium based material.  More room is available in the toe area of the boot because the aluminum toe is of thinner construction. Therefore, those with wider feet might be more comfortable with an aluminum toe.

Steel Toe vs. Composite Toe

In general, both the steel toe and composite toe are considered to be safety toes and are designed to protect your feet from impact, compression and or injury that could be sustained on the job.  However, there is a slight difference in the two, and depending on where and how you will use them will make the difference in how you select.

Steel toes have been protecting feet in the work field for many years.  The plate situated over the toe area is constructed of heavy-duty steel. Because they are a safety toe, OSHA requires them to meet ASTM standards and receive ratings for impact and compression.  For example, A rating of I/75 means that the steel toe can withstand an impact of 75 lbs.  A rating of C/75 is a compression rating of up to 2500 lbs. of pressure. Composite toes also follow ATSM standards and receive ratings.

Composite toes are constructed out of synthetic material such as Kevlar, plastic, carbon fibers, and rubber.  With the absence of steel in a composite toe, it makes them much lighter than a steel toe.  They offer better electrical resistance and offer more insulation in cold weather.  In addition, they do not set off metal detectors, so those who work in secured areas can pass through without setting off bells and whistles.

best steel toe work boots

Steel toes on the other hand, tend to be puncture resistant, shatterproof and cost a lot less than a composite toe.  However, steel toes are not very insulated in colder temperatures.

To wrap it up:

  • Insulated for cold – Composite Toe
  • Puncture resistant – Steel Toe
  • Lightweight – Composite Toe
  • Shatter proof – Steel Toe
  • Won’t set off metal detectors – Composite Toe
  • Cost less – Steel Toe
  • Better electrical resistance – Composite Toe

Other than these basics, it comes down to where and what you will be using them for.  Both of these toes offer sufficient protection with different variations.  Choose your style according to your needs.

Best Steel Toe Work Boot Buying Guide!

  1. If you are purchasing work boots for a particular type of employment, find out if your employer has any safety gear requirements. Hardcore work environments require additional safety features for your protection.
  2. If you are working outside in the elements such as rain, snow, or ice you’ll need the best weather proof boot you can get or one constructed with water-resistant material. In addition, if you are going to be subjected to extremely cold temperatures, you might want to consider insulation to keep your feet warm.
  3. What types of terrain will you be working in? If the ground is uneven, or the surface is unsteady, then you will want to find work boot with a traction sole to grip surfaces.
  4. Are you going to be working on slippery surfaces caused by water, ice, or even oil? If so, then you will want to get a work boot that offers slip-resistance.
  5. Do you work around electricity or electrical components? Consider purchasing a boot with an electrical hazard rating to protect you against dangerous shock conditions.
  6. Do you spend long hours working in the heat? Consider breathable work boots that will allow vapor to escape, and manages sweating. Check the BootRatings tips to keep your feet from sweating in boots!
  7. If you have flat feet, wide feet, or a foot condition, particular boots will accommodate those issues.
  8. What kind of support will your ankles need? Will you need a high shaft boot to protect your ankle from twists, or does your job require the flexible movement of the lower ankle?
  9. Another feature you might want to consider is a rubber toe or heel guard that is mark or abrasion resistant. If you are working in an environment where you are constantly scuffing your toe against objects, this feature will protect the surfaces and your boot from damage.
  10. Finally, are you in a position where you need to take your work boots on and off fast, such as a firefighter or public service officer? In addition to laces, some work boots close with zippers or can be simply pulled on.

Types of Protection for Work Boots and ASTM F2413

Work boots can offer various forms of protection, depending on your needs.  In this section, we will discuss what forms of protection are available.

In addition, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) sets the minimum standards and testing procedures for safety footwear.  If you have a requirement to meet ASTM F2413-11 standards (or other release year, based on the last two digits of the standard number (F2413-xx), those are listed below as well.

Waterproof – These boots are essential if you are working outdoors, subjected to wet conditions such as rain, or if you are working around or in water.  They are specifically designed to keep water from entering into the material and eventually getting to your feet.  Nobody likes to get wet feet when they are working.  It’s not only uncomfortable, but a boot that isn’t waterproof and is subjected to water will eventually deteriorate, causing them to fall apart or stiffen up.  Water in or on work boots can also lead to fungus or mold.

Weatherproof – Weatherproof is similar to waterproof except a weatherproof boot is also designed to keep your feet warm in colder temperatures.  These types of boots are more insulated, and are the best pick for snow.

Water Resistant – A water-resistant work boot will also keep water out, but they are not meant for standing in water.  Generally, a water-resistant work boot has a water repellent applied to the outer material that helps rain or splashing water to roll off.

Oil ResistantIt’s important that you realize there is a difference between oil resistant and slip resistant.  If a work boot manufacturer says that the boot is oil resistant, it means that the upper portion of the boot, meaning the leather or other material it’s constructed with resists oil.  Basically, similar to water-resistant, but in this case, oil or something similar to oil is kept from staining or penetrating the exterior.

Slip Resistant – Slip resistant is a property of the soles of the boots and refers to the traction you get on slippery surfaces.  Some slip-resistant soles are designed to withstand oily surfaces as well.

Electrical Resistant – Electrical resistant is also known as electrical hazard or shock resistant.  This means that the boot has an electrical hazard rating or an EH rating of various levels.  This safety feature prevents the possibility of a person getting electrocuted while working around electricity.  Generally, the rating is associated with the soles of the work boots or the toe.  Even steel toe boots with the appropriate rubber toe cap can be shock resistant.

According to the ASTM F2413 standards, electrical shock resistant (EH) footwear must be capable of withstanding the application of 18,000 volts at 60 Hz for 1 minute with no current flow or leakage in excess of 1.0 milliampere.

Static Dissipation – Unlike the electrical resistant boot, static dissipation or ESD is a reduction of static electricity through your body. The outer sole, insole, and lining work together to conduct electricity and ground it.  However, you should never replace the insole with anything other than an approved static dissipating insole.    Also, in order for it to remain effective, you must keep floors and soles clean and free from dust.

The ASTM F2413 standard for static dissipating footwear (SD) ensures the boot will maintain electrical resistance greater than 1,000,000 ohms (1 Mega Ohms) and not exceed 100,000,000 ohms (100 Mega Ohms).

Heat Resistance – Being exposed to high heat is a problem without the right equipment.  Heat resistant boots offer added protection in environments such as firefighting, welding, smelting, or any other high-temperature surroundings.  Specific materials incorporated in the construction of the boot soles and leather are designed to take the heat, while protecting your feet.

Safety Toe – Safety toe work boots are essential for protecting one’s feet from impact and crushing.  In the construction field, or if you are working with or on heavy machinery, safety toe work boots can prevent serious injury.  Safety toe work boots come in a variety of types.  Steel toe is most common but you can read about all of them above.

The ASTM F2413 standard rates safety toes for impact (I) and compression (C) resistance.  A rating of I/75 C/75 will protect the your toes from an impact of up to 75 foot-pounds and compressive loads up to 2,500 pounds.

Puncture Resistant – Work boots with a puncture resistant rating have a special outsole that prevents objects from penetrating and reaching your foot, causing serious injury.  This is a particularly good feature if you are working on construction sites where there is the possibility of stepping on a nail.

Sole puncture resistant footwear (PR) should withstand a minimum nail penetration force of 270 pounds, according to the ASTM F2413 standards.

Shaft Height – Depending on the work environment a shaft in the boot can be very important.  Added height in the shaft supports your ankles when you need it most.  This feature can prevent unwanted sprains and other injuries that can hinder your mobility.  Lower shafts are more flexible and are designed for a person that needs more agility.

Metatarsal Guard – Generally, metatarsal guards are combined with a safety toe.  It’s an extra flap that is either incorporated internally or externally on a work boot. The metatarsal guard is situated over and behind the toes where the small bones in your feet are prone to injury.  This is an excellent added feature for someone who is subject to hazardous working conditions where something could fall on the top of your foot.

The ASTM F2413 standard test is performed by dropping a 50 pound weighted bar 1.5 feet onto the metatarsal guard.  (75 foot-pounds of impact energy.)

Best Work Boot Brands

We provide reviews across a number of footwear brands.  Each of the brands we review has an outstanding reputation for delivering high quality, durability, and comfort.  In this section, we will discuss what makes each brand stand out.

Timberland – Timberland work boots have made it to our top 15 list numerous times, which means this brand is well-established when it comes to best steel toe work boots.  They are an American manufacturer, though they do have factories located in other parts of the world.  Originally, there boot designs were inspired by the New England outdoor lifestyle.  Whether you’re an avid adventurer, hiking in the great wide open, performing hard labor tasks, or just walking the city streets, Timberland accommodates all your boot needs.  Numerous safety features are incorporated in the construction of their boots along with various comfort levels.  One of the most popular collections is the Timberland Pro series.  Features included in this collection consist of various levels of safety toes, anti-fatigue technology, and insulation.  This brand also offers a 30-day comfort guarantee.  They are very confident in their products!

Thorogood – We have participated in Thorogood boot reviews, and we know they are a great name brand work boot.  They have been in the business of manufacturing work boots and work shoes since 1892 under the Weinbrenner Shoe Company, prior to taking on the name Thorogood.  Mostly, these are American made work boots, though they do have factories in other areas.  They’re a trusted source when it comes to work boots, hiking boots, uniform boots, and postal shoes.  One of their most popular collections that is made in the USA is the American Heritage series.  This particular series of boots contain such features as Sympatex weather proof and blood borne pathogen barriers, ultra-insulation, and Vibram rubber outsoles.  In addition, they are the number one source for police and EMT footwear.

Caterpillar – Not only is Caterpillar a well-known name in heavy duty machinery, they have also established a great reputation in constructing durable work boots, designed for heavy duty jobs.  The name in general has been ranked in the top 100 in the world.  Any kind of safety feature you are looking for, they have.  Furthermore, they deliver some of the best steel toe boots available on the market today.  The Caterpillar brand is an American established name brand that you can be proud of, and be assured you are getting a high-quality product.

Keen – Keen has also been mentioned more than once on our top 15 list, and is another American manufacturer located in Portland, Oregon.  The Keen brand is also an environmentally friendly brand name involved in several projects designed to preserve nature.  Keen prides themselves on selecting the finest materials for their work boots, making them one of a kind.  A lot of their work boots resemble hiking boots more than they do the average work boot, but don’t let that fool you.  Features available in their boots match or outdo the traditional-looking work boots.  Whether you need an asymmetrical safety-toe, an additional rubber toe pad that’s scuff and slip-resistant, or you’re in need of highly insulated boot, you can be sure that Keen has them.

Danner – Quality craftsmanship that you can visually see is what you get when you choose a Danner work boot.  Established in 1932 by Charles Danner in Chippewa, Wisconsin, he believed that no matter the shape of the economy, quality still needed to exist.  Danner doesn’t only construct high-quality work boots, but they also have some of the best hunting boots and military boots available.  Triple stitching, breathable, and leather over leather construction for comfort are just a few of the features the Danner work boot has to offer.

Irish Setter – Irish setter is a derivative of the Red Wing brandt.  They’re designed specifically to keep your feet warm, safe, and dry on the job.  The Irish setter boot collection is American made.  As part of the Red Wing brand, they were established in 1950 and originated in Red Wing, Minnesota.  Special features in the Irish Setter brand include, but are not limited to, heat resistance, slip resistance, safety toes, and Thinsulate insulation. They have boots structured for any type of requirement you may need.

Carhartt – Whether you’re looking for a good work boot that has electrical hazard rated, puncture resistance, or a metatarsal guard, Carhartt brand work boots can deliver, plus much, much more.  Carhartt has been an iconic name for 125 years, creating some of the best weather resistant work boots available.  Established originally in the United States they have expanded their factories in countries such as Canada and Paris as well. Hamilton Carhartt, the founder of the Carhartt brand, prided himself as an honest manufacturer and believed that because of that, anyone who wore his boots gained additional self-respect.

Bottom Line

There you have it.  If you are looking for the best work boots for men, we have provided you with plenty of options.  Our thoroughly researched work boot reviews make it easy for you to know exactly what you are getting!  We want you to feel confident when shopping for work boots with the safety features that your job requires.  After all, your feet are extremely important and you need to take care of them.  They are meant to last you the rest of your life.  Regardless of what you hear about generic brands, they do not have the proven track records of the most comfortable work boots that we recommend.

Please share if you found this interesting!