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 available for men!

Selecting the most comfortable work boots can be a difficult process.  You have to consider certain 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.

Top 15 Best (and Most Comfortable) Work Boots

  • 4.6 Customer Rating
  • Keen Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot
  • PRICE $$
  • MADE OF : Leather and textile
  • RESISTANT : Oil and slip resistant
  • SOLE : Rubber sole
  • COLOR : Slate Black, Bison, Black
  • 4.7 Customer Rating
  • Timberland PRO Men’s 95567 Endurance Pr 8″ Workboot
  • PRICE $$
  • MADE OF : Leather and textile
  • RESISTANT : N/A
  • SOLE : Rubber sole
  • COLOR : Black
  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • Irish Setter Men’s 6″ 83605 Work Boot
  • PRICE $$
  • MADE OF : Leather
  • RESISTANT : N/A
  • SOLE : Rubber sole
  • COLOR : Brown
  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • Timberland PRO Men’s Boondock 6 Inch
  • PRICE $$
  • MADE OF : Leather
  • RESISTANT : Premium waterproof leather with waterproof membrane
  • SOLE : Synthetic sole
  • COLOR : Brown Oiled Distressed
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift 6″ Steel Toe Work Boot
  • PRICE $
  • MADE OF : Leather
  • RESISTANT : Slip resistant outsole
  • SOLE : Manmade sole
  • COLOR : Black, Tan

 

  1. Keen Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot

    The Pittsburgh Steel Toe work boot is a labor ready, an all-inclusive leather/textile work boot that fits more like a rugged hiking boot and provides unlimited comfort, support, and safety. Designed especially for industrial and construction occupations, its left and right asymmetrical steel toe, along with the tough slip-resistant, non-marking rubber toe and outsole keeps your feet planted firmly on the ground in hazardous conditions.  Keen designed this particular boot to be completely weatherproof, inside and out.  A breathable membrane lining keeps the hard-working man’s feet from sweating. Furthermore, this lace-up boot achieved its name from the city itself, where the work is tough, so shall the boots be. Weighing in at only 3 lbs. makes this one of the lightest, rugged steel toe boots around and worth every penny. Click to read the full review.

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  2. AMAZON FREE RETURNS
    Amazon has a very friendly return policy that allows you to return or exchange the work boots you don’t like or want FOR FREE. Learn more

    Timberland PRO Men’s 95567 Endurance Pr 8″ Workboot

    Nicely designed, with durable features such as a safety-toe, non-slip rubber outer sole, and anti-fatigue technology make these work boots stand up to just about anything.  Not only are they comfortable and great for those with back and knee problems, the 8” shaft offers substantial support for your ankles.  However, it is recommended to select half a size larger than your average shoe size, as they tend to run small.  Of course, if you need to exchange, large stores such as Amazon have an excellent return policy. The Timberland PRO Men’s Endurance boot is meant for abuse, outdoors as well as in.  Perfect for concrete, construction, ranch and industrial occupations, they can withstand any outdoor field of work.  Though they tend to feel a bit heavy when picking them up, you will barely notice the weight on your feet, and only feel the comfort associated with wearing a high-quality work boot. Click to read the full review!

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  3. Irish Setter Men’s 6″ 83605 Work Boot

    This beautifully crafted leather, with mock toe, triple stitching, lace-up work boot is not only sharp-looking, it’s also very durable.  A 6” shaft offers great support, while the thick traction grips well, even working on uneven or rocky surfaces.  The extra thick rubber outer sole combined with Eva midsole and interior cushioned footbed provides superior comfort during harsh working conditions.  Great for the contractor, cement worker, or factory worker, this work boot reduces stress on your knees and legs during a long day’s work.   Designed with a soft toe, padded collar, and a pull-up tab for easy slip on, these features create a desirable work boot that you can depend on. Redwing is a popular name in work boots and the Irish setter brand is a derivative of the popular name brand, which means, you can be assured you are investing in a high-quality crafted work boot. Click to read more about this Irish Setter model.

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    Aline Active Insole

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    Timberland PRO Men’s Boondock 6″

    Typically created with the outdoors in mind, the premium leather and the scuff resistant membrane is totally waterproof, keeping your feet dry and unscathed. Quad stitching surrounds the toe portion of the boot and dual stitching around the shaft is not only stylish but adds that extra strength where needed.  Extra thick traction easily grips most surfaces. In addition, these are electrical hazard rated, therefore, they are perfect for those who work as an electrician.  The 6” lace-up leather shaft offers continuous support while the padded collar gives added comfort.  This boot would be perfect for outdoor occupations as well as construction and concrete jobs.  They are equipped with anti-fatigue technology that takes the stress off your knees and back. By the same token, they are extremely lightweight work boots at only 2.5 lbs. Timberland also offers a 30-day comfort guarantee if not completely satisfied.  You can’t go wrong with the highly reputable top brand name of work boots, such as Timberland. Click to read more about Boondock model.

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

    One of the best construction boots on the market today, the Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift 6” Steel Toe Boot delivers that extra added protection that one requires when working really tough, hazardous jobs.  Available in either a soft or reinforced steel toe, this boot can tackle any industrial project or job site.  In addition to the safety features, these boots include extra comfort features such as a Climasphere sock liner that keep your feet warm in cold weather and snow conditions or keeps them cool during summer.  An inner mesh liner wicks moisture away from your feet, allowing them to breathe.  A slip-resistant man-made sole gives you the extra security you require on slippery terrain.  Caterpillar is a top-brand of American made boots, so you know it’s a name that can be trusted.  They have earned their spot in the top 15 and are highly recommended. Click to read more about this Caterpillar model.

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    • 4.1 Customer Rating
    • Keen Utility Men’s Portland PR 6″ Aluminum Toe
    • PRICE $$
    • MADE OF : Leather
    • RESISTANT : Oil and slip resistant
    • SOLE : Rubber sole
    • COLOR : Black, Dark Brown
    • 4.7 Customer Rating
    • Timberland PRO Men’s Rigmaster Steel Toe 8″
    • PRICE $$
    • MADE OF : Leather
    • RESISTANT : Slip resistant outsole
    • SOLE : Rubber sole
    • COLOR : Brown
    • 4.5 Customer Rating
    • Danner Men’s Super Rain Forest Uninsulated
    • PRICE $$$
    • MADE OF : Full grain leather
    • RESISTANT : Breathable waterproof protection
    • SOLE : Vibram sole
    • COLOR : Black
    • 4.4 Customer Rating
    • Timberland PRO Men’s Hyperion Boot
    • PRICE $$
    • MADE OF : Leather
    • RESISTANT : Waterproof construction with a waterproof membranemembrane
    • SOLE : Vibram sole
    • COLOR : Gray
    • 4.3 Customer Rating
    • Carhartt Men’s CMS4100 4 Romeo
    • PRICE $
    • MADE OF : Leather
    • RESISTANT : Waterproof Foot Construction
    • SOLE : Rubber sole
    • COLOR : Dark Brown Oil Tanned
  6. Keen Utility Men’s Portland PR 6″ Aluminum Toe

    If you’re on the hunt for a comfortable, you have reached your destination.  They resemble a tennis shoe more than work boot, and are just as easy as wearing tennis shoes.  Their sleek design accompanied by extra safety features such as an aluminum toe and puncture resistant midsole provides the protection you require on hazardous job sites.  Plus, the non-marking, slip-resistant outer sole keeps you safe from falls caused by wet and oily surfaces.  Comfort features include a waterproof, breathable membrane that locks water out but allows your feet adequate moisture and vapor release.  The easy lace-up closure with lacing eyelets and locking hooks lets you adjust the boots to your particular comfort level, while also maintaining great support.  Not only is this boot suitable for a labor worker, but would also be ideal for a hiker, as well as the casual wearer. Click to read more about Keen Portland model.

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  7. Timberland PRO Men’s Rigmaster Steel Toe 8″

    Listed as one of the best waterproof boots available, the Rigmaster Steel Toe Boot is constructed with full-grain leather and weatherproof membrane that seals out moisture.  Designed specifically for those who work in the oil and gas industries, the maximum traction sole is resistant to oil, heat, and abrasion.  The steel toe guards against injury, and the electrical hazard rating gives you peace of mind. These boots feature a quick release, speed lace-up system which allows you to get the boots off and on in a hurry when needed. In addition, large, leather hand-holds assist in pulling the boots on easily.  Resembling a military boot, the 7.75” shaft supports your ankles perfectly. Furthermore, these boots run true to size, which leaves out the guess-work on obtaining perfect fitting boot.  As with all Timberland work boots, they’re quality and craftsmanship stands out, which makes this boot an ideal candidate for our work boot top picks. Click to read more about Timberland Rigmaster.

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  8. Danner Men’s Super Rain Forest Uninsulated

    The leather over leather triple stitch down construction of these boots creates a wider platform to increase stability.  Superior traction provides ample grip in both wet and dry conditions, plus a slip-resistant Vibram sole provides confidence in slick conditions where one is prone to fall.  Made for moderate temperatures, they are not insulated; however, the Gore-Tex lining is both breathable and waterproof for long-lasting comfort during strenuous work activities.  Lugs on the outsole are angled so you’re supported and comfortable walking up and down inclines. Danner has created some superior work boots, and this is one that deserves recognition.  Particularly, these boots are great for those who work outdoors, such as firefighters, police, field technicians, and loggers as they are designed to withstand harsh terrain.  These are American made work boots through and through and for this reason, they proudly display “made in the USA” on their tags. Click to read more about this model. 

    If you are in search of a tactical boot, check our top 3 police boots list!

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  9. Timberland PRO Men’s Hyperion Boot

    Clearly a superior hiking boot for the outdoor enthusiast, its advanced anti-fatigue technology provides additional comfort during those strenuous adventures.  The Hyperion Work Boot does the work for you, allowing you to concentrate on your surroundings rather than worrying about whether or not you are protected. A non-marking sole offers adequate traction that grips questionable surfaces. Feel confident that your feet will remain dry during those unexpected rain storms, or creek crossings with the waterproof construction and membrane.  An easy lace-up feature makes it easy to get the boots on and off, plus, enables you to quickly adjust for comfort.  In addition to being perfect for hikers, they are also recommended for those who work on concrete or roads, as they are one of the most durable work boots you’ll ever wear.

    Click to read more about Hyperion Model.

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  10. Carhartt Men’s CMS4100 4 Romeo

    The Romeo Work Boot is an easy slip-on boot for your convenience.  No need in wasting time zipping or lacing up boots when you can just step right into them.  The oil-tanned leather is not only sharp-looking, but it’s also water, chemical and oil resistant. A slip-resistant sole protects against falls caused by treading on oil and water surfaces.  This comfy, low-length work boot offers flexibility and durability and still retains their toughness in semi-harsh working environments.  These boots are ideal for those with wide feet, since they have extra room.  However, these boots would best serve those working in industrial and processing plants, warehouses, and mild construction but are not recommended for heavy-duty working environments, since they do not have the additional safety features required.  However, these work boots are perfect for everyday use. Click to read more about Carhartt model.

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    • 4.2 Customer Rating
    • Timberland PRO Men’s 26078 Titan 6″ Boot
    • PRICE $$
    • MADE OF : Leather
    • RESISTANT : Waterproof Safety
    • SOLE : Rubber sole
    • COLOR : Dark Mocha
    • 4.4 Customer Rating
    • Keen Utility Men’s Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe
    • PRICE $
    • MADE OF : Leather and mesh
    • RESISTANT : Oil and slip resistant
    • SOLE : Rubber sole
    • COLOR : Black, Gargoyle, Shitake
    • 4.7 Customer Rating
    • Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6″ Safety Toe Boot
    • PRICE $$
    • MADE OF : Leather
    • RESISTANT : N/A
    • SOLE : Rubber sole
    • COLOR : Walnut
    • 4.4 Customer Rating
    • Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic Steel-Toe Boot
    • PRICE $$
    • MADE OF : Leather
    • RESISTANT : Full grain waterproof leather construction
    • SOLE : Rubber sole
    • COLOR : Dark Beige
    • 4.3 Customer Rating
    • Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss 6″ Steel-Toe Boot
    • PRICE $
    • MADE OF : Leather
    • RESISTANT : Oil- and abrasion resistant.
    • SOLE : Synthetic sole
    • COLOR : Black, Brown, Wheat, Wheat Nubuck

  11. Timberland PRO Men’s 26078 Titan 6″ Boot

    The Titan 6”  Safety-Toe work boot is made for the rugged, outdoor, working man, with its 6” shaft for support and it’s PRO rubber soles for additional traction, and is oil, water, and abrasion resistant.  The lightweight safety toe protects your feet from injury and provides additional roominess for wider feet.  The boot is lined with antimicrobial mesh to control odor and sweat.  This is a great boot for people in the construction industry, such as electricians, cement workers, and utility repairmen.  Designed for comfort as well as support, the Titan Safety-Toe Work Boot also accommodates those with Plantar Fasciitis, as it is flexible and comforts the foot where necessary.  The interior comfort padding is spongy and is very shock absorbing for those on their feet for long periods of time.  As with most all of the Timberland work boots, they are a highly reputable brand and deserve mentioning when it comes to the best construction boots!

    Click to read more about Timberland Pro Titan!

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  12. Keen Utility Men’s Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe

    More like a work shoe instead of a work boot, the low-rise Keen Utility Men’s Atlanta Cool Steel Toe model offers the comfort of a tennis shoe and the protection of a highly defined work boot.  This leather and mesh design has an asymmetrical left and right steel toe and has an oil and water slip-resistant, non-marking rubber sole.  These shoes are feather light but still have lots of protective features that keep your feet safe from injury.  Recommended for HVAC installers, roofers, and concrete workers, they are not only flexible but extremely comfortable.  A mesh liner provides breathability and regulated temperature in warm conditions.  The easy lace-up function allows you to adjust the fit of the shoe, lock it into place, enabling you to slip them on as needed.  Typically we give reviews on work boots, however, this work shoe stands up to work boot quality, which is why we added it to our list. Click to read more about Keen Atlanta.

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  13. Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6″ Safety Toe Boot 

    Looking for a boot that works just as hard as you do?  The American Heritage is the one for you and your hard-working lifestyle.  The outsole is slip-resistant while the removable inner sole has a special comfort cushion that is breathable and absorbs shock.  A fiberglass shank offers continuous support along with the lace-up leather upper and there is a padded collar for additional comfort.  The heavy-duty steel toe is electric shock rated.  Though not designed for wet weather, these boots take a beating and can be reinforced with a water-resistant application.  These work boots are perfect for steel workers, heavy construction, and factory workers who need to maneuver around dangerous obstacles.  Like all Thorogood brand boots, they are American made and are highly proud of the craftsmanship they put into their work boots. One of the top work boots money can buy. Click to see more Thorogood boots in our brand page. Would like to read more about this product? Click here.

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  14. Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic Steel-Toe Boot

    The Cat Diagnostic Steel-Toe Boot is designed with 200 grams of insulation to keep your feet warm and dry in very wet and cold conditions, even standing in 3” to 4” inches of water.  Round, steel toe with rubber bumper gives you the protection you need on the job.  These boots are constructed with a full-grain leather foot and matching lace-up leather shaft, plus it has added padding in the collar for extra comfort.  A slip-resistant rubber sole keeps your feet steady on the ground.  This boot can also be purchased with a soft toe instead of a steel toe, so whatever project or job you need to get done, these boots will help you get there.  If you’re on your feet most of the day, these boots will keep the pressure off of your soles and legs.  Easily broken in right out of the box, these highly durable boots are built to last.  Landscapers, field workers, and outdoor construction workers would benefit from these extremely durable boots.  Size runs larger than an average shoe, so we would recommend a ½ to a full size smaller. Click to read more about Cat Diagnostic.

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

    Timberland brand work boots make to our list yet again, since they are one of the best American made work boots around.  These rugged working man’s boots are designed for protection.  A steel toe that has an electrical hazard rating and an oil and water slip-resistant synthetic sole are just a few of the highly desirable features in this boot.  Made out of leather with tonal stitching make these work boots as attractive as they are tough.  The polyurethane midsole resists moisture and absorbs shock.  In addition, the toe area has more room than other work boots, which allows for a wider foot.  An extra bonus of a removable sock insert assures your feet will remain blister free.  Comfort, safety, and durability are what the Pro Men’s Pitboss has to offer.  For those who work as an electrician, auto mechanic, or heavy equipment operator, these boots are a great choice and are built to withstand a lot of abuse. Click to read more about Timberland Pitboss.

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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 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 boot.  If you’ll be subjected to snow or ice then insulation would be a consideration as well. 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

    Work boots offer various forms of additional protection.  In this section, we will discuss what forms of protection are available.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

  1. 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.
  2. Best Work Boots Comparison Chart

    PRODUCTPRICEMADE OFSOLECOLOR
    Keen Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot
    $$ Leather and textileRubber soleSlate Black, Bison, Black
    Timberland PRO Men’s 95567 Endurance Pr 8″ Workboot
    $$ Leather and textileRubber soleBlack
    Irish Setter Men’s 6″ 83605 Work Boot
    $$Leather Rubber soleBrown
    Timberland PRO Men’s Boondock 6 Inch
    $$Leather Synthetic soleBrown Oiled Distressed
    Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift 6″ Steel Toe Work Boot
    $Leather Manmade soleBlack, Tan
    Keen Utility Men’s Portland PR 6″ Aluminum Toe
    $$LeatherRubber soleBlack, Dark Brown
    Timberland PRO Men’s Rigmaster Steel Toe 8″
    $$LeatherRubber soleBrown
    Danner Men’s Super Rain Forest Uninsulated
    $$$Full grain leatherVibram soleBlack
    Timberland PRO Men’s Hyperion Boot
    $$LeatherVibram soleGray
    Carhartt Men’s CMS4100 4 Romeo
    $LeatherRubber soleDark Brown Oil Tanned
    Timberland PRO Men’s 26078 Titan 6″ Boot
    $$LeatherRubber soleDark Mocha
    Keen Utility Men’s Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe
    $Leather and meshRubber soleBlack, Gargoyle, Shitake
    Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6″ Safety Toe Boot
    $$LeatherRubber soleWalnut
    Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic Steel-Toe Boot
    $$LeatherRubber soleDark Beige
    Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss 6″ Steel-Toe Boot
    $LeatherSynthetic soleBlack, Brown, Wheat, Wheat Nubuck

    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.