Men aren’t exactly left wanting when it comes to options for boots. You’ve got dress boots, Chelsea boots, chukka boots and even hiking boots, all of which have their own unique look and specific purpose. But, just to throw another option into the mix, there are even work boots for men. Work boots, by their very name, are designed to be worn to work. Typically, they’ll be far sturdier than some of their dressy cousins, being made from more durable materials and having reinforced areas around the toe especially, to protect your feet from debris, bumps and just about anything else from landing on them.
However, such is their necessary nature, some brands have taken the traditional work boot aesthetic – the type you see tradies and guys who work on building sites wearing, and usually covered in cement, paint and dirt – and turned them into something that can be worn everyday as a casual pair of boots, paired with a variety of outfits. If you’re not quite following what we mean, just think of Timberland. Technically yes, they’re what are known as desert boots, but they also comfortably fit into the work boot category, yet how many pairs do you see on site? We reckon the answer is zero.
But, because they are still work boots by definition, you can wear them on a building site if you so wish, and reap the full benefits of their build and protection. Admittedly, they’re not going to work with a suit at your cousin’s formal cocktail party, but work boots can easily be worn with jeans and a t-shirt or casual button-down for a casual off-duty weekend look.
But which brands are making the best work boots for men right now? Allow us to reveal all, with this compressive guide, revealing the very best brands you need to know.
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You'll find steel toe constructions across the entire range, waterproofing on select pairs to help see you through downpours on site, and even protection against electrical currents to save any nasty shocks. What's more, CAT's boots are designed to help prevent injuries and to provide extra stability around the heel and ankle, to allow you to work all day, everyday.
Best known for their Chelsea-boot style boots, Blundstone boots have become just as much of a fashion accessory as they have capable work boot, and so you'll easily be able to pair these with jeans, chinos and shorts for cool and casual looks.
KEEN produces a range of boots that it believes suit various specific industries, such as carpentry and transportation, and these are listed in the product description for each pair, so you can be assured the pair you get, will be more than fit for the purpose.
You can, however, also get even more heavy duty versions of this famous boot, with features such as steel toe caps, electrical hazard protection, extra cushioning on the midsole for all-day comfort and some thermal insulation to keep your toes warm on cold days.
With steel toe caps, electrical hazard protection, slip-resistant soles and breathable mesh liners featuring across the board, Carolina work boots are built to last, and look the part whilst doing so.
Quality is assured thanks to leather and heavy-duty nylon to help keep weight down yet ensure protection is kept at an all-time high. They're rather handsome for work boots too, and while they may be a little tricky to pair with your everyday outfits, they'll happily double up as a pair of hiking boots, for example, for whenever you fancy stretching your legs in the great outdoors.
Admittedly, Scarosso's boots are less likely to be worn on a building site compared to some other brands on this list, but they still feature heavy-duty Vibram outsoles, plenty of cushioning and insulation and even waterproofing. But, as we mentioned earlier, work boots can simply refer to the style, and that's exactly what Scarosso does perfectly, with their boots being plenty capable of being worn up or down.
You may not find many steel toe caps here, but as with Scarosso before, Hunter's work boots are designed more for aesthetic purposes, but that's no bad thing. They look great, and still provide plenty of insulation and comfort, as well as protection against water, to provide boots that can be worn day in, day out without stress.
Red Wing Heritage
Red Wing's work boot range provides complete protection for your feet, with such features as metatarsal guards, waterproofing and electric hazard protection, and you even get plenty of room inside the boot for your feet to move and breathe when compared to other brands.
The beauty of Danner's workbooks is their ability to be worn in all manner of situations, due to their great design.
The majority of pairs of Danner boots take on a hiking boot style, so you'll find plenty of insulation, along with waterproofing and extreme levels of grip provided by the outsoles. Perhaps not suited for the hardcore builder, but for guys who still need to visit building sites, Danner's work boots are some you need to be checking out.
Today, Docs are instantly recognisable thanks to their yellow stitching, heel tabs, and even the look of the leather used. They're as durable and comfortable as ever, and perfectly blur the lines between workwear and casual wear.
But while that boot is more for everyday wear, Wolverine has a comprehensive range of dedicated work boots, to boot (pun intended). The range includes all the features you could need, including waterproofing, breathable membranes, Goodyear welt constructions for longevity and comfort, and cushioning in the midsole for all-day comfort. Plus, they're perfectly stylish enough to be worn as an everyday pair, if you wish.
Only leather sourced from the US is used, and every single pair is hand-cut, hand-stitched and hand-finished. They're certainly worth the extra investment.
Quoddy boots are made in such a a way that it takes a little bit of time for them to perfectly conform to the proportions of your feet, but once they do, you'll benefit from comfort levels unlike any you've felt before. Tough, sturdy and durable, Quoddy work boots are an incredibly stylish option for the rugged, burly man.
It's with this in mind that you'll find a range of materials used throughout their boot collections, including leather sourced from America, their own M Select GRIP outsoles for improved traction, breathable mesh linings and waterproof outer layers, with the ultimate goal of keeping your feet protected in comfort.