Finding a pair of protective yet comfortable work boots is a daunting task. With so many features and technologies to look out for, it seems like an endless experience sifting through all the work boot designs out there, but ensuring you find the right boot is a game-changer. To find the right pair, you need to look for work boots with high-end technology such as waterproofing and insulation, with a supportive and comfortable construction securing all-day comfort.
Boots that make safety a priority are a must. Keep your eyes peeled for boots with electrical hazard protection, helping dissipate the amount of static electricity build-up on your body while offering a level of defence against ignition hazards such as flammable materials and gases. Also, choose a pair of boots that provide a sufficient level of toe protection.
Because there are so many designs on the market – composite toe boots, safety toe boots, and steel toe work boots – we’ve written this guide to help you find the most comfortable work boots perfect for you and your working needs.
Features of a comfortable work boots
Though you want your work boots to last a long time and be exceptionally durable, you also want them to possess a flexible upper, making movement effortless. Especially for a work shoe, you don’t want your movements to be restricted, as you’re likely to be on your feet all day, so make sure you pick a boot that is flexible as it is tough and rugged. If you select a boot that’s stiff and rigid, your feet will feel incredibly uncomfortable.
Many great work boots include water-resistant leathers that are highly breathable too. Other boots are usually made with Gore-tex to provide a waterproof membrane, allowing the boots to withstand any weather condition while keeping your feet dry – rain, hail, or shine! If you’re someone who works outdoors, ensuring you have a waterproof boot is an absolute must.
Having access to highly insulated boots is particularly useful when the temperature drops. You want boots that keep your feet feeling toasty which is why it’s worth investing in boots with a high level of insulation. However, opt for a boot with mesh lining and a breathable membrane in the warmer months, so your feet don’t get too sweaty.
Soles and cushioning
Having super supportive soles and extra cushioning is extremely important if you want your boots to provide all-day comfort. Definitely look into work boots that feature foam cushioning and an EVA footbed to help support the foot. Also, you want a sole that absorbs shock, especially when tackling tumultuous terrain.
Make sure you choose a pair of work boots with an incredibly durable outsole, so your feet will feel highly supported. A rubber outsole is usually durable while protecting you against sharp ridges, cuts, splitting, and hard abrasion; and offering resistance against oils and chemicals. Also, you want a slip-resistant outsole, providing extra protection for those uneven, hard surfaces.
Speaking of great outsoles, ensuring your work boots have a deep tread pattern, helping you gain traction, is an absolute must in the workplace. Make sure your tread has an ergonomic design, securing an excellent grip, especially on rocky, uneven surfaces. Many boots with deep treads offer anti-fatigue technology, allowing you to perform at your peak, even during those long, tiresome days at work.
Some other helpful DMARGE articles about footwear:
- Most Comfortable Work Shoes For Men
- Most Comfortable Sneakers For Men
- Most Comfortable Men’s Dress Shoes
Are you still feeling overwhelmed? Not to worry, we’ve rounded up the best work boots brands, offering a highly diverse selection of comfortable work boots.
Price: From $160
Material: Premium waterproof leather
Timberland was initially known as Abington Shoe Company, was founded by Nathan Swartz in 1952, after he bought out his business partner and welcomed his family to the business. Their famous ‘Timberland’ was launched in 1972, paving the way for the footwear industry, as it was more durable and rugged than any other shoe on the market. This creation led to a whole extensive range of stable work boots suitable for everything – even the most treacherous outdoor exploration. Timberland continues to build its rich legacy by still producing stylish boots crafted from advanced technology.
They have a diverse collection of work boots available in different styles, cuts and colours. This versatile range includes everything from soft toe work boots to safety toe boots. If you’re working outdoor, Timberland has a selection of waterproof composite toe work boots that offer electrical hazard protection. Their footbed has shock absorption, so no terrain is too intimidating for these work boots. However, suppose you’re looking for something that offers a little more protection; Timberland has a vast collection of steel toe work boots that come with increased durability and slip-resistant rubber outsoles.
Price: From $120
Though Caterpillar Inc. is an American corporation that is primarily known for being the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial turbines and diesel-electric locomotives, they also manufacture quality footwear. This all-time tradesman-favourite brand was launched in the mid-eighties, starting as a small collection of work boots that grew into a global lifestyle brand sold in nearly 150 countries. Caterpillar creates some of the most comfortable work boots geared to carry you from your job site and beyond.
Caterpillar manufacture some of the most durable steel toe work boots geared to last a lifetime. This collection is mainly crafted from waterproof materials so that you can keep your feet dry while on the job. You’ll struggle to find a more practical steel toe boot, as these boots come with electrical hazard protection, rubber outsole for ultimate traction and soft, breathable nylon mesh sock lining that’s anti-odour. Make sure you grab yourself a pair today!
Price: From $250
Material: Nubuck leather
Red Wing is an American shoe manufacturer named after the small town in Minnesota, where it creates a highly diverse range of rugged boots and shoes. Founded by Charles Beckman in 1905, this family operated business quickly grew to prominence, supplying doughboys with boots suitable for the muddy, sticky trenches in WWI. After the war, Red Wing became a household name and was the brand favourite of many farmers, factory workers and outdoorsmen. Still today, Red Wing boots are handmade at their Minnesota plant and continue to be the golden standard for safety work boots.
Red Wing boots are some of the best on the market, as they fit exactly an Aussie boot with their pull-on straightforward design. These boots are guaranteed not to stretch out, promising to last for a long while. They have an endless selection of safety toe and soft toe boots that provide you with heaps of protection, thanks to their durable yet comfortable design. These shoes are engineered to feel like a customised fit due to their generous toe space and flexible membrane. Many of these boots also come with electrical hazard protection.
Price: From $160
Material: Waterproof full-grain leather
In 1883, G.A. Krause founded Wolverine as a small leather tannery with a small handful of employees. Despite starting as a humble business, Wolverine became well-known work boots and gloves – the perfect balance of comfort and toughness. Wolverine transformed this small company into an empire, with its footwear being worn in 200 regions and countries worldwide. Their famous Original 1000 Mile boot launched in the 1910s and was named because you could get 1000 miles of wear from this shoe, thanks to its durability. The company manufactures this boot today and has an extensive range of the toughest work boots built for longevity.
These work boots can even endure the most intensive outdoor activities, as they feature slip-resistant, waterproof and Durashock technology. If you’re after boots that will keep your feet warm no matter how cold the weather gets, Wolverine has a selection of steel toe boots that offer permanent direct-attach construction that will prevent water from creeping in. Also, these boots provide a cushioning footbed adding extra comfort and stability. But, if you are looking for a work boot with a little more buoyancy, they have UltraSpring boots manufactured with revolutionary cushioning, adding a literal string to your step.
Price: From $200
Material: Full-grain waterproof leather
This American footwear and accessories brand is based in Portland, Oregon, was founded in 2003 by Martin Keen and Rory Fuerst. Keen produces a diverse range of high-performing footwear geared to protect you in every outdoor environment. Combining unique designs with top-tier technology, Keen manufacture highly sought after boots and sandals embraced by outdoor enthusiasts globally. One of the first inventions was a protective black toe bumper, catapulting them into a niche market of selling outdoor and lifestyle shoes.
Make sure you check out their range of highly protective work boots, as these boots can protect you against the rockiest hiking trails and the harshest weather. Their work boots feature waterproof properties and a great tread pattern, providing ultimate stability and support. Keen primarily produce some of the world’s best soft toe boots that come with a waterproof yet breathable membrane and slip-resistant rubber outsole. These boots are perfect for the long days at work, standing on your feet for hours.
Price: From $100
Material: Full-grain waterproof leather
Columbia was established in the late thirties by Paul Lamfrom, instantly becoming recognised for their high-quality sportswear that catered to every type of athlete. Gert Boyle has been the Chairman for over 50 years, helping Columbia grow into the iconic brand that it is today. Gert’s parents were immigrants who fled Nazi Germany in 1938 and came to Portland, where they purchased a small hat manufacturer, naming it the Columbia Hat Company after one of the state’s beautiful rivers. Columbia became an opportunity for the family to have a fresh start finally. Today, this company is still a leading outdoor brand that reflects its Pacific Northwest heritage while combining advanced technology tested in its own backyard.
Columbia has a wide selection of the most comfortable work boots available in different styles and colours. These boots are highly innovative, as they have waterproof and Omni-heat technology so that you wear them in the harshest weather. These workboots are suitable for hiking or hunting in the woods, as they can endure the most challenging terrain, thanks to their deep tread and cushioning footbed. Many of these work boots are incredibly lightweight yet breathable and also have arch support.
Price: From $120
Material: Pig suede leather, breathable mesh
Merrell was founded in 1981 by outdoor enthusiast Randy Merrell, in Vermont and has become famous for producing “the best hiking boots ever made”. With the help of Olympians Clark Matis and John Schweizer, Randy’s small business grew from a small business to an empire manufacturing footwear with athletic enhancing features within each design. These features will have you geared for the outdoors, as Merrell shoes promise to sustain in all kinds of weather conditions and terrain.
If you’re looking for the ultimate men’s work boot, you have to check out their collection, as Merrell has every type of boot available, from waterproof work boots, composite toe boots to insulated work boots; they design it all. If you’re after a work boot offering superb warmth, have a look at their Thermo Chill work boots that come with lightweight insulation and are low bulk, making movement easy. Merrell also has a range of boots with a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, guaranteed to keep your feet toasty. Many of these shoes are a straightforward design, promising to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your work attire.
Price: From $100
Clarks is a privately owned business currently based at its birthplace in Somerset, UK. Clarks began almost 200 years ago when founder Cyrus and James Clark invented a slipped crafted shoe from sheepskin cuts. This design was the pinnacle of shoe innovation, as it combined delicate fabrics will skilled craftmanship, paving the way for the rest of their collection. Clarks has remained a top-pier footwear brand for almost two centuries as every product is treated with meticulous detail. Every pair of shoes are carved by hand from a block of hornbeam, then integrating advanced construction techniques, technologies and high performing materials to deliver perfect tailor-made shoes for the modern world.
If you’re looking for stylish work boots that are a little more polished and sleek, make sure you visit their online store. Clarks has Men’s Ortholite shoes that feature a cushioning footbed and moisture-wicking properties to help keep you comfortable all day. They have a collection of desert boots crafted from fine suede and leather materials, built to last a lifetime. Their natural rubber offers ultimate grip and durability while feeling extremely lightweight. But if you’re looking for a slightly more rugged design, Clark’s also has a selection of Brawley Up and Larvik Midd work boots that come with an EVA midsole and extra padding, perfect if your work requires you to be on your feet all day.
Price: From $165
Material: Nubuck leather, EVA
Sorel is an American brand creating some of the finest apparel and work boots on the market. Founded in the early sixties by Arthur Ratz Kaufman, Sorel began crafting high-performance sport and work boots suitable for different types of environments due to their tough exterior. As Sorel believe your feet are the most powerful tool, they’re dedicated to creating function-first footwear made to push boundaries and expectations. Sorel prides itself on making footwear that is the perfect balance of form and fashion.
Sorel manufactures some of the best safety toe boots on the market, with a vast range of moc-toe work boots on offer. These boots can endure the rain, as they’re rich waterproof leather, promising to keep you dry. These boots also have an EVA footbed providing you with next-level comfort and are seam-sealed so that no rain sneaks inside. Additionally, these boots come with serious tread, ensuring you’ll have excellent grip. You’ll struggle to find a more supportive toe work boot.
Price: From $139
In 1912, L.L. Bean was established by Leon Leonwood Bean in Freeport, Maine. Launching a clothing empire, this brand has over 54 stores globally. L.L. Bean has developed a reputation for creating great outdoor garments, guaranteed to last the long run. This international company began after Leon Leonwood Bean returned from a hunting trip with cold, damp feet and a revolutionary idea to combine leather upper and rubber bottoms, forever changing outdoor boots. Today, this company is one of the highly celebrated footwear brands out there, recognised for high-enhancing designs geared to be super protective. These boots are perfect if your work takes you outside, as they’re high performing in a range of outdoor environments.
Make sure you have a look at the online store, as L.L Bean designs high-quality work boots that come with waterproof and insulation properties, guaranteed to keep your feet warm and dry. These boots are available in all kinds of styles, from sherling lined boots, hiking boots to fleece-lined work boots; you can expect to find it all here. L.L Bean has highly technical work boots with a unique lace-up system, so your feet will feel incredibly secure and warm. Many of these designs also come with soft inside padding, providing a super soft feel. These work boots come in a variety of brown and tan colours while being a simple, minimalist design.