For serious outdoor work, or for any construction project, be it industrial or personal, a pair of sturdy work boots is one of the most essential tools you need in your arsenal. Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there that will make whatever task you have in mind that much easier.
If you’re on the market for a new pair, consider one of these 10 top-rated picks, which include some of the best lightweight work boots and some of the most durable work boots you can buy. There are even some really comfortable work boots on this list because, well, a blister can be a serious burden for even the toughest of us.
But first, check out this primer on the features to look for in a work boot, based on your specific needs.
When it comes to the heavy lifting involved in everyday construction projects, consider steel toe shoes, the standard for protecting your toes from all the hazards of a dangerous work area. Another option is a carbon fiber toe cap, also strong but a bit lighter to wear.
For added comfort, look to steel shanks, which provide support between the sockliner and outsole and reduce stress on the feet and calves, as well as any type of comfortable foot bed. And if you’re afraid of getting your toes crushed, consider a pair of work boots with a wide fit.
An invaluable, old-school feature in a work boot is the Goodyear Welting construction, created by, yes, a member of the Goodyear tire family over 100 years ago. The technique involves sewing additional material for greater durability.
If your outdoor work takes you into wet or muddy terrain this winter, be sure to invest in a pair of waterproof work boots. But if moving fast is your biggest concern, opt for a lightweight pair that won’t weigh you down.
Timberland Pro Boss hog 6” Comp Toe Work Boot
Fashion meets function in these all-purpose waterproof work boots. They’re designed to keep your feet protected in the harshest conditions with ultra-strong Carbon Shield composite safety toes that are also lightweight.
Carhartt Men’s 6″ Moccasin Toe Waterproof Work Boot
Carhartt sets the standard for quality workwear, and its boots are no exception. This waterproof option has a durable leather exterior and multi-layer cushioning so you can take on outdoor tasks for hours.
Ever Boots Tank Soft Toe Leather Work Boots
This economical work boot is ideal for industrial construction. Its key features include Goodyear Welt construction for maximum durability and soft nubuck leather that’s easy to tear.
Skechers Tarlac Steel Toe Work Boot
If you’re looking for the most comfortable work boots, consider these best-selling lightweight Skechers, designed in a relaxed, roomy design. Memory foam insoles mold to the shape of your foot for a perfect fit. They are also reliable hiking boots.
Caterpillar Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot
Consider this the bread and butter of men’s work boots. These steel toe boots have padded ankles for stability and comfort. In addition, they are super light and oil resistant.
Thorogood American Heritage 6″ Moc Toe MAXwear Safety Boot with Toe
For steel toe boots that deliver safety and comfort, look no further than this lightweight pair from Thorogood. They feature a slip-resistant outsole and a removable shock-absorbing insole on top of a cushioned foot bed, making them some of the most comfortable work boots out there.
Keen Detroit XT mid Boots
These waterproof work boots are essential for the man who prefers a shorter boot height. They still provide protection above the ankle, plus they have a steel toe and odor control.
Under Armor Valsetz RTS 1.5
While you may be used to turning to Under Armor to improve your performance in the gym, you may not be aware that the sportswear company has its workplace footwear game covered as well. This men’s work boot is super lightweight, thanks to a plastic toe cap that offers protection without added weight. It also conforms to the shape of your ankle for added stability. The side zipper makes them easy to put on and take off.
Red Wing Heritage Classic Moc 6 Inch Boots
No need to sacrifice style for function – these Red Wing moccasin-style work boots has plenty of those rugged, modern factors. They were originally created in 1952, and still retain much of the same construction, like the leather that molds to the shape of your foot the more you wear them. Consider it proof that the best things stand the test of time.
Timberland PRO 6″ Pit Boss Steel Toe Boot
Timberland’s steel toe work boots check all the right boxes. The steel safety toe is nice and roomy, shock diffusion plates between the sockliner and outsole provide all-day on-foot comfort, and it meets electrical hazard standards for protection against live electrical circuits. These timpani perfectly cross the line between toughness and comfort.