Work boots are essential for workplace safety. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA requires employers to mandate that employees wear protective footwear if their job poses danger to their feet, as it does in carpentry and construction.
These boots often feature steel-toe designs to prevent injuries from falling objects and other hazards, as well as grippy lug soles to keep you sure-footed on a range of surfaces. When it comes to cushioning and breathability, though, options vary, allowing you to choose the level of support and aeration that suits your specific needs.
Many of today’s looks are also stylish enough to be worn both in and out of the workplace, offering a rugged touch to everyday outfits. Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite work boots that offer the best of function and fashion. Read on to shop them all.
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1. Timberland Pro Men's 6" Pit Boss Boot
Timberland's Pit Boss boot is up to any task, as it meets consumer product watchdog group ANSI's safety standards and feature slip-, oil- and abrasion-resistant outsoles for traction on all kinds of surfaces.
Pros: The upper is finished in rugged nubuck leather with a Goodyear welt construction for extra durability. A padded top collar and proprietary suspension technology help support the arch and reduce foot fatigue. Both the lining and footbed have been given an antimicrobial treatment to keep odor-causing bacteria at bay. The steel-toe boot is also equipped with a nylon shock-diffusion plate for torsional stability, which is crucial when working on uneven or rocky surfaces, where feet may bend or twist and increase your chance of injury. Finally, the boots are available in wide width and half sizes to accommodate different feet.
Cons: These boots may take a while to break in and still run slightly narrow.
2. Skechers Men's Verdict Men's Boot
If a steel-toe design isn't crucial on your job site, this waterproof style from Skechers is a great pick.
Pros: Not only is the leather waterproof, but the midsole is as well, featuring a seam-sealed design to keep you extra dry. The style doesn't skimp on comfort either, complete with a padded collar and tongue, shock-absorbing midsole and smooth fabric lining. A steel shank in the midsole offers additional support and stability, while a rugged lug sole on the outside gives you optimal traction. On top of all that, this style is available in half sizes and widths up to extra wide to accommodate even the widest feet. Plus, it's one of the most wallet-friendly options you can buy.
Cons: Skecher's Verdict is heavier than other options.
3. Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Work Boot
Perfect for those whose feet tend to get hot on the job, these Caterpillar boots feature a mesh lining and breathable Climasphere insole to prevent sweating (and swampy socks).
Pros: The steel-toe style comes in two finishes — oiled full grain leather or nubuck — and boasts a Goodyear welt construction for maximum durability and protection. It also comes with a modestly plush PU sockliner that can be removed to accommodate orthotics, plus a slip-resistant rubber outsole to keep you sure-footed on a range of surfaces. Meanwhile, the style offers a steel shank in the midsole for added support and stability. It comes in half sizes and wide widths.
Cons: The style offers minimalistic cushioning, so you may want to use an insole for added comfort underfoot. The laces may not be so sturdy.
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