A day on the construction site or hitting the road in a big rig is hard enough, so make sure you treat your feet to workboots that are comfortable as well as protected.
When safety shoe shopping, there are some easy guidelines to follow to make sure you find styles that offer the same cushioning and support you’re accustomed to in your everyday footwear while delivering on safety.
- 1. Toe Construction: While traditional steel toes remain a popular option, there are lots of composite toe alternatives that offer lightweight protection. Coupled with this, composite toes are not affected by temperature shifts, heating up in the warm weather and getting cold in the winter months.
- 2. Underfoot Support: Everyone deserves some spring in their step. As with athletic shoes, workboot brands are increasingly adding cushioned footbeds and insoles to their safety looks to keep you light on your feet. Many also incorporate arch support and deep heel cups for enhanced support. For those with special foot issues requiring custom or over-the-counter insoles, check for styles with removable footbeds that allow you to replace them with your own.
- 3. Flexible outsole: Don’t think heavy soles are the only way to protect feet from debris and slippery surfaces. Today, there are lots of lightweight and flexible outsole compounds that deliver the same resilience and slip protection.
- 4. Material Mixes: Not all workboots are created equal when it comes to upper materials. While traditional leather may seem the most durable choice, there are fabric alternatives that are puncture-proof, offering the same degree of safety while taking some of the weight out of the shoe. And they are easy to clean after a day on the job.
- 5. Climate Control: Let’s face it — feet sweat. To take the heat out of your boots, look for styles that incorporate linings with moisture-wicking properties. While branded components include Coolmax and Drilex that might cost a bit more, there are proprietary materials that offer similar protection.
Below, FN has curated a range of men’s workboots that meet these criteria.
1. Timberland Pro 6-inch Pit Boss
This steel-toe boot incorporates the brand’s 24/7 comfort suspension technology to reduce foot fatigue while providing arch support.
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2. Dr. Martens Icon Industrial Strength Steel-Toe Boot
The classic 1460 boot with yellow stitching is morphed into a safety-toe pull-on build that picks up Dr. Martens’ durable yet flexible slip-resistant sole.
3. Keen Utility Detroit Mid Steel Toe Boot
A waterproof style offers plenty of room at the toe, designed with an asymmetrical toe shapes and torsional stability shank for midfoot support.
4. Wolverine Rigger EPX CarbonMax Safety Toe Boot
By bringing comfort closer to the foot, the new EPX technology conserves and returns energy to help fight fatigue, while a slip-resistant outsoles keeps you sure-footed.
5. Carhartt 6 Work Safety-Toe NWP Boot
A cushioned collar makes this midheight boot comfortable to wear during long shifts, eliminating any friction at the ankle.
6. Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof Comp Toe Boot
A combination mesh fabric and leather upper allows air to circulate through the upper for climate control, while a comp toe provides lightweight protection.
7. Condor Idaho 6-inch Steel Toe Boot
An ultracushioned and flexible polyurethane outsole provides enhanced comfort underfoot for long days on the job.
8. Caterpillar Second Shift Steel Toe Boot
This mesh-lined boot offers enhanced breathability for those humid days on the job, while a cushioned collar offers gentle ankle support.
9. Skechers for Work Blais Steel-Toe Hiking Shoe
A hiking-inspired safety toe style incorporates a memory foam footbed for underfoot support and cushioning.
All products featured have been independently selected and curated by our editorial team. If you buy something through the links included on our site, FN may earn a commission.
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