Shoe of the Week: A Work Boot That Keeps Things Light (Really)

For decades, the mark of a good work boot could be determined by its weight. A hefty pair often meant it had all the requisite technical tools to protect a worker’s feet, from steel toes to sturdy uppers.

But Cat Footwear’s new Excavator Superlite challenges that old chestnut. The brand reworked the boot’s midsole to be significantly lighter, using waterproof, full-grain leather, an abrasion-resistant rubber outsole and toe bumper. Available for men and women alike, the boot gives new meaning to being a lightweight.

cat footwear, excavator superlite, work boot, workers, boots
Cat’s Excavator Superlite work boot.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Cat Footwear

To buy: Cat Footwear Excavator Superlite women’s work boot, $155. 

To prove all of this, the brand sent pairs of the boots to a group of construction workers in Detroit to have them test out all of the functions on the job. The boot may look a bit chunky, with that bulbous rubberized toe, but it’s as lightweight as many of the sneakers currently on the market (let’s also not forget how bulky athletic shoes have become over the years — we’re looking at you, Balenciaga Triple S).

Over the past year, Cat has been expanding its repertoire to bridge the gap between its technical work boots and lifestyle options. The result is not only the Excavator Superlite but a series of boots aimed at other types of work, like those who work in environmental science and require a boot for muckier conditions.

These hybrid styles have also helped Cat to dip its toes into the fashion world. The brand recently collaborated with Heron Preston for his fall ’20 men’s collection, which debuted at Paris Fashion Week in January. The designer used Cat’s iconic Stormer boot in all white. “Cat represents the men and the women who build the cities that we live in,” Preston told FN in January. “It’s made for the doers our the world. That is streetwear to me that is what inspires me.

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