There are jobs that require a suit and tie, and then there are those that require a hard hat and protective gear. If your occupation falls into the latter camp, owning a pair of work boots that won’t cause blisters or weigh you down is a must. These styles are typically crafted from rugged, water-resistant materials and equipped with comfort-enhancing features like shock-absorbing cushioning and arch-supporting footbeds ,as well as stabilizing shanks and grippy lug soles to keep you steady on slippery surfaces. Some even offer electrical hazard protection for those who work with live wires.
Work boots come in safety toe or soft toe styles. Made for those who work in carpentry or construction, safety toe styles feature steel, composite or alloy toe designs to reduce impact on feet from falling objects and prevent injury. Meanwhile, soft toe boots don’t provide impact-resistance, but are lightweight and suitable for those who don’t require a safety toe style on the job, such as electricians, plumbers and police officers. Both styles are made to offer slip-resistance on wet, and sometimes oily, surfaces.
In terms of safety toe boots, steel toe boots deliver the most toe protection, but tend to be heavier than other styles. Composite toe boots that use non-metal materials like Kevlar, carbon fiber, plastic or fiberglass may be lighter weight but bulkier in build. They won’t, however, set off metal detectors, so they’re a good choice for airport workers or security personnel.
Meanwhile, alloy toe styles are made from titanium, aluminum or a combination of other lightweight materials that make them significantly lighter weight than steel toe styles. However, a drawback of alloy toe styles is that while they may be more comfortable, they do tend to be pricier than their counterparts.
With all that in mind, we compiled 7 great work boots for men to suit different work environments.
Why Trust Our Recommendations:
From trusted work boot brands like Timberland, Carhartt and Irish Setter, the pairs on our list include must-have comfort and safety features such as waterproof membranes, oil and slip-resistant traction outsoles, moisture-wicking liners and Thermolite insulation for cooler conditions. Most are available in extended widths, too, so you can find the perfect fit.
Keep scrolling to find your match.
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1. Timberland Pro Direct Attach 6-Inch Soft Toe Boot
Key Features: Equipped with a soft toe, plush padded collar and 6-inch shaft. Waterproof inside and out. Comfort Suspension technology promotes enhanced support. Contoured nylon shock-diffusion plate in the midsole provides flexible comfort. Thermolite insulation locks in heat on chilly days. Wide width sizes offered.
Take Note: May run a little long in the toe.
2. Irish Setter Ashby 6-Inch Soft Toe Work Boot
Key Features: Crafted with an ultra-durable full-grain leather upper and moc toe design. Heat-resistant outsoles resist melting up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit, meet ASTM F2413-11 electrical hazard safety standards and should provide optimal tread. Removable insoles and EVA midsole promote comfort. Available in wide width options.
Take Note: These may run small.
3. Keen Utility San Jose 6-Inch Aluminum Toe WP Boot
Key Features: Includes waterproof leather uppers and oil-and-slip-resistant outsoles. Alloy toe meets or exceeds ASTM F2412-17 and F2413-17 M I/75 C/75 EH safety standards. Offers odor control and moisture control. Removable PU footbed and TPU shank are built to provide comfortable support. Available in multiple wide width options.
Take Note: Some may prefer more padding around the ankles.
4. Reebok Sublite Cushion Alloy Toe Work Boot
Key Features: Has a supple yet durable leather upper and moisture-wicking mesh liner. Alloy toe meets or exceeds ASTM F2413 safety standards. Sublite foam midsole and deep flex grooves provide cushioning and improved mobility. MemoryTech Massage footbed molds to your foot. Extra-wide toe area promotes comfort. Available in wide widths.
Take Note: Some may find these can run a tad large.
5. Ever Boots Tank S 6-inch Steel Toe Work Boot
Key Features: Built with a certified ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75 steel toe and durable traction rubber soles. Soft nubuck leather reduces break-in time. Goodyear Welt technology helps ensure longevity while PU insoles should provide comfort while standing over long periods of time. Anti-fatigue shank helps alleviate pressure when climbing down steps or ladders.
Take Note: Unavailable in wide-width sizes.
6. Thorogood Crosstrex 6-Inch WP Composite Toe Work Boot
Key Features: Composite toe offers protection. Mesh and leather upper and waterproof membrane help keep feet fresh and dry. Cement construction provides good flex. Built on a supportive, shock-absorbing and removable Shock Zone and electric shock-resisting soles with multi-directional lugs. Composite shank increases stability. Comes in wide sizes.
Take Note: Some may find them a bit stiff straight out of the box.
7. Ariat Turbo Chelsea H2O Carbon Toe Work Boot
Key Features: Completely waterproof. Lightweight carbon composite safety toe is ASTM F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 EH rated. Equipped with breathable mesh linings, high-rebound insoles with ATS technology for all-day support and oil and slip-resistant outsoles. Dual front and heel pull tabs help you slip them on and off with ease. Offered in wide sizes.
Take Note: You can’t adjust the fit like you can with lace-up pairs.