We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. The LA Times editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content. Learn more

Protect Your Feet with the Best Work Boots

  1. Caterpillar Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot
  2. Eastland Men's Lumber Up Moc-Toe Work Boot
  3. Timberland Earthkeepers Work Boot
  4. Wolverine Floorhand Waterproof Soft Toe Work Boot
  5. Buyer's Guide

When you are working hard on the job, you need to know you have a durable work boot protecting your feet. Depending on your line of work, you may find yourself dodging large blocks of concrete or falling trees. You may walk through a bog, hoping your boots stay where they belong: your feet! There are many choices out there, but will they really serve their purpose? If not, your foot could end up crushed. You may not expect to have so many options for a work boot. I mean, it’s not like you are buying a high-performance car. It’s a boot! But in the end, a boot has many properties that you may or may not want. Others you may need to have and simply not know it.

The material of your work boot is important. You want a work boot that breathes while hugging your foot like a slipper. Leather and vinyl are the most common, but leather comes in several styles including faux leather, real animal hide, and different textures. These are more for look than function. Boot construction also weighs heavily on how good of a boot it is. The stitching, how the sole is attached and even the laces of the boot are important.

Who knew work boots could be so complicated? The best work boot in 2022 are found below so that you can stop spending money on work boots that simply aren’t effective.

Best Work Boots Worth Considering in 2022

Caterpillar Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot - Best Work Boots Overall

When you need a name that you can trust, then Caterpillar is the brand for you. This company has produced high-quality products for difficult jobs for over 100 years. The Second Shift boot from Caterpillar is oil and slip resistant, not to mention incredibly comfortable, and the toe of the boot is rounded to help deflect objects and provide maximum comfort. The rubber sole is made by Goodyear, so you know they are going to last. You can purchase this boot in black or tan leather, with or without a steel toe. These work boots are available through many online stores and all major departments stores.

Eastland Men's Lumber Up Moc-Toe Work Boot - Runner Up

Another entry from Eastland, their Lumber Up boot is an affordable boot with a quality beyond reproach. The boot has reinforced stitching that seals its full-grain leather tightly, and the outsole is made out of durable rubber. The liner prevents moisture from becoming an issue inside the boot. The comfort is such that you won’t mind being asked to put in a few more hours. The style is a classic boot look and is available in peanut, tan suede, and dark tan. These are also handcrafted and triple-enforced. Foot support and comfort is certainly not an issue.

Timberland Earthkeepers Work Boot - Honorable Mention

No list about boots would be complete without Timberland. They may have become trendy and fashionable, but they began as no-frills, all-business work boots. One great aspect of Earthkeepers is that they are manufactured to have virtually no carbon footprint, making them one of the few environmentally-friendly boots on the market. These boots are tested with winter and rough terrain in mind. The sole is made from hard rubber, making them very durable to keep the tread in shape. Thanks to lining throughout the entire boot, they’re also comfortable for many hours.

Wolverine Floorhand Waterproof Soft Toe Work Boot - Consider

The Wolverine brand is known for its ruggedness and durability. Crafted out of 100% waterproof leather, these work boots are available in soft and steel toe and include a removable footbed to help you be comfortable all day in the most grueling environments. The rubber soles aid in traction on slippery surfaces and a moisture wicking mesh lining on the inside of the boot helps keep your feet cool when it’s muggy outside. The Wolverine Floorhand is a more affordable choice that doesn’t skimp out on durability and comfort.

Buyer's Guide

Work boots are extremely important as they are a part of the safety equipment in every fieldwork. Whether you are a civil engineer, electrician, fireman, or police officer, it is essential to have safety boots on to prevent any kind of fatal foot injuries that can occur during the work shift. However, there are various things that you should know while buying these shoes as they are directly proportional to your safety. That’s why we have noted down these factors that would help you make a wise purchase.

What Are the Various Factors You Should Look for In Work Boots?


While looking for work boots, you need to inspect the type of material used for its construction. Most manufacturers use leather, rubber, or nylon for the designing process that makes for a sturdy outer covering and protects you from maximum foot injuries. However, the type of material you should select completely depends on your work preferences. While leather boots are highly durable and waterproof, they don’t work properly in slippery areas. In such conditions, a pair of rubber boots would do the work.


Both short and tall boots have their own applications and should be selected as per your work site. For example, if you work in flood areas or in deep woods, then a pair of tall boots are perfect for you. It would protect your feet from snake and insect bites. But, you cannot use these shoes if you work in the fire department. That’s because tall boots slow you down, and you need to be quick on your feet to rescue the people in the affected areas. In such cases, you need a pair of sturdy short boots that will help you to move swiftly.


Work boots are meant to make your move swift and clear and not hold you back. It is extremely important to check the weight of the shoes before buying them as it can affect your work greatly. Some of the most famous work boots have heavy construction due to which their weight increases. Heavy boots were highly preferred years ago as they ensured safety and durability. But, nowadays, the requirements have changed, and people go for light boots. Due to this, manufacturers use materials that keep the shoe sturdy and lightweight.


Work boots should be waterproof so that you don’t get your legs all soaked up while working in wet areas. If you work in damp areas, then it is highly essential to have waterproof shoes to prevent water from clogging up your foot and blocking your movement. Besides, waterproof shoes make it possible to walk underwater comfortably. But, most of them are not breathable and do not let out moisture that can make your feet hot and sweaty.

What Are The Type Of Constructions Used For Making Work Shoes?

Cement Construction

The boots with cement construction have the soles stuck or cemented to the upper part of the shoe. Due to this, the soles do not break easily and provide you with more flexibility. However, the soles are irreplaceable, and once they wear out, you have to discard the shoes.

Stitched Down Construction

In this type of construction, both the inner and upper soles of the shoes are stitched with the help of a leather strip. Due to this, you can easily replace the soles once they wear out and reuse the work boots again. Besides, this type of construction allows you to customize the boots as per your requirements.

What Types Of Toe Protections Are Used In Work Boots?

Aluminum Toes

Aluminum toes are highly preferred as toe covers in work boots. They are thicker than steel, lightweight, sturdy, and provide good protection to your toes. Besides, they don’t get cold when the temperature drops and keep your feet warm.

Composite Toe

Composite toe protection is built with a variety of materials. You can get plastic, carbon fiber, Kevlar, and other types of materials used in its construction. They are cheaper, easy to customize, and remain unaffected by the surrounding temperatures. Besides, these toe covers are perfect for people who are working in metal-free zones.

Steel Toes

Steel toes were quite famous in the past decade as they used to provide superb protection against any kind of injury. However, steel covers can get extremely cold when the temperature drops and result in frozen feet as well. Another reason why steel toes are not used now is their weight. They are heavy and make it difficult to move quickly in wet areas.

How To Take Care Of Work Boots?

People use work boots most of the time, due to which it is important to take proper care of them. Here are some tips that you can use to increase the lifespan of your work shoes and use the most out of them.

Dry Your Boots Regularly

If you work in wet areas, then there are high chances that your boots will get damaged within a month or two if you don’t dry them. After your work shift is over, take your shoes off and dry them with the help of a blower or keep them under the fan. Drying not only helps in removing moisture but also prevents your boots from smelling and fungus infestation.

Clean Your Boots Once A Week

Make it a habit to clean your boots properly with lukewarm water and liquid detergent on your day off so that mud and other waste materials do not form a layer on the soles. You can also use salt water and other reliable mixtures for cleaning your shoes.

Change Your Soles Regularly

If you continue wearing worn-out soles, it would not only result in foot pain but also allow water to enter the shoe and damage it. Hence, make sure to replace the soles once in a while.

Work Boot FAQ's

Q: What are the various types of soles available for work boots?
A: Currently, there are two types of soles used for the manufacturing of work boots: Thermo Polyurethane outsoles and rubber outsoles. These two soles are resistant to abrasion and chemicals. Besides, they have good durability and don’t wear out easily.

Q: How to find boots of perfect size?
A: While buying work boots, make sure to try them out. Your big toe should reach the front of the shoes easily. While walking on the boots, your heel should not come out of the shoe; else, it can cause bad shoe bites.

Q: Should I wear socks with my work boots?
A: Yes, you should wear socks while using work shoes to prevent cuts and shoe bites. Besides, socks help in getting a comfortable fitting.

bestcovery team.jpg
Our research team searches out the best of everything so that you can confidently pick the perfect products and services for your needs.
Go to top