Best work boots reviews, pricing and recommendations
There is not a single all-terrain, all-weather long life cheap boot. When it comes to choosing the top work boots consider durability, price and style and pick two of those. You can’t have them all. For a quick judgment, here are the reviews of the most popular and bestselling safety boots currently in US. Read the work boot reviews carefully, it will definitely help you choose:
Best work boots for men
Best work boots for women
What to consider before buying?
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”, or in other words you need to decide what you want. There are six main factors to consider before you start your journey to picking the right pair. Let’s break them down in this list:
Those are responsible for keeping your toes safe from injuries and are often a requirement for many jobs. Because of the extra reinforcement those shoes won’t adapt with time – you should pick a pair that fits your feet well from the start. There are three types of safety toes: steel, aluminum and composite:
– steel toe boots – Steel is the standard material which is used for safety toes. However, it is also the heaviest one. Steel conduct temperatures, and are usually avoided is the work is to be done in cold weather conditions.
– Aluminum is not as popular as steel. It is lighter, but bulkier. Offers the same protection and is not suitable for cold environment.
– Composites vary, but the most popular are plastic, Kevlar and carbon fiber. They are lighter than steel and more importantly, can be used in all weather conditions because they don’t conduct temperatures.
• Plain-toe working footwear
Those are regular ones without safety toes. They are best used in safer environments that do not require lifting heavy objects and therefore have low risk of injury. They fit in the middle of the safety spectrum as they provide additional protection to the feet compared to traditional shoes. Often times they have other features such as slip-resistant soles or good insulation on the inside.
• Waterproof boots
If your job requires working in wet conditions, or you live is a state with particularly rainy or snowy weather. They come in variety of materials: typically leather or nylon mesh. The leather waterproof shoes are bulkier and heavier than regular ones. When the material is nylon mesh, the shoes are significantly lighter and there is additional waterproofing layer. By making this layer via spraying the boot with waterproofing agents, the manufacturers reduce the weight of waterproof boots.
• Insulated boots
The extra insulation inside keep the feet warm in colder weather. Some of them can be worn in really low temperatures, as low as -30 degrees! Much like the previous point, one should invest in insulated pair ONLY if he actually needs them. However, remember that wearing insulated shoes during summer months is really uncomfortable.
• Slip resistant booties
Those are a special type and are usually used by people working in food industries, factories or on ships. Slip resistant soles are made of special rubber that prevents slipping on wet floors.
• Logger boots
Specifically made for the people in US working in one of the most dangerous industries. This special line of booties reflects the high requirements of its users. Not only this type protects the feet from fallen objects, but they have also anti-slipping and anti-twisting properties, have higher heel, thicker soles and ensure better traction on rough terrains.
- The waterproof leather is a good choice as it is not only waterproof, but also very durable. The only downside is that is it quite expensive.
- Full-grain leather is extremely durable and is water-resistant, but is heavier and bulkier and does not have good breathability. The good side is that buying a pair of these won’t break the bank.
- Nylon mesh is very light and breathable, and is also very flexible and comfortable. The disadvantage here is its lack of waterproofness.
Although many don’t mind what is the color or origin their footwear have as long as they fit their purpose, there are others that are looking specifically for black work boots or even for work boots made in USA by Americans. According to us, this is a personal choice and is definitely not in the must-haves category.
The material is only one side of the equation, the other one is the construction method which is used to make them. It is a long topic and is discussed in separate point below.
Finally, don’t forget the eyelets. If those are too sharp, they will rub against the laces and tear them easily.
For us, budget work boots translates into affordable but dependable pair covering just the basics. The price is somewhere around the $100 range. If you need something more expect to pay about 150-200$ for your new footwear.
- Stichdown construction (Goodyear Welt)
Stitchdown is the traditional shoemaking method. With this method the outsole is stitched to the upper of the boot. There are some variations of this method. The most popular variation is Goodyear Welt, which is named after its inventor Charles Goodyear, Jr. This method uses a leather or synthetic welt, which is a strip of material which is attached both to the upper and to the sole. All footwear which is produced that way is very durable.
This method is the only one of those mentioned here, that allows replacement of the sole and adds years of life to the boots.
- Cement method
This is definitely the most popular, cheapest and quickest method of all three. This method uses adhesive to glue or cement the upper and the sole. This is the quickies method of all three and therefore with the lowest pricetag. However, boots constructed that way are less durable than those constructed using the other two methods. Sole cannot be repaired or replaced. Once the sole starts to separate from the upper, you have to buy a new pair.
- Direct attach method or Molded construction
The outsole is molded directly to the upper part. Basically, a mold is attached to the upper and then the molted rubber is poured over to form the sole. This method created very durable footwear and is only inferior to the stitch down method.
Be particularly wary about counterfeit products. Cheap imitations are exactly what the name suggests cheap and therefore cannot match the original. The most popular models of the manufacturers typically have fake imitations.
Some boots need time to adapt and you won’t feel comfortable in them for two to four weeks. After that time, they will feel like second skin. For those of you who can’t or don’t want to wait, we’ve compiled a list of the most comfortable work shoes right here.
Top Brands to Consider
Although there are plenty of different manufacturers on the market today, we’ve limited our choice down to the top 5 brands in US. Read through the list to get to know the biggest and most famous work boot brands.