Short overview of the best construction work boots

Construction work is very dangerous job, with a high number of fatalities happening each year. One of the top 4 fatalities is being struck by an object. It is important to increase the safety on the construction site, and one of the ways to do it, is to wear appropriate safety gear.

Apart from safety, the boot must be comfortable above anything else. Because the last thing you want to deal with after spending hours walking or standing all day long, is ill fitting or uncomfortable footwear.

Wearing suitable construction work boots is mandatory if you work on a construction site, where there is a high risk of injury. Because this industry poses so many risks, it is not surprising that there are so many specialized construction boots being offered. But this can make picking the best ones for you quite difficult, so it is really important that you know which characteristics to look for.

There is much more than just safety and comfort, you might also need protection from accidental slipping, freezing temperatures, exposed nails, and electrical hazards.

Danner's Quarry 8-inch#1 Danner’s Quarry 8-inch

-waterproof
-oil and slip resistant
-electrical hazard protection ASTM F2892-11
-instantly comfortable
-fiberglass shank

Thorogood Gen Flex Lace Toe#2 Thorogood Gen Flex Lace Toe

-composite toe
-flexible & comfortable
-slip resistant
-composite shank
-electrical hazard protection
-antifatigue gel heel insert

Carhartt Cmf6371 Rugged#3 Carhartt Cmf6371 Rugged

-waterproof breathable
-flexible
-oil, chemical and slip resistant
-Composite toe meets ASTM 2413-11 EH
-antifatigue insoles

Keen Utility Detroit Mid Steel#4 Keen Utility Detroit Mid Steel

-steel toe
-puncture resistant shank
-oil and slip-resistant sole
-medium duty
-waterproof breathable

Timberland PRO#5 Timberland PRO Titan

-Aluminum toe
-Electrical hazard proof
-Slip-resistant sole

Caterpillar Endure#6 Caterpillar Endure

-Steel toe
-Puncture resistant
-Steel shank
-Slip resistant sole
-Good traction
-Electrical hazard protection

Construction Work Boots Reviews

Danner Men’s Quarry USA 8-Inch BR Work Boot

These work boots are one of the top picks for best construction boots, mainly because they fit the requirements of most construction companies as far as safety codes and standards are concerned. They offer electrical hazard protection, slip resistance, and are oil and waterproof, plus they are fitted with a fiberglass shank. They provide electrical hazard protection ASTM F2892-11, so you will be safe from possible dangers from stepping on a live wire.

The leather upper and synthetic sole may feel a little hard when you first put them on, but with some break-in, these shoes will become an indispensable part of your work gear and uniform. I always prefer to choose durability over comfort, as I will have a trusted pair once I get through the breaking in.

Their heels are approximately 1.5 inches, and their shafts are 7.75 inches from the arch. Sturdy and durable, they are really strong and will keep your feet and yourself protected from a number of hazards you face when working. Made of highest quality materials, these boots are made in the USA, and are definitely one of the best construction work boots out there.

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Thorogood Men’s GEN-FLEX 6-Inch Lace-Toe Composite Work Boot

Our #2 pick for the best construction work boots are these GEN-Flexes. With their 6 inch oiled full-grain leather upper, a composite shank and a rubber sole, they offer superb protection against electrical hazards and 18,000V electric shock resistance. The composite toe is 100% non-metallic and offers great protection during construction work with heavy instruments and materials. The ankles and heels are protected from twisting via the anti-roll bar.

And they are trendy and stylish, not your typical dull boot. You will definitely get noticed on the site. And your colleagues will notice you at dark, too due to the built in reflexive stripes.

Forget about fatigue and sore feet – the antifatigue gel heel inserts will add to the comfortable, cushioned feeling and will help your feet feel good even after a long day at work.

The outsoles are made of double density rubber which offers excellent traction, protects from slipping and provides amazing durability to these boots. The platform of these shoes is about an inch, and the heel is an inch and a half which can make some tasks such as driving trickier at first.

Overall, these are great looking construction boots, which after a very brief break in period will become one of your favorite pair of shoes to wear.

Carhartt Men’s CMF6371 Rugged Flex Six Inch Waterproof Work Boot

These Carhartt work boots are another excellent choice when looking for the best construction work boots. They provide reliable protection of the toes, and they are slip, chemical, oil and 100% water resistant. These are exactly the features I look for before buying, as I definitely want to keep my feet dry all day long and I definitely don’t want to slip and fall on the wet and slippery surfaces I usually work on. The composite safety toe meets the ASTM 2413-11 EH standards so they will keep you safe from electric hazards. Plus, the composite toes are great for keeping the very hot or freezing outside temperatures away from your toes and feet.

They have cement construction and ortholite antifatigue insoles which provide 5 separate layers of comfortable cushioning and sufficient flexibility to allow you to perform all kinds of tasks on your job. Be it bending to pick tools from the ground, pushing a cart, or simply even walking – you know your feet won’t suffer.

Made of high quality materials, these work boots from Carhartt are rugged and durable, and are worth every dollar they cost.

Even though they are so sturdy, these boots are breathable, and have antifatigue insoles, so your feet will feel quite happy in them even after long hours of work. They may need a few weeks of break in time, but after that you will be happier than ever with your choice of best construction boots.

Keen Utility Men’s Detroit Mid ST

These are one of the top steel toe work boots and as such are versatile and relatively light for construction boots, but have a puncture resistant shank, a safety steel toe and oil and slip resistant outsoles, which are suitable for many construction work sites and jobs. The nubuck leather upper featuring a lace-up vamp makes these boots waterproof. At the same time, these boots are breathable due to their unique Keen Dry membrane and your foot won’t start to smell bad at lunch time. They are not slip on, but are almost as easy to put on.

The lining features a double zone comfort technology for improved fit and feel. The uppers have reflective setting for safety when working at night and in dark conditions – you definitely won’t be missed. These boots offer electrical hazard safety, and have an overall versatile medium profile which helps protect and support the feet at all times. The comfort they provide is due to their unique design as well as the two zone comfort technology in the lining and the removable EVA double density midsole. These are one of the most comfortable construction work boots for men on our list, so, if you need medium duty construction boots, you should definitely consider this particular model from Keen.

Timberland PRO Men’s 26078 Titan 6″ Waterproof Safety-Toe Work Boot

An excellent pair that made into our top list of the best construction work boots are those  from the TiTan series offered by Timberland, these ones are a very good option for the construction workers. They feature the signature TiTAN alloy safety toe which offers protection and is yet is as light weight as possible. You wn’t have to drag your feet across the site because the boots are not heavy at all. The outsoles are slip resistant as well as oil and abrasion resistant to prevent you from accidental slippings. These sturdy work boots are also electrical hazard proof.

They are designed and made to require as little break-in time as possible. Of course no zero break in time, because they are made to last longer. Their upper is made of high-quality full grain, soft leather, and they are fitted with an antimicrobial lining to keep the feet fresh, dry and odor free. Your cat (and your wife!) won’t run away when you get home. The ergonomic design of these work boots provides great support and comfort at all times. That means no more sore feet after a long and hard day. They comply to ASTM standards, so if their safety features are sufficient for your particular job, then do not hesitate and buy yourself a pair of these babies!

Caterpillar Men’s Endure 6″ Superduty Steel-Toe

A great pair of super duty construction boots which offer reliable protection against electrical hazards, waterproof, safety for the toes, great traction for slipping protection, and an overall stability and protection of the feet, ankles and legs. They are puncture resistant due to the strong steel shanks so you can walk around the construction site knowing that naked nail won’t puncture your boot or foot. They also provide tested electrical hazard protection.

These boots feature a 6 inch leather upper with metallic lacing, a very strong steel toe, a rubber sole and a good traction outsole which is great for working on concrete surfaces. They are perfect if you work in wet or slippery conditions and will help you keep your step. The manmade tongue helps support the foot and also to protects the top of the feet from the steel toe cap when the foot is bent. In simple terms that means that they were designed with comfort in mind.

The one thing I hate is the foul smell when I unlace my boots. You don’t have to worry about this with Endure Superduty as they have good lining making them odor resistant. I also like the ortholite cushioning  which is great and the boots are breathable. These pair from CAT is possibly the most perfect choice for construction boots for people who need serious protection from various hazards.

What to avoid:

Blindly trusting the brand

While there is nothing wrong with buying your trusted brand time and again, I advise you to check the reviews for every new boot you decide to buy. I am a fan of trusted brands too, but I always make sure to make my due diligence before purchasing. Only because a big trusted brand made a new boot doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a quality one, or that it will be the best one for your specific needs. Always compare the different options available, and sometimes you will be amazed by the quality of boots offered by other, less known brands.

Buying ill-fitting boots only because they are cheap.

Likely, they won’t fit you much better. Cheap things are cheap for a reason, and you get what you pay for. It will either be cheap materials, uncomfortable to wear, or will wear out before the season ends (or even after just few weeks). In construction, where you spend most of your time standing and walking, you need a reliable and comfortable pair of boots. I always prefer to pay a bit more and get quality, than spare some cash and be miserable till the damn boots come apart.

Not paying attention to your real needs.

Construction sites are hazardous places – there is a risk of objects falling on your feet, stepping on sharp, rusted nails, falling due to slippery surfaces, and so on. Being outdoors most of the time means that you need to keep the mud out of your feet, so boots must be waterproof as well. Then depending on your specific work site either wear additional wool sock during the winter, or get a separate pair of winter boots to keep your feet from freezing.

Features to look for in good construction work boots

In short you need one or all of those: safety toes, flexibility for movement, durability, puncture resistance, electrical hazard protection, slip resistance, good traction. Wait but why?

Safety above all

First and foremost, the best construction work boots must offer aggressive foot protection, which includes: safety toes, puncture resistant shaft, ankle support, electrical hazard protection, oil and other slip protection and an overall good traction.

  • safety toes are a must on construction sites. You don’t want to risk to injure your toes badly when something falls on your feet. There are plenty good boots with steel, alloy or even composite toes, and we’ve picked the top ones for each category.
  • Puncture resistance is another excellent feature I would recommend if you are working with nails or with other sharp objects. Of course, the best way to deal with the problem is to dispose of waste correctly on site, but often times this is not the case and the risk of injury is real. Accidents happen, and to avoid sharp objects penetrating your feet, buy shoes with midsole protection
  • Ankle support is important so that you don’t twist your ankles while making your way through the site. I’ve twisted my ankles twice in my career and now I am extra careful when choosing footwear
  • Good traction – if you work on wet concrete or other slick surfaces, you want a better than the strandard traction. The outsoles of the boots have different threads and are made of different material to better suit the activity they are designed for. Thread pattern varies from very aggressive to somewhat smooth, and most of the boots fit in between those two.

Easy movement

The other important feature to keep in mind is that the boots need to be comfortable and allow for flexibility of the movement, despite all the safety features they have.

Durability

Also, you should choose construction boots which are durable, so that the investment you make when buying them is worthwhile. Some producers offer a comfort warranty and quality warranties, so look for those details as well. Just remember, boots that are comfortable right out of the box, are not the most rugged ones you can buy. Durable ones, that will keep your feet for years need their break in time. No way around that, just be informed.

Break in time

Keep in mind that most leather work boots need break-in time. Some need less and others need more time and wearing, so make sure to ask about this too when you are choosing your new pair of construction boots too.

Compliance

Of course, always ask your employer which safety codes your boots must comply with, in order to be acceptable for work at their construction site before proceeding to buy construction boots. For some jobs only certain safety features are mandatory, while for others, they may need to be more “aggressive”, so go ahead and ask your bosses about all specific requirements they have.

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