12 Best Work Boots for 2020

best overall rating
  • Slip-resistant design that can also withstand oil and wet weather.
  • Very durable and protective.
  • Padded collars for greater comfort.
premium choice rating
  • Removable insole for greater customization.
  • Offers excellent shock absorption.
  • Designed to be breathable.
great value rating
  • Rugged, durable and professional design.
  • Moisture-wicking and odor-killing interior.
  • Easy to lace up.

Every year, more and more work boots are developed, each with their own unique features and composite materials that completely change the way they protect your feet, handle different types of ground, and work under varying amounts of stress. In fact, there are so many different boot styles, materials, and brands that it can be difficult to know where to start looking, especially if you want something that can handle a niche situation perfectly. When it comes to finding the best work boots on the market, you might be in for a long search.

View the Best Work Boots, Below.

best overall rating

1. Timberland PRO Men’s 6″ Pit Boss Steel-Toe

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These steel toe boots use a specially padded design that allows them to stay comfortable for longer, with a padded collar and abrasion-resistant outsoles to help you avoid unwanted pain and irritation on your feet. They're also slip-resistant and oil-resistant, making it easier to handle bad weather or large spills, and the standard lace-up design allows for easy adjustment at almost any time. The combination of leather and synthetic materials reduces their weight and increases their durability, while the antimicrobial insoles get rid of bad odors and provide better cushioning with every step. Not only that, but the steel toes are asymmetrical for more precise protection and support.

Why We Like It
  • Slip-resistant design that can also withstand oil and wet weather.
  • Very durable and protective.
  • Padded collars for greater comfort.
  • Odor-resistant, antimicrobial insoles.
  • Built-in nylon plates for better support and shock absorption.
Material
Leather and Synthetic.
Sole
Rubber Outsole, Synthetic Midsole.
Steel-Toe
Yes.
Our Verdict

These boots provide a great mixture of comfort, protection, and stability, making them great for all general-purpose situations where safety and physical security are extremely important.

Editor Rating
premium choice rating

2. Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6″ Moc Toe

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The oil-tanned full-grain leather upper sections used in these boots provide them with both breathability and protection, working alongside an excellent slip-resistant synthetic outsole to ensure that your feet are comfortable and safe in almost any situation. The removable insole provides great natural cushioning, but can also be swapped out for your own choice at any time with no damage to the internal lining of the shoe. Either way, the extra shock absorption, combined with the straightforward lace-up design, means that they're easy to use for a whole range of different tasks without forcing you to struggle against foot fatigue or pain.

Why We Like It
  • Removable insole for greater customization.
  • Offers excellent shock absorption.
  • Designed to be breathable.
  • Slip-resistant outsole.
  • Constructed to resist bad weather.
Material
Full-grain Leather and Synthetic.
Sole
Rubber Sole.
Steel-Toe
No.
Our Verdict

These boots ignore any gimmicks and go for a clean, reliable, and easy-to-wear design that you can adapt to suit almost any situation or workplace. If you don't like the insole, you can always swap in your own preferred choice with no damage caused to the boots themselves.

Editor Rating
great value rating

3. Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot

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These ankle-cut steel toe work boots are made with a combination of synthetic materials and tough nubuck leather, combining comfort and protection really well without leaving obvious gaps or weak spots. The padded collar helps improve comfort and prevents skin abrasion, while the synthetic outsole is able to resist oil, shrug off water, and even absorb small impacts to help you keep your footing. The standard lace-up construction makes them instantly familiar and easy to wear, and the special Climasphere insole helps remove moisture and bad odors from the insides of each boot to keep your feet happy and healthy.

Why We Like It
  • Rugged, durable and professional design.
  • Moisture-wicking and odor-killing interior.
  • Easy to lace up.
  • Padded in key areas for better comfort.
  • Oil-resistant outsole design.
Material
Nubuck Leather and Synthetic.
Sole
Synthetic Sole.
Steel-Toe
Yes.
Our Verdict

If you need boots that can handle a range of different workplace hazards and annoyances, this pair work extremely well, especially if you're also worried about humidity causing skin issues on your feet.

Editor Rating

4. Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot

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These working boots make heavy use of mesh as an internal material, improving breathability and comfort without leaving your feet exposed to the outside world. The leather exterior is tough and water-resistant, allowing for better protection in bad weather conditions, while the gum rubber sole offers improved traction on almost any underfoot surface. Thanks to the standard flat heel, you can keep your balance for longer on wet ground or slippery areas, and they're able to stay fairly lightweight while still giving you excellent levels of durability and comfort, regardless of whether you're safe indoors or working outside in the rain.

Why We Like It
  • Stable, flat heel design for better traction.
  • Comfortable mesh interior.
  • Tough gum rubber sole.
  • Made with protective leather.
  • Wide opening circumference for better ease of use.
Material
Leather and Mesh.
Sole
Gum Rubber Sole.
Steel-Toe
No.
Our Verdict

Like many boots for work purposes, these boots offer not only great traction but also a good level of protection from both physical damage and weather conditions, making them a great option for varied jobs.

Editor Rating

5. Carhartt Men’s 6-Inch Waterproof Work Boot

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The waterproof leather upper used in these work boots makes them perfect for working outdoors in terrible weather and makes puddles or spills far less of an issue. The padded tongue and collar allow for far better overall comfort, while the cushioned insole offers far greater support. Not only that, but the special insert adds a massive amount of abrasion and slip resistance, all working alongside the durable leather exterior and rubber outsole to provide plenty of safety. The special membrane used on the interior helps improve stability even further while also adding more breathability to the design. As an added bonus, the shoes are chemical-resistant and can get rid of stains, chemical damage, or other problems easily.

Why We Like It
  • Water-resistant exterior.
  • Classic work boot design that's easy to use.
  • Slip-resistant outsole.
  • Built-in supportive membrane feature.
  • Perfect for outdoor use.
Material
Leather and Synthetic.
Sole
Rubber Sole.
Steel-Toe
No.
Our Verdict

These are excellent boots for people who work outdoors, combining comfort and great safety standards to keep you protected from most hazards and irritating obstacles while you're trying to focus on your job.

Editor Rating

6. Caterpillar Men’s Revolver Pull-On Soft Toe Boot

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These pull-on boots forgo any kind of lace system entirely, acting as a full layer of leather protection that's easy to slip on. The slip-resistant rubber outsole offers a better level of comfort and protection when you're on the move, as well as making it easier to keep your balance on difficult ground. Alongside that is the full-grain leather upper, which is both lightweight and durable. The balance of comfort and safety continues with the midsole and insole, which are carefully chosen to ensure that your feet stay comfortable while also helping you deal with rough ground and loose objects that you might step on.

Why We Like It
  • Durable construction.
  • Steel shank that offers improved support.
  • Oil and slip-resistant.
  • Pull-on tabs for easier use.
  • Very simple design that can work almost anywhere.
Material
Full-grain Leather.
Sole
Rubber Sole.
Steel-Toe
No.
Our Verdict

These boots are hardly the most complex option, but they make up for it by being comfortable, protective, and very easy to slip on at any time, making them a much better option for people who might need foot protection at short notice.

Editor Rating

7. Wolverine Men’s Overpass 6″ Composite Toe

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The composite toes used in these work boots provide similarly composite safety, offering a mixture of flexibility and durability that makes them much more versatile than most boot styles. The improved exterior construction lets them flex and bend at key points to make movement easier, and the oil-resistant, slip-resistant, and waterproof protection offered by the leather exterior makes them far more suitable for bad weather. Abrasion-resistant safety toes keep the weaker front of your feet safe from harm and irritation, while the ortholite insole offers comfort while still being removable if you want to insert your own.

Why We Like It
  • Offers great all-day comfort.
  • Removable insole for custom comfort.
  • Resistant to water, slips, oil, and abrasion.
  • Special safety toes for improved protection.
  • Flexible construction.
Material
Leather and Textile.
Sole
Rubber Sole.
Steel-Toe
No, Composite Toes.
Our Verdict

Unlike many work boots, this pair is both protective and flexible, making it easier to move around and react to hazards without being limited by your own footwear. The improved levels of resistance to various risks also make them far better from a safety standpoint alone.

Editor Rating

8. ARIAT Men’s Sport Patriot Western Boot

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These cowboy-style work boots use a special visual design that's unique among this list, featuring the American flag and a camouflage pattern on the synthetic upper section. The lower half of the shoe is all leather, offering protection and breathability while still keeping a more flexible upper to improve mobility. The high block heel keeps your feet off the ground and out of puddles, while the gum rubber used in the sole ensures that you get far better protection and stability on a range of different uneven surfaces. They're designed to provide a mixture of style, durability, and comfort, all while ensuring that the different features don't conflict with one another.

Why We Like It
  • Unique visual design.
  • Made with a mixture of leather and synthetic materials.
  • Western-style raised heel block.
  • Duratread gum rubber outsole.
Material
Leather and Synthetic.
Sole
Gum Rubber Sole.
Steel-Toe
No.
Our Verdict

The visual design is the main feature behind these boots, but they're still suitable for quite a wide range of outdoor work and can work well indoors if you want proper flexibility and foot protection.

Editor Rating

9. Irish Setter Men’s 6″ 83605 Work Boot

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These simple, reliable work boots use a normal lace-up design that allows for quick adjustments in nearly any situation, using durable and comfortable leather as an exterior material to provide good protection and style. This full-grain leather is naturally water-resistant, and the EVA rubber used for the outsole offers great heat resistance and abrasion protection. These boots are able to resist most common types of electrical hazards and can resist high temperatures without melting or starting to burn. Even if these features don't apply to you, they're still comfortable work boots that can work really well in almost any location and situation.

Why We Like It
  • Can resist high heat without melting or catching fire.
  • Comfortable and protective leather exterior.
  • EVA outsole for improved traction.
  • Naturally comfortable on your feet.
  • Water-resistant.
Material
Leather.
Sole
EVA Sole.
Steel-Toe
No.
Our Verdict

These boots can resist water, heat, electricity, bad weather, and rough ground, making them a great all-purpose choice for people who work alongside major hazards almost every day. Even without those features, they would still be incredibly comfortable and reliable as normal worker boots.

Editor Rating

10. Carhartt Men’s Ruggedflex Safety Toe Work Boot

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These tough yet flexible work boots are made using a 100% leather upper section, offering great protection and durability alongside natural waterproofing, improved breathability, and much faster drying. The internal lining helps to wick away sweat and deal with moisture, reducing skin irritation, while the EVA midsole absorbs shocks more efficiently. Above that is a soft foam insole that makes them incredibly comfortable work boots, and below is a durable rubber outsole that can handle rough ground and bad weather extremely well. All of this is formed around a lace-up construction that extends above the ankle, offering improved protection and a better level of safety while you're wearing them.

Why We Like It
  • Designed to be durable, flexible, and easy to wear.
  • Offers better protection above the ankle.
  • Built-in composite safety toe.
  • Outsole made of durable rubber.
  • Resistant to most common hazards.
Material
Leather.
Sole
Rubber Sole.
Steel-Toe
No, Composite Toes.
Our Verdict

The protection offered by these boots makes them great for construction sites, bad weather, or any location where you want maximum protection at all times, and the basic lace-up design means that they're easy to wear and adjust with no preparation needed.

Editor Rating

11. Danner Men’s Vicious 4.5 Inch Non Metallic Toe Work Boot

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The Vibram sole used in these leather work boots allows for far better protection in nearly any situation, keeping you safe and letting you take care of your feet in heavy winter weather, bad rain or even on slippery surfaces such as ice. The abrasion resistance offered by the leather upper section also ensures that you won't feel as much skin irritation, and the boots are designed to be naturally waterproof in most areas, limiting how much rain will be able to affect you at once. The GORE-TEX mesh used in key spots on the design improves breathability, and the dual-density EVA midsole improves shock absorption with every step, making foot fatigue far less of an issue.

Why We Like It
  • Made from tough, reliable leather.
  • Breathable GORE-TEX mesh lining.
  • Vibram sole for better slip resistance.
  • Improved outdoor and indoor traction.
  • Built-in safety toe.
Material
Leather and GORE-TEX.
Sole
Rubber Sole.
Steel-Toe
No, Non-metal Safety Toes.
Our Verdict

These boots are comfortable, easy to wear, and offer a mixture of breathability and protection, making water and abrasion much less annoying while also making sure that your feet can breathe and aren't getting harmed by heavy humidity or sweat.

Editor Rating

12. Carhartt Men’s CMF6366 6 Inch Composite Toe Boot

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The composite toe sections used on these boots improve the overall level of protection being given to the front of your feet, and the all-leather upper adds natural waterproofing to make rain, snow, and small bodies of water easier to handle. The construction of each boot improves flexibility and comfort while also allowing for slightly better insulation than a fabric boot, making them more useful in cold or wet weather and allowing them to stay useful both indoors and outdoors. Improved traction thanks to the tough rubber outsoles mean that you can keep your balance on difficult ground or wet slopes, and add slightly better shock absorption to each step.

Why We Like It
  • Reliable composite toe designs.
  • Improved protection.
  • Built for better flexibility.
  • Made with naturally waterproof leather
  • Simple lace-up closure that's easy to adjust.
Material
Leather.
Sole
Rubber Sole.
Steel-Toe
No, Composite Toes.
Our Verdict

These boots combine the protection of a proper work boot with the flexibility and breathability of a more casual shoe, keeping you far more comfortable while still letting you get the job done efficiently and safely.

Editor Rating

Work Boots Buyer’s Guide

What are the Most Comfortable Work Boots?

In most cases, work boots are designed to put protection and stability before everything else, but that isn’t always the case. Comfort makes a huge difference: for many men, work boots need to help provide consistent comfort if they want to actually perform their job properly. A pair of work boots without good comfort can make it really hard to focus on the task at hand.

The work boots with the most comfort behind them (out of all the ones that fit you best), will be whichever ones use the most comfortable features. This can be anything from nylon mesh lining to a waterproof membrane designed to keep your feet dry: each customer has their own preferences, so some products are more suitable than others.

What is the Best Brand of Work Boots?

It’s easy to assume that a brand changes a lot about boots. For example, you might be stuck between Goodyear Welt Construction and Timberland Pro, and then decide to buy Timberland Pro because of the brand name. But boots work best when they suit you personally – if Timberland Pro doesn’t offer something that has a feature you need, like steel toes or carbon fiber, then they’re not the best option. There are plenty of other brands there that will sell you a pair of steel toe boots if Timberland Pro won’t, and so on.

Don’t buy a brand just because of the brand. Names or features like Thorogood American Heritage, Goodyear Welt Construction, and Pittsburgh Steel may indicate quality, but that doesn’t mean that they have the functionality you want in a boot model.

What are the Best Work Boots for Standing All Day?

When you’re standing around at work, you’ll want work boots that can support it. It doesn’t matter if you’re on your 2nd shift of the day or your 40th: if you get tired by your 2nd shift, you’ll want boots that can accommodate you. Before you look into any steel toe boot designs that can specifically protect you from falling objects or electrical shocks, just look for boots that keep you comfortable. A steel toe boot might be a more desirable option, but that steel toe means nothing if you’re so uncomfortable in your work boots that you don’t want to wear them.

What are the Top 10 Work Boots?

Not everything on this list is going to be useful to every person. As mentioned before, if you want steel toes, not every boot will offer them. But finding the right kind of boot is important when buying work boots since you’re basically looking for a perfect set of features for yourself. Just because a work boot is called “the best” doesn’t mean that it’s the best work boot for you, and that distinction matters. Don’t be afraid to try out a new work boot brand or style if you think it’s more suitable.

That doesn’t just have to apply to the way they fit, either. Some people don’t like certain types of work boot or prefer having a particular feature, heel style, sole material, or type of padding. The best work boot for you is whichever one is comfortable, suits your needs well, and doesn’t have any direct drawbacks or problems that make them hard to use. That could be a boot that’s on this list, or it could be a completely different boot, but you need to make sure that any work boot you buy will suit you properly and provide all the features you need to stay safe, comfortable, and focused at work.

Expert Tip

Not all boot designs use laces, and there’s nothing wrong with slip-on or hook-and-poop boot styles. The only change is the amount of time it takes for a boot to be tightened and how fast the boot can loosen up accidentally, but if you prefer them, there’s no reason to ignore them.

Did you Know?

Your average work boot pair will always feel inflexible and tough when you first buy them. It’s a good idea to buy a new work boot set a week or so before you need them since this gives you time to ‘break them in’ before you’re actually at work (where you need to focus and can’t always afford to wear uncomfortable shoes).