Many of us spend a lot of time working from an office or from home and don’t need to worry too much about the quality of the boots we wear. On the other hand, there are people like you, who will spend half a day outside trudging through mud and bramble – you need high quality work boots to be able to perform your jobs and keep your feet safe. Naturally, you need to know what the best work boot brands are.
However, there is no single factor that makes a brand the best. You want top-notch quality, of course, but the safety features, style, and comfort can all depend on your workplace – if you work construction, you need sturdy boots with a steel toe; if you are a big game hunter, you likely want leather waterproof boots that have a more athletic feel to them.
Good work boot brands provide you with a wide selection of footwear, but you need to know what features you are looking for and how much you are willing to pay. Let’s discuss some common qualities, the types of work boots, and the brands that make them.
What To Look for in Work Boots and Shoes?
You want to look for a combination of quality and comfort, the cost, and whether they match your style. Fashion may not be very important to you at first glance, but there’s not much use in buying a reliable pair of work boots if you’re not going to wear them. However, a good company will produce boots with the same features but in different styles, so finding a pair that suits you should be no issue.
Comfort and High Quality Performance
Many people discount comfort when buying boots – this is a bad move. Comfortable boots are a necessity, not a luxury. Uncomfortable footwear is not something you can ignore in the long run. Leather boots don’t have to be a perfect fit initially because you can stretch them out, but they need to be comfortable within reason.
When you are on your feet for 8 hours or more, uncomfortable boots make even the simplest tasks a chore, if not outright impossible. Of course, you want to combine comfort with performance. What you need will depend on the conditions of your workplace.
They need to ensure the safety of your feet and good traction – if you work in wet terrain you may want full-grain leather boots that are waterproof and offer good traction; on construction sites, you need tough boots with added toe protection; for office work, fashion may be more of a factor.
As we have said, there’s no use buying high-quality boots if you end up not wearing them. All of us have specific styles that define how people see us, so your boots need to match yours. It doesn’t matter if you prefer logger or hunting boots, pull-ons or lace-ups, and whether the boots are made from leather or rubber – choose what you like to wear.
How Much a Pair Costs
The cost of boots is another aspect you can’t ignore. You want to get the best bang for your buck. Today, prices can vary wildly based on the features, designs, and the brads that made them. Don’t buy the first pair that you like when you shop for footwear. Peruse the collections a bit to see whether other boots fit your needs, but are more affordable.
Common Types and How the Boots are Made
There are many types of boots based on their styles, but that is not what we are here to discuss. The aim of work boots is to keep your feet safe, and that depends on the safety toe they have and the material they are made of. The best work boots are usually made from leather or rubber, with some added materials and features for better performance. Work boots for men and women can have a safety toe or soft toe, and both serve a specific purpose.
Safety Toe Work Boots
Work boots with the safety toe feature come in two varieties – composite toe and steel toe boots. Both serve the purpose of protecting your feet from falling objects. Steel toe boots provide the most protection – steel will bend before breaking, keeping your feet safe even if the force overwhelms the material.
Composite toes are made from different composite materials, like hard plastics. They don’t provide as much protection as steel toe work boots, but they may be all you need if there is no threat of a very heavy object falling on your feet. Their main feature is that they are much lighter than steel toes, allowing your boots to almost be lightweight.
Soft Toe Boots
Soft toe boots are designed for comfort and to prevent fatigue. When they are made from tough leather, they still offer some protection from falling objects, but not nearly as much as safety toe boots. However, they are lightweight and often have the feel of athletic shoes – if your job or hobby entails spending hours on end your feet, but there is not much risk of objects falling on your, soft toe boots could be your choice.
5 Best Work Boots Brands
We have selected 5 top quality work boot brands for you to choose from, in no specific order. Each offers something unique for men and women, be it high quality, style, comfort, or specific features. You can’t make a wrong choice with these brands – you only need to find a pair that suits your needs.
Timberland is one of the best-known brands worldwide. They produce everything from steel toe boots to office shoes. They are based in the United States and Timberland leather work boots are some of the best U.S. manufacturing you will find, at affordable prices.
While their main market is outdoor footwear, they also sell indoor boots, clothes, and all kinds of accessories. Timberland was founded by Nathan Swartz, a fourth-generation shoemaker. He apprenticed at a New York shoe repair shop until he bought a 50% stake in a shoe company, which can be considered the date when Timberland was founded.
In 1973, Timberland had produced its first pair of high-quality and waterproof, but affordable work boots for the average American workers. They employed the most advanced footwear technologies of the time. These are the famous yellow boots you see everywhere.
Ever since then, Timberland has continued producing top-notch work boots, advancing their techniques as technology improved, but still focusing on variations of their original design. Their classic boots have truly stood the test of time.
Thorogood boots are the quintessential U.S. work boot made for heavy-duty outdoor use. The materials they are made from, combined with the craftsmanship that has been fine-tuned for over a century, make them some of the most durable and reliable boots you are to find out there.
The company that manufactures Thorogood boots, the Weinbrenner Shoe Company, was opened in 1892 to produce work and military footwear and uniforms. Founded by a German immigrant, it is now worker-owned and continues the tradition of producing high quality men and women’s footwear. Thorogood boots are their best-known product and you can buy them almost everywhere.
Danner Boots is a subsidiary of LaCrosse Footwear, based in Portland, Oregon. Danner work boots are made to last. These work boots are as tough as it gets. They are some of the toughest and most durable boots out there but are mostly reasonably priced.
If your job entails slugging through mud or snow, a pair of Danners will ensure your feet are warm and comfortable. Their boots are an essential part of many a worker’s PPE. In short, if they match your style, you can't make a wrong choice with Danner work boots. You can buy a pair from their discounted collection here.
Words can’t do justice to the tradition that the Carhartt Company has. Founded 1889 in Dearborn, Michigan, it initially produced workwear for manual laborers, slowly expanding to producing work boots. Their brand focuses on toughness and reliability, and that is what they offer with their boots.
They combine the latest technology with decades of experience to provide you high quality work boots. Whether you need boots with a safety toe for a construction site, or hunting boots for added traction on rough terrain, you can find a top-notch pair here.
Wolverine work boots are another staple of the working man. Their footwear is designed to be worn all day, tough and reliable, without tiring your feet. With over a century-long history of manufacturing footwear, you will find a pair of boots suitable for any purpose.
The company is based in Rockford, Michigan, but many of their units are sourced from third-party manufacturers. However, this does not lessen the quality of the boots in any way. The Wolverines are guaranteed to provide comfort, durability, and protection in any environment. You can find their newer collections here.
The Choice is Yours
At the end of the day, you are the one wearing the boots and know what you need. We have told you about some of the best brands, but they all produce such a multitude of work boots that you still need to make a specific choice. The quality is there, but the style and features you need are up to you.