Whether it’s due to patriotism or because you know it guarantees high-quality craftsmanship (or both), getting boots made in USA should be your first choice. Big retail stores often focus on the current trends over quality, so purchasing American made boots from companies with decades of experience under their belt is always a safe bet. This is why we have separated our collection of boots made to last.
How To Know if Your Work Boots Are American Made Boots?
Most companies either outsource their labor or the materials they use when they make their products. This is a simple fact of doing business in the global economy. While the best companies will try to hold to their standards no matter where the boots are manufactured, there is still nothing that compares to local craftsmanship.
Boots made in the USA will always be designated as such (on the tag and probably in the product description). There are several different phrases that companies use – USA made boots, 100% USA manufacturing, American built, etc. – but they all mean the same thing. If your boots are not described in such a way, they are likely made somewhere else. After all, wouldn’t you advertise the quality if you could?
The Features That Make Your Boots Work For You
Choosing the right pair of work boots can be a feat in itself, even when you have a wide selection of boots made in USA to choose from. Different work boots serve different purposes, so you should make your choice depending on the type of work you do. Most notable boots have similar core features, so we will give a quick overview to help you narrow down your choice.
Safety Toe Box - Steel/Composite/No Toe
The safety toe is an important feature of any work boot. Steel toes provide the most impact protection, but they add weight to the boot and can quickly get hot or cold. Boots with no safety toe, naturally, offer the least protection, but they are the lightest and often most comfortable. Composite toes walk the line between steel- and no- toe - medium protection, but light and flexible.
None of these features is better than the other, they simply serve separate purposes. Steel toe work boots may be the best choice for construction work, but not if you work outside in cold weather and have to walk long distances. In such cases, you should choose boots with no safety toe. You will really start to feel the difference in weight after walking a few miles. For a bit of both, composite toe boots could be your choice.
Waterproof and Insulation
In short, waterproof boots prevent liquids from wetting your feet. After a certain amount of time, any boot will start leaking, but waterproof boots will hold out longer. Waterproof or water-resistant work boots should always be your choice if you have the option. After all, it’s going to rain at some point, right?
Insulation is the degree to which the boots will keep your feet warm. It is measured in grams - usually designated with G. It depends on the type of material and its thickness. For example, 200G is the low end of the scale and will keep you warm on a cool summer night. The other end of the spectrum is 2000G and they will get you through the Arctic. Most insulated work boots are in the 400 to 1400G range, which is more than enough for all but most extreme conditions.
Choosing the Best Outsole
Two things heavily depend on the outsole of the boot – traction and comfort. As you probably know, the way the boot rides will depend on the type of outsole. As far as traction goes, most outsoles are specifically designed with a particular terrain in mind and consequently perform better in the appropriate terrain. Think about where you will wear your boots when deciding on the type of outsole.
A Few Traditional American Brands
Most of the best companies have decades, if not centuries, of manufacturing experience. When you purchase boots made in USA from these companies, you know what you’re getting – top-shelf craftsmanship. You could try your luck with up and coming brands, but tradition guarantees quality. Tried and true American brands will keep your feet safe and comfortable, so here are some companies that produce notable boots.
Carhartt, Inc. was founded way back in 1889. They manufacture all kinds of blue-collar work apparel, including affordable work boots. Over the years they have expanded globally, but many of their signature lines are still USA made. Their headquarters are in Dearborn, Michigan.
Similar to Carhartt, Inc., Danner has a long tradition – they have been making boots since the 1930s. Danner first became known because of the toughness and durability of their work boots. Over the years, they have incorporated the latest technologies to make their boots as comfortable as they are durable.
The Carolina brand has a shorter history than Carhartt or Danner. They have been in operation since the second half of the 20th century. Some of their lines are produced overseas, but many of their staple products - engineer and logger boots - are still made in the USA. Any line of their American made boots is guaranteed to last for years. In addition, most of the boots are union-made, so if you want to support your compatriots, Carolina could be the choice for you.
When Georgia Shoe Manufacturing Co., Inc. was founded in 1937 in Atlanta, the goal was to make low-price, dependable work boots. They had not only succeeded but developed into one of the best American brands to date. Georgia boots are still as tough as they ever were, and they have branched into making specialized, industry-specific work boots.
The parent company of Thorogood, Weinbrenner Shoe Company was established in 1892 by cobbler Albert H. Weinbrenner, while the Thorogood line was introduced in 1918. So, however you look at it, they have over a century worth of experience. Thorogood is still their most popular brand, and for good reason – Thorogood’s are top quality boots and the largest manufacturer of Made in USA footwear.
5 of the Best USA Made Models in 2021
You can go through our whole collection, but to help you narrow your search, we have selected a model from each of the abovementioned companies, with every pair being built with a different purpose in mind. Check them out or peruse our collection at your leisure.
These boots are the jack-of-all-trades of work boots. Made with oil-tanned leather, a waterproof but breathable membrane, and a sweat-wicking liner, they will keep your feet comfortable and protected. They come equipped with a comp toe, so they can serve multiple purposes – the boots offer medium protection, while still being lightweight. In addition, they provide secondary protection from incidental contact with electrical circuits.
The Acadia could be your choice if you need a comfortable pair to wear outside while it’s wet. They are waterproof, insulated (at 400G), and 8 inches tall, so no snow or rain should hamper your work when wearing these boots. The outsole provides great traction on wet terrain. As they are Danners, the Acadia features the famous stitch down construction for superior durability and added stability.
You can wear the Sarge Lo as a traditional work boot – they are waterproof, have a comp toe, a Briar Pitstop leather upper, and offer electrical protection. However, its design easily allows it to double as an office boot. So, if you need boots to work construction in the morning while getting some paperwork done in the afternoon, the Sarge Lo could be the choice for you.
These work boots are made of abrasion-resistant leather, with a pigskin lined tongue. The steel toe offers as much impact protection as you could ask of a boot. The interior has an AMP memory foam insole for added comfort. The outsole is oil- and slip-resistant and comes equipped with a steel shank. These boots are meant for heavy-duty protection and may not be the best choice if you plan to walk long miles, but when it comes to security, they are one of the best.
We have chosen something a bit different for the end. Like the other boots made in USA on our list, these athletic shoes are also American made. The Oxford’s prize one thing above all – endurance. These tactical shoes are designed to keep you on your feet all day long, while still being durable. If you don’t know where your job will take you, but you know that you need to be quick on your feet, the Oxford’s should be your choice.