10 Best Work Boot Brands
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Searching For The Best Work Boot Brands
When you’re heading out the door to your demanding job, a floppy ol’ pair of boots simply won’t cut it.
Durability, comfort, protection, and high-quality finishes are a necessity when it comes to work-appropriate footwear.
And yet, finding that perfect pair is a feat (pun intended) that no one truly wants to face. Fortunately, my list of the 10 best work boot brands is here to guide the way with a breakdown of each company as well as tips and tricks for finding your solemate.
The 10 Best Work Boot Brands
Founded in 1889 by Hamilton Carhartt, this brand is most well known for its carefully crafted and high-quality workwear. Beginning as an American company, the pieces are now sold worldwide, though they are crafted in factories located in the US and Mexico.
With modest beginnings, Carthartt’s story began with only two sewing machines and five workers. Now, the brand is backed by over 5500 associates worldwide. That being said, it has always remained true to its roots, producing clothing and necessities for manual laborers.
The brand is also still run by the Carhartt family, on the same mission from day one: “to serve and protect hardworking people.” The company also knows that the people who wear its products are incredibly hard-working, so it steps up to the plate with a collection of ultra-durable and high-quality pieces.
With a collection of about 30 different pairs of work boots, Carhartt shoes range in price from $100-$200.
- Wide variety of workwear and outdoor clothing for men, women, and children
- Classic, rugged and worn in look
- Durable fabrics and high quality construction
- Defective pieces easily repaired, replaced, or credited
- Loyalty program available
- Free US shipping and returns
When you merge fashion with functionality, what do you get? I’ll give you a hint: it’s named after the cutest bug on the planet.
If you guessed Caterpillar, you’d be correct. Backed by almost 100 years in the biz, this brand earns itself the title of one of the most widely recognized workwear companies in the world.
The brand first got its start in 1925, when Benjamin Holt and C.L. Best decided to merge their manufacturing companies to create Caterpillar Tractor Co. The duo put their brains together and set out to create “equipment with the power to transform the world, completely reshaping the construction, farming, and mining industries.”
Today, the brand maintains the same mission, with a collection of footwear that allows men and women to break boundaries, be creative, and always get the job done (in a safe manner, of course).
When it comes to work boots, Caterpillar’s options can range from $75-$200.
- Wide collection of men’s and women’s work boots with a variety of finishes from steel toe to waterproof
- Plenty of different styles available
- Unisex options
- High quality designs and strong fabrics
- Free shipping
You can’t have winter without spotting someone wearing a pair of Blundstone boots. Why? Because of the high-quality designs, unique Chelsea boot style, and long-lasting materials. The story actually began over 150 years ago by John Blundstone himself.
John believed (or knew) that the world needed a pair of durable boots, and so he created Blundstones in 1870 in Hobart, Tasmania. Styles have continuously changed throughout the years, but the timeless and functional quality of Blundstone boots has withstood the test of time.
Today, the brand carries a collection of winter, work, and fashion-ready boots that are easy to put on and comfortable to wear. On top of that, it has a long list of values, dedicating itself to unique and bold designs, as well as delivering only the best to its customers.
Backed by a quality promise that ensures only the highest quality, Blundstone work boots range in price from $200-$300.
- Variety of different style Chelsea boots for men, women, and children
- Crafted from high quality leather
- Durable soles
- Ideal for all seasons and terrains
- Backed by 150 years of experience
- Quality promise
#4: Timberland Pro
If you’re working on a construction site, I bet that at least a few of the people there are wearing Timberland Pro boots. The others are wearing options from the other 9 best work boot brands on my list.
Timberland was founded in 1952 by Nathan Swartz, who purchased Abington Shoe Company with his partner. He eventually moved to the US, acquired the brand to be entirely his own, and produced shoes with his family.
20 years later, the family invented the original Timberland shoes, which were a pair of waterproof work boots with a signature yellow hue. The style quickly took off for anyone in need of a high-quality boot that was designed to last, no matter the weather conditions.
The brand has always maintained its core values, focusing on careful designs and high-quality materials to produce only the best of the best. It has continued to be a popular choice, in both the world of fashion and the labor industry.
Timberland Pro work boots range in price from $140-$340.
- Variety of classic style work boots for men, women, and children, as well as plenty of workwear options and accessories
- High quality, durable leather
- Cushioned rubber soles
- Waterproof footwear
- Widely available
The Danner story first began in Portland, Oregon, in 1932, when Charles Danner decided to move to the west to create a new pair of boots. Essentially, he believed that loggers and workmen ought to experience a quality pair of boots that was comfortable, functional, and would help them get the job done.
Designed for “adventure, exploration, and the hard work the men and women who wear them perform day in and day out,” Danner footwear is well known for its durability and long-lasting quality.
Though almost a century has passed, the brand has never wavered from its original goals, with only the best quality in mind.
Each pair is carefully crafted using only the best materials, with options for men and women in a wide variety of styles. Options range from workwear to fashion to hunting to military, meaning there’s a pair for every moment in life.
With a unique pair of laces on every shoe, Danner work boots range in price from $110-$430.
- Vast collection of lifestyle, work, hike, military, and tactical footwear for men and women
- Durable, long lasting materials
- Waterproof and weatherized options available
- 1-year warranty on all pairs of boots
- Worldwide shipping
- Free 2-day shipping on orders over $50
#6: Dr. Martens
Dr. Martens, also known as Docs or Doc Martens, began in 1901 with the Griggs family in Wollaston, Northamptonshire in the English Midlands. The family carefully crafted durable and sturdy footwear and were well known all over England.
In 1945, Dr. Klaus Maertens, who was a German soldier, suffered a broken foot and decided to create a shoe that was super comfortable, while still providing the safety of a regular work boot. With that, the air-cushioned sole was born.
Maertens then teamed up with Dr. Herbert Funk in 1947, creating shoes from recycled military supplies. In the 1960s, the Griggs family adopted the design into their arsenal, blending the names to create Dr. Martens.
Today, the brand is most well known for its stylish yet functional kicks, which is exactly what the brand started out with. They come in a classic combat style, crafted from durable leather that comes in a multitude of different finishes with a thick and chunky sole, ideal for comfort and protection.
Plus, there is a range of different qualities for different workplaces and environments.
The shoes are manufactured in the UK, China, and Taiwan, though they are also available worldwide. Dr. Martens work boots and shoes range in price from $80-$170.
- Variety of different style shoes as well as bags and accessories
- Crafted from durable and sturdy leather
- Committed to sustainable manufacturing
- Vegan options available
- Free standard shipping on all orders over $50
- Financing options available
#7: Irish Setter
Known for its rugged styles, Irish Setter was originally born from Red Wing, a brand dedicated to “making a lasting difference in people’s lives.” In 1950, Red Wing released a new style of boot with a Red Russet leather, inspiring the Irish Setter brand.
Today, the collection has surpassed a single pair and encompasses a variety of different styles. Crafted from high-quality leather, each pair is made in the USA, maintaining the same quality and careful craftsmanship from the very start of production.
With a collection of boots for working, hunting, and casual wear, Irish Setter focuses on being ready for anything. The styles are crafted with hard work in mind, while also having a simple, rugged look that can withstand different terrains and weather conditions.
Born from the need for high-quality durable boots and a focus on craftsmanship, Irish Setter work boots retail for $120-$250.
- Wide collection of work, hunting, and casual boots that are designed to be comfortable and reliable
- Ideal for a multitude of different weather conditions
- Rugged and unique styles
- Crafted from high quality leather
- Made in the US
- 6-month warranty
- Free shipping on orders over $75
- Free returns
Backed by 135 years of experience, Wolverine products have stayed on the market because of constant innovation and design. G.A. Krause founded the company in 1883, starting out as a tannery with only a few employees with a focus on high-quality boots and gloves.
The brand quickly became synonymous with comfort and toughness, two things that are ideal for the workforce. The brand’s Original 1000 Mile boot became the most loved pair, designed to walk 1000 miles with unmatched durability and a strong leather upper.
Today, each boot is carefully constructed with three things in mind: comfort, purpose, and endurance. That being said, they are designed to last, continuing to inspire perseverance and drive in the trades and beyond.
All that being said, Wolverine offers some pretty affordable pairs and options for everyone, starting at $35 and going up to $425.
- Vast selection of men’s and women’s work, lifestyle, and outdoor boots, as well as high quality outerwear
- Collab with Metallica
- Blend of fashionable and functional
- Ideal for all different weather conditions
- Feature a waterproof Gore-Tex liner and treated leather
- ‘Boot Finder’ makes it easy to find the right pair
#9: Golden Fox
An American classic, Golden Fox was founded in 1970 with a focus on supplying local businesses with quality, protective footwear.
It only makes sense that footwear designed for the workforce be designed and crafted by hardworking individuals, and that’s exactly what Golden Fox boasts.
While the origins of the brand itself are quite mysterious, the truth of the pieces is not. Based in Ontario, California, each boot is handcrafted and carefully designed to suit the needs of a wide variety of professions.
Today, the brand maintains its focus on timeless and versatile design, promising nothing but the highest quality. They use Goodyear welt construction, which means that the soles are ultra-durable, water resistant, and resoleable.
The brand’s collection consists of a variety of different footwear, from casual and hiking boots to work shoes, moc toes, chukkas, wellingtons, and boondockers.
They focus on providing footwear for industrial, mechanical, and construction workers with compound soles resistant to numerous different materials.
On a mission “to deliver extraordinary work boots that will withstand the test of time,” the company also uses premium leathers, merging traditional techniques with modern standards to create something of great, long-lasting beauty.
As times change, so do Golden Fox boots, being met with constant innovation to supply the workforce with the footwear necessary to keep them safe. Prices range from $40-$200.
- Wide collection of moc toe, chukka, work, and casual boots, as well as accessories and necessities for boot care
- Timeless styles
- Goodyear welt construction
- Durable leather uppers with steel toes for protection
- Worldwide shipping
- Safety guarantee
- Free shipping on orders over $100
#10: Harley Davidson
Most well known for its motorcycle gear, Harley Davidson also carries a collection of stylish and high-quality leather work boots. The brand was first founded in 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, when four young men designed a unique and innovative motorcycle.
Today, the brand continues to focus on creating timeless yet innovative pieces that are designed to define motorcycle culture and lifestyle and create “freedom for the soul” as they “stand for the timeless pursuit of adventure.”
With that being said, the company carries a number of different products from motorcycles to every accessory and part to pair with them.
Of course, the brand also carries a lineup of footwear, ideal for wearing on bikes, as well as for a number of different professions, so customers can bike to work and then get to work.
The styles are designed to withstand heavy use without ever sacrificing comfort or style, protecting the feet while providing a breathable lining. The leather and canvas materials ensure lasting quality, while the selection suits a multitude of different needs.
When it comes to work boots, Harley Davidson prices range from $50-$300.
- World renowned collection of motorcycles, parts, accessories, and apparel, as well as goods and gifts
- Reliable and stylish boots
- Crafted from durable leather with thick rubber soles
- Bold styles and unique finishes
- Free returns
- Free shipping on orders over $50
How to Shop for the Best Work Boot
Now that I’ve covered the 10 best work boot brands, you may still be feeling torn about which pair is just right for you. There are a few key factors to consider to ensure you’re starting things off on the right foot.
Below, I’ll share some details that you ought to keep in mind when shopping around to ensure the boots you buy serve the purpose you need them to, suit your style, and last a long time.
It’s always important to opt for a brand backed by a strong customer base while maintaining a clear sense of ethics and remaining transparent about processes and manufacturing.
Fortunately, all the best boot brands on my list are all strongly supported for both the quality of the products and the processes behind them.
From traditional options to more business savvy to comfy and casual, there’s a broad range of work boot styles to choose from. There are moc toe, cap toe, hiker, and logger work boots that each appeal to different jobs as well as personal preferences.
Most of the time, you’ll be able to find something that’s the best of both worlds, fitting in with your own aesthetic as well as working well for the job you have. Below, I’ll detail how the different styles may also affect the purpose.
Depending on the job, you may require different styles or details when it comes to work boots. For example, weatherproofing is ideal if you’re working outdoors in an unpredictable climate, while steel toes are a necessity for machinery and equipment, as well as a number of different jobs.
Essentially, the fit, style, and qualities all play a role in the purpose you need the boot for. So, it’s important to keep the job in mind when shopping from my list of the best work boot brands.
The fit of the boot more often than not depends on preference or necessity, though it’s important to find a shoe that fits you properly to ensure the proper amount of support and comfort.
That being said, if you’re working outside a lot, you may prefer a roomier pair for layering socks. Essentially, they should be the perfect amount of snug without causing any pressure. With that in mind, I’ll give you a few more details about how your work boots should fit soon!
The best work boot brands always use high-quality, ultra-durable materials. Steel is a common material for protecting toes, while rubber is a long-lasting, high traction sole option. Leather is an excellent choice for uppers since it only looks better with wear while also providing a comfortable fit.
While the best work boot brands carry a selection that is designed to last a long time, care is definitely an important part of keeping your boots up to par for longer. Here are a few tips for keeping your pair in pristine condition:
- Clean regularly with a water-based cleaning agent and a nylon soft bristle brush
- Apply a waterproofing spray or treatment
- Wipe off any dirt or debris as often as possible
- Carefully remove and store in a dry place when not in use
- Apply leather conditioner after cleaning (if the boots are leather)
Work boots usually tend to be an investment because they are carefully crafted to keep you and your feet safe and protected in more intense environments, whether that’s weather conditions, operating heavy machinery, or working on a construction site.
That being said, it’s important to opt for a brand in your price range–fortunately, my list of the best work boot brands consists of plenty of options so there’s a perfect fit for everyone.
What is the best work boot for standing on concrete all day?
If you don’t already know, standing on a hard surface for hours on end isn’t the best for your feet, nor is it very comfortable. That’s why so many chefs or home cooks opt for a cushioned kitchen mat.
But what if I told you that there was a shoe with a sole that could function the same way?
A moderate or raised heel, plenty of cushioning, and ample support are your best bet when it comes to avoiding achy feet. Shock absorbent soles will also protect your feet from the hard surface.
How long do work boots take to break in?
Depending on the fit and stiffness of the work boots, they may take a little longer to break in. That being said, it can take between a week and a month to break in a brand new pair. Here’s how you can get the process started:
- Slip on some thick socks, apply bandages or soft padding to areas where you experience rubbing
- Wear the shoes around the house for 5-10 minutes at a time for about a week
- Start wearing them out of the house for 1-2 hours at a time, building up the time the more often you wear them
How do I stop my work boots from smelling?
All shoes eventually begin to smell, but there’s nothing quite like a pair you’ve been sweating, working hard, and standing in for hours and hours on end every single day.
Below, I’ll share a few tips to stop the stink from ever starting in your new boots, as well as some tricks for defeating it once and for all.
- Change your socks more often, and opt for moisture wicking, breathable fabrics
- Avoid getting water in your shoes, and dry them fully if they do get wet
- Wash and pumice your feet daily
- Fill a pair of socks with baking soda and store in your shoes when you’re not wearing them–dryer sheets may work for this as well
- Try using essential oils such as lemon and lavender to eliminate odors
- Clean the boots often
- Store them in ventilated, dry spaces
How are work boots supposed to fit?
A pair of work boots should feel snug and secure without being too restricting or causing any discomfort. Of course, it’s important that they provide ample support for your feet while protecting them and never being the cause of any trips or falls.
There should be about an inch of space between your toes and the toe of the boot, but your foot shouldn’t be sliding or moving around. If you’d like to wear super thick socks, you may want to choose half a size up, depending on reviews and what the manufacturer/brand recommends.
It’s also important to check that there are no uncomfortable fabrics, pressure points, or areas that experience chafing, so be sure to walk around in your boots before removing any tags.
Roll your ankles, walk around, and try on both boots, ensuring that your feet aren’t sliding around but don’t feel confined either.
When it comes down to it, a high quality pair of boots is a must have to keep you safe, comfortable, and ready to go. While they do require upkeep, it’s worth it to care for your investment and ensure you get the best out of every pair.
While keeping a few things in mind, from styles to materials to fit, I hope that my list of the 10 best work boot brands helped to narrow down your choices and find the right pair of shoes for your needs.
How We Chose the Best Work Boot Brands
Before choosing any brand, we scour the web and all the biggest e-tailers to ensure we know all the available options on the market. We look at customer reviews, star ratings, brand ethos, processes, materials, accessibility, and so much more. We weigh the pros and cons, so you don’t have to, helping you make informed shopping decisions.
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