Rigger boots come in all shapes and sizes. Although most models are easy to slip on and offer full protection against work hazards, you have to learn a few secrets before choosing the best rigger boots for your needs.
In this article, we’ll share lots of those little known things about riggers. We’ll also discuss five best models on the market in terms of their benefits to you.
That way, you’ll know what to expect from an ideal pair of rigger boots and how to make sure you’re getting maximum value for your money. Read on!
Best Rigger Boots
V12 Tomahawk Riggers: best waterproof rigger boots
These V12 Tomahawk are some of the best waterproof rigger boots for cold weather because their leather uppers are water-resistant, plus their Thinsulate linings are waterproof. Also, Thinsulate is one of the warmest materials on the market, so these boots will keep your feet warm for longer.
But Thinsulate isn’t a perfect material because it’s not extremely breathable, although it’s moisture-wicking. Therefore, your feet may sweat inside the V12 Tomahawk boots if you’re wearing them in summer.
V12 claims their Thinsulate lining is suitable up to -20ᵒC.
Ask yourself this: how cold is your environment?
Because if you’re working in -20ᵒC weather, you may need a pair of boots with thicker soles and larger interiors for thick, wool socks. But we’re in the UK so that temperature shouldn’t be a problem. Otherwise, these boots are warm and slip-resistant thanks to their prominent sole lugs to resist in medium-cold weather.
A disadvantage of Thinsulate is that it isn’t the most cushiony or contouring material. So, if you have chronic foot pain or bunions, you might require a gel or foam insert.
However, the V12 Tomahawks are secure, rugged boots, with triple-stitched seams and reinforced pull-on hooks. The padded heel and ankle supports stabilise your feet on rugger terrains, but they also increase comfort during long shifts.
We recommend the V12 Tomahawk boots because their heat-resistant Powerflex soles offer high energy returns, which are uncommon among rigger work boots. However, the benefit for you is that you can walk for longer while wearing them.
Besides, the V12 Tomahawks feature steel toe caps and anti-nail plates for maximum protection in hazard-prone workplaces.
And although most steel-toe boots feel cramped and heavy, these rigger boots are comfortable right out of the box.
Grafters Mens S3 Leather Rigger Boots: best budget
These Grafters Mens S3 SRC WR safety boots are among the best affordable rigger boots on the market. Plus, they’re comfortable and protective.
For example, they feature steel toe caps and midsoles, which guard your feet from crushes, impacts, and punctures. The leather uppers are also sturdy and water-resistant, well-combined with the Jontex waterproof lining that increases these boots water-repelling properties.
Moreover, this combination increases the boots’ insulation abilities so that your feet can stay warm throughout the day.
However, if you’re working in water, you might need a pair of wellies. These rigger boots are fine for walking your dog in dewed grass or crossing a stream or two, though.
Here’s another advantage:
These Grafters Mens S3 SRC WR safety boots aren’t the heaviest on the market, at around 1.67 kg. Therefore, they won’t drag your feet down too much during long shifts.
And you can wear them throughout the day because these boots are comfy, supportive, and flexible.
For example, the padded ankles and dual-density PU outsoles are cushiony and keep your feet snug inside the boots. Besides, dual-density PU is a flexible, light material with maximum impact-absorption capacity for long shifts.
Bonus: these Grafters Mens S3 SRC WR boots are resistant to oil and fuel, although Pu offers limited slip resistance.
We also like the textile lining’s breathability, but don’t expect it to be extremely contouring, cushiony, or anti-bacterial. So, if you have preexisting foot pain or other medical issues, consider the next ones.
Jallatte Jalpole S3: most comfortable rigger boots
The Jallatte Jalpole S3 WR SRC riggers are among the most comfortable on the market. Their AP23 leather uppers are resistant to oil and water, while the Gore-Tex lining increases their waterproof capabilities.
Pro tip: These boots aren’t entirely waterproof. But, if you use a waterproof spray, they’ll offer decent water resistance.
Besides, Gore-Tex is an insulating and soft material. As a result, your feet will feel crispy warm inside the S3 WR SRC boots.
Here’s a common problem with most rigger boots:
Their inner soles get damaged or loose quickly because rigger boots are pull-on. But Jallatte Jalpole solved this issue with a combination of Scholl Gel footbed and steel midsole.
Both materials are rugged, especially the steel midsole that’s resistant to punctures. But Scholl Gel is durable as well, offering additional cushioning to reduce pressure points on your soles.
Therefore, you can wear these S3 WR SRC rigger boots for hours without feeling any aches or pain.
The composite toe cap is another advantage.
Although not as resistant as a steel toe cap against impacts and crushes, composite toes are EH-rated. Besides, they’re lighter and more spacious for all-day comfort.
The Softan dual-density PU sole, though, is a point of contrition.
PU is an excellent shock-absorbing material, so PU-soled shoes reduce walking fatigue during long shifts. That’s why most customers agree that wearing the S3 WR SRC boots feels like walking bare feet on a soft carpet. And that’s why they can pull 12-hour pain-free shifts.
However, PU isn’t slip-proof. But most rigger boots aren’t slip-proof if you’re working on icy or oily terrains.
DeWALT Men’s DWF-50071-121-9: best slip-resistant rigger boots
The steel toe caps and steel midsoles are essential features when it comes to protection, though. These reinforcements guard your feet against crushes, punctures, and impacts if you’re working in a hazard-prone environment, such as constructions or industrial space.
On the downside, these materials render the DeWALT boots quite heavy at 2.48 kg and also cramped.
DeWALT Men’s Rigger Safety Boots are also water-resistant because they’re full-grain leather, as well as slip-resistant.
We already told you that rigger boots aren’t generally slip-proof, but DeWALT is the exception that confirms the rule. That’s because these boot’s Goodyear welted-rubber outsoles offer excellent traction on most terrain, even ice – after all, Goodyear makes winter tires too.
But there’s another advantage to this construction:
Most rigger boots’ soles start squeaking a few months in. So, although they’re generally still good to go, you might avoid wearing them out of embarrassment. However, Goodyear welted shoes are more durable and easy to resole.
Bonus: these soles are waterproof.
These DeWALT Men’s Safety boots are also comfortable for long shifts thanks to their cushiony comfort insoles, flexible leather uppers, and lots of padding. Their cushioning capabilities and excellent support (TPU heel supportand padded ankle support) reduce walking fatigue. Therefore, you can wear them during long shifts.
Dr Martens – Mens Icon 2296: best lightweight rigger boots
These Dr Martens Mens Icon 2296 boots are similar to the DeWALT boots because they’re also elegant, chocolaty brown, and non-slip. However, they only weigh around 880 grams. That low weight and their other user-friendly features make these Dr Martens the best lightweight rigger boots on the market.
For example, their leather uppers aren’t entirely waterproof, but they’re water-resistant and flexible for all-day comfort.
Besides, the Mens Icon 2296 rigger boots are very comfortable for long shifts thanks to their air-cushioned soles. These soles reduce impacts and contour your feet to help you maintain an anatomically-correct position throughout the day.
Bonus: the insoles are anti-bacterial, thus reducing unpleasant feet odours and sweat.
Here’s another advantage:
Like the DeWALT boots, Dr Martens boots feature Goodyear welted rubber soles that are anti-slip and easy to replace. These outsoles resist oil, fat, petrol, and alkali. Therefore, we recommend these boots to people working in industrial warehouses, the maritime industry, or gas stations.
Unfortunately, the Dr Martens Mens Icon, 2296 Rigger Boots, feature no reinforced toe cap or midsole. Besides, some customers complain about their soles coming apart after a few months of use.
If you’re reading these comments, you might not want to purchase these Dr Martens riggers, right?
Here’s another well-guarded secret about rigger boots:
In the last decade, the majority of rigger boots reviews confirm these boots don’t last more than a year. But, as most customers complain about the lack of sole durability, that issue can be easily solved by resoling your Goodyear shoes.
This article reviewed different top-quality rigger boots from top brands, all of them with stellar reviews. Some are best for rugged work on construction sites, others for endless dog walks, while others for light garden chores. You could also see how specific boots’ features complement each other to reduce walking fatigue.
Therefore, you should always choose according to your working environment, preexisting foot conditions, and personal style. Hopefully, this article helps you decide what you need, but remember not to compromise your comfort and safety.
Here’s what you can get:
- Jallatte Jalpole S3 WR SRC: Most comfortable
- DeWALT Men’s Rigger Safety Boots: Best slip-resistant
- Dr Martens – Mens Icon 2296: Best lightweight
- V12 Tomahawk Mens: Best waterproof
- Grafters Mens S3 SRC WR: Best value-for-money