10 Best Work Boots

Work boots are supposed to be tough and to offer maximum protection. However, most are willing to compromise comfort for safety, thus ending up with sore, clammy feet. Cosy footwear isn’t a whim because it influences your productivity, concentration, and overall wellbeing. If you’re preoccupied with a too confining fit, you may not be able to prevent accidents.

To avoid that, you should read this article.

We’ve selected ten of the best work boots on the UK market to ensure you get the perfect blend of comfort and safety. All these boots are made with quality materials that protect you from most workplace-related accidents, and they’re all comfortable.

However, each of these products is best for a different purpose. We’ll explain how to judge these boots’ features depending on your needs so that you can invest your money wisely. Read along!

Best safety boots that are comfortable and protective

Let’s see which work boots you can choose:

Wolverine Mens Steel Toe Safety Shoes: best lightweight work boots

best lightweight work bootsThe Wolverine Mens DuraShocks are among the best models for sore feet thanks to their low weight, plus ergonomic design that blends cushioning and stability.

As such, the h-plate suspension system keeps your feet steady in an anatomically correct position so you won’t strain your muscles. Simultaneously, the heel cushioning ensures that you won’t feel any impact so that you can be on your feet the whole day.

The third feature that closes the circle of cushioning and stability is flexibility in walking. That’s thanks to the four quadrants on the sole that are independently responsive. This design allows the Mens DuraShocks to use the energy you put in every step when you’re walking. That way, you’ll keep your feet relaxed even when you’re walking for hours.

Remember that the DuraShocks have steel toes to protect you from most work impacts, whether you’re on a construction’s site or carrying large boxes. Steel toe work boots are the safest of all, but they also take more time to break in because of their slightly cramped toe caps.

Another advantage to these boots is that they’re waterproof so you can wear these boots even in environments with lots of spillages. You won’t slip either thanks to the lug pattern on the thick rubber soles. However, some customers claim their DuraShocks have lost their waterproof ability after about a year of wearing them. The solution is to use a waterproofing solution if this also happens to you.

Pros
  • Cushiony
  • Stable
  • Stepping flexibility
  • Reliable for long hours
  • Protective steel toe cap for most workplaces
  • Reliable for hiking
  • Waterproof
  • Non-slip
Cons
  • Slightly expensive
  • Narrow toe box

CAT Footwear Men’s Gravel 6 S3 Safety Shoes: best orthopedic ankle boots

best orthopedic safety boots Men’s Gravel 6 S3 by CAT is one of the best orthopaedic work boots because they feature a removable ERGO EVA footbed. This type of footbed reduces pressure points on your soles and keeps them straight and relaxed, in a supported position. That way, you won’t feel any pain even if you’re walking or standing for long hours.

Besides, the midsoles are penetration resistant so that you can wear the Men’s Gravel safely at your workplace. CAT has designed these boots for industrial workplaces, with construction sites, especially in mind. You can see that from the uncompromising combination of flexion-rubber SRX outsole and overall leather construction.

Now you’re probably thinking about two things: safety and warmth.

And sure, the Men’s Gravel boots are relatively warm, but the bright side is that they’re among the best winter boots to consider. Also, the mesh inner material allows your feet to breathe so that your feet can remain crisp and odour-free.

Next, there’s the safety bit. The Men’s Gravel boots have 200 Joule* metal composite toecaps, which don’t offer the same protection level as steel toes against massive hazards like grinders. However, they’re more comfortable for long hours and offer full electrical protection.

*What do 200 Joules feel like? Reddit has the answer.

Pros
  • Comfortable and supportive footbed
  • Penetration-resistant midsole
  • Sturdy slip- and oil-resistant rubber outsole
  • Breathable
  • Safe against most workplace hazards, including electrical issues
  • Accommodating toe cap
Cons
  • Can get slightly warm
  • Not best against massive hazards

CAT Footwear Men’s Premier 8 Wr Tx Ct S3 HRO: most comfortable work boots for standing all day

most comfortable work bootsJust like Men’s Gravel, Men’s Premier 8 WR TX Safety boots feature 200 Joule composite toecaps that ensure a reliable mix of comfort and hazard protection. As such, you can use these boots on most workplaces where you’re at risk for slipping or puncturing your shoes. Their entire design keeps you safe, not just the toe box, thanks to a composite midsole and rubber sole, that are penetration and slip-resistant.

Another advantage is that the Men’s Premier are very comfortable for long periods standing or walking. One reason is that the energy-absorbing heel reduces impacts and, therefore, pain to your heel area, so you can wear these boots for longer even if you have chronic foot pain. And we already discussed the comfortable toe caps above.

And here’s the bonus:

Cat Men’s Premier is a reliable choice thanks to their large fit if you have wide feet and have difficulties finding a comfortable work boot for long wear and tear.

But, as you’d expect, no design is perfect.

These boots are 8-inch high for reliable ankle support, and they’re also waterproof so that you can wear them in warehouses or places with a lot of spillages. However, their strong waterproof materials also render the Men’s Premier slightly heavy and warm, so these boots are best for winter wear.

Another common complaint among customers is their high arch support. This feature reduces pain and enhances support, but it’s not the best design for people with flat feet.

Pros
  • Very protective and comfortable toe caps
  • Reliable against slips and punctures
  • Comfortable for long hours
  • Impact-resistant
  • Best for people with chronic pain
  • Wide-fit design
  • Top ankle support
  • Waterproof
Cons
  • Slightly heavy
  • Not for summer wear
  • Not comfortable for people with flat feet

Grisport Men’s Contractor Boots: best budget safety boots

best budget work bootsThe Grisport Men’s Contractor Boots are the best cheap work boots where “cheap” equals smartly designed, and not low-quality. The blend of leather uppers, PU sole, and steel toe cap is rugged and safe.

If you’re working in tough jobs such as constructions site, you need a comfortable, sturdy pair of boots that holds well. These Grisport are durable and wear-resistant unless you step directly into concrete.

You’ll also find the Men’s Contractor boots are reliable for extended periods of walking, even over 20 km per day. They’re cushiony, not too warm, plus water-resistant enough to keep your feet dry in the rain or a swampy environment.

Moreover, even if they have a lace design, they’re easy to slip on or off without having to rearrange the tongue and laces each time.

However, some people complain* about the uncomfortable feeling around the toe area, but remember that this is a common complaint about steel-toe cap boots. If you have chronic sole pain, you also want to look into some gel insoles for sore feet.

*Kudos to Grisport for the stellar customer support granted to all these unsatisfied customers, who receive prompt help and no-fuss refund options.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Quality materials
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Wear-resistant
  • Reliable for long hikes
  • Cushiony
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to slip on or off
  • Highly protective steel toe cap
Cons
  • Narrow toe cap
  • Not the most ergonomic insoles for plantar fasciitis or other chronic pain

Amblers Safety Mens FS998: best waterproof work boots

best waterproof work bootsAlthough there are other waterproof models in this review, the Amblers Safety Mens FS998 win our best waterproof award because they’re also comfortable, safe, and affordable.

As such, the padded leather upper prevents friction, while the Thinsulate lining wicks moisture, so your feet won’t feel clammy when you’re working long hours. Besides, the sole is specifically designed to decrease foot fatigue as it’s made from rubber/ phylon and has a shock-absorbing heel to reduce impacts.

Moreover, Amblers Mens FS998 boots are safe, with puncture-resistant midsoles, thick rubber outsoles, and composite toe caps. This blend of features allows you to wear these boots in places with lots of water spillage, punctures, and electrical hazards.

Now here’s the main issue:

The majority of customers claim that these boots are a tight fit. So, if you want to wear winter socks, you might want to go up one size.

Also, don’t get overly excited about the side zipper because you’ll still have to tie your laces.

Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable for long periods
  • Safe against most work hazards
  • Affordable
  • Stellar ankle support
  • Side zip closure
Cons
  • Tight fit
  • Not as protective against heavy hazards as steel-toe boots

SAFETOE Water Resistant Safety Boots – best slip-on work boots

best slip on work bootsThe SAFETOE Work Boots sport a mix of features that look surprising for their low price. Therefore, because these boots have almost everything you could ask for and they’re extremely easy to slip-on, we’ve voted them best slip-on boots in this review.

Let’s take each advantage at a time.

The SAFETOE boots are water-resistant thanks to a three-layer design. As such, the waterproof membrane coating sits atop real genuine cow leather, which sits atop abrasion-resistant Sandwish mesh. These materials are soft, comfortable, and breathable so that you won’t get your feet sweaty at the expense of waterproofness.

But here’s the catch:

The SAFETOE boots have an IPX5 water-resistant rating. As such, they’re not entirely waterproof, though they can withstand sustained, low-pressure water jet sprays. Besides, the side mesh allows water to get into your shoes.

These boots are comfortable for long periods on your feet. The insoles are made with memory foam so that you can keep your feet in an aligned and anatomically correct position. Besides, these insoles offer 20 Joule impact absorption so that you can walk the whole day. To get a better idea, one joule is the force of a tennis ball travelling at six m/s, so the SAFETOE boots protect your feet from the impact of twenty such tennis balls.

Just remember these boots have a 6-month warranty, which means they’re not too durable, although six months of use are convenient for the price and features. The first to go are the insoles, though you can replace them quickly.

The SAFETOE boots are very safe. The combination of steel toe and steel plate is rated CE S3 ESD. The steel midsoles protect against nail penetration, and the heavy-duty double-density outsoles are oil- and water-resistant. Besides, these boots are tested against static electric discharge.

The bonus is that, although the SAFETOE boots are steel-toed, their extra-wide fit ensures top comfort even around your toe caps.

Pros
  • Easy to slip on
  • Real genuine cow leather
  • Breathable
  • IPX5 water-resistant
  • Memory foam insoles
  • Shock-absorbing
  • CE-rated steel toe and plate
  • Heavy-duty soles
  • Wide fit
Cons
  • Not completely waterproof
  • Not extremely durable

Mens CAT Caterpillar Gravel: best steel toe cap work boots

best steel toe cap work bootsJust like the previous CAT Gravel model we featured in this review, these boots are one of the safest on the market thanks to their heavy-duty design.

The difference between the two models lies with their toe caps. As such, this model features steel toe caps, which are excellent if you’re working amidst severe hazards, such as grinders and chainsaws. However, these boots have a tighter fit in the toe area and aren’t as good against electrical hazards as the previous CAT Gravels.

The Gravel Steel Toe Boots are a 5-inch industrial safety boot with an S3 rating. These boots offer reliable ankle support, they’re cushiony thanks to their ergonomic EVA footbeds, plus they’re also safe. Their rubber SRX outsoles prevent static electricity, slips, and punctures, plus they’re resistant to fuel, oil, and heat to 300ᵒC. Simultaneously, the midsoles are penetration-resistant and moisture-wicking.

Besides, this footwear is waterproof so that you can wear them in almost all work environments, even digging ditches.

Therefore, these boots are comfortable and cushiony for long periods of work. But you’ll also notice the Gravel Steel Toe Boots are reliable for long hikes because they also offer toe flexion and 20 Joules heel energy absorption. So you’ll keep your soles aligned in an anatomically-correct position without feeling any impacts towards your feet unless you’re jumping off buildings for a living.

Pros
  • Heavy-duty
  • EN S3 rated
  • Water-resistant
  • Steel toe cap with 200 Joules protection
  • Penetration-resistant EVA midsoles
  • Rubber outsoles resist fuel, oil, heat to 300ᵒC, and static
  • Toe flexion
  • 20 Joules heel energy absorption
Cons
  • Slightly heavy
  • Slightly cramped in the toe area

CAT Powerplant GYW: most comfortable steel toe safety boots

most comfortable work bootsThe Caterpillar CAT Mens Powerplant are safe, comfortable, and stylish.

Their steel toe caps are 200 Joules rated so that they offer maximum protection against most workplace hazards. Their Nitrile rubber outsoles are slip-resistant whether you work in an environment with plenty of water or oil spillage. These outsoles are also heat resistant to 300ᵒC. However, you can notice their lugs aren’t as prominent as those of other boots in this review, which means the Mens Powerplant boots may not be best on icy grounds.

Another advantage is the Nubuck/ Crazy Horse leather material for the uppers. This leather is insulating and water-resistant, plus it also looks hip.

Overall, the Powerplant GYW boots are heavy-duty, thanks to their durable, resistant materials, as well as their Goodyear welted construction with triple-stitched seams. You’ll also feel comfortable wearing them thanks to a generous PU padding in the footbed and collar area.

The midsole is PVC, so maybe not as contouring as foam, but certainly cushiony. Moreover, the heel is energy-absorbent so you can walk in these boots for hours.

The biggest complaint from a few customers is the tight fit. While CAT rates these boots as medium width, the steel toe cap and tight leather might make them a little uncomfortable for people with wide feet.

Pros
  • Stylish
  • High protection against dangerous work hazards
  • Slip-resistant
  • Heat-resistant to 300ᵒC
  • Insulating
  • Water-resistant
  • Cushiony
  • Good for long hours
Cons
  • Slightly tight fit
  • Not the most contouring midsoles
  • Not best for ice

LARNMERN Mens Safety Shoes: best plantar fasciitis work boots

best plantar fasciitis safety bootsThe LARNMERN Mens Safety Shoes are the best for comfort, especially if you have chronic foot pain like plantar fasciitis because they’re light, cushiony, and supportive.

Here’s why:

These shoes look like sneakers, and they’re lightweight so you won’t have to strain your feet when walking. Therefore, you won’t activate your foot pain. Besides, the soles keep your feet in a comfortable, relaxed position even when you’re walking, with minimal impact to your feet. Simultaneously, mesh uppers are flexible and accommodating. Confining shoes aren’t best for plantar fasciitis because they trigger painful pressure points by making you contract your feet muscles.

Besides that, LARNMERN boots offer maximum protection against most work-related accidents so that you can wear them in harsh industrial workplaces.

The 200J-rated steel toes are anti-smashing, while the soles are anti-puncture. The only anti-thing these shoes are not is anti-water unless that water comes from the inside. That’s because the LARNMERN boots are moisture-wicking and breathable, perfect for hot and humid work environments.

However, some customers noticed that these shoes are also not slip-resistant, although the company claims they are. But as the soles aren’t vulcanised rubber, they don’t offer top grip on all slippery terrain, especially if you’re working on dolphin-back sleek surfaces with plenty of water.

We recommend them for warehouses, construction sites, plus home chores and hiking. You can use them in places with glass products, chemicals, oils, and fuels, as well as around cement-processing facilities.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Light
  • Impact-absorbing
  • Top arch support
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Breathable
  • Resistant against smashes, slips, and punctures
  • Wide fit
Cons
  • Not waterproof
  • Somewhat slippery

Magnum Broadside 8.0 CT CP WP: best composite work boots

best composite toe work bootsThe Magnum Unisex Adults’ Broadside 8.0 CT CP WP boots are warm and waterproof to keep your feet warm in cold environments. These boots are perfect for winter wear thanks to their 200G Thinsulate insulation so that your feet remain crisp even in inclement weather. Besides, the boots’ lining is moisture-wicking so that you won’t sweat too much inside the shoes.

As these Magnum boots are also waterproof, you can wear them outside in ditched or swampy workplaces, without feeling the aftermath of cold, damp environments.

We also recommend the Magnum Broadside 8.0 CT CP WP boots because they’re safe. Their composite toe caps protect against most punctures and smashes from falling objects.

The rubber outsoles are highly protective too because they’re made from Michelin rubber. That means they offer maximum grip on muddy and uneven terrain, plus good insulation.

But no boots would be perfect for slippery, muddy, and cold environments without proper support. That’s why the Magnum boots added Ortholite foam insoles and impact-absorbing midsoles. These materials keep your feet in a neutral, aligned position, allowing you to hike and jump without feeling any pain.

On the downside, the toe area is prone to scuffs and abrasions, while hydraulic fluid can wrinkle these boots’ leather. That’s why we recommend the Magnum Broadside boots mostly for outdoor walking, especially if you’re a supervisor, rather than working with abrasive substances.

Pros
  • Warm
  • Waterproof
  • Safe against punctures and smashes
  • Anti-slip
  • Top arch support
  • Impact-absorbing
Cons
  • Prone to abrasions

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you’ve seen the best work boots on the market, let’s see if we can answer some questions:

Best Work Boots Brands

The best work boots brands are:

  • Wolverine: innovative, comfortable, and durable, but rather expensive
  • CAT: hardwearing for muddy sites
  • Grisport: best leather boots
  • Amblers: an affordable brand that specialises in work boots
  • Larnmern: budget steel-toe shoes for comfort and flexibility
  • Magnum: rugged tactical boots with long lifespans
  • Timberland: comfortable boots with a long tradition on the market, but rather expensive
  • SAFETOE: Chinese company that specialises in lightweight, quality work boots at affordable prices
  • Apache: affordable, yet quality UK brand
  • Dr Martens: UK-based brand with over a century of tradition, that designs comfortable, albeit pricey work boots

These brands have long traditions and are very popular because they design top-quality, safety-tested work boots. Besides, they have stellar customer service.

How Often Should Work Boots Be Replaced?

You should replace your work boots when they show signs of wear and tear. That usually happens after one year, though it depends on how challenging your work is, how often you’re using your boots, and their overall quality. Therefore, some footwear can last for 3+ years, while others only for a few months.

Here’s when you should replace your work footwear:

  • The outsoles are punctured, damaged, or squashed.
  • The insoles are too pressed to provide anymore cushioning.
  • The boots’ soles bend too easily so that you can press the toe area and heel together effortlessly.
  • The midsoles look wrinkled and worn out, losing their cushioning abilities.
  • The uppers rip from the soles.
  • The boots have visible cracks or punctures.

How To Get The Smell Out Of Work Boots?

Here are a few tips on how to keep them odour free:

  • Choose breathable, moisture-wicking boots.
  • Wear merino-wool socks that prevent sweating. Avoid cotton socks that absorb moisture.
  • Buy two pairs of boots and alternate them.
  • Store your boots in a dry and ventilated place.
  • Sprinkle baking soda at night inside the boots.
  • Use a shoe deodoriser.

What Does S3 Mean In Safety Boots?

S3 is a safety code for footwear that ascertains toe protection, plus protection against slips, static energy, and oil. S3-rated boots also offer heel energy absorption and puncture-proof midsoles.

Here are the five S-codes you’ll encounter when reading work boots’ specs:

  • S1: toe protection, anti-slip, antistatic, oil protection, and heel energy absorption
  • S2: everything in S1 plus water resistance
  • S3: everything in S2, plus puncture-resistant midsoles
  • S4: everything in S1 plus waterproof rubber or moulded PU uppers
  • S5: everything in S4 and puncture-resistant midsoles
In Conclusion

If you’re here, you browsed a list of ten best work boots for all purposes. The models we discussed don’t compromise on quality, although some are cheaper than others. Remember to choose the right pair for your work environment, preexisting foot conditions, and foot shape.

For instance, steel toe boots are narrower as a rule of thumb, but you can find a few wide-fit models like the SAFETOE boots or CAT Mens Powerplant. Also, insulating boots don’t have to be warm and sweaty. You can find plenty of breathable footwear that prevent unpleasant, malodorous sweat, such as the Magnum or Ambler work boots above.

So remember not to settle for a pair of boots that sacrifices your needs.

Related posts: 10 Things to look for in a pair of Safety Boots

How To Make Safety Boots More Comfortable

Leave a Comment