12 Best Work Boots for Men in 2018

Most of us work hard for a living, and it’s safe to say that some jobs are tougher than others. No matter what type of job you have, comfortable shoes are the key to a successful workday. If you work construction, landscaping or in any other heavy duty field, regular shoes aren’t going to cut it. You need a decent work boot and one that works for your specific profession.

The best work boots for men can come in different forms, from those that cover the shin with a dozen laces to footwear with acid-resistant soles. We didn’t dig too deeply into specialized boots, but some of our choices are geared towards particular industries or types of work. That said, all are amazing at protecting your feet on the job, and we think you’ll be surprised by the comfort as well.

Top 12 Work Boots for Men Ultimate Table

DesignNameHeightSteel ToeRating (1-5)
  1. KEEN Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot 6” Yes 4.5
  2. Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0 Men’s Tactical Side-Zip Boots 6” or 9” No 4.4
  3. Irish Setter Men’s 83605 6″ Work Boot 5.5” No 4.4
  4. Wolverine Men’s W02421 Raider Boot 5.5” No 4.4
  5. Carhartt Men’s CMF6366 6 Inch Composite Toe Boot 6” No 4.4
6. EVER BOOTS “Tank” Men’s Soft Toe Oil Full Grain Leather Insulated Work Boots Construction Rubber Sole 7” No4.4
7. Ariat Men’s Workhog Pull-on H2O Work Boot 10” No 4.4
8. Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot 6” Yes 4.3
  9. Stanley Men’s Dredge Steel-Toe Work Boot 5.5” Yes 4.3
  10. Stanley Men’s Dredge Steel-Toe Work Boot 6” Yes 4.2
  11. AdTec Men’s 9-Inch Steel-Toe Logger Boot 9” Yes 4.1
  12. Maelstrom Men’s TAC FORCE 8 Inch Military Tactical Work Boot 8” No 4.0

Do You Need Certified Boots?

The first question you need to ask yourself is do you need boots for a particular profession that requires specialized footwear. If so, you need a certified work boot, which can look like a regular boot but is an entirely different animal altogether.

If you work in the electrical field, you may need boots with an EH tag, which means they’re certified for use against electrocution. Different certifications apply to different areas, so an electrician may need different boots from a factory worker or someone running using a welder or cutting torch all day. There are plenty of “all-purpose” boots as well, just think about what you need before proceeding to our next section.

Steel Toe vs. Comp Toe

Regardless of which field you work in, the first thing you will need to consider with a good work boot is the toe. While some manufacturers may offer a particular style with both a steel-toe, comp toe and regular toe, others do not so you may need to make a tough decision when it comes time to buy. If your job doesn’t require a particular type of boot, here are some things to consider.

Steel Toe – While sturdy, depending on where you work, they can cause issues. Steel-toed boots can set off metal detectors and don’t have much flex in the toe which isn’t ideal for outdoor workers that need a more flexible shoe.

Comp Toe – Otherwise known as a Composite Toe, this is a newer style of safety toe for boots and can be made from things like Kevlar or even Carbon Fiber. They still offer up protection against broken toes but tend to be more bulbous than steel-toed boots.

Comfort

Work shifts vary, but if you are going to be on your feet half the day, you better make sure your shoes or boots are comfortable. When dealing with work boots, weight is the first thing you’ll want to keep in mind. The heavier the boot, the more tired your feet and legs will get throughout the day. No man wants Frankenstein feet by the end of his shift, so consider the overall heft of the boot – regardless of how good it looks on your foot.

The height of the boot is important as well if you work at a job that requires a lot of motion around the ankle or bending. A thick or rough tongue can rub your leg raw over the course of a day, and the backside of some hard eyelets can jab into the skin. Boots that are extremely tough may also have a steel plate in the bottom to prevent punctures, which can be uncomfortable for some while others have specialized footbeds or foam inserts for additional comfort.

ASTM Safety Ratings

If you want a boot that is truly safe o your foot, look for one that has an ASTM safety rating. In a nutshell, this means it has been tested and passes the ASTM standards for a particular field. The digits are in reference to the type of protection tested and offered up by each shoe, with EH signifying electrical hazard protection, PR is puncture resistance, and SD is static dissipating. If you are unsure of what certification you need (if any), check with your company and search for the proper ASTM certified footwear.

Top 5 Best Work Boots for Men Reviews

1. KEEN Utility Pittsburgh Work Boot

You might be a little surprised by our first choice as KEEN is known more for their outdoor footwear and sandals than for work boots. If you are a fan of the brand, you are in for a pleasant surprise as the KEEN Utility Pittsburgh Work Boots carry the company’s style and will keep your feet fresh after a long day on the job.

KEEN’s Utility Boots are sturdy enough for general use whether you’re doing some heavy yard work around your home or work on a construction site. They are steel-toed which keeps your piggy’s safe but are comfortable as well with a met atomical EVA footbed, and a contoured heel lock to prevent slippage. They’re deemed as medium-duty boots, which means you will not want to take on extreme tasks with these, but they will hold up well in most conditions. They are also waterproof although you’ll want to take care around the laces as always.

This boot meets the ASTM F2412-11, F2413-11 I/75 and C/75 EH standards, which means that you are ready to go against current, nails through your foot and other hazards common on the job site. We also like the fact these have a non-marking outsole, something important if you have to work indoors or are doing renovations in buildings with lovely floors.

2. Smith & Wesson Breath 2.0 Tactical Zip Boot

This style of boot has become increasingly popular over the years, partly due to its versatility in a wide variety of professions. While they aren’t a true safety boot like some of the best work boots for men we chose, the Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0 Tactical boots offer up plenty of flexibility where it counts.

Do you work in an active profession? If so, these tactical boots may be your best option. They fit like a glove, and while they are taller than most with a 9” shaft height, the construction makes them flexible where it counts – around the ankle. The base and upper of the boot are leather however which makes the boot tough whereas the nylon takes care of the flex. Smith & Wesson’s boots have a steel shank for additional support although they do not have a steel or composite toe. The will also wick some water away but are far from what we would consider waterproof so don’t stand out in downpours.

These boots come in two different styles with a 9” and 6” boot, both laces up but also have a zipper up the side. The tall model is available in Coyote or Black while the smaller version is only available in Black with both sizes from a 5 to a 14.

3. Irish Setter 83605 Work Boot

People working in the electrical field tend to deal with more varied conditions than workers from other fields. From climbing poles to wiring up 100-year-old houses, the job can be different each day. That means you need a boot that’s rated for safety, but also one that’s comfy which is where Irish Setter steps in with their 6” work boot.

Are they work boots or casual boots you can wear out to the club? That’s a question you may ask yourself when you first set eye on the Irish Setter boots as they don’t look like they belong on a job site. They have a full leather upper that’s waterproof and a thick rubber sole and an outsole that can withstand heat up to 475 degrees. They also meet the safety standards for electrical work with ASTM F2413-11 certification. On the downside, these boots are rather heavy at 1 pound 9 ounces, which may rule them out for some.

These boots are dead ringers for the Irish Setter 83606 with one key difference; these are soft toe boots. They aren’t built for hard labor but are the best work boots for men in the electrical field that need a comfortable, safe boot.

4. Wolverine Men’s Raider Boot

Wolverine has been making work boots longer than most of the companies on our list. The Raider Boot is one of the newer models from their arsenal, so while it’s just as rugged as their old-school options, they’ve been updated with a clean, modern look.

While listed as 6” boots, these actually have a shaft measuring 5.5” from the arch to the top. You get some padding around the opening, and they’re flexible at the bottom as the boots lack a safety toe. That puts them into the light-duty class for work boots but makes them extremely comfortable. They have compression pads to help with shock absorption, which works well with the outsole that’s built to keep you on your feet and is resistant to oil and slippage.

Wolverine’s Raider Work Boots is another style you could wear casually or for 8 hours a day on the job. As mentioned, the only negative is the fact they are not suitable for hard labor with no safety toe or additional protection. They are also only water-resistant although you can amp that up a little by simply treating the shoe.

5. Carhartt CMF6366 Composite Toe Boot

Carhartt has been around as long as Wolverine considering they made their first garments in the late 1880s. Their footwear lineup took a while to catch on, but have gained plenty of ground thanks to boots like the Carhartt CMF6366.

You won’t have any trouble going through metal detectors or secure areas with these boots thanks to their composite toe. They’re made from 100% leather with a rugged rubber sole that helps dampen damage from the road when combined with the OrthoLite insole. These are a wise choice if you have to stand all day, but we couldn’t find any mention of puncture resistance for the soles. They are certified as ASTM 2413-11 EH, however, which means they can kill current.

There’s a lot to like about the Carhartt CMF6366 from the steel shank to the abrasion-resistant outsole. You will get plenty of traction with these boots regardless of the surface, and they are built to hold up through years of abuse. You can only choose one color, but get a full range of sizes including the extra-wide 2E.