TL;DR: Timberland Pro Men’s 6″ are the best work boots for men that I found during my research. The multi-purpose use of these boots is winning the heart of the workers. Do check them out.
Work boots protect you from many unforeseeable impacts and shocks coming your way at work. Otherwise, these hazards to your feet may put you in bed for months meaning a lot of lost work and money. Better invest in a pair of best work boots.
There are so many features to look for when buying a pair of best work boots for yourself. Safety caps, slip resistance, comfort, fit, nature of your work etc. are to name a few among them. Besides, researching the brand history and asking opinions may quickly make buying work boots a time-intensive chore.
To save you time and money, I have enlisted 10 best work boots that are available on the market these days. I always keep this list updated.
P.S. The options below are the best work boots for men. Ladies, please take a look at my article- best work boots for women.
Here are 10 Best Work Boots for Men in 2020
|1||Timberland PRO Men's 6" Pit Boss Steel-Toe Work Boots||Best Overall|
|2||Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boots||Runner Up|
|3||Skechers Men's Mariner Utility Work Boots||Also Good|
|4||Caterpillar Men's Diagnostic Waterproof Steel-Toe Work Boots||Best Waterproof|
|5||Thorogood Men's American Heritage 6" Moc Toe Work Boots||Best indigenous|
|6||KEEN Utility Men's Flint Mid Work Boots||Best Lightweight|
|7||Timberland PRO Men's Titan Safety Toe Oxford Work Boots||Best Minimalist|
|8||Red Wing Heritage Men's Classic Moc Toe 6" Work Boots||Best Classic|
|9||Wolverine Men's W04821 Buccaneer Work Boots||My Favorite|
|10||Timberland PRO Men's Direct Attach 6" Soft-Toe Work Boots||Best Heavyduty|
Table of Contents
10 Best Work Boots For Men In 2020 With Reviews
1. Timberland PRO Men’s 6″ Pit Boss Steel-Toe Work Boots
Timberland pit boss steel toe work boots is probably the strongest candidate on this list. I was impressed to know that this pair has many 2nd and 3rd time buyers. That alone indicates the satisfaction level among the buyers of these work boots.
The steel toe safety cap is there to protect your forefoot and a unique suspension technology is there to pamper your feet all day long. A contour nylon plate is added in the heel area that disperse your body weight evenly and absorbs shocks before they can reach your feet.
The use of nylon plate, soft sole, and cushioned footbeds are all intended to keep your feet energized all day long. These features contribute to increasing your performance at work and making you feel better than ever.
These work boots have been given an antimicrobial treatment that stops the breeding of harmful bacteria. This indirectly adds to the comfort of your feet because it prevents the buildup of bacteria and any irritation that may arise from them.
The triple stitching, craftsmanship, and sober but rugged appearance of the boots also make them a great pair to buy. The metallic eyelets and speed hooks make these boots look very classy.
You will find it to be a premium pair of work boots as soon as you wear it. The attention to detail is impressive for both safety and comfort.
In short, Timberland Pit Boss is without a doubt a quality product. If you have never purchased work boots before, start with this option. You won’t be disappointed.
- Unmatched comfort and fatigue fighting technology
- Made for heavy duty use
- Long lifespan
- Take some time to break in
- Water resistance is a bit lacking
2. Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boots
Caterpillar work boots are never a disappointment. I have seen its fan base only growing over the years. These second shift work boots are designed to keep your feet in comfort during the long shift hours. I recommend this pair to workers doing 8-12 hours long shift.
The steel toe cap and reinforced upper& heel counter take care of the safety concerns of the worker. On the other hand, plush collars, padded tongue, soft nylon mesh lining, and removable sock liners ensure maximum comfort all day long.
This comfort is well complimented by a steel shank added in the sole. It supports your arch and keeps the fatigue away.
The upper is made of rugged leather that is highly breathable and resistant to water.
Some texture and wear & tear has been given to the boots during the manufacturing process to make them look more manly.
I really liked the contrast yellow logo on the tongue and shaft of the boots. It gives a bold appearance to the boots. This boldness is enhanced by the use of metallic hexagonal grommets and speed lacing hooks.
The Goodyear welt construction make this heavy duty pair of boots very durable. This is my favorite type of construction method when it comes to work boots. You can expect a lifespan of many years even if used daily.
In short, Caterpillar Second Shift work boots are for you if you are a heavy duty worker or have to work long hours in your job. The comfort won’t let you down on any day and the durability won’t let you buy new pairs often.
- Look goes with any casual clothing
- Heavy duty stitching
- Pliable boots that don’t crack when hyper flexed
- A little heavy
3. Skechers Men’s Mariner Utility Work Boots
Skechers men’s mariner utility work boots are made for a heavy duty use. You can use these work boots for any jobs that demand a reliable foot protection. These boots are made for that.
These utility work boots are made for ultimate traction and shock absorbance. The power of these work boots lay in their sole design. The intelligent and deep lug design is made for absorbing even high shocks and keeping you upright on any wet surfaces.
The boots are designed to wear on both land and on sea. Thus, they are able to fight any water splashes coming your way and any dampness inside the boots. They are also very resistant to water and perspiration marks.
The low cut design of the boots make them very comfortable to wear. This comfort is enhanced by the use of wide toe box, padded collars, and a soft tongue. The instep experience is also very pleasant.
The six metallic eyelets look classy on these boots and allow you for a customized fit. You can use four eyelets in case you want a roomier fit and you can use all six eyelets in case you want a snug fit.
The boots are made in the USA only. The same is stamped on the tongue as well. This translates to a high quality craftsmanship and premium look. You can wear the boots casually as well and they will attract compliments.
In short, Skechers men’s mariner utility work boots are great for workers who do a heavy duty job and want a low cut design. You will get all the reliable protection and comfort from these work boots.
4. Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic Waterproof Steel-Toe Work Boots
Caterpillar men’s diagnostic work boots are fully waterproof up until the brim. They have all the standard features of the best work boots plus a waterproof upper and an insulated inner lining. So, if you have to deal with water or mud at your worksite, your feet will adore this pair.
Generally, two big issues with waterproof uppers are that they don’t allow the air to pass through them and seams are not sealed well to stop the water from seeping in. That’s not the case with Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic work boots. They maintain a healthy flow of air inside the boots and don’t allow even a drop of water to enter into the boots.
The work boots come with a 200 gm of insulation. This much of insulation will keep your feet warm but won’t make them sweat. Thus, you can wear the pair the entire year in any season. Moreover, the inner nylon lining is breathable. That also keeps the temperature in check.
The steel toe cap is ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75 for impact and compression and ASTM F2413-05 I/75 for electric hazards. Even if studded with a steel cap, the toe area is very roomy and you can easily wiggle your toes. Moreover, the cap won’t pinch your forefoot even if you hyper flex your feet.
The outsole is made of rubber and designed with Caterpillars unique SRX technology. This enhances the resistant characteristic of the rubber and makes it extremely slip resistant on both water and oil. Thus, you can walk confidently on any wet surface.
The look and feel of the work boots are also very manly. The high shaft, dark beige color, reinforced toe, and contrast tone make the boots very attractive. The use of antique lacing hardware also adds to boots appearance.
In short, Caterpillar men’s diagnostics are great work boots for anyone who wants protection and style packed together. The more wear and tear these boots get the more manly and attractive they become.
- Comfortable, durable, and lightweight
- Will keep your feet warm and dry even if it rains
- Fit as expected
- Insoles are a bit lacking
5. Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6″ Moc Toe Work Boots
Thorogood men’s American heritage moc toe boots have not lost their charm since they were first launched. The fan base of these boots are only growing ever since.
These boots are made by union workers who know how important safety and comfort is at job sites. If wedge soles are something up your alley, these boots will satisfy all your comfort and safety needs.
Thorogood is traditionally known for its attention to detail and high-quality craftsmanship. The same can be seen in these work boots as well.
The overall look, the neat & clean contrast stitching, the contrast laces, tobacco oil tanned leather, and the USA badge on the boots give this pair a premium look.
The primary reason people buy these boots is the comfort they provide. The unique MaxWear wedge sole is tested to reduce fatigue and improve your performance at work by 30%. The boots come with multi-layered footbeds that can absorb most of the shocks at workplace.
The steel toe cap and a fiberglass shank resolve the safety concerns a worker may has. Fiberglass shank is as sturdy as any steel shank but many times more flexible. This use of fiberglass keeps the weight of the boots low. Thus, I call it an intelligent design.
The 6” high shaft and tight lacing system is designed to improve the feet, ankles, and knees alignment. This improves your stability at work. This also keeps knee pain and lower back pain away for longer.
To give the boots an exceptional durability, Goodyear welt construction is used to attach the sole with the upper. This durability is enhanced by the triple stitching given to the upper. One pair of these work boots may last you for years to come.
In short, Thorogood American heritage work boots can be used for any medium to heavy duty jobs. Their style, comfort, and protection won’t let you down at work. Moreover, the durability of the boots make them an economic choice in the long run.
- Made by union workers keeping the high safety standards in mind
- Top notch craftsmanship and comfort features
- Durable and have a long lifespan
- Although manufactured in the USA only, some components may be sourced from global sources
- Laces may need replacement soon
- Need a break in period of a few days
6. KEEN Utility Men’s Flint Mid Work Boots
Keen Utility men’s flint mid boots are designed for light duty work environments. Light duty works involve mostly sitting (such as driving seats) and a little walking around. These work boots are not for you if you are a medium or heavy duty worker.
I generally do not recommend work boots with mesh upper as it may soon tear apart but that’s not the case when you are a light duty worker. Your boots do not go through much abuse in such jobs. Thus, work boots with mesh uppers become a suitable choice here.
Moreover, in case of these Flint boots, the breathable mesh is added at the deep indented area of the boots. That prevents the mesh from rubbing against rough surfaces and tearing apart. Thus, you can enjoy superior breathability without worrying about the mesh panels developing holes into them.
The bumper of the work boots has a wrapped up hardened cap that gives necessary protection that light duty workers require. The rubber outsole gives you necessary slip and electric resistance. The thick rubber sole, ankle cut design, padded collars, and soft removable footbeds make these boots comfortable as well.
The look of the boots is another reason to buy them. A unique upper design, contrast laces, and bold logo at the tongue make these light duty work boots look really attractive.The sole is also multi-colored that adds to the boots appearance.
In short, Keen utility men’s flint mid is a great pair of work boots. I want to remind you that these work boots are made for light duty jobs only. If you want to wear them on medium duty or heavy duty jobs, they won’t last long.
- Highly breathable mesh upper
- Speed lacing system with front and back pull straps for easy on off.
- Looks attractive
- Made for light duty workers only
- Takes some time to break in
- Arch support is a bit lacking
7. Timberland PRO Men’s Titan Safety Toe Oxford Work Boots
Timberland PRO men’s titan oxford looks like any regular boots but are packed with safety features that a blue collar worker craves for. If you are not comfortable wearing high shaft boots, this pair is for you. The low cut design will please your feet for sure.
These work boots have a relaxed style and are designed keeping the comfort at top after protection. The low cut design, padded collar, roomier fit, and thick sole makes it an ultra lightweight and comfortable pair of work boots.
Fighting irritations is the next task of a great pair of work boots after maintaining optimum comfort. That is achieved by a breathable soft inner lining that keeps your feet dry and free from irritations.
Also, the inner lining is antimicrobial that will prevent any build up of odor and itching causing bacteria. Thus, a complete comfort package.
Make no mistake. The relaxed attitude of the work boots doesn’t mean they are not packed with safety features. They are actually loaded with them.
The aluminium alloy safety cap, the nylon shank, the thick PU sole, and the rubber outsole take care of all the safety concerns. The outsole is electric shock proof as well.
The cement construction of these work boots make them durable and pliable at the same time. The boots don’t lose their flexibility even during extreme chilly winters. As a result, your feet stay comfortable and the leather doesn’t develop any creases or cracks in it.
In short, Timberland Pro men’s titan oxford boots resolve all safety concerns of workers. If you want a functional pair of work boots then these work boots are for you.
- Don’t lose their flexibility even in extremely cold temperatures
- Comfort like bedroom slippers, protection like true work boots
- Very little break in time
- The bumper is a bit narrow for men with wide toes
8. Red Wing Heritage Men’s Classic Moc Toe 6″ Work Boots
Red Wing heritage Classic are another wedge sole moc toe work boots that I recommend to my readers. They passes our criteria of best work boots with flying colors. Moreover, the long lifespan of the boots make them a real deal.
The only shortcoming (if that’s the right word to use) is that the boots do not possess any cap in the toe area. These are typical soft toe work boots with reinforced bumpers. So, you can use these work boots for light duty and medium duty jobs but not for heavy duty jobs.
The single piece Traction tread sole is comfortable, slip resistant, and EH rated. Walking in them feels like walking on a pillow.
The premium full grain leather upper is breathable and highly water resistant. The upper doesn’t degrade easily of water, oil, or other chemicals. It also doesn’t catch water and perspiration marks. That keeps your boots look like new for a long time.
The high shaft measures 6 inch around. This gives you a snug fit and prevents water and debris from getting inside the booth through the shaft. The shaft plays a vital role at improving the alignment of feet, ankles, and knees.
Additionally, look at the shaft from a side angle. You will notice a contoured design there that wraps around your feet like a second skin.
The overall look & feel of the work boots is also plausible. Triple stitching, full grain leather, nickel eyelets, and bold laces give them a pleasant look.
In short, Red Wing men’s Classic Moc Toe work boots are going to serve you very well at medium duty jobs. The things I didn’t like include the tongue that is not padded and the insoles that are made of leather and not of a cushioned material.
- Looks awesome with any casual clothes
- Premium look and feel
- Lightweight due to soft toes
- Made in the USA
- Narrow toe box
- Tongue is not padded
9. Wolverine Men’s W04821 Buccaneer Work Boots
Wolverine men’s Buccaneer work boots are a strong contender on this list of best work boots. The look, comfort, and protection all are top-notch that won’t disappoint you in any way. Wolverine is one of the few names that I trust on for protecting my feet.
You must take note that the toe area is reinforced leather and no metallic or non-metallic cap is inserted there. The bumper is sturdy enough to protect your feet from hazards that may occur in most medium duty jobs. For heavy duty workers such as construction, these boots are not recommended.
The rubber sole and intelligent tread pattern protect you from falls. The sole comes with a unique MultiShox technology by Wolverine that is highly effective at wading off heavy shocks. The removable inner insoles and soft mesh lining got it all that you need for comfort.
These work boots are also fully waterproof and may withstand even heavy rains. The upper won’t get water stains and won’t degrade easily of water.
The boots are made using welt construction method. That makes them durable and flexible at the same time. The pliability of the boots follow your movements and keep your feet in comfort all day.
The overall look of these work boots is also really impressive. The corrugated leather, sparsely placed metallic lacing hooks, dense double stitching, and dark brown color of the boots make them look very manly. I believe the design is so universal that you can wear the boots on any casual occasion.
In short, Wolverine men’s buccaneer work boots got it all that workers want. The protection, the comfort, the ruggedness all is there in these work boots.
- Fully waterproof
- Roomy toe box
- Long lifespan
- Superior construction and craftsmanship
- The leather gets scuffed easily
- Speed pulls are weak
10. Timberland PRO Men’s Direct Attach 6″ Soft-Toe Work Boots
Timberland Pro direct attach work boots are such a beast on any job site. The ruggedness, comfort, resistance, and durability all are of top notch standards. They are able to combat any shock or impact coming towards your feet.
These boots do not come with any metallic safety cap. Just a reinforced soft toe cap that is sturdy enough to protect your forefoot from most impacts. This use of no cap makes it a very lightweight pair.
Make no mistake, the soft toe meets ASTM F2412-11, ASTM F2413-11 for impact and compression. It also meets ASTM F2892-11 for electrical hazard standards. This is as good as any metallic toe.
The thick rubber sole is very resistant to slip on water and oil. I really like the lug design that leverage friction to keep you on your feet on any surface.
The upper is made of 100% full grain leather that doesn’t degrade easily when exposed to water, oil, and chemicals. The four-lane stitching hold the upper together and reinforce every inch of it.
These work boots come with a 200 gm insulation. This is an ideal amount of insulation to make it an all season pair. This much of insulation will keep your feet warm in any weather but won’t cause them to sweat.
The boots do not come with speed lacing hooks and pull on straps. So, you will have to undo and do laces every time you put them on or off. Probably, this is not a big issue but you must take note of this.
In short, this pair is for you if you want all the features of the best work boots at an affordable price. The direct attach method of construction and absence of metallic cap makes this pair a reasonably priced one.
- Great arch support and great footbeds
- Keep your feet warm but not wet
- No break in needed
- No pull straps on the back
- No speed lacing hooks
How to Choose the Best Work Boots for Men in 2020
1. Safety Caps: Steel Toe vs. Composite Toe vs. Soft Toe
A safety cap is the most important feature of work boots. A metallic or non-metallic cap is inserted in the toe area. This protects your feet from injuries by heavy objects falling on to them. There are usually three types of caps inserted in work boots:
A) Steel Toe Cap
Steel toe work boots come with a cap that is made of steel and is the most sturdy option for work boots.
A steel cap provides a robust protection from heavy object falling on to your feet. The downside of the cap is that the use of steel adds to the weight of the boots.
I recommend steel toe work boots to heavy duty workers only.
B) Composite Toe Cap
Composite toe work boots come with a cap that is made of some non-metallic materials such as fiberglass or carbon fiber.
Composite caps are as sturdy as steel toe caps but weigh a lot less comparatively. This lightweight makes them a great cross between safety and comfort.
I recommend composite toe work boots to all medium duty workers.
C) Soft Toe Cap
Soft toe work boots do not have any metallic or non-metallic cap inserted in the toe area. Instead, the leather at the bumper is hardened and made sturdy.
This absence of any metal in soft toe work boots doesn’t mean they are inefficient at protecting your feet from impacts. The leather at the toe area is reinforced and made so sturdy that it can take a beat up with a baseball bat.
If you are a medium duty worker and your work guidelines allow for this, prefer soft toe work boots over the two mentioned above. They give enough protection while maintaining the comfort of your feet.
2. Sole: Wedge Sole vs. Heel Sole
Unlike heel soles, wedge soles are made of a single piece of rubber that doesn’t have any cavity between the sole and the heel.
As far as comfort and efficiency is concerned both wedge and heel soles work great. So, it all boils down to your personal preference.
3. Insoles: Cushioned and Removable
This is the inner part of the sole that touches your feet.
Make sure your insoles are well cushioned and contoured. Thus, they will be able to better support the profile of your feet and keep them at comfort all day long.
Also, I usually go for work boots that come with removable insoles. It allows you to replace the standard insole if it is not to your liking.
4. Midsole: Material and Shank
The midsole plays an important role in determining how much fatigued your feet will feel at the end of the day.
The midsole of the best work boots are made of a soft material such as PU or rubber. This further is injected and given some bouncy characteristic. Thus, the midsole absorbs any shocks when you walk.
To enhance the anti-fatigue quality of work boots and give you a proper arch support, a wooden or steel shank is inserted in the midsole.
The shank in the midsole absorbs shocks, preserves energy, and returns the energy back to your feet. Thus, you can work long shifts without feeling fatigued.
5. Outsole: EH Rating and Slip Resistance
This is the outermost layer of the sole that touches the ground. I usually recommend work boots that come with a rubber outsole and an intentional lug design on it.
Rubber is a natural non-conductor to electricity and protects you from any electric hazards at workplace. Together with a lug design, it gives you a strong grip on both water and oil surfaces. This stability increases your performance at work.
6. Upper: Breathable Mesh vs. Breathable Leather
Sometimes, a soft mesh is used in the upper to make it breathable and maintain a healthy flow of air inside the boots. While it seems to be a smart design, the mesh doesn’t hold for long and starts tearing apart within months.
Instead, choose work boots that come with a breathable leather upper and no mesh. Full grain leather is my tool of choice for this. The advantage of full grain leather is that, it stops the water from getting inside the boots but allows the air to circulate freely.
7. Comfort: Padded Collars, Soft Lining, and Flexible Design
Make sure the work boots come with padded collars and tongue.
The padded collars will support your ankles and prevent the leather to cause any blisters on your feet.
The padded tongue will push your feet back with every step when you walk and keep the heel of your feet in place. The padded tongue will also prevent your feet from feeling the pinch of tightly knotted laces.
Next comes the inner lining of the boots. Make sure you choose work boots that come with a soft inner lining. This is a crucial comfort feature.
Last but not the least, I like work boots that are very pliable. During the work, you may have to flex your feet at awkward angles. If the boots are not flexible enough, they won’t follow the bend of your feet. As a result, you will feel a lot of strain on your feet.
Related: 5 Most Comfortable Work Boots
8. Lacing: Lace Up vs. Slip On vs. Pull On
Laces or no laces. That’s a frequent question my readers ask from me. To be honest, you are going to be good with either one.
Lace up boots provide a better fit. With the speed lacing system, lace up work boots are as easy to put on and off as slip ons or pull ons. So, choosing one boils down to your personal preference only.
For my collection, I always go for lace up work boots. The lacing system allows me to create a more custom fit.
9. Height: Low Cut vs. 6 Inch Vs. 8 Inch
Boots with no extended shaft are the easiest to put on and off but they don’t provide sufficient ankle support. I usually pass on such work boots.
If you wear a low cut work boots, debris and water may get inside your boots through the boot opening. I usually recommend my readers to wear boots that have at least 6″ high shaft, preferably 8″ high.
10. Construction: Goodyear Welt vs Cementing vs Direct Attach
This is the feature that directly controls the durability and lifespan of the work boots. This is basically a method of attaching the sole with the upper part of the work boots. The durability of the bonding depends on the method used.
Goodyear welt is the most robust method of manufacturing the work boots that results in some of the most durable work boots. The only caveat is such boots cost high.
As far as durability and price is concerned the Cementing method stands second and Direct Attach methods stands third.
As a rule of thumb, choose Goodyear Welt work boots if you work in a heavy duty job. For all the medium duty jobs, both Cementing and Direct Attach work boots will do fine.
11. Good Looking
There is no reason that you can’t look good while doing your job. In fact, there are many work boots available in the market that are protective, comfortable, and stylish as well.
I like to wear my work boots to some casual occasions as well. So, I make sure any pair of work boots that I buy or recommend to my readers has a high visual appeal.
12. Brand History
The raw material used to make the work boots should be of premium quality. Otherwise, the boots won’t retain it’s shape and charm for long.
The use of premium quality raw material and craftsmanship boils down to the practices followed by the brand. So, always buy work boots manufactured by reputed brands only.
Besides, after sale service and authenticity of warranties also depend on the reputation of the brand.
What Are Work Boots And Who Should Own Them
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has made it mandatory for the boots to pass some ASTM and ANSI rated safety standards before they can be used at different worksites. These ASTM and ANSI approved boots are called work boots.
Work boots are studded with special safety features that a normal personal doesn’t need in his day to day life. Some of these features are a safety cap, electric hazard proof sole, extreme slip resistant outsole etc. (Source).
Construction workers, electricians, welders, mechanics, roofers, landscapers, loggers, and any medium to heavy-duty workers should own work boots. Other than that, people with different foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, flat feet, wide feet, and narrow feet should also buy a suitable pair of work boots.
Besides safety standards, work boots these days are visually appealing as well and you can wear them when going out on the town as well. That makes them all-purpose footwear that anyone can wear on different occasions.
A Quick Little Piece of Advice
I suggest all my reader that they own at least two pair of work boots instead of one. Now, wear the pairs alternatively.
This rotation between the two pair of work boots will give enough time for each pair to get completely dry.
This way, you will find your work boots stay new and fresh for a long time. They will last a lot longer than they would last otherwise.
You don’t have to buy both pairs on the same day. You can wait until the next paycheck to buy the second pair. I usually own several pairs at the same time.
Before You Go
If the long list of work boots caught you overwhelmed and you need a nudge, I’d say check out Timberland Pro Men’s 6″ first. IMO, they are the best work boots out there.
From time to time, I update this list of best work boots. With each update, I review and include new arrivals that perform better than the existing options.
While work boots play a big role in the safety of your feet yet you should still follow the safety guidelines of your workplace.
A hazard may happen at anytime and sometimes it may cost you months without work. So, wearing right safety gears and following the general safety guidelines to the tee should be your priority.