Let’s get straight to the point. You are here because you are feeling pain and discomfort from your current work boots, right? No matter how many pairs of socks you wear and no matter how straight you force yourself to stand, at the end of the day, your feet still feel like they have been set on fire, and beaten with a stick to put them out. Don’t worry, we feel your pain, and that is why we created this website. To help hard working people such as yourself, find the most comfortable work boots which provide the perfect balance between durable, and luxurious.
Although most people pass off aching feet as nothing more than a slight inconvenience, the truth is, if you still feel any sort of pain and discomfort when you take off your boots at the end of the day, it may be time to hang them up and grab yourself a new pair. Comfortable work boots are not hard to find, and if you spent just a few minutes checking out our massive library of reviews and guides, we promise you will find a pair that not only look great, but also keep your feet supported, clean, and absolutely pain free.
Best Work Boots for Men 2017
How To Find The Most Comfortable Work Boots
Finding the most comfortable work boots should not be hard, but we know that sometimes it can get a little bit overwhelming once you realize the sheer amount of boots you have to choose from. Keep in mind that not all work boots are made the same, and we know that everybody has a different budget, and a different style they want to go for.
Our in-depth reviews will help highlight the distinct advantages of every type of comfortable work boot, and while we do our very best to make your decision as simple as possible; it is still your personal preference which matters the most. However, there are a few qualities, and features that all work boots should possess, if comfort and safety are your main concerns.
What makes a work boot comfortable?
From our years of hands on experience with a whole lot of work boots, we have developed our own opinion of what qualities the most comfortable work boots should possess. We believe every work boot should be:
- Waterproof, but breathable at the same time.
- Shock absorbing
- Flexible and lightweight
- Sturdy, with plenty of support around the ankles.
Comfort doesn’t have to be a luxury. It can be part of your everyday life, and although the idea of comfortable work boots seems foreign to many people, there are plenty of brands which have developed boots which meet all of the criteria we have just mentioned.
Another thing to look out for when finding the most comfortable work boots, is the interior padding of the ones you are interested in. If you stand around a lot during your day, or if your job includes a lot of walking, and moving around, then you must choose a good work boot which has soft, but supportive insoles and midsoles. You can buy these separately, to upgrade your current boots, but if you are looking for the most comfortable work boots, then buying a new pair which covers all bases would be a better investment.
OK, so we now know what makes a work boot comfortable, but what about safety? Industrial footwear has one purpose; to keep your feet safe. Finding the most comfortable work boots that fit you perfectly is awesome, and they can help you focus on your job rather than the throbbing pains in your feet, but without the proper safety features, they are rendered useless.
Things To Look For When Choosing The Most Comfortable Work Boots
Most often people fail to realize how important it is to invest in a good pair of work boots. They not just provide safety but also help you move around easily, performing challenging tasks on the go.
The kind of work boots you will need depends on your occupation and the hazards it poses. These days most employers provide guidelines to ensure that you buy the right kind of work boots. Some of the things you should keep in mind are:
The most obvious of all the safety features, is safety toe caps. Every pair of work boots should have these. If they don’t, then they are not made for working, it’s as simple as that.
Safety Toes are a basic requirement for most of the jobs in order to keep your toes protected. There are mainly three kinds of safety toes: Steel, Aluminum and Composite.
- Seel Toes: Steel Toes have been the erstwhile option to protect toes. They are stronger though heavier than the composite ones and can stand greater forces. Today, most manufacturers use asymmetrical steel toes to increase fit and comfort while reducing the bulk.
- Aluminum Toes: They are comparatively lightweight, though quite thicker than the steel ones and therefore do not make any compromise on the safety standard set by the steel toes.
- Composite Toes: These are generally made of carbon fiber, plastic or Kevlar and are the thickest and bulkiest of all. However, they are quite lightweight and are a great option for those whose worksite is metal-free. Kevlar fibers offer wonderful protection against fire as it doesn’t melt when heat is applied.
While steel was the most common material used in the past, there has been an increase in the use of Aluminium, and Composite over the last few years. Each type of toe cap has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it completely depends on your work environment which ones are the best for you.
Most manufacturers aim at making soles that are long lasting, strong as well as slip resistant. Three basic varieties available are: Rubber, TPU and EVA.
- Rubber outsoles are the most common and popular ones, given their slip resistant quality. They work efficiently in difficult terrains as well. Most manufacturers have started using their own propriety rubbers to offer the best services to their customers.
- TPU: Thermo Polyurethane outsoles are lightweight, chemical resistant and durable as compared to their rubber counterparts.
- EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate), is a soft and flexible foam-like material used to make midsoles. It cushions the foot and adds to the stability and comfort.
Metatarsal Guards is an additional protective feature that protects the delicate metatarsal bones of your toe and the upper foot. It stands against the impact of heavy falling objects and at the same time offers protection against falling embers or hazardous substances. These metatarsal guards can be added to any regular footwear as well.
We could never get our heads around why a lot of older safety boots only had protection around the toes, and not the rest of the foot. If you work with heavy objects, you want to ensure that all of your foot is completely safe, not just your toes. This is where metatarsal guards come into play.
These metal guards either come built into a lot of modern work boots, or they are sold separate, and you can attach them yourself. Not only will metatarsal guards help protect your feet from the dangers of falling objects; they will also help keep debris from worming its way in.
How a boot is constructed directly impacts its performance. Manufacturer constantly innovate new methods to construct the best work boots. Two of the most popular construction methods are:
- Cement Attachment: this means that the outsole is directly attached to the boot using an adhesive. Though they are inexpensive, they fall apart and easily and sadly, once broken they cannot be mended/replaced by a cobbler.
- GoodYear Welt Attachment: this classic construction is still the most reliable. It involves stitching together the inner and upper sole through a welt (leather strip). Not only is it durable, but can be easily repaired/ replaced on wear and tear.
Some manufacturers like KEEN Utility have been able to combine these two methods, taking things to the next level. It uses the GoodYear welt with a cemented toe cap, making the boot more flexible and long lasting.
As we have already mentioned, if you are spending a lot of your time on your feet, then choosing the correct insole is crucial. It might not seem like much of a safety feature, but having the correct insole could be the difference between a good day at work, and a bad one. Wearing the wrong type of insoles in your boots could cause unnecessary damage to your feet, which could lead to more chronic back pains further down the line.
Insulated Work Boots are a must if you are working in harsh weather conditions, particularly cold weather. They keep your feet warm, allowing you to fully focus on the work at hand. Insulation against severe cold is necessary irrespective of the fact that you are working outdoors or not. However, since the feature comes with a considerable price, invest in it only if you are in need. This will not only save your money but will also make working conditions bearable during warmer months.
Fit and Comfort
Buying shoes that fit right are absolutely important. You will be spending 8-10 hours in your work boots and if they are not comfortable, you will end up with a range if problems like blisters, corns, etc. Make sure that the footwear is comfortable even when you are trying it for the first time. Do not expect it to stretch over time. While leather boots may get comfortable with time, the steel toe safety cap would never!
The lighter the boot, the more convenient it will be for you to walk around wearing them. Unless and until your work really requires some heavy duty boots to protect against dangerous hazards, always try to look for boots that are not too bulky.
8 Quick Tips on Buying the Right Work Boots for You!
Apart from the basic technicalities, here are a few things you should keep in mind before heading to buy the best work boots for men:
Do your homework
Almost all industries keep you informed about the possible hazards you may face while working with them. Go through the safety guidelines to understand the requirements of your work and look for boots accordingly.
One should also be aware of their personal needs, whether you need anti-microbial insoles, additional padding or any other feature specifically. If you step out into the market without knowing what you want, you will be flabbergasted by the range of choice at your disposal.
The right time to try boots
Always try to shop for boots during the day or early evening because feet generally tend to swell during the day. If you go to buy work boots first thing in the morning, you will most likely end up with a size smaller than the one you need. On the other hand, if you try them after a day’s work, you will be able to buy the right size, which will remain comfortable even on the longest days.
Depending on your work environment, you need to invest in steel, aluminum or composite work boots. While steel and aluminum are strong, they have a major drawback. Metal conducts heat or cold and you will feel the effect of strong temperatures directly on your toes. If you work in extremes, it is advisable to go for boots with composite safety toes.
If you work outdoors, in a region that often sees rain or snow, it is extremely important to have water-resistant work boots. Having water in the boots you will be wearing for long hours is not just uncomfortable but also unhygienic, causing serious bacterial infections.
If your work environment involves electrical hazards, avoid opting for metal safety toes as they conduct electricity. Instead go for boots with composite safety toes which counter threats of electrical conduction and also reduce static shock significantly because of the plastic composition. You can also go for boots made of naturally electricity resistant materials such as rubber.
Logger Boots are work boots that are specially designed for people working in highly risky environment. These are the most powerful boots that combine some of the best features like anti-slipping, anti-twisting, high heels (to protect feet against nails and glass), thick soles (to ensure grip), etc. in one!
If your workplace exposes you to chemical hazards, you need to be extra careful. Outsoles made of TPU (Thermo Poly Urethane) are highly recommended in these cases because of their abrasion, oil and chemical resistance properties.
If your work involves balancing yourself on difficult terrain, you need to be extra careful while selecting shoes to avoid slipping and falling. Go for boots that have additional padding to reduce precipitation and decrease your chances of a slippage. Make sure the outsoles have notches that add to the grip and offer the best possible traction.
The Difference Between Men & Women’s Feet
However as women you can’t just go out and buy a man’s work boot! Why, well men & women’s feet are different. We are not built the same for the most part, that is pretty obvious. We carry more weight in our chest, and mid section. Taking in height, weight, hip ratio, and you find that nature made our feet different on purpose. What makes them different? The major variant between women’s and men’s feet is the higher arches, and the correlation between the heel and the forefoot, or the ball of the foot.
Women tend to have a narrower heel in relation to the circumference of the ball of their foot. Also women’s hips are set wider apart than men’s, the angle at which our feet strike the ground when we walk, or run is different. When a woman walks or runs her feet strike the ground directly under her centre of gravity. If you can visualize the tilting of a woman’s foot, as compared to a man, you would find that women’s feet are tilted more sharply when they strike the ground than a man, and pronating more, or turn in toward the heel.
What does all this mean? A woman is going to need a narrower heel, and a wider foot or ball girth in the middle of the shoe, or boot. Because women need a narrower heel they tend to buy shoes or boots that are too narrow in order to get a snug fit in the heel area, and as a result of this they frequently find their shoes painful to wear, or causing bunions or other forefoot injuries.
What Do The Experts Say?
Here’s how to combat the problem from some online experts. First of all you want to buy your shoes, boots, work boots that are wide and have sufficient room in forefoot.
They suggest the following advice; when lacing up shoes, boots, or work boots lace the shoe up to one eyelet from the top, thread each lace end through the top eyelet on that same side. This will form a small loop. Then thread the lace ends through the opposite loops and tie the boot or shoe as normal. This will offer a tighter fit at the top of the shoes, boots, or work boot and keep a woman’s heels more snugly in the shoe without slippage.
When trying shoe, boot or work boots make sure to wiggle the toes to check for spacing that will allow freedom of movement, and provide good circulation to the foot.
If you observe any discomfort, or tightness it might be better to try a larger size, the pain or discomfort will only get worse. Do a check of the sole of the shoe, or work boot for flexibility by bending the shoe. If the sole is rigid and does not move with you, you may find that the shoe or boot is too uncomfortable to wear for any length of time.
Work boots are assembled in numerous ways:
Boots with stitch-down construction, in which the higher part is sewn to the outsole, are the sole type that can have the sole of the shoe replaced or repaired, providing longer wear once you have broke them in. In direct attach boots, which have a tendency to last longer and have the strongest bond between outsole and upper, the two portions are molded together. For a more cost-effective option, select cement construction boots, in which the higher part of the boot is glued to the outsole.
How weather can impact the boot you choose
What type of weather you will be in is an important question to ask yourself when you are buying good work boots. There are work boots that work best for rainy weather. There are some that are great for hot weather or cold weather.
- What to wear on rainy days? For rainy weather, you should buy water resistant work boots. They keep your feet dry when you are working in the rain, and you do not have to worry about the water aging your boots. Slip resistant boots also work great for a rainy day. You do not have to worry about falling on wet concrete or floors because they have a rubber compound grip at the bottom of the boots. Most companies make slip resistant waterproof boots. You can get the benefit of both types in one. Most waterproof work boots are leather, because leather resists water damage.
- What to wear on hot days? Sweaty overhead feet can make you feel uncomfortable, and you lose focus at work. In most jobs, a loss of concentration can be dangerous. Composite toe work boots are non-metallic and are great for not transferring cold or heat. Work boots made from Nylon mesh and leather are great for warm weather. The material is flexible, lightweight and breathable.
- What to wear on cold days? Insulated boots are the best buy for cold weather. The insulation will keep your feet warm so you will not have to worry about your toes falling off.
How your job can affect the type of boots you choose
The type of job you will be doing is the main consideration you should have when deciding on a work boot. Steel toe boots are essential for people who work as a mechanic, electrician, logger or construction worker. The steel toes act as reinforcement. Steel toes are the most compact and heaviest reinforcement toes on the market. If you work with heavy equipment, steel toe work boots are the best option for you. However, they can conduct heat. Therefore, some people opt for aluminum or composite toes. Aluminum toes are lighter than steel toe, but they do not protect as well. Composite toes are bulky, but they work great and do not conduct heat.
- Construction Workers Steel midsoles are essential for construction workers and mechanics. They protect anything from reaching your feet. If you step on a nail, the midsole stops it from penetrating through to your foot.
- Electricians Those in the electrician trade should look for boots that are electrical hazard boots. These work boots are able your feet from up to 600 volts of electrical charges.
- Policemen Police Officers need work books that are comfortable and durable. The best work boot is one with an AP midsole. They are lighter and softer than a steel midsole, and they do not retain heat or the cold. The most essential element is a lightweight exoskeleton mesh design that provides support while in motion. Policemen and military people need good work boots that allow flexible movement.
If you work on your feet all day, and out in inclement weather, you will want to look for a good work boot that is made with quality material; flexible sole, forefoot cushion for added comfort, and if you work in wet conditions or even out in the desert heat, an insole systems that will absorb all the moisture from perspiration throughout the day will be of great benefit to you. Moisture breaks down your boots faster, and provides a breeding ground for bacteria, and fungus that can contribute to more foot problems.
Most comfortable work boots run true to size. If you are purchasing an insulated boot, you may wish to go up a half-size to allow room for heavier sock. The bottom line is women and men need to look for a work boot with excellent fit, is light weight, has generous cushioning, arch support, a sole with abundant flexibility, and feels comfortable.
These are some helpful ideas to make selecting your next pair of the best work boots, easier, and keep your feet as comfortable as possible.