The best work boots are typically determined by where you’ll be walking most often, so first consider the environment where you spend the majority of your workday. Is it dry? Wet? Will you be standing on concrete or walking the majority of the time?
Once you have determined the environment you’ll need to consider the conditions of your work. Will you need to wear steel toe boots because heavy objects are constantly falling on your feet or some lightweight, comfortable boots will do just fine?
These are some deciding factors that you might want to consider when choosing the best safety boots for your needs.
10 best and most comfortable work boots review
Most boots will provide general protection but some models are specifically designed to protect against certain risk factors like oil, water, electrical shock, or falling objects. Below you’ll find a list of some of the most comfortable, yet protective work boots that the UK market currently has to offer:
Best Waterproof Work Boots: Grisport Men’s Contractor
One great thing about these work boots – they don’t have a break-in period. You can use them straight after opening the box and you’ll enjoy their full comfort.
They’ve got a steel toe cap and are surprisingly breathable given their waterproof nature.
Among its features, it includes an anti-static sole, shock-absorbing heel, anti-perforation mid-sole, slip-proof and grease resistance.
Therefore, they are quite flexible in terms of work environments.
They are a robust pair of boots that are trusted by manufacturers like Volvo and Coca-Cola in their workplace. Hence the reason they are a very popular choice among others.
This shoe is well constructed and has great ankle support. For me, they offer great value for money and I’m highly satisfied with them.
Most Comfortable Work Boots – CAT Men’s Supremacy
This is one of the best-reviewed pairs of work boots that you can find online.
Judging by their built, I wasn’t surprised by the fact that these are some of the most comfortable work boots that money can buy.
They come equipped with midsole protection, steel toe cap and inside zip fastening for ease of access.
The fact that they are waterproof offers you the guarantee that you can literally make use of them in any extreme environment.
They are currently one of the best steel toe work boots – made to last. There are not many footwear brands out there that can successfully compete with CAT in terms of longevity.
Hence the reason they are more expensive than the regular work boots, but if you are on your feet all day you can’t put a price on comfort.
For a sturdy pair of boots, I was pleasantly surprised by how lightweight they actually feel.
If you’re not on a budget, they are a smart choice. Most of the time you do get what you pay for and they are considered one of the best work boots for men that money can buy, they should last you for years.
Best Timberland Work Boots With Steel Toe Cap – Split Rock
Yet again, one of the great things about these Timberland work boots is that they have absolutely no break-in period and can literally be worn to work the day you get them.
They come in a blend of 3 different colours, so you can choose the one that fits your style.
They’re made of full-grain water-resistant nubuck leather, and in terms of safety: they are equipped with a steel toe cap and an anti-perforation steel midsole.
Anti-static and a trail grip nitrile rubber outsole with a shock-absorbing comfort layer, another two features of these work boots.
Besides the shock-absorbing comfort layer which offers you an extra piece of mind in terms of comfort, they also have a high grip outsole – for improved slip resistance.
They are considered ‘water repellent’ and not ‘waterproof’ – that can be quite a pain if you have to wear them outdoors on the rainy/winter days.
Dr Martens Work Boots: best work boots for plantar fasciitis
Dr Martens safety boots have been selling in the UK for almost 60 years now and they are one of the top brands in the industry.
They are made of black, solid leather with a padded collar and tongue for extra comfort.
The soles are anti-slip and they’ve got a great shock absorption feature.
One downside of these boots is that their soles tend to wear down after a couple of months if your job implies a lot of walking. Besides that, they’re a good, comfortable pair that offers you the safety you need.
Another great CAT Steel Toe Cap Work Boots: CAT Sheffield
Another great, sturdy and durable pair of work boots by CAT, which come in two different colours: black and brown.
Featuring a full-grain leather upper constructed using Goodyear welt, means the upper is cemented and stitched for extra durability.
A textile mesh lining and removable PU sock liner that add to the comfort, whilst the slip-resistant rubber sole unit ensures a good grip where you need it.
The steel toe cap offers you extra protection and is complete with a 3 cm height heel and the Caterpillar branding. You can’t go wrong with these, they’re built to last.
On the other side of the coin, I wouldn’t suggest you buy a pair of these if you’re going to spend most of your time outside, their waterproof feature isn’t one of the best as many people pointed it out.
Best Combat Safety Boots
Running away from the industrial sector, here we have a pair of combat work boots by Groundwork, that would best fit those working as doormen, security officers, policemen, fire officers and for all kinds of outdoor activities such as hunting, paintballing, hiking and anyone who needs military quality footwear designed for extreme conditions.
It has an interesting design, that’s probably one of the reasons that make these boots a very popular choice among Amazon.co.uk’s customers.
These boots are made of leather and they are equipped with a steel toe cap.
An interesting feature about these boots is their zip, which comes in handy when you can’t be bothered to untie your laces. However, just like most of the zips, you can start having problems with them after a while – that’s my downside in regards to these boots.
However, they are reasonably cheap so depending on where you plan to use them, they might prove to be a good deal.
Best Slip-on Work Boots: V12 Rawhide
Another great looking pair of work boots, manufactured with high-quality leather which offers them a natural look.
Crafted from the rugged oil-soaked hide, the Rawhide is one of the strongest elastic sided work boots available.
It features a steel toe cap and a steel midsole, offering you the optimum protection.
Also, it features a Goodyear welted anti-static nitrile rubber sole, which is heat resistant. They’ve got a highly breathable lining, making sure they keep your feet cold during summer and warm in the wintertime.
Again, the downside of these work boots is their fit: being a slip-on boot, they tend to come a bit larger. I couldn’t help but notice the considerable number of people that had to order 1 size smaller than the one they usually wear for a perfect, comfortable fit.
Best Composite Toe Work Boots: Amblers FS430
A well-made, tough pair of Amblers work boots, manufactured with a strong durable midsole with added toe protection.
They are antistatic and their 0,5cm height gum rubber sole offers you good anti-slip protection. Each boot is made of fully waterproof leather and breathable upper, keeping your feet dry in most conditions.
The toe cap and midsole are composite metal-free, therefore they tend to be a bit lighter compared to most of the work boots.
As a negative, it takes a bit to wear in, which they can prove to be a bit uncomfortable around the top.
Overall, a pair of comfortable metal-free and lightweight safety boots that can easily be used as hiking boots as well.
Best Budget Work Boots With Steel Toe Cap – Dickies Medway
Another great, solid pair of safety boots by Dickies that offer great ankle support. They’ve got a nice, stylish design, leather upper and come in a choice of 2 different colours: black and brown.
Their heel is slip-resistant, antistatic and shock absorbent which increases their comfort. Plus, they are also equipped with an internal water-resistant membrane that keeps your feet dry in wet environments.
Each pair come with a steel toe cap, but also with a steel midsole for extra underfoot protection.
They’re not just a popular choice as a steel toe cap work boot, now they are used quite often for hiking or other outdoor activities as well – although, I consider them to be a bit too heavy for that.
Yet again, typical for a pair of work boots: they need some time to wear in, so bear in mind that you might not enjoy their full comfort straight away.
Another complaint about these Dickies safety boots: their soles are glued and not stitched, they might be coming off after a while.
Best Safety Boots for Women – CAT Kitson
These are the best safety boots for ladies – smart looking, sturdy, comfortable and long-lasting – as you’d expect from Caterpillar. Although CAT boots are known for their considerable long break-in period, these pair of safety boots for women are comfortable within the first day. If, however, you still feel them a bit stiff, adding some moisturising cream should speed up the break-in process.
They’ve got anti-static properties, a removable EVA sock liner and the padded collar give you additional comfort.
These safety boots with steel toe caps for women are made from full-grain leather with a moisture-wicking nylon mesh lining and anti-bacterial poliyou insoles. They are also highly breathable for a leather pair of boots – you have the guarantee your feet stay dry in warm conditions.
The S1 rating makes these boots suitable for light industrial work such as warehouse and factory work, parcel delivery, or other jobs where heavy lifting may create the risk of crush injuries.
My complaint in regards to these is the fact that they are not waterproof, therefore, these boots should not be used in wet environments.
Overall, stylish whilst practical, they are probably the best-reviewed pair of work boots for women that you can buy online.
What to look for in a pair of work boots
Here are some important features you need to look for in a new pair of safety boots:
The quality of materials that the work boots are made out of; generally you want to look for leather or thick cloth rather than something like nylon or thick acrylic. This is because materials like those tend to be easily ripped and torn by sharp objects, such as nails and staples. However, this does not mean that other materials aren’t good; it simply means that you need to look for high-quality materials that are thick, durable, and can stand up to the strains of daily use.
A rubber sole that is puncture resistant
This is very important (1) because it gives stability when on your feet, (2) it protects the sole of your boots from wear and tear while you work/walk around, and (3) it can prevent injuries from sharp objects that puncture the soles of your boots. Also, rubber soles offer great slip resistance.
Toe protection – steel toe recommended
Safety is very important when it comes to working. You want to look for steel toe boots because they protect your toes from falling objects, scratches, and accidents that may occur. It’s not recommended that you use non-steel toe work boots because the risk of injury is much higher. Ideally, you want to look for steel toes that are electrical hazard safe; this means that there’s a special protective layer between your toes and the steel toe so it doesn’t touch the electricity of machinery or any other electric object
The padded collar is located around your ankle, where it meets the work boots. This is an important feature to look for because it absorbs shock when you step down with your foot and prevents injuries from occurring.
The boot shaft height
This refers to how tall or short your boots are. The taller the boots, the harder it is to bend while you’re working (which comes with its own set of risks). However, if your boot shafts are too short, then they may easily get caught on sharp objects while you work; this can be extremely dangerous because you can severely injure yourself or others.
Best Safety Boots Brands
The 3 best safety boots brands that you can trust:
A hugely popular brand in Europe and America.
Because Caterpillar is synonymous with high quality, tough products, Caterpillar work shoes have taken that reputation and built some outstanding and comfortable work boots, both safety-toe and soft-toe, for men and women, that are very appealing to the younger generation.
Probably the worst part when it comes to Caterpillar work boots is their break-in period, usually longer than most of the other brands out there.
It has a strong presence around the world, along with its timeless look – that makes Timberland one of the most iconic footwear brands in the industry.
Compared to the CAT boots, most Timberland shoes are ready to be used straight away, they don’t have the traditional break-in periods.
- Dr Martens
Another popular brand, industrial shoes started being manufactured in the UK in 1960. They are well known for their distinctive look, however, when it comes to DM shoes, they are built more for function than fashion.
Their popularity began with skinheads, around 1963-4 in the U.K., who adopted the boots as part of their image, in keeping with their working-class pride and anti-fashion mentality.
In the late 1970s, Dr. Martens were cited as standard police footwear in the U.K. as the oil-resistant soles made them suitable for dealing with traffic accidents. The boots were also popular with factory workers and builders due to their practical, sturdy nature.
Nowadays, Dr. Martens continues to maintain its popularity and will keep doing it for many years to come.
How long should work boots last?
A question I often come across is how often should the work boots be changed? Unfortunately, there’s no precise answer – I wish I could come up with a magic number. It all comes down to your work environment and how durable your boots are. As a rule of thumb, I try to change my boots every 8 to 9 months but there have been cases in which I had the same pair of boots for over 2 years. And yeah, I used to wear them for 40 hours every week.
How much should you spend?
As you already know, they all differ in terms of price and features. As with the previous questions, there’s no exact answer to this either. It all comes down to the amount of time you spend wearing them and your budget. If you regularly use them, my advice is: don’t prioritise cost. Most times, the more expensive ones tend to last a lot longer than a cheap pair of boots. So when you draw the line, you’ll realise it’ll cost you the same or even less to wear. If you stand on your feet all day – buy a good pair. If you wear them occasionally for that extra protection – go for a cheap one.