Shoes can make or break an outfit. This holds true for ladies. For men who couldn’t care less, shoes are still very important. Men who work on construction sites often hold their working shoes in great regard.
They depend on these shoes for comfort, durability, and for safety and protection. Most employees who work in the construction industry are mandated to wear steel-toe boots for their safety. For those who are relatively new, here is why you should consider buying steel-toe work boots.
Why should you consider steel toe shoes?
- Foot injuries are more common than you think. Without steel-toe shoes, your toes can be crushed by falling objects; you might step on something sharp as well. Injuries can be as minor as a scratch, to as severe as a puncture or a sprain
- Prevention is still better than cure. Would you wait until you slip and get a sprain? Would you wait until you step on something before paying attention to your feet? Aside from wounds or punctures, quality steel-toe work boots can also prevent you from slipping and falling with just the right amount of traction
- Most employers require their workers to wear steel-toe shoes as part of their safety standards and rules. This holds true especially for construction jobs, which are more prone to hazards and dangers as compared to other industries
- They are also comfortable. Most steel-toe shoes available now are made with padded linings and insulations, which are essential for cold areas. Socks are not enough to keep your feet warm; in fact, they can just make your feet sweat even more. With steel-toe working boots, you are both comfortable and protected
- Your safety is of utmost importance. Whether you are gunning for employee of the year or not, your safety should be prioritized. Though steel-toe boots may cost more than regular sneakers or shoes, the investment is worth it. With the right pair, you will be able to be the best version of yourself at work. Not to mention, your feet will be protected
How do you decide which steel-toe boot to buy?
This is one of the major decisions you have to make because a pair of working boots can define your career as it impacts the way you feel and act. You can easily find the best steel-toe boots for you, as long as you know what characteristics and features to search for.
Check the steel toecap and steel midsole
The steel toecap and steel midsole will protect your toes from being crushed by falling debris or heavy objects. These objects can be steel, wood, or even concrete. Check to make sure these shoe parts are intact so you can lessen the risk of getting hurt by nails or other sharp objects.
Ask about the grip
Falling objects and stepping on objects are not the only dangers you have to worry about; slipping is more common than you think. Look for boots that are resistant to slipping so you can confidently walk around your job site.
Put comfort as a priority
Don’t be blinded by the amazing features of every pair you check out. Try them on to see how your feet feel. A pair of boots with great specs is useless if you can’t comfortably walk around in them. Remember that you will be walking around in these boots the whole day.
The least you can do for your feet is to give them the comfort they deserve. If you feel comfortable in these boots, this will translate into a good working attitude, which can maybe lead to a future promotion, perhaps?
Consider your work environment
Is your work area cold? Then you should look for boots with insulation to keep your feet warm. Is your work area usually wet? You need to find a pair that is waterproof. Do you climb ladders a lot? There are some pairs designed specifically for this, with a defined heel, as well as a sole with good traction. Don’t be afraid to ask your co-workers or supervisors; they might have some good advice.
Check the quality
And of course, check the quality of materials and processes. The boots should be durable so they can withstand tough working conditions. There are actually two kinds of processes when it comes to making working boots: cement construction, and the Goodyear welt construction.
The cement construction process involves the upper part of the boot being cemented to the sole part, using a special kind of cement for boots. With this, the boots can mold according to the shape of your feet, which means additional comfort and ease.
However, the Goodyear welt construction process is actually more popular compared to the cement construction, or direct attachment. With the Goodyear process, a tough leather strip called a welt (or rubber or plastic) is carefully stitched to the upper part of the boot, as well as to the sole of the shoe.
Basically, the strip is like an anchor because it holds the whole boot together. Then, the welt is cemented and stitched again, this time to the outsole. Obviously, this makes for a very sturdy and durable working boot. The bonus is, if ever it becomes damaged, there is an option to have the boot resoled. Because of this, some boots are able to last for years, or even decades.
Check the standards
This is most important. Some work boots have been certified by institutions which means they have undergone tests and processes and have proof that they are indeed appropriate and safe for work. It might be a good idea to check with your supervisor first before purchasing the pair. If you already bought a pair, you can have it exchanged so that the standards of your employer and the governing bodies will be met.
|Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot||$$||4.4/5.0|
|GW Men’s 1606ST Black Steel Toe Work Boots||$||4.1/5.0|
|Skechers for Work Men’s Workshire Relaxed Fit Work Boot||$$||4.2/5.0|
|SAFETY STEEL TOE Men’s Leather Boot||$||4.0/5.0|
|Stanley Men’s Dropper Steel Toe Work Boot||$$||4.4/5.0|
|Condor Men’s Dakota 8″ Steel Toe Wheat Nubuck Work Boot||$$$||4.2/5.0|
|Dexter Men’s Chamois Men’s Douglas Steel Toe Work Boot||$||4.5/5.0|
|Golden Fox Moc Steel Toe Lightweight Outsole Work Boot||$$||4.2/5.0|
|Timberland PRO Men’s 38021 Direct Attach 6″ Steel-Toe Boot||$$$||4.2/5.0|
|Wolverine Men’s W08289 Wolverine Steel Toe Boot||$$$||4.2/5.0|
Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot
Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boots are trusted worldwide for their durability and comfort. Named “Second Shift,” these shoes were definitely “built for it.”
- Made of leather for durability and style
- Rubber soles are slip-resistant
- Has a plush and extra padded tongue and collar for added comfort.
- Comes with hex-shape eyelets
- Outsoles are resistant to oil and heel is well positioned for climbing ladders
- Waterproof until the ankle
The Second Shift is a classic take on a staple for work sites all over the world. For boots of this quality, they are reasonably affordable, and although they look heavy, they are very comfortable. However, at least a week of breaking in will do before you can finally wear them longer.
With a soft inner lining, the insole is also backed up by the Goodyear welt sole. Customers are impressed with their durability. They can last as long as 6 months even though they are used every day. Some have even reported that their pair lasted for 16 months. The Second Shift is also stylish, coming in a variety of colors.
Some buyers claim that the insole cushion hurt their feet early on. Some reports also say that in just two months, the leather above the sole had already split. The steel-toe work boots broke down after just three to four days, with the foam padding shredding on its own.
It also depends on the wearer, but some find the steel toe boots still a bit heavy for their preference. The boots are not advisable for extra warm and extra cold weather. Though waterproof until the ankles, heavy floods or snow still seep through.
They are the most comfortable and durable working boots you can get for the price. It is really quite a catch, especially if you’re on a budget.
GW Men’s 1606ST Steel Toe Work Boots
The GW Men’s 1606ST Steel Toe Work Boots are inexpensive, but great. It’s hard to find a pair of boots as durable as these!
- Genuine leather and different colors
- Rubber sole and steel toe for additional durability
- The insole is supported by Goodyear welt
- Outsoles are slip resistant
These boots were made using genuine and quality leather. Buyers have reported that after two years, their existing pair is still almost as good as new. Customers love that it is easy to adjust to the steel-toe work boots.
These steel-toe boots are very affordable. They are water resistant so that your feet remain dry even when trekking through wet areas. They also have steel reinforcements on the outsole in case of any danger from the underside.
One reviewer wore these boots for three nights straight then the front of one boot ripped and the steel toe was visible from the outside.
Some reported that the soles easily pulled away from the boots, which was another disappointment. Some have experienced stiffness and pinched toes; these boots didn’t make their working experience any better.
Comfort, style, and durability—the three things you look for when purchasing steel toe work boots; the GW Men’s 1606ST definitely excels in these three categories. Reasonably priced, they are actually better than other brands.
Skechers for Work Men’s 77009 Workshire Relaxed Fit Work Steel Toe Boot
The Skechers 77009 Workshire Steel Toe Boot for men was built for comfort and safety. They are made with outstanding craftsmanship for the best footwear experience.
- Stunning quality leather
- Rubber soles for safety
- Relaxing fit
- Padded collar and tongue
- Removable memory foam
- Slip resistant
- Electrical hazard-safe design
These boots can protect your feet against items that weigh as much as 75 pounds. The design itself also applies an electrical hazard safe design, as well as slip-resistant rubber soles. The rubber sole is resistant to oil and abrasion.
The boots are roomier compared to most. While other boots make it a bit difficult to move in initially, this one boasts of easier movement right away. Positive reviews express how much they love the comfort the boots bring. Aside from being comfortable and being able to do its job well, they also look stylish.
Some found the boots to too thin and lacking in comfort and support. The toes were also a bit narrow, making them uncomfortable to wear. According to some buyers, pieces start wearing out during the first few days.
Some have even reported that the boots only lasted for one and a half months—disappointing. Though they claim to be waterproof, they are not really recommended for water exposure.
It is a good deal for its price and features. The price is not too painful for your wallet, and you’ll already get a comfortable and durable pair.
Safety Steel Toe Men’s Leather Work Boot
The American Rugged Safety Steel Toe Men’s Leather Work Boots is made with quality materials for comfort and durability. It is a heavy-duty construction quality working boot.
- Water resistant
- Made from thick leather uppers with double to triple stitching for extra durability and toughness
- Rubber soles
- 360° Goodyear welt stitched construction
- Outsoles are rugged rubber tread on multiple surfaces
- Superior padded insulated linings for extra protection
- Double padded collar
These boots will last through tough conditions, and they are built to last for a long time. The padding and insulation will make you feel at ease with every step.
Made using Goodyear welt construction, the boots can be resoled; because of this, the work boots’ lifespan can be extended for years, or even decades. Some buyers were pleasantly surprised that the work boots were better than they expected, especially because they were so affordable.
Some complaints are about aching feet. Another thing to watch out for is that they scratch easily. Some reviewers also reported that they felt something like a nail sticking up inside the shoe. Other negative feedback was about their unpleasant smell upon unboxing.
The American Rugged Safety Steel Toe Men’s Leather Work Boots have remained on top of the list of top steel-toed work boots. Designed to last long, this pair will enable you to put your best foot forward at work.
Stanley Men’s Dropper Steel-Toe Work Boot
The Stanley Boots Wellington Dropper ST work boot is unlike any other steel-toe working boot. With its stylish physical appearance comes comfort and durability to allow you to be the best man in the field.
- Waterproof upper and dual pull-on tabs
- Made using Goodyear welt construction
- Removable EVA insole
- Met the ASTM standards F2413-11 and is rated I/75 and C/75, including electric hazard resistance
- The rubber outsoles are slip and oil resistant
They are made from full-grain leather and they are comfortable and relaxing on the feet. Unlike other working boots, the Stanley boots are pull-on, not lace-up. The steel toe is top notch, and can survive different sorts of working conditions.
The sole also provides good traction and will enable you to walk easily; you can walk on uneven surfaces while balanced and on track. Made from waterproof material, soggy and wet surfaces are no problem.
These boots are a pleasure to walk and work in. There’s just enough room for you to wear your socks. Basically, everything you want in a working boot seems to be here. The Stanley work boots are light, breathable, and have just the right amount of insulation.
While the build is good and comfortable, some linemen have reported that the “extra” ankle support is still not enough. Some also find the boots too loose around their calves.
Overall, the Stanley Men’s Dropper Steel Toe working boots are the epitome of what it takes to be the best man for the job. Though there are a few negative reviews in terms of the fit and the extra support for the ankles, the positive reviews are overflowing.