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From unforeseen slips and falls to sharp, intrusive objects to static discharges and electrical hazards, the many dangers of working in an industrial work setting are constantly presenting themselves and calling for proper employee outfitting.
According to the federal regulations adopted and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, all workers who are subject to the dangers of industrial work settings are required to put on protective footwear. This is in reference to Subpart I 29 CFR 1910.132.
Whether you’re a construction worker, warehouse worker, delivery driver, concrete worker, logger, or engineer, I’m here to help you find the perfect pair of work boots for your feet by highlighting the top work boot brands out there.
Best work boot brands summary
|Brand||Founder||Establishment Date||Origin||Price Range||Best Boot|
|Ariat||Beth Cross and Pam Parker||1993||USA||$70-$500||Ariat Groundbreaker Wide Square Toe Boot|
|Timberland Pro||Sidney Swartz||1973||USA||$60-$250||Timberland Premium waterproof boot|
|Red Wing||Charles H. Beckman||1905||U.S||$100-$400||The Iron Ranger|
|Wolverine||G.A. Krause||1883||USA||$50-$400||Wolverine DuraShocks SR Direct-Attach Work Boot|
|Justin Original||H.J. Justin||1879||USA||$80-$300||Stampede Pull-On Square Toe Boot|
|Keen Utility||Martin Keen and Rory Fuerst||2003||USA||$50-$250||Lansing Mid Steel Toe Waterproof Boot|
|Danner||Charles Danner||1932||USA||100$-200$||Tachyon 8-Inch GTX Duty Boot|
|Thorogood||Albert H. Weinbrenner||1892||USA||$70-$250||American Heritage 6-Inch Moc Toe|
|Carolina||H. H. Brown||1963||USA||$60-$280||Insulated Pitstop Comp Toe|
|Carhartt||Hamilton Carhartt||1889||USA||$70-$240||6-Inch Waterproof Wedge Soft Toe Boot|
|Skechers||Robert Greenberg||1992||USA||$30-$150||Cessnock Food Service Shoe|
|Georgia||Georgia Shoe Manufacturing Co.||1937||USA||$50-$450||Athens Work Boot|
|Dr. Martens||Klaus Martens||1947||UK||$70-$230||1460 Smooth|
|Caterpillar||C.L. Best||1925||USA||$50-$200||Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot|
|Chippewa||Justin Brands||1901||USA||$130-$350||Lace-to-Toe Logger Waterproof Boot|
|Rocky||F.M. and William Brooks||1932||America, Canada, Europe||$50-$250||Men’s Governor Waterproof Safety Toe Boot|
Qualities That Set the Best Work Boot Brands Apart
If we were to sum up all of the attributes that set the best boot companies apart, two words would come to mind: no compromises! The top work boot makers DO NOT compromise on any of the essential factors that make up a high-quality boot. What exactly are those factors, though? Let’s find out.
When it comes to workwear, build quality trumps everything else. This is especially the case with safety boots. Work boots don’t come cheap, folks, so you better be getting your money’s worth in terms of quality.
The best work boot manufacturers put notable emphasis on build quality, whether we’re talking about upper materials (leather, nylon, and rubber), sole materials (rubber, TPU, and EVA), or boot construction (stitching, cementing, and molding).
One thing you should keep in mind is that different work boots are designed for different purposes, and so one pair of boots may be more heavy-duty than another pair simply because it’s designed for a less intensive work setting.
You should also keep in mind that build quality, in most cases, is directly related to pricing. The more high-quality a boot is, the more expensive it will most likely be, with a few exceptions here and there.
Comfort is another factor you can rely on if you’re trying to distinguish the top boot brands from the worst. This is super important if your tough job requires standing all day in your workplace.
Great safety footwear brands put out comfortable work boots that are designed to keep your feet and toes at ease.
If a pair of work boots is causing you pain and discomfort, then you should steer clear of the brand behind those boots. Bear in mind, however, that some boots may need to be broken in, especially if they’re made with full-grain leather.
There are a few things that are worse than having to carry out challenging work in a pair of uncomfortable, fatigue-inducing work boots that don’t offer enough support and cushioning.
Design and Style
Just because protection boots are intended for industrial work settings doesn’t mean they should lack style and pizzazz. Work boots are featured in a wide range of designs and styles, from cowboy and western boots to lace-up boots.
The best work boot makers understand that different people have different tastes and style preferences, and so they diversify the designs and styles in which their products are featured to appeal to a wider audience.
It’s very important to take customer reviews into consideration when trying to determine whether or not a brand is worthwhile. This applies to all sorts of products, not just work boots.
Having learned my lesson the hard way, I can’t tell you how many times reading customer reviews has helped save me a lot of money that I would’ve otherwise squandered on low-quality products.
The more positive reviews a brand and its products have, the closer it is to be full-grain one of the best. The boot brands I’m about to cover consistently garner positive reviews from new and existing customers, which puts them ahead of the curve in my book.
Note that a company’s reputation is often indicative of its relationship with consumers. Just by looking at a brand that garners a lot of positive reviews and has an excellent reputation, I can conclude that said brand is trustworthy and that it prioritizes customer satisfaction.
With that conclusion in mind, I’d buy said brand’s products with utter confidence, knowing that if I was to face an issue with my purchase, the brand would invest time and effort into helping me with my problem.
Like I stated earlier, high-quality work boots don’t come cheap. Sure, you can find work boots that are listed at around $50, but you can’t expect them to be as high-quality as $200-$300 boots.
In most cases, the more safety features a boot has and the higher its build quality, the steeper the price tag is going to be. After all, high quality comes at a price.
Be that as it may, I’ve managed to discover quite a few work boot companies that strike an impressive balance between quality and pricing. Granted, they may not be as popular as top-tier brands like Timberland, Red Wing, and Wolverine, but they certainly offer excellent bang for the buck.
Must Read: If you want to get the best deals on work boots, check my best place to buy work boots guide.
The 16 Best Work Boot Companies Today
Now that you’re aware of the qualities that make a boot company one of the best, it’s time to talk about the best safety boot brands in the market today, as well as their most popular offerings.
1. Ariat Boots
Ariat Boots, otherwise known as Ariat International, is an American footwear brand that was founded in 1993 by Beth Cross (2018’s entrepreneur of the year) and Pam Parker, and its headquarters is located in Union City, California.
Ariat’s boot design department is based in the United States, whereas its manufacturing facilities are based in the US, Mexico, Italy, and China. The brand is known for its high-quality work boots, riding boots, and cowboy boots.
Despite being a relatively new brand, Ariat Boots has managed to revolutionize the work boot industry with innovative technologies, specialized materials, and world-class designs.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, seeing as Ariat is arguably the best producer of equestrian boots and apparel. In fact, as of 2020, Ariat is reportedly the biggest producer of equestrian footwear and apparel in the world!
What I love the most about Ariat work boots is the apparent craftsmanship behind them. The brand’s attention to detail is out of this world, and that’s precisely why they’re at the top of my list.
Most Ariat work and equestrian boots go through a construction process that consists of 150 steps! Can you believe that? Whether or not that’s true, I can assure you that Ariat boots strike the perfect balance between performance, durability, style, and fit.
I also love how accurate the brand’s motto is; “The new breed of boots.” Ariat has no interest in replicating what other boot producers are doing. They use their own technologies, materials, and designs. Ariat, in my opinion, is the definition of a self-standing brand.
The Ariat Groundbreaker Wide Square Toe Boot is one of my all-time favorite pull-on work boots for more reasons than I can count.
For starters, the boot’s classic western design, with its square toe box profile, full-grain leather foot, and suede upper, is eye-candy to me. The square steel toe is quite wide, so you don’t have to worry about your toes getting mushed together.
The Grounderbreaker also boasts remarkable cushioning and support, making it an extremely comfortable work boot, especially for concrete workers, warehouse workers, and loggers.
As far as safety, the boot meets the ASTM F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 EH safety standard. It’s also slip-resistant, so you can wear it with confidence even when it’s pouring outside.
If you are a fan of work boots with shoelaces, Ariat Men’s Workhog 8″ Waterproof will fit the bill. With full-grain leather, rubber sole, Goodyear welt, and a shock-absorbing EVA midsole, it’s the best in class.
Pricing-wise, Ariat boots range from $70 to $500.
2. Timberland PRO Boots
Timberland is one of the oldest American footwear and apparel brands, having been around since 1952. Timberland was founded by Nathan Swartz in Boston, Massachusetts. The brand’s current headquarters is in New Hampshire.
Timberland is such a massive brand that it has around 205 locations all over the world, including in the US, UK, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Brazil, Bangladesh, and Chile. It’s also worth noting that Timberland is owned by VF Corporation.
You’re probably wondering, “What’s with the ‘PRO’ acronym?”
Timberland PRO boots differ from standard Timbs boots in the sense that they’re designed specifically for professional workers in the construction, warehouse, public safety, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality industries.
Standard Timberland boots, on the other hand, are designed for everyday wear.
What I was surprised to learn is that Timberland started as a designer and manufacturer of work and safety boots, not everyday-wear boots.
The brand’s then-designer and current chairman, Sidney W. Swartz, wanted to make hard-wearing, waterproof boots that can deliver durability, comfort, support, and stability to hard-working Americans. This made way for the Timberland Yellow Boot in 1973, an iconic staple in the work boots industry.
Since then, Timberland has come a long way, becoming one of the biggest producers of clothing, accessories, and, of course, footwear! The brand’s motto, “Born in the woods. Raised in the city,” perfectly describes Timberland’s journey.
As far as awards, Timberland received the FNAA 2020 Sustainability Leadership Award for its sustainability strategy, which promises to have a net positive impact on the environment by 2030.
Call me old-fashioned, but my favorite Timberland offering is—you guessed it—the Yellow Boot, also known as the Premium Waterproof Work Boot. When it was first introduced, the Yellow Boot was made with full-grain nubuck leather and featured an injection-molded sole that ensured top-notch water resistance.
The current iteration of the Yellow Boot isn’t very different from the classic iteration in terms of styling. The difference is mainly in the construction, with the latest iteration featuring an anti-fatigue footbed that adds to the comfort factor in the form of shock absorption.
Timberland PRO boots are priced between $60 and $250.
3. Red Wing Shoes
Named after the city in which it’s based (Red Wing, Minnesota), Red Wing Shoes is yet another top-notch American footwear company that’s mentioned in the same breath as giants like Timberland and Wolverine.
If you think Timberland is old, I wonder what you would think when I tell you that Red Wing was founded in 1905. That’s almost 117 years ago, folks! Funny thing is, Red Wing isn’t even the oldest work shoe brand on the list.
The brand was founded by Charles H. Beckham, with the intention to produce the best leather boots for heavy-duty tasks. After only ten years in business, Red Wing was putting out over 200,000 pairs of boots a year.
Red Wing boots were remarkably durable and reliable—and still are—that they became the primary footwear for US soldiers during the first and second world wars. This is a testament to the brand’s stringent build quality criteria.
The Red Wing brand prides itself on being a ‘Made in the USA’ brand, utilizing American materials and manufacturing in American plants located in Red Wing (Minnesota), Danville (Kentucky), and Potosi (Missouri).
Red Wing manufactures footwear under other brand names as well, including Vasque, Worx, Irish Setter, and Carhartt. Note that the relationship between Red Wing and Carhartt was discontinued in 2011.
Most Red Wing work boots are manufactured with steel, aluminum, and non-metallic safety toe to comply with ASTM standards (F 2413-11 and M I/75 C/75). What’s more, the brand was able to meet the ASTM F 2413-11 standard by offering puncture-resistant footwear.
On top of that, Red Wing is known for its static-dissipative boots, which are designed to minimize the effect of electrical discharge and provide electrical hazard protection.
Some of Red Wing’s lines are beyond iconic, with the Heritage line being an excellent example. The line includes three staples of the footwear industry: Iron Ranger, Blacksmith, and Classic Moc.
The Iron Ranger happens to be my favorite Red Wing boot. It’s one of the most visually appealing boots I’ve ever laid eyes on, and it’s certainly one of the most durable ones. After all, the boot was initially intended for ironworkers.
Red Wing’s Iron Ranger features a Vibram outsole (430 mini-lug), a bump toe, Goodyear welt construction, and Puritan triple-stitch construction. Talk about durability! Not to mention the cork midsole and leather insoles that enable the show to adopt the contours of your feet over time.
What I like the most about the Iron Ranger, though, is that it doubles as a casual, everyday-wear boot. With this iconic pair of boots sheltering your feet, you can go to work, as well as go on dates, looking like a thousand bucks.
Red Wing work boots are priced between $100 and $400.
4. Wolverine Boots
This wouldn’t be a sensible list of the top boot brands in the market if Wolverine, also known as Wolverine World Wide, isn’t in the top five. There’s a lot to uncover about this brand, folks, so brace yourselves!
Wolverine World Wide is an enormous, publicly traded footwear manufacturer based in Rockford, Michigan. The brand was founded by G.A. Krause and Fredrick Hirth in 1883—almost 138 years ago—and its current CEO is Blake Krueger.
Wolverine World Wide is such a massive company in the apparel and accessories industry that it’s not only known for its eponymous brand, Wolverine Boots and Shoes, but for other brands as well, including Merrell and Hush Puppies (inventor of DuraShocks technology)
In 2012, Wolverine’s umbrella saw a notable expansion, adding names such as Keds, Sperry Top-Sider, Stride Rite, and Saucony. This happened after the company’s purchase of the Performance Lifestyle Group of Collective Brands.
That’s not all, though. Wolverine World Wide manufactures licensed footwear for big-name firms like Harley Davidson and Caterpillar. Simply put, Wolverine World Wide is a juggernaut—no Marvel Comics innuendo, I swear! This explains the brand’s motto, “Relentless by nature.”
In case you’re wondering, the company’s founders chose the name ‘Wolverine’ because their work shoes and boots were made of wolverine horsehide leather.
Wolverine is a brand that champions innovation, which was made clear when the brand came up with MultiShox technology. MultiShox is an individual comfort system that provides relief by responding to the way you move. The system is composed of individual compression pads that help absorb shocks, providing all-day-long comfort.
My favorite Wolverine offering has to be the Men’s Wolverine DuraShocks SR Direct-Attach Work Boot. It’s one of those boots that can do no wrong. It features a tumbled full-grain upper that screams high quality, permanent direct-attach construction for optimal waterproofing, and a double-density footbed for maximum comfort and stability.
As the name suggests, the boot features Wolverine’s DuraShocks technology, which comes in the form of an energy-returning polyurethane outsole that does an excellent job of absorbing shocks.
Another Wolverine favorite of mine is the 1,000 Mile Boot. This iconic boot was first introduced in the 1910s, and to this day, it’s still handcrafted in the USA using the same methods and materials that were used 112 years ago.
One thing I should point out about the 1,000 Mile Boot is that it takes a while to be broken in. It’s made of long-lasting horsehide leather, which may not be comfortable at first. Once broken in, though, you’ll never want to take this boot off.
No matter what you’re looking for in a work boot, from waterproof, safety toe boots to non-metallic boots, Wolverine has got you covered with its wide selection of top-notch work boots.
In terms of pricing, Wolverine boots range from $50 to $400.
5. Justin Original Boots
Justin Boots is a division of Justin Brands that was founded by H.J. Justin in 1879 in Gainesville, Texas. Currently, the brand’s headquarters is located in Fort Worth, Texas.
This brand of boots is a bit of an unsung hero, in my opinion. It doesn’t get as much recognition as the likes of Timberland, Red Wing, and Wolverine, even though Justin Boots has over 142 years of experience in the industry.
Just like Ariat Boots, Justin Boots is known for equestrian and western footwear. The brand is actually one of the biggest supporters of rodeo, showing its support through the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund and the Justin Sportsmedicine Team.
If you’re into cowboy boots or western apparel, in general, Justin Boots should be at the top of your list when it’s time to buy a new pair of work boots.
“Blame it all on my roots. I showed up in boots.” Cool slogan, eh?
The brand is known for its use of hand tooling, intricate stitching, silver conchos, colorful leathers and threads, and unique illustrations. It’s also worth mentioning that Justin Boots has designed footwear for movie stars and presidents, including the 36th president of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson.
Justin work boots consistently earn praise for being some of the most comfortable, best-looking, long-lasting boots on the market. They’re also fairly affordable compared to competitor boots.
An excellent representative of what Justin Original Boots is all about is the Men’s Stampede Pull-On Square Toe Boot. This boot looks like it belongs in the Dollars Trilogy iteration of the wild, wild west.
The Stampede Pull-On flaunts an all-leather boot upper, rubber sole, rubber outsole, steel shank, j-flex comfort system, and a removable comfort system. The boot is quite flashy, featuring unique patterns made using black, yellow, and red threads.
If you’re not fond of flashy footwear, you may want to check out the Men’s Worker Two Safety Toe Boot. It’s low-profile, yet it’s one of the best-looking boots I’ve ever seen. Another great option is the Wyoming Worker II Waterproof Steel Toe Boot.
Justin work boots are priced between $80 and $300.
6. Keen Utility Boots
Based in Portland, Oregon, Keen is a private American footwear company that was founded in 2003 by Martin Keen and Rory Fuerst. The company is known for its clothing and bags just as well as it’s known for its shoes and boots.
Keen footwear is sold in retail throughout the States and Canada. The company also provides worldwide distribution. Their footwear offerings come in a variety of styles, including casual, cold-weather, and safety footwear.
I should point out that unlike some of the other brands on my list, Keen didn’t start as a manufacturer of work boots. The brand started as a manufacturer of toe-protecting sandals for outdoor and water activity enthusiasts. It wasn’t until 2010 that the brand started producing work utility boots.
Keen has been one of the fastest-growing companies ever since its inception. In 2003, the year the company was launched, it was acknowledged by Footwear News as “Launch of the year.”
You’d expect such a young brand to struggle when in the face of stiff competition like Wolverine, Timberland, and Red Wing, but this wasn’t the case for Keen.
The brand’s quality standards and outstanding attention to detail and fit have solidified it as one of the best producers of utility boots in the market. Keen’s vision and work ethic are exemplified through its motto, “Better takes action.”
If you’re not fond of classic-looking footwear and you’re looking for something that looks contemporary, Keen boots are right up your alley. They’re made entirely in the USA and are quite affordable compared to the competition.
My favorite Keen offering, by far, is the Lansing Mid Steel Toe Waterproof Boot. This modern masterpiece is designed to deliver all-day support, stability, and comfort, as well as excellent toe protection.
The Lansing Mid is also designed to meet stringent safety standards; it’s non-slip and highly resistant to electrical hazards, compression, and impact. Further, the boot is equipped with KEEN.DRY technology, asymmetrical steel toes, reflectivity webbing, and a torsional stability shank. It’s well-rounded in every sense of the word.
Keen Utility boots are priced between $50 and $250.
7. Danner Boots
Danner Boots, a subsidiary of LaCrosse Footwear, was founded in 1932 by Charles Danner in Portland, Oregon. Since its inception, the brand has had one goal and one goal only: to create the highest quality logger boots in the market.
Danner boots are made for exploration, adventure, and hard work. They’re designed for the men and women who are performing and working hard day in and day out.
“You don’t put on a pair of Danner boots to sit around the house.”
In addition to making the best logger boots out there, the brand is also behind some of the best waterproof leather hiking boots in the market. Danner made their first hiking boot in 1979 when it teamed up with Gore-Tex to develop and introduce what is arguably the best waterproof membrane lining technology in the footwear industry.
The awesome thing about Danner boots is that they walk a fine line between classic and contemporary, which is why they appeal to most consumers. Also, the brand’s pricing model is very reasonable.
My favorite Danner boot, which happens to be one of the brand’s best-sellers, is the Men’s Tachyon 8-Inch GTX Duty Boot. Combining durable full-grain leather and 500D nylon, this remarkable duty boot is utilized by law enforcement agencies around the country.
The Tachyon GTX Duty Boot features the famed Gore-Tex liner technology, which makes it completely waterproof yet highly breathable. The boot is pretty lightweight and is engineered to keep your feet comfortable, dry, and stable.
Whether you’re in the market for a high-quality logger, hiking, police, military, or tactical boot that will stand the test of time, Danner should be your go-to brand.
Danner boots are priced between $100 to $200.
8. Thorogood Boots
Next up, we have Thorogood, which is a brand of work boots founded by one of the oldest boot manufacturers in America, Weinbrenner Shoe Company, located in Merrill, Wisconsin.
The Thorogood brand was founded in 1918, 26 years after the Weinbrenner Shoe Company was established (1892). It didn’t take long for the Thorogood brand to garner recognition and popularity after its introduction. To this day, it remains Weinbrenner’s most prominent brand.
Weinbrenner’s manufacturing plants are all located in Wisconsin; Marshfield, Merrill, and Antigo. It’s currently one of the biggest manufacturers of ‘Made in USA’ shoes and boots, providing over 125 different lines of domestic footwear. If we take into account their imported lines, we’d be looking at 250 different styles.
During World War II, Weinbrenner’s production was directed entirely towards backing up the troops, which has led the company to develop protective outsoles, steel safety toe caps, metatarsal guards, and a range of other footwear safety technologies. One of the brand’s most popular slogans is “Quality footwear that helped build America.”
Thorogood boots are as reliable as they come. They’re durable, comfortable, stable, and reasonably priced. An excellent representative of what Thorogood is all about is the American Heritage 6-Inch Moc Toe, which is one of the brand’s best-sellers.
What I like the most about this boot—apart from the name—is that it’s made entirely by American union workers, so you have nothing to worry about as far as quality and fit. I also like that it features MAXWear Edge Outsole Technology, which adds to the outsole’s average lifespan by 30-40%.
The American Heritage 6-Inch Moc Toe is a boot that I’d personally recommend for ironworkers, engineers, electricians, and carpenters. It also doubles as an excellent everyday-wear boot.
Most Thorogood boots are priced between $70 and $250.
9. Carolina Work Boots
Carolina Shoe Company may not be as popular as some of the other boot manufacturers in the market, but it’s one of my personal favorites and I just had to put it in my top ten.
The company was established in 1963 as a division of H. H. Brown, which is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. The company’s manufacturing facility was set in Morganton, North Carolina, up until the year 2000. Thereafter, the brand’s manufacturing operation was divided between several factories across the United States and overseas.
Must Read: Check Carolina work boots vs Red Wing article.
Why is Carolina one of my favorite boot brands?
Because they present really good value for the price. Carolina boots are super affordable compared to competitor brands, yet they’re made from reliable materials that can handle serious damage.
Carolina is a brand that’s known for hiking boots, logger boots, and engineer boots. The brand is also known for its safety toe boots and metatarsal guard safety shoes.
Even though most of Carolina’s offerings are catered to men, you can find quite a few safety toe shoes for women, as well as casual footwear for kids.
One of the features that set Carolina apart from other competitor brands is its specialty shanks, which are built from reinforced steel. These shanks enable you to stand on small poles for extended periods of time without any problems.
It’s worth noting that Carolina flaunts several sub-brands of work and service boots, including Matterhorn for miners, Corcoran for military and security personnel, and Double-H for people who are into western styles.
My favorite Carolina work boot is the Insulated Pitstop Comp Toe, which features a parachute leather upper, Scubaliner waterproofing technology, Thinsulate Insulation technology, and a carbon composite toe.
What’s more, this insulated boot comes with an Overtime footbed for maximum comfort, Tripleflex welt construction, a triple-rib steel shank, and a rubber outsole that’s resistant to oils and slips.
Pricing-wise, Carolina boots range from $60 to $280.
10. Carhartt Boots
Stealing the tenth spot on my list is none other than Carhartt, an American apparel company that was founded in 1889. Carhartt is known for more than just work boots; it’s also known for coats, jackets, coveralls, overalls, jeans, fire-resistant clothes, and hunting clothes, to name a few.
The company was founded by Hamilton Carhartt in Dearborn, Michigan. It was and still is a family-owned company. It’s currently owned by the descendants of its founder.
Carhartt’s slogan, which I truly admire, is “We exist to serve and protect hard-working people.”
Carhartt was established with a very clear vision: to create high-quality workwear for railroad workers, miners, hunters, construction workers, package handlers, farmers, and all other outdoor workers. Striving towards that vision, Carhartt became famous for different types of work boots, including wedge sole, alloy toe, pull-on, insulated, and waterproof, and composite toe boots.
Carhartt isn’t only popular among blue-collar workers; it’s also popular among artists in the music industry as well as the movie industry, including Matthew McConaughey, Kanye West, Jamie Fox, Rihanna, Zayn Malik, Jonah Hill, and more.
One of the most popular Carhartt offerings is the Men’s 6-Inch Waterproof Wedge Soft Toe Boot. This cost-effective bad boy can handle anything you throw at it, from long hours of standing on hard surfaces to rain and sweat. This is a non-safety shoe that was designed specifically for warehouse and construction workers.
What I love the most about the Waterproof Wedge is that it features Storm Defender Technology, which strikes the perfect balance between breathability and waterproofing. It prevents moisture from finding its way into the shoe, but it doesn’t get in the way of sweat escaping the shoe. The boot also meets the ASTM F2892-18 EH safety standard.
Carhartt prices range from $70 to $240.
11. Skechers Shoes
Skechers Shoes, also known as Skechers USA, is a relatively new American footwear company that was founded in 1992 by Robert Greenberg and is based in Manhattan Beach, California.
Despite having been around for only 29 years, Skechers has managed to become the third-largest brand of athletic footwear in the US. The company also has a notable presence in over 120 countries.
One of the things that have helped Skechers become a popular brand in the workwear industry is their colorful, stylish work boots, which also happen to be extremely comfortable and super lightweight.
In addition, Skechers is a pioneer as far as contemporary styling in slip-resistant footwear. That’s not all, though. The brand has also revolutionized the market with its Memory Foam Insole technology, present in their athletic and safety shoes. “Innovate to elevate” is Skechers motto, after all.
The Men’s Cessnock Food Service Shoe is currently my favorite Skechers work and utility shoe. It features a reliable slip-resistant outsole that meets the ASTM F1677-2005 Mark II testing standard. It also features a memory foam insole that adopts the contours of your feet for maximum comfort. Best of all, this shoe is highly affordable!
Skechers’ prices range from $30 to $150, making it the most cost-effective brand on the list.
12. Georgia Boots
Georgia Boots is yet another great brand of work boots that was founded in 1937 in Atlanta, Georgia. The brand is known for its high-quality standard work boots, waterproof work boots, and steel toe cap boots.
When I think of Georgia work boots, three words come to mind: comfort, reliability, and durability. The brand’s vision from the get-go was to make reasonably priced work boots that are highly dependable, and I can affirm that they’re still sticking to their guns to this day.
What I love the most about Georgia Boots as a brand is that it leaves no stone unturned. No matter what niche you have in mind, you’re guaranteed to find a Georgia boot that suits that niche.
Whether you’re a construction worker or you work on a farm/ranch, Georgia Boots has got you covered. In the brand’s own words, Georgia boots are “designed to be ready for whatever the job requires.”
Many of the brands that are on this list are some of the most innovative brands in the footwear industry, and Georgia Boots is one of them. The brand was the first to come up with Comfort Core Technology, which was the first technology to return exerted energy back to the feet, preventing pain and discomfort.
Some of my favorite Georgia work boots include the Men’s 6-Inch Wedge Work Boot, Giant Work Boot, and the Men’s Athens Work Boot. All three are built from comfortable, quality materials that are guaranteed to last long.
Georgia work boots are made in the USA and range from $50 to $450.
13. Dr. Martens Boots
If you work in a light-duty industrial environment, Dr. Martens is the perfect brand of boots for you. Dr. Martens, also known as Doc Martens, DMs, and Docs, is a British footwear brand founded in 1947 by Klaus Martens. The brand’s headquarters is located in London, England.
Dr. Martens is a brand that’s also known for clothing, bags, and shoe care products. It’s one of the most widely recognized brands in the market, mainly because Dr. Martens’s products look unique. After all, the brand’s slogan is “Elevate your style.”
Some of the distinguishing features that set Dr. Martens boots apart include air-cushioned soles (bouncing soles), yellow stitching, and PVC “Hot Knife” construction.
There’s a lot to like about Dr. Martens boots, apart from their unique designs. I personally like how remarkably resilient they are. I also like their cushioning; it feels super soft on the feet.
The PVC sole present in most Dr. Martens boots is slip-resistant and can handle chemicals and oils with ease. However, PVC can’t handle the heat, which is why I wouldn’t recommend Dr. Martens boots for people who work with hot materials, like ironworkers.
One of my favorite Dr. Martens boots is the Men’s 1460 Smooth. This sleek-looking boot is perfect for light work settings as well as casual settings. The upper is entirely made of leather and it features an air-cushioned insole that’s highly resistant to slips and abrasion. Another favorite of mine is the Men’s Winch Light Industry Steel Toe Boot.
Dr. Martens boots are priced between $70 and $230.
14. Caterpillar Boots
If you’re in work environments that involve heavy machinery and engines, Caterpillar, or CAT for short, is a brand of boots that you should definitely consider.
You’re probably confused right now, thinking to yourself, “Wait a minute! Caterpillar isn’t a footwear company.” You’re a hundred percent correct. Caterpillar boots aren’t really produced or even marketed by Caterpillar. The production and the marketing have been done by Wolverine since 1994, with a license from Caterpillar.
Caterpillar is known for safety toe and soft toe work boots. It’s also a brand that’s known for its contemporary designs and styles. The brand has two main lines: casual-athletic-hiker boots and work boots. The second line is what we, industrial workers, are more concerned about, so I’m not going to talk about the first line.
Caterpillar work boots are extremely heavy-duty, featuring high-quality leathers and outsoles, comfortable insoles, and the brand’s contemporary styling. They’re some of the most durable work boots on the market.
My favorite Caterpillar work boot is the Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot. It’s super affordable, yet it boasts remarkable build quality and an appealing design. This boot perfectly represents CAT’s slogan, “Work without limits.” Highly recommended if you’re on a tight budget.
Caterpillar boots are priced between $50 and $200.
15. Chippewa Boots
Chippewa Boots is a veteran footwear company that was founded in 1901 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. The company is known mainly for work and recreational boots, but it also produces casual shoes for both men and women.
Chippewa boots are perfect for engineers, loggers, concrete workers, and construction workers who require rugged yet comfortable protective footwear. “Superior craftsmanship” is the brand’s motto.
Note that Chippewa is a subsidiary of Justin Brands, alongside brands like Nocona Boots, Tony Lama Boots, and Justin Original Workboots.
I like quite a few Chippewa work boots, but if I had to pick a favorite, I’d pick the Men’s Lace-to-Toe Logger Waterproof Boot. This reasonably priced boot features a leather upper, leather sole, and Texon insole. It also features waterproof bay apache leather.
Chippewa boots range from $130 to $350.
Must Read: I wrote a whole article on the comparison between Chippewa vs Red Wing, check it if you can’t decide between the two brands.
16. Rocky Boots
Rocky Brands, also known as Rocky Shoes & Boots, is an American footwear company that was established in 1932 in Nelsonville, Ohio by brothers F.M. and William Brooks.
The company not only produces high-quality work boots, but also hunting boots, western boots, and work apparel. “Rugged innovation since 1932” is the brand’s slogan.
Despite having been around for a long time, the Rocky brand started to garner recognition in the 1980s when the Cornstalker hunting boot was released.
Since then, Rocky’s popularity has been on the incline, producing some of the finest boots for outdoor, work, public service, and military purposes in the market.
My favorite Rocky work boot is the Men’s Governor Waterproof Safety Toe Boot, featuring a round composite toe cap, a full-grain upper, a leather insole, and an all-around appealing design.
Pricing-wise, Rocky boots range from $50 to $250.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Brands Of Work Boots Are Made In The USA?
Some of the most notable ‘American Made’ or ‘Made in USA’ work boot brands include Red Wing Shoes, Chippewa, Wolverine, Danner, Thorogood, Justin Boots, and Keen Utility.
Which Timberland Work Boot Is The Best?
The 6-Inch Premium Waterproof Boot is considered the best Timberland work boot. It’s made with full-grain nubuck leather, has an injection-molded sole for waterproofing, and features an anti-fatigue footbed for maximum comfort.
Which Brand Of Work Boots Is Best?
Ariat, Timberland PRO, Red Wing Shoes, Wolverine, and Justin Original are the top five work boot brands in the market, followed by Keen Utility, Danner, and Thorogood.
I’m Shaun Williams, editor-in-chief of Workwear Digest. My objective to help fellow blue-collar workers make informed buying decisions when choosing their workwear. I have over 15 years of combined experience with many industrial and manual labor jobs. I started out as a construction laborer and a part-time driver, then I worked as a heavy equipment operator. Currently, I work as an estimator for a local landscape company.