Best Work Boots (Men’s)

We did extensive research to find you the best pairs of work boots made in the USA. Below, you’ll find additional details on our top picks, what we liked and didn’t like, and our research methodology.

Our Findings

Overall, we found that there were several American made boot brands that are making really high quality products. Carolina and Chippewa highlighted the traditional work boot categories with steel toes, waterproof material, and many of the consistent features you see with most work boots these days. We found that Thorogood is really making some incredibly comfortable work boots. And finally, Belleville and Corcoran were the standouts in tactical and field boots. Read more below for additional details on our recommendations!

Top Recommendations

Best Work Boots (Men’s)Best for:
Carolina® Steel Toe Loggers BootSteel Toe
Chippewa Waterproof Insulated Steel-Toe EH Logger BootWaterproof
Thorogood American Heritage Moc Toe BootMost Comfortable
Belleville Work BootsHot Weather
Corcoran Field Work BootField Boot

Recommendations: Going Deeper

Here are some additional details on each of our top picks: product features, benefits, what we liked, what we didn’t like, and of course where to get them.

Best Steel Toe Work Boots

Carolina® Steel Toe Loggers Boot

Carolina has a great lineup of work boots with one primary attribute in mind: toughness. They even say it themselves all over their website: “Just. Plain. Tough.” Their Steel Toe Loggers Boot is no exception. Each boot has a supportive steel shank (located in the arch of the shoe) and steel toe. The outer material and high top is super supportive, and they don’t overload you with too much material so the boot stays lightweight. Ironically, despite the brand name, their headquarters is in Pennsylvania, which is the same place where they manufacturer each and every pair of their boots.

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Things we like:

  • Steel toe plus a steel shank for added durability in the arch of the foot
  • Water resistant material
  • Rubber outsole built for traction
  • High ankle support
  • Lightweight

Things we don’t like:

  • Sizes run a little narrow

 

Best Waterproof Work Boots

Chippewa Waterproof Insulated Steel-Toe EH Logger Boot

Waterproof and insulated, the Chippewa Logger Boot is a great choice for anyone who works in a cold, damp environment. Chippewa developed a proprietary technology that they call Chip-A-Tex, which is a waterproof, but breathable membrane around the boot. Water is shut out, but air can still pass through. The inside of the boot is lined with Dri-Lex, a “moisture management” system of lining that makes the boot breathable on the inside and quick to dry. They also have insulation in there for when the weather gets cold. It tested best among other boots in our research for surviving frigid temperatures.

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Things we like:

  • Water resistant material
  • Steel toe
  • Comfortable insulation
  • Logger outsole for stability and traction on a variety of different surfaces (including slick ones)
  • Good high ankle support

Things we don’t like:

  • These boots take a while to break in. Wear them around the house for a bit before wearing them on the job.

 

Most Comfortable Work Boots

Thorogood American Heritage Moc Toe Boot

The full grain leather Thorogood American Heritage Moc Toe Boot tested best in our research for comfort. What sets it apart from the competition is the construction of the insole and the outsole, designed for shock absorption and comfort. The insole is “dual density” which is just fancy words for essentially two layers for added support. Underneath the insole is a fiberglass shank, different from the steel shanks that you typically see in work boots. This makes the boot a little more lightweight and flexible. On the outside, the outsole is made of a synthetic material designed for durability and traction. The boot tested well on maintaining grip on slick surfaces. One last note: they run a little large, so you’ll likely want to order about a half size down.

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Things we like:

  • Shock absorption in the insole and outsole of the boot
  • Slip resistant traction
  • Full grain quality leather

Things we don’t like:

  • Not very water resistant

 

Best Work Boots for Hot Weather

Belleville Work Boots

Belleville is world class at making tactical boots, particularly for hot weather. Pictured left is their minimalist training boot, designed for more natural movement and breathability. The Aero-Spacer mesh lining wicks away moisture at your feet and lets air flow in and out very easily. The bottom rubber sole, while more minimal than a traditional work boot, has almost the same amount of traction slippery surfaces. This boot is also AR 670-1 compliant, which means it is authorized by the U.S. Army. If you live in a hot and dry climate, this boot is a durable option for you to stay cool and get the job done.

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Things we like:

  • Breathable mesh lining
  • High ankle support
  • Minimal material
  • Good traction
  • Light, weighing in at less than 2lbs for the pair

Things we don’t like:

  • Outsoles don’t last as long as a traditional work boot

 

Best Field Work Boot

Corcoran Field Work Boot

Corcoran was one of the original suppliers of army boots in World War II, and continues to make quality field boots to this day. This particular field work boot is super rugged and durable, two essential requirements for pretty much every boot that Corcoran makes. If you like firm boots with some extra support, these are a good option for you. The arch of the boot has a steel shank for even more stability. The Vibram outsole grips well in a variety of different terrains.

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Things we like:

  • Firm and durable
  • “Self cleaning” leather that washes off mud and other gunk with just a little moisture
  • High speed lacing ability, with hooks instead of holes on both sides
  • Classic paratrooper look

Things we don’t like:

  • Not waterproof, your socks will likely get wet in the rain

Factors We Considered

Durability

Your work boots have to be durable to handle the wide variety of jobs you need to accomplish in them. We looked for boots that were made from high quality material, treated well, and had the proper construction to last long. Features like steel toes, full grain leather, steel shanks, thick outsoles, and laces that don’t fray were all things we valued.

Comfort

You’re often spending an entire day in your work boots before you get to kick them off – they need to be comfortable. Comfort largely stems from the construction of the insole and outsole of the boot. We looked for soft, breathable insoles that are going to form to the shape of your foot. On the outsole, shock absorption is really important.

Versatility

Some jobs are just unpredictable. You need your boots to be able to adapt with you in all scenarios, whether is it hot, cold, rainy, muddy, or any other condition. Water resistance along the boot and traction control on the outsole were two major factors we considered here.

Value

We want to make sure that you’re getting the best work boots for your money. We made sure to weed out any boots from our analysis that didn’t pass our criteria for quality vs. price. If the price was too expensive for the quality you were getting, then we eliminated it. We think our top picks are some of the best value work boots on the market today.

 

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