Best Men’s Work Boots

Finding the right pair of work boots that fit well, are constructed with care, and last a lifetime can be really tough. That’s why we did extensive research to find you the best pairs of men’s work boots made in the USA. Everyone has different needs, so we split out our recommendations into popular categories like steel toe, waterproof, hot weather, and more. Below, you’ll find additional details on our top picks, what we liked and didn’t like, and our research methodology. Be sure to check out our guide on women’s work boots made in the USA as well.

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 Men’s Work Boots Best for:
Carolina® Steel Toe Loggers Boot Steel Toe
Chippewa Waterproof Insulated Steel-Toe EH Logger Boot Waterproof
Thorogood American Heritage Moc Toe Boot Most Comfortable
Belleville Work Boots Hot Weather
Woolrich Men’s Yankee Boot Wool Lined
Corcoran Field Work Boot Field 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

Runner up: Red Wing Boots

 

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 Wool Lined Work Boots

Woolrich Men’s Yankee Boot

If you work in colder weather, wool lined boots can be a lifesaver. Enter Woolrich. Their Men’s Yankee Boots are incredible for keeping your feet warm and protected during the work day. The corded laces and double stitched apron toe that accompany these Horween leather work boots (from Chicago) make them super durable. We also really liked the style of these American made work boots from Woolrich, so you can wear them outside the workplace too. The wool lining is comfortable and is woven right next to the company’s home base in Pennsylvania at the Woolrich Mill.

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Things we like:

  • Comfortable wool lining
  • Top quality leather
  • Corded laces
  • Stylish

Things we don’t like:

  • A bit on the narrow side

 

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 also grips well in a variety of different terrains. These boots are going to last you a long time and hold up well in a variety of conditions.

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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

Recap: Best Men’s Work Boots Made in the USA


Factors We Considered

Sole and Upper 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.

Safety Toe

You want to be comfortable when you’re working, but you also need to be protected from unforeseen circumstances when dealing with heavy machinery and other equipment. Toe protection typically comes in three varieties: steel, aluminum, and composite toe. Steel is pretty typical, however they are magnetic and they conduct temperature as well. So, if you work around metal detectors of magnetized objects a lot, you may want to go with an aluminum or composite option. Same with extreme weather conditions – steel toes will simply exaggerate the cold or warm weather.

Weather Protection

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. GORE-TEX is a popular outsole material that helps protects against the elements that we considered.

Laces Quality

The laces are an important part of any work boot. Although they can be easily replaced, laces need to be durable, waterproof, easy to handle, and have the ability to easily stay tied.

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 also eliminated a few brands that are assembled in the USA but with primarily imported materials. Unfortunately, Danner and Wolverine are two of those brands. We think our top picks are some of the best value work boots on the market today.

For more boot recommendations, be sure to check out our guide on American made cowboy boots.


American Made Work Boots vs. Boots from China

When it comes to footwear, several American born companies are cutting costs and moving their operations overseas. Unfortunately, cutting costs typically means cutting quality as well. Labor and materials are cheaper in China and other popular manufacturing hubs, so their manufacturing process often cuts out important protective features of work boots or lacks durability because of the lower quality material that they make their boots with. Now, this choice is typically not the one of the manufacturing facility (there are many capable companies overseas who use high quality materials in their products), but that of the main shoe brand who wants to squeeze out every drip of cost possible in their manufacturing process. Remember to read labels and product details to ensure your next pair of work boots are made in the USA!