12 Best American Made Work Boots of 2019: Durable, Protective, and Classic (Men’s & Women’s Options)

american made work boots

You work long, hard hours in the land of opportunity. You can make something of yourself and be a success by your own efforts. That’s what it’s all about. So when it comes to work boots, why import? A boot made by American workers for American workers completes the picture. They come in classic styles foreigners know nothing about. You’re the real thing, and so your boots should be anything but a cheap imitation. That brings us to this review and buyer’s guide that’s all about the Best American Made Work Boots of 2019: Durable, Protective, and Classic. You have a handful of choices at your disposal that are reviewed to be the best by hard workers like you who wear their boots down and need a pair that they can count on. They’re durable, cost-effective, and made proudly in the USA. Scroll down to learn more.

Top American Made Work Boots Comparison Chart

ProductMaterialHeight
(inches)
PriceWhere to Buy?
Thorogood American Heritage Work BootLeather8$$$Check Price On Amazon
Double-H Gel ICE Western Work BootsLeather12$$Check Price On Amazon
Golden Fox American Heritage Moc Toe Work BootsLeather6$$Check Price On Amazon
Georgia Boot Blue Collar Romeo Work BootLeather5$$Check Price On Amazon
Reebok Fusion Max Military Tactical Work BootsSuede Leather8$Check Price On Amazon
Red Wing Heritage Iron RangerLeather6$$$$Check Price On Amazon
Red Wing Heritage Classic Moc BootLeather6$$$$Check Price On Amazon
White’s Boots 400VLTT Smoke Jumper BootsLeather$$$$Check Price On Amazon
Danner Quarry USA 8-Inch Alloy Toe Work BootLeather8$$$Check Price On Amazon
Danner Bull Run 8-inch BRN Cristy Work BootsLeather8$$Check Price On Amazon

American Made Work Boots Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to picking out a fresh pair of work boots, the best choice has everything to do with your work environment and the kind of work you do. Finding a pair made in America narrows your choices somewhat but the limitation and the cost is worth it for a quality pair. Some of your considerations will be environmental safety hazards, such as electric shock and wet conditions as well as debris from chips of metal, rough terrain, and steel-reinforced toes to protect your feet from falling objects. Most of the work boots reviewed have you covered in each of these categories but don’t expect to find a one-size-fits-all solution to every hazard. Each of the boots below is proudly made in the USA and is designed in a classic American style. As you read through the reviews below you’ll notice there are a few features common to all work boots you should keep in mind as you go along. Here are the features we’ll focus on as you explore each brand.

Made in USA

It’s hard to find shoes that aren’t imported these days. It might not be important to everyone but it is important to you, and that makes it matter enough to make a review just for shoes made in America. The history and heritage of the brand matters. Some of these are Union Made and others are not. But what they all have in common is they are shoes made for American workers, by American workers.

Reinforced toe

This is an important feature at construction sites to protect your feet from heavy, falling objects. The toe is generally reinforced with steel. It is not necessary for all work boots however it is an important feature to consider as you search. Most of the work boots below do not have this common feature.

Shock hazard

Some work sites definitely have the danger of electric shock. The boots are rated by RMS value, in volts and milliamperes, under dry conditions. It is important that your shoes are non-metallic so they don’t attract electric shock.

Reinforced ankle

If you’ll be carrying heavy loads or walking in rough or uneven terrain you’ll definitely want to watch out for your ankles. You’ll find the shaft of some of these shoes reinforced in various ways, such as fiber glass, to accommodate this common danger. The height of the shaft of the shoe is also a factor, some reaching to mid-calf and others barely passing the ankle. The former would be generally more protective even if it isn’t reinforced.

Outsole

This is the outside of the shoe that will protect you from the things around you. For traction, it is important to look for resistance to slipping, oil, and water. Different brands innovated different styles of tread to do the job. Durability against shrapnel and other sharp objects as well as loose debris is a hugely important factor in how long the soles of your shoes last. Another factor to consider about your outsole you may not have thought about is the main position you will be standing in when you wear your work boots. Most boots are designed for a standing position. But if you know you’ll be kneeling, shuffling, or crouching you may find you wear through your boots faster than most. In that case, a flexible sole will serve you, your wallet, and your feet better.

Waterproof

If you know you will be working under wet conditions, waterproofing might be the main feature that’s important to you. In other words, no water in, no water out. These shoes are not breathable and so won’t wick sweat or moisture away as much as a shoe made for dry conditions. Their traction is very important because they are sure to be used in slippery conditions.

Insole

This is the part that will have your feet howling at the end of the day if it isn’t done properly. The brands below took great pains to be sure the insole of the shoe is comfortable, supportive, and breathable. You’ll find gel-padded and innovative cushioning for shock resistance and support for your legs and lower back against carrying heavy loads. Even if you don’t walk long distances being constantly on your feet makes this a feature important to every brand of work boots you check.

Durability

All of these boots are built to last. However, some brands last better than others under different circumstances. You’ll find rubber soles superior to synthetic in general. Leather will resist water but not necessarily be waterproof. Out of any weak point on work boots, it tends to be stitching around the collar which is not necessarily part of the fundamental structure of what makes the boot sturdy.

Leather

There are different ways to craft leather. The way leather is crafted is called Welt. Goodyear Welt is one of the most difficult ways to craft leather and it’s well worth it because your boot will be strong enough to allow you to have your shoes re-soled when the original soles wear out. Welt that is not Goodyear is also sturdy and quite durable, but when the original sole wears out, you’ll have to replace the entire pair of boots because there is no fixing them. The Welted leather can’t withstand being detached from the sole and re-attached to a new one. If you’re very attached to your boots or want to save money by using the same pair for a very long time, it would be worth the expense of choosing a boot with Goodyear Welt specifically.

Now that you know the features that set one pair of work boots apart from another and what each one means to the end result of your shopping experience –  a satisfying, safe, and comfortable day at work – you are ready to read the review on each individual brand. All of the shoes below are American made and proud of their heritage. So focus on a work boot that suits your particular place and style of work. Now, let’s roll up our sleeves and get down to it, shall we?

American Made Work Boots Reviews

Thorogood American Heritage Work Boot

Thorogood American Heritage Work Boots are 100% leather, American made, non-safety boot that are ready to go to work. They have an 8 inch rounded toe and synthetic sole. The shaft measures about 8.25 inches from the arch. These come with a removable Ultimate Shock Absorption footbed on a Poron comfort cushion insole. The ankle is reinforced with a fiberglass shank. The MAXWear Wedge outsole is slip resistent. And the leather is constructed with Goodyear welt, Tobacco Oil-Tanned or Black Walnut full-grain leather. These are EH – Electric Hazard Resistant. They are manufactured with electric-shock resistant soles and heels capable of withstanding an application of 18,000 volts (root mean square (RMS)  value) at 60 Hz for 1 minute with no current flow or leakage current in excess of 1.0 milliamperes under dry conditions. Thorogood American Heritages are made in the USA of both domestically and globally sourced components.

You can get a grip on any job in these rugged, comfortable leather boots. Thanks to the single-density wedge outsole your feet will stay firmly planted on the ground even on slippery, wet grass and mud. They provide superior shock absorption for carrying heavy loads or just hefty strides. This style of boot also comes in a Safety Toe version. These are made by Weinbrenner Shoe Company, a leading manufacturer and pioneering force in American footwear since 1892. In fact, they developed many of the significant safety and job-fitted design elements common in work boots today. That makes Thorogood the most trusted brand in the uniform and work industry. All their styles are Union-Made in the USA and their union has been part of Weinbrenner Shoe Company since 1943.

Pros:

  • Very durable boot for industrial work with concrete, steel shavings, and chemicals
  • Comfortable, soft leather for kneeling position and better on your feet after a long day
  • More affordable alternative to popular Redwings

Cons:

  • Not waterproof or water resistant
  • Foam soles wear out after several months of heavy use
  • Eyelets at the top instead of speed laces

Double-H Gel ICE Western Work Boots

Are you a real cowboy on the lookout for a quality pair of sturdy boots for work? These Double-H’s may be exactly what you need. These Western-style work boots are made of leather with a lug sole. They are 12 inches tall arch to the top of the shaft. They are non-safety and not waterproof. These are done in classic cowboy styling with excellent durability and comfort. The outside is a golden-brown leather upper with a classic, white-stitched pattern that’s naturally abrasion and water-resistant. The ICE outsole is highly resistant to abrasion as well as oil-resistant. Inside, they’re everything you look for in a work boot. In the sole, you’ll find several technologies designed to maximize your comfort. Bio-corque and a DSS shank conform to the shape of your foot for excellent comfort and stability.

A Vitalize orthobed provides cushioning in impact zones. And a removable DRYZ contoured footbed wicks moisture away from your feet while killing bacteria and odors. Double H uses the Ultra-Welt system to attach the upper to the sole. The upper and the sole, along with the sock lining, are all sewn together with double-needle stitching to create a comfortable show with the ease of an unconstricted moccasin. In the heel, there’s a Gel-cell insert that absorbs the impact caused by repeated heel strikes. Which means they not only look good with classic Western style, but that you’ll have a hard time finding a more comfortable, American made work boot.

Pros:

  • They break in to fit your foot like a glove
  • The ICE soles are non-slip and long-wearing
  • They don’t hurt your feet after wearing all day long

Cons:

  • Tend to fit too tightly
  • Style changes slightly from year to year so getting the same thing as a repeat purchase may be frustrating
  • Heels wear out quickly

Golden Fox American Heritage Moc Toe Work Boots

These are 6-inch high boots with a moccasin toe and a wedge made specialized for construction. They are designed and manufactured proudly in the USA. They have no lining which makes them more breathable and comfortable in the heat. The insole is polyurethane and Anti-Fatigue because of the way it supports your lower back, legs, and absorbs shock from walking and carrying heavy loads. These shoes provide dependable comfort during long work days. Golden Fox boots are lightweight and durable – the lightweight rubber wedge outsole resists erosion from oil and chemicals while offering superior traction and support. It’s designed in a classic moccasin, toe-stitch style.

And it features Goodyear welted construction on the leather, a construction method that creates an excellent bond between the uppers and the outsole. It is known to be one of the most labor-intensive ways to make a shoe. Goodyear Welt prevents sole separation and allows your boots to be resoled after they wear out so you can keep on keeping on. Golden Fox’s Made in the USA collection brings home the classic boots that tradesmen have cherished for centuries, combined with the quality they’re known for. The collection pays homage to the American Dream that through hard work and determination any individual can achieve success in this country. These boots are excellent quality. The fit and finish is what you would expect in a boot twice the price. You’ll like the fit, the look, and the insole. The stitch around the collar is a vulnerable spot that may unravel with rough use. But all in all, you may find yourself buying these again.

Pros:

  • Anti-fatigue insole supports lower back, legs, and absorbs shock
  • Rubber outsole resists oil and chemical erosion while providing good traction
  • The fit and finish come at half the price of similar boots

Cons:

  • Stitch unraveling around the collar is a weak spot
  • Not steel toe reinforced for safety
  • Not waterproof or water resistant

Georgia Boot Blue Collar Romeo Work Boot

This 5 inch, waterproof work boot is made in Chelsea style which is a one piece, slip on that pulls up just above the ankle. It features a full-grain leather upper with a rubber, EVA sole and a nylon shank. It includes Georgia Boot’s branded waterproof system. The boots are non-metallic, light, and constructed of flexible cement with a molded TPU toe guard. The outsole is made from oil and slip resistant rubber with an elastic gore. The heel is abrasion resistant as well. The TDC (Technology Driven Comfort) polyurethane insole is offset by a high performance mesh lining. It has an Ergo-Fit safety toe designed to match the contours of the foot, providing superior comfort and flexibility.

This romeo boot is designed for the American worker. Emphasizing comfort and performance, the Georgia Boot Blue Collar Work Boot is ready to pull-on and take on hard work. You can move with ease in this work boot. The pull loops in the front and back help you slip into romeo while the elastic side gores stretch as you put your foot inside and then tighten to gently hug your ankles. The boot is waterproof and guaranteed to keep your feet dry. It is tough and durable and it is made to stand up to the rigors of the job. The rubber outsole resists slippery conditions and oil for sure footing. The abrasion resistant heel and molded TPU toe guard protect work boot and help it last longer. For maximum comfort, this boot features a Technology Driven Comfort polyurethane insole which provides comfort, arch support, and air circulation. It lasts through heavy use without breaking down or losing its shape.

Pros:

  • Good, sturdy, light work boot
  • Feel great even when you’re on your feet all day
  • A good fit for construction

Cons:

  • The toe seam is a weak point that may rip
  • No safety toe
  • Not resistant to chemicals

Reebok Fusion Max Military Tactical Work Boots

Reebok’s tan Fusion Max soft toe boots have an 8 inch shaft with an upper made from suede leather and cordura. It comes with a removable polyurethane cushion insert with a Gel Heel pad and Shock Eliminator heel cushion. The inside is covered in a moisture-wicking mesh lining. The outsole is a Recon Rugged Terrain, PU bottom with a Total Cushioning Comfort Bed. The boot is 100% non-metallic. It is extra protective and stabilizing with its 360 degree outsole side wall stitching to the upper. This outsole side wall is slip resistant and outfitted with TCT Total Cushioning Technology. Most work boots protect you while you’re at work but you’ll be tiptoeing around the ache at home.

Give your feet some backup with these military tactical work boots. They’ll support your feet under heavy loads with serious cushioning like gel padded heels with shock eliminator technology to take the edge off a hard step. They will also keep your ankle from rolling with its reinforced, slip resistant outsole side wall that is also padded with a Total Cushioning Comfort Bed unique to Reebok. The upper is made of leather and cordura and at 8 inches tall protects your leg up to your mid-calf. The outsoles have slip-resistant treads against oil and heat as well as being abrasion resistant against metal chips, chemicals, and rough surfaces. They won’t attract electric shock because they are non-metallic however they are not shock proof, water proof, or water resistant. These boots are lightweight and easy to wear for long periods. The interior lining wicks away sweat to keep you dry and cool as you work. The leather is made with Welt Construction and contoured for fit with suede overlay. You won’t be able to re-sole them but they are sturdy and built to last.

Pros:

  • They last over a year in rough terrain
  • Tread depth gives great traction
  • Light and comfortable all day long

Cons:

  • Can’t be resoled due to Welt construction
  • Soft toe
  • Not waterproof, water resistant, or shock proof

Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger

This 6 inch, 100% leather work boot has a rubber sole and is made in the USA. Red Wing is the brand to beat in American made men’s work boots. The shaft measures about 6 inches from the arch, the heel measures about 1 inch tall, and the platform measures about 0.5 inches. It is triple stitched for quality. For the perfect fit, it is best to try Red Wings in a store before buying online to be sure of your sizing because these don’t fit like your typical boot and the sizing reflects that. The special outsole is a Vibram 430 Mini-lug with Nitrile Cork. A new pair of Red Wing Heritage boots should fit comfortably tightly on your foot with enough free room to wiggle your toes. It features a bump toe that gives more room upfront that your typical work boot. A tip for fit – try one half size smaller than your typical shoe size.

The hardware used are nickel eyelets and hooks. The outsole is nitrile cork. And it’s reinforced with a steel shank. With Goodyear welt construction these boots will last you a very, very long time. They aren’t waterproof but they do very well in rain and snow. The traction is acceptable for ice. And they don’t squeak at all. They feel fantastic right out of the box, comfortably tight, and sturdy like they’ll be around forever. They even smell great! Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger holds your foot firmly, comfortably, and they look fantastic. They seem pricey but you absolutely get what you pay for and they are worth it. They will carry you for far longer than two or three pairs of less expensive boots. It doesn’t hurt when you’re breaking them in – wear them straight to work and they’ll change from good to amazing before your eyes. The better they fit, the faster they will break in.

Pros:

  • Excellent vibram sole
  • Triple stitched for quality
  • Quality will last longer than two or three pairs of less expensive work boots

Cons:

  • Sizing may be difficult to get correct without visiting a store for fitting
  • Difficult to tell colors on the internet
  • Quality is worth it but it is a more expensive option

Red Wing Heritage Classic Moc Boot

A crepe wedge serves as the foundation for this durable, handsomely made moc-toe boot from the name in American made footwear for work, Red Wing. It is 100% leather, stain and perspiration resistant. This boot is made for work but it is also designed to complement a casual lifestyle. It looks rugged and features a thick, treaded outsole with a waterproof leather upper, which gives the boot water resistance but it is not fully waterproof. The construction is Norwegian Goodyear welt for strength and durability. The shaft measures about 5.5 inches from the arch, the heel measures approximately 1 inch high, the platform measures about .75 inches, and the boot opening measures about 6 inches around. The moc-toe features a white Traction Tred rubber outsole and a leather insole with nickel eyelets.

The leather comes in two colors – copper rough and tough leather. The quality on Red Wing Heritage Classic Moc boots is unlike any other shoe or boot you’ve ever seen. Spending more for the quality will give you shoes that outlast cheap shoes by many years, ultimately saving you money. It’s best to condition the leather right out of the box with these so the keep looking as nice as they perform. These are not comfortable for standing on your feet all day at a construction site type of work boots. But what are they? Old school, classic downtown department store shoes your grandfather would have worn in the 1950s. The style is much sought after and is called 1907. Leather construction, leather lined toe, leather insole boots with an outer sole that can be replaced when needed. This is a hard, tough boot that will take time to break in but will mold to your foot and it will pay off.

Pros:

  • Much sought after 1907 style, classic work boots
  • Best used for department store type work
  • Complements a casual lifestyle

Cons:

  • Not a heavy duty work boot for construction or industrial work
  • They are not fully waterproof
  • Waterproof coating on the leather doesn’t break in as easily

White’s Boots 400VLTT Smoke Jumper Boots

White’s are a big name in work boots and it shoes in the construction of this quality vibram lace-to-toe (VLTT) jumper boot. They are 100% premium, full-grain, oil-tanned leather constructed with a Vibram sole. The shaft is 10 inches high with White’s patented Arch Ease design. It meets requirements for protective clothing and equipment for wild land firefighting. One unique thing about these boots is they are completely rebuildable for many years of extended life and the best possible value. It has a lace in tongue guard and the leather laces are included. They are hand-sewn, hand lasted, and stitch-down for flexibility. For fit, take the measurement of your foot at the heel.

The heel height, measuring from the back of the boot where the leather meets the sole up to where the sole meets the surface of the ground, measures 2 inches exactly. However, the sole of the boot puts you on a bit of a slope, so the back of the heel is 2 inches and the front of the heel is less. These are not steel toe boots. The boots are very well made and, after break-in, very comfortable. They work great for daily ranch and forestry wear. You don’t have to be a smoke jumper to enjoy them. They have fantastic arch support and a hearty feel. Your back will feel so much better thanks to White’s special arch system. The lace-to-toe feature just adds to the support of the boot. You will stand up straighter and feel stronger. And, as a result, you will be able to walk further and stronger than in other shoes.

These boots are quite heavy. The sole is thick and protective such that you won’t feel the debris on uneven ground. They are hand-crafted and in wearers’ own opinions, worth every penny. They will last for years to come, so you are finally finished buying lace up boots. If you ever do manage to wear out the hefty Vibram sole, you can have them replaced. You can skip the trial and error and lost money on boots that don’t work for you or are missing that much needed arch support – this is the right boot with great ankle support, the right fit, and the right size. You can order a boot with a little extra room for thick socks and replace the insole if you like for instant comfort, even if you have sensitive feet.

Pros:

  • These boots meet safety requirements for wild land fire fighting
  • Excellent arch support, durability, and they are rebuildable
  • Once you break them in it feels like they are one with your feet

Cons:

  • Be sure to check your size as it runs large and may not be consistent with other boots and brands
  • Take quite a bit of oil and walking to break in
  • Very heavy in weight

Danner Quarry USA 8-Inch Alloy Toe Work Boot

The guys at Danner are craftsmen. They pay attention to the little details that make a big difference. They forgo quantity for quality with the knowledge that the boots they craft are no better than the hands that create them. After much research and evaluation of their previous models, Danner’s Quarry USA boot offers unrivaled comfort and durability to the workplace. It is 100% full-grain leather in a classic design offering superior protection and features a Vibram sole with steel toe protection. They are also 100% waterproof with a Gore-Tex breathable lining. Their hand-crafted, stitch-down construction provides a wider platform for better stability underfoot.

They are triple-stitched for superior durability and endurance on the job. It has rugged hardware to secure the fit for long lasting performance. The new Vibram Quarry outsole is made of heel, oil, and slip resistant rubber compound with a non-linear lug pattern for excellent traction and debris release. This is a real workman’s boot. Possibly the very best for working in tough, rugged conditions. The new Quarry’s are a huge improvement on the old model of Quarry’s. The insole is definitely superior for working on concrete without needing an aftermarket insole. Your feet will stay comfortable, dry, and warm. They are quite insulated. And the inner lining is amazing – your feet will slip in and right out again with practically no effort without issues with hotspots and blisters while breaking them in. The old Quarry’s last for years (by years, I mean around 5 years of heavy use) and with the improvements the new ones may last even longer. They are excellent for welding or in factories where you must stand on hard steel or concrete for long hours. Any job where steel toe is required, Danner is the number one company for your work environment.

Pros:

  • Excellent insole for jobs standing on hard surfaces for long hours
  • Steel toe with Vibram sole for superior traction
  • Waterproof and insulated to keep you dry, comfortable, and warm in the cold

Cons:

  • Not durable for walking over shrapnel or rugged terrain
  • Difficult to break in
  • Leather is not as durable as comparable brands like Red Wing and White’s

Danner Bull Run 8-inch BRN Cristy Work Boots

These full-grain leather boots have a synthetic sole and shaft measuring 8.5 inches from the arch. It has a polyurethane footbed and a fiberglass shank. These boots really shine in terms of safety against electrocution because they are non-conductive and electrical shock resistant. Danner Bull Runs are made for strength and durability. Hand-crafted in the USA, they boast a stitch-down construction and well-oiled full-grain leather upper for longevity. The fiberglass shank is both ankle supportive and insulative against electric shock. The polyurethane footbed is cushioned for all-day comfort. And the outsole is a non-marking, oil and slip resistant Danner Wedge that provides lightweight support as well as great traction on a variety of terrains. There is no liner so they get a little cold in the winter.

But on the flip side they are perfect for working in the summer for coolness and breathability. They take a long time to break in, some say 5 days other say up to one month, but once they do finally break in they are comfortable. The break in on these is quite uncomfortable so it would be a good idea to oil or wax them straight out of the box to speed up the break in time. However, these are not the most comfortable boots in the world for very long walks or work days, even after break in. For something more comfortable you might try a more expensive Danner or another brand. These are great on your feet for metal workers standing sturdy on a hard surface. You might find these particular boots comparable to Red Wing 877s. These are simply boots of excellent quality, mainly just unlined leather on a rubber sole. They look nice and worn in after only a few weeks and a touch of wax. The size is accurate to your normal shoe size.

Pros:

  • Non-conductive and resistant against electric shock
  • Lightweight with good traction
  • Unlined for coolness and breathability

Cons:

  • Long break in time – requires oil or waxing
  • Not comfortable for long work days
  • Not durable enough to last one year of heavy use

Conclusion Final American Made Work Boots Recommendations

Now you know your options for durable, cost-effective, and American made work boots. There are only a couple of choices that meet those standards and these are the crowd-favorite work boots of their class. Our guide, the Best American Work Boots of 2018: Durable, Protective, and Classic, took you by the hand and showed you exactly what to look for in any pair of work boots, then took it a step further with reviews of the favorite work boots of American workers made by American workers. You are a real American working hard to earn your opportunities – why should you accept anything less in the work boots you wear every day? That’s what living in the USA was always supposed to be. Now you have a pair of boots that work just as hard as you do and keep on keeping on making your feet more comfortable and keeping you safe from environmental conditions as you do what you do. Choose your favorite pair of boots and get back to work in classic style.

Frequently Asked Questions About American Made Work Boots

Q: Looking for good American Made work boots

I work as a tech in a casino so I’m on carpets most of the time. Sometimes I transport heavy slot machines on trucks and they are quite heavy so a steel toe is good for preventing crushed toes. Electrical resistant is also a plus. I’d like for them to be made in the USA. Thanks for any help!

A: For a work boot that’s resistant to electrical shock I would recommend Danner Bull Run 8-inch BRN Cristy Work Boots, Reebok Fusion Max Military Tactical Work Boots, or Thorogood American Heritage Work Boot. These may be heavier than you need, working on carpet. But they’ll give you great traction, support, and they’ll be comfortable for long hours on your feet.

Q: Best comfortable, durable work boots?

I work as a repairman at a property management company. I work in lots of different conditions ranging from slippery roof tops to walking around a job site for hours on daily for multiple days a week. I’m looking for something that gives solid support, and is overall comfortable and absolutely durable. Any suggestions are much appreciated!

A: For that kind of comfort and traction you have quite a few options. White’s Boots 400VLTT Smoke Jumper Boots have great traction but they’re heavy, Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger give decent traction on ice and are light and comfortable, Reebok Fusion Max Military Tactical Work Boots will definitely give you traction on a rooftop and are quite light with the reinforcement to support you ankle, or Thorogood American Heritage Work Boot for firm footing are all good choices and it will come down to a matter of budget as well as personal preference.

Q: Work boots that don’t suck?

I work as an industrial mechanic and my Timberlands just can’t do what I need them to do. They are comfortable enough but the tread keeps falling apart as I go on. I need ideas for a safety toe shoe that will hold up against oil, grease, sparks, things like that, that are comfortable enough for standing on concrete for 10+ hours daily, and will last me or can be resoled.

A: Not all shoes can do everything you asked. Your best bet would probably be Danner Quarry USA 8-Inch Alloy Toe Work Boot – it is a real workman’s boot that meets of the requirements you asked for. It has a steel toe, comfortable insole for standing long hours, resists oil, and gives good traction. For a quality, non-metallic safety toe that can hold its own against oil and grease with good traction and durability check out Georgia Boot Blue Collar Romeo Work Boot.

Q: Work boots vs trendy fashion “dressy” boots? Can you get the best of both worlds?

I’m about to make a decision on some quality boots that will last a long time, look great, and stand up against the elements. I’m surprised to see many models with strong work features are less expensive than those without, like insulation and waterproofing. Is this just the cost of fashion or am I leaving out something important?

A: The cost of fashion comes down to the types of materials its built from as well as brand recognition. With work boots, the brands are known for their performance in a variety of work environments. Different brands specialize in different work environments and that shows in the price. The quality of the leather also makes a big difference in the price as well as the actual upgrades in the shoe, like fiberglass reinforcement, steel toe, and gel inserts for padding. Fashion shoes leave this out in favor of brand recognition. That said, a pair of quality work boots can absolutely be good looking while being more functional than your typical shoe. I would look specifically at the Red Wing brand. One highly sought after shoe for its classic styling that doesn’t sacrifice the craftsmanship of a quality work boot, even if it isn’t as heavy duty as others you might find, would be Red Wing Heritage Classic Moc Boot.

Q: Best pair of waterproof steel-toe workboots for landscaping, hardscaping, and masonry?

I work for a contractor that does a lot of different kinds of outdoor work involving a combination of landscaping, as in irrigation, as well as hardscaping and masonry. I’m somewhat new to my work so I looking for trustworthy suggestions on durable, waterproof steel-toe workboots for daily use in wet, muddy conditions. I have no clue which to pick from available options. Any suggestions? Thanks.

A: For waterproof work boots that are also steel toe the very best choice would be Georgia Boot Blue Collar Romeo Work Boot. These are fully waterproof, give great traction in wet and muddy conditions, and have a non-metallic safety toe for resistance to electric shock. Another waterproof choice would be Danner Quarry USA 8-Inch Alloy Toe Work Boot. This one has a steel toe and and excellent insole for standing and walking on hard surfaces like concrete for long periods of time.

Q: Made in USA work-grade hiking boots

I’m a landscaper. I’m looking for made in the USA work grade hiking boots. I don’t mind paying more for something that will last. Weather resistant is what I really need. I like the hiking boot because they are often lighter and more comfortable for the amount of walking I do.

A: There are two pairs of boots that come to mind. The best choice for working in the wild lands is actually a boot that meets safety requirements for fire fighting. It’s called White’s Boots 400VLTT Smoke Jumper Boots. They are super comfortable, but quite heavy. Your other, more lightweight option, is Reebok Fusion Max Military Tactical Work Boots. Sturdy, perfect for walking in rugged terrain, and comfortable for long treks or working on your feet all day. Both are perfectly weather resistant as they are made for the outdoors.

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