FROM steel toe caps to water resistance and insulation, there are many add-ons you can get when choosing new work boots to buy. In this guide to the best men’s work boots, we’ve selected the top designs with a wide range of different functions, so you can choose the pair that works best for you.
In fact, work boots are so practical that they’ve crossed over easily into casual outfits too, as these celebrities show. Jake Gyllenhaal wears his slate grey work boots on cold winter walks while Kanye West and Mark Wahlberg pair their classic tan Timberlands with jeans and a T-shirt. How do you know which pair to choose? Make a note of the features you need from your next new pair of work boots, and find the best for you in the guide below. Some of the designs can be worn everywhere, whether at work, on the weekend or even out walking. In fact, US brand Indestructible Shoes recently launched the future of work boots: steel-toe, military grade kevlar made, moisture-wicking trainers that offer the same support and durability as work boots in the simplicity of a trainer. This guide focuses mostly on practicality – it’s what you’ll need day after day at work, after all.
1. Best men's work boots for working: Cat Footwear Caterpillar Holton Boots
- Caterpillar Holton Boots, £95 from Cat – buy here
For really comprehensive protection, the Caterpillar Holton model is kitted out with a steel toe cap and anti-slip rubber soles that are fixed with a Goodyear welted construction, meaning they can be replaced when necessary without the need to buy new boots. There’s just as much technology on the inside too – a moisture-wicking lining keeps your feet feeling fresh even after long or hot days, while the insole is anti-bacterial and odour-resistant, giving the design even more longevity.
2. Best men's work boots for walking: Meindl Men's Borneo 2 MFS Boot
- Meindl Mens Borneo 2 MFS Boot, £233 from Cotswold Outdoor – buy here
Meindl's work boots tick every box for practicality and comfort, and these Borneo work boots are an investment buy for serious trail walkers and hikers. On the outside they are made from nubuck for hard-wearing durability, with a leather lining and Vibram rubber soles, which provide great cushioning and grip. The DIGAfix lace-up system keeps the heel firmly in place, providing additional support, while the Memory Foam System ensures a good fit and maximum comfort on all walks. 'These boots replaced my first pair of Meindl boots which were the best boots I've ever had. These boots are just as comfortable, fit perfectly and give excellent support', writes a fan.
3. Best all-rounder men's work boots: Timberland 6 Inch Premium Icon Boots
- Timberland 6 Inch Premium Icon Boots, £180 from Timberland – buy here
These Timberland boots are made with a seam-sealed construction and lightweight insulation padding, providing secure protection from the elements without adding bulk or weight. On top of that, the leather is waterproof and the soles have chunky rubber lugs for strong grip on a range of surfaces – and in many different conditions. The padded ankle support provides extra security and comfort.
4. Best value men's work boots: Dickies Fury Safety Hiker Boots
- Dickies Workwear Hiker Fury Safety Boots, £29.95 from Amazon – buy here
Not only do these Dickies boots have steel toe caps, they’ve also got steel panels in the soles to protect the base of the feet as well. The shock-absorbent soles also contain anti-static protection to protect against the build-up of electrostatic charge and enhance safety. A breathable lining and cushioned ankle support add extra comfort for long shifts.
5. Best men's work boots for being on your feet all day: Skechers Relment Traven Boots
- Skechers Black Relment Traven Boot, from £57.30 from Amazon – buy here
Skechers’ Relment Traven boots are designed in a hiking-boot style, so they’re ideal for long days spent on your feet. They’ve got full-length memory foam insoles and shock-absorbent midsoles for comfort. On top of this, the seam-sealed construction is completely waterproof, and the gusset tongue is connected at the sides to keep grit out. Mesh panels keep things breathable to ensure your feet stay cool.
6. Best stylish men's work boots: Sorel Madson Boots
- Sorel Madson Waterproof Moc Toe Boots, from £103.28 from Amazon – buy here
Canadian footwear specialists Sorel have created these boots from slightly distressed waterproof leather for a rugged and practical finish. The moulded footbed and rubber soles will keep your feet secure on the move, while the ankle-height lacing and padded ankle support provide extra protection in challenging environments.
7. Best men's work boots for everyday wear: Dunlop
- Dunlop Men's Boots, £32.99 from Sports Direct – buy here
8. Best all-weather work boots: Dunlop Mens Black Rigger Safety Wellington Boot
- Dunlop Mens Black Rigger Safety Wellington Boot, £39.99 from ShoeZone – buy here
9. Best Boots for under £20: Portwest
Portwest Steelite Protector Boot, £10.16, from GS Workwear – buy here
If you're someone who wears work boots most days then chances are you will need something extremely sturdy and durable. Portwest Steelite produces workwear boots for a host of trades and they come with a 200-joule steel toecap steel midsole with a slip-resistant energy absorbent heel. The simple explaination? They are a good robust boot which is super comfortable, meaning you'll easily be able to wear them all day. And at just £10.16, they're an absolute bargain!
10. Best pure leather work boots: Hoggs of Fife
- Hoggs of Fife boots, £59.76, from Amazon – buy here
Leather boots are great for the active person who needs flexibility. Leather as a material is known for its durability and is also very breathable but when put in the form of a shoe or boot it literally moulds in shape around the foot. Owned and managed by the Hogg family and based within the Kingdom of Fife, Scotland, Hoggs of Fife makes a classic boot that offers fantastic absorption and great grip too. Not only do they make work boots but they also have a great range of protective hiking boots – suitable for the whole family!
11. Best Soft Toe Work Boot: Timberland Pro
Timberland Pro men's work boots, from £199.21, at Amazon – buy here
Soft toe boots are good for work because they offer a great level of comfort, movement and mobility. They are particularly good for saving your feet from germs and chemicals while being sturdy and slightly more comfortable than a steel toe cap. While they don't offer the same protection as a steel toe, they are so snug that they are even suitable to wear out of work. The Timberland Pro's offer full-grain leather with a waterproof membrane for comfort but with a lot of endurance.
12. Best Steel toe cap work boots: Himalayan
Himalayan leather steel toe cap boot, £28.27, from Work Wear Express – buy here
Steel toe-capped boots are important for those working in environments where there may be falling objects, lifting heavy items or operating equipment. These Himalayan boots are anti-static and oil resistant with 200 Joule toecap protection. The toe cap is also combined with a midsole plate to protect against any punctures from below while the double safety pull makes them easy to take on and off.
What are the most comfortable work boots?
The most comfortable men's work boots keep feet protected and dry, but are still lightweight and, ideally, are the kind of shoes you can spend all day in. Cat Footwear – the brand behind the Caterpillar work boot – is known for prioritising comfort and function with durable designs that won't cause your feet to ache after 12 hours' wearing them. On the value end of the spectrum, Dunlop's work boots are well rated in terms of safety, design and comfort.
What are the best boots for working on concrete?
Working on concrete all day can take its toll on the feet and at the end of the day may make them feel a bit sore so comfort is key. Look out for work boots with cushioned soles that are made from sturdy material. You'll still want some flexibility so try brands such as Timberland, Dunlop, Caterpillar and Hoggs of Fife for quality boots.
What is the best steel toe work boots?
Steel toe-capped boots are made for every job and season. Not only do they protect from falling objects but they are great for operating machinery or using heavy equipment. Depending on if you are working inside or outside, or even in damp conditions, the best steel toe capped boots come from brands such as Himalayan, Timberland, Caterpillar, and Dunlop.
What are the best socks for work boots?
While it is important to protect the feet when working it is also good to pay attention to the type of socks to wear with work boots. Things to look out for when purchasing socks are reinforced heels and toes, socks that are non-slip, socks that have moisture control and are breathable.
What are the best work boots for flat feet?
If you have a flat foot chances are some boots may not feel quite right. Look for boots with ample arch and a supportive sole that fit snug around the ankle (but not too tight!) One of our favourite brands is Timberland Pro which was created specifically for flat and wider feet.
What are the best insoles to buy for work boots?
An insole can help greatly when wearing work boots, particularly if they are brand new (when the leather can be a little harder and hasn't had time to adjust to your foot shape). An insole can support the arch and sole – and even prevent bunions if used regularly. There is also the great debate of whether to use a foam or gel insole and while the gel is great for shock absorption, foam is the best for all-around general support. Try stores such as Foot Active, Amazon, and Screwfix.
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