The Best Steel Toe Work Boots

Timberland PRO Pitboss Steel-Toe Boot

Our Top Pick for 2016: Timberland PRO Pitboss Steel-Toe Boot
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $91.98*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

Working in the construction field, manufacturing field, automotive field, and many other blue-collar jobs is very rewarding. There is nothing that can compare to the feeling you have when you take raw materials and turn them into something that is functional and aesthetically pleasing. However, there are inherent dangers that come from working in these fields, and so you want to take steps to protect yourself. One way that you can do this is by wearing high quality steel toe boots. In many industries, it’s mandatory. We’ve compiled a review of three of the most reliable high quality steel toe boots we could find. We’ve rated them gold, silver, and bronze. At the end, we give you a short review of an inexpensive option that is still quality.

Table of contents

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Slip Resistant
Oil Resistant Outsole
Supportive
Full Grain Leather
Wicks Moisture
Waterproof
Durable
Absorbs Shock
Contoured Heel Lock
Oil-Resistant Outsole
Slip-Abrasion
Removable Metatomical Footbed
Goodyear Welt Construction
Lace-Up Leather 
Oil And Slip-Resistant

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Timberland PRO Pitboss Steel-Toe Boot

Timberland PRO Pitboss Steel-Toe Boot Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $91.98*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerTimberland products have been the go to product for construction boots for decades. This is because Timberland offers products of the highest quality, that are comfortable, that are safe, and that are attractive to wear. Timberland’s devotion to excellence, coupled with the features this boot has to offer, are just a few of the reasons why the Timberland Pro PitBoss Steel Toe Boot is our gold pick.

The Timberland boot comes in a wide range of colors including brown, black, and the more traditional wheat. The boat is made from high quality leather, and it has a strong synthetic sole. These boots are designed for individuals with large or small feet. If you have wider feet, you will appreciate the fact that the shaft is approximately 5.5 inches starting from the arch. This means that you have more space to fit your feet into the boot without needing to struggle.

You can tell the quality of a boot by the thickness of its heel. In these boots, the heel is 1.5 inches thick, providing the protection and comfort you need as you walk around a construction environment.

There is a logo patch on the tongue of the boot. This way, you can show everyone that you appreciate quality and that’s why you buy Timberland boots. The collar of the boot is padded, and so this will prevent the back of your leg from chafing as you wearing these work boots.

When you wear your boots all day long, your feet get sweaty. That is just part of what happens. The Timberland Pro Pit Boss Steel Toe Boot tries to address this issue with a polyurethane midsole. This is designed to suck away some of the moisture, while at the same time absorbing the shock you put on your boots as you walk run or jump during the workday. Additionally, the fabric is lined with antimicrobial treatment to keep your work boots from getting stinky.

In construction and manufacturing jobs, the work environment is often slippery. For this reason, these boots have slip abrasion and oil resistant outsoles.

The construction of the steel toe meets the standards set out by the ANSI. You can be confident that if you drop something on your toes, they will be protected. In addition to providing foot protection, these boots are just comfortable. They have more room in the toe box than many other boots do. So your feet don’t hurt even if you’re working for hours. These boots are meant to last. You are going to be hard-pressed to be able to wear these boots out.

These boots can be used in electrical hazard jobs as the product description says that they provide electrical hazard protection. The boots are not waterproof, but their thick leather construction means they can stand up to getting wet. If you want to extend the life of your boots, use a waterproof shoe spray so that any water that gets on them just beads off.

Timberland boots boast a pro 24/7 comfort suspension system. This helps reduce the fatigue you feel as you work throughout the day. It supports your feet, it cushions your feet, and it stabilizes your feet so that the pressure you exert is evenly dispersed around the sole of your foot.

It is not surprising that reviewers on Amazon loved this product. It has more than 2,000 customer reviews, and it has received an overwhelmingly positive 4.3 out of 5 stars. More than 60 percent of customers who reviewed this product gave it five out of five stars.

One reviewer commented on how he wears these boots five days a week as he works in his auto shop. He says they fit perfectly, they whip away moisture perfectly, and he would highly recommend these boots to anyone who needs extra protection.

Another reviewer says that these are the only brand of work boots he’s bought for the past 12 years. The last pair he purchased lasted for three years, and the only reason that he threw them away was because his wife made him, but he felt that he could’ve kept using these boots for another six months.

Something that many reviewers did comment about was the fact that it takes a little bit to get to the boots broken in. This is due in part to the high quality materials that are used in the boot’s construction. However, every single one of these reviewers also mentioned that once they broke the boots in, they were the most comfortable thing that they have ever worn.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Caterpillar 2nd Shift Steel Toe Boot

Caterpillar 2nd Shift Steel Toe Boot

View it on Amazon for $69.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerCaterpillar is another company with a name that is synonymous with quality, durability, and trustworthiness. Every product they make is designed to stand the test of time. This is true not only with their tractors and escalators, but also with the boots that carry their name. For this reason, the Caterpillar Second Shift Steel Toe Boot has the distinction of being our silver product.

Made from leather and boasting a strong synthetic sole, these shoes are just made to last. The shaft is 6 inches wide when measured from the arch. The heel of the boot is 1 ¼ inch off the ground, and the platform is ¾ of an inch. This is an ankle cut work boot. The ankle area is padded, preventing chaffing and providing you an extra level of protection as you work. It is also oil resistant, and so this prevents the ankle area of your boot from collecting dirt and getting excessively dirty.

There’s no question that this boot was made for working. The full grain leather is strong and is going to stand up to the bumps, scrapes, and other mishaps you have as you’re walking through an automotive shop or working on a construction site. The Goodyear welt construction means that your boots will not just fall apart. It is guaranteed that you will quit working before these boots will. The Climasphere sockliner coupled with a rubber sole will help you keep your footing strong at all times.

These boots are going to be heavier than your average shoes. They weigh around 2 pounds. The extra weight comes from the safety features that you would obviously want from your steel toe boot.

These boots are not puncture resistant, but they are very sturdy, and there are many reviews of individuals who have stepped on nails, glass, and broken pipes and have not had any issues. They are also designed to provide electric hazard safety.

The lower part of the boot, up to the tongue, is waterproof. It is advisable to spray your boot with waterproof spray to improve the protection you get when you are in wet environments. These boots are designed to meet at the ASTM F2413–11 requirement for safety.

Reviewers on Amazon really enjoy wearing these boots. The product has been reviewed by over 950 people. Sixty-four percent of them give the boots 5 out of 5 stars. The average rating for these boots is 4.3 out of 5.

One reviewer commented on how he wears his boots every single day to work. And since he rides his motorcycle to work, they double nicely as motorcycle boots. He says that his boots are resistant to slippery surfaces like oil and asphalt, and he is able to put his foot down without worrying about it slipping.

Another reviewer said that these are the best boots he has ever had. He uses them five days a week, nine hours a day, and is adamant that he will never to buy another boot again.

In a testament to the durability of these boots, a third reviewer commented that three days after purchasing the boots, he dropped a 300 pound generator and he thought it missed his foot until he tried to move his foot and he realized that the generator was sitting nicely on his foot. He didn’t feel any pain, and the boots barely had a scratch.

Review after review testifies to the quality of these Caterpillar steel toe boots. They are attractive, they are comfortable, they provide adequate waterproof protection, and they protect your feet from unforeseen dangers on a construction site.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): KEEN Utility Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot

KEEN Utility Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot

View it on Amazon for $131.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardThe first thing that you’re going to notice when you look at these steel toe boots is that they’re just stylish. They deviate from the common style of work boot and have more of a hiker style. What’s nice about this is that the KEEN Utility Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot is a lot easier to move around in. Traditional work boots don’t have a lot of give, and so when you are working on a roof or working in an attic and you need to get solid footing, they can be uncomfortable.

It would be a mistake to believe that Keen opted for style over function. These boots are extremely functional. One of the nice things about them is their ankle support. They are flexible enough that you have some mobility, but you have little chance of rolling your ankle.

Because of their comfortable/functional design, these boots can be worn at the workplace multiple hours a day and you will not feel discomfort. You do not need to worry about the shoes coming apart at the seams or that they will stretch and lose some of their support.

Many of the boots that Keen produces are designed with an asymmetrical safety toe. This design provides a higher level of safety while at the same time not irritating your feet. The soles of the shoes are oil and slip resistant. They are waterproof and provide a level of electrical hazard protection.

Since the boot is not made out of leather, but instead of textile, it can breathe a little bit more. This means that your feet are not going to get as hot. You are not going to have as much sweat in your shoes, and the boot is just going to be more comfortable. All of these factors work together to minimize the amount of foot fatigue you feel as you go through the course of your workday.

Another nice feature that we feel you’re going to like about this boot is that it has a soft tongue. It might not sound like that big of a thing, but when you put your foot inside of a boot that has a rigid tongue, it feels like you’re wearing a ski boot all day long. No doubt, you’ve experienced the way that rigid tongues move around in your shoe, and they just don’t stay in the right position. This is not a problem with the KEEN boot. Additionally, the softer tongue gives you a bit of cushion, making your workday just that much easier.

This boot provide two levels of protection for your toes. In addition to the steel inside the boot that meets the ANSI safety standards, the exterior of the toe is covered with rubber. This provides a second layer of safety from objects that might fall on your foot.

The shoes are equipped with reflective webbing. This is an important feature, especially if you’re working on the road or at night. The reflective webbing is very eye-catching, especially when the light hits it during a dark night. This is just another safety feature from a shoe company that shows they understand what construction, manufacturing, and automotive workers need.

On Amazon, the boots received 4.5 out of five stars, with 69 percent of people giving the shoe five out of five stars. More than one reviewer referred to these boots using terms like great, love, and most comfortable. We really like the KEEN Utility Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot and are sure that you will as well.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Skechers for Work Foreman Concore Steel-Toe Boot

Skechers for Work Foreman Concore Steel-Toe Boot

View it on Amazon for -*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickAny man who has to spend most of his day up on his feet working in a rugged setting knows that having appropriate footwear is absolutely essential. However, not everyone wants to or has the budget to spend an arm and a leg on steel toe boots or other footwear. For this reason, we have chosen the Skechers for Work Foreman Concore Steel-Toe Boot as our budget product. This product balances affordability with durability.

Purchasing men’s work boots is not something that most people just do on a whim. When you need work boats, you need to save up a little and you want to find something that you can afford. You do not want to just throw your money at something that will not last all that long. Durability is one of your prime concerns. These boots are leather and have a rubber sole. Both of these features means that they are tough and will stand up to most work sites and weather conditions.

These boots are also attractive. They have a unique stitching detail and the Skechers logo embossed on the side. Fashion may not be your biggest concern when purchasing steel toe work boots, but with these ones, you don’t have to worry about looking bad. The boots are available in three different colors, which are wheat, dark brown, and chocolate dark brown.

Comfort is of great concern when purchasing steel toe work boots that you will be wearing for eight hours or more every day. They have a removable memory foam insole. Reviewers on Amazon mentioned multiple times that the boots are comfortable to wear for a long period of time. Some say that after a while the memory foam insole begins to wear down, but they simply purchased a new insole and were happy with their boots again.

The boots have a platform that is .75 inches. The heel measures 1.25 inches, and then the shaft is about 6.5 inches from the arch. Many individuals who have reviewed these boots on Amazon say time and again that they run big, which is great for individuals who have wide feet. A couple of people have said that the boots ran bigger than what they expected, but they were not concerned. One guy said that he purchased the boots just to wear a couple of times a year when it snowed, so he didn’t mind putting on an extra pair of socks. The vast majority of comments though are from individuals who appreciate the fact that the boots fit their wide feet and are not too tight.

Affordability is something else that people love about these steel toe boots. Fifty-two percent of reviewers on Amazon gave it a five star rating. It has a combined 4.1 out of five star rating overall.

The boots are not waterproof, but you can use a water repellent spray on them before wearing them in rainy, icy, and snowy weather.


Pre-purchase considerations

kinds of work boots

Before purchasing steel toe work boots or any other kind of work boots, it is good for you to understand that there are several different styles that are available. This will help you to purchase boots that are appropriate for the type of work that you will be doing. Of course, steel toe boots are great for working in hazardous areas where you may accidentally drop something heavy on your toes. They offer reinforced tips that can keep your toes and feet safe from punctures and falling items. There are other boots that are designed to offer protection from electrical charges. These are insulated and protect you from charges up to 600 V. Other work boots are designed to be weather resistant when you have to work in rainy conditions.

Material

Boots are made from a wide variety of different materials. Of course, your personal preference may determine the type of boots you purchase, as will your budget. Most boots are made from leather and rubber. The type of material the boot is made from will affect how long it lasts, how heavy the boots are, and if they are waterproof.

characteristics

Some people think that a boot is just to boot. However, certain types of work boots offer benefits to individuals who work in different types of environments. For example, it may be best for an individual who primarily works indoors to wear boots that are made from leather and nylon mesh. They are not as weather resistant, but they are flexible and lightweight. They are great for indoor work and for individuals who work in outdoor environments that are primarily warm and dry. Boots that are made of pure leather are not quite as flexible as boots made with a combination of materials. However, they will last a really long time and are resistant to water. They also provide years of foot and ankle support.

how they are put together

The way boots are constructed will determine if you will be able to have them repaired in the future. Boots are constructed in a couple of different ways. Less-expensive boots are usually ones that have the upper part of the boot glued to the outsole. More expensive boots are stitched to the outsole, which means that if you would like to have the soles replaced in the future, the option would be there to do so. The most durable boots are direct attached boots. This means the upper part and the outsole have been molded together. These will usually last the longest.

size

Of course, everyone wants to wear boots that fit. However, there are a couple of things to consider when finding the right size for you. This is going to allow you to feel comfortable while you are at work and will help to prevent variety of problems, including ingrown toenails. If you are purchasing insulated steel toe boots, you may want to go up half a size or a full size in order to make room for heavy socks that are necessary to wear during the cold winter months. If you are purchasing the boots from a store, try on several pair and walk around in the store for a while to make sure they fit well. If you’re purchasing online, read the reviews to see if others have found that a particular boot is true to size or if you need to adjust the size a little.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Steel toe boots are going to protect your toes and feet from injury when you are working on construction sites and in other settings. They can be the difference between being able to carry on with your day with no pain and needing to go to the hospital after dropping a heavy object on your foot. Finding the right steel toe boots takes a bit of work. However, when you find the ones that fit your particular needs, you will have a pair of boots that are durable, comfortable, and will help you get the job done.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. Safety Shoe Distributors, 10 Reasons to Wear Steel Toed Boots or Safety Shoes, www.safetyshoeDistributors.com, April 2, 2013
  2. Work Boot Critic, Review of the Timberland Pro Pit Boss 6 Inch Steel Toe Work Boot, 2016, www.workbootcritic.com
  3. Terapeak copywriters, What’s it worth?, http://www.terapeak.com
  4. LifeWire, Work Boots What You Need to Know Before You Buy, http://shoes.about.com
  5. Top Workboots, Reviews and Buying Guide, www.topworkboots.com
  6. Body Gear Guide, Best Work Boots for Men – Top Picks and Reviews 2016, www.bodygearguide.com, 2016

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