A machine is only as good as the person who operates it. Workers are an important part of any organization and while working with machines, they often tend to get hurt. An injured worker means a gap in your machinery, and less productivity today and tomorrow. Therefore, it falls upon both the workers and the employers to keep themselves and each other safe in a working environment.
If your day-to-day job includes hours of toil and working in a dangerous area, then protective clothing and a solid hat won’t do the job. You also need waterproof work boots to ensure that your feet are safe and you can stay on your feet all day.
In this article, we will discuss some of the most durable waterproof work boots and how to pick one for yourself.
Toes are the most important part of work boots as they protect the most vulnerable part of your feet. Therefore, be sure that you have the right safety toes in your work boots. Generally, work boot toes can be divided into three broad categories: aluminum, composite, and steel. All three of the safety toe categories are ASTM-rated for foot protection in different work environments.
The heaviest and safest steel toes are the most popular choice for protective toe caps. They’re best suited for construction sites where there is a constant danger of falling objects, oil spills, heavy machinery, studding your toe, etc. they can withstand substantial pressure without damage which means they can keep workers safe from serious injuries to their feet and toes.
On the other hand, steel is a condctor of electricity and heat. It tends to heat up pretty quickly in high temperatures and isn’t suitable if you work in an environment with extreme environment and electric hazard.
Alloy toes such as aluminium is ideal for workers who want lightweight yet protective footwear. It has the advantage and drawbacks of steel toes with less weight.
Composite-toes are non-metallic and best for environments that need to stay metal-free. It offers extra comfort, and protection from electric and heat hazards. For this reason, composite toes are a safe choice for all weathers.
Composite toes are made with a variety of different materials including carbon fiber, kevlar, etc. To take advantage of properties in different materials, some manufacturers even combine the materials to make composite toes.
When you’re working outdoors, there’s no escaping extreme weather. Especially the rainy days can be quite challenging. Waterproof boots are the best way to keep your feet dry in all weathers. If youw work in below zero temperatures, then you can also consider getting the insulated variants of your work boots.
When it comes to waterproofing, work boots have three options, rubber, leather, and Gore-tex. Leather boots are usually the most expensive choice. They’re usually waterproof, last longer, comfortable, and look great. Rubber shoes are a less expensive option, but they usually don’t have the insulating capabilities of leather boots.
When it comes to Gore-tex, things get a bit complicated. Gore-tex is well-known for its waterproofing capabilities, but on top of that, it’s also breathable. That makes it a great choice for not only cold rainy weather, but warm places. However, some people complain that Gore-tex isn’t as breathable as we may think. For some people, the breath quality doesn’t work as expected.
Unlike most accessories, shoes aren’t a choice, especially work shoes. We have to wear them, wear the right one, and wear them right. When it comes to waterproof work boots, let’s keep one thing in mind. They don’t come in cheap. The boots usually start from $100 and a good pair may go over $600. Although remember, “You can cry once when you buy it, or you can cry every time you use it”.
In waterproof shoes, sweaty toes can often become an issue. If the shoes are just water-resistant, then they may also be breathable, but if you opted for 100% waterproof, then keeping your feet dry is a struggle. The more waterproof your boots are, the more this struggle becomes real. In that case, wearing comfortable socks is critical. Not only do socks keep your feet dry, but they also provide extra comfort to your tired toes on a long day!
Here are a few things to look out for when buying socks:
- Socks should not be cotton. Cotton socks are cheaper but they absorb moisture and keep it close to your feet. This means your feet will b wet even with socks on.
- Polyester socks are a good option as it does not absorb moisture, and their cushioning is much better than cotton socks.
- Wool and its blends are the best choice as the material is naturally antimicrobial. It keeps your feet dry, comfortable, and provides the best cushioning. Especially in winters, nothing can beat thick woolen socks.
Work boots are expensive and a long-term investment. It’s not everyday that you will spend a couple hundred bucks on a pair of boots. Therefore, it’s important to maintain the work boots to increase their life span and durability.
Here are a few quick tips for your work boots maintenance:
- Clean off the dirt as soon as you get home. Working outdoors means your shoes are exposed to dirt and grime all day. Leaving it on the shoes even after the day usually means that the shoes deteriorate faster.
- Store the boots in a dry place with good ventilation. Not only will it help dry the outer surface, but it will also help evaporate sweat and prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Use conditioners with your leather boots. Oil-based conditioning softens the leather whereas silicone and PTFE treatment enhances waterproofing capabilities.
- Rotate the boots and don’t stick to a single pair of work boots. Most people use the same pair of boots everyday, but getting a second pair, and rotating give each pair a chance to dry out and last longer.
- Wear socks (especially) with your waterproof boots. They help keep the inside of the boot dry and prevent bacterial growth.
Timberland Pro is the ultimate choice if you want a tough pair of work boots that are also waterproof. With steel protective toes, leather exterior, and Goodyear welt construction, Timberland Pro is an all-in-one choice. Other prominent features include a rubber sole and polyurethane midsole, which wicks away the moisture and keeps your feet dry all day long.
Most people who have used Timberland said that the shoe’s waterproofness is reason alone to buy it. It’s also durable, tough, stylish, but due to the steel toes, it’s not ideal for working environments with an electrical hazard.
Overall, Timberland Pro is comfortable, durable, robust, and ideal for workers in the oil and gas industry. It’s not the most durable shoe put there and is quite comfortable on long busy days. Naturally, the shoes are subject to regular wear, but the most common issue in Timberland Pro is that the sole splits after a couple of years.
Muck Boot’s Chore collection is an excellent choice for windy and snowy weather. Most boots in the Chore collection are high-top and almost come up to the knees. Although, they can be easily rolled down when you’re taking them on or off. Most users said the Muck boots are highly reliable in rough, cold weather. You can easily wear them up to 18 hours a day and stay dry.
Unlike most companies that make work boots, Muck Boots also targets women. Their most popular pick in the Chore collection is Women’s Chore Wide Calf. Each boot in the collector is rated for different temperatures and work types making it easier to pick shoes via the specs.
The most common issue found in the Muck boots is deteriorating heels and soles. This puts the durability of Muck boots in question. People with sweaty toes also had issues with the boots as they’re not very breathable. Therefore, using socks with boots is important.
The chore collection by Muck Boots is reliable, comfortable, and affordable. They’re easy to walk in for long hours, and they are 100% waterproof. Excellent for hunting, yard work, and working in extreme cold. With heavy usage, the boots are said to wear down around the heels and sole area. However, with normal use, the kicks can last up to seven years (with usual wear and tear).
Danner offers many different collections of work shoes suited for various tasks. That includes indoor work boots, Steel Yard, Bull run, Quarry, Safety Toe Boots, and USA-made work boots. Indoor work boots are lightweight and versatile enough to tackle various job sites. Steelyard features comfort and durability. The bull run has a full-grain leather upper with the Danner Wedge outsole. Danner also worked with Vibram to integrate a new highly durable, 12 Iron Vibram midsole and outsole in the Quarry collection.
Danner has been around since 1932 and most of its product is manufactured in the USA. The boots are waterproof and made with GoreTex. Danner recommends using a water or silicone-based treatment (products that list water or silicone as the first or second ingredient) to maintain the breathability of the waterproof liner.
Danner boots are known to be durable and comfortable. Their GoreTex boots are waterproof and the leather ones are water-resistant. The boots may seem expensive but their durability makes them worth the money.
Unlike most work boots, Blundstone boots come without laces. Due to the simple no-lace design, they’re known to be the best choice for farmers and people working outdoors in wet and cold environments. Low-top boots or boots with laces get filled up with water and dust and ruin the overall experience of the shoes.
Most Blundstone shoes are made of premium waterproof leather and seams. They also include a removable sheepskin footbed for warmth and comfort. In terms of durability, the shoes may last three and more with proper care. They’re waterproof, but oiling them every few months is recommended.
Finally, Blundstones are also the first choice of Adam Savage, the American special effects designer. He is one of the Blundstone loyalists and has been using the boots for about 12 years. While praising them, he also mentioned that he wore the boots while making MythBusters and wore the shoes in extreme temperatures (118 degrees Fahrenheit and 40 degrees below zero).
Most users say that Blundstone boots are very comfortable, lightweight, and durable. They’re also waterproof and an excellent choice for outdoors workers in windy and cold places. Most people prefer laces, but if you put comfort and durability over style, do give Blundstones a try!
Alongside durability, Keen’s doesn’t compromise in design. Their shoes are both sturdy and stylish. Compared to the Timberlands, these boots are very lightweight and feel like wearing sneakers. They’re rated for electric work and an excellent choice for working in cold extreme weather.
The shoes were reviewed by the team of Living the Dream, who wore them to their 465-day trip around the world. They said that the shoes were both comfortable and durable. In terms of waterproofness, Keen’s boots withstood trekking to the Everest Base Camp, snowy mountain climbing in Switzerland, hiking in Patagonia, exploring the desert of Oman, a safari in Africa, and walking miles upon miles through various European cities.
Some users complained about the high arch support, and they had to add insoles to provide support.
For people looking for waterproof sturdy work boots, Keen’s footwear is an excellent choice. They worked well through extreme weather conditions and are extremely comfortable and lightweight.
If you live in extremely wet terrain and are looking for a comfortable lightweight pair of boots, then give Baffins a try! Alongside interesting names and designs, Baffin shoes also perform well in rough and wet weather. Most shoes (specifically snow boots) are constructed from a waterproof, rubber bottom.
Baffin Arctic boots are known to be fully waterproof and among the warmest shoes for tough weather. Most styles of Baffin boots, and all of their hard-core snow boots, are constructed of a waterproof, rubber bottom where the rubber types vary by the boot. For example, Baffin’s Polar series boots (rated for -148 degrees Fahrenheit) are made from a special type called Polar Rubber, a heat deflecting core and air bubble between the foot and the sole. On the other hand, boots for less harsh climates are made of a rubber shell with a specialized EVA compound midsole, and seven layers of Thermoplus insulation.
Baffin is popular for its snow boots, and both their leather and ruuber shoes are perfectly waterproof. They’re a great choice for people living in places with extreme weathers. Due to their excellent insulation capabilities, many users consider Baffins as their winter or storm shoes.
Red Wing is a historic boot company founded in 1905, so when we say historic, we mean it! For years, it was considered one of the best and maintained an enthusiastic consumer base. Red Wing’s work boots are fairly popular among construction workers, welders, woodworkers, and more. In the last few decades, they’ve been focused on making work boots that can double as casual everyday wear.
Notable features of Red Wing include durable leather, waterproofing, and a large toe box. Starting with the toe, Red Wing advertises the boots extra comfort with 44% more toe area than their standard shoes. Since it’s a family-owned Minnesota-based company, their boots are made with the hides of US-raised using time-honored techniques. In work boots, waterproofness is usually mandatory and Red Wing takes a 3-layer approach to Waterproofing: lining, foam, and bootie (a waterproof barrier). Additionally, a protective material, Tricot, is applied outside of the bootie for complete Waterproofing.
However, over the last few years, Red Wings boots seem to have declined in quality. That includes inconsistent sizing, various quality issues, waterproofing that wouldn’t hold up, blown-out seams, and more. The company would take the boots back and replace them, but switching boots when you’ve just broken into them is quite inconvenient.
Ring Wing has made a name for itself in the last 100 years among workers, and it’s legacy boots are worth a shot. Their boots are waterproof and very comfortable. The recent quality issues may be a deal breaker for many, but you can always find a reliable pair in their various collections.
When an expensive pair of boots are out of range, and you’re looking for a cost-effective alternative, then Dry Shods is a good place to start! Their boots are affordable starting at $99 though you won’t find a lot of variety and style.
Dry Shods boots are rated for temperatures ranging from below zero to as high as 80 degrees. All their boots are made with hand-laid rubber, with breathable and stretchable lining that makes it easy to take on and off. To top it off, the boots are made to be 100% waterproof and water-resistant. Alongside your foot size, you can also choose between high or medium-cut boots.
Dry Shod is a budget option, but your options are narrow in boot styles. They;re a new name in the boots department, and their rubber boots are a great choice for cold places. They are known to be waterproof, and comfortable. The best part is that whichever style you like, you can get it in either medium or high cut per your preferences.
Thorogood boots are another excellent option in work boots in terms of durability, comfort, waterproofness, and style! They’ve been making quality work boots for men since 1892. Regardless of the job type, Thorogood offers features for their user’s protection from a round toe boot with safety toe protection, to a pair with insulation. Their shoes are mainly high topped boots with laces, and are available only for men.
Stitch down reviewed Thorogood Moc Toe Boot. Ben Robinson, the writer, used the boots for five years where he wore them two to four times every week (sometimes for casual trekking too). He described the shoes to be comfortable out of the box and its construction held up after five years of rigorous use with minimal wear and tear.
For someone looking for style, comfort, and durability in one place, Thoroughgood is a great choice. They have been in the boots business for over 100 years and their boots are high-quality and hold up well in rough weather.
For waterproof boots, Ariat is another excellent choice. It features both laced and no-laced work boots, which makes it easier to find boots that fit your specific needs. Their boots are available in different colors, designs, styles, and shades too.
Ariat uses waterproof Pro technology to completely shut out mud, water, and wind. Thanks to the Ariat ATS MaxÂ platform, there’s minimal foot fatigue and proper body alignment. The combination of lightweight midsole and oil and slip-resistant outsole ensures both comfort and durability. They’re waterproof and hold up nicely in rough weather.
In terms of prices, Ariat boots range anywhere from $150 to $300. They’re expensive, but last up to 5 years for most users, making it worth the money.
Ariat’s high-top work boots are an excellent choice for rainy and snowy places. Most users commented that they’re slip-resistant, comfortable, and a good choice for wet cold weather. Although, most shoes in their collection may be expensive.