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The best work boots

If your job involves working outdoors or in a high-risk area, such as if you are a construction worker or work with any kind of tools, then work boots will be a necessary safety requirement. Not only will they protect your toes from accidents, they will ensure your feet are supported and comfortable when potentially working in a hazardous environment. 

Most work boots will have a steel toe cap, which is a requirement for those working with risks of falling objects and sharp tools. Also, not all shoes come with waterproofing as standard, so if you work outdoors, be sure to check the outer material before making an investment. Most boots are leather, which is sturdy yet soft enough to be comfortable as well as supportive on the ankle. Leather also doesn’t tend to need breaking in too much, so you can wear them pretty much instantly with no rubbing. 

Depending on how often you will need to wear your work boots will affect how much you should look to spend on them. If you’re a builder or similar who needs to be comfortable and protected every day, don’t skimp on quality. A cheap work boot is only going to wear quickly and potentially not provide you the best protection you need should an accident happen. High-quality leather, steel-capped boots from the likes of Caterpillar or Timberland are likely to set you back around the £100 mark, but you can expect these to last you and wear very well. 

For those who work part-time or are perhaps looking to work on a home project, then you can find cheaper work boots on the market for as little as under £50. These tend to be made with an alternative material to leather, and are unlikely to have waterproof protection, but will still be durable enough to protect and support your feet on occasional use. 

We’ve picked out some of the best work boots on the market and summarised what they’re good for. So before you get to work make sure you take a look at our round up to ensure you’re fully kitted out. 

1. Caterpillar Men’s Supremacy

A classic pair of Cat boots for ultimate comfort

Best for: Comfort | Waterproof: No | Steel toe cap: Yes | Material: Full grain leather

 Size good for thick socks 
 Not waterproof 

Cat boots are very popular as work boots due to their comfort and sizing. What most customers found when they bought these boots is that they are about half a size bigger than what they state they are, which is done purposely to make them comfortable to wear with thick socks to keep your feet warm. Those who have these boots are also torn over their waterproofing; with some saying they aren’t and some saying the boots served them well on rainy days. In which case, we’d air on the side of caution and suggest not to go walking through any rivers in these. Many found these very comfortable to wear every day for a number of different activities and they’re not too bulky to drive in, either. For those who work on their feet all day, you can expect these boots to provide you with the comfort and support you need.  

2. Timberland Split Rock Pro

A stylish pair of work boots for occasional wear

Best for: Style | Waterproof: No | Steel toe cap: Yes | Material: Full grain nubuck leather

 Choice of colours 
 Wear well 
 A bit stiff 

The Timberland Split Rock Pro work boots are certainly the stylish choice of the bunch and are said to be durable too. Those who wear these boots find them to be very durable and supportive, but for some they are a little too stiff for flexible movement. Customers recommend wearing a thick pair of socks with these boots for extra comfort. If you find you have weak ankles then the stiffness of these boots could be the support you need, but if it’s true comfort you are looking for, opt for the Caterpillar’s instead.  

3. Caterpillar Diagnostic Steel Toe Waterproof Boot

An insulated leather boot for warmth and comfort

Best for: Warmth | Waterproof: Yes | Steel toe cap: Yes | Material: Leather

 Eva foam inserts 
 Good heel support 
 Tread wears quickly 

There is a reason Caterpillar made our top spot and it’s the same reason we have another entry from them at number 3…comfort. The diagnostic steel toe waterproof boot is praised by customers for its super-soft interior and sturdy heel that makes working long days bearable. Users found them particularly good for support when lifting things, but did say that the tread on these boots tends to wear quickly if worn every day. However, for occasional use, these boots are thick, durable, and surprisingly easy to clean which customers liked. They are also said to be true to size.  

4. Dr Martens Safety Airwear LIFE Work Boots

A smart pair of boots with great grip and shock absorption

Best for: Grip | Waterproof: No | Steel toe cap: Yes | Material: Leather

 Thick but breathable 
 Grippy soles 
 Very heavy 

Dr Martens are known for their hefty design and durability, and these work boots are no different. If you need a shoe with good grip, then you can expect good things from these boots as users say the soles have excellent shock absorbers which help keep your feet comfortable and provide support when on your feet all day.  Those who have these boots say they were very comfy from day one and stay looking great with just a little shoe polish every now and then, the only downside is that they are very heavy, which can mean that you do start to feel their weight after a very long day.  

5. V12 Slip-on Work Boots Rawhide

Heat resistant work boots that are easy to slip on and off

Best for: Slip ons | Waterproof: No | Steel toe cap: Yes | Material: Oil soaked rawhide

 Heat resistant up to 300C 
 Breathable lining 
 Come up big 

If you find lace up boots a little too restrictive, these slip on boots could make a comfy alternative for you. These work boots are well lined and breathable all year round and users say they stay on just as well as lace up boots, even when working in the mud. The only thing to note is that most customers found these boots to come up extremely big, and this can be a problem when they cannot be tightened by laces. It is advised to go for the size down in order to get a snug, comfortable fit.  

6. Combat Tactical Safety Ankle Boots

A casual work boot that’s great for those in the security business

Best for: Budget | Waterproof: No | Steel toe cap: Yes | Material: PU Leather

 Wear well 
 Rub the toes a little 

For a less bulky work boot that you can wear every day on the job, these Combat Tactical Safety Ankle Boots have pleasantly surprised customers with their comfort and durability. Due to the material you can expect these to be much lighter than other boots in the list, yet still are said to feel sturdy. Customers thought these were great value for the price, and many said these boots have lasted them for months and are still going strong. You might want to opt for half a size up and wear with thick socks as some say the toes can rub otherwise.  

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So you're officially kitted out in the footwear department for your days on-site, but if you're still in need of tools, take a look at our list of the best wired and cordless drills.