View Full Version : Work Boots/Best bang for the buck!


4v shane
09-19-2011, 01:02 AM
I had a pair of dickies and wore them smooth in a short time period of 6 months!!!! quite disappointed in that!

But I need a new pair what does everyone recommend? On my feet for probably 12-14 hours a day non stop would prefer a shoe/boot


Open to suggestions!!! The cheaper the better!


Thanks
Shane

WR250F
09-19-2011, 01:04 AM
Justins.

For just a few bucks more, go Danner, you won't regret it.

softailgarage
09-19-2011, 01:29 AM
If you have access to a tool truck....redbacks from Matco. I'm in 'em 14-18 hrs a day. they're comfortable and they last, though they're not cheap...$125.00 - $150.00. I've had this pair for 3 years and still have plenty of life left. If you figure cheap boots, $50.00 ? that only last 6 months ? do the math.

4v shane
09-19-2011, 01:36 AM
If you have access to a tool truck....redbacks from Matco. I'm in 'em 14-18 hrs a day. they're comfortable and they last, though they're not cheap...$125.00 - $150.00. I've had this pair for 3 years and still have plenty of life left. If you figure cheap boots, $50.00 ? that only last 6 months ? do the math.


Well if you say 14-18 hours a day then sold!

They run small large???

WRX/Z28
09-19-2011, 01:46 AM
Red Wings are re-sole-able.

Vinko
09-19-2011, 01:50 AM
I've had Red Wings (American-made) steel toes. I have two pairs. Alternate daily and the leather dries out and they last a heck of a lot longer (and not just because you're wearing them every other day :) )

theoldwizard1
09-19-2011, 02:36 AM
Whaat everyone is saying is, if you are on your feet a lot (more than 8 hours per day) buy GOOD QUALITY SHOES/BOOTS !! They will certainly cost more than $100, maybe more than $150. Your feet and back will thank you.

Vinko's 2 pair suggestion really is a money saver. Best thing to make shoe/boot last is clean caked dirt/mud off daily and let dry for at least 24 hours.

NUTTSGT
09-19-2011, 07:39 AM
I will recommend you not buying a pair of Magnums.

t100
09-19-2011, 08:07 AM
Open to suggestions!!! The cheaper the better!



I doubt that's a true statement, but if you are cheap(like me), I've got a pair Diehard 6" steel toe work boots since Juen 2009. they are really nice for the $65 I paid for.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_067B0015000P?prdNo=2&blockNo=2&blockType=G2

allinon72
09-19-2011, 08:35 AM
Had good luck with Timberland PRO

SpiderGearsMan
09-19-2011, 08:57 AM
matco truck is harder to find than a mac truck

muddyjoe15
09-19-2011, 09:24 AM
Not to hi jack the thread but while were on topic. What everyones thoughts, Steel-toe or Non Steel-toe? I have a pair of carolinas now for going on three years. The leather is starting to fall apart and the steel is loose in the toe. Ive worn them every day for the last three years, only other thing i have are engineer boots and slippers!

allinon72
09-19-2011, 09:27 AM
If you work in an environment that needs toe protection, steel toe. However, if you work outside in a cold climate, steel toe is not good for warmth

theoldwizard1
09-19-2011, 07:39 PM
Red Wings are re-sole-able.

The best way to be "cheap" on boots is to buy one that can be resoled ! You do need to take care of the uppers (clean, dry, "oiled"), but you can probably resole them 2 or 3 time at less than 1/2 the cost of a new pair.

earlthegoat2
09-19-2011, 07:53 PM
Ive always heard steel toes are too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. I stayed away from them until I was required to have them working a factory job.

Ive had them ever since and could not even tell you they were steel toe if they were on my feet. I like being able to kick things too and use my toe as a wheel chock in a pinch.

HubbaBubba
09-19-2011, 09:55 PM
Its not the boot....its the sole. Vibriam.

jhelrey
09-20-2011, 06:55 AM
Sketchers found at Kohls or online. I love them. I landscape and they have been through hell.

Old Donn
09-20-2011, 07:05 AM
Wolverine Dura-Shocks.

speed bump
09-20-2011, 09:45 AM
Go to a real boot store and find a boot that fits your foot properly. Pay what they ask and skip a Snap-on ratchet this month.

As far as personal experiences I have B or C width 10.5s:
Redwings aren't worth my time with maybe the exception of the Pecos. Never could get a set that I could wear all the time and that lasted.

Wolverines I have had mixed luck, my slips on are great but I don't know if I like the laceups work just bought me.

Carolinas: My redwood loggers have been the best boots I have ever owned but I couldn't get a set of Double H slips ons that fit.

Danners: My old Danner loggers that were made in Oregon are amazingly good boots but the newer ones are way overpriced.

I was surprised by a cheap set of TSC slip ons I picked up because I needed some steel toed slip ons. I bought them for $70 and so far they have lasted 10 months of oil field and still look good.

Since I often spend 24+ hours in my boots and want something with a composite toe, that fits my feet perfectly, and is easily rebuildable I am going to just bite the bullet and have Nicks build me a set of custom slips ons. Considering that I often wear them for months on end I figure the overall price is pretty cheap.

5lima30
09-20-2011, 12:44 PM
I have had good luck with Georgia Boots the Barracuda models are the ones I prefer. They are great on concrete and are resistant to barnyard chemicals that typically eat up boots. They are very comfortable from the git go and require almost no break-in. YMMV.

twincam00
09-20-2011, 01:59 PM
Ive always used Caterpillar Second Shift steel toes with no complaints. I can usually get them on sale for $75. I work on a golf course during the summer and have to mow grass thats still soaked with dew so I use Tingley rubber overshoes. They keep my feet dry and save the leather.

e30bradley
09-20-2011, 02:08 PM
I Have some wolverine steel toes and they are great. I've been wearing them a good amount and they are holding up fine, they are very comfortable. I think I paid about $125 for them which seemed pretty good because the other boots I was looking at (USA made) where 150-250. the only downside is their made in asia.

unknow82
09-20-2011, 02:20 PM
Just bought yesterday Jalas boots
http://www.jalas.fi/

http://www.jalas.fi/index.php?do=productpage&row=128192&page_id=159&

VERY light, flexible.
Desing and made in Finland, and that means warm and good moistrure handiling with extreamly good grip over ice and snow. Shore A -count should be around 40 to 60
For example some Catepilar work shoes are not recomended Finnish work health organisation because they are too slipery.

I use Jalas shoes every day and seems that they hold for 3 years, untill changed.

Togorashi
09-20-2011, 02:51 PM
I've tried several different brands of work boots and never found them to be very comfortable. So now I just wear Keen hiking boots which are some of the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned. My last pair served me well lugging a pack through the Himalayas for 2 months without a blister and no soreness. If they can do that, then they're fine for working around the shop.

Like these...

http://www.keenfootwear.com/us/en/product/fw11/shoes/men/trailhead/targhee%20ii%20mid


They also make an "industrial" line of boots which look very interesting. I talked to a guy who has been wearing their industrial line for a few years and he loves them. I think my next pair will be the "California" model.

http://www.keenfootwear.com/us/en/wall/shoes/men/industrial

EDIT: Another thing I really like about them is the toe protectors. Even on their boots that don't have steel toes, the hard rubber toe cap offers a lot of protection. Maybe won't keep you from getting crushed by 100s of pounds of steel, but great for the times when you stub your toe or need to kick something :)

bmcdowell40
09-20-2011, 03:00 PM
I used to buy Cat Alaskas, they were really comfortable, reasonably priced and they'd last about 2 years. Last summer, I picked up a set of Carolina plain toe loggers and after a year with them, I'll definitely be getting another pair once these wear out. They were priced really good too, I paid $85 for them; list on them is well over $100.

cardsworld
09-20-2011, 06:19 PM
red wing 963, made for being on concrete, and are resoleable. expensive but worth it, no leg or knee fatigue at end of day

NastyNate
09-20-2011, 06:38 PM
I haven't personally worn these boots but my soon to be BIL and FIL both wear these. Hiax is the brand. They wear the P7 version. BIL is a firefighter and is absolutely rough on them. FIL rides motorcycles and is on his feet 10 hours a day. These boot (so im told) are the holy grail of boots and coming from a firefighter that says a lot to me.

http://www.allhandsfire.com/HAIX-AIRPOWER-P7-HIGH

theoldwizard1
09-20-2011, 06:51 PM
I work on a golf course during the summer and have to mow grass thats still soaked with dew so I use Tingley rubber overshoes. They keep my feet dry and saves the leather.

Smart. Very smart !!

dittle fart around
09-20-2011, 07:25 PM
The best way to be "cheap" on boots is to buy one that can be resoled ! You do need to take care of the uppers (clean, dry, "oiled"), but you can probably resole them 2 or 3 time at less than 1/2 the cost of a new pair.
Danner's soles are guaranteed for the life of the leather uppers.

roalco
09-20-2011, 07:43 PM
Redwings, Danners, Daytons, Vibergs... They all make excellent specialty working boots, depending on what you are doing. Spend the money and take care of your feet!!!!
You totally get what you pay for. If you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to do the job, and no work... No pay!

J.Lind
09-20-2011, 07:49 PM
I wear Wolverine Red Tooth's at work. They were around $100, composite 'steel' toe, very comfortable. I'm not a big boot guy, but I've gone home with them accidentally before.

DrkMtnDew
09-20-2011, 08:27 PM
my favorites have been White's/Hawthorn and Georgia. georgia is the cheaper option of the two by far. my georgia's have lasted about 3 years now and will probably make it another 1 or 2.

finley31
09-20-2011, 08:39 PM
I used to wear the Timberland Pro boots exclusively, but my last three pairs have been Rocky Ironclads. They fit my feet very well (wide) and are fairly lightweight. I get about 1 1/2 - 2 years out of a pair and that is working in a machine shop stepping on chips and shavings and then frequently in various steel mills. I think I pay about $130 a pair locally, but like everyone else has said, try to not look at the price tag if possible. A bad pair of boots can do permanent damage, not only to your feet, but your back as well.

I have tried Redwings and wolverines before, but they just never felt right to me. My dad has worn Redwings as long as I can remember, and when I had to get my first pair of work boots that's what I opted for. After a few weeks, I couldn't take it and switched out.

PhantomEB
09-20-2011, 08:51 PM
2 pairs of socks in the summer, I dont care how much my feet stink, its how comfy I can last 10 hours standing on them. Winter gets triple!

My boots consist of Dakota Pipeliners, protection 3/4 way up the laces. I be gettin winter boots too now I workin the mountains at times.

Coldfoot77
09-20-2011, 08:55 PM
I've got a pair of Keen Industrial Clevelands that I've had for almost a year now and just had to replace the laces. I've been extremely happy with them and would highly reccommend them. Big toe box so I don't ever have an issue with steel toes digging in or being a nuisance.

http://www.zappos.com/keen-utility-cleveland-boot-black

CaseyJoes.
09-20-2011, 09:26 PM
I really like my Thorogood boots! I dont have a ton of hours wearing them (since I only wear them when cutting wood) but they have always kept my feet warm, dry, and comfortable when working for 8+ hours in mud, snow etc. Made in USA and for a good price too.

shampoop
09-21-2011, 12:55 AM
I like my caterpillars. I was at a sporting goods store when I originally bought mine and tried on probably a half dozen boots, didn't really care about price, some were steel toed and some not. The steel toe Cats were by far the most comfortable and also one of the if not THE cheapest. First pair lasted me around 4 years full time use. Recently bought my second pair. I'd definitely recommend finding some Cats that suit you.

theoldwizard1
09-21-2011, 02:32 AM
2 pairs of socks in the summer, I dont care how much my feet stink, its how comfy I can last 10 hours standing on them. Winter gets triple!

Socks DO make a big difference !

Personally I wear Wrightsocks 516 "walking" socks (http://www.sockcompany.com/noname9.html) all the time. They are a double layer sock for better moisture control. The are more expensive then the bad-of-12, but they wear like iron (literally, several years).

My wife had an outside job one winter. She wore Columbia wool socks over a lighter pair and said here feet were never cold.

Cryo Gal
09-21-2011, 06:19 AM
All Ive ever worn is Justin Workboots and a good insert...run fast and jump high in these things! I have steel toed and regular, on my 2nd or 3rd round of them in about 20 years. I always give them a good oiling when I first get them to help break em in and buy a good gel insert even tho they have a nice sole. Wow, are they nice.

Once you get a boot picked out, once thing that really makes a difference is to go get yourself seperate gel heel/arch and ball inserts, good ones.

http://s7d5.scene7.com/s7viewers/dhtml/images/spacer.gif
http://www.basspro.com/Justin&-x00ae;-Premium-Lace-R&-x00ae;-8-Steel-Toe-Work-Boots-for-Men/product/100249/40400?hvarAID=shopping_googlebase&om_mmc=shopping_googlebase

RedWing_Michael
09-23-2011, 01:07 PM
Some advice from one guy in the footwear industry:

There is no one size, one brand fits all solution - so you have to think through the basic job requirements and weather conditions, etc.

If you are working indoors on concrete and forced to stand all day - you would have different needs and concerns versus a roofer who must work on pitched roofs and climb ladders all day. Same for a worker who must walk through debris and needs a stable sole that doesn't flex over every pebble (and is thick/tough enough to prevent a nail from poking through the sole).

If weather plays a big role, you have to account for seasons and rain/snow. Someone who walks a lot and moves constantly while working could get away with good leather boots and a pair of wool socks and stay warm, someone who must stand still for long hours or move very little would be looking for Thinsulate insulation to keep warm.

And we haven't made it to your actual feet yet, or your physical conditioning. My friend can walk across a dirt parking lot in his bare feet and not flinch. I have issues walking across a paved driveway. He can get away with wearing a much less padded sole and consider it 'comfortable' than I would.

No matter what you buy, make sure it makes sense for the job you are asking it to do and think about your average day and where that day is happening.

True backpacking boots are built with very stiff soles to help backpackers cover uneven terrain while carrying 40-60 pounds of gear, often for days - I find them very unfriendly for delicate work, like driving a car or sitting at a desk. Hiking boots have more flex but often have aggressive treads and should have very good slip resistance in muddy terrain.

Work boots might be focused on these traits or could be built to deal with high heat (asphalt workers have a heck of a time with melting shoes), or dangerous environments (electric hazards, steel toes, metatarsal guards, etc)

Some jobs have hazards that require high boots (loggers) while others require shoes without laces and seems (medical professionals) and sometimes all of these considerations still have to fit within a uniform requirement (police or fire, etc).

That is the value of shopping at a good store and investing in good boots. If your salesperson is doing their job, they will be asking questions to help figure these factors into the purchase. If your needs are less demanding, you can fit yourself into a wider selection of shoes/boots and still be very happy.

Last Xmas, I made the mistake of helping my mother hang her lights around the house. I was up and down on a ladder for four hours in very lightweight shoes (the only ones I had packed for my visit to Phoenix) and the flexible, thin soles were killing the bottom of my feet on those rungs. By the time I finished, I could barely walk and had bruised my soles.

Those same shoes have been perfectly great for 3-5 mile hikes on trails and paved parkways around the lakes and were purpose built for water activity (they have drilled holes in the soles and mesh panels to shed water away from the feet) and have been canoeing to great effect a few times. They would be miserable on a cold rainy day, however, because they also let water from puddle to seep right up into your socks.

So, the answer is not simple - and almost impossible to give without a collection of details on your final requirements.

Good thing is, no matter what the final requirements are, there are likely a few dozen choices from a few dozen different brands at a range of price-points to help you find a solution that can meet your needs.

RedWing_Michael
09-23-2011, 01:12 PM
I will also parrot some of the great comments already here:

having a couple of pairs of shoes and switching between them will indeed make your feet more comfortable and extend the life of the shoes/boots. Sweat and moisture breaks down leather and other materials, more so when under pressure (being worn, moving around, etc)

socks matter - we have many hiker/runner types here in my world and they swear by socks as a critical part of anything you will be doing for long distances or many hours. Wool socks are a good match for many people as they both wick away moisture and provide good cushion.

take care!

quadracer85
09-24-2011, 12:09 AM
i got a pair of carolinas with a composite toe and they seem good i got about 6 months of use on them..that toe is nice because it wont make your feet cold like steel in the winter

CatCow
09-24-2011, 12:53 AM
I will recommend you not buying a pair of Magnums.

Hey, I like my Magnums :lol_hitti
Actually, for such a cheap boot they have held up quite well. Looking rather worn now and probably won't last much longer, but I've had this pair for 5+ years. I use it as a light-weight(composite safety toe and side zipper) summer alternative to the heavier waterproof steel-toe work boots I wear the rest of the year. I also wear them like slippers around the house http://kd7bcy.com/images/smile/abused.gif

I've been through two pairs of Timberland Pro's in 3 years, and while comfy they certainly wear out fast. The most recent purchase was a pair of Chinese Danners - OK, but nothing special. In a quest for cooler summer footwear, I also tried a pair of Converse safety toe sneakers - ugh. They fell apart in a few months, and I quickly found that I missed the ankle support of the previous boots. I generally prefer the 6" boots, especially if I'm wearing an ankle holster for the J-frame :thumbup:

wagnon89
09-24-2011, 07:36 AM
I spent several years searching for the perfect work boot. I like the slip-on boots myself. Tried many different brands (Doc Martin, Redwing, Georgia, Justins, Wolverines, etc) I work at a chemical plant and we get new boots every year. I finally found some that are without a doubt some of the toughest, longest lasting ones, and most comfortable out there... Work Ones

http://workingperson.com/footwear-1/mens-steel-toe-boots/steel-toe-cowboy-boots/work-one-boots-steel-toe-cowboy-work-boots-s100-121815.html

Made in the USA. I've had the same pair for almost 4 years now, through some pretty heavy use (I wear them when I work around the house as well as at work) If there is a tougher, longer lasting boot out there I'd like to see it. Mine are steel toe but you can get them without. I've got three more pair brand new in the box for when these finally kick the bucket.

I've also got a few pair of Ariat brand cowboy/work boots. I don't think they come close to the toughness of my Work Ones, but they sure are damn comfortable.

http://www.ariat.com/Work/Men/

Been wearing nothing but slip on boots for several years now...don't think I even remeber how to tie shoe laces :lol_hitti

Vinko
09-29-2011, 05:29 AM
red wing 963, made for being on concrete, and are resoleable. expensive but worth it, no leg or knee fatigue at end of day

I have a model very similar to this. The 2406:

http://www.redwingsafety.com/safety-boot/2406-safe-us/2406-red-wing-mens-6-inch-boot-brown/filter-height-6,red-wing-brand,steel-toe

I will say they did a less than stellar job of re-stitching the inside lining. And the black trim around the ankle they glued and didn't stitch. But I've been happy with this boot.

Swan
09-29-2011, 07:13 AM
I'll chime in too. Red Wings are the best boots I have ever owned. They are are made in USA (just up the river from me) and as noted re-soleable, comfortable, durable and look good too. I wear my motorcycle boots nearly every day and they have lasted more than 6 years. I plan to re-sole before winter and have spoke to a local cobbler who can do it for a reasonable price.

Having lived with foot problems more than half my life, these boots work extremely well for me.

catfish
09-29-2011, 07:21 AM
Picked up some custom made RM Williams work boots , pretty much the only lace up ones they do - "Rigger" work boots.They sent the order off to the factory in South Australia , took 5-6 weeks for them to make them and send them to me.The leather is real soft though , like calf leather , i certainly wouldn't use them for work boots they are more dress boots.Still the construction quality is very very high.

lowbucktruck
09-29-2011, 07:46 AM
I will also parrot some of the great comments already here:

having a couple of pairs of shoes and switching between them will indeed make your feet more comfortable and extend the life of the shoes/boots. Sweat and moisture breaks down leather and other materials, more so when under pressure (being worn, moving around, etc)

socks matter - we have many hiker/runner types here in my world and they swear by socks as a critical part of anything you will be doing for long distances or many hours. Wool socks are a good match for many people as they both wick away moisture and provide good cushion.

take care!

Ditto :thumbup: Good socks will save your feet. I'm a runner and do alot of hiking in my off time. I swear by Wigwam socks. Best darn boot sock I've ever owned.
http://www.wigwam.com/

Togorashi
09-29-2011, 09:56 AM
I'll chime in too. Red Wings are the best boots I have ever owned. They are are made in USA (just up the river from me) and as noted re-soleable, comfortable, durable and look good too. I wear my motorcycle boots nearly every day and they have lasted more than 6 years. I plan to re-sole before winter and have spoke to a local cobbler who can do it for a reasonable price.

Having lived with foot problems more than half my life, these boots work extremely well for me.

Most Redwings are now made in China. A few models are still made in the US. Just sayin'.

Swan
09-29-2011, 10:47 AM
Looks like 2 to 1, USA vs China production. http://www.redwingshoes.com/motorcycle-boots
My 988's are made in China now, sad, so sad...

Togorashi
09-29-2011, 10:51 AM
Looks like 2 to 1, USA vs China production. http://www.redwingshoes.com/motorcycle-boots
My 988's are made in China now, sad, so sad...

Yeah, I shouldn't have said "most". That's an exaggeration. But some, quite a few, certainly.

dittle fart around
09-29-2011, 11:14 AM
I had a pair of dickies and wore them smooth in a short time period of 6 months!!!! quite disappointed in that!

But I need a new pair what does everyone recommend? On my feet for probably 12-14 hours a day non stop would prefer a shoe/boot


Open to suggestions!!! The cheaper the better!


Thanks
Shane

You would consider how long the boot will last. You get what you pay for. Consider buying 35 dollar boots every 6 months over buying $200 boots that last for 5 years. These are your feet treat them well. My Danner's lasted 7 years and were still comfortable to wear all day when I tossed them out.

Cryo Gal
09-30-2011, 07:05 AM
Speaking of American made, double checked before speaking up and my JWB are made in USA...something I didn't really check back when I bought them but I do now. http://www.justinboots.com/boots/non_safety_toe_boots.html?424fccf8=442

their list of made in USA http://www.justinboots.com/boots/Handcrafted_USA.html

Vinko
10-01-2011, 04:45 AM
I was just reading a trade magazine for the safety industry and they had an article on workboots. Most of the articles in these type of mags contain some "Advertising" as well as "editorial". Sometimes the line is more blurry.

Anyway, they were discussing that composite toes are still more costly than the steel toes (for equivalent protection) but that the price on the composites are slowly coming down in price. Btw, if you didn't know composites are lighter and perhaps cooler in the summer and not super cold in the winter -- though I've never had these probs with steel toes in any environment.

I'm also in the market for a good pair of hiking boots, by the way. If anyone knows any good brands to look for. I'd want to try them on in person probably, so maybe I'll hit the local stores. Given ankle and foot injuries in the past, I've got no problem with spending money on good boots. One injury that could've been prevented by good boots could easily cost much much more than the price of a pair of boots.

matty d
10-01-2011, 05:33 AM
Wolverine Raider Steel Toe. I got them on e-bay for only $50 brand new. They shipped directly from Wolverine. Reg. approx. $100 Sears. Made in Asia if that matters to you...I really like them. Comfortable when doing yard work. Wife doesnt complain either when I wear them to a restraunt...:beer:

mikester
10-01-2011, 07:23 AM
Ive been wearing Wolverine 1123s for close to 10 years. Steel toe, EEE wide. These fit the best so far and theyre waterproof. Im in them 7 days a week.