As a general rule of thumb, if you want a decent pair of work boots, it pays to stick to the big names. The likes of Timberland, Red Wing, and Keen, well, they’re popular for a reason.
Occasionally, however, I do come across a pair of boots from a brand that I’ve never heard of and curiosity gets the better of me.
Case in point, this pair of boots by Golden Fox. I decided to give them a try because for approximately 70 dollars, you’re getting a pair of boots with a Goodyear welt construction that look suspiciously like a pair of 2-300 dollar Red Wings.
First off, the product description suggests ordering a half size smaller than other brands. Don’t ignore this. I went half a size down and even then, I needed to wear thicker socks to really fill them out.
As for the break in period, it’s minimal but certainly not non-existent. In other words, you can start wearing them immediately but they will be a little bit stiff for the first few days.
After that, the combination of mesh and oil treated leather on the uppers results in a very soft, flexible feel.
The bottom of the boot, on the other hand is a little bit hit or miss.
First off, the removable insole is one of the flimsiest that I’ve ever come across. And secondly, the midsole, while relatively thick, doesn’t offer quite the same level of shock absorption as more expensive boots. Arch support is also largely non-existent.
In other words, whether you find these boots comfortable will probably depend on what you do for a living.
Work on soft surfaces or spend a lot of time sitting down? You’ll probably be a happy buyer. Work on hard surfaces constantly standing/walking like me? Around the 8 hour mark, you’re going to wish you spent more money.
They come with a choice of Moc or Steel Toe. There’s no mention of electrical hazard protection so I’ll assume it’s not present. They are slip resistant against oil and water (claimed by the manufacturer and tested by myself). Unfortunately, the lack of any kind of real grooves mean that they won’t offer much traction over anything else.
Minimal on both counts. They are water repellent so a little bit of rain won’t be a problem. Don’t plan on working in puddles however. Insulation is about average i.e. they’ll keep you’re feet happy in moderate temperatures but freezing temperatures will lead to well, freezing feet.
I personally purchased the brown version and the color matched up well to the picture above. I mentioned that they look like Red Wings. And my verdict is that from a distance they look identical but up close the inferior leather is obvious. Still for a fraction of the price, I’m not complaining. They also go well with everything.
The Golden Fox have been reviewed just shy of 200 times on Amazon for an average rating of 4.2 stars out of 5. The most popular feature unsurprisingly is style. The majority of buyers also rate them highly in terms of comfort. The biggest complaint (apart from sizing issues) appears to be durability/quality control which doesn’t surprise me given the lower quality leather and sole.
Overall, I won’t be wearing them to work again and but I will be keeping them for after work wear. For the price, I don’t think you’ll find a more stylish work boot. But it’s important to understand that while they may look like Red Wings, they certainly don’t live up to them in terms of shock absorption or overall build quality.