by Jason Flores
Work boots are practically necessary when you are faced with environments that call for footwear that is tough and durable.
Sneakers and other casual shoes will simply not cut it at a worksite or when you are doing particular outdoor activities.
You know you will need a pair of work boots for situations like these.
However, work boots can be heavy. If you wear them for too long, you will risk severe damage to your feet. In many cases, this damage can be permanent.
To solve this problem, you will need a pair of lightweight work boots.
Just like with any other kind of footwear, there are dozens of work boots that you can choose from.
Do your due diligence and pay careful attention to what the following pairs of work boots have to offer.
When looking for the best lightweight work boot, there are a few factors you need to consider. The first is the type of job you have. Different jobs require different types of boots. For example, construction workers need heavy-duty boots that can protect their feet from nails and other sharp objects, while police officers or firefighters may need lighter boots that can provide protection from flames.
The second factor to consider is your individual needs. Some people need boots that are waterproof, while others may need boots with a steel toe for extra protection. It's important to find the right boot for your specific needs in order to stay safe on the job.
Finally, you should consider the price and quality of the boots. You don't want to sacrifice your safety by buying a cheap pair of boots, but you also don't want to break the bank on a pair of boots that you may only wear for a few months.
Most lightweight work boots are not completely waterproof. If they are waterproof, they are usually not as comfortable as they should be. The Shield Walker by Propet changes this, as it is completely waterproof but is also just as comfortable as most sneakers are, if not more. They also have very nice traction, offering slip-resistant outer soles.
The only thing that you'll need to watch for with the Shield Walker is that it does not have a reinforced toe. Since most lightweight work boots contain steel toes and the Shield Walker does not, you'll need to work around this. You'll need to look for something else if you need work boots with steel toes.
Most who are in need of lightweight work boots tend to need them for work related activities or in environments that demand good traction and durability. While nearly all lightweight work boots contain these qualities, most of them usually have low tops, resembling sneakers.
This is not an issue with Keen's Davenport work boot.. Containing a mid top, your ankles will be protected when you wear them just like with any other kind of boot. This is really nice for outdoor activities. However, this added length does make them a little heavier than they should be, so watch out for that.
It is extremely rare for any given boot with a steel toe to be light and comfortable, just like you would expect a pair of sneakers to be. Most boots with steel toes tend to weigh you down even if they are considered lightweight and this is very frustrating to deal with.
These frustrations end with the Outbase, by Caterpillar. Containing ASTM steel toes but also containing a nylon mesh lining with a sock liner, you will not feel weighed down or uncomfortable when you wear them. This makes the Outbase perfect for outdoor working conditions which have you moving fast.
However, the 5 inch shaft that the Outbase has can be a little uncomfortable for the lower part of your ankle right above your heel. The liner does not reach that area.
It is usually extremely difficult to move around fast in any mid rise kind of boot. You can usually feel the pressure on the lower area of your ankle and it can even be painful to deal with. A lot of this is due to how the boot flexes, or in this case, does not flex.
The Excavator Superlite work boot by Caterpillar does a good job of solving this issue. The welted forefoot design allows it to be a lot more comfortable than other mid rise boots. They are so comfortable that you will probably be just as mobile in them as you would be in a pair of sneakers, yet you get all of the fantastic features that are common in most work boots.
As shallow as this may seem, the Excavator Superlite is not easy on the eyes. You can usually wear most work boots anywhere because of how plain they look, but the yellow streaks on the bottom of the Excavator Superlite and the Caterpillar logo all over the boot take a lot away from its aesthetic value.
The outer soles of most work boots are considered slip resistant, but the truth is that are just barely slip resistant. They will deal with water fine, but they will slip like anything else when met with something more viscous, such as oil.
You will not need to worry about that at all with the Raider, by Wolverine. It's MultiShox outsole is decisively slip resistant, resisting even viscous substances such as oil. This, along with its welt construction make it a very nice choice for indoor work sites.
However, the Raider is also made of full-grain leather, making it a little heavier than the common lightweight boot. Be prepared to drag yourself a little more than you might want when walking around in them.
Anybody who wears boots for work knows how both annoying it is and how dangerous things can be when boots get untied. And unless you make a very tight double knot in them, they get untied a lot.
Prepare to never deal with this again with Workboots' Halcyon tactical boot. Containing revolutionary tac-lock laces, you can be assured that they will fit comfortably and you will not need to worry about your boots coming untied ever again.
However, being made of suede, Workboots' tactical boot is not nearly as water resistant as it should be. The outer soles resist water and even oil very well, but it will take a long time for them to dry if the rest of the boot gets wet.
Working outside in unfavorable conditions is dangerous enough, but it can be made even more dangerous if you are not wearing the right kind of footwear. While most lightweight work boots are built for these kinds of conditions, most of them are lacking in one or two areas.
Ridgecut's lightweight work boot is as complete as it can get when it comes to a lightweight boot that can handle tough outdoor conditions. The soles are oil resistant, they are completely water resistant, they contain protection from electric shocks and even contain reflective tape, which allows them to be seen at night.
Because they are much more safe than other lightweight work boots, Ridgecut's boots are also a little more heavy than other boots of its kind. This is something you might need to watch for.
Most water resistant boots do a questionable job at venting sweat from the inside. This results in boots that get more and more uncomfortable to wear as the day progresses. Worst of all, very few boots actually contain the proper technology to do something about this.
Fortunately, Carhartt's work boots do contain technology that prevents this. It's storm defender technology makes the inside breathable but still contains the same elements that prevent water from penetrating the outside of the boot. This makes it perfect for working outdoors.
The one thing that you do need to watch out for with Carhartt's work boot is that it does not contain a safety toe. If you are used to wearing work boots with steel toes, you need to be aware that you do not have this luxury with Carhartt's work boot.
The one overwhelmingly common complaint about any given boot with a safety toe is that they have next to no room. This is not only very uncomfortable, but even dangerous. It is very easy to injure your toe while wearing such a boot, defeating the whole purpose.
The King Toe by Red Wing Shoes has made this a thing of the past. Offering almost 50% more toe room than other boots like it but still containing a safety toe, you will be able to wear them with confidence and comfort on the worksite.
Something very significant that you will need to watch for with the King Toe is that it is not slip resistant at all. Be very careful when wearing them if you are around wet environments.
Most boots that offer strong toe protection are usually not the most comfortable ones to wear. It's an issue that most who wear such pairs of boots have been forced to accept for a very long time.
The Cincinnati, by Keen, combines toe protection and comfort demonstrably. The inner toe is made of carbon fibers, which provides near perfect protection. They are also 15% lighter than boots with steel toes which makes them more comfortable.
The enhanced toe protection of the Cincinnati does make the boot a little larger on the outside than most other boots of its kind. This is one thing that you'll need to watch for as they can get in the way.
A common issue that a lot of work boots share is that they rise high above the ankle. While this is necessary in some situations, there are certainly some situations that do not call for this. Wearing boots that rise a little above the ankle can also be a little uncomfortable for some.
Fortunately, the Detroit XT, by Keen, contains all of the nice features that its counterparts have without the potential discomfort of their higher rising counterparts. This is perfect for anybody who is in need of a boot that is durable but still comfortable.
The only thing about the Detroit XT that you might need to watch for is because they are lower than other work boots, this also means that they are not nearly as waterproof. Use care when wearing the Detroit XT in wet conditions.
The majority of work boots are not designed for ankles. Most of them do not provide enough cushioning for ankles and this is especially true if they are worn in unsavory conditions that do nothing but pronounce this discomfort.
This all changes with Dunlop's work boots. Nearly all of its interior is padded. The entire ankle collar is padded and even the tongue of the boot is padded. The insoles are even cushioned and the midsoles are thicker than most other work boots.
The only thing about Dunlop's work boots that might turn you away from them is that all of this padding takes away from the overall weight of the boot. The steel toe also contributes to how heavy it is as well. Dunlop's work boots are certainly heavier than most others.
Most work boots do not do the best job of insulating the inside. If they do contain breathable materials, this usually comes at the cost of their overall comfort. This can create a troublesome experience when wearing them for outdoor activities.
The Moab, by Merrell, was created with this exact issue in mind. They contain a breathable mesh interior that will keep your feet as dry as possible, even when wearing them in demanding outdoor conditions. The best thing about this mesh is that it does not take away from the Moab's durability.
However, the Moab is not as waterproof as most of its counterparts are. They are made of full-grain leather which is an industry standard for most work boots, but this kind of leather does not resist wetness as perfectly as it should.
It can take a lot longer than you might want to properly break in a pair of work boots to where they can be that much more comfortable. Sometimes they never get broken in properly, never truly achieving a perfect level of comfort.
Something that the Lumber up by Eastland does is reduce most of the often unnecessary inner padding that surrounds the ankle, providing a feel that is a little more loose. This makes them comfortable as soon as you wear them.
One thing that you definitely need to watch for with the Lumber up is that they are not waterproof at all. Avoid wearing them around wet areas. This makes the Lumber up designed for indoor environments much more than outdoor ones.
Work boots with a longer shaft than usual tend to leave your ankles feeling sore. Most of the time, the padding of such boots do not reach the upper part of your ankle and this is what causes the most pain.
You will not need to deal with this at all with the Pit Boss, by Timberland. Although its shaft is a little longer than most work boots, the top collars are completely padded, providing much more comfort than other work boots that are this long.
The Pit Boss contains steel toes, abrasion resistant outsoles, and other things that you would come to expect from work boots like it, but the padding that lines the inside of it make it a lot heavier than they probably should be. This is something that you should watch out for.
Most work boots are completely resistant to water and provide decent slip resistance to both water and oil, but none of them are resistant to particles that can get inside of the boot while walking or running, such as pebbles and sand. This is troublesome to deal with if you wear such boots outdoors.
Free Soldier's tactical boots have solved this problem, as its tongue will prevent pebbles and dirt from entering the boot much more than the tongues of other work boots do. The soles are also made for all terrains and are guaranteed not to slip.
The only thing about Free Soldier's tactical boot that you'll need to watch for is that it is not as flexible as other work boots like it are. This is especially true along the area of the ankle, which is not nearly as flexible as the rest of the boot.
When you work at a place such as a kitchen or any other area that demands that your footwear is durable and comfortable enough to move around quickly in, you will need something different than a work boot. You will need footwear that combines the flexibility of sneakers as well as the durability of a work boot.
This is exactly what you get with the Flex Advantage Bendon, by Skechers. The soles are made of synthetic material which allow your feet to breathe perfectly and they are completely slip resistant. The Flex Advantage Bendon is perfect for anybody who needs to move fast when working indoors.
However, the Flex Advantage Bendon is not ideal at all for outdoor areas at all. They are not waterproof at all and they do not typically perform well on terrains with a lot of dirt, wet grass, or mud. You'll need a pair of work boots for terrains like these.
It can be very difficult to find work boots that last a long time, are durable, and last a long time. If they are comfortable, they usually do not last long and if they last a long time and are durable, they are usually not comfortable.
The Second Shift work boot, by Caterpillar, combines all three qualities. The padded collar and sockliner makes it much more comfortable than other work boots. Being made of 100% leather, the Second Shift is also extremely durable. You can wear them in almost any condition.
However, you will need to be careful if you have decided to wear the Second Shift in overly wet conditions. While they are water resistant, they are not totally waterproof.
It is never easy to find a work boot that is both comfortable and can be worn in nearly all conditions. Most of the work boots that are suitable for all conditions usually contain one little thing that takes away from their overall comfort. Dealing with this is frustrating.
Your search for such a work boot has ended with the Verdict, by Skechers. The tongue and collar are both padded and the insoles are cushioned, making it just as comfortable as most sneakers are. The all leather exterior also makes it suitable for all conditions.
The Verdict is not completely waterproof, however. Because the sides of the boot are not connected to the tongue, there is still a small chance that water can enter. Also, they do not contain steel or reinforced toes at all. This is something else you should watch out for.
It is nearly impossible to come across a work boot that is every bit as durable as they need to be but are also as comfortable as a pair of sneakers. Nearly anybody who is familiar with work boots understands this and has practically come to terms with it at this point.
Your search for a work boot that is ideal for tough conditions but also is just as comfortable as any other kind of footwear has ended with the Overpass, by Wolverine. Its welt construction provides flexibility that very few work boots contain, making them much more comfortable than most.
The Overpass is completely waterproof and contains a composite toe, making them ideal for the worksite as well. However, the Overpass lacks breathability, so you'll need to watch out for that.
Despite all the technological advances that waterproof work boots have gone through, it still seems like it is impossible to find a pair of waterproof work boots that contain even a decent amount of breathability. This is a common and very frustrating issue that anybody who wears these kinds of boots regularly has to deal with.
Carhartt's wedge work boot has decisively solved this issue. They are completely waterproof so you can wear them with confidence in wet conditions, but the inner part of the boot is not nearly as thick as the outer leather area, improving breathability.
Something that you need to be aware of with Carhartt's wedge boot is that it contains a soft toe. This means that they are not intended for environments where you might need a steel or a composite toe.
Hiking boots and shoes are not nearly as comfortable as they ought to be. It also seems like the more durable a boot or shoe made for hiking is, the less comfortable they are. This is a prime source of frustration among anyone who wears hiking boots and shoes.
The White Ledge, by Timberland, has solved this issue. They are perfect for hiking in nearly every way. They are almost completely waterproof and contain speed lace hardware, meaning they will hardly ever come untied. Best of all, they fit so comfortably that you will not be able to tell the difference between the White Ledge and your sneakers.
The shaft of the White Ledge is a little longer than other hiking boots. While this is something that is generally negligible, it is still something you might need to watch out for.
One of the most pervasive and common issues that surround any given work boot is the combination of comfort and durability. Durable and heavy duty work boots are often some of the least comfortable. They either weigh you down or they provide next to no breathability.
The Titan, by Timberland, has changed all of this. It contains alloy safety toes, which allow you to wear them in environments that call for such a thing with confidence, but do not weigh you down like steel toes do. The comfort system uses ergonomically designed elements that provide breathability and support, making them much more comfortable.
Something you need to be aware of with the Titan is that they are not waterproof at all. You will need to have a different pair of work boots on hand if you are around wet conditions because the Titan is not suitable for those kinds of conditions at all.
The insoles of any kind of footwear will get worn out. It is just a matter of time. This is especially true for work boots and even more true if you spend lots of time in them. It is a shame that there does not exist a work boot that allows you to replace the insoles.
Actually, there is a work boot that allows you to replace the insoles, and that is the Outline, by Caterpillar. This one thing alone makes it stand out above most other work boots, since most other work boots do not contain this at all.
Although the Outline contains a steel toe, they are not waterproof. Wearing them in wet conditions will not only make the entire boot wet to where it will take a long time for them to dry, but may also rust the steel insert in the toe. Be aware of this.
There are many uses for lightweight work boots. While there is no "perfect" work boot that you can wear literally everywhere, you should be able to avoid buying multiple pairs if you consider a few things.
This is the first consideration and the other considerations you have should revolve around this.
While work boots and hiking boots are two completely different animals, they also contain a lot of similarities.
These similarities can be difficult to form a concrete decision from, so the first thing you should determine is if you will be wearing your boots to a worksite or hiking to get this difference out of the way.
While most work boots are waterproof, not all of them are.
Some work boots that are waterproof also contain other features that you may or may not need as well.
Make sure that the work boots that you need for wet conditions also contain other features that you might need.
Just like with waterproof capabilities, reinforced toes are another feature that is not universal to all work boots.
Further, some work boots have steel toes and some have composite ones.
Boots that have a steel toe are considerably heavier than boots with composite toes as well, so that is one additional thing you'll want to consider in this area.
Some work boots are designed for indoor activities and some are designed for outdoor activities regardless of how waterproof they are or if they have a reinforced toe.
This is something else that you should certainly be aware of.
Lightweight work boots are just as effective as their heavy duty counterparts that weigh you down.
Oftentimes, there are situations where you can replace your former heavy duty work boots with lightweight ones without penalty.
Here are some advantages that lightweight work boots have over their heavier counterparts.
This is the first advantage that lightweight work boots have.
It is very difficult to move around fast in heavier work boots and this can be inconvenient to deal with.
This issue does not exist with lightweight work boots. You'll often be just as mobile in them as you would be in a pair of sneakers.
It may sound obvious, but work boots are among the least comfortable kinds of footwear in existence.
Lightweight work boots are much more comfortable and are usually just as functional and durable as their counterparts are.
It seems like lightweight work boots were practically designed for anyone with plantar fasciitis.
Seeing as most who develop plantar fasciitis do so because of the constant pressure that is put on their feet by way of overwhelmingly heavy footwear, it only makes sense to move to lightweight work boots if you indeed have plantar fasciitis.
These are just a few of the advantages that lightweight work boots have over their counterparts.
When looking for a work boot, there are two main types: lightweight and heavyweight. So which is better?
Lightweight boots are typically made from materials like nylon or polyester and are designed to be more comfortable and easier to move in. They're good for warmer weather or lighter jobs where you don't need as much protection. Heavyweight boots are made from materials like leather and are designed to provide more protection. They're good for colder weather or tougher jobs where you need more durability. Ultimately, the best type of boot depends on the individual and the job they're doing. So try out a few different styles and see what feels most comfortable.
Lightweight boots are ideal for office workers, construction laborers or agriculturalists who need to wear boots on a frequent basis without having too much trouble. The comfort and convenience these boots offer is unprecedented; they reduce the risk of injuries (though nothing can entirely eliminate it) and provide proper cushioning during work hours.
How do they compare against traditional boots? Read on to find out.
Lightweight boots break less easily than traditional ones, which can withstand several pounds of pressure before giving in and snapping at the seams. This means that lightweight work boots are likely to last longer than their heavier counterparts, making them a better investment for the long run.
Another benefit is better ground feel - or, in other words, increased awareness about the environment - without sacrificing protection. The lighter weight of these boots means that you can effortlessly pick them up and move to a safer place as soon as an accident or potential threat surfaces.
Not to mention the fact that lightweight work boots are typically waterproof and slip resistant. This gives their wearers even more reason to procure a pair.
To ensure better protection, look for lightweight boots that can either meet or exceed ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75 safety standards. They cover the requirements for electrical hazard (EH), puncture resistance and compression set performance. Some footwear models also have non-conductive features, which are preferred by individuals who work around electrical equipment frequently.
When shopping for lightweight boots, make sure to check the weight (obviously). A good pair should not exceed 2 pounds in total; this is roughly equivalent to one of your shoes or sneakers. Check the footwear's flexibility as well - it should easily allow you to move your foot and ankle.
The material used to make the boots can also give you an idea about its weight. Synthetic materials are typically found in lightweight work boots, though they vary by brand and model.
To ensure comfort, take note of the lacing system. The best lightweight boots should have speed hooks for faster lacing; you'll find them at the arch area. These boots should also be slip-resistant to help avoid accidents and injuries.
It can be difficult to tell if a work boot is lightweight or not without trying it on because the size of the boots are often larger than normal. When shopping for a lighter weight work boot, one should look at these features: how much insulation is in the boots, type of insulation used, what the outer material is made out of, and thickness of the boot.
Lightweight boots often have insulation that is less than an inch thick, if not completely absent. These types of boots don't usually provide much warmth and are more for comfort and breathability than anything else. An example of this type of insulation would be felt or synthetic fiber which would only add a small amount of warmth to the boot. The exterior material of a lightweight work boot is usually a suede or leather which will be more flexible and comfortable than a hard leather. The outer material also has to be thin so that the boot itself is light in weight.
Many lightweight boots have a composite safety toe or even no steel toe at all since it can make the boot heavier. Some boots will also have a low-profile construction meaning that they are lower to the ground and thinner than normal work boots, making them lightweight as well.
If you're looking for steel toe boots that are lightweight, you need to look at their insulation. If it's one inch thick or less then it's likely a lightweight boot. Another way to know is if they have a suede or leather exterior with a thin sole and have a low-profile construction.
KEEN Utility Men's Pittsburgh 6 Inch Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot, Bison/Bison, 10.5 - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
Thorogood American Heritage 6" Steel Toe Work Boots For Men - Premium Leather Moc Toe, - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Cat Footwear Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot, Tan, 7 M US Walmart, Etsy, eBay
KEEN Utility Men's Braddock Mid Steel Toe Waterproof Work Shoe, Cascade Brown/Tawny Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Thorogood American Heritage 8" Steel Toe Work Boots for Men - Premium Leather Moc Toe, - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
WOLVERINE mens Raider Steel-toe 6" Work industrial and construction boots, Brown, 9 US Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Timberland PRO Men's 6 Inch Rigmaster XT Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot, Brown Tumbled Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Irish Setter Men's Ely 83608 6" Steel Toe Work Boot,Brown,13 EE US - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
Timberland PRO mens Titan? 6" Safety Toe industrial and construction boots, Brown/Brown, Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Timberland PRO Men's 6 Inch Stockdale Grip Max Alloy Toe Work and Hunt Boot, Black Walmart, Etsy, eBay
There is no doubt that you will need a pair of work boots if you work in a place where you need footwear that is durable and can withstand the elements of the worksite.
Remember that among all the work boots out there, you will need to find one that is suitable for the places you go and the places you work at.
Refuse the temptation to look for a "perfect" work boot that you can literally wear anywhere. You will not find such a work boot.
However, you can take the time to find a lightweight work boot that you can wear in most places. This is what you should spend your time and energy on doing.
About Jason Flores
Jason Flores spent his childhood breaking around in his grandpa's workshop getting to know a thing or two about handiness. At the same time, he loves fashion. As such, he's become invloved in writing about fieldwork fashion to pass on his precious passion.