Best Work Boots of 2021

Why settle for anything but the best? We laid out the definitive list of the best work boots of 2021. Browse tried-and-true favorites from popular categories and slip on some of the best boots on the market.

Best Safety Toe Work Boots

Best Safety Toe Work Boots


For the best protection money can buy, our best pair of safety toe work boots has you covered.

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Best Soft Toe Work Boots

Best Soft Toe Work Boots


Stay comfortable and light on your feet with our pick for the best soft toe work boots of 2021.

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Best Safety Toe Work Shoes

Best Safety Toe Work Shoes


Prefer the mobility of tennis shoes with safety toe protection? You need these safety toe shoes.

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Best Met Guard Work Boots

Best Met Guard Work Boots


Metatarsal safety is important, and our finest pair of met guard work boots is up to the challenge.

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Best Soft Toe Work Shoes

Best Soft Toe Work Shoes


If you want to be fleet of foot, the best soft toe work shoes of the year are what you're looking for.

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Best Made in USA Boots

Best Made in USA Boots


Nothing beats American ingenuity, and these made in USA work boots are the best of the best.

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Best Hazard Safe Work Boots

Best EH Safe Work Boots


Ohms and amps have nothing on our pick for best electrical hazard safe work boots of the year.

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Best Insulated Work Boots

Best Insulated Work Boots


Cold feet are a problem, but not when you're wearing the best insulated work boots of 2021.

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Best Waterproof Boots

Best Waterproof Work Boots


The best waterproof work boots of the year are the perfect choice for working in wet conditions.

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Best Wellington Work Boots

Best Wellingtons


A lot of people like the slip-on style, and if you do, you'll love our best pair of wellington work boots.

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Best Safety Toe Work Boots

The Timberland PRO Direct Attach boots simply have that classic work boot look. As if that weren't enough to get them on your feet, they feature a steel toe box which meets and exceeds ANSI and ASTM standards. They're also waterproof, and they come built with a padded ankle collar for some extra comfort. Simply put, you won't find a better pair of safety toe footwear at a better price.

Pros

  • Steel toe cap

  • Waterproof

  • Durable rubber lug outsole

  • 200g insulation

Cons

  • Steel toe cap is heavy

  • Boots may squeak as you walk

  • Not good for summer use

Best Soft Toe Work Boots

You could argue that quite a few pairs of boots deserve the title of best soft toe, but to us, the Wolverine Floorhand boots take the cake. For starters, their full-grain leather uppers are ridiculously durable, and even waterproof. Their outsoles are slip, oil, water and abrasion-resistant, and they feature a sturdy, nylon shank. But don't take our word for it; try them on yourself. You'll understand straight away why they're our pick.

Pros

  • Full-grain leather uppers

  • Slip, oil, water and abrasion-resistant outsoles

  • Moisture-wicking mesh lining

  • Electrical hazard protection

Cons

  • Leather uppers don't breathe as well as synthetic

  • Eyelets may pop loose over time

  • Heavy, even for a non-safety toe

Best Safety Toe Work Shoes

Some categories on this list are highly competitive. This one, however, is not; the Reebok Sublite Cushion work shoes are, hands down, the best safety toe work shoes of the bunch. Their lightweight alloy toe offers great protection without weighing you down. The MemoryTech Massage footbed simply feels heavenly, especially through a long, tough day of work. If safety toe work shoes are your thing, the Reebok Sublite Cushion is the only choice for you.

Pros

  • Ultra-light (12.35 oz. per shoe)

  • Lightweight alloy toe box

  • MemoryTech Massage Footbed

Cons

  • Not as protective as a steel toe

  • Limited slip resistance

Best Met Guard Work Boots

If you want to take your protective footwear one step further, nothing beats a good met guard boot, and the Iron Age Ground Breaker is the very best we have to offer. Not only does it feature an external metatarsal guard, but it also boasts a steel toe box, electrical hazard protection and a slip-resistant outsole. These things are essentially foot fortresses designed for protection against virtually every potential on-the-job danger.

Pros

  • External met guard

  • Steel toe box

  • Electrical hazard protection

  • Slip-resistant outsole

Cons

  • Heavy

  • Leather uppers don't breathe as well as synthetic

  • Run a bit wide

Best Soft Toe Work Shoes

It doesn't get much lighter than this. The Georgia Giant Romeo shoes, with their unique take on the romeo-style, soared into our best soft toe work shoe spot with ease. Their oil and slip-resistant outsoles feature a Goodyear welt construction for the best in durability. These shoes even have a steel shank to ensure arch support and, despite the shanks, each shoe clocks in at a featherweight 20 ounces. Give them a try — their price tag is excellent, too.

Pros

  • Full-grain leather uppers

  • Oil and slip-resistant outsoles

  • Goodyear welt

Cons

  • Low level of impact protection

  • Can be difficult to put on/take off

  • No electrical hazard protection

Best Made in USA Work Boots

American workers everywhere prefer boots made in the homeland, and the Thorogood American Heritage Wedge boots will make you proud to be from the USA. Even from a visual perspective, the rich, premium, tobacco-colored leather is simply striking. Looking closer, the craftsmanship, design and stitching of these boots are unparalleled. Once you get your feet in them, you'll find that the comfort is just out of this world. No one makes footwear like the United States, and no one in the United States makes footwear like Thorogood does.

Pros

  • Vibram rubber wedge outsole

  • Premium oil-tanned leather construction

  • Dual density shock absorption footbed

  • Lightweight composite shank

Cons

  • No extra wide option

  • No safety toe box

Best Electrical Hazard Safe Work Boots

Electrical hazards are no joke. The right pair of footwear can mean the difference between complete safety and a dangerous shock. As the second Groundbreaker on our list, the Ariat Groundbreaker boots offer great protection against electricity. Their steel toe box, optimized tread and easy-to-use pull-on style also helped them stand out from the competition. The honorable mentions are great too, but these boots are simply on another level.

Pros

  • Steel toe box

  • Premium, full-grain leather uppers

  • Pull straps for easy on and off

  • Lightweight, stabilizing shank

Cons

  • Tall leather uppers don't breathe well

  • Relatively heavy

Best Insulated Work Boots

There's nothing worse than cold toes when you're working through the winter months. Our pick for best insulated work boots takes care of that problem though — and plenty more. With 400 grams of Thinsulate insulation, the Chippewa Arador boots can handle the cold. Not only that, but they also come equipped with a steel toe box, a Vibram rubber outsole, and they're waterproof. When you put on the Chippewa Aradors, you're putting on the best insulated work boots of the year.

Pros

  • Steel toe box

  • Waterproof

  • Electrical hazard protection

  • Made in USA

Cons

  • Relatively heavy

  • Not good for summer use

Best Waterproof Work Boots

You didn't think we'd go the entire list without including a Carhartt work boot, did you? Carhartt came close in many other categories, but their Moc Toe Wedge Waterproof boots take the number one spot here. Not only are these boots waterproof, but their waterproof membrane is breathable, which is a huge plus. The oil-tanned leather uppers stand out, and the dual-density rubber outsoles are especially durable. This one was an easy choice.

Pros

  • Goodyear welt construction

  • Oil and slip-resistant outsole

  • Oil-tanned leather upper

Cons

  • No safety toe box

  • No pull tabs

Best Wellington Work Boots

And, last but not least, the wellingtons (pull-ons vs. lace-ups is a debate we'll save for another time). Despite heavy competition, the Double H Roy boots edged out all comers to grab our best wellington work boots spot. Rated for electrical hazard protection, these boots have it all: waterproof leather, a composite toe box, a fiberboard insole and much more. If you prefer pull-ons, add this wellington to your list.

Pros

  • Composite toe box

  • Waterproof membrane

  • Electrical hazard protection

Cons

  • Relatively heavy

  • Leather uppers don't breathe well