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Comfy Work Boots for Guys: Finding the Right Fit
Whether you're working construction, trades or natural resources, little things make a big difference. A small distraction, like an uncomfortable set of protective footwear, can make the difference between being productive and getting very little done. Why put up with it?
I've had good footwear and I've had bad, and I can tell you that it's probably the most important bit of safety equipment you'll wear. Finding the most comfortable work boots for men isn't terribly difficult—if you know what to look for. There are a few mistakes you'll want to avoid, and there are a few things you might not know to look for.
So what are the most comfortable men's work boots, anyway? This article will first talk about the things to look for (and the things to avoid), and then we'll get right into it with a few reviews of comfy work boots for guys—selections that I think are the cream of the crop! Ready to read on? Let's get started!
Comfy Work Shoes & Boots: What You Want
There are a few things that I've learned over the years when it comes to footwear. Hopefully, this info will help you out.
- Padding Doesn't Always Mean Comfort: A lot of the cheaper men's work boots will add a whole bunch of unnecessary padding in an effort to make a clunky shoe more appealing. The truth is, excess padding often causes chafing. Remember: quality is better than quantity, and a little goes a long way.
- Flexible Midsoles: One of the most overlooked things in a pair of good boots is the midsole. You want there to be a good amount of flex in there. Less flexing means your feet are more cramped, and it puts excess force on your joints, all the way up through your knees. Make sure there's some flex if you want to be comfy.
- Find the Right Rise: Be aware of rise and how that affects comfort. A low rise men's work boot can be very comfortable, but it can also put you at risk of ankle rolls. A high rise boot offers excellent support, but they can get hot, and they can chafe. Make sure to buy the type that fits your needs.
1. Pitboss: Work in Comfort
The first thing that Timberland says about these boots is that they're "Safe, tough and really comfortable." That's about as accurate a description as a guy could ask for. But for the sake of full disclosure, let me elaborate.
We'll start with safety. The boot incorporates a full steel toe and a fairly thick rubber sole. The outer is full-grain leather, and the shoe is built in a lace-up style, which gives your ankles the maximum amount of support needed. The boot also features electrical resistance and a non-slip sole.
In terms of comfort, the toe box of these shoes is larger than normal. That means you won't get that 'pinched toe' feeling some cheaper footwear suffers from. It's great if you like to wear thicker socks too.
The upper of this shoe isn't insulated, so it's the ideal comfy men's work boot for the outdoor worker in a hot climate, or for during the summer. The leather construction is a great choice, and once it's fully broken in, the Pitboss will be one of the most comfortable steel-toed boots you've worn. And they last!
2. The Atlanta: The Perfect for Hot Weather
If you find yourself sweating it out in the summer, you probably long for a steel toe shoe for men that breathes and keeps your feet cool. You're in luck! The Atlanta by Keen Utility is a low rise boot that has a lot of great features, and it's one of the comfiest shoes you'll wear around the job site. This is a nice shoe for warehouse work, because it provides the (usually) mandatory requirement for steel toes, without being too heavy or clunky for indoor occupation.
The cool factor is the main reason this shoe made the list. With the low rise configuration and the mesh liner, you have a lot of airflow, and your feet will stay very well ventilated. The EVA molded insole will gradually shape to your foot, and soon you'll find yourself wearing them outside of work too!
The traction is phenomenal, with a lot of bite and plenty of contact. It's a slip-resistant shoe that will keep you feeling planted. I also happen to think it's one of the most attractive pairs of safety footwear I've come across. Lightweight, efficient and safe, this is one of the most comfortable work shoes for men on the market today.
3. The Flint: A Mid-Riser With an Upside
Another Keen Utility boot, huh? You bet! I'm a big fan of the mid-rise style for a few reasons. They look great, they offer a good amount of ankle support and stability, and they're comfy! In fact, this lightweight men's steel toe is one of the comfiest safety shoes you'll find.
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It's a very safe boot, a steel toe that doesn't look like one. With asymmetrical steel covers on each foot and a fairly thick rubber sole that is resistant to slippage, even in oil, this footwear meets the requirements of most workplaces.
The comfort comes from two sources. First, the shoe is very well designed, and form-fits to your foot. It has a heel lock, which prevents your heel from sliding inside the shoe as you walk. It has great arch support, and the hiking style laces let you easily tighten it up.
The second thing is the light weight. This shoe is only 23 oz, and that's pretty decent as a steel toe goes! You'll really appreciate not having to clomp around in overweight footwear. Lots of midsole flexibility is a big help too. The Flint is one of the lightest and most comfortable work boots for guys, and I'd definitely recommend checking it out.
4. The Marauder: Comfortable and Waterproof
The Marauder, by Wolverine, is a simple yet strong work boot for guys, and it's one of the comfiest options you'll find. Safety-wise, the Marauder has rounded steel toes for protection, along with a thick rubber sole with a versatile tread pattern. The boot upper is made from full-grain leather, and it's abrasion-resistant as well as waterproof.
Waterproof? That's right! It's a great option if you're worried about rain, wet or mud, and it's a fine choice if you work in a colder climate, because the boot comes equipped with 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation.
I think it's a great looking piece of footwear. It doesn't immediately scream "work shoe" when you see it, and when tucked under some jeans or cargo pants they don't look out of place at the bar or coffee shop. A great feature is the double loop pull strap, to help you pull them on. It's a lace-less boot, so there's no tying to do; just pull them on and go!
The mesh lining, Thinsulate and natural leather of the boot makes it one of the best comfortable work boots around. They're great in cold weather and after the break-in period, you'll be very satisfied with them. If you need a comfortable, waterproof work boot for men, look no further.
5. The Romeo: A Laceless, Mid-Rise Safety Boot
What list of work gear would be complete without an item by Carhartt? The Romeo is a versatile, simple and comfy boot for the working man, and it's very affordably priced to boot!
Like most Carhartt gear, this boot is designed with simplicity, ruggedness and utility in mind. Despite that focus, it's a really good looking item! It's a lace-less boot without many bells and whistles, but it has them where it counts.
They're a good choice for the working guy, with steel toes and a rugged rubber sole with anti-slip technology to guard against oil spills and water. The upper is made from full leather, and it's resistant to abrasion. What's more, it should form to your foot as you use it. The midsole is nice and flexible.
Despite being full leather and featuring steel toes, you'll be surprised by how light they are. Their light weight makes them that much more comfortable, and these light work boots are a lot less 'clunky' than similar products.
The boot isn't pure leather, however. It features dual stretch panels on either side of the ankle. That provides you with some give as you walk, and it makes pulling them on that much easier. The leather loop at the back helps too! Flexible, straightforward and durable, these are among the most comfy work boots for guys around today. Put Carhartt on that list!
When Is 'Comfy' a Bad Idea?
An easy-to-wear work boot is always the goal, but sometimes they aren't the best option. If you're in a line of work where you're at extreme risk from dropped items, I'd opt for a metatarsal boot that protects your upper foot as well as the toe. They're usually a bit less comfy than those listed here, not to mention heavier, but they offer much better protection. None of the boots here have a steel shank, so if you're constantly stepping on nails, you might want to look at some other alternatives.
If you suffer from twisted ankles and similar injuries, be sure to get a boot that laces up, with a good amount of rise to it. The Timberland that I listed first is probably the best choice of the lot for ankle support. If you have any questions that weren't covered here, leave a comment below! Thanks for reading.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.