We’ve been asked that question roughly a thousand times. To be honest there really is no best work boot out there. It is important that you realize the best work boot is simply the best boot to fit your needs. For instance, if a person has a Georgia Boot in mind they are partial to that particular maker. However, if they are in need of a waterproof, composite toe and slip resistant boot, Georgia Boot may not be the best fit for them.
It is very important to keep an open mind when shopping for work boots. Most brands try to keep along the same safety specs and material construction. The main issue is to find the boot that combines the features needed with the comfort needed for an all day wear. Remember, most importantly, all leather boots with a safety toe WILL BE HEAVY! You must keep that in mind.
The next question would be what is more durable, leather or synthetics? That is a little easier to answer. In all of the years we have been dealing with footwear, certainly the least amount of tears and wear spots come from leather footwear. When dealing with a synthetic you must realize that durability is often sacrificed in order to achieve a lighter boot. That seems to be the main trade-off. Boots like the Caterpillar Streamline Hi Composite Toe Slip Resistant Navy / Charcoal P90519 are great boots and very light, however they are fully synthetic and are not really meant for heavy duty construction jobs. Keep them in light duty to extend the life of them.
For heavier duty needs, the Carolina 6” Brown Borris Tan Leather Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot CA2525 is a great combination of steel toe, waterproof, slip resistant and EH rated features. This boot tends to be a favorite of construction workers, sanitation and recycling employees. Remember, if your everyday work is harder than most others, you WILL NEED a tougher and more durable work boot.
The final point I want to make is that having a waterproof work boot means having a hotter boot. In order to make a work boot truly waterproof, a plastic internal sheet must be sewn into the boot underneath the lining. This is usually some sort of Gortex or similar material that will repel moisture and allow your feet to move without feeling smothered. The Dan Post Brown Leather Steel Toe Waterproof Oil & Slip Resistant Western Work Boot DP69482 is a prefect example of a fully waterproofed work and safety boot that has just about every safety feature. But, as mentioned earlier, those increase the heat within the boot.
Remember, it is up to you to find the perfect fit. Just remember that the brand is less important as the features needed for your work. Keep an open mind when shopping for work boots. Look at what they have to offer you, not the price, brand, style or any promotions a salesman may throw your way in hopes to persuade you into picking their “hot boot of the month.”