Different Types of Work Boot Materials

ASTM, ASTM rated boots, bates, carolina boots caterpillar boots, carolina waterproof, cat boots, caterpillar, caterpillar boot, caterpillar work boots, chippewa boots, clod weather boots, comp toe, comp toe work boots, composite toe boots, composite toe work boots, country boot, cowboy boots, harley boots, Harley-Davidson boot, harness boots, motorcycle boot, motorcycle boots, Power Train, riding boot, rocky boots, rocky waterproof, safety toe boots, safety toe motorcycle boots, safety toe work boots, slip resistant, steel toe boots, steel toe work boots, tactical boots, thorogood boots, Timberland, TImberland Powertrain, Timberland PRO, waterproof boots, wellington boots, western boots, winter boots, work boots -

Different Types of Work Boot Materials

Consumers buy work boots for a variety of reasons. Each type of work boot is built for a specific use.  Every work boot is built with materials that differ from boot to boot.

The following is a partial list of important factors to keep in mind, as you begin to shop for the perfect work boot.

Upper Boot


Work boots, especially when used for heavy-duty work, must be durable! Full-grain leather is a great choice because it’s water-resistant. But, in order to do the job right, the leather needs to be thick, making it bulky and unable to breathe.

And, as everyone is aware, leather is quite comfortable once you have had a chance to ‘break it in’ to your foot’s nuances.

Available with toe protection: Yes



Nylon is a material known for breathability and it’s super-light weight. The material is pliable which makes it incredibly comfortable.

Available with toe protection: Yes



Rubber (or PVC) work boots are watertight and easy-to-clean. Their downfall is they are:

  • Hard to adjust the fit
  • Often awkward to walk in

Available with toe protection: Yes



Some work boots are constructed with both leather and nylon. These two materials are combined to create different levels strength.

Sole Options

The material that makes up the ‘work-boot sole’ protects and supports the bottom of your foot, from glass, sharp objects, liquids, and accidents, etc. For example, certain types of work boot soles provide traction during oily or wet conditions.


The use of rubber on the work boot sole is used most often because it is slip, oil and abrasion resistant. A rubber material can be modified during manufacturing to add safety and performance characteristics.  



Thermo-polyurethane soles are lighter than rubber soles but are durable and resistant to chemicals, abrasions and oils.



Ethylene Vinyl Acetate, a flexible, lightweight foam-like material, is routinely used for the mid-sole. EVA offers stability and comfort by redistributing the body’s weight.


Toe Protection

Industrial jobs require that you protect your toes from an object that is falling. 


  • Steel Toe Boots  – sturdy and heavy and transfers heat
  • Composite Toe Boots – these materials are rigid and include Kevlar, carbon fiber, or a very dense plastic; does not transfer temperature. Best to use in metal-free environments


Constructing Safety Boots

When choosing a work boot, it is also important to consider how the boot is manufactured.


A stitch-down construction offers the strongest construction plus it allows the boots to be re-soled, it the need arises. This technique stitches (one continuous thread) together the boot’s upper material with the outer-sole material.



A cement construction, which is less costly, glues the upper boot part and outer sole. However, this technique does not hold up as long as the stitch-down.



A molded work boots is far more durable than cement. Its construction is a one-step process.

To find the best boot for you weight the pros and cons of each material while keeping in mind your needs.