Top 10 Best Quality Steel Toe Work Boots For Your Money

Hi and welcome to our best steel toe work boots review for 2021.

In A Rush?!

a boot from Timberland PRO that has a steel toe box protection.

Top Rated Steel Toe Work Boots

We’ve put together a list of top 10 work boots with a steel toe cap and our #1 recommendation based on what we’ve found in our research is the Timberland PRO Pit Boss

To bring you this article we’ve researched over 28 websites, looked at 51 different work boot brands and models and we have read dozens of customer reviews and feedback for each make of boot that made the cut, as well as a few that did not. 

Overall we’ve spent over 64 hours looking into all of these steel work boots to bring you the most important information for each boot. 

These boots can be worn by men and by women as well. You can check these great steel toe work boots for women if you want boots built specifically for lady’s feet.

Jump straight into the reviews of the best steel toe boots section or go to the Q&A section first (if you want to learn more about this).

Our list of the top 10 most comfortable steel toe work boots

Here’s a quick comparison table if you’re curious about which work boots I’ve included in today’s round-up. Most of these boots I wore myself, some I still wear and others I’m interested in buying myself based on what colleagues have told about them.

1. Timberland Pit Boss

  • Rubber sole
  • 100% leather
  • 6 inch tall

Overall, The Best Steel
Toe Boots For Work

2. CAT Second Shift

  • Rubber sole
  • 100% leather
  • 6 inch tall

Best Steel Toe Work Boot For Less Than $100

3. Ariat Sierra

  • Rubber sole
  • 100% leather
  • 10 inch tall

Square Steel Toe Work Boots For Wide Feet

4. Thorogood 1957

  • Wedge sole
  • 100% leather
  • 8 inch tall

Best Made In The USA
Steel Toe Work Boots

5. KEEN Lansing

  • Rubber sole
  • Leather + textile
  • 5.5 inch tall

Non-Insulated Steel Toe Work Boots For Summer

6. RockRooster

  • TPU sole
  • 100% leather
  • 6 inch tall

Easy To Slip On And Off Steel Toe Work Boots

7. Dunlop Explorer

  • Vibram outsole
  • Purafort
  • 15 inch tall

100% Waterproof Steel
Toe Work Boots

8. Rocky Ranger

  • Vibram outsole
  • 100% leather
  • 8 inch tall

GORE-TEX Insulated
Steel Toe Work Boots

9. Much Chore

  • Rubber outsole
  • 100% leather
  • 15 inch tall

Steel Toe Work Boots
For Landscaping

10. Carhartt

  • Rubber outsole
  • 100% leather
  • 6 inch tall

Good Steel Toe Work Boots For Warehouse Work

Reviews of the 10 best-rated steel toe work boots for men and women

Alright, let’s jump into some detailed reviews of each one of these great steel toe work boots we’ve included in today’s round-up and learn more about them.

myself wearing my steel toe boots at work.

1. Timberland PRO Pit Boss

Best Steel Toe Boot For Mechanics

If you happen to be a mechanic and you’re looking for a new pair of work boots then check out these bad boys from Timberland.

The rubber outsole is anti-slippery which of course comes in very handy for a mechanic since you’re always working with grease, oil, and other liquids that could make you slip and fall if you’re not paying attention.

It’s a very rugged work boot, a bit on the heavy side if you ask me but it’s one of the most comfortable work boots on the market once you get used to its weight.

The PRO 24/7 Comfort Suspension tech that you’ll find in these steel toe work boots it will help reduce foot fatigue. Also will provide some arch support and cushioning with each step.

Even though I don’t see too many mechanics wearing steel toe boots it’s an added safety feature that will benefit you by keeping your toes safe especially when you’re working with heavy plants, buses, trucks, and so on.

It’s not only for mechanics though. If you’re on your feet all day long and you want a good steel toe work boot that can provide safety and comfort you should go for this Pit Boss boot.

PROS

  • Comfortable
  • Steel toe cap
  • Tough leather
  • Durable
  • Foot fatigue tech

CONS

  • A bit heavy compared to your normal work boots


2. Caterpillar Second Shift

Afordable Steel Toe Boots
For Construction Workers

If you’re looking for a cheaper pair of work boots than the Timbs mentioned above then these Cat is a great option.

I’m a construction professional myself and I remember when I started in construction I didn’t have too much money to invest in a top-quality steel toe boot.

And let me tell you that just because it cost less and it doesn’t mean it’s bad. Actually this boot has received good feedback from owners consistently and that should mean something.

The steel shank, the slip-resistant outsole, electrical hazard rated, and the steel toe cap features will fit most of the trades in the construction. From general laborers to painters, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, site managers, plant operators, etc, these steel toe work boots are a good option.

If you’re looking for good waterproof work boots though, these are not it. The Caterpillar Second Shift boots are water-resistant. So they might not be the greatest for gardeners or landscapers since you’re going to get wet after a while walking through wet grass or wet soil.

PROS

  • Affortdable
  • EH rated
  • Steel shank
  • Goodyear welted

CONS

  • No waterproof (they are water resistant)

3. Ariat Sierra

Best Cowboy Steel Toe Boots


Whether you’re working at the farm or doing rail work (or any other job for that matter) and you like a pair of cowboy boots that not only will make you look stylish but also keep your toes safe, then these cowboy steel toe boots are for you.

The upper is made out of good quality leather which of course has its pros and cons.

The boots will be stiffer for a while so keep that in mind. You’ll need to buy them ahead of time and break them in before you actually wear them for a full shift at work. The benefit is that the boots will last longer if you take care of them.

These Ariat work boots come with a square steel toe cap which makes them a better fit for those with wide feet since usually there’s more room to fit your toes in.

One great feature you won’t see in many pull-on work boots is the U-Turn Entry System. This feature allows the boot to flex at a specific point (where your heel pushes against the back of the upper) making it easier to put on even if you have wide feet or even high arches.

PROS

  • Easy to put on and take off
  • More room in the toe box
  • Stylish
  • Foot fatigue tech

CONS

  • Sizing is all over the place so buy ahead of time to allow yourself to exhange them if needed.

4. Thorogood 1957 Series

Best American Made
Steel Toe Work Boots


I will bet that if you put these boots on with a pair of jeans and go out with your buddies or work colleagues, no one will know these are work boots.

They look very casual but they have lots of great features you’ll expect to see in a pair of good Thorogood work boots.

So don’t let the stylish look fool you because these bad boys can take a lot of punishment.

One thing you must know about these steel toe boots is that the wedge sole can get quite slippery on shiny floors (especially on wet or dusty shiny surfaces). Not having a heel makes this boot the best option if you have bad knees or a bad back.

These steel toe boots have a Goodyear welted construction which increases the total lifespan of the boot since you can easily resole it. For some work boots, it’s not worth it resoling them since the cost of the service will be the same as buying a new boot.

But for more expensive higher quality work boots such as these Thorogoods, it’s good to know that you can resole the boots and keep wearing them for another year or two.

If you work anywhere near electricity you’d be happy to know these boots are constructed with electric shock resisting soles capable of withstanding 18000V under dry conditions.

PROS

  • Removable insole
  • EH rated
  • Super light
  • Comfy wedge sole
  • Fiberglass shank

CONS

  • The sole don’t provide good grip on shiny surfaces

5. KEEN Lansing

Best Breathable Steel Toe Work Boots


Wearing steel toe boots in summer can be a huge pain. It’s a horrible experience to stay with your feet wet for the whole duration of your shift.

You might be one of the lucky ones and your feet don’t sweat that much but if you’re like me and have sweaty feet you should consider these breathable work boots from KEEN.

What did KEEN do differently on these boots?

As you might know leather it’s not the most breathable material. So they’ve thrown in the mix a little bit of textile to help with air circulation inside the shoe letting your feet breathe better.

The con of this is that the textile panels will allow water, sand, and other things into your boots.

They are not only better for hot days than most of the boots in this round-up, but they’re also comfortable due to their anatomically asymmetrical steel toe caps.

This avoids squeezing your toes and allows for more room especially if you have wider feet.

PROS

  • EH rated
  • Asymmetrical toe box
  • TPU shank
  • Moisture weicking textile

CONS

  • The little holes in the upper will allow water and dirt into the boots

6. Rockrooster

Great Slip-On Steel Toe Work Boots


Having the ability to just take your work off and put them on quickly and easy is a great bonus for some jobs out there.

If you’re a truck driver or plant operator I know you like to take your boots off and be more comfy whilst driving. Delivering materials to a construction site for example will require you to have steel toe boots whilst on site (if you’re getting out of the cab that is).

Having a pair of these slip-on work boots makes it easier to just put them on when needed and not have to wear them all day long.

Or maybe you’re a tradesman and have to visit lots of homes. It’s more comfortable and also saves time to be able to take your boots off and put them on quickly while visiting new clients.

In terms of comfort, apart from being easy to slip on and off in them, you get an anti-fatigue memory foam insole that helps absorb some of the shocks produced by walking.

These Rockrooster steel toe boots come with a lot of great features for less than $150.

PROS

  • No strings, no hassle
  • Slip resistant sole
  • Anti fatigue tech
  • Static dissipative

CONS

  • Not very breathable so not the best choice for hot weather

7. Dunlop Explorer

Best Steel Toe Work Boots For Oil Field


If you’re working in the oil field or mining then this is the perfect boot for you.

Even though this Dunlop Explorer is a very rugged steel toe work boot, it’s comfortable and lightweight enough to get you through the whole shift without too much fatigue.

The deep aggressive lugs in the outsole provide very good traction and make it easy to go through dirt and soft ground without getting stuck.

Being chemical resistant and also 100% waterproof work boots these Dunlop steel toe boots are great for other industries as well. These will do great working in a landfill or working with wet concrete, and other jobs that involve hazards from chemicals and corrosive materials.

Additionally, the material they’re made of (Purofort) is almost 50% more flexible than rubber so they won’t hurt your calves or give you blisters from wearing them all day long bending, flexing, kneeling…

These boots perform very well in cold conditions as well. So if you’re job has to do with working in the snow or going in and out of industrial freezers, these Dunlop are perfect for you.

PROS

  • Impact absorption heel
  • Fuel oil resistant
  • Chemical resistant
  • 100% waterproof
  • Antistatic

CONS

  • A bit on the expensive side (but 100% worth it)

8. Rocky Ranger

Insulated Lace-Up
Steel Toe Work Boots


These steel toe work boots from Rocky not only look beautiful but they come with some great safety features you’d love.

First of all, being an 8-inch tall wor boot will provide you with better ankle support and protection when compared to the 6-inch or the Wellington type work boots.

This will keep your ankle in position especially when you’re working on rough terrain or uneven ground.

The 600grams of Thinsulate in these work boots won’t allow you to work in the Arctic but will keep your feet nice and warm during cold days in most areas of the US. Here are some more insulated work boots if you want to see some additional options out there.

The lugs on the Vibram outsole are deep enough to give you traction on most surfaces.

Not as good and as aggressive as the lugs we’ve seen in the Dunlop boots though so these Rocky boots are for the more medium-duty type of work.

The leather and GORE-TEX mix used in the construction of the upper make these boots not only lighter but also more breathable than if they were made fully with leather.

PROS

  • Breathable GORE-TEX
  • Goodyear welted
  • Vibram outsole
  • EH rated

CONS

  • Some users have mentioned the boots are a bit too narrow for wider feet. Order in advance and wear them a bit indoors in case you need to exchange them…

9. Muck Chore Classic

Pull-On Rubber
Steel Toe Work Boots


These rubber steel toe boots from Muck are the perfect fit for gardeners, landscapers or farmers, and people in the agriculture industry (amongst others).

In addition to the steel toe cap, these Muck boots come with a steel shank as well. That’s great news especially if you’re hitting the shovel a lot, or standing on ladders whilst doing your tasks.

The shank will not only provide more stability but will also avoid giving you pain at those specific vulnerable points in your feet. I’m talking about the arches.

They will get hot in summer but that’s to be expected with any rubber work boots since the air can’t circulate very well. Especially when they are tall boots like these Muck.

It’s a very comfortable work boot considering is made of rubber. It’s flexible, it’s warm in winter, overall a great steel toe work boot to spend all day outdoors.

PROS

  • 16-inch tall
  • Comfortable
  • Steel shank
  • Mesh lining
  • Flexible

CONS

  • Some users have mentioned that the boots are not THAT waterproof. This might not matter to you but it’s good to know if you can work in them or not in wet conditions

10. Carhartt Traditional Welt

Good Steel Toe Work
Boots For Sore Feet


I’m going to assume your feet are sore because you might have developed plantar fasciitis or because you’re been wearing some bad quality work boots for the last few months …

… in that case, all you have to do is get yourself a good pair of comfortable work boots with the right support for the type of work you’re doing and the type of feet you have.

These Carhartt work boots come with some good features to help you stay comfortable when your feet are sore.

For example, the tough rubber outsole will provide stability and support whilst on the inside, these RuggedFlex boots come with a PU (polyurethane) foam cushioned insole to help reduce foot fatigue make it more comfortable to wear when having sore feet.

In all honesty, if you have sore feet for a prolonged period you should go and talk to a podiatrist as the pain might not be due to the footwear alone. See if any of the podiatrists in our expert panel are in your area and have a chat with them.

PROS

  • Cushioned insole
  • Goodyear welt
  • Outsole with lugs for traction
  • EH rated

CONS

  • Not puncture resistant

What You Must Know Before
Buying Steel Toe Work Boots

Even if you’re not new to steel toe work boots I bet you can learn something from reading this section. I’ve been in the construction industry myself for over a decade and I still don’t know all there is to know about work boots.

Below I’ll share with you a few things I’ve learned by wearing steel toe boots for my day job and also by talking to podiatrists I have contact with.

Things to look at when buying your next steel toe work boots

The Outsole

Depending on what type of foot you and what job you’re doing you will want to go for different types of outsoles.

If you have flat feet or fallen arches you want to avoid a soft outsole. A good option for you with a hard rubber polyurethane outsole to provide you support and stability.

On the other hand, if you have high arches you want an outsole that’s softer to absorb some of the impact created as you’re walking up and down doing your tasks.

Buy the right steel toe boot for your job

One of the most common mistakes people do when buying steel toe boots for their work is that they’re buying a boot that’s not fit for the purpose.

If you’re a gardener or landscaper you might not want to go for 5-inch boots.

That’s because in your line of work using a hose to wet the plants or moving soil from A to Bo is a daily routine.

Having a 5inch steel toe boot will only give you trouble as the water, soil, sand and other things will go into your boot all the time. Choose a pull-on boot for this type of work.

I’m sure you’re getting the idea. Buying the wrong type of boot for the type of work you’re doing will only make you miserable at work.

Most important features of a steel toe work boot

Again, some of these features will be more helpful and practical than others depending on your job and what type of hazards you’re dealing with in your line of work.

Anti slippery outsole

It doesn’t matter if you work in a warehouse, a restaurant, in construction, and so on … you want a boot that helps you to stay on your feet even when you’re working on wet, greasy floors.

Of course, nothing is 100% guaranteed in this life. But my point is that you need to make sure the boot you’re buying has an outsole made of a material that can help avoid slipping based on your job.

For example, a soft rubber is better for working and walking over tiles and shinny floors whereas a harder outsole is better for outdoor works such as landscaping, farming, and similar jobs where you need traction and support under your feet.

Anti puncture outsole

I’m assuming that if you’re looking to buy a great pair of steel toe work boots is because you work in hazardous industries. If you’re like and work in construction then you need to look for a good steel toe boot with a puncture-resistant outsole.

It’s not fun at all to step in a nail that someone forgot to pull out from a 2×2 timber laying on the floor.

And you can’t always look where you’re stepping so an anti-puncture outsole is a great feature to have in a steel toe boot.

Foot support for sore feet (or to avoid sore feet)

It doesn’t matter what job you’re doing, you want to work in a pair of comfortable work boots with the right support for your feet.

So again, make sure your boots are made out of the right materials and have the right construction for your needs.

For example, if you have weak ankles you need to look for work boots that provide good ankle support such as the Thorogoods or the Rocky mentioned in this article.

These are 8-inch boots and that means they’ll go above your ankle and as soon as you lace the laces all the way up your ankles will stay in place even if you step wrongly. Avoid pull-on work boots in this case.

Do you have bunions?

If you do you have to look for wide work boots to allow for your feet to stay comfy in there without the boot pushing against your bunions and giving you an unpleasant day at work.

Arch support

Arch support is paramount when you’re working, especially if you walk a lot (think police officers or security guards amongst MANY others). Plantar fasciitis, knee pain, back pain are just a few of the problems you can develop if you wear work boots with no arch support.

Look for steel toe boots with arch support or at least make sure the boots you’d like to buy have a removable insole. That way you can stick in there a good insole with arch support.

Insulation and breathability

You have to choose based on what type of work you do if you want to go for insulated work boots or breathable work boots. You can’t really have both since when a boot is insulated it becomes thicker and therefore less breathable.

Also, insulated work boots, depending on the amount of insulation in them, are horrible in summer. They’ll make your feet sweat and smell very bad.

If the difference between summer days and cold days si that big in your area the best scenario is to have at least two pairs of work boots. One for summer one for winter.

Where I live I can wear the same boots all year round (even so, I have at least 2 pairs of work boots at any given time).

Quick steel toe work boots Q&A

Here are a few questions you might have about steel toe work boots.

Can steel toe cause knee pain?

Yes, steel toe work boots can cause knee pain but not because of the steel toe box. Any work boots that are badly put together or it’s cheaply made can cause knee pain.

So make sure you don’t go for the dirt-cheap cheap boot when choosing your next pair of steel-toe work boots. Cheap and affordable work boots aren’t always bad but try to stick to reputable brands at least.

What’s the best brand of steel toe work boots?

This is like asking what’s the best football team! Depending on who you’re going to ask and what are their intentions you’ll get different answers. Personally, I like and wear Wolverine, Caterpillar, Timberland just to mention a few.

There are other high-quality brands out there but it’s not for everybody’s pocket for sure. You’ve probably heard about:

  • White’s boots
  • Nick boots
  • La sportiva
  • Mammut
  • Red wing

What’s the best place to buy steel toe work boots?

If you’re wondering where you can find the best deals on steel toe work boots I’d say Amazon.com

You can buy your favorite pair of work boots at your local store as well but I believe the best place to buy steel toe boots is at the online stores. 

For the simple reason that you can access lots of brands and models from the comfort of your home. Plus the delivery, many times is free.

Here are a few stores you might be familiar with:

  • Amazon
  • Zappos
  • Sears
  • Walmart

Editor Note

By the way, Amazon makes it even easier to buy steel toe work boots online nowadays with their service called Prime Try Before You Buy.

In my opinion, it’s an amazing feature since you can try a few steel-toe work boots BEFORE you’re paying for them! You can learn more about it here.

The Takeaway

I think the best advice or piece of information you can take away today from this article is that there’s no such thing as THE best steel toe work boots.

Because as you’ve seen in this steel toe boots round-up each one of us needs different features to protect us in different environments.

My hope is that we did a great job at giving you enough information or at least the thought process of how you should go about buying a good pair of steel-toe work boots for your particular situation.

The Best Pair Of Work Boots
With Steel A Toe Box


Team Members Working On This Page

Adrian – Editor & Construction Professional

Construction Professional, driver, crane operator, cleaner, head chef … these are just some of the jobs I did in the past. Working in all these different environments taught me that having good footwear to protect your feet from different dangers at work IS PARAMOUNT for any worker! On this website, I aim to share all my knowledge and personal experience in dealing with different footwear and foot care issues, and hopefully, you can get something out of it. Enjoy!

Jessica Flynn
Jessica Flynn – Writer And Researcher

Love technology, going to the beach, taking care of my body, and writing (amongst other things). You’ll see my face around here a little bit since I’m responsible for part of the research and writing of some of the articles you’re reading on BestForMyFeet.com. I hope you’ll find our content helpful and enjoyable! See you around, thanks for reading!