Top 15 Best Lineman Work Boots For Pole & Tower Climbing And Basket Riding

Hello and welcome to our best lineman work boots review for 2021.

In A Rush?!

Overall, The Best Pair Of
Work Boots For Linemen

We’ve put together a list of the top 15 work boots that are great for all types of linemen and our #1 recommendation based on what we’ve found in our research is the Kenetreck Extreme Work Boot

To bring you this article we’ve researched over 28 websites, looked at 41 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 51 hours looking into all of these lineman work boots to bring you the most important information for each boot. 

In this article, you’ll learn about which are some of the newest and most rated lineman work boots. Plus some things to consider before buying your lineman work boots (and much more).

So keep reading. There’s a lot of good info in here…

You can jump straight into the lineman work boots reviews section or go to the Q&A section first (if you want to learn more about this)

Here are the top 15 rated lineman work boots for men and women

Here’s a quick comparison table if you’re curious about which work boots I’ve included in today’s round-up. These boots have been recommended by linemen I’ve spoken with so you know they’re good, you just have to find a model that fits your style and needs.

1. Kenetreck Extreme

  • 1000 Gram Insulation
  • Leathe + textile upper
  • Soft toe cap

Lineman Extreme Cold Work Boots

2. Ad Tec

  • Waterproof
  • 100 % Leather
  • Soft toe

Lineman Work Boots
For Under $200

3. Wesco Highliner

  • Steel shank
  • 100% leather
  • Soft toe

Great 16″ Tall Lineman Boots For Pole Climbing

4. Danner Rain Forest

  • GORE- TEX liners
  • 100% leather
  • Soft toe

Double Thick Leather Lineman Work Boots

5. La Sportive Makalu

  • Steel shank
  • 100% leather
  • Soft toe

Lineman Boots That Accept Crampon & Kick steps

6. Carolina CA8821

  • Steel shank
  • 100% leather
  • Soft toe

Electrical Hazard Rated Boots For Lineman

7. Chippewa

  • EH rated
  • 100% leather
  • Steel toe

Lineman Work Boots With A Steel Toe Cap

8. Timberland PRO

  • Anti fatigue tech
  • 100% leather
  • Composite toe

Composite Toe Work
Boots For Lineman

9. Carhartt CML8360

  • Achiles flex joint
  • 100% leather
  • Composite toe

Composite Safety Toe
Lineman Work Boots

10. Georgia G7313

  • EH rated
  • 100% leather
  • Steel toe

Safety Toe Lineman Work Boots With A Steel Shank

11. Irish Setter Mesabi

  • Goodyear Welt
  • 100% leather
  • Steel toe

Heat-Resistant
Lineman Work Boots

red wing loggermax for lineman

12. Red Wing Loggermax

  • Aggresive lugs sole
  • 100% leather
  • Soft toe

Lineman Work Boots
With Ankle Support

13. Ariat Powerline

  • Leather Lining
  • 100% leather
  • Composite toe

Lineman Boots For Climbing Poles & Towers

a pair of work boots from hoffman

14. Hoffman Armor PRO

  • Dual Shank System
  • 100% leather
  • Composite toe

Toughest Safety Toe Lineman Work Boots

15. White’s Lineman PRO

  • Leather midsole
  • 100% leather
  • Customizable

Handmade Safety Toe Lineman Work Boots

All you need to know
about linemen work boots

How should lineman work boots fit?

Lineman work boots are no different than any other work boots in terms of how they should fit. In all honesty, people have different preferences when it comes to how much space they want to have in the toe box.

Some linemen prefer a tight toe cap whilst others prefer more room to wiggle their toes.

The most important thing to look at is if the boots are comfortable right away or not.

Of course, your feet need to adjust to the shape and weight of the new boot for example…

…but if the boot you bought feels uncomfortable in any way maybe around your toes, heels, ankle, that’s a sign that you need to send them back.

Features to look for in a good pair of work boots for lineman 

After talking to a few linemen, I’ve put together a list of some of the most important features they’ve mentioned and here they are.

1. Shank support

Shank support is a must and probably is the most important feature in a work boot for a lineman. Especially if you have to climb poles and towers a lot. Not that important if you’re riding baskets more than you’re climbing.

If the shank it’s a double steel reinforced shank it’s even better. It will provide you with stability and comfort and won’t allow your feet to curl around your climbers when you’re on the pole.

2. High heel 

The high heel is beneficial for most linemen, it doesn’t matter if you’re climbing, riding baskets, or packing through rough terrain.

If you’re working in remote places where you have to go through a lot of uneven ground and walk through soft ground, mud, sand, etc, the high heel will give that extra support and help you not get stuck.

Also, it’s helpful when you’re climbing ladders and you can rest on them when you’re on your hooks on a pole.

3. Electrical hazard rated

Your job as a lineman is one of the most dangerous out there, not only because you’re working at height most of the time but also because you work with or around electricity.

One of the little and simple things you can do to protect yourself against electric shocks when working in wet or humid areas next to electricity is to wear work boots that are EH rated.

These boots have a sole that’s designed to reduce the potential of electric shocks when the sole is exposed to open circuits up to 18.000v in some cases in dry conditions.

4. Anti slippery out sole

The last thing you want when working on wet surfaces is a sole with no grip. 

Having a good rubber outsole to keep you safe on your feet even when working where snow and ice are present is a good feature to look for in a lineman work boot.

5. Waterproof

To me, as a construction worker, the most annoying thing is to work a whole shift with my feet wet.

It puts me in a bad mood, I’m not productive, and also there are some secondary health issues that can arise from having your feet wet in a work boot.

For once you can get a bad flu that will keep you in bed for days or what’s worse, to me at least, is to develop Athlete’s foot or other fungus and bacterias that love to live in humid work boots.

So a waterproof work boot it’s paramount for a lineman, especially if you work in some remote places where you can’t dry your feet and your boots at the end of your shift.

6. Insulation (if you’re working in cold conditions)

The same situation as before, if you work in freezing cold conditions and your boot is not insulated, you’re going to hate your life.

 Sometimes you can get away with wearing some quality wool socks but for more comfort and convenience it’s better to just have a pair of insulated work boots.

Are composite toe work boots better than steel toe work boots for climbing linemen?

It doesn’t really make any difference. Some companies will require safety toe protection as part of your PPE gear, so as long as you have some kind of protection (steel or composite) you’re good to go.

The only little difference is the weight. If you get yourself a lineman boot with a composite toe is going to be lighter than one with a steel toe cap.

What’s the best place to buy lineman work boots?

You can buy your favorite pair of lineman work boots for climbing at your local store but I believe the best place to buy work 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.

The downside is that the sizing on work boots is all over the place nowadays so you might have to return your boots and wait for a new pair. And that might be annoying, especially if you don’t have a second pair that you can use in the meantime.

But here are a few stores you might be familiar with:

  • Amazon
  • Payless
  • Sears
  • Walmart
  • Huffman
  • White’s
a lineman that has climbed a power line pole to do some maintenance work.

Reviews of the 15 most comfortable lineman work boots

Alright, let’s jump into some detailed reviews of each one of these linemen work boots I’ve included in today’s round-up.

1. Kenetreck Extreme

Insulated Lineman Work Boots
For Extreme Cold

If you’re a journey lineman working in very cold conditions these Kenetreck Extreme work boots are for you. 

They come with 1000 gram Thinsulate insulation to keep your feet warm whilst going up towers or climbing poles, even when you’re working in trenches or underground.

They’re not only insulated but they’re waterproof too. So it doesn’t matter if it’s raining or snowing, these boots will keep your feet dry.

It’s a heavy-duty work boot. The upper is made of 2mm thick high-quality leather. This will make the boot a bit stiff and hard to break in. 

On the positive side, once they break in, they are amazing as a work boot for linemen.

They’re made in Italy and before you go and say “I only buy stuff made in the USA”… keep in mind that the Italians are very good at making high-quality footwear.

PROS

  • Insulated
  • Thick leather
  • Not heavy
  • Nylon midsole 
  • Excellent outsole for traction

CONS

  • They take their time to break in due to the thick leather they’re built with


2. Ad Tec

Low Budget Lineman Work Boots

We all know how expensive a good pair of work boots for a lineman can get. If you’re on a low budget, check out these AdTec work boots.

These have a nice, solid outsole made of rubber that has deep lugs similar to Vibram (but not Vibram) to provide good traction when you’re working off-road.

I know most of you linemen out there like a minimum of a 10-inch high shaft in a work boot and this boot is a 9-inch tall work boot but it’s a good option if you want a lineman work boot for less than $200.

It’s not completely waterproof but the waterproof membrane in this boot will resist a little bit of water if you have to work in a little bit of rain. 

And if you want to keep saving money you’d be pleased to know that these AdTec work boots feature a Goodyear welt construction which makes them resolable.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Removable insoles
  • Resolable
  • Great traction

CONS

  • It doesn’t have a steel shank

3. Wesco Highliner

Wesco’s 16″ Pole Climbing Work Boots

When it comes to great quality work boots for linemen, these Wesco work boots are one of the top choices for many veteran linemen out there.

These boots are one of the tallest work boots in this round-up with a shaft measuring 16 inches high.

Also, it’s one of the few made in the US work boots on this list. The Wesco Highliner is made for the climbing lineman. If you’re climbing poles and trees a lot this is the kind of boot you need to go for. 

When you’re up there on a pole you know you need to not only stay safe but comfortable as well. 

The comfort in these boots comes from the stiff Vibram outsole that makes the boot anti-slippery and the arched steel shank that gives you more stability and helps avoid pain and fatigue in your feet and lower parts of your legs.

PROS

  • Handcrafted work boots made in the US
  • Vibram outsole
  • Full leather
  • Steel shank

CONS

  • Not very comfortable for the first couple of weeks. They need breaking in

4. Danner Super Rain Forest

Lineman Work Boots
With GORE-TEX liners

If you don’t have to climb poles too much, these Danner work boots are best for you. 

They feature a Vibram outsole that’s stiff enough to give you support if you must climb poles or towers but it’s not such a high boot as the Wescos’s for example which are 16 inches tall (not very comfy when you’re not climbing).

These Danner are 8-inch tall work boots and they’re more comfortable for doing a wider variety of your daily lineman tasks and activities.

The majority of users have claimed that these boots are tough as nails and they’ll last for a few good years. Now, that could be because they’ve done a few resoles of the boot which is another plus of these lineman work boots from Danner.

The Goodyear welt construction of the boot will allow you to resole the boots for a fraction of the price of the boot and enjoy wearing a great work boot for longer.

Also, the triple stitching and the double-thick leather on these boots might have something to do with why they last longer than other lineman boots models.

PROS

  • 200 gram of Thinsulate
  • Gore-tex liners
  • Vibram sole
  • EH rated
  • Fiberglass shank

CONS

  • No safety toe cap

5. La Sportive Makalu

Full Steel Shank Boots For Lineman

This lineman work boot looks more like a hiking boot and that’s what was initially designed for.

You can have 2 in 1 buy getting this boot. When you’re not out here climbing and maintaining powerlines, you can use it for a hike with your buddies. 

This La Sportiva boot is not an insulated work boot so keep that in mind if you need to work in snow and cold temperatures. 

You can still wear these if you really like them but you need to get some heavy-duty socks to compensate.

A good feature most linemen like in this boot is that they come with a steel shank. You know you’re going to need that if you have to climb towers and poles for support and comfort whilst you’re in your spurs.

Great traction on the sole featuring a Vibram outsole with deep lugs for off-the-grid tasks.

The upper is made out of great quality roughout leather which makes it a durable but not waterproof boot. 

There are products out there that you can use to waterproof it though. Use some bee wax, mink paste, or silicone spray to make them at least water repellent.

PROS

  • Great looking boot
  • Very comfy once broken in
  • Steel shank
  • Great traction

CONS


6. Caroline

Plain Toe Lineman Work Boots

This Carolina work boot is one of the logger work boots in this round-up. You’ll see a few mentioned here and that’s because logger boots and lineman boots have a couple of features in common that are great for both trades.

High heels and steel shank makes these boots great for accessing wild areas in the woods where you might have to work on those power lines. And the steel shank will provide stability when you walk and comfort when you’re up the towers in your hooks.

These 8 inch Carolina work boots are also electrical hazard rated which is always a bonus when you’re working with or around electricity.

They’re not as expensive as other work boots featured in this article but they still provide great quality if you’re looking at something under 300 bucks.

Not many complaints about the boots from the users with the majority of them saying the boot is well worth the money. 

Some people didn’t like the boots because they were getting too hot in summer (which is to be expected anyway due to the shaft height and the thick leather).

PROS

  • Steel shank
  • EH rated
  • Waterproof membrane
  • Tough crazy horse leather upper

CONS

  • You won’t be able to wear them on all jobs since they have a soft toe and some jobs will require safety toe

7. Chippewa

Steel Toe Work Boots For Lineman

Another good pair of rugged work boots recommended for and by linemen is this Chippewa 9-inch work boot. 

They come with a 2.25-inch high heel which is great for climbing but not the best for walking on concrete or driving and operating the basket truck.

The upper is made of 100% leather and it features the Chip-A-Tex waterproof membrane that will keep water out of the boot for a while.

Comes with 400 grams of 3M Thinsulate Ultra which will keep your feet comfy and warm on those colder days. 

Keep in mind though that these Chippewa boots are fitted with a steel toe cap. That’s great for many safety reasons, but if you work maintaining or building power lines in very cold areas the steel toe cap will work against you. 

If you work in freezing cold conditions for 30 minutes or longer the steel toe will get cold and will remain cold for the whole period. Even though the boot is insulated, your toes will freeze.

Other than that, excellent work boot for any lineman with lots of great features. As some of the reviewers have said: “Good quality – fair price”!

PROS

  • Made in the US
  • Solid construction
  • Very comfortable after breaking in
  • Durable
  • EH rated

CONS

  • A bit on the heavier side but that should be expected due to the extra material that goes into building these types of boots

8. Timberland PRO

Lineman Work Boots With
Composite Toe Cap

Ok, Timberland might not be your first option when it comes to lineman work boots. 

This was confirmed to me after talking to a few linemen, and none of them mentioned Timberland PRO work boots when I’ve asked what work boots they like for lineman work.

Having said that, Timberland PRO has been building work boots for many years. I personally wear Timberland work boots as I’m a construction worker and they are good quality, rugger work boots.

Just check out some of the features. It comes with a Vibram fire & ice outsole for best performance in any type of temperature. Some users said the boot is not horrible if you have to wear it in hot summer days, especially if you don’t move a lot. 

That’s great news if you do climbing since once you’re up on the pole you won’t do much movement and hopefully avoid sweating too much inside the boot.

In contrast with the Chippewa boots from above, these Timberlands features a composite toe cap. 

Work boots with composite toe caps are better if you work in cold areas since the toe cap doesn’t get cold as the steel toe cap does. They’re also lighter which is always a bonus!

PROS

  • EH rated
  • Steel shank
  • Composite toe cap
  • Vibram outsole
  • Anti-fatigue technology

CONS

  • According to some reviewers, they’ve got their feet wet, so it’s not the most water-resistant boot on this list

9. Carhartt

Lineman Work Boots With
Heel Stabilizer

Here’s another good safety work boot for linemen. If your company requires you to wear work boots with a safety toe you’ll be happy to know that these Carhartt work boots feature a composite toe. 

The shaft on these Carhartts measures 7 inches from the arch and the upper is made of crazy horse leather.

On the inside, the boot comes with a waterproof membrane that will help keep your feet dry if you work in water for short periods of time.

Very few boots have this feature: Achilles flex point. This feature is good not only to prevent blisters but also helps prevent Achilles tendonitis allowing the boot to bend and flex as you bend and flex.

Good traction on the outsole featuring a WoodWorks outsole. This is Carhartt’s own outsole. The insoles are removable in case you want to put your own inserts or just replace them when they became stinky or uncomfortable.

PROS

  • Heel stabilizer and Achile flex joint
  • Composite toe
  • Electrical  hazard rated

CONS

  • A small number of owners are mentioning the boot being too narrow

10. Georgia

Steel Toe Safety Boots For Lineman

These boots are a pair of great-looking work boots. You might get away with walking with them in a bar and people not notice that you’re wearing your work boots. Very nicely done.

In terms of safety and ruggedness, these Georgia work boots come with a steel toe cap to protect your toes in case you drop your tools or something heavier might roll over them.

Even though the outsole has deep lugs and it’s made of rubber the boots seem to be very slippery on ice.

You have to walk with them on concrete for a little bit in order to get rid of that first layer of the outsole that makes them so slippery. After that, the boots have a better grip some users have mentioned.

Some customers have mentioned that the soles on these boots are too rigid. But that’s good news for you if you climb poles since that provides underfoot support.

Also if you have to climb poles or trees and you need to stay a lot on your hooks, the metal shank in these boots will help avoid foot fatigue and pain in your feet.

This is just another example of why it’s important to buy work boots that fit your purpose. A feature considered bad for a logger for example might be an excellent feature for a lineman.

PROS

  • Stylish work boots
  • Steel shank
  • Steel toe cap protection
  • Rigid outsole for foot support

CONS

  • They’re very slick on ice when they’re brand new

11. Irish Setter Mesabi

Lineman Work Boots
With Steel Shank

The tall heel on these Irish Setter work boots is very helpful for all of you linemen out there that need to climb towers and stairs. It adds an extra layer of safety keeping your feet in place whilst you’re climbing.

They feature a steel toe cap and just like a few other linemen boots I’ve mentioned above, the steel toe is great if you need to work on projects where you’re required a safety toe boot. 

But it’s not your best friend when it gets really cold outside. Your toes will freeze because of the steel in the toe cap.

The full-grain leather upper is reinforced with the UltraDry™ waterproof membrane to keep you dry in wet conditions. I won’t submerge my feet in the water and stay there for long periods of time. It won’t hold that much water. 

You can definitely work in a little bit of rain but as with any leather product, the water will eventually go through.

It’s nice to see these Irish Setter work boots do have a comfortable steel shank that provides the much-needed support on your feet and calves. 

PROS

  • Steel safety toe cap
  • Steel shank
  • Heat resistant outsole
  • EH rated

CONS

  • Some users complained about the size of the boot being either too small or too narrow


12. Red Wing Loggermax

Excellent Boots For
Demanding Outdoor Terrains

This Red Wing Loggermax boot is one of the top preferred work boots by lineman I’ve talked to. These boots are great if you work outdoors on utility lines and you have to walk a lot of all sorts of terrains.

They provide great traction featuring a Vibram outsole with very aggressive lugs to make sure you don’t get stuck no matter where you’re going through in order to get to those power lines.

Do you have weak ankles? Well, some users have recommended these Red Wing for that purpose saying they provide great ankle support.

Most linemen who bought these boots for work praise the durability and longevity of these boots. Although the boots are on the heavy side, some of the linemen I’ve talked to said that the boots are very comfortable after you’ve got used to the weight of the boot.

One thing about the Red Wing brand is that you won’t find too many models to buy online.

Red Wing sells their boots entirely at their local branches. So if you want a pair of these bad boys you’ll have to look for a branch in your city.

Enter your location here to find a store near you!

PROS

  • Lineman steel shank
  • Very aggressive lug sole
  • Heavy-duty welted construction

CONS

  • You can’t buy them online

13. Ariat Powerline H2O

Lineman Leather Lining Work Boots

You didn’t expect to see an Ariat work boot in a round-up about best work boots for a lineman, did you?

You’re right, Ariat are known for their Western-style cowboy boots but that did not stop them to create this awesome-looking work boot that is specifically designed for linemen and loggers.

The Ariat Powerline boot features an extra-wide shank to add some extra stability and comfort when you’re climbing. 

Also, the Vibram outsole will help you go through sand, soil, snow, and whatever else mother nature throws at you in order to those power lines that need maintenance. These come with very aggressive lugs.

Ariat did an amazing job with these boots in terms of design. These are probably the ones that I most like from this round-up. They’ve also done a good job in terms of how durable this boot is. 

Many customers have praised the quality of these boots and how long they lasted. On the other hand, a few Ariat boot owners have complained that the boot is not as waterproof as the company claims to be. 

Overall a good work boot for linemen who want to try a new brand of work boots for lineman under 300 dollars.

PROS

  • Steel shank
  • Composite safety toe cap
  • Great looking rugged boot
  • Electrical hazard rated

CONS

  • According to a few owners, the boots started to lose their waterproof priorities after 3-4 months of wearing them

14. Hoffman Armor PRO

Cut Resistant Lineman Work Boots

And here’s another favorite work boot in the lineman community.  If you’re looking for a dual shank lineman work boot this one is for you. 

They come with a dual shank system and they’ve thrown in there a composite mid-sole as well to increase stability and comfort whilst you’re climbing those poles.

This Hoffman Armor PRO work boot is one of the toughest boots on Hoffman’s shelves.

It’s the first time I hear a boot is sprayed with a coat of “stark”. This is a material similar to the one applied on the truck bed to provide a higher level of corrosion, abrasion, and water resistance.

According to LuckyFrenchMan, a lineman by trade, these boots needed zero break-in, they’re super comfortable and fully waterproof. They’re short enough to walk around in all day but also they’re tall enough to climb safely.

They come in sizes starting from 7 all the way up to 14.

PROS

  • Waterproof
  • EH rated
  • Stark material used for increased durability of the upper
  • Dual arch support
  • Steel shank
  • Composite safety toe

CONS

  • The delivery of the boots can take some time (2-4 weeks)

15. White’s Lineman PRO

Lineman Work Boots
With Steel Shank

Last but definitely not least in this round-up we have the all mighty and well-known White’s work boot model, the Lineman PRO.

Probably these are the boots that all linemen want to wear, especially if you climb a lot. They’re not the cheapest work boots for many linemen out there but you DO get what you pay for.

These 16inch lineman boots come with a full-grain leather upper that’s water-resistant. 

Also, something you don’t see in many of the boots listed above, the White’s Lineman PRO comes with a leather midsole to provide you with a custom fit and feel.

Working in harsh environments? That’s not a problem when wearing these work boots since the Vibram outsole on these lineman boots is a Fire & Ice white dot sole that helps increase safety and stability.

If you want comfort and safety whilst you’re climbing rest assured that these boots will offer you exactly that since they’re built on a 4811 Arch-Ease™ last with a high arch for optimal comfort.

Just as with the Hoffman lineman boots, the White’s are made to order so if you want to own a pair of these bad boys you have to be ready to wait for a few good weeks, months in some cases. 

If you’re lucky they have it stock, if not, you’ll have to wait for them but it’s well worth it!

PROS

  • Leather midsole and shank
  • Durable and comfortable
  • Stichdown construction
  • Very aggressive outsole
  • 16” tall shaft to protect your legs when climbing

CONS

  • Not for everybody’s pocket and it can take weeks/months to get to you if they don’t have them in stock

Last words on these great work boots for lineman

Some linemen buy work boots depending on whether they have to climb a lot or not. 

If you do have to do a lot of pole climbing then go for a higher heel and double shank work boots.

On the other hand, if you don’t have to climb that much, maybe you’re working more in the bucket, go for lower heel work boots since they’ll be more comfortable for this particular type of lineman work.

In today’s best lineman work boots round-up I’ve put together only the best of the best based on advice and feedback I’ve got from fellow lineman so you can’t go wrong with any of them really!

The Most Comfortable
Work Boots For Linemen


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Victor Adrian – Editor And Webmaster

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, take 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!