How Much Do Work Boots Weigh? (With Examples)

If you want the quick answer, a pair of work boots weigh between 1.2 pounds per boot all the way up to 3 pounds per boot (or even more in some cases)
That’s just an average number we came up with after looking at a few hundred work boots of all types and shapes. 

two pair of safety work boots on a scale showing how much they weigh

There are many reasons why a work boot is heavy and we’ll talk about them below.

Keep reading in order to find out more about that. Also, I’ll share with you a few examples of some of the most popular work boots available out there and how much they weigh.

But first …

Are work boots heavier than normal boots?

Yes, work boots weigh more than your regular boots. That’s because casual boots don’t have any safety features. 

So you’ll find that normal boots weigh way below 2 pounds per boot (1 kg more or less) most of the time. Even hiking boots like this one from Salewa that has some extra features to make them good for outdoors and off-road activities, weigh less than 2 pounds.

Some work boots don’t come with a steel toe because it’s not needed for some industries. Or it’s not required. And that will make this type of work boots lighter, but still a bit heavier than the normal everyday boots.

For example, this pair of Timberland Pit Boss weighs more or less 1.5 pounds per boot. The steel toe version is 2+ pounds per boot. You can read our Timberland Pit Boss review here if you want more details.

Are steel toe work boots heavier than composite toe?

Some people will say that composite toe work boots are much lighter than steel toe work boots.

Although it’s true that steel toe work boots are heavier than composite toe work boots, it’s by a lot!

For example, this Wolverine model, which by the way, it’s one of the most comfortable safety boots, weighs about 1.75 pounds per boot. Whereas the Caterpillar Outline comes with a steel toe and weighs only 1.1 pounds per boot. Read our full review of the Caterpillar Outline boot here.

How’s that even possible?

There are many other factors to be considered when it comes to how heavy work boots are. Will discuss that below.

What makes work boots heavy?

Now let’s dive in and see what things make safety boots heavier than other boots. 

1. The Upper

This probably is the first one that comes to mind of why work boots are heavier than regular boots.

The leather on GOOD QUALITY work boots is thicker than on regular boots. And that makes a lot of sense because if you work in construction there are many sharp objects and items lying around the site that even the silliest cut or puncture can put you off work for days or weeks.

On the contrary, some work boots are made with a textile upper or Gore-tex and that makes them much lighter than leather work boots or rubber work boots.

2. The size of the boot

A good pull-on work boot is going to be heavier than the same model that’s not pull-on. Here’s a quick example with these Wolverine work boots:

  • The 10” pull on boot weighs 1.90 pounds per boot more or less
  • The 6” ankle boot weighs 1.70 pound per boot more or less 

It makes sense that the bigger the boots are, the heavier they are going to be since more material is needed in order to produce a pair of boots.

3. The outsole

Some work boots’ outsoles are made of pure rubber, some are made of TPU (Thermo Polyurethane), others are made of leather. Wedge is used as well in the making of outsoles but you won’t find it in that many boots. Thorogood has some of the best wedge sole work boots out there.

Each one of these materials has different densities. And when attached to the upper, it will add different weights to the work boots. Hence a work boot with a leather outsole is lighter than a work boot that has a TPU outsole.

4. The toe cap protection

As you probably know, work boot’s toe caps come in different sizes, shapes, and materials they’re made of.

This is another factor that will affect how heavy a work boot is.

Here are the toe caps you’ll find in work boots. They are listed from heavier to the lightest.

  • Steel toe cap
  • Aluminium toe cap
  • Composite toe cap
  • Leather toe cap

The steel toe cap is the one that will offer you the most protection whilst the leather cap will offer closer to zero protection. 

5. Shank

This is a great feature to look for when shopping around for work boots. That’s because this little piece of material is placed in between the midsole and the outside of the boot providing you with more support and stability when walking.

It’s made of different materials:

  • Steel
  • Wood
  • Composite 
  • Leather
  • Fiberglass

So depending on which one of these shanks your work boots have, it will make it more or less heavier.

How much do lightweight boots weigh?

When you hear this term is thrown around: “lightweight” work boots you just have to take it with a grain of salt.

Many sellers will put this term into their product description to make you more interested in their product. Which of course it’s fine as long as it’s true.

It’s a bit hard to define what is lightweight, right? It will depend on each one of us. If you’re a male or a female, how strong you are, etc

To me personally, whatever it’s under 1 pound per boot, I consider it to be lightweight

How the weight of the boot can affect you?

This will depend on your situation. Luckily I don’t have feet problems, not anything big anyway other than the regular foot athlete that I have to deal with every now and then or maybe a fungus in my toenail.

But related to the weight of the boot, it makes sense that the heavier the boot is, the more tired you’ll feel at the end of your shift.

Especially if the work boots you wear are slip-on boots as we’ve discussed in this article: slip-on versus lace-up work boots

It’s worse if you work as a landscaper walking through the soil or a farmer or construction worker pouring concrete. The fact that you have to walk through uneven ground makes you feel exhausted.

You might experience some pain in your legs and lower back after wearing heavy work boots for a whole day. 

My suggestion is to have at least a couple of work boots.

One or two pairs for heavy-duty use and another one or two for more light work. Of course, the heavy-duty ones will have lots of safety features to keep you safe making them heavier.

Whilst the light-duty ones will have maybe a composite toe cap and a lighter outsole too.

11 popular work boots and how much they weight

Work Boot ModelDetailsWeight
1. Timberland Pit Boss– Steel toe cap
– Steel shank
– Thick leather
~2.08 pounds per boot
2. Wolverine Overpass– Composite toe cap
– Insulated
– Rubber outsole
~ 1.75 pounds per boot
3. Skechers – Low slip-on
– Not 100% leather
– Heavy-duty sole
~ 1.38 pounds per boot
4. Georgia Loggers– Steel toe cap
– Heavy-duty sole
– Thick leather
~ 2.75 pounds per boot
5. Dunlop – High slip on
– Made of PVC
– Soft toe cap
~ 2.4 pounds per boot
6. Ever boots– Soft toe
– Rubber sole
– Nubuck leather
~ 2 pounds per boot
7. Irish Setter– 100% leather
– Soft toe
– Rubber sole
~ 1.60 pounds per boot
8. Ariat Workhog– Composite toe cap
– Cowboy style
– Suede + leather
~ 1.9 pounds per boot
9. Caterpillar Outline– Leather
– Steel toe cap
– Rubber outsole
~1.2 pounds per boot
10. Thorogood Heritage– Full-grain leather
– Steel toe cap
– Fiberglass shank
~ 2 pounds per boot
11. Red Wing– 100% leather
– Wedge sole
– Soft toe
~1.9 pounds per boot

Lightweight or heavy work boots: which is best for you

It will depend mostly on what kind of job you’re doing.

If you’re a mechanic, for example, it makes sense to go for a more heavy-duty work boot. There are tons of heavy items that can drop on your feet in the garage. Construction workers as well.

You might want to get a pair of great waterproof work boots to keep your feet dry all day. Especially if you work outdoors. If you work indoors as an electrician, you can go for a pair of more lightweight work boots.

So choose a work boot based on your activities and the risks you’re exposed to.

Final words on the weight of steel toe work boots

If you’re brand new to work boots looking into how heavy steel toe work boots are and if they are comfortable the answer is, it depends!

Yes, most of the work boots on the market are heavier than your casual boot but they come with a lot of features you won’t find in regular boots.

They might be a bit uncomfortable at the beginning but as soon as you wear them a little bit and get used to the weight, you’ll love them. (assuming you buy good quality boot)


Sources and more information on the topic

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoplastic_polyurethane

Team Members Working On This Page

Adrian – Editor / 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!


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