What Work Boots Last The Longest? (By Profession)

When I’ve started to do research for this article I thought I could come up with a specific boot and model that last the longest. But, I’ve discovered (and I kinda knew already) that saying ONE particular boot last the longest is just silly and not accurate.

That’s because each trade, each profession, has different environments, different hazards that require different work boots with different features. Not to mention that each one of us treat our work boots differently, some take care of them, some can’t be bothered.

After having conversations with a lot of professionals out there, I figured the best way to present you this information is by listing as many occupations as possible together with what boots have been used to do a particular job, and how long they’ve lasted.

This is quite a long post as you can imagine trying to squeeze in so many professions. To make it easier for you I’ve created a table of contents. Just click below on the What’s Inside [show] link and go straight to the section related to your occupation or the closest thing possible.

What makes a work boot last a lifetime?

  • Material used

A boot made of fabric won’t last as long as a work made of leather. You can condition the leather and protect it from the elements and that will make it last longer. Whereas there’s not much you can do with the fabric other than just waterproofing it and hoping for the best.

  • The quality of the materials 

I’m sure you already know but not all leather is the same and also not all leather is actually REAL leather (even when it says it’s genuine).

There are different qualities or grades of leather with the best one being what’s known as full-grain leather and the cheapest one is an abomination really.

It’s called bonded leather. This is kinda like the “chicken nuggets” of the leather industry. This “leather” is made of leather leftovers that are shredded into small tiny pieces and then glued together. Be aware of this, especially if you buy cheap work boots.

Using the best quality leather possible for our work boots is paramount to the longevity of the boots.

  • Taking care of the boots

I gave a pair of DeWalt work boots to my colleague who’s a site manager on a project we’re working on together. The boots lasted only 9 months. Bear in mind he was making north of 15000 steps per day, and that’s a lot.

He never took care of his boots though. He never cleaned the work boots and he never applied mink oil or any leather conditioner to them either.

And this is the result…

We both agreed that if he would’ve conditioned the leather just once every 2 months the boots would’ve lasted for another 4-5 months.

  • Have more than one pair

I know not everybody will have the budget to go and buy two pairs of work boots. These things are not cheap. Especially if you want top-quality as we’ve mentioned above.

One thing I know many of my colleagues do is keep an eye on the special offers that run a few times per year at their local or online work boots stores and THEN buy 2 pairs. Think of Black Friday offers.

Having more than one pair will allow you to alternate between your work boots, clean, dry, and condition one whilst you’re wearing the other.

This also will help avoid your work boots stinking like cat pee and even developing fungus and bacteria especially if your boots stay wet all the time.

How long do work boots last? (on average)

As I said at the beginning of the article, it’s a silly question that deserves a silly answer.

But I can tell you based on my own experience wearing work boots in many different industries I’ve worked on over the years that no boot made it past the 2 years mark.

Again, my experience! As you’ll see below, some boots, in some industries lasted much more than that.

Here’s how long work boots lasts: by occupation

This is not a definitive list and it will continue to grow over the next years. But I’m sure it will be helpful to give you at least a rough idea of what to expect from the boots you’re buying in your line of work.

The boots are not listed in any particular order, nor the occupations. They’re just random.

By the way, if you want to add yours to the list, shoot me an email at adrian@bestformyfeet.com, and please share:

  • The brand
  • The exact model
  • How long it lasted
  • What’s your job

Special thanks to all of you that replied to my posts on FB, Reddit, and other places:

With that said, here’s what work boot lasted the longest for each profession.

Electricians

Here’s a round-up with some of the best work boots for electricians

Red Wing Dynaforce

  • Commercial Electricians
  • Electrical Apprentices

The Boots Lasts ~ 2 to 2.5 Years

Georgia G6152

  • Ladder monkey sparky

The Boots Lasts
~ 1 Year

Red Wing King Toe

  • Industrial electrical
  • 16.000-20.000 steps per day

The Boots Lasts
~ 1.5 Years

Ariat WorkHog

  • Commercial electrician

The Boots Lasts
~ 1.5 Years

Carhartt RuggedFlex

  • Used by commercial electrician walking on rebar and freshly poured concrete slabs

The Boots Lasts
~ 8 – 13 Months

Blundstone BL990

  • Used by industrial electrician working mostly indoors

The Boots Lasts
~ 2.5 -3 Years


Carpenters

Thorogood Moc Toe

  • Comercial carpenter

The Boots Lasts ~ 1 Year

DeWalt Newark

The Boots Lasts ~ 1 Year

Blundstone #179

  • Residenctial carentry

The Boots Lasts ~ 2.5 -3 Years

Blundstone #140

  • General carpentry

The Boots Lasts ~ 2 – 2.5 Years

Blundstone BL990

  • Used by finish carpentry crew

The Boots Lasts ~ 2 – 2.5 Years

KEEN Targhee

  • General carpenter in residential remodelling

The Boots Lasts ~ 1 Year


Demolition

1. KEEN San Jose

  • Used to do demolition in summer time

The Boots Lasts
~ 1 Year


Ironworkers (Rebar & Structural work)

Thorogood MaxWear

  • Comercial rebar

The Boots Lasts
~ 1 Year

Danner Tanicus

  • Fabrication shop owner doing stair installation and structural steel work in general

The Boots Lasts
~ 3.5 -4 Years


Welders

Here’s a round-up of some of the most popular work boots for welders

Thorogood Plain Toe

  • Ironworker

The Boots Lasts
~ 1 Year

Twisted X

  • Welder

The Boots Lasts
~ 1.5 Years

Red Wing Flexbond

  • For welder that prefer lace-up boots

The Boots Lasts
~ 1.5 -2 Years

Timberland Boondock

  • Used for 10 hours a day, 6 days a week in a machine welding shop

The Boots Lasts
~ 1.5 -2 Years


Equipment operators & drivers

KEEN Braddocks

  • Telescopic forkilft operator

The Boots Lasts
~ 16 months

Carhartt

  • Concrete truck driver

The Boots Lasts
~ 12 months

Wolverine Overpass

The Boots Lasts
~ 18-24 months

Timberland Pit Boss

The Boots Lasts
~ 18-20 months


General contractors & builders

Here’s a round-up with some great work boots for construction workers

Daytons

  • Used for demo and renovation of apartament complexes

The Boots Lasts
~ 4 Years +

Danner Rainforest

  • Home builders

The Boots Lasts
~ 1 – 1.5 Years

DeWalt Halogen

  • Hardwood flloring instalation

The Boots Lasts
~ 1 – 1.5 Years

KEEN Pittsburgh

The Boots Lasts
~ 12 – 14 months

KEEN Portland

  • Handyman doing all sorts of tasks for a GC company building new residential properties

The Boots Lasts
~ 6 -12 months

Carolina Loggers

  • General contractor doing mostly concrete work

The Boots Lasts
~ 12 – 18 months

Thorogood Moc Toe

  • Commercial construction (retails spaces)

The Boots Lasts
~ 2 Years

Thorogood 10″

  • Used for construction, landscaping, welding and more

The Boots Lasts
~ 3 Years

Ariat Work Hog

  • Mostly used for various site duties and yard work

The Boots Lasts
~ 11-12 months

Thorogood 814-4200

  • Excellent for indoor work

The Boots Lasts
~ 30 months


General Laborer

Thorogood 804-4210

  • Civil construction laborer

The Boots Lasts
~ 6-10 months

Ariat WorkHog

  • Doing asphalt work

The Boots Lasts
~ 9 – 12 months


Management & Superintendent

DeWalt Newark

The Boots Lasts ~ 9 – 12 months

KEEN Milwaukee

  • Commercial Superintendant

The Boots Lasts
~ 3 Years

Red Wing
Iron Ranger

  • Construction Project Manager

The Boots Lasts
~ 3 Years

Red Wing Supersole

  • Construction manager

The Boots Lasts ~ 2 Years

Thorogood Wellington

  • Piling Superintendent

The Boots Lasts ~ 1 – 1.5 Years


Road works and maintenance

Irish Setter Ashby

  • Municipal road work doing asphalt, tree trimming, drainage and more

The Boots Lasts
~ 1 – 1.5 Years


Groundworks

Rocky Worksmart

  • Used for paving and flagstone
  • Wide fit

The Boots Lasts
~ 9 – 12 months

Ariat WorkHog

  • Paving
  • Underground utilities

The Boots Lasts
~ 9 – 12 months

Thorogoods 814-4203

  • Pipefitter

The Boots Lasts ~ 1.5 Years

Timberland Boondocks

The Boots Lasts ~ 1 Year


Forming & Framing

Thorogoods 814-4203

  • Wood and steel framing

The Boots Lasts ~ 1.5 Years

Blundstone BL990

The Boots Lasts ~ 2 Years02

KEEN Cincinnati

  • Residential and comercial framer

The Boots Lasts ~ 14 months

KEEN Targhee

  • Residential remodel framing

The Boots Lasts ~ 1 Year


Plumbing

Blundstone Bl990

  • Pipefitter
  • Residential & commercial plumber

The Boots Lasts ~ 3 Years


Working at sea

Red Wing Supersole

  • Marine Construction

The Boots Lasts ~ 2 Years

Chippewa Loggers

  • Marine Engineer

The Boots Lasts ~ 2 Years


Landscaping

Timberland Boondocks

  • Landscape Construction

The Boots Lasts ~ 3 Years

Danner Ridge Boot

  • Landscape and digging

The Boots Lasts ~ 15 months


Mechanics

Here’s a round up of great work boots for mechanics (auto, diesel, aviation, etc)

Danner Vicious

  • Elevator mechanic

The Boots Lasts ~ 18 months


Engineers

Red Back

  • Site engineer is using these boots on site and in the office as well

The Boots Lasts ~ 2 Years

Irish Setter

  • Used by field service engineer doing over 20.000 steps per day

The Boots Lasts ~ 1 -1.5 Years


Manufacturing

Twisted X

  • Factory worker building peterbilts

The Boots Lasts
~1 – 1.5 Years

Red Wing #606

  • Tinner

The Boots Lasts
~11 months

Red Wing Iron Rangers

  • Metal sheet workers

The Boots Lasts
~ 2 -2.5 Years

Red Wing #2244

  • Metal sheet workers

The Boots Lasts
~ 1 .8 – 2 Years


Painters

Helly Hansen

  • General paintor

The Boots Lasts
~ 1 – 1.5 Years


Team Members Working On This Page

Victor Adrian – Editor And Construction Pro

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!


2 thoughts on “What Work Boots Last The Longest? (By Profession)”

  1. Wow, great resource Adrian and the team.

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I’m coming from the Reddit thread you’ve created.

    You can add mine to the list if you want:

    I’m an excavator operator and I’ve had a pair of Timberland Pit Boss boots for about 20 months. Going through mud and dirt all day to get to my machine and back.

    Hope this helps the community!

    Reply
    • Hey Jim, thanks for sharing my man. And of course, I’ll add yours to the list ASAP. And yeah the Reddit mods were very cool to approve my post since usually, they don’t allow that kind of posts but they’ve realized it could be very helpful for the construction community (and workers in general).

      Thanks in the name of the community!

      Edit: btw, I’ve had those same boots as well operating a 360 telehandler. Very happy with the boots. Mine lasted around 18 months.

      Reply

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