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Wednesday, Jan 17th

Last update10:00:00 AM GMT

What Are Your Favorite Work Boots?

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Here at the Heavy Equipment Operator website, we are hunters and gatherers.

We hunt for, gather and publish right here in this one place, all of the information you might need to find your favorites, the best, or the cheapest, or the lightest, or the warmest, or the coolest, or the "whatever-est" work boots you want to wear.

What are the qualities you're looking for in your next pair of boots?

  • They can be made out of leather, rubber, plastic, nylon and a host of other materials.
  • Everything depends on what you are planning and how much you want to pay for the best gear you can get.

If this is your first experience in shopping for work boots on the internet, the best place in the world for this kind of a search is

Here is a link to the Best Selling Men's and Women's Steel Toe Work Boots; you will be amazed at the variety of products that come up.

work_boots_hurt_my_feet_2To increase your chances of getting the perfect footwear there are a few important things that you might want to know about work boot materials and construction.

We all know that if your feet hurt you may not be focusing on the task at hand.
(In some jobs, anything less than your full attention can result in tragedy.)

Some useful information:

red-wing_bootsStart with considering what your needs will be.

If you know the materials and methods used in making work boots and the qualities that the materials bring to the finished product, you can choose the weight, strength, protection, flexibility, warmth, breathability, waterproofing and whatever else.

Among the materials most often used today in making work boots is good old fashioned leather.

  • *Full-grain leather* is actually a type of leather and considered to be among the strongest, most supportive, and longest lasting materials.
  • This material is rather heavy in comparison to some of the other choices, but it absolutely lasts longer and the harsher the conditions are, the happier you will be with full-grain leather protection
  • If you need Steel toes, the toes can be made of many materials, from actual steel to steel grade plastic, so you have a lot of choices. (Some night clubs and restaurants won't let you wear your steel toes inside for fear of them being used as weapons! So be sure to check dress codes before you get all the way over there.)

Not surprisingly, manufacturers use a variety of different methods to construct work boots.
(When we talk about construction, we're specifically talking about the way the outsole is attached to the top of the boot.)


Stitch down construction is the best method for making boots.

Again, the old fashioned way.

  • These work boots have the top of the boot stitched directly to the outsole.
  • The "goodyear welt" construction was invented by Mr. Goodyear and it consists of one continuous stitch around the boot.
  • This is the high end of footwear construction.
  • It is reliable and stands up well to heavy wear.
  • In addition to all of these wonderful qualities, the ‘goodyear welt’ is the only form of construction that will allow you to re-sole your boots.

Some Other Common construction methods are:

cement_construction_steel_toe_workbootCement construction

  • Cement construction means that the upper part of the boot is glued to the outer sole.
  • Cement construction in boot building is a lot less expensive than the stitch down method, so obviously, cement constructed boots cost significantly less than the higher end stitched down boots.
  • There have been significant improvements in cement construction because of better glues and boot material, but they are still a bit less reliable than other methods of construction.

Direct attach or moulded construction

When the leather or fabric upper part of the boot is actually moulded directly to the outer sole of the boot, the bond is considerably stronger than the cement (glued) method, so it usually lasts a lot longer.

Nylon mesh and leather combination

Nylon and leather combination boots are lightweight, flexible, and they breathe, all qualities that make them perfect for warmer weather. These boots tend to be lighter and softer on your feet and they take less time to break in. The downside is that nylon and leather combination boots tend to be less water resistant than full-grain leather boots (although styles that feature waterproof liners can be just as waterproof).

Of course, it is essential that your boots be waterproof.

wet-bootManufacturers use a number of different methods for waterproofing leather boots.
  • How well the Waterproofing of your boots works depends upon the type of coating used.
  • You may have oil, silicone, chemical, plastic, rubber, built-in waterproof liners, etc., etc., etc.
  • Waterproof liners can be built right into the boot and they generally do an excellent job.

waterproof-work-bootsWhen you have full-grain leather work boots, naturally, you will want them to be waterproof.

  • Leather is often waterproofed with a silicone coating that repels and beads moisture.
  • If seams have also been taped from the inside, leaking is prevented and you have excellent protection.
  • There is the possibility that silicone will clog the pores of the leather. This cuts down on the leather's breathing and your feet might end up in sweat puddles.
  • Also, taped seams don't last as long as waterproof liners so you have another consideration here.
  • Mink oil and such have long been preferred by boot wearers for waterproofing your own leather and it does NOT clog leather pores, so be sure your boots have NOT been silicone proofed if you prefer to take care of softening and waterproofing your own leather for yourself.
  • Waterproof liners, of which there are many brands, can already be built into your work boots.
  • These liners allow foot sweat to escape while keeping outside water out, so they may be an overall best choice for happy feet and a happy you.

Get the Right Fit:

get-the-right-sized-work-bootsWe take an average of 8 to 12 thousand steps each day and your daily experience is a whole lot better when your feet are free from pain. has just about every brand of footwear with every possible option and feature you could ever want

They may have options that you would like but may not have thought of, so here is an incomplete list of qualities that you may find useful:

  • When boots are high cut, obviously, they offer greater ankle support with protection from sparks, hot liquids like molten glass, chemicals or metals, getting down inside your boots.
  • Having work boot soles reinforced with steel or any other metal will protect you nicely from sharp objects getting through to your feet.
  • Of course, if you are working around electricity, the opposite is true: no metal on your feet!
  • You can get work boots that dissipate electro-static electricity from some of the high end manufacturers.
  • Some of the leading work boot manufacturers of men’s and women’s work boots offer metatarsal guard boots. These boots come in all different styles and have additional metatarsal guards built into the footwear for protection of your delicate mid-foot bones.
  • Insulated work boots keep your feet warm(er).
  • Flame resistant boots make it more difficult for your feet to catch on fire (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
  • Non-slip work boots, usually rubber or wooden soles, are great for remaining upright while working any place that may have oil, water, grease or any other spills where you have to walk around.
  • If you’re working around chemicals, your work boots should be specially treated to avoid sticking or outright melting. will have all the products you might need to take care of your new workboots.


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