Best Boots for Working on Concrete All Day

When it’s time to shop for the best boots for working on concrete all day, you might not care much about the history of this style of footwear, but it’s a fun read. Drawings of the oldest shoe to be classified as boots were found in Spain and dated at between 12,000 B.C. and 15,000 BC. Over the centuries, boots came to represent ruling power and military might. But if you work on concrete all day, you already know that wearing the right boot is even better than being a member of the royal family!

The origin of safety boots

According to writer Mark Da Silva’s article on the origin of safety shoes and boots, the invention of sturdy shoes has saved backs, legs and even lives over time. Da Silva refers to “wooden boots” worn by French peasants to protect their feet from falling objects, stepping on projectiles and wading through manure. During the industrial revolution, work boots were used to sabotage machinery when workers demonstrated against unfair labor practices.

It took until the 20th century for the government to address industrial safety issues. Early laws keep factory and construction workers safe, reversing for the first time the attitude that, “replacing an injured worker was cheaper and faster than introducing safety measures,” writes Da Silva. One of the first examples of manufacturer concern is the Red Wing Shoe Company. They introduced the world to steel-toe boots in the 1930s.

When the U.S. government enacted the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) in 1970, this law included stringent guidelines that mandated the wearing of protective footwear on the job. Though not the be-all and end-all, OSHA began making a difference that lead to fewer foot injuries on the job and today, they’re mandatory in industries that include construction and mining.

The anatomy of a working foot

The potential for injury on the job is more complicated than it looks because there are so many moving parts in feet. 26 bones support the skeletal system and 38 joints allow the foot to move in many directions. Add nerves, muscles, ligaments and blood vessels and there is a lot to protect.

Common physical hazards to worker’s feet include falling objects, flying objects, cutting accidents, stepping on sharp objects, extreme cold or heat, watery and oily surfaces, exposure to corrosive materials and other obstacles that await the feet of construction workers—-especially those working on concrete floors. Emergency rooms report lacerations, sprains, punctures, crush-related injury, falls, trips and slips as the primary reasons workers show up for treatment.

How to select the best boots for working on concrete all day

-Shop for work boots late in the afternoon when your feet are likely to be the most swollen.
-Consider adding shock-absorbing insoles to your order to help absorb shocks on concrete.
-Get advice from senior workers who are aware of pitfalls most likely to occur on concrete surfaces.
-The boot you choose should be snug but not too tight because leather stretches.
-If you wear a different size on each foot, buy the larger size.
-Look for a low, wide, flat heel and that heel must firmly grip the sole.
-Test the forepart to make sure your toes have room to move.
-You should be able to fasten the boot across the instep to prevent slipping.
-Steel toes, metatarsal guards, reinforced and latex/rubber soles all protect against most common industrial accidents.

4 tips for working on concrete floors

Whether you work on construction sites, a factory, warehouse or large industrial building, even carpet won’t mediate the effect of constant contact with concrete floors. Concrete takes a toll on the entire body. Common physical problems related to standing and working on it are sore feet, knee and back pain and swollen legs. Any barrier you can put between your feet and concrete is well worth the money you spend!

1. Wear quality boots with insoles. Shoes with thin soles are a guaranteed way to trigger arch support problems and they will make your feet hurt as you go about working on concrete. Look for boots that are slip-resistant, too.

2. Change your positions frequently to reduce the impact of concrete floors on your feet. Whether it’s sitting down periodically or resting one foot on a stool while the other bears the brunt of your weight and then switching, these position changes can get you through the day more comfortably.

3. If you stand in one place for extended periods of time, add an anti-fatigue mat to your shopping list. These mats cushion feet, reduce pain and soften hard surfaces.

4. Seasoned construction pros recommend getting a second pair of boots and rotating them. If you replace yours twice a year, two pair will likely get you through all 12 months.

Best boots for working on concrete all day: 5 recommendations

1. EVER BOOTS Tank Insulated Work Boots

EVER BOOTS Tank Men's Soft Toe Oil Full Grain Leather Work Boots Construction Rubber Sole (10 D(M), Darkbrown)
  • Ever Yours – Get ready to get stuff done your way. Pull on your leather Ever Boots for men and women on a mission. Your Tank boots are here to carry you at work, at home, and all points between.
  • All-Day Comfort – Enjoy a perfect blend of support and maneuverability from your tall ankle-length boots. Wear them for hours for construction work, contracting, landscaping, manual labor, and more.
  • Nubuck Uppers – Be supported, not restricted, by supple nubuck with reinforced stitches, a soft toe, and a padded collar. If you work construction or other physical jobs this is the boot for you.
  • Solid Foundation – Stomp and tromp without slipping or tripping. Feel the stability of a wide rubber sole and excellent arch support. Easily remove your work boot insoles if you need custom orthotics.
  • Sizing - True size to big brand men work boots. Women size 9 is Ever Boots size 7

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These highly-rated work boots are both affordable and stylish, running between $60 and $70 per pair and available in both dark brown and tan. Crafted of leather with a thick rubber sole, you get a 3-month manufacturer’s warranty with these boots so there is some insurance built into the purchase. The comfort cushion insole and removable option slip-resist rubber outsole pair to offer extra protection both inside and out.

Fashioned of top, full-grain Nubuck leather and featuring speedy hooks for fast dressing, this boot runs about a half size larger than competitors Timberlands and Caterpillars. The Tank, constructed with anti-fatigue materials, is an all-purpose work boot that offers comfort and foot protection. The boot’s arch is bolstered by a steel shank that can go a long way to alleviating pressure when climbing up and down stairs and ladders. The tread pattern provides the kind of traction you can rely on when dealing with uneven or slippery surfaces. Easy to break in and even easier to wear, the Tank is both affordable and efficient.

-Softer and lighter than competitor boots offering a comfortable fit.
-Excellent customer service; if you have problems, Ever Boots offers a new pair or refund.
-You can weigh up to 300 pounds and these boots will easily support you on the job.
-Affordable and stylish, break-in time is relatively short.
-5-star ratings from repeat buyers attest to this boot’s integrity and sturdiness.

-Need extra ankle support? Take a pass on this boot.
-Can leave black scuff marks on certain work surfaces.
-Even if you buy a larger size than normal, you could still wind up with fit issues.

2. Timberland PRO Waterproof Insulated Boot

Timberland PRO Women's Direct Attach 6 Inch Steel Safety Toe Insulated Waterproof Industrial Work Boot, Wheat Nubuck, 10
  • CLASSIC TIMBERLAND: All the toughness and durability of our original Direct Attach steel toe work boots, designed for women. These waterproof boots feature 200 grams of insulation for warmth, steel toes and oil-resistant rubber lug outsoles for traction.
  • ANTI-FATIGUE TECHNOLOGY: a comfort system designed with shock-absorbing, geometrical technology that returns energy back to the foot to deliver all-day support and comfort
  • A SOURCE OF PRIDE: We know you take pride in your work, so our soft-toed shoes and boots and steel-toe boots and shoes are designed to provide you with enhanced job performance day in and day out. Wear them at work well as at home with comfort & style.
  • QUALITY WORKWEAR: Timberland PRO assesses the unmet needs of those who work in the most demanding environments and then develops solutions that deliver ultimate comfort, durability & protection—all day long—from work boots & shoes to anti-fatigue insoles.
  • Rubber Outsole that is Heat, Slip, Oil and Abrasion Resistant.

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Expect to open your wallet wide when you shell out money for these Timberland Pro boots that are fairly well rated by shoppers and come in 6 color choices. At between $100 and $179, you’re paying for the brand name and for features and updates that you may not find elsewhere. The Timberland PRO is crafted of leather and made overseas, so if you only buy American, this could determine your buying decision.

Constructed atop a synthetic sole, the attached heel measures nearly 2-inches while the shaft section extends around 6-inches from the arch. If you’re looking for a boot with a padded collar, the PRO offers this decorative and protective feature and this steel-toe boot offers waterproof insulation plus a lace-up vamp to get you into your boots snuggly and expeditiously. If you’re into branded merchandise, this boot is trimmed with a logo patch on the tongue.

-Guaranteed waterproof thanks to direct-attach construction.
-Designed with 200g Thinsulate insulation, your feet will remain warm in this boot.
-Features a steel toe and Electrical Hazard Protection meets ANSI Z41 PT99 standards.
-Polyurethane sock liner is contoured for a comfortable fit and it’s removable.
-PVC midsole increases comfort, even when you put in long hours.

-The price could give you pause; especially if you’ve set a boot budget.
-According to brand loyalists, construction quality is no longer dependable.
-Returns to Timberland include complaints about feet staying cold and getting wet.

3. Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot

Cat Footwear Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot, Honey, 13
  • Steel-Toe Work Boot In Rugged Leather Featuring Plush Collar And Tongue With Logos
  • Hex-Shape Grommets With Speed Lacing At Shaft
  • Oil-Resistant Traction Outsole
  • Nubuck Leather Or Pull Up Leather Nylon Mesh Lining Provides Added Breathability And Comfort
  • Steel Shank For Added Support And Stability

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Like Timberland, the Caterpillar brand is beloved, respected and popular for multiple reasons, but you may find the price tag to be your buying decision maker at between $72 and $110 (comparison shop to get a deal). Fabricated of 100-percent leather and featuring a rubber sole, this rugged, steel-toe work boot offers extras workers seek: a plush collar and tongue, hex-shaped grommets and if you like showing off the pedigree of your work boots, there are several Caterpillar logos on the exterior.

Select these work boots and you will appreciate the oil-resistant outsole traction, and the nylon mesh lining that helps ventilate your feet when you’re on the job. The steel shank provides additional support and stability while on hazardous construction sites, yet you still enjoy all-day comfort provided by the removable PU sock liner. Though the Caterpillar brand is 100-percent American, these boots are made overseas and imported, so if you prefer a domestically-produced boot this one may not make your short list.

-This work boot weighs only 2 pounds (compare to the 4 pound Timberland).
-Recommended by demolition professionals working constantly amid concrete rubble.
-Heavy-duty stitching plus leather that won’t crack, yet this boot is flexible.
-Excellent arch support and ideal for wearers with very wide feet.
-The break-in period is likely to be shorter and faster than you expected.

-Protect your foot from the 8 rivets inside the upper or you could wind up with bloody ankles.
-May not meet your standard for waterproofing.
-Occasional quality control issues include rubber sole separation, broken stitching and cracked leather.

4. Irish Setter Men’s Work Boot

Irish Setter, Ashby, Men's, 6", Soft Toe, Work Boot, Brown, 10.5 D (Medium)
  • Meets ASTM Safety Standards: This leather soft toe work boot with HRO designed rubber-EVA Traction Tred outsole is heat, slip, and electrical hazard resistant to meet ASTM F2892-18, EH, and ASTM F3445-21, SR safety standards.
  • Soft Toe: Soft toe provides a protective layer of defense from many hazards that may be encountered at a worksite.
  • Comfortable & Durable: Made with oiled full grain leather for long-lasting durability. The removable polyurethane footbed gives your feet long-lasting comfort and all-day performance.
  • Resoleable Platform: The Goodyear Welt sole construction prevents water intrusion and adds strength and durability to the boot making it long lasting. It allows the boot to be resoled to extend the life of the boot.
  • Heat Resistant Sole: HRO designed soles have been designed and tested to perform on high heat surface and are heat resistant to melting at a minimum of 475º Fahrenheit.

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You don’t have to be a dog owner to appreciate this stylish work boot that comes with a hefty price tag ranging between $134 and $168. This Irish Setter boot is crafted of 100-percent leather, features a rubber-EVA sole, offers the wearer a non-woven, light nylon lining yet the boot so strong and heat-resistant, it won’t melt even if you stand on a surface that hits 475-degrees F. Though the manufacturer touts the fact that this soft-toe boot is crafted of USA-made full grain leather, that leather gets shipped overseas because construction doesn’t take place here.

Despite dubious origins, this is one tough boot—-one that meets ASTM F2413-11 Electric Hazard Safety Standards. The 1.5-inch heel and 5.5-inch shaft offer a roomy, comfortable fit and if you’ve had trouble shoving your feet into tight openings, this Irish Setter gives you 13.5-inches of room to get your foot installed. Antique brass eyelets offer a stylish, sporty touch and the assurances of numerous concrete workers that they wouldn’t wear another brand.

-Recommended by concrete workers who weigh up to 350 pounds.
-Comfortable and lightweight (2 pounds), get in an 8-hour work day without sore feet.
-Leather is hand-crafted by Minnesota’s S.B. Foot Tanning Company.
-Excellent quality at a reasonable price.
-highly rated by women who do construction work.

-Workers in need of a roomy toe box may be disappointed.
-Reports of cracking and splitting soles that caused separation from the boot.
-These boots are not insulated nor do they feature a steel safety toe.

5. Thorogood Men’s American Heritage Boot

Thorogood American Heritage 6” Moc Toe Work Boots for Men - Soft Toe, Premium Full-Grain Leather with Slip-Resistant Wedge Outsole and Comfort Insole; EH Rated, Tobacco - 12 D
  • AMERICAN MADE with USA and globally sourced components by the skilled craftsmen and women at Thorogood’s US plants
  • DURABLE OIL-TANNED FULL-GRAIN LEATHER boots in Thorogood’s moc toe, non-safety toe design are comfortable and hold up to punishing jobs. Available in tobacco brown (814-4200), Trail Crazyhorse brown (814-4203), black with ivory sole (814-6201), and black with black sole (814-6206)
  • MAXWEAR WEDGE TRACTION OUTSOLE flexes better than other work boot outsoles, absorbing impacts and protecting your feet and ankles while working on difficult surfaces, keeping you on your feet even on loose gravel and wet and oily surfaces. Meets ASTM F3445-21 slip-resistance standards.
  • EH RESISTANCE - these MAXWear Wedge work boots meet ASTM F2892-18 electrical hazard resistance safety standards
  • REMOVABLE ULTIMATE SHOCK ABSORPTION FOOTBED uses dual-density polyurethane concentrated under heel and ball strike zones to absorb impacts and wick away moisture for the most comfortable men’s work boots out there

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

As the priciest boot in this review (you’ll pay between $185 and $233), make sure you are aware of the fact that while this footwear has lots of bells and whistles, this product is not made with a safety toe. If you don’t plan to drop anything on your feet or have anything dropped on them, the quality of this work boot is both exceptional and stylish. Available in 4 colors, the Heritage boot is not only made of high-quality, 100-percent leather, but all of the fabrication is done in the U.S. Further, both of the company’s factories are unionized.

In terms of construction, the Thorogood Heritage really does offer the best of the best: a polyurethane MAXwear wedge sole with slip-resistant outsole, Goodyear storm welt construction atop cotton vamp lining, a fiberglass shank and removable Poron footbed that provides “Ultimate shock absorption,” according to the brand’s product developers. This is no ordinary work boot maker. Since its inception Thorogood has specifically targeted concrete, ironworkers, carpenters and other industry tradesmen by recruiting actual workers to test out every pair of boots they make. Put this quality boot on your holiday wish list if you like everything you read about this product.

-Features a Made in America label thanks to unionized factory crews.
-Ultra-comfortable, stylish and construction is superior.
-Thorogood customer service is impeccable.
-Unlike competitor products, these run true to size.
-If you equate price with quality, this is your boot.

-Infrequent quality control issues have impacted customer reviews.
-Break-in could be uncomfortable, so you’ll have to give your feet some adjustment time.
-The non-safety boot toe could be a turn-off, especially in light of the price.

Our recommendation

A great way to judge the validity of product reviews is to focus on negatives, so when we ran into one boot that practically required a microscope to find complaints—-and when that boot also happens to be a favorite of concrete workers and comes with a mid-range price tag-—the Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot checked off all boxes. It’s definitely worth a second look next time you shop for new work boots.