Anyone who works in a construction or warehouse environment knows the importance of having a quality pair of work boots that are durable and comfortable. When working outdoors, workers can face harsh weather conditions that make water-resistance, slip-proof shoes an absolute must in order to stay safe. When indoors, working on concrete and other hard surfaces all day can lead to foot fatigue, soreness, and even blisters. Comfort and support are vital in order to keep feet healthly, safe, and able to withstand long hours in uncomfortable environments. The added danger of falling objects or bumping into hard materials also means the work boots need to be strong enough to avoid foot injuries. Any woman looking for a pair of quality shoes to wear at work have a lot of features to keep in mind, so here’s a rundown of some of the shoes I’ve tried out to aid you in your search.
Best Of: Women’s Light-Weight Work Boots
Cambridge Select Women’s Work Combat Military Mid Calf Lug Sole Boot
Cambridge Select provides a pair of comfortable, durable work boots that are both stylish and animal-friendly. The faux leather makes these vegan-friendly, while still retaining the features you’d expect from a work boot. They’re also great for the fall and winter as they are padded.
- There are many colors available to choose from.
- These are very inexpensive, especially compared to other boots on this list, so they’d make a good “starter pair” if you’ve never worn work boots before and don’t want to spend a lot of money to try them.
- No animal products are used in the making of these shoes, making them a good option for vegans.
- Very lightweight compared to other boot options.
- Not a lot of ankle support or cushion in the insoles.
- These shoes are not long-lasting. The soles can become separated from the rest of the shoe and overall they wear down more quickly, within 2-4 months if they are being used heavily.
- More of a “fashion boot” than an actual work boot. These are stylish, but the fact that they have little to no support and wear down under mild walking conditions (not even actual construction, warehouse, or outdoor work) makes them a poor choice for a work boot.
Caterpillar Women’s Ellie Steel Toe / Dark Beige Work Boot
Caterpillar’s steel toe Ellie boots are comfortable, durable, and slip resistant. The cushioning feels just as comfortable and supportive as a running shoe, while the 100% leather and rubber sole construction is just as sturdy as any other high-end work boot. Since Caterpillar is known for making heavy equipment, they know what kind of boots are necessary to operate it.
- Comfortable, even when working long days on concrete floors. The cushioning and the rubber soles work together so that even after an 8 hour day running around on concrete, my feet aren’t sore.
- Provide great protection, even in the harshest of weather conditions.
- The outer soles have excellent traction and are helpful in avoiding slips and falls.
- Easy to clean.
- Extra room in the toe area doesn’t cause any blisters or soreness but is actually great when my feet get swollen from working all day.
- This particular style runs large. Even if you’ve used Caterpillar shoes before, check the size chart and consider getting a half size up, since the sizing isn’t going to be the same as your other boots.
Timberland PRO Women’s Titan Waterproof Boot
Timberland’s work boots have a variety of features that make them both comfortable and safe for any workplace. The 100% full-grain leather outer construction keeps moisture and mud out of your shoes and slip-resistant soles protect you from falls, while the breathable linings with antimicrobial technology keep your feet healthy and secure. The ergonomic design also enables a range of movement and support for tough, long workdays.
- Excellent protection from any liquids you might encounter. They keep rain, chemicals, mud, etc. from getting inside and onto your feet.
- Walking 10+ miles in a day, walking on concrete, walking in harsh weather conditions, etc. isn’t going to cause them to break or wear down too quickly.
- Have “crush resistant toes”. This makes them great for environments where you’re working with heavy equipment, moving heavy products or tools, etc.
- The boots are stiff in the ankle area and take longer to break in/get used to.
- Not great for cold weather. Moisture won’t get in, but if you’re outside in the snow, your feet are going to be very cold. The steel toe makes it worse since the metal gets cold as well.
- Insoles are not comfortable or supportive enough and may need to be replaced with better ones.
Skechers for Work Women’s Workshire Peril Steel Toe Boot
Skechers Peril Steel Toe Boots are made for both comfort and durability. The oil-resistant sole has a lug pattern, making it great for any work that requires your shoes to have good traction. The inside of the shoe contains an insole that is both gel-infused and cushioned with memory foam, so your feet will remain comfortable all day long. The eyelets and laces on the outside are sturdy and durable, keeping your feet secure and tight in the boots.
- The memory foam and gel-infused soles make these extremely comfortable and a great choice if you’re on your feet all day. I didn’t get any blisters while wearing them.
- Long-lasting and durable. Even months after getting them, these boots have little wear and the leather is still intact over the toe area.
- Relatively short break-in period.
- Not the best slip resistance. The soles are marketed as “oil-resistant” but the traction isn’t that great.
- If you have high arches, consider getting an insert as these do not have a lot of arch support.
- The sizing is odd. Your normal size may be too big and going down a half size is too small.
- Not very light-weight. The steel toe makes these heavier than expected.
Ariat Women’s Terrain Work Boot
Ariat prides themselves on providing high-quality, innovative shoe designs that are both comfortable and long lasting. The inside of the shoes contains stabilizing shank for added support and a four-layer footbed to keep your feet comfortable. The unique design of the rubber outsole is made to be wear-resistant, so you don’t have to fret over repairs or replacements.
- The lining is moisture wicking so even though these aren’t waterproof (and aren’t advertised as such), your feet aren’t going to become wet or uncomfortable.
- Good for hot weather. They are comfortable and breathe well.
- Great sole and arch support.
- The heel design makes these good for horseback riding as well as working environments.
- The boots stretch a lot so if you have them for a long time, thicker socks are going to be needed to avoid rubbing.
- Depending on your feet, these can potentially be too narrow in the toe area.
Wolverine Women’s Floodhand Waterproof 6″ Soft Toe Work Boot
These work boots from Wolverine are made from 100% waterproof leather. The outsole is slip resistant, water resistant, oil resistant, and abrasion resistant, so you won’t have to worry about losing your footing when working in slippery conditions. In addition, you’ll experience less fatigue during long work days due to the construction of the shoes.
- These boots hold up well under even the wettest and slippery conditions. They are great at keeping water from getting in and soaking your feet and the soles are also slip-resistant so you don’t need to worry about taking a tumble while working.
- Cushioned, removal footbed. The insoles that come with the boots are extremely comfortable and provide support for the foot. If you do need to get custom insoles for any reason, though, you can remove the insoles and easily slip your other ones in.
- Ankle and heel support. As long as you buy the correct size, the boots fit perfectly around both ankles and heels in order to provide support. Your feet won’t slip, especially in the heels, so blisters won’t be a problem.
- While these kinds of shoes are obviously made for getting dirty, I didn’t have any trouble with them become overly scuffed or damaged, even in the most difficult working conditions. Durable, quality leather and rubber soles keep repairs and replacements to a minimum so they are definitely worth the price.
- Comfortable out of the box. Everyone’s feet are different, but generally, these boots don’t require a lot of breaking in. Even during the “break-in” period, I didn’t have to worry about blisters or sore feet since they were already so comfortable.
- Not insulated or lined. These boots for working in warm weather, but they aren’t insulated to keep your feet warm in the winter. They may keep them warm anyway due to their waterproof, thick construction, but user experience may vary.
- These boots aren’t steel-toed, so they aren’t going to be the heaviest boots out there. They are, however, still pretty heavy so keep that in mind.
CAMEL CROWN Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boots Outdoor Lightweight Work Safety Boots
Camel Crown’s boots contain breathable materials, both a mesh lining and breathable leather, to keep your feet dry and feeling great all day. These are designed for rugged hiking and outdoor activities: they are lined for warmth and the toe cap is designed to protect and add durability that will keep the shoes (and your feet!) safe and injury free, even when bumping up against cactus and boulders.
- Good for cold weather as they are lined.
- Good hiking shoes as well as work boots.
- The mesh lining is great at keeping feet dry and is also very breathable.
- These run true to size so you can order whatever size you normally order for boots and don’t have to worry about them being too big/too small.
- The mesh lining can irritate and rub against ankles so be sure to wear socks that are high enough to cover that area.
Caterpillar Women’s Kenzie Steel Toe Work Boot
Caterpillar’s Kenzie design is made for style and strength. The enhanced steel toe keeps feet protected, while also looking as trendy as any combat boot style shoe. The leather and mesh design keeps moisture out and comfort in.
- The tread and grip make these a good slip-resistant option. I didn’t have any trouble walking over ice or on wet/slick surfaces.
- The design is very stylish. If you’re looking for something fashionable and cute as well as functional, consider these.
- The boots are fairly light. I wouldn’t want to go hiking in them, but for working conditions, they are the right weight.
- Durable and long-lasting. Depending on usage, these can be worn for a year or more.
- These can take a long time to break in and are especially rough on the heel area while doing so.
- These run small, so check the size chart and consider buying a full size up.
- The shoes are also quite narrow, even more so before breaking in, so you’ll want to focus on stretching them on the sides and over the tops of the feet to get the best fit. However, if you have narrow feet these are a good option!
Wolverine’s soft toe work boots really do have everything you could want in a work boot. They are comfortable, supportive, durable, long-lasting, and keep moisture and mud out even in the harshest of environments. While it’s true that they aren’t specifically lined or insulated for cold weather, the 100% leather design and excellent ankle and heel support make it worth it. Having to put on thick socks for added warmth just doesn’t negate all the positive qualities of these boots. These are by no means the least expensive boots, but they also aren’t going to break the bank. They have all the same features and even more than you could expect from the most expensive shoes on the market. The added price over the cheaper shoes is definitely worth it since you’re not going to be replacing them within a couple of months. They are a good choice for both outdoor and indoor environments since they’ll keep you comfortable during long days inside a warehouse and keep your feet dry and clean while working outdoors in the rain and mud. I’d recommend these to anyone looking to buy a quality work boot at a good price.