Carpentry is a tough industry. It involves a lot of strenuous work that could become dangerous under the right circumstances. Any tool or material could cause or play a part in an accident. Having the proper equipment can help you avoid accidents and injuries. This includes the shoes and boots that you wear while working. Here’s what you should look for in a good pair of work shoes, and the four best shoes for carpenters.
What You Should Look For In Shoes for Carpenters
There are three major considerations for shoes for carpenters: protection, comfort, and durability. Your ideal work shoes will protect you from injuries, give you the comfort needed for a full day of work, and last for a long time to come.
Protection is the most important quality you should look for. Carpentry is not a safe profession by any means – there are a lot of safety hazards and risks that come with the job. Most injuries that occur within the carpentry industry are the result of sharp tools or heavy materials or equipment falling onto the carpenter’s foot. This can result in deep wounds or broken bones. A good pair of protective work shoes can help to avoid these types of injuries.
Comfort is important, too. Carpenters are on their feet for most of their day, if not all of it. If your shoes are protective but stiff or uncomfortable, you will end up with very sore feet at the end of the day. Having to rest and ice your feet every night will make you dread doing the same thing tomorrow, not to mention your feet will likely still hurt in the morning. Finding a pair of comfortable work shoes can help you avoid this scenario, allowing you to continue to enjoy your work day after day.
The final consideration is durability. It doesn’t make sense to put in time and effort to find the perfect pair of protective, comfortable work shoes, only to buy a new pair in a few months. That’s a waste of your time and money. If you look for shoes that will last for a long time, you can avoid the constant purchasing of new shoes and having to break them in over and over again. Work shoes that are both protective and durable will stand up to any tasks your job requires, no matter how rough.
The Top 4 Work Shoes for Carpenters:
The Safety Bobcat Elastic Sided Steel Toe Leather Work Boot from Redback is strong and designed for comfort. It is made from thick leather and features a synthetic sole. The leather is 2.5 to 2.7 millimeters thick, making the boot stronger than most work boots. The boot is tall enough to protect your ankle and the steel toe will protect your toes and foot from impacts. The boot features a full chrome and oiled tannage, which makes it resistant to hardening and cracking. The design of the boot reduces arch flexion, which can lead to foot fatigue, leg aches, and lower back aches. The boot also has a slight slip-resistance and will hold up well on surfaces such as concrete.
- Thick leather makes the boot strong, warm, protective, and durable.
- The boot protects your toes, ankle, and entire foot.
- The steel toe is protective and lightweight at the same time.
- The boot is resistant to hardening and cracking, allowing it to last longer.
- It reduces arch flexion, which in turn eliminates aches and pains in the foot, legs, and lower back.
- It is slip-resistant on some surfaces, including concrete.
- The boot is very breathable. Hot and sweaty feet will not be a problem as you feel the wind against the elastic sides cooling you down.
- The boot is easy to maintain. Dirt and dust can be easily removed with a damp cloth.
- The boot will not stretch with time.
- The boot may not eliminate slippage on all surfaces. It would still slip on slick surfaces, especially in the presence of oil.
- It is not waterproof. Water seeps through the elastic on the sides. This allows your socks and foot to become wet and cold, making your day pretty miserable until you can dry them out.
- The boot can be a little loose at the ankle.
- The boot can be a bit wide for some individuals. It does not slip in the heel, but there is more space than usual in the toe.
The Six-Inch Aluminum Toe Work Boot from Irish Setter is sturdy, durable, and resistant to a variety of work conditions, including water, heat, and electrical hazards. It is made of 100 percent leather and includes a durable rubber sole. The aluminum toe will protect your foot from any impact or rough condition, meeting all safety standards for impact and compression. The exclusive Trout Brook Leather is full-grain and waterproof. The footbed is made of sturdy polyurethane and can be removed. The sole and heel are designed to minimize damage from contact with electrical parts and meet all safety standards for electrical hazards. The outsole can resist melting that results from high heat conditions. It resists melting at a minimum of 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Durability is increased by a Goodyear welt. The boot offers a slight degree of slip-resistance on surfaces like concrete.
- The leather construction, rubber sole, and Goodyear welt lend durability to the boot.
- The aluminum toe provides protection from impacts and compression.
- The leather is waterproof.
- The sole and heel help to protect you from injuries and damage related to electrical hazards.
- The outsole protects the boot from melting and other damage in high heat conditions.
- The boot is slip-resistant on certain surfaces, including concrete floors.
- The boot may not be slip-resistant on all surfaces. Some slippage may occur on mud or wet grass.
- The boot is not insulated, but the leather construction makes it very comfortable.
- Though the leather is intended to be waterproof, it is actually only water-resistant. This resistance only applies to the boot below the toe – anything above the toe is not water-resistant. If the boot is soaked, the water will seep into it.
- The boot can feel a little narrow in the toe.
- The boot is durable, but can feel heavy and clunky. This can cause some wearer’s feet to hurt after extended use.
- Sometimes, extended use can cause the boot to break down quickly.
- There is no padding inside the boot to provide comfort while the boot is being broken in. The leather against the aluminum toe creates a harsh experience.
- The boot is not recommended for cold weather. The soles turn hard and stiff, and the boot often slips on ice and wet surfaces.
- The bottom of the boot feels very hard. Some individuals may need to purchase insoles to wear with this boot.
The Heritage Iron Ranger Six-Inch Boot from Red Wing is durable, roomy, and easy to clean. It’s made of 100 percent natural leather and features a nitrile cork sole, a Goodyear welt, a double-layer leather toe cap, and a leather heel pocket. All of these features, together with triple-stitching, make the boot very durable. A bump toe gives you more room in the front of the boot. Because it is made of natural leather, the boot can scuff easily. But these can be removed by buffing the spot with a dry cloth. Dirt can be cleaned with warm water and a soft bristle brush. The nitrile cork sole is non-marking, oil-resistant, and features contrast stitching.
- Durability is provided by several features, including the natural leather construction, nitrile cork sole, Goodyear welt, and triple-stitching.
- The bump toe provides plenty of breathing room in the front of the boot.
- Scuffs and dirt are easy to clean out of the leather.
- The sole won’t mark floors and is resistant to oil.
- Thanks to the Goodyear welt technique used, the sole is easy to repair.
- The leather is water-resistant to some extent. It will stand up to moderate rain and snow.
- The boot will mold to your foot and provide comfort, but only after a lengthy break-in period.
- The leather scuffs easily, but the scuffs are easy to buff out.
- The boot takes at least a month to break in and can be very uncomfortable until then.
- The leather is water-resistant, but not waterproof. The boot may still become soaked in wetter conditions.
- The sole is flat without any texture or grip, so it may not be ideal for those who spend all day on their feet, at least until the boot is broken in.
- The boot is not very well insulated, so you should wear thick socks and a liner.
- Oil should not be applied too often, as it will absorb into the leather and darken it. Once every few months should be enough.
The Pro Pitboss Six-Inch Steel Toe Boot from Timberland is safe, comfortable, and durable. It is made of 100 percent leather and includes a rubber sole. It meets all safety standards. The steel toe protects you from impacts, compression, and injuries. A traction grip allows you to safely work on wet and slippery surfaces. The outsole is resistant to slippage, oil, and abrasions. The boot also provides electrical hazard protection. There is plenty of space in the toe, so you won’t feel cramped and you won’t be sore at the end of the day. A removable sock liner and padded top collar provide extra comfort. Timberland’s exclusive Comfort Suspension technology reduces foot fatigue, supports the arches, and cushions your feet, even under the harshest working conditions. The boot is very tough and durable. The boot is slightly water-resistant and could handle rainy conditions with no problem.
- The boot is rated for safety and meets all safety standards.
- The toe is very roomy and features a steel toe. Both of these features protect you from injuries and soreness.
- The boot performs very well under rainy conditions. The special traction grip allows you to work on wet surfaces and the leather is water-resistant.
- The outsole is slip-, oil-, and abrasion-resistant.
- The boot protects you from electrical hazards.
- The Comfort Suspension system, removable sock liner, and padded top collar provide an extra level of comfort on long work days.
- The boot is oil tanned and can be conditioned with any oil or saddle soap.
- Though the boot can resist water from normal rain, it may not stand up to extreme conditions such as flooding.
- The boot can run a bit narrow, so buyers are encouraged to purchase the wide version of their size.
- The break-in period takes a while.
- If not broken in, the boot can leave bruises and blisters around the ankle.
Which Work Boot is Best for You?
Each of these work boots would serve carpenters well, though they feature different levels of protection, comfort, and durability. The Safety Bobcat Elastic Sided Steel Toe Leather Work Boot from Redback offers the most protection during a typical work day for any carpenter. The Pro Pitboss Six-Inch Steel Toe Boot from Timberland is the most comfortable work boot on our list and will keep you looking forward to the next day, rather than dreading it. The Heritage Iron Ranger Six-Inch Boot from Red Wing is the most durable work boot, eliminating the need to buy another pair right away. Redback’s Safety Bobcat Elastic Sided Steel Toe Leather Work Boot and Red Wing’s Heritage Iron Ranger Six-Inch Boot both provide the three qualities of protection, comfort, and durability, though to varying degrees. Any of these work boots will keep you safe and comfortable while on the job. Make sure to choose the one with the best fit and features for your specific needs so you don’t need to look for another option when it doesn’t work out. Do your homework before you buy and you can’t go wrong.