What Are The Best Construction Boots? Three Boot Styles That Rule The Jobsite
If you need a pair of construction boots, you can easily get lost in a myriad of options. What are the best boots for construction? What sort of features should I look for?
There are some features that might be mandated by your employer, such as shock protection or a reinforced toe either by a composite or steel toe box. Make sure that any requisites for working footwear are met.
However, what are the proven construction boots that will always serve a person well on the job site? Here are three solid boot styles that construction workers have sworn by for decades, that will make life on the job site easier on the feet.
Logger Style Construction Boots
One of the classic styles of construction boots is the logger-style work boot. These boots have an awful lot of advantages, which is why they're one of the most popular general designs of work boot in existence.
Logger boots are a typical leather boot, but have a raised heel for additional heel and instep support. Commonly, they'll also include a lug sole for the utmost in traction, so you keep your footing regardless of the ground conditions.
The advantage is that the raised heel gives you additional shock absorption, as well as additional support in the arch of the foot. The arch is the shock absorber of the foot, flexing as your foot moves and helping your foot "spring" forward into motion.
The additional support often makes boots of this type feel more comfortable during a long day on your feet.
However, what some people find is that they're a bit heavy for some people's preferences and the tall boot height also makes putting them on and taking them off a bit of a ceremony.
With that said, many find the additional ankle support preferable over pull-on boots that just don't have much. This mirrors the experience of firefighters, who find lace-up leather firefighting boots more comfortable than pull-on rubber boots, as well as reducing on-the-job injuries.
Boots of this type are a bit of a tank, as mentioned, but pay dividends in comfort, support and injury reduction.
Wedge Sole Construction Boots
One of the most popular types of construction boots is a style made popular by the brand Thorogood, that being the wedge sole boot. Granted, that brand is more heavily associated with a moccasin toe design that not all wedge sole work boots have.
That much is merely cosmetic, but what isn't is the structural design of the boot.
Wedge-sole boots tend to have a lower arch and a generous toe box. Since the sole doesn't have a heel block, the heel drop is minimal and the foot tends to fall flatter as you step, almost as if barefoot.
The classic configuration is either a 6-inch or 8-inch boot, whichever the user prefers.
However, the soles installed on these boots - such as the classic Vibram Christy Cream sole - tend to offer less-than optimum traction in winter conditions, as there's no replacing a lug sole for grip.
Often enough, people who use such boots will have a dedicated winter pair with a more aggressive tread, but wear wedge soles for most of the year.
Some people find a more barefoot feel to be more ergonomic, a common endorsement of the aforementioned brand and other boot designs - such as the classic Corcoran jump boot formerly worn by US paratroopers - that likewise have a wide toe and low heel drop.
Many find this boot design to effectively bridge the gap between a pair of sneakers and a heavy work boot, offering the comfort and support of boots but ease of movement of athletic shoes. That's made them a winning design for construction workers for decades.
Packer And Packer-Inspired Construction Boots
Another popular style of construction boots is the packer boot, including both the classic packer design and those that are clearly packer-inspired.
The packer boot has a raised heel much like a logger boot, but with a more rounded profile. Essentially, it's half cowboy boot, half outdoor boot, as they were made to be worn while riding horses.
In the fullness of time, a number of packer-inspired boots have been made, which feature a more rounded toe-box. Sometimes it's called a ranger boot or something along those lines, but the idea is to have the raised heel profile of a packer, but a slightly more generous toe.
In either case, these are popular for people who prefer a narrower toe than standard work boots, typically for aesthetic reasons and often in the American West as they are solidly Western in appearance.
What makes them great construction boots is that you get all the benefits of a logger-style boot, including the additional arch support and shock absorption, but a bit of style and flair with the Western toe design.
Who doesn't want a bit of style, after all?