These Boots Are Made for Building: The Best Construction Boots

These Boots Are Made for Building: The Best Construction Boots

For any general contractor, construction boots are one purchase worth researching and investing in: A top-of-the-line pair will go the extra mile when it comes to keeping your feet safe and entire body supported, while the wrong pair can leave you drained of energy—or much worse. The best construction boots are designed to offer all-day comfort while preventing twisted or turned ankles, slipping on wet surfaces, or a loose nail or stray shard of glass poking through your sole. As a general contractor, you’re likely on your feet for 8 to 12 hours a day, so the best construction boots also incorporate suspension systems, enhanced arch supports and shock-absorbant outsoles that can keep you from ending up with a sore back and aching legs when you finally get home. You can also choose from features like a steel toe and steel-reinforced sole, electrical-shock protection, waterproof construction, and insulation designed to keep your feet warm in winter, cool in summer. Whatever your specific needs are, here’s where to begin browsing: our list of some of the best construction boots on the market right now.

Red Wing Heritage Roughneck, $270

If you’re hard on your work footwear and expect it to last, you can’t do better than investing in these beautifully crafted, made-in-U.S.A. construction boots with a Vibram Lug outsole—the most durable sole option out there. Inspired by men who worked on mid-20th-century oil rigs, this iconic boot is built to be as comfortable as it is tough and can last a lifetime with proper care.

Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6” Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boots, $230

These construction boots may look almost too good to be taken seriously, but when it comes to comfort and safety, these boots (and this iconic made-in-America brand) are all business—and 100% worth the investment. They have every feature you need on a job site: waterproof oil-tanned leather to keep feet dry and comfortable, maximum shock absorption and a steel toe, a cushion comfort insole, and protection from slips and electrical shock.

Carolina Amp USA Steel Toe, $197

Union-made in Pennsylvania, these well-built steel-toe boots are rated for electrical protection up to 18,000 volts and come in different widths for customized comfort. The removable insoles feature a patented moisture management system and enhanced arch support.

Danner Bull Run Moc Toe, $190

Deceptively simple and stylish on first glance, these boots are meticulously crafted here in American and built to stand up to long days of hard work. This unlined leather version is ideal for comfortable wear on job sites during warmer weather—and it looks great for meetings with new clients, too. The brand offers services like restitching and part replacement, extending the life of your construction-boot investment.

Keen Milwaukee Waterproof Steel Toe, $175

Best known for their sports sandals, Keen also excels when it comes to heavy-duty construction boots. This pair features left and right asymmetrical steel toes to keep your feet uniquely protected on the job site, while the rugged, hiking-boot-inspired design—with a TPU shank to prevent twisted ankles—keeps feet comfortable and stable on pretty much any terrain.

Carhartt Ground Force 6” Composite Toe Work Boot, $155

Construction workers love these boots for their comfort; they feature ample padding and arch support, plus a protective toe/heel made of composite (vs. steel), which allows them to be lighter-weight and easier to wear. They’re also waterproof, unlike many models out there. If you’re often around electrical work, you might appreciate the added comfort of knowing that these offer protection against incidental contact with electrical circuits of 18,000 volts or less, under dry conditions.

Irish Setter Ashby Soft Toe Boot, $135

For those who don’t need steel-toe protection, these popular construction boots boast an American-made full-grain waterproof leather upper with a thick sole and molded EVA heel for maximum comfort when you’re standing all day. Plus, they look so great you can just leave ‘em on when you leave the jobsite.

Timberland Pro Men’s 6” Pit Boss, $115

Reasonably priced and with more than 4,000 positive reviews on Amazon, the Pit Boss holds a key spot on the list of the most popular construction boots out there. These boots are known for being extra-comfortable, thanks to shock-diffusing plates, added arch support and a natural nubuck leather upper, which stretches slightly during the initial break-in period for a custom-feeling fit. They’re also durable—Goodyear welt construction ensures they’ll last (versus cheap boots where the sole is simply glued to the upper). They pack safety features like a steel safety toe and anti-slip treads, but note that this model is not marketed as waterproof. Bonus: The lining and removable footbed is antimicrobial, meaning your shoes won’t smell toxic when you leave ‘em by the back door after a long day.

Caterpillar Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot, $85

A popular option on the affordable end of the list of best construction boots, these pack plenty of high-end features like a steel toe, Goodyear welt construction for durability, a steel shank for maximum support and stability when you’re standing all day long, and oil-resistant high-traction soles. A removable nylon sock liner helps prevent blisters and calluses, not to mention odor.