The Best Work Shoes: A Blend of Comfort, Safety and Style

Does your work demand you to stand, walk or be in harsh environment most of the time? If so, you need the best work shoes to protect your feet and not put too much strain on them.

It can be difficult to find the best work shoes for men and the best work shoes for women that combine comfort, safety, durability and style that is best fitted for your job. To make the search easier for you, we have compiled and reviewed the shoes you may need whether you work in the construction, retail, hospitality or medical fields.

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Reviews and Comparisons of the Best Work Shoes

Best Work Shoes for Men

A combination of comfort and safety in extreme work environments is what the Timberland 6” Steel Toe Boots provides.

If you are budget conscious but need a durable, comfortable and stylish boots for a tough workplace, the Caterpillar Steel Toe Work Boot may be what you need.

The Thorogood 6” Toe Boot has been designed to meet the demands of rugged industrial workers with a combination of comfort, safety and style.

Timberland 6" Steel-Toe Boot

Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6

Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss 6″ Steel-Toe Boot

Caterpillar Steel Toe Work Boot

Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot

Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot

Thorogood 6" Safety Toe Boot

Thorogood Men's American Heritage 6

Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6″ Safety Toe Boot

Material

Nubuck Leather

Full grain leather

Oil tanned leather

Toe

Steel Toe

+ The round toe allows for more toe room

+ Steel toes are ASTM-approved

+ steel toe boots that are ASTM rated

Protection / Safety

Slip, abrasion, oil resistant

+ Rubber sole is slip / oil resistant

+ Abrasion resistant

+ Heel arc is safe for ladders

+ With electrical hazard rating

+ Slip resistant

+ Abrasion resistant

+ Shock absorption

Comfort

+ Roomier toe

+ Soft inside sock liner

+ Climasphere insoles keep inside of shoes cool and dry

+ Nylon mesh linings for better air circulation in the feet

+ Dri-Lex fabric liningfor sweat and moisture resistance

+ Insole, midsole, and outsolehave enough cushions

Break-in Time

Long

Long

Short

Best Uses

+ Hard labor worksite

+ Electrical hazard worksite

+ Concrete walking and standing

+ Standing all day

+ All-around work shoes

+ Everyday Boots

+ Slip prone worksite

+ Construction / Industrial worksite

+ Rugged outdoor environment

Best Work Shoes for Women

The slip-on designed Sketchers Sure Track Slip Resistant Shoes comes with leather exteriors, cushioned interiors for utmost comfort and rubber soles for slip resistance.

The Dansko Professional Mule combines arch support, cushioning and traction making it an ideal shoe for everyone who needs to be on their feet the entire day.

The lightweight, odor resistant and easy to clean Crocs Unisex Clogs is perfect to use for long hours in the kitchen

Sketchers Sure Track Slip Resistant Shoe

Skechers for Work Women's Sure Track Slip Resistant Shoe

Skechers for Work Women’s Sure Track Slip Resistant Shoe

Dansko Professional

Dansko Women's Professional Mule

Dansko Women’s Professional Mule

Crocs Unisex Bistro Clog

Crocs Unisex Bistro Clog

Crocs Unisex Bistro Clog

Material

Leather

Leather

Molded EVA

Design

Slip-on

Slip-on

Protection / Safety

Non-Slip sole

Shock absorption

+ Non-skid traction

+ Slip resistant

+ Enclosed toe design

+ Thick metatarsal

+ Lightweight

Comfort

+ Memory foam insoles

+ Outer shell allows easy passage of air

+ Arch support

+ PU foam allows feet to breath

+ Rocker bottom lessens fatigue

+ Foot bed is contoured

Best Uses

+ Healthcare Professional

+ Waitress

+ Standing all day

+ Long Days on your feetNurses

+ Foodservice Industry

+ Healthcare workers

+ Hospitality Industry

Reviews of the Best Work Shoes

Top 3 Best Work Shoes for Men


Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6

Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss 6″ Steel-Toe Boot – Source: amazon.com

Quality

Price

Our rating

Comfort

It comes with a nylon shock diffusion plate for maximum resistance against deformity. The fabric lining of the boots is made of Cambrelle making it abrasion resistant for longevity and keeping moisture away from your feet.

The 24/7 comfort suspension system adds an extra layer of cushion to support your arches to lessen foot fatigue when you need to be on your the entire day. The detachable sock liner and cushioned collar adds more cushioning for added comfort to your feet.

Safety

The steel toe of this boots has complied with the requirements of the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM F2413-05) for the safety of toe cap footwear. This boots also comes with a large steel toe box.

This boots has rubber outsoles that have enough grip making it oil, abrasion and slip resistant. The soles also help ground your feet for protection against electrical hazards. The rubber soles are also heat resistant which means it will not break down even when used in extreme heat environment.

Durability

This 6” Steel toe boots is made Nubuck leather, a material similar to suede but tougher, more durable and more resistance to wear and tear. Its midsole is made of polyurethane material for utmost durability and longevity because it does not flatten over time thus you will not lose your balance.

Things We Liked:

  • Extremely safe
  • Very comfortable
  • Reduces fatigue on the feet

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • Not waterproof
  • Takes long to break-in
  • Eyelets are not durable.

Some users of this boots say the insoles feel like memory foam. Some also say they did not have to break-in the boots as it fit perfectly out of the box. Most of the users say the boots it is a great fit, extremely comfortable and stylish.


Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot -Source: amazon.com

Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot -Source: amazon.com

Quality

Price

Our rating

Comfort

It comes with a well-contoured although rather thin insole and soft inner lining that will keep your feet comfortable even when you need to stand for long hours. Its nylon mesh type internal lining is moisture wicking keeping your feet always dry.

This boots features a Climasphere internal sock liner that keeps your feet cool during hot temperatures and warm during cold temperatures. The round steel toe makes the boots breathable and comfortable.

Safety

The rubber outsole is slip and oil resistant with a well-placed heel that makes climbing ladders extremely safe. This boots is also electrical hazard resistant reducing the possibility of an electric shock when soles are exposed to live wires.It is also comes with an ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75 safety certification.

Durability

This boots which has been available for over a decade but continuous to be one of the most popular work boots in the Caterpillar brand is made of full grain leather.

The outsole comes with a Goodyear welt construction (single-stitched) making the boots extremely durable even when used in the toughest conditions.

Things We Liked:

  • Durable for harsh working environment
  • Built to last considering its budget cost
  • Eyelets are easy to pull on and off
  • All around and everyday boots

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • Not waterproof
  • Long break-in period
  • Heavy
  • Additional insoles are not breathable

Most users say, considering its price, it is a good quality boots. A user said that after 16 months his boots is still serving him greatly. One user said though that after 4 months the sole started to detach from the leather.


Thorogood Men's American Heritage 6

Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6″ Safety Toe Boot – Source: amazon.com

Quality

Price

Our rating

Comfort

This boots boasts of a short break-in time and is comfortable even when worn in the toughest environments. The boot’s insole is of Poron shock absorbing technology for utmost comfort and the rubber midsole and outsole have enough cushions for a comfortable feel. The soles are shock absorbent and a padded shaft provides extra comfort.

The shank is lightweight and made of fiberglass for proper feet support. The Dri-Lex fabric lining is moisture –wicking preventing the feet sweating. The boot also adjusts to cold and humid temperature changes.

Safety

The steel toe of this boot conforms to the ASTM Electric Hazard rating of F2413-05 M/I/75/C/75. The steel toe also meets safety standards. The soles are made of sturdy dual density polyurethane making the boot oil and slip resistant.

Durability

This boots is made of oil tanned leather. The sole attaches to the boot through the Goodyear welt construction design for durability.

Things We Liked:

  • Durable soles with Goodyear Welt construction
  • Foot-bed is shock resistant and comfortable
  • Comfortable sole made of polyurethane
  • Front of the boots features superior resistance against abrasion
  • Remains comfortable despite extended use

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • Not waterproof
  • Steel toe cap is a bit tight
  • Lining on the cap is not too comfortable
  • Slightly heavy
  • A bit overpriced

Most users say this is a durable boot that comes with a decent price. A couple of users though say that although it is durable, it is a bit heavy.

Top 3 Best Work Shoes for Women


Skechers for Work Women's Sure Track Slip Resistant Shoe -Source: amazon.com

Skechers for Work Women’s Sure Track Slip Resistant Shoe -Source: amazon.com

Quality

Price

Our rating

Comfort

This slip on designed work shoes comes with a fabric lining that is soft keeping your feet comfortable and warm. The front part of the shoe is supper wide so your feet remain comfortable even when shoes is worn for extended periods. Its flexsole is padded and shock absorbent so the feet does not receive too much pressure.

This shoes cradles the feet and the insole is made of the memory foam making it comfortable even when used for long periods.

Safety

The rubber sole is slip and oil resistant. The sole complies with the ASTM F1677-96 Mark II for wet and oily surfaces. The design is also electrical hazard free (ASTM F2412-05).

Durability

This shoes features an upper finish made of 100% leather making it both durable and aesthetically attractive. Rubber soles are extremely durable ensuring long months of continuous use and torture.

Things We Liked:

  • Easy to put on and take off slip on design
  • Slip and oil resistant
  • Durable
  • Comfortable fit.

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • Extra wide front requires women with smaller feet to have extra insoles

Most users say they wear this work shoes for extended times and their feet has never hurt. A lot of users say the sizes are rather small and you should order a size bigger. A good number of users say they comfortable and durable.


Dansko Women's Professional Mule -Source: amazon.com

Dansko Women’s Professional Mule -Source: amazon.com

Quality

Price

Our rating

Comfort

Superior cushioning, traction and superb arch support makes this work shoes perfect for everyone who needs to be walking and standing all day. The footbed with PU foam allows your feet to breathe and remain cool at all times.

The rocker bottom ensures your feet remains fatigue free. The instep collar is padded makes the shoes securely fit on your feet without any uncomfortable rubbing. The synthetic heel and sole adds stability and makes sure the shoes has the right traction.

Safety

The toe box is reinforced to provide protection to your feet.

Durability

The shoe is made from top grade leather for durability and longevity.

Things We Liked:

  • Superior padding, cushioning and support for utmost comfort
  • The feet can breathe even with the cushion all over.
  • Available in a variety of styles

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • Long break-in period

Most users say this shoes fits perfectly. Most users are also crazy of the various styles available. A lot of users also said they regretted waited long before ordering this shoe.


Crocs Unisex Bistro Clog - Source: amazon.com

Crocs Unisex Bistro Clog – Source: amazon.com

Quality

Price

Our rating

Comfort

This probably is the best kitchen work shoes. This shoe comes with a footbed contoured for maximum comfort. The footbed is also super soft and roomy so you reduce fatigue in your feet and back. Cushioning is provided by the Croslite™ material for comfort even when standing the whole day.

Safety

The heel strap is made from Croslite™ material to ensure a secure fit. The Crocs Lock technology (with ASTM standards certification) ensures the shoe is slip and traction resistant on water, soap oil and other slippery substances. The enclosed shoe design and thick metatarsal area protect your feet from any accidental spills in the kitchen.

Durability

This lightweight shoes is made of durable molded EVA rubber. The Croslite™ material design ensures the durable of the shoe.

Things We Liked:

  • Slip-on design
  • Easy to clean
  • Reduces feet fatigue
  • Budget kitchen shoes

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • No holes for ventilation
  • No ankle support

A user says the shoe is great in the kitchen and she will continue to order it every 9 months but she hates it because it is ugly. A lot of users say this shoe is comfortable, has a nice fit and is easy on the budget. Some say that the non-slip falls short of expectation.

Choosing the Best Work Shoes

The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists says that even if you are just standing at work, your feet get a lot of strain. It is therefore important that you ensure you are wearing the right pair of shoes for your comfort and safety.

Work Related Injuries

Work related foot injuries can be classified as:

  • Injuries due to sprains, crushing, punctures and lacerations
  • Injuries due to slips and falls.

When choosing the best work shoes for men and the best work shoes for women comfort, safety and durability are the most important factors to consider. The work shoes needs to suit the different types of working conditions.

Comfortable Work Shoes

Uncomfortable work shoes may cause pain and foot fatigue. Comfortable work shoes should have these features:

  • Straight inner shoe covering the entire foot.
  • Firm grip of heel and shoe.
  • The toes should be able to move freely – wide toe box.
  • Instep fastening to keep feet in place- shoe laces or Velcro strap
  • Insoles should be shock-absorbent.
  • Good arch support

Safe Work Shoes

Occupational hazards such as slips, falls and electric shock should be eliminated by having a safe workplace. Protective equipment and footwear are simply to minimize worker exposure to such hazards.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that work shoes should conform to the Foot Protection Standards: Standard Test Methods for Foot Protection (ASTM F2412-11) and Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective (Safety) Toe Cap Footwear (ASTM F 2413-11).

The F2413-11enumerates the requirements of protective footwear as follows. The footwear should include a label of the requirements met. Checking the label of the work shoes to check on requirements met should be part of the buying decision.

  • Impact resistance for toe area
  • Compression resistance for toe area
  • Metatarsal resistance for a specific area
  • Electrical hazard resistance
  • Static dissipative properties
  • Puncture resistance properties of footwear’s bottom

These work shoe features do not have standards to be met but they should also be considered when looking into protection features:

  • Non-slip soles
  • Adoptability to cold and humid environments
  • Adoptability to wet environments.
  • Heat resistant soles

A well-protected feet in the work place will make you more confident to perform your tasks which in turn will make you more productive.

Durable Work Shoes

The average lifespan of the best work shoes are between 6 to 12 months. These shoes are subjected to daily torture and it is important that you take a close look on the following features.

  • Material of the exterior part of the shoes.
  • Material of the insoles, midsoles and outsoles
  • Grip of the heel on the shoe.
  • Stitching construction

Durable work shoes will provide you with the comfort and protection you need. Can you imagine your work shoes giving way in the middle of your shift?

Conclusion

Choosing the best work shoes is a critical decision. This is one time when style takes the backseat and comfort, safety and durability are the major considerations.

We have chosen the Caterpillar Steel Toe Work Boot best work shoes for men. This work shoe has been in the market for over a decade but customers are still opting to purchase them over the new ones. We like the fact that it is durable despite its budget size. It is comfortable and comes with safety features that can withstand tough work environments.

For the best work shoes for women we have opted for the Dansko Professional Mule. While style should take the backseat, this clogs come in a variety of designs. Comfort, safety and durability combined with style makes this work shoe a good option.

Further reading : The Complete Guide to Treating & Preventing Sweaty Smelly Feet and Foot Odor – 2017 Edition (And 35 Best Home Remedies for Eliminating Stinky Feet)

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Megan Ann
 

I’m Megan Ann, mama to 2 and wife to James F. Core. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. In this blog, I try to write useful and informative articles to help you as much as I can with my knowledge.

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