Finding the right pair of work boots was easier. The Romans only had to choose from the two options of sandals: either with hobnails for excellent traction or without. Workers ten had to choose between buckles and laces early into the 1800s. Anatomical right and left work boots debuted a year later or thereabout. Rubber soles then became popular owing to the introduction of the Goodyear Welt construction system during the Second World War. After which steel toe caps were developed. Both the choices are features have been snowballing over the years since then.
Currently, there are different types of work boots best suited for different jobs. They are available in a range of sizes, widths, heights, materials, colors, resistance and types of toe protection.
Features of the Best Work Boots for Machine Shop
The safety toe, otherwise known as the steel toe cap has over the years been the standard in terms of toe protection since their introduction in the 1940s. Other types of toe protection have gained popularity since then including the composite toe cap made of fiberglass, Kevlar, plastic or carbon fiber. Each one of them comes with its own advantages. If you are looking for something to protect your feet and toes from cutting and punctures, then your best choice would be work boots with steel toe caps. However, they tend to conduct well which can be quite a drawback during winter.
Work boots with composite toe caps are usually lightweight and don’t conduct heat. However, they are relatively expensive compared to their steel and alloy toes counterparts. Some jobs would want their workers to only wear work boots with a specific type of toe protection that is approved by the American National Standards Institute.
In the olden days, leather boots were treated with wax or oil for water proofing. However, the treatment required reapplication as a form of maintenance but that didn’t fully lock water out. Leather still requires this kind of treatment even in the modern world. The best water proof boots are usually made with advanced synthetic membranes such as Gore-Tex. Remember, there’s a significant difference between water resistant and water proof work boots -the latter guarantees to keep your feet warm and dry in wet weather conditions even when you stand in water for long hours.
Insulated work boots usually feature a polyester layer or other types of polymers between the leather uppers and lining to help retain heat. The insulation is calibrated by weight, specifically in grams. The higher the amount of insulation in numbers, the warmer and the thicker the insulation and vice versa.
The best work boots for machine shop should have an electrical hazard protection feature. This help prevent the wearer from getting electrocuted. Work boots with the electrical hazard protection feature are usually tested and approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
Oil resistance has everything to do with the work boots upper construction. Leather is known to be oil resistance, however regular synthetic materials or threads incorporated when constructing the uppers can break down when it comes in contact with petroleum-based chemicals or liquids such as kerosene, diesel fuel and oil. Oil resistance work boots for machine shop usually use synthetic materials and threads that can withstand petroleum products.
The best work boots for machine shop with slip resistant outsoles are made of incredibly soft materials with better grip and excellent traction especially on wet and slippery surfaces. These boots also feature tread patterns with a sipping design to help draw the fluids away from the shoes.
What is the American Society for Testing and Materials – ASTM?
The American Society for Testing and Materials usually sets standards for different products on the market. When it comes to the best work boots for machine shop, ASTM F2413 does the same for performance criteria for shoes specially designed to ensure the feet and toes of the wearers are secure and well protected from hazards and external elements.
Hazards are classified in nine different categories represented by either one or two letter abbreviations. These are:
- C- Crushing or compression forces around the toes with four different classes – class 50 for both men and women and class 75 for both genders as well
- I – stands for the Impact on the feet and toes
- CD – Static or conductive electrical discharge hazards to avoid incidences of volatile materials ignition
- EH – Electrical shock resistance, toes and heel protection from reaching the ground
- CS: Chain saw, to provide cut resistance.
- Mt: Metatarsal impact, to protect the top of foot from impact.
- SD: Static dissipative properties, to reduce the accumulation of excess static electricity.
- PR: Puncture resistance, to protect soles from puncture.
- DI: Dielectric insulation, to provide insulation in the event of accidental contact with circuits or conductors.
How Did We Test the Best Work Boots for Machine Shop?
Our team of experts subjected all the best work boots for machine shop on our list to thorough evaluation and vetting. We explored what the market offers, went through customer reviews, interviewed the designers, manufacturers and product managers. We also used the experiences we had with some these styles and brands to narrow down the options when choosing the best work boots for machine shop.
We bought a few pairs of work boots for use in different work settings including raking leaves, lawn mowing, construction projects, cutting firewood, landscaping, snow blowing, cleaning gutters, working on your feet for long hours on a hard surface and loading and unloading trucks. Our team of experts evaluated each of the work boots on aesthetics, comfortability, durability, value and performance. Here’s a compilation of the feedback on the best work boots for machine shop.
Best Work Boots for Machine Shop
BUY ON AMAZON
- Don’t require any break-in period
- Super comfortable
- Have an exposed yellow lining that tends to catch dirt easily
Cat Footwear Excavator SuperLite Waterproof Work Boots have a number of great features but nothing comes close to its comfort level. They are lightweight and extremely comfortable even when they are new since they don’t require any break-in period.
These work boots feature composite toe caps for protection against falling objects and other external elements around the worksite. They are equally metal-free with no steel shank in the outsoles. These boots are also waterproof.
Cat Footwear Excavator SuperLite Waterproof Work Boots additionally feature cushioned insoles that provide superior comfort and ankle support. The contoured footbeds conform to the shape of your feet while the rebound foam gives these work boots an athletic and springy feel. The rubber outsoles have a better grip and excellent traction especially on hard and slippery surfaces which makes them one of the best work boots for machine shop.
Cat Footwear Excavator SuperLite Waterproof Work Boots feature abrasion resistant heel cups and rubber toe caps to help protect targeted areas more susceptible to wear and scuff. This helps increase the lifespan of the work boots. They meet the American Society for Testing and Materials set standards for electrical hazard protection, compression and impact resistance. The best thing about these work boots is that they are not only super comfortable but also true to size.
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- Super comfortable
- Require minimal to almost no break-in period
- Covered by the brand’s refurbishment program
Thorogood American Heritage 8-Inch Tobacco Plain Toe Work Boots are classic, ideal for work and extremely comfortable that they can double up as running shoes. Plus, they don’t require a break-in period. The full-grain tobacco oil-tanned leather upper is pliable and incredibly soft. What’s more, these work boots are true to size and have a perfect fit with heavy or md-weight socks. They are relatively tall and feature speed hooks for ease of wearing and taking them off.
Thorogood American Heritage 8-Inch Tobacco Plain Toe additionally feature buttery soft, slip resistant Maxwear outsoles that are quite comfortable even when standing on hard surfaces and floors. We tested the plain toe option but these work boots are also available in steel toe alternative in case you need a higher level of protection. You’ll love that these boots are fully serviceable after using them for a while. This is where the refurbishment program comes into play.
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- Don’t require any break-in period
- These work boots are waterproof
- Are not stylish, which means they might compromise your sense of fashion
Keen Utility Troy 6-Inch Composite Toe are also one of the best work boots for machine shop. They are medium-duty work boots owing to the anatomically shaped carbon fiber toe caps and waterproof uppers. This means that they are not an excellent choice for extreme conditions or heavy construction everyday use. If you spend long hours on your feet in your line of duty then these work boots are your best bet since they are super comfortable and lightweight.
Keen Utility Troy 6-Inch Composite Toe Work Boots are extremely comfortable right from the start since they don’t require any break-in period. Plus, they have no pressure points which makes them ideal for everyday wear. These work boots are true to size and get comfier with time. They additionally feature rubber caps at the front around the toe area that play a significant role when it comes to protection. The brand also used rubber material on the forefoot to create a hinge around where leather tends to crack over time due to constant bending.
Keen Utility Troy 6-Inch Composite Toe Work Boots additionally feature a waterproof breathable lining. This feature is quite important as it helps keep your feet dry and comfortable throughout the day especially when the temperatures run high. What’s more, these work boots meet a couple of set standards approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials including impact, electrical hazard protection and oil, abrasion and slip resistant standards.
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- Require minimal break-in period
- They are regular work boots made of leather
- Are slightly uncomfortable when used for driving
Carolina Elm Plain Toe 8-Inch Work Boots are traditional all leather loggers. These work boots are a bit stiff right from the box but tend to relax over time since they require minimal break-in period. The lace up system makes them easy and convenient to wear and take off. They feature a thin webbing and top padded collar for superior comfort and support all day long. These work boots are true to size and provide ultimate arch support for those with average feet.
Carolina Elm Plain Toe Work Boots are quite easy to lace up and can resist getting bent and caught. However, the round speed hooks look forged as opposed to stamped from a flat steel metal. These work boots feature a lightweight waterproof lining that helps keep your feet dry and comfortable throughout the day especially on hot and humid conditions. These work boots are slightly tall which makes then uncomfortable when driving owing to the boot collar height.
Carolina Elm Plain Toe Work Boots meet a few safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials including electrical hazard protection and slip and oil resistance.
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- Extremely comfortable and flexible
- Have great outsoles with excellent traction especially on slippery surfaces
- Not true to size as they tend to run long and narrow
Danner Acadia Work Boots are the best military style work boots on the market thanks to their rugged feature. These work boots feature 8mm Vibram outsoles and a fiberglass shank to provide more stability and torsional rigidity. The outsoles make these work boots stable enough ideal for everyday wear. They have composite toe caps that makes them lightweight without compromising on their comfort level. The composite toe caps help protect your feet and toes from heavy falling objects and other external elements laying around the worksite.
Danner Acadia Work Boots additionally feature lugged outsoles with better grip and excellent traction on slippery surfaces, wet rocks, oil-slicked asphalt and dirt inclines. These work boots are not only waterproof but also remain breathable even when wet which makes them the best work boots for machine shop. These work boots are equally stylish and more ergonomic than other all leather options on the market. You can comfortably run while wearing these work boots although there’s a provision for a lightweight alternative.
Danner Acadia Work Boots are not true to size as they tend to run long and narrow. Those with wider feet might want to explore the EE width or try sizing down with an inch or more. These work boots require minimal break-in period although the top collar creates areas where it typically overlaps the boot’s tongue.
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- Traditionally styled
- Can leak since they are not properly stitched
If you prefer typical aesthetics, then the Carhartt 6-Inch Moc-Toe Work Boots are your best bet. Also, they have a perfect fit ideal for everyday wear. These work boots feature a lightly padded lining to help keep the feet dry and comfortable throughout the day on hot and humid conditions. The oil-tanned leather uppers, on the other hand, guarantee long-lasting durability and endurance. In addition, the lining features a waterproof membrane to keep your feet and toes dry even when standing or stepping in water for an extended period.
However, the stitching around the toes of these Moc-Toe boots has not been done properly as it tends leak. This therefore means that they are not ideal for landscapers who spend long hours on wet grass. The best thing about these work boots is that they have the electrical hazard protection feature to protect you from getting electrocuted.
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- Have incredibly soft and springy insoles and outsoles
- Have a sturdy lace-up system with speed hooks for ease of wearing and taking them off
- The forefoot outsoles are not flexible enough
Timberland Pro Work Summit 6-Inch Composite Toe Work Boots uppers comprises of different materials and levels of padding that makes them flexible. Plus, you’ll love the comfort level and rugged feel of these work boots. The designer paid attention to the flex theme when it came to the outsoles and insoles specially designed to re-energize the feet and help absorb shock. The outsoles are equally soft although this can compromise support as they tend to get a bit twisty on uneven floors or surfaces.
Timberland Pro Work Summit 6-Inch Composite Toe Work Boots feature a fiberglass shank for more structural support, stability and torsional rigidity. The thermoplastic urethane protects the feet on abrasive areas while the hard lip on the heel area facilitates pushing them over using the other foot. These work boots additionally feature waterproof lining to help keep your feet dry and comfortable all day long especially when the temperatures run high.
Timberland Pro Work Summit 6-Inch Composite Toe Work Boots are extremely comfortable, ideal for everyday wear. Plus, they are one of the best work boots for machine shop. These boots also meet different American Society for Testing and Materials standards including compression and impact.
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- Provide excellent support
- Easy and convenient to wear and take off
- Have a tongue webbing that requires some time to break-in
Wolverine Hellcat Ultra Spring Work Boots have smooth and seamless toe caps with slightly thick chunky outsoles. They almost resemble traditional hiking boots. These work boots are super comfortable and supportive even on rocky and uneven surfaces. They are not only comfortable but also true to size, ideal for everyday use especially during summer.
Wolverine Hellcat Ultra Spring Work Boots have a tongue webbing that require sometime to break-in. These work boots are reasonably lightweight with a nylon shank and carbon fiber toe caps for protection and safety. The waterproof breathable lining helps keep your feet dry and comfortable on hot and humid conditions. The lugged outsoles have better grip and excellent traction which means that wearers can go about their duties without any worries of slipping or falling on slippery surfaces.
Wolverine Hellcat Ultra Spring Work Boots meet the set standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials when it comes to electrical hazard protection, compression and impact resistance.
BUY ON BRUNTWORKWEAR
- Have abrasion resistant toe caps
- Feature sturdy and durable lacing speed hooks
- Can only be bought online
Brunt the Perkins Work Boots are the best work boots for machine shop since they are durable and have a number of great protective features. These work boots feature safety toe caps to help keep your feet and toes protected and secure from heavy falling objects and other external elements around the worksite. They are equally comfortable since they don’t require a break-in period. However, the seams on the tongues tend to create pressure points on targeted areas when you lace them up. The best thing about these work boots is that they come with a 30-day return policy without any questions. But the tongue effortlessly breaks-in after a while.
Brunt the Perkins Work Boots additionally features lightly padded lining that’s waterproof. It helps keep your feet dry and comfortable throughout the day especially on hot and humid conditions. The lacing hooks are sturdy and make wearing and taking off these work boots seamless. Plus, the boots meet all the set standards by the American Society for Testing and Materials including electrical hazard protection, compression and impact resistance.
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- Are classy in terms of looks
- Are true to size
- Not ideal for heavy construction jobs
Keen Pittsburgh Work Boots feature waterproof uppers and asymmetrical anatomically shaped steel to inserts to protect your feet and toes from heavy falling objects. These medium-duty work boots are super comfortable making them ideal for surveying, landscape maintenance and other related works that involve being on your feet for long hours. They are true to size and conform to the shape of your feet seamlessly to provide superior support and all-day comfort.
Keen Pittsburgh Work Boots have a classy appearance. Plus, they meet the American Society for Testing and Materials set safety standards.
The above are the best work boots for machine shop.