Ironworking probably sits as one of the most precarious professions out there and for good reason. From the risk of failing from great heights to contracting some type of inflammation on the joints to even facing death itself, it goes without saying that ironworking extremely hazardous.
From head to toe, the importance of taking proper measures to protect the wellbeing of your body in such environments is second to none. One such way to do this – that’s worth its weight in gold in our eyes – is through investing in a solid pair of ironworker boots.
Tailored specifically for the ironworker in mind, these boots will not only minimize the chances of you slipping but can also provide your feet with ample protection against debris, electricity, and even chronic illnesses.
Now picking the best possible boot out of the millions in the market can be tough but don’t worry. This is where our little list comes in. Down below we’ve selected a curated list of boots that we believe offer the best bang for your hard-earned buck!
Best Ironworker Boots
Timberland PRO Mens Boondock 6 Inch
Reinforced multiple times with both waterproofing and rubber toe protectors that’ll ward off the accidental knock or scratch, these abrasion-resistant shoes will easily weather both the long years to come on top of the harshest and meanest of working environments.
You’ll even find a uniquely textured underside on the Boondock’s sole which will prevent you from slipping on any wet surface – be it oil or water.
Now what really surprised us about the Boondocks is that though it looks rugged and encumbering, it actually feels welcomingly comfortable when slipped on.
This is probably because of its anti-fatigue properties that reduce the shock your feet suffer from a day spent on your toes to its appropriately placed support systems and soft padding within.
Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 8″ Moc Toe
Another premium boot for those willing to invest in their health while ensuring that they look good all day round, Thorogood’s Moc Toes is second to none.
Featuring a smooth, full-grain leather exterior, make no mistake – the Moc Toes aren’t just a pair of pretty lookers. Made specifically for the most demanding of workplaces, these shoes will more than keep you out of harm’s reach.
From total shock-resistant shoes (up to 18,000 volts of electricity) to a slip resistant outsole to even providing protection against heavy falling objects, what you pay in price you receive tenfold in protection here.
Best of all, despite being a sturdy leather shoe, you don’t have to worry about that nasty period of breaking in. The Moc Toes will feel like a second skin from the get-go!
Danner Men’s Quarry USA 8 Inch Wedge Work Boot
Another pure leather work boot that’ll be more than appropriate for the ironworker in mind is Danner’s Wedge Work Boot. With its full-grain exterior on the upper portion of the boot to a classy, thick Danner Wedge outsole, who says you can’t look stylish at work?
Now with a brand like Danner, you have to understand that they prioritize quality over quantity and it sure shows. This pair not only protects your feet from anything you might encounter at your factory, mill, or plant, but makes sure you’re comfortable all-day round.
Despite having a Gore-Tex liner, a hard Vibram sole and tall wedges, its soft yet solid leather composition means that wearing the Danner’s won’t ever feel like a burden even if you’re working for hours on end. Gone are the days where your feet suffers from nasty callouses and cuts.
Of course, the tradeoff unfortunately is a slightly less durable (aesthetically speaking) product, but by this you can rest easy knowing that it’ll only affect its overall appearance, not functionality.
Red Wing Heritage Men’s Moc 8″ Boot
Another all-American product made in the US out of the finest leather out available, Red Wing is a brand that’s known throughout the world for producing some of the best boots ever. Period.
Their Heritage boots are no exception to this trend. Extremely heavy duty and capable of withstanding the harshest of weather and nastiest of accidents, safety is the name of the game here (wish a splash of style of course).
With its welt construction and sturdy yet flexible rubber outsole coupled with a shock absorbing footbed, things rarely get as good as they are here. As if this all wasn’t enough, it even features hard nickel eyelets that add even more durability to an already durable product.
Do know however, that there is going to be some breaking-in required but in our experience, this shouldn’t take very long and won’t be too uncomfortable of an experience.
Timberland PRO Men’s 6″ Pit Boss Steel Toe Work Boot
When Timberland makes a boot, you can be sure that they’ll always set a new standard. The same of course, applies with their Pit Boss Steel Toe boots.
Offering that little added protection for those who want to go the extra mile in the form of a steel toe that totally exceeds ANSI safety standards. Now moving beyond its toe you’ll, even be able to pick from a diverse range of colors including classic brown, black, wheat, and nubuck so as to match the aesthetic you’re looking for.
Who doesn’t like a little bit of individualistic expression? Interestingly, the Pit Boss also features a unique suspension system that’ll reduce the tension your foot may feel, ultimately warding off fatigue and soreness 24/7.
And adding icing to an already appetizing cake, know that these boots are made out of 100% recycled and sustainable materials (including its packaging)!
Caterpillar Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot
Another solid pick that leaves virtually no room for buyer’s remorse is Caterpillars Second Shift. These hefty pairs of pure leather shoes successfully manage to combine both a comfortable fit along with extreme durability and protection.
Who says you have to give up comfort for the sake of protection? A pair like this will feel like a natural extension of your body even if you spend your whole day walking about. With its sturdy synthetic sole paired with a steel toe; Caterpillar is a brand recognized by many for good reason.
From working in the mines to construction sites and, the Second Shift will deliver and then some.
Carhartt Men’s 6 Inch Waterproof Wedge Soft Toe Work Boot
When it comes to Carhartt, safety is always going to be a focal point. Crafted from the ground up out of the finest materials along with excellent craftsmanship, a pair like this will easily outlast the long, demanding years to come on any ironworker’s calendar.
With FastDry technology that ensures things stay as dry as possible (to ward off any risks of infection or mold) while still ensuring that your feet stay fresh and dandy, comfort is pretty much a given here too.
Of course, in terms of safety, the Carhartt more than delivers on that end as well. From being able to withstand up to 18000 volts of electricity to warding away even the nasty bump or two, your feet will be in good hands here – no pun intended.
WOLVERINE Men’s Loader 8″ Soft Toe Wedge Work Boot
Built to deliver an excellent product that both promotes as much as comfort possible in a work boot, Wolverine’s Loader Wedge Work Boots will appeal to anyone who’s simply sick of wearing shoes that cause sores and blisters.
Designed to keep your as feet fatigue and stress-free as possible thanks to structural reinforcement in key pressure points around the boot, this welt-constructed pick will fit the unique contours of any foot almost as though it were custom made.
Its welt composition also lends it some unique characteristics including a light weight and sure-to-impress durability. Of course, with a boot like this that promotes comfort above all else, some sacrifices had to be made. You won’t find fancier features here by way of heat insulation and linings.
That said, if you’re looking for a no-nonsense boot that you won’t mind wearing for hours on end, you’ve found your match.
A Buyer’s Guide to the Best Ironworker Boots
If ever size mattered, it would be in a pair of ironworker boots. A good fitting boot means that not only will it feel way more comfortable, but it’ll also minimize the risk of you getting injured. By this, we mean that only a boot that fits well will be able to provide all the support its designed to provide.
Also, loose boots will cause your feet to shift around a lot and this can lead to both discomfort by way of blisters as well as increasing the likelihood of you losing your balance and falling down! It goes without saying that this is absolutely something that should be avoided while ironworking.
If you work in colder climates then you should already be aware of how important it is to keep your feet warm. Beyond providing simply comfort and warmth, frostbite is a very real risk that affects thousands every year and can easily be avoided by investing in a shoe that actually provides additional insulation.
Because you’ll probably be wearing your boots all day long while constantly moving around both damp and dry environments, the importance of waterproofing cannot be overstated.
By preventing nasty clumps of dirt and water from seeping into your boot, you’ll not only be able to move around with greater comfort but will also reduce the chances of catching some nasty infection or two!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I properly take care of my boots?
As ironworker boots are usually made out of 100% leather, the best way to maintain your boots is to take care of them as you would a pair of leather shoes.
This means that if they get wet, you should ensure they dry out in the air before storing them. It also means you should avoid exposing them to direct sunlight when not worn as this will totally bleach its color.
Applying some protective spray is also a great idea if you want to milk out a few extra months of lifespan from your boots and don’t forget to give it a nice brushing down after each day. Buildups of grime and dirt and dust can easily rob entire swathes of time from its overall lifespan!
How long can I expect my boots to last?
Much like any pair of shoe, there really isn’t a one size that’ll fit just about anyone. The answer to this common question really just boils down to each individual’s unique circumstances from how often they wear it to how rough they treat their boots to even how wet or dry their worksites are.
Throughout our time, we’ve seen boots last anywhere from months to years – just be sure to understand that your boots will definitely not last a full lifetime of ironworking and will need repairs and replacements along the way.
Can I wear these boots outside my workplace?
Absolutely. The boots we’ve reviewed all have a time and place even beyond the hustle and bustle of your workplace. Leather-constructed boots are an incredibly versatile item that’ll match just about any casual outfit.
Don’t believe us? Just slip on a pair of your favorite jeans and shirt and put on your boots before heading out.