If you work on a construction site or in another dangerous working environment, the chances are you have to wear special work boots every day. Work boots are just as important as all the other safety equipment you need to wear, but often these work boots can be clumpy and uncomfortable, weighing you down throughout the day and making your feet hurt.
However, there are lightweight work boot options out there, as you will discover below. We have created a buying guide of everything you need to know about the best lightweight work boots and included some of our top picks, so you can go to work with a spring in your step and stay pain-free all day.
The Toe Construction Of Lightweight Work Boots
There are four main different toe constructions in work boots. The toe is one of the most vulnerable parts of the foot because it protrudes the rest of the foot and is more prone to injury. This is why a work boot designed specially to protect the toes are so important.
Steel toes are the most common in work boots because they are the most durable and most protective. However, they are not always the most lightweight boots. Steel is also conductive to heat so it may not be the best option in an extremely hot or cold working environment.
Composite toes are similar to steel toes but are much lighter. They are often made of plastic, Kevlar or carbon fiber. Because they are metal free, they are great at avoiding electrical accidents.
Alloy toes are thicker than steel toes but weigh half as much. Therefore, they are great for those that need that protection but need the shoes to be light and flexible too.
Soft toe boots are really only advised in workplaces where there aren’t as many hazards, or work places where you may need to focus your attention on other aspects of the shoe, such as a boot with good traction. These soft toe boots are great for situations where there is no risk of your toes being bumped or hurt.
The Advantages Of Lightweight Work Boots
There are a number of advantages to lightweight work boots. Take a look at some of the top reasons you will benefit from them below:
Less Weight On Feet
One of the main reasons you are going to be purchasing a lightweight boot is because they don’t put a lot of extra weight on your foot during the day, ensuring your feet don’t get tired and you don’t feel weighed down for hours. Instead of being bulky and heavy, these boots stay light but still offer the protection you need.
Your safety at work is very important and a work boot aids this. With their special construction you can be sure your feet and ankles are protected from debris or falling items. Work boots also have great traction on the bottom fo them, ensuring you don’t slip and fall on uneven terrain. The shoes are durable too, so you can stay protected for longer.
There is no point in wearing a shoe all day that is going to be uncomfortable. A lightweight boot will give you the comfort you need because it won’t be weighing you down. These boots also often have extra cushioning or foam in the midsole to add not just comfort but also support, so no extra pressure is put on your feet, ankles or knees.
Grip And Breathability
You are going to need a good grip on your shoe if you’re working outside on construction sites and a good pair of work boots offer this. This way, you will be less likely to slip and fall. Work boots often have breathable properties built-in to the shoe too, perfect at keeping the temperature of the shoe regulated so your foot doesn’t get too hot, as well as wicking away moisture. Many of the work boots out on the market today also have waterproofing properties to ensure your foot stays dry, too.
What To Look For In Lightweight Work Boots
There are a few things to look for in your work boots to ensure they are going to be right for you.
Material And Construction
The material and construction of the boot are going to affect how durable the boot is going to be. The misconception is that a lightweight boot is not durable, but this is not true. Both leather and synthetic materials are used for work boots, which often come with added waterproofing properties to keep your feet dry. The way the boot is constructed also affects it’s durability because it helps to determine it’s flexibility, sturdiness and performance. The two common ways boots are constructed are:
1. Cement Construction
A cement construction involves sticking the upper of the shoe to the sole with a special type of adhesive. It is the cheapest method but it has a lot of advantages, including keeping the weight low but adding to the flexibility and the comfort of the boot. It also helps the shoe to mold to the shape of the foot and provides shock-absorbent technologies.
2. Goodyear Welt Construction
This is the most convenient and preferred method because it involves stitching a welt, made of plastic, leather, rubber or other materials to both the upper of the boot and the sole. Then the welt is attached to the outsole with a shoe cement or stitching and, thus, the whole shoe is anchored together. This makes for a very sturdy and durable construction.
We touched on this above. You want the boots you wear to be comfortable. The chances are you are going to be in them for hours every day, standing on your feet and walking around, so they need to have a good amount of both comfort and support available. You should focus on both the upper and the inside lining of the shoe to ensure it is not going to give you any blisters. The midsole should also be cushioned to add comfort, while absorbing the shock of your foot hitting the ground so it doesn’t travel through your ankle or knees.
The place you work will have an effect on the type of work boot you are going to buy. If you work on a construction site where sharp objects are common, you must take this into consideration because you may want to get a boot with steel toes to protect your feet. If you work on an oil site where the floor is often slippery, you must also take this into consideration. You want your boot to be perfect for your job, giving you the right amount of protection and all the features you need. There are a range of different types of lightweight boots out there for every type of job.
The Best Lightweight Work Boots Reviewed
These soft toe “Ultra Dry” boots from EVER BOOTS are built to ensure your feet stay dry no mater how wet it is. With a waterproof full grain leather upper, the boot uses a Seal-Direct Attached Construction that forms a superior, weatherproof bond to the uppers. The waterproof membrane provides an impenetrable barrier while still being breathable enough to allow any moisture from your foot to escape. The tread pattern on this boot provides superior traction and shock absorbing qualities on the heel and arch of your foot for arch support and a durable polyurethane midsole helps battle foot fatigue to keep your feet comfortable all-day long.
The Carhartt Men’s CMX4023 boots are another pair of soft toe work boots. These boots have a tough leather construction yet an athletic fit, so you can wear them both to work and on the weekends. The leather upper comes in two different colors and gives not only an ideal fit but also long-lasting wear, while a Carhartt Force® FastDry® technology lining wicks away sweat for comfort.
There is also a polyurethane and OrtholiteTM insole that helps to provide comfortable support and reduces foot fatigue. Even better, the CMEVA midsole offers excellent shock absorption and support. The cement construction gives lightweight comfort and a durable rubber outsole gives great traction.
The Irish Setter Men’s 6″ 83605 lightweight work boots are a 6″ lace-up work boots with USA- made full grain leather married to a rubber-EVA outsole. The outsole is heat-resistant for protection in high heat environments, up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit, while also meeting safety standards for electrical hazards around the work place. The leather upper ensures not only that the boot is lightweight and comfortable, but also that it is durable and fits the foot correctly. They have a soft toe construction that gives you just the right amount of support in less-hazardous work places.
The Timberland White Ledge Men’s Boots have a premium full-grain waterproof leather upper, a seam-sealed waterproof construction, and rustproof speed lace hardware with hooks at top for secure lacing and a great fit. With a rubber sole, these boots offer excellent traction for a number of different terrains ensuring no slipping, and a dual-density EVA footbed gives both cushioning and support underfoot so your feet stay comfortable all day long. With a reinforced leather toe and a padded collar, these boots keep your feet protected and secure, away from any hazards that could cause injury. They come in five different colors.
With a durable synthetic leather and updated textile upper, the Under Armour Men’s Valsetz RTS 1.5 boot is very lightweight. There is a TPU toe cap for extra protection from falling objects and other hazards and a welded PU film surrounds the perimeter of the boot for abrasion resistance, ensuring the boot is durable while also keeping your foot safe.
The UA ClutchFit ankle support system in these boots contours and provides supports where you need it most and there is also an ultralight Micro G EVA midsole for excellent comfort all day long. The rubber sole offers high traction for a number of different terrains. Even better, there is a medial side zipper for easily getting the boot on and taking it off again.
With a composite safety toe, these Reebok Work Men’s Rapid Response tall boots offer you full protection right up to the middle of your calf. The leather and ballistic nylon upper is resilient enough for rugged terrain and urban landscapes, while an aggressive rubber outsole offers you maximum grip on a number of different surfaces to provide safety.
There is an EVA midsole, an embedded Shock Eliminator heel cushion, and a Foot Force F2A footbed that all work together to provide all-day cushioning and comfort, while still feeling lightweight on your feet. These boots offer electrical hazard safety protection too. Available in three different colors, these boots have a side zip to help you easily get them on and take them off.
The Wolverine Men’s Overpass 6” waterproof boots are another pair of work shoes with a composite toe. Ensuring you are protected but the boots are lightweight on your feet, these shoes are made with a Welt construction that is not only durable but also moves with you by bending and flexing at essential points. They are made with premium water resistant leather, that still remains breathable, and have a slip, oil, water, abrasion and chemical-resistant ribber outsole for added protection on the job site. There is also a removable Ortholite cushioned footbed for all-day comfort.
The Danner Men’s Tachyon 8 Inch Coyote Military and Tactical Boot has a 100% leather and nylon upper that protects not just your foot and your ankle but also the lower part of your leg. The synthetic material ensures that this boot is lightweight, yet it does not compromise on comfort or performance. Inside, there is a 3-layer comfort system that works together with the lacing design to create a snug, comfortable fit. The outsole is made from rubber for superior abrasion resistance and traction, too. These boots have a soft toe and give you just the right amount of protection in non-hazardous environments.
The Timberland PRO Men’s 6″ Linden work boot has an alloy toe that give you superior protection while at work but does not make the boot heavy on your foot. Made with a cement construction for flexibility and a reduced break-in time, the upper is made from premium Raptek microfiber for extreme durability and protection.
The dual-density midsole gives underfoot comfort and durability and added anti-fatigue technology absorbs shock and returns energy to key zones of the foot. There is also an all-weather thermoplastic urethane outsole that features an abrasion, slip and oil-resistant sole for perfect traction. Furthermore, the mesh lining has an antimicrobial treatment included for odor control all day.
Made with genuine nubuck leather, the Condor Idaho Men’s 6″ work boots have long-lasting durability and will stay comfortable on your feet with the utilization of the ultra cushioning polyurethane insole and midsole. The thermoplastic polyurethane outsole is oil, slip and abrasion resistant and flex tested, too, helping you get a good grip on the ground and reducing your chances of slipping.
For further durability, the outsole of this shoe is made using a sole construction called AM-TECH Direct Soling Technology, which means the outsole binds directly to the upper without the use of glue, creating an inseparable bond. The steel toe will protect you from an impact of up to 75 foot-pounds. These boots come in a wide fit and are available in three different colors.
The Skechers for Work Men’s Clan work boots have a 100% suede upper. With a composite toe, your foot is protected in these boots from any hazardous objects or falling objects. Because there is no leather in these boots, not only are they lightweight but their break-in time is also very short, ensuring you get comfort right away.
This shoe features a Gusset tongue and padded collar, as well as a supportive, shock-absorbing midsole and a removable cushioned insole, offering support and extra comfort all day long. This shoe is also waterproof, ensuring your foot stays dry. The sole offers you great traction for a number of different terrains, too. These boots come in three different colors.
The Caterpillar Men’s Threshold work boots have a 100% leather upper that offers you breathable protection and comfort, while also keeping the boot durable and abrasion resistant. Another steel toe boot, these shoes ensure your feet and toes are safe from any objects that could cause harm. These boots are also waterproof, keeping your feet dry no matter what the weather is doing.
There is a flexible ERGO midsole inside that is 30% lighter and more shock absorbing than standard EVA, giving you ultimate comfort and support all day. The slip-resistant outsole gives excellent grip on low traction surfaces and also offers electrical hazard protection. These boots come in two colors.
Lightweight work boots are a must for those who work long hours on dangerous construction sites. With different types of toe protection, you can be sure that you are safe while working but you don’t need to worry about being uncomfortable or feeling weighed down throughout the day. With the boots in the list above we know you can be sure you are protected from all hazards while remaining pain-free.