7 Best Work boots for heavy equipment operators in 2022

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As a heavy-equipment operator or a construction worker, you might have to go through a lot. Equipping yourself with the right kind of gear is, therefore, necessary to ease the hard works that you do every day.

A convenient work shoe is such an item that can save you from permanent injury and pain.

A pair of work boots with a water repellent system and a  full-grain leather construction can bring forth comfort and safety simultaneously.

That is why I am here to introduce you to the seven best work boots you can try this year as a heavy-equipment operator or a construction worker.

As a bonus point, I will also be sharing my opinion that might help you in choosing a better work boot for your given purpose.

Best Work boots for heavy equipment operators

Advantages of using heavy equipment work boots

heavy equipment operator boots

Heavy equipment work boots are here to reduce the chances of feet injuries in construction sites. Compared to normal boots, these boots are specialized for heavy equipment operators. You may love to know the advantages of using these boots.

  1. Protects the user from slippery surfaces.
  2. It keeps the wearer safe from electrical hazards.
  3. Perfect safety measure from nails or flammable objects.
  4. The outsoles are oil and abrasion-resistant.
  5. Repels the water to keep the feet dry.
  6. Provides comfortable cushioning for a long time.
  7. Protects the toes with the toe cap.
  8. Most of these boots come to meet ASTM safety standards.

Indeed, these boots are worth using on construction sites. You can easily meet hazardous objects in such situations. And you never know when these objects can hurt you and cause severe injuries.

The right way to prevent yourself and your feet from these unwanted injuries is by putting on a pair of work boots. It can prevent you from slipping on oily or slippery surfaces. Also, the water repellent design will keep the feet dry for a long time.

How to choose the right work boots as an heavy-equipment operator?

The right way to choose work boots for heavy equipment is by knowing the kind of safety it provides. In other words, the shoes must come to ensure the basic safety features for construction sites.

Here are the things you need to consider before buying these boots. If you don't want to waste the money in vain, then don't skip these things.

  1. Waterproof, full-grain, 100% leather outer surface.
  2. Goodyear welt construction is always preferable.
  3. Electric hazard, slip and abrasion-resistant rubber outsole.
  4. Cushioned insole with EVA midsole.
  5. Steel or nylon shank for arch support.
  6. Steel toe cap to protect the toes.
  7. Adequate insulation for warmth and breathability.

best work boots for heavy equipment operator

Safety is what you need to ensure first before moving onto any construction site. Wearing the right pair of work boots is one of the most important parts of safety. These can protect the feet, toe and ensure proper arch support throughout the working hours.

But most buyers don't know which one to buy and which one not to. Therefore, we are here to suggest to you the top boots that can prove handy in construction sites. Without making a further delay, let's break into the product discussions.

1. Caterpillar Men's Diagnostic Waterproof Steel-Toe Work Boot

Key specifications

Brand

Cat Footwear.

Weight

2.19 pounds.

Shaft

6.5 inches.

Circumference

15.5 inches.

Outer construction

Waterproof, 100% leather with nylon mesh lining.

Outsole

SRX, slip-resistant, T901 rubber outsoles.

Lacing

Antiqued lacing hardware with contrast tone at collar and toe.

Insulation

200 grams of insulation with patented thermal technology.

Steel toe

Impact and compression protective steel toe.

Insole

Removable, perforated EVA midsole with Gel technology.

Safety standards

Meets ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75 and ASTM F2413-05 I/75 EH.

Users experience after using the boot

The thick and durable structure of the boots seems to do a pretty good job at the construction sites. Moreover, it ensures better toe protection throughout the working hours. Most users have got ample heel support on the boots.

Also, when someone is back from work, he can easily clean the boots. The waterproofing leather construction is another praiseworthy addition here. However, a few users have complained about the short waterproofing period.

Another major issue that appears with the boots is the poor wearing. If you are not enough careful choosing the size, it might result in a waste of money.

More details you need to know

The pair of boots meets the safety standards of ASTM to protect the wearer from any kind of impact and compression. The manufacturer used waterproof, 100% leather to construct the outer surface.

With the seam-sealed design, water won't make it inside the shoes, it doesn't matter which condition you are working on. Moreover, it has a nylon mesh lining for extra breathability and comfort during long working hours.

The most useful addition here is the steel toe, which protects the wearer’s toe from impact and compression. To ensure better comfort, it has used gel technology and EVA foam insole inside.

It also reduces the chances of shock absorption to a great extent. Moreover, to withstand extreme weather conditions and cold, the boots come with 200 grams of insulation patented thermal technology.

The outsoles are slip-resistant for a supportive performance. The SRX rubber outsoles can withstand oil, water, and abrasion. Also, the slip resistance makes the entire working time safer.

Things we liked

  1. More than enough heel and toe support.
  2. Provides extra warmth in cold conditions.
  3. Slip-resistant outsoles.
  4. Extra breathability and comfort through the nylon mesh lining.
  5. Thick and durable construction.
  6. Easy to clean.

Things we disliked

The boots don’t stay waterproof for a long time.

2. Timberland PRO Direct Attach 6” Steel Toe

Key specifications

Brand

Timberland.

Weight

1.9 pounds.

Shaft size

6 inches from the arch.

Heel size

1.5 inches.

Outer construction

Seam-sealed, waterproof, 100% leather construction.

Outsole

Heat, slip, oil, and abrasion-resistant rubber lug outsoles.

Footbed

Breathable PU footbed.

Shock absorption

Contoured shock-diffusive plate with geometrical technology.

Steel toe

Metallic, asymmetrical-shaped steel toe cap.

Insole

Lightweight, cushioned PU insole.

Safety standards

Meets ASTM F2412-11, ASTM F2413-11, ASTM F2892-11.

Users experience after using the boot

Considering the price, the pair of boots is a great safety addition at the construction sites. It fits perfectly to the wearer feet, which ensures proper support throughout the whole day.

With the inclusion of the steel toe, the manufacturer has provided a guarantee of extra safety here. Also, it is capable enough to keep the feet warm in cold conditions and let the wearer concentrate on the work.

The no-marking rubber outsoles are supportive on oily surfaces as they are slip-resistant. Moreover, with breathability, the wearer can relentlessly continue his work.

More details you need to know

The manufacturer has constructed the boots for extreme conditions by using waterproof leather construction. The pair of boots comes with a seam-sealed upper design that resists water entering even in the most extreme situation.

It also repels the moisture from the outer surface to provide waterproof protection to the wearer. Moreover, you can work on slippery or oily tracks as the no-marking rubber outsoles are slip-resistant.

With the lightweight and cushioned midsole, a wearer can have the best possible comfort and warmth inside. The manufacturer has added a contoured shock-diffusive plate using geometrical technology to absorb unwanted shocks at the construction sites.

To enhance the warmth in cold or extreme conditions, it is equipped with 200 grams of insulation. However, the PU footbed is a breathable addition. It comes greatly supportive during long-running working hours.

You will also get an antimicrobial odor control function here. It prevents and controls the odor that enhances the performance at any time.

Things we liked

  1. It fits perfectly as they are true to size.
  2. Steel toe cap ensures proper toe protection.
  3. Keeps the feet warm with 200 grams of insulation.
  4. Seam-sealed waterproofing keeps the feet dry.
  5. Excellent shock absorption with the shock-diffusive plate.
  6. Slip-resistant outsoles.

Things we disliked

Nothing to complain about so far.

3. EVER BOOTS"Tank" Men's Soft Toe Oil Full Grain Leather Work Boots

Key specifications

Brand

Ever Boots.

Weight

3.65 pounds.

Shaft

7 inches from the arch.

Construction

Goodyear welt construction.

Outer surface

100% thick leather with strong stitching.

Outsole

Oil-resistant rubber outsoles with reinforced stitching.

Lacing

Soft nubuck leather lacing with convenient steel hook.

Arch support

Pressure alleviating steel shank.

Steel toe

No steel toe protection.

Insole

Removable PU insole.

Users experience after using the boot

Seeing the price, the boots are unexpectedly good to go. The overall thick leather construction seems good enough to withstand the regular works. Another lovable side of the boots is that they are easy to break-in.

It takes almost no time to break into the shoes before you are ready for the work. Moreover, the steel hooks come in really handy in terms of tying the shoes quickly.

Moreover, the reinforced stitching seems okay to support an extended period. However, one major issue with the outsoles is the lack of slip resistance. Most users have experienced their feet slipping on slippery surfaces.

More details you need to know

Where most working boots have glued construction, Ever Boots has relied on stitching to improve performance. The manufacturer used Goodyear welt construction with 100% leather to construct the outer surface.

The good thing about this construction is that it has strong stitching for an extended period of performance. You should get two-size down from the regular shoes to ensure a proper fit.

Turning on to the outsoles, it has a rubber outsoles construction with reinforced stitching. These outsoles are oil-resistant and capable enough to save the wearer from slipping. The inclusion steel shank comes in handy here.

There isn’t any issue with the breaking or lacing. In the boots, the user will have a nubuck leather lacing system. Moreover, the steel hooks make tying a more convenient process.

With the soft and comfortable insole, the wearer can enjoy the entire working hours. Also, it’s easy to remove the PU insole outside and wash it to prevent any odor.

Things we liked

  1. The boots provide an easy and quick break-in.
  2. Convenient to tie up using steel hooks.
  3. PU insole is removable and washable.
  4. These are worth the price.
  5. Anti-fatigue construction.
  6. Dependable traction on the working space.

Things we disliked

It doesn’t provide enough slip resistance on oily or slippery surfaces.

4. Caterpillar Men's Revolver Pull-On Steel Toe Work Boot

Key specifications

Brand

Cat Footwear.

Weight

-

Heel size

Approximately 1.25 inches high.

Construction

Goodyear welt construction.

Outer surface  

Full-grain leather surface with nylon mesh lining.

Outsole

Slip-resistant and electric hazard resistant rubber outsoles.

Sock liner

Taibrelle and PU sock liner.

Lacing

Pull-on style wearing.

Steel toe

Steel toe for impact and compression.

Insole

PVC insoles.

Safety standards

Meets ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75 and ASTM F2413-05 I/75 EH.

Users experience after using the boot

It's a pair of solid boots with a supportive construction. However, most users seem disappointed with the rubber outsoles. You need a thicker outsole at the construction sites, but these outsoles don’t seem that much thicker.

Also, it seems coming out of the shoes after a long period of working sessions, which is not satisfactory again. Keeping the outsole problem aside, the shoes provide proper protection with the steel toe cap.

Moreover, the majority of users have suggested going for a half or one-size smaller pair than your regular shoes for a perfect fit.

More details you need to know

Coming out of the shorter-length boots, it comes in a traditional long boot design. The manufacturer has used full-grain to construct the outer surface. However, it doesn’t come with any lacing or hooks.

You need to pull on the shoes to break the feet inside. The feet can support you in the long run as the inside portion has a PU sock liner and PVC insoles for extended support. Also, the nylon mesh lining enhances the performance.

The steel toe cap can protect the wearer's feet from impact and compression. However, the outer soles have electric hazards and slip-resistant construction. As the boots met ASTM safety standards, you don't have to worry about safety.

Things we liked

  1. Steel toe provides maximum strength for impact and compression.
  2. PVC insoles for long-lasting comfort.
  3. The pull-on style makes it easy to wear.
  4. Slip-resistant outsoles reduce the chances of slips and falls.
  5. Offers a solid construction.

Things we disliked

The heel seems a bit narrow.

5. Timberland PRO Men's Mudsill Steel-Toe Shoe

Key specifications

Brand

Timberland.

Weight

1.13 pounds.

Shaft size

3 inches from the arch.

Outer construction

Seam-sealed, waterproof, 100% leather construction.

Outsole

Heat, slip, oil, and abrasion-resistant rubber lug outsoles.

Footbed

Breathable PU footbed.

Shock absorption

Contoured shock-diffusive plate with geometrical technology.

Steel toe

Metallic, asymmetrical-shaped steel toe cap.

Insole

Lightweight, cushioned PU insole.

Odor control

Antimicrobial odor control.

Eyelets

Nylon, plastic, and hidden eyelets.

Safety standards

Meets ASTM F2412-11, ASTM F2413-11, ASTM F2892-11.

Users experience after using the boot

The boots have satisfactory arch support, which allows one to wear them for a long time. Moreover, the steel toe supports the wearer in the long run by protecting the toes at the construction sites.

However, a few wearers have said that it's not made for professional users. The reason is that it doesn't possess a longer shaft. And you may not have much support in that area when you are in extreme conditions.

But taking the price, the quality and performance of the boots seem pleasing. Most users suggested ordering one full-size larger for ideal fitment.

More details you need to know

The boots have a suede leather upper with mesh lining that creates a comfortable and supportive outer surface. The manufacturer used 100% waterproof leather and seam-sealed construction to repel the moisture from the surface.

In the long run, the cushioned PU insole will come in handy to provide adequate warmth and support to the feet. Moreover, the PU footbed provides breathable comfort throughout working hours.  

Don't worry about slippage or fall-down when you have proper outsole support from these boots. The rubber lugged outsoles used here are heat, oil, abrasion, and slip-resistant. Well, that truly sounds good for extra safety.

Moreover, the inclusion of nylon and plastic eyelets reduces the chances of scratch on the surfaces you walk on. For extra safety on the toe area, the wearer will get a steel toe protection cap.

Things we liked

  1. The boots provide more than enough arch support.
  2. Reduces the chances of scratching with the eyelets.
  3. Repels water and moisture from the outer surface.
  4. Slip and abrasion-resistant outer soles.
  5. Breathable and warm protection with the PU insole.

Things we disliked

Seems too stiffer on large feet.

6. Wolverine Men's Floorhand 6 Inch Waterproof Soft Toe Work Shoe

Key specifications

Brand

Wolverine.

Weight

1.9 pounds.

Shaft

6 inches from the arch.

Construction

Lightweight cement construction.

Outer surface  

Waterproof, full-grain, 100% leather surface.

Mesh lining

Moisture-wicking mesh lining.

Outsole

Slip-resistant rubber lug outsoles.

Shank

Durable nylon shank.

Steel toe

Safety ensured steel toe.

Insole

Rubber midsoles.

Footbed

Removable full-cushion footbed.

Safety standards

Meets ASTM F413-18 M I/75 C75 EH.

Users experience after using the boot

Well, wearers haven’t experienced any problems regarding the sizing as the boots are true to size. Therefore, if you can select the right size, it will fit perfectly on the feet. Moreover, the outer rubber soles are supportive enough for slip resistance.

Even the boots have some praiseworthy features; real users have to come with some issues. The noteworthy issue appears to be not providing adequate arch support. Moreover, the steel toe doesn’t seem enough protective.

However, there have been mixed opinions regarding lifespan. But most have agreed to the fact that taking proper care of these boots can extend longevity for sure.

More details you need to know

If you want a classic-style working boot with full-grain leather construction, this pair appears to be the most appropriate choice. The manufacturer has guaranteed waterproofing construction with a 100% leather, waterproof surface.

It can repel the water and keep moisture away from the feet for proper comfort. When the question is about comfort, they haven't disappointed again by adding moisture-wicking mesh lining and rubber midsoles.

However, the wearer needs to stay safe at the construction sites and reduce the chances of slippage. Therefore, the boots have come with durable, slip-resistant rubber lug outsoles. With the durable nylon shank and steel toe, you can extend the safety.

For comfort during a long work session, the wearer will get cushioned footbed. It has a traditional lacing mechanism to ensure a comfortable fit on the feet.

Things we liked

  1. It has adequate slip resistance on the outer soles.
  2. Fits well as they come true to size.
  3. Comfortable to wear a long time with the cushioned footbed.
  4. Repels the water keeping the feet dry.
  5. Well-made construction for a work boot.

Things we disliked

The arch support is not satisfactory in the boots.

7. Georgia Giant Work Boot

Key specifications

Brand

Georgia Boot.

Weight

1.56 pounds.

Shaft

Approximately 6 inches from the arch.

Heel size

¾ inches high.

Construction

Goodyear welt construction.

Outer surface  

Full leather construction with a moisture-wicking lining.

Outsole

Shock-absorbing rubber outsoles. 

Lacing

Rugged lace-up design.

Collar

Internal padding collar.

Bumper guard

Oil-resistant bumper guard.

Arch support

Steel shank.

Insole

Mesh-covered cushioned insole and EVA midsole.

Users experience after using the boot

Most users have got a pair of boots as a high-quality one. However, there have been mixed opinions regarding arch support. Some users have got minimum arch support from these shoes, whereas some didn't get any.

On the other hand, the arch support appears to be adequate for the other users. Also, another good side of the shoes is that they are true to size. If the fitting of any shoe is not perfect, it is never worth buying.

More details you need to know

The manufacturer used 100% leather to construct the outer surface of the shoes. They used Goodyear welt construction to ensure durable build quality. Moreover, the shoes come with shock-absorbing rubber outsoles.

These outsoles can withstand the daily rough working conditions and still provide ample support to the feet. Moreover, with the inclusion of steel shank, the manufacturer has enhanced the safety a lot.

The rugged lace-up mechanism ensures a proper fit on the wearer's feet, regarded your purchase for the right size. Moreover, it has a comfortable EVA midsole and mesh-cushioned insoles that provide adequate comfort.

You can get extra cushioned support in the long run with the internal cushioned collar as well.

Things we liked

  1. The shoes fit perfectly as they are true to size.
  2. Provides adequate arch support with the steel shank.
  3. Comfortable cushioned protection through the insoles and midsoles.
  4. Rubber outsoles are shock absorbent.
  5. It comes to ensuring a durable build quality.

Things we disliked

The arch support isn’t up to the mark.

Do work boots need to be waterproof?

Yes, Work boots come from the need of used in extreme conditions in construction sites. Therefore, waterproofing leather construction becomes a must requirement. Most buyers tend to look for 100% leather construction.

However, they should be looking for 100% leather construction with proper waterproofing. It helps the water and moisture repel from the outer surface. As a result, your feet remain cool and dry.

The wearer can concentrate on the work, rather than thinking about the wetness of the shoes. It provides a comfortable working environment for the worker.

What construction do the experts prefer?

It doesn't matter from which brand you are purchasing the shoes but look for Goodyear welt construction. According to the experts, it provides the most reliable service during the most extreme conditions in the construction sites.

How supportive the outsole should be?

Of course, you can’t purchase the shoe that doesn’t have supportive, slip-resistant outsoles. Well, slip-resistant outsoles withstand the oily surface, abrasive surfaces and also ensure protection from electric hazards.

However, there is no better alternative than rubber outsoles in terms of supporting the wearer for the whole day. In other words, you must go for slip, oil, abrasion, electric hazard resistant outsoles.

What should the boots offer for better comfort?

It is quite natural to remain at the construction sites for an extended period as a worker. But have you ever thought, will the shoes you are wearing be supportive throughout these working hours?

Well, the supportiveness depends on a few things including the insole, midsole, and proper insulation. The cushioned insole and midsole support the feet in the long run. Even if you are wearing the shoes for a long time, it won’t make you feel discomfort.

The soft lining inside the shoes turned out supportive at that time. Moreover, the feet need warmth when it is cold outside. Having proper insulation inside the shoes, you don’t have to worry about the warmth and breathability anymore.

How can the wearer protect the feet properly?

Only putting on a pair of work boots is not enough to protect the feet in the most extreme conditions. The shoes must have a steel toe cap and steel or nylon shank for added protection. The majority of these boots have steel toe caps.

It is used to protect the toes from severe injuries. On the other hand, steel or nylon shank provides adequate arch support. Some users still put extra arch support on their shoes.

Are heavy equipment work boots affordable?

Compared to normal boots, heavy equipment work boots aren’t affordable ones. On average, the cost of these boots ranges from $90 to $160. The cost varies depending on the construction quality and protection it offers.

To be honest, one should never compromise the quality of these shoes to decrease the price if he wants to get full support. Compromising the quality means you are falling in danger of getting injured this way or that way.

FAQs

Why choose work boots over normal boots for heavy equipment operators?

Work boots offer a waterproof, full-grain leather construction, electric hazard, and slip-resistant outsoles, steel shank, steel toe cap, etc. Typically, you won't find these features on normal boots. Therefore, always choose work boots over normal boots for heavy equipment operators.

What size of the working boot is right for you in the construction sites?

The right size of a working boot should be neither too tight nor too loose. A properly fitted, true-to-size pair of boots will ensure a comfortable working day.

Is having steel toe necessary in heavy equipment work boots?

Yes, to protect the toes from unwanted, severe injuries in the construction sites, the boots should have a steel toe cap. It is protective addition at the front of the shoes. It ensures the protection of the toes in any extreme condition.

Can the cushioned inside of the working boots reduce shock absorption?

Basically, manufacturers use cushioned inside of the working shoe to extend the safety. One of the main purposes of this cushioned insole is to reduce the shock. It can ensure the feet remain safe regardless of the situation you are in.

Final verdict

Are you still confused thinking which one of these work boots to buy and which one not to? If you are, then check out the products specification charts again. Let's sum up things quickly.

  1. Waterproof, full-grain leather construction.
  2. Slip and electric hazard-resistant rubber outsole.
  3. Cushioned insole with EVA midsole.
  4. Traditional lace-up mechanism.
  5. Steel toe cap and shank.

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