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6 Best Pull On Work Boots: These Boots Ain’t for Dancing

LA-born, New York-based lover of menswear, watches, and culture. His work is featured in many prominent menswear publications and reaches hundreds of thousands of guys every year. He knows a good boot when he sees one. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Apr 10, 2024
10 min read

Are you looking for a reliable work boot that you can quickly pull-on for your job or outdoor vacation? They all claim to be the most durable and comfortable, so it can be tough to pick the right one for you.

To help you get to work, we’ve narrowed down the field to these six best pull-on work boots for men, divided into categories.

It wasn’t until I tried my first Ariats a few years back, that I fell into a rabbit hole of exciting work boot options previously unknown to me in my boot bubble.

For one thing, I found pull-ons to be too much of a time saver to ever go back to laces.

So after plenty of research, here are my 6 best pull-on work boots for men. Whether you’re working on a construction site or farmland, you’ll find the perfect pair for you here.

My Recommendations

Most Comfortable: Ariat WorkHog

Most Comfortable
Ariat WorkHog

Ariat gave these an apt name. These waterproof work boots are tough. Combine that with Ariat's ATS comfort system, and suddenly working on your feet for 10-12 hours straight is much easier.

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Ariat was founded in California by two Stanford brainiacs who applied athletic shoe technology to riding boots.

The WorkHog has a rugged cowboy look to it, complete with a stitched decorative pattern that’ll take you to any 1800s saloon in style. This pattern travels throughout the boot or just at the top depending on which version you opt for.

Ariat workhog work boot western on wood work bench
The famous Ariat WorkHogs

Because it’s designed to have an already rough look, maintenance is easy. Moreover, it’s as oiled and waxed as a South Dakotan’s pick-up truck.

The WorkHog features a unique cushioned EVA midsole, which is immediately comfortable and adaptable.

Ariat workhog safety sole with non slip grip

That being the case, the break-in period is more like that of an athletic shoe than a typical work boot. For some, the break-in period may even be non-existent.

What I Like

  • Sophisticated comfort technology.

  • Very light for a work boot.

  • Low maintenance.

  • Great western riding style. This boot can be worn as a casual boot even off the field.

What I Don’t Like

  • The WorkHog doesn’t have a proper steel toe. However, a lot of people like this quality because it makes the boot lighter without completely sacrificing protection.

What Other Reviewers Say

I’ve read several reviews written by workers raving about the WorkHog as a solution to their chronic ankle pain and policeman’s heel. The main complaint I’ve seen is the difficulty wide-footed individuals have fitting their foot through the shaft.

Overall, users overwhelmingly praise the boot’s comfort and easy maintenance.

The Verdict

The Ariat WorkHog is the best on the list for comfort. Look elsewhere if you need steel toes, but this boot is a durable, easy option and makes for one of the most comfortable work boots you can get.

Most Comfortable
Ariat WorkHog

Ariat gave these an apt name. These waterproof work boots are tough. Combine that with Ariat's ATS comfort system, and suddenly working on your feet for 10-12 hours straight is much easier.

Check Price Read Our Review
I cut my Ariat WorkHogs in half.

Best on Concrete: Tecovas Knox

Best on Concrete
Tecovas Knox

This wedge sole roper offers more arch support and more comfort if you work long days standing on concrete. A lot of guys who struggle with knee or back pain find that the wedge sole is game-changing and allows you to go through a 12 hour shift without getting tired.

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Tecovas does western style boots right. And while they have a large range of dressier boots, Tecovas also makes a fantastic work boot. I tried their Stockton work boot and loved it. The Knox is very similar to the Stockton, but has a wedge sole, which is much more comfortable on concrete.

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If you work in a shop, warehouse, or any other flat concrete surface, wedge sole boots might just change the game for you.

It’s one of the best pull-on work boots for concrete floors because of its extra grippy sole and sophisticated cushion technology in the insole.

Style-wise, it’s a modern interpretation of an old Western work boot, with cleaner lines and a sleeker look.

What I Like

  • Tecovas doesn’t coast on their great reputation: this is a high-quality professional work boot.

  • The insole is loaded with comfort features which make these western boots immediately comfortable.

  • For a work boot, it’s still stylish.

What I Don’t Like

  • It can be difficult to get on at first until you break the boots in. I recommend a boot jack and a shoe horn.

What Other Reviewers Say

Several reviews on Tecovas’ site say the Knox is the most comfortable boot they’ve ever worn, which is saying something. A few reviewers noted that the leather looks lighter than in the photos. If that’s something that might bother you, check out my guide on how to darken leather boots.

The Verdict

When you combine Tecovas’ unique insole comfort features with the arch support of a wedge sole, you get the best shop boot on the market. As of writing, Tecovas offers three different colors of leather, but they’re all bovine, which is well-known for being tougher and more scratch resistant than most other types of boot leather.

Best on Concrete
Tecovas Knox

This wedge sole roper offers more arch support and more comfort if you work long days standing on concrete. A lot of guys who struggle with knee or back pain find that the wedge sole is game-changing and allows you to go through a 12 hour shift without getting tired.

Check Price

Best Waterproof: Irish Setter 83907 Wellington

Best Waterproof
Irish Setter 83907 Wellington

The Irish Setter Wellington 83907 is a heritage work boot that doesn’t shy away from new techniques, one major highlight being its water protection technology.

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Minnesota-based Red Wing Shoes introduced the Irish Setter line in 1905. The name came about because they were crafted from Red Russet leather, which has coloring similar to an Irish Setter dog (and immediately makes me biased because my childhood hunting dog was a Setter. RIP Mr. Jack, you OG).

The boot blew up in popularity among American workers in the 60’s. Red Wing shoes were also the main boot manufacturer for American soldiers during WWI, so they’re basically Ron Swanson approved.

As a brand, Irish Setter strikes a balance of embracing heritage-based tradition and practical new technology.

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Wellingtons are waterproof, as a traditional hunting boot should be, but Irish Setter levels this up with a patented construction called UltraDry, a combination of full-grain waterproof leather and a moisture managed lining and Vibram sole.

My Favorite Sock for Pull-on Work Boots
Camel City Mill Heavyweight Wool Work Sock
Free Shipping $50+

The Heavyweight from Camel City Mill is the best work sock you can get for a steel toe boot. The padding is heavy in the heel and toe, but since it's made with Merino wool, this sock is also very breathable and won't make your feet sweaty.

Check Price Read Our Review

The Irish Setter 83907 Wellington is easily the best waterproof boot on the list.

They’re also EH-rated, meaning they’ve been verified by the American Society of Testing and Materials to protect you from electrocution.

What I Like

  • Next-level waterproofing with its patented construction.

  • Durable and long-lasting.

  • Patented StableFlex technology for flexibility.

What I Don’t Like

  • They’re difficult to take on and off until broken in, and they’re still not that easy to take off even after being broken in.

What Other Reviewers Say

Most of the online reviews come from workers like maintenance engineers and linemen who love the lifespan of the 83907 Wellington. There were a few complaints about the inside slipping from the boot at the heel making it difficult to take off, but the positive reviews far outweighed the negative.

The Verdict

The Irish Setter Wellington is a heritage work boot that doesn’t shy away from new techniques, one major highlight being its water protection technology.

Best Waterproof
Irish Setter 83907 Wellington

The Irish Setter Wellington 83907 is a heritage work boot that doesn’t shy away from new techniques, one major highlight being its water protection technology.

Check Price

Best Budget Slip On: Ariat Groundbreaker

Ariat is so good, we gave them two spots in this roundup.

The Ariat Groundbreaker is a genuinely good work boot that also happens to be as affordable as it gets. Anything much cheaper than this is likely compromising a fundamental quality that makes work boots what they are.

Features include a rubber sole, removable insole, and a composition of 100% leather.

Before you even start to think that there’s nothing groundbreaking about this Groundbreaker, remember that you get all of these proper work boot features sometimes south of 100 bucks.

And in the grand tradition of Ariat, the Groundbreaker is a strong work boot with the comfort of an athletic shoe.

What I Like

  • Shockingly affordable.

  • 100% leather.

  • Very comfortable.

What I Don’t Like

  • While the Groundbreaker is long lasting enough, it has the shortest lifespan in this roundup depending on how hard you work it.

What Other Reviewers Say

A lot of hobby farmers love this boot. This makes sense considering their low price point for a proper work boot. It seems they start to go after a year of hard work, but this didn’t offend most users.

The Verdict

The Ariat Groundbreaker is the entry-level option on this list. If you’re on a budget or won’t be using your work boot too often or too seriously like the hobby farmers above, this is your boot.


Most Durable: Nicks Handmade Boots Roper

Nicks Handmade boots are in a completely different league when it comes to toughness and durability.

These are entirely handmade in Nicks’ Spokane, Washington workshop and the quality is truly exceptional

It’s not all roses with Nicks—they have a lengthy wait time of around 6-months last time I checked, and these boots are expensive. But they’re incredible. And there’s no other slip on work boot with this level of quality out there.

What I Like

  • It’s a super tough boot that can really take a beating.

  • Easy to slip in and out of, which is a huge time-saver.

  • Simple design and silhouette makes it versatile.

What I Don’t Like

  • The 6-month wait time is tough to go through.

What Other Reviewers Say

Nicks Handmade Boots has a loyal following—it’s not uncommon to see guys who own 8-12 pairs of Nicks. Then again, there are some guys who buy a pair of Nicks and that’s the last pair of boots they ever need.

The Verdict

If you want a truly robust slip on work boot, you can’t beat Nicks. They make boots for wildland firefighters after all. Their Ropers are the most durable pull on work boot you can get.

Most Durable
Nicks Handmade Boots Roper

Nicks crafts all their boots in Spokane, Washington, and boots do not get tougher than this. These will last a lifetime with a little care.

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While I love my Nicks, they can be a pain to wear during the summer. That’s what you get with some of the most durable boots in the world.

Best Steel Toe: Dr. Martens Icon 2295

Best Steel Toe
Dr. Martens Icon 2295

If your workplace exposes your foot to a lot of falling objects, this is the work boot you want. Superior steel toe aside, the Icon 2295 is also fashionable and has come a long way since grunge kids rocked them in the 90s.

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Iconic Dr. Martens need no introduction. A German doctor called Klaus Martens, the real-life Dr. Martens, founded the brand during WWII. He injured his ankle skiing and needed something more comfortable than standard army boots. The rest is history.

The Icon 2295 features all of the important work boot features, but it specifically gets my vote as one of the best steel toe work boots.

It’s heavy-duty construction and perfect fit combined with the steel toe makes this boot the best at preventing injuries from falling objects, toe injuries from slips, punctures, all of that.

It’s a bit on the heavy side, but the Dr. Martens Icon 2295 is the protector of the bunch. It’s like hiring presidential bodyguards for your foot.

Other features include an ASTM rating, water resistant tumbled leather uppers, durable air-cushioned PVC sole, and a fitted EVA foot bed.

What I Like

  • Very well fitted.

  • Heavy construction for maximum protection.

  • Ankle bone protector padding.

What I Don’t Like

  • Like the Timberlands, this fancy guy is definitely on the more expensive side.

What Other Reviewers Say

The reviews trend positive mainly due to the fit and level of protection. Users often give examples of the crazy heavy things that have fallen on their toe at work, and how the Icon 2295 made it so they lived to tell about it. 

As far as the fit, reviewers often favorably compare these boots to other leading brands—Timberland and Red Wing get name-checked a lot.

The Verdict

If your workplace exposes your foot to a lot of falling objects, this is the work boot you want. Superior steel toe aside, the Icon 2295 is also fashionable and has come a long way since grunge kids rocked them in the 90s.

Best Steel Toe
Dr. Martens Icon 2295

If your workplace exposes your foot to a lot of falling objects, this is the work boot you want. Superior steel toe aside, the Icon 2295 is also fashionable and has come a long way since grunge kids rocked them in the 90s.

Check Price

Why Should You Choose Pull-on Work Boots?

ariat workhog work boot with sawdust

Even if you don’t work in the field, pull-on work boots are ideal in wet or slippery situations and when you’re standing on hard floors for a long period of time.

They’re also effective for camping or other outdoor leisurely activities if you want to be stylish on top of practical.

When it comes to fashion, pull-on work boots range from utilitarian-chic to cowboy to clean contemporary.

Pull-on vs Lace-up Work Boots: What’s the Difference?

Pull-on work boots and lace-up work boots each have their pros and cons.

Pull-on boots save time, but with a lace-up, you can control and recalibrate the tightness and fit.

When it comes to safety, lace-up boots may offer stability and ankle protection, but their laces can come undone.

I’ve heard people say that lace-ups are better for outdoor work, while pull-ons are better for indoor work. This is a pretty quick-and-dirty analysis in my opinion.

My Favorite Sock for Pull-on Work Boots
Camel City Mill Heavyweight Wool Work Sock
Free Shipping $50+

The Heavyweight from Camel City Mill is the best work sock you can get for a steel toe boot. The padding is heavy in the heel and toe, but since it's made with Merino wool, this sock is also very breathable and won't make your feet sweaty.

Check Price Read Our Review

Both are designed for safety and durability, so choosing between the two is a matter of preference, features, and style.

What Makes a Good Pull-on Work Boot?

Ariat 2

All pull-on work boots offer strength and a level of comfort. Since they are utilitarian boots, it wouldn’t make sense if they were only durable but you couldn’t last an hour in them.

Each boot on this list effectively offers these qualities in a different way; the Irish Setter Wellington’s durability is based on its unique water-resistance technology, the Timberland PRO AG Boss’ comfort is about redistribution of energy.

Truly professional work boots tend to seek out accreditation, like an ASTM rating.

These Boots Were Made for Workin’

In this world there are workhorses and show ponies. All of the options on this list are unmistakably the former.

Most Comfortable
Ariat WorkHog

Ariat gave these an apt name. These waterproof work boots are tough. Combine that with Ariat's ATS comfort system, and suddenly working on your feet for 10-12 hours straight is much easier.

Check Price Read Our Review

FAQs

How should pull-on work boots fit?

You should have an inch of room in front of your toe even as your foot moves, and your heel shouldn’t brush up against the back. There shouldn’t be pressure anywhere, but your sides should be secured.

How do you break in work boots fast?

Wear a new pair of work boots around the house for ten to twenty minutes a day to break them in quicker. Another good exercise is placing the middle part of the sole against the tread of a stair or a curb and rocking your foot back and forth.

What are the best pull-on square toe work boots?

The Ariat Workhog is available in a square-toed WorkHog variant that is as comfortable and durable as boots get.

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