8 Best Work Boots Under $100: Stay Safe Without Breaking the Bank

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William Barton Avatar by  Karlton Miko Tyack | Last Updated:  Dec 14, 2020
Best Work Boots Under 100 Cartoon of Man at Worksite Wearing Work Boots

Need sturdy work boots on a budget? With so many designer-name boots out there, it can be easy to overspend and difficult to find an affordable quality pair.

Stay safe at work and save a few bucks with our 8 best work boots under $100.

Best Overall
  • Its flexible sole and several protective features make for the perfect balance of comfort and protection
  • Timberland PRO is a global leader in workwear and a highly reputed brand
  • Made out of recycled and sustainable materials
Most Comfortable
  • The Phylon outsole is lightweight and as flexible as an athletic shoe
  • A sporty, sneaker-like style that goes with any casual look
  • Customer service will respond to inquiries within 24 hours
Best Slip On
  • The full mesh lining makes this boot easy to quickly take on and off
  • Has great ventilation and breathability
  • The upper is made of a premium, stylish full-grain leather
Best Steel Toe
  • High ASTM ratings for impact and compression
  • Protects against open circuits up to 600 volts
  • Strong, abrasion-resistant leather uppers
Best for Construction
  • Cushioned lining and padded collar provide all-day comfort despite how robust the boot is
  • Extra room in the toe box for breathability
  • Air-cooled memory foam insole is extra flexible
Best Composite Toe
  • Composite toe makes this boot 30% lighter than a steel toe reducing leg fatigue
  • The uppers mix fabric and leather for a strong, athletic look
  • Comfortable cushioned lining and footbed
Best Waterproof
  • Every component of the boot is waterproof, making it fully hydrophobic
  • Polyester lining provides insulation and protection from the cold
  • Fashionable full-grain leather upper with pops of color in the laces
Best for Concrete
  • Comfortable and breathable Climasphere insoles allow you to stand for hours
  • Full-rubber outsoles with deep lugs provide superior traction on most floors
  • 100% leather uppers with speed lacing shaft provides stability

A Hyundai Elantra will get you from point A to point B as effectively as a Ferrari will. Similarly, Jim Beam can fix a bad day as easily as Macallan can.

Finding the right work boots on a budget, however, is tricky.  You don’t want to skimp on something that is meant to keep you safe on the field. After all, workers comp can only go so far.

With so many designer brands making fancy boots, it’s easy to spend too much on a pair. To that end, we’ve rounded up the best work boots for under $100.

How Did We Come Up With Our List?

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Using our own experiences on the field, as well as in depth-research on each pair, we’ve chosen 8 budget work boots.

To help you find the boots most suited to your needs, we’ve broken them down into the categories that they excel in.

The Best Work Boots Under $100

Best Overall: Timberland PRO Pitboss

1.
Timberland PRO Pitboss Steel Toe
$89.99 - $136.19

Few high-end brands deliver a budget boot as packed with premium features as the Timberland PRO Pitboss Boot. For a practical work boot that’s also a versatile casual shoe, this is as good as it gets in this price range.

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01/15/2021 12:41 pm GMT

Timberland’s PRO brand was launched in 1999 as a line of work wear aimed at tradesmen. Since it’s a utilitarian line, even their $100 Timberland PRO Pitboss perfectly balances comfort and protection.

It features a steel toe for falling objects and a roomy asymmetric toe-box. The abrasion-resistant and slip-resistant rubber outsole is perfect for outdoor workers subjected to changing weather conditions. Other protective features include electric hazard resistance and a Goodyear welt construction.

The midsole is made out of polyurethane, the same comfortable and supportive material used in mattresses. It’s long lasting, breathable, and effectively transfers heat. To neutralize odor, the Pitboss is lined with Cambrelle fabric, which is moisture-resistant and features antimicrobial treatment.

The top collar is padded, which is a nice touch that’s often overlooked in this price range. This isn’t a big deal with the right work socks, but a little extra comfort never hurt anyone.

The uppers are made of Nubuck leather, a work boot staple because of its durability. Nubuck is velvety but robust, which gives the Pitboss a classic practical style.

What I Like

  • It effectively balances toughness and comfort with a well-padded lining and protective exterior.

  • Timberland PRO is a reliable brand that’s been a global leader in high-quality work boots for decades.

  • The cast metal top hooks combined with the metal eyelets allow laces to slide through easily.

  • Timberland uses recycled and sustainable materials to make their boots and their packaging.

What I Don’t Like

  • These boots have a substantial break-in period.

What Other Reviewers Say

The Timberland Pitboss is a best seller in the Men’s Industrial Boot category on Amazon. With so many people trying it out, this boot definitely got its fair shake.

More than any other boot on this list, the reviewers are a good mix of working men and the fashion conscious. Timberland has certainly made a name for itself as a stylish casual shoe as well as a practical work boot.

The Pitboss is also a hit among men with wide feet, many claiming it doesn’t chafe the sides like most other strong work boots do.

Reviewers also praised the boots’ durability, some mentioning that it took over a year to wear out their pair and others mentioning it took several years.

The Verdict

Few high-end brands deliver a budget boot as packed with premium features as the Timberland PRO Pitboss Boot. For a practical work boot that’s also a versatile casual shoe, this is as good as it gets in this price range.

Best Overall
Timberland PRO Pitboss Steel Toe
$89.99 - $136.19

Few high-end brands deliver a budget boot as packed with premium features as the Timberland PRO Pitboss Boot. For a practical work boot that’s also a versatile casual shoe, this is as good as it gets in this price range.

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01/15/2021 12:41 pm GMT

Most Comfortable: FITONE Ankle Work Boot

2.
FITONE Ankle Work Boot
$39.99 - $41.99

You’ll definitely need something more robust for logging or construction work, but the FITONE Work Boots are a comfortable option for soft-toe work situations. They’re perfect for park rangers or other outdoor jobs that require you to stand all day, as well as hiking and yard work. It’s also a stylish casual shoe.

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01/15/2021 11:41 am GMT

The FITONE Ankle Work Boot has a holy trinity of comfort features: A Phylon outsole, an EVA insole, and a lightweight microfiber leather construction.

Starting with the outsole, Phylon is a foam-based performance material that even Nike uses for athletic shoes. It’s lightweight and responsive compared to rubber, which is more rigid. This helps minimize pain on your feet, hips, and lower back.

If you work on your feet all day, FITONE Ankle Work Boots are a great sneaker-like option because of the Phylon outsoles alone.

The insoles are a classic EVA, which is known for durability and shock absorbance. They help relieve pressure on your feet from walking and standing for long periods of time. Another plus is that EVA insoles are BPA free, which means they don’t contain toxic chemicals.

Finally, the uppers are made of water-resistant microfiber leather, which is lighter than real leather. In fact, each boot weighs in at around .06 lbs. You can literally bend these boots like an accordion with your bare hands.

The fake leather uppers also hold color better than real leather, so they’ll look new for a longer period of time.

What I Like

  • It’s lightweight and comfortable.

  • FITONE has great customer service with agents that respond to messages within 24 hours.

  • It has a cool, casual, sneaker-like style that’s versatile.

  • The eco-friendly insole doesn’t release toxins into the environment when it’s disposed of.

What I Don’t Like

  • There’s no safety toe version available.

What Other Reviewers Say

Many reviewers with chronic pain claimed that the FITONE Work Boot was their saving grace. One reviewer with chronic lower back pain mentioned how he was comfortably able to walk around on foot for six hours with the help of these boots.

Most reviewers find that the boot runs small, so make sure you order a size up.

The Verdict

You’ll definitely need something more robust for logging or construction work, but the FITONE Work Boots are a comfortable option for soft-toe work situations. They’re perfect for park rangers or other outdoor jobs that require you to stand all day, as well as hiking and yard work. It’s also a stylish casual shoe.

Most Comfortable
FITONE Ankle Work Boot
$39.99 - $41.99

You’ll definitely need something more robust for logging or construction work, but the FITONE Work Boots are a comfortable option for soft-toe work situations. They’re perfect for park rangers or other outdoor jobs that require you to stand all day, as well as hiking and yard work. It’s also a stylish casual shoe.

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01/15/2021 11:41 am GMT

Best Slip On: Wolverine Floorhand

3.
Wolverine Floorhand Steel Toe
$104.00 - $124.99

Wolverine Floorhand Work Boots are perfect for you if you’re looking for boots that slip on and off easily, or if you’re looking for a boot with breathable wear. They’re a great, affordable work boot if you like a simple and sleek style over a robust, tactical look.

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01/15/2021 12:41 pm GMT

If you’re going to opt for a slip on over a lace-up, it should be easy to take on and off, have good ventilation, and have more room inside. For under $100, the Wolverine Floorhand Work Boot is your best bet on all these fronts.

The Floorhands are easy to slip in and out of because of their full mesh lining. Since mesh is highly elastic, it works with you to easily glide your foot through the shaft and pop it into place.

Usually, boots made from full leather are less breathable than those made from synthetics. The mesh lining comes to the rescue on this front too. Mesh allows moisture from your feet to be wicked away keeping the interior dry and comfortable.

For the hardcore hikers out there, the Floorhand is perfect for bushwhacking. I know lace-ups are usually preferred for hiking because they’re tighter, but you can tighten the fit by tucking your pants into these boots which will also prevent your pants from snagging.

Another reason I like slip ons is that they usually come in a simple style and classic silhouette. Aesthetically, these Wolverines are sleek, stylish, and not distracting.

What I Like

  • They’re easy to slip on and off, which is convenient and a time saver.

  • The full-grain leather looks and feels premium.

  • The lack of laces makes for a simple style and clean silhouette.

  • The mesh lining is moisture wicking to help keep your feet cool and well ventilated.

  • Comes in a steel-toe and regular toe variety.

What I Don’t Like

  • Despite being advertised as waterproof, there will be leaks if you submerge the boot for too long.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers commended Wolverine for putting a mesh lining in the shaft of a wellington-like boot. This allows workmen to have the convenience of a pull-on wellington, but the fit and sturdiness of a true work boot.

Some recommended against using these boots for hiking in favor of a snugger lace-up, but no one told these guys about my pants-tucking trick.

The main complaint I’ve seen among reviewers is that the insoles aren’t comfortable enough for those on their feet all day. If you find this to be the case with you, the insoles are easily replaced.

The Verdict

Wolverine Floorhand Work Boots are perfect for you if you’re looking for boots that slip on and off easily, or if you’re looking for a boot with breathable wear. They’re a great, affordable work boot if you like a simple and sleek style over a robust, tactical look.

Best Slip On
Wolverine Floorhand Steel Toe
$104.00 - $124.99

Wolverine Floorhand Work Boots are perfect for you if you’re looking for boots that slip on and off easily, or if you’re looking for a boot with breathable wear. They’re a great, affordable work boot if you like a simple and sleek style over a robust, tactical look.

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01/15/2021 12:41 pm GMT

Best Steel Toe: Caterpillar Threshold Industrial

4.
Caterpillar Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Industrial
$74.50 - $181.58

The Caterpillar Threshold Steel Toe Industrial Boot is the most protective boot on the list. Because its steel toe can withstand heavy impact and compression, these boots are perfect for loggers, electricians, and onsite carpenters who move around carrying heavy tools.

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01/15/2021 03:41 pm GMT

With so many good steel-toe work boots out there, you might wonder how the Caterpillar Threshold Industrial Boot won out over the others. The short answer is its ASTM rating.

ASTM, the international standards organization, rated the Threshold’s steel toe at ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75. This means that this boot survived a 50lb weight being dropped on it at 1.5 feet.

What’s more, its test results determined that the Caterpillar Threshold can protect toes from an impact of 75lbs and compressive loads up to 2,500lbs (that’s what the 1/75 and C/75 rating mean).

It can also protect from open circuits up to 600 volts in dry conditions.

There are steel toe boots out there that meet all of these qualifications, but they’re usually more expensive or don’t also feature other premium qualities. The Caterpillar Threshold, on the other hand, also features full-grain leather uppers which are durable and abrasion resistant.

What I Like

  • These boots are highly rated by the ASTM for protection against impact and compression.

  • They protect against open circuits up to 600 volts.

  • The full-grain leather uppers are strong and abrasion-resistant.

What I Don’t Like

  • The toe-box pinches during the break-in period.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers praised the ASTM rating, most claiming that it exceeds their work requirements. As with any good steel toe boot, there are plenty of anecdotes about how working men survived falling tools.

Unfortunately, there were some reviews complaining that it didn’t last them very long (one as brief as two months).  The vast majority of reviews were positive, so I may chalk this up to defective shoes and bad care. One five-star reviewer suggested using Kiwi Neutral paste. I’d also make sure to check in with the seller’s return policy.

The Verdict

The Caterpillar Threshold Steel Toe Industrial Boot is the most protective boot on the list. Because its steel toe can withstand heavy impact and compression, these boots are perfect for loggers, electricians, and onsite carpenters who move around carrying heavy tools.

Best Steel Toe
Caterpillar Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Industrial
$74.50 - $181.58

The Caterpillar Threshold Steel Toe Industrial Boot is the most protective boot on the list. Because its steel toe can withstand heavy impact and compression, these boots are perfect for loggers, electricians, and onsite carpenters who move around carrying heavy tools.

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01/15/2021 03:41 pm GMT

Best for Construction: Skechers Workshire Relaxed Fit

5.
Skechers Workshire Relaxed Fit
$60.53 - $186.07

If you’re looking for a roomy and flexible work boot with all of the standard protection features, the Skechers Workshire Relaxed Fit Work Boot is for you. Despite the focus on breathability and flexibility, this boot is still plenty durable with its ASTM rated steel toe and electric hazard protection.

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01/15/2021 05:41 am GMT

Construction workers often do a million different things in one day, from erecting scaffolding to operating huge machines. If you work in construction, you need boots you can climb in, that provide comprehensive protection, and are comfortable whether you’re seated in a bulldozer or on your feet all day.

Enter the Skechers Workshire Relaxed Fit Work Boot, which uniquely combines unlike qualities.

First off, the boots in Skechers’ Relaxed Fit line feature roomier toe boxes and air-cooled memory foam insoles for flexibility, which make climbing up tall cranes easy and comfortable. However, the lace-up, ankle-high fronts with durable metal eyelets allow you to create a tight and sturdy wear despite this relaxed fit.

In addition to the memory foam, the entire boot is lined with cushioning and features a padded collar and tongue and a shock absorbing insole. This makes the boot super comfortable to wear, even if you’ll be standing for hours on end.

And of course, the boot features a steel toe, electric hazard protection, and a slip-resistant rubber sole—all must-haves on the construction site.

What I Like

  • The smooth full-grain leather upper has a versatile look in black or brown.

  • This boot is durable and can last over two years with proper care.

  • The Relaxed Fit model is comfortable, breathable, and provides a short break-in period.

What I Don’t Like

  • The memory foam retains odors, so the shoes will need to be cleaned and properly dried often.

What Other Reviewers Say

This boot is popular among mechanics and construction workers. Folks in both industries were surprised at the combination of a relaxed fit with high-level durability.

Many reviewers mentioned that the sizes run large, with one reviewer having returned and reordered his boots twice before receiving his perfect pair.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a roomy and flexible work boot with all of the standard protection features, the Skechers Workshire Relaxed Fit Work Boot is for you. Despite the focus on breathability and flexibility, this boot is still plenty durable with its ASTM rated steel toe and electric hazard protection.

Best for Construction
Skechers Workshire Relaxed Fit
$60.53 - $186.07

If you’re looking for a roomy and flexible work boot with all of the standard protection features, the Skechers Workshire Relaxed Fit Work Boot is for you. Despite the focus on breathability and flexibility, this boot is still plenty durable with its ASTM rated steel toe and electric hazard protection.

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01/15/2021 05:41 am GMT

Best Composite Toe: Skechers Soft Stride Canopy

6.
Skechers Soft Stride Canopy
$42.95 - $189.96

The Skechers Soft Stride Canopy Work Boot provides protection without the bulk and weight of a full-on steel toe boot. While no composite toe will offer the same level of protection as a steel-toe, the Soft Stride Canopy still meets the same ASTM standards as many steel toe boots do.

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01/15/2021 07:41 am GMT

And another one from Skecher’s Relaxed Fit line. The Skechers Soft Stride Canopy Work Boot is lighter and less bulky than a steel toe boot, but still meets the ASTM standards for compression and impact that many steel toe boots do.

Its composite safety toe is made of layered ceramic and durable fabric, and has met the ASTM standard F2412-2011 I/75 C/75, just like the steel-toe CAT. It’s also electrical hazard resistant. Since the safety toe is nonmetallic, it’s a good option for any work site that uses metal detectors.

The composite toe also makes the Soft Stride 30% lighter and easier to walk in than a regular steel-toe. The reduced weight allows you to work longer hours with less leg fatigue.

As mentioned, this boot comes from Skecher’s Relaxed Fit line, which means that the lining is cushioned and that the footbed features air-cooled memory foam.

What I Like

  • The composite toe provides protection, but keeps the boot lightweight and easy to move in.

  • The Relaxed Fit line provides comfort without sacrificing the boot’s protective qualities.

  • The upper is a mix of leather and fabric, with a versatile sporty style.

What I Don’t Like

  • Even with the extra-wide, the composite toe isn’t as wide as the body of the shoe, which will be uncomfortable for those with especially wide feet.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers were impressed with how comfortable and lightweight this boot is. Linemen loved how the sole relieves pressure when you’re going up a ladder. Reviewers also mentioned how grippy the boots are even in snow and ice, despite their sneaker-like appearance and not being a true snowshoe.

Reviewers also took notice of the fact that the extra wide isn’t that wide.

The Verdict

The Skechers Soft Stride Canopy Work Boot provides protection without the bulk and weight of a full-on steel toe boot. While no composite toe will offer the same level of protection as a steel-toe, the Soft Stride Canopy still meets the same ASTM standards as many steel toe boots do.

Best Composite Toe
Skechers Soft Stride Canopy
$42.95 - $189.96

The Skechers Soft Stride Canopy Work Boot provides protection without the bulk and weight of a full-on steel toe boot. While no composite toe will offer the same level of protection as a steel-toe, the Soft Stride Canopy still meets the same ASTM standards as many steel toe boots do.

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01/15/2021 07:41 am GMT

Best Waterproof: EVER BOOTS Ultra Dry

7.
EVER BOOTS Ultra Dry Work Boot

The EVER BOOTS Ultra Dry boots are one of the best out there for water resistance in any price range. They’re also comfortable, durable, and stylish. I recommend this boot if you work around water, in the cold, or if you are looking for a comfortable and fashionable casual shoe.

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EVER BOOTS Ultra Dry Work Boots are so waterproof, that even the laces are hydrophobic. Work boots in this price range don’t usually score the highest marks on the waterproofing front—not so with the Ultra Drys.

EVER BOOTS is exceedingly detail oriented with their waterproofing here: 

  • the upper is a waterproof full-grain leather;
  • the lining is a waterproof breathable membrane; 
  • it’s constructed with a waterproof sealed direct-attach and waterproof stitching;
  • the laces are waterproof; 
  • and the outsole is made of weather-resistant rubber.

Yep. There’s no getting these bad boys wet.

On top of that, their shock-absorbing polyurethane midsole makes them soft and comfortable, and the polyester lining is a great insulator. The Ever Drys are just as good in cold situations as they are in wet ones.

Style-wise, I’m a fan of the full-grain leather upper, and the stark black and yellow laces. It has a cool, outdoorsy look with subtle and appropriate pops of color.

What I Like

  • These boots are the most hydrophobic work boots out there, even rivaling much more expensive lines.

  • The three-month guarantee covers everything from outsole fall-out, ripped leather, and uppers coming off. 

  • The premium leather uppers and bold laces have a fun style that go with most casual looks.

What I Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t come in a steel toe version, which would make sense since workers who are subjected to outdoor weather situations usually work with heavy tools too.

What Other Reviewers Say

Other than being impressively waterproof, this boot hits high marks with reviewers overall. Reviewers found the Every Drys to be lightweight, comfortable, and durable.

A lot of reviewers, many of which are outdoor workers, claim that there’s not a better boot out there in this price range. I would even call this boot a runner-up, just missing our “Best Overall” spot because it doesn’t come with a safety toe.

The Verdict

The EVER BOOTS Ultra Dry Boots are one of the best out there for water resistance in any price range. They’re also comfortable, durable, and stylish. I recommend this boot if you work around water, in the cold, or if you are looking for a comfortable and fashionable casual shoe.

Best Waterproof
EVER BOOTS Ultra Dry Work Boot

The EVER BOOTS Ultra Dry boots are one of the best out there for water resistance in any price range. They’re also comfortable, durable, and stylish. I recommend this boot if you work around water, in the cold, or if you are looking for a comfortable and fashionable casual shoe.

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Best for Concrete: Caterpillar Second Shift Work Boot

8.
Caterpillar Second Shift
$74.97 - $105.99

I recommend the Caterpillar Second Shift Work Boots if you work on concrete floors, slippery floors, or if you stand all day. The Climasphere cushion provides breathable comfort, but the deep lugs give you major stability on most floors.

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As a foremost manufacturer of heavy equipment, it’s no surprise that Caterpillar gives us a concrete-friendly work boot in the $100 range. The Caterpillar Second Shift Work Boot has a well-cushioned insole and provides exceptional traction, two necessary qualities if you spend your days standing on unforgiving concrete floors.

The Second Shift’s insole is a material called Climasphere, which is made of soft four-way stretch fleece. It provides comfortable cushioning and breathability, and allows the boot to flex with your foot as you’re moving despite how hard the outsole is.

It’s in fact that hard outsole that gives you the traction you need on concrete floors. It’s made fully out of oil-resistant rubber and features deep lugs that are inspired by Caterpillar tracks. 

The 100% leather upper features a speed lacing shaft which provides even more stability, and the boot is Goodyear welt constructed for more durability.

What I Like

  • The insoles are comfortable, breathable, and allow you to stand for hours at a time.

  • The full-rubber outsoles have deep indentations which make these boots easy to walk in even on unsturdy or slippery floors. 

  • Caterpillar is a highly-reputed and iconic industrial brand.

What I Don’t Like

  • The leather is super stiff before being broken in.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers generally agreed that the Second Shift is a great boot for those who work on their feet all day. Most people found the boot to be extremely comfortable, while those that needed more cushioning mentioned that slipping in a pair of Dr. Scholl’s did the trick just fine.

A common complaint is how stiff the boots are right out of the box. However, because of how robust the leather is, many reviewers noticed that Second Shifts don’t crack as fast as other boots.

The Verdict

I recommend the Caterpillar Second Shift Work Boots if you work on concrete floors, slippery floors, or if you stand all day. The Climasphere cushion provides breathable comfort, but the deep lugs give you major stability on most floors.

Best for Concrete
Caterpillar Second Shift
$74.97 - $105.99

I recommend the Caterpillar Second Shift Work Boots if you work on concrete floors, slippery floors, or if you stand all day. The Climasphere cushion provides breathable comfort, but the deep lugs give you major stability on most floors.

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01/15/2021 03:41 pm GMT

Things to Consider Before Buying Work Boots Under $100

You get what you pay for. No pair of work boots under $100 will be the Ferrari of boots, but you can find the right pair for you if you take some of these things into account. 

Hazards at Work

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What risks will you be exposed to at work? This is the most important question to ask yourself when buying boots in any price range. It’s particularly vital in the budget category, because boots with less features are understandably more affordable.

If you’re working with heavy equipment, you’ll need a boot with a safety-toe. If you’re working in a public sector building that scans for metal or a fire academy that restricts steel toes, you’ll need to opt for a composite toe over a steel one.

If you’re working on wet or slippery floors, a sole with traction and slip-resistance is necessary.

Fortunately, all of these features are available in the budget range, but often not all in one boot. It’s a matter of figuring out which the most important features are for your specific situation.

Waterproofing and Lifespan

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Remember how the EVER BOOTS Ultra Drys even featured waterproof stitching and a waterproof direct-attach construction? That’s not always the case with cheaper boots. Even if the uppers are advertised as waterproof, there may still be weak links.

How hydrophobic a waterproof boot actually is has a major effect on its lifespan. Water damage and improperly drying your boots can significantly age them.

Just because a boot is under $100 though, doesn’t mean that waterproofing shortcuts were taken to make it. Pay close attention to what product descriptions say and don’t say.

Boot Care

Taking proper care of your boots extends their lifespan. Keep them clean and use boot oils to prevent drying and cracking. Leather cleaners and conditioners also help protect your boots from premature aging. 

Sof Sole Mink Oil for Conditioning and Waterproofing Leather
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Often, cheaper boots need more care than high-end boots. Water and dirt are the enemy, so make sure to buy a boot dryer if you’re regularly getting your boots wet.

ASTM Standards

As our roundup shows, a boot doesn’t have to be expensive to be ASTM-approved. If this is important to you, or if your work requires it, just check the inside of the boot. All ASTM-rated boots are marked as such usually on the inside of the lip. 

Comfort and Insoles

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One of the easiest ways for boot companies to make a boot cheaply while still meeting safety requirements is skimping out on the insole.

Many perfectly effective work boots are cheap because the insole is poorly made. For example, reviewers gave the Wolverine Floorhand rave reviews, but many complained about the insole.

This problem is easily fixed by replacing the cheaper insoles with nicer ones, so make sure that the insoles of your boots are removable.

Discomfort on the works site is distracting and dangerous—you don’t want to miss that rolling log about to flatten you because you were busy fixing your boot.

Style and Brand

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Workwear is different from fashion because workwear is judged by performance. That being the case, you can often trust brand name work boots that built a reputation for themselves. Timberland is a good example of this.

However, brand names will also often be more expensive because of the fashion aspect. When you’re buying a pair of LL Beans designed by Todd Snyder, you’re paying for goods, services, and name.

Enjoy Your Savings

Budget and quality aren’t mutually exclusive.

For a quality all-rounder, you can’t go wrong with the Timberland PRO Pitboss. It offers pure protection and comfort packed in a pair of eco-friendly work boots.

Best Overall
Timberland PRO Pitboss Steel Toe
$89.99 - $136.19

Few high-end brands deliver a budget boot as packed with premium features as the Timberland PRO Pitboss Boot. For a practical work boot that’s also a versatile casual shoe, this is as good as it gets in this price range.

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01/15/2021 12:41 pm GMT

Are comfort and convenience your main priority? The FITONE Work Boot provides sneaker-like flexibility, while the Wolverine Floorhand is light and well ventilated. Either would do well on a hot, busy day.

If protection is more important to you, the Caterpillar Threshhold’s steel toe and ASTM ratings will keep injury from falling tools at bay. Go for the composite-toe Skechers Soft Strides if you need something more lightweight and less metallic.

If you often work in the rain or cold, the super waterproof and insulated EVER BOOTS Ultra Drys are for you. If you spend your days working on a construction site, the strong yet breathable Skechers Workshire are your guys.

We’re sure one of these picks will serve you well whether you’re on a long hike or climbing construction sites.

FAQs

Are cheap work boots good for safety?

You can find boots with most safety requirements for under $100. For example, they may meet specific ASTM requirements, or feature a steel toe, or be water resistant. Cheaper work boots don’t always last as long as more expensive ones and may need more care or a new insole.

How do I make my work boots last longer?

Keep your boots dry and well-conditioned. Clean them with a water-based cleaning agent and a rag or nylon brush. Use boot conditioners to keep the leather soft and pliable, and use a boot dryer if you get your boots wet often. Cheaper boots will need more attention.

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