Long Lasting, Foot Protecting, Soul Warming Leather Boots
For those looking for a great pair of boots to protect their feet on the job site, there are a variety of styles and brands to choose from. The type of work boot you choose will largely depend on the amount of protection you need, but one thing is for sure, American made is the way to go.
American brands place an emphasis on craftsmanship and durability over passing trends when it comes to work-related footwear. That’s not to say you can’t buy an attractive work boot, just that quality will always trump style when it comes to US-based work boot brands.
Why Should You Buy American Made Work Boots?
There is something to be said for wearing the latest trend, but the real value comes when you invest in a durable pair of shoes. American-made work boots are not only durable but are also comfortable.
Imported work boots may feature some of the more advanced styles, but what you pay for is the look as opposed to the usage. There is not much use in buying a fancy pair of work boots that start to unravel at the seams the minute you hit the job site.
There is something to be said for following tradition. Some USA made work boots have a rich heritage and are steeped in the tradition of the country. If you work on a ranch in the Midwest, it would be almost sacrilege to wear a pair of work boots manufactured in China or Bangladesh.
Plenty of people prefer to buy American simply due to national pride. Others, simply know the value of a well-made shoe that will last for years to come.
America has a good reputation when it comes to maintaining quality. Another reason to buy work boots made in the USA is that it helps supports the local economy. With so many items being manufactured overseas, local makers are finding it tough to keep up with cut-rate pricing.
Buying US-made work boots also is more eco-friendly since it reduces your overall carbon footprint.
Disadvantages To Buying Imported Work Boots
When shopping for work boots, it is a good idea to research the brand and the materials used. Some brands will import materials from overseas that do not offer the same rugged durability as those sourced in the US. Also, many brands will be based in the US but outsource much of their manufacturing to Asia.
For work boots, this can mean a drastic drop in quality and durability. Of course, the price will also drop, but if you have to replace your work boots every year or two, they will end up being more expensive.
Most people shop in brick and mortar stores for their work boots, but if you have an odd size or need a specific style, ordering from overseas can greatly lengthen your lead time. Delays in the factory, shipping, or even in customs can turn a simple purchase into a lengthy ordeal.
How Do You Use Your Work Boots?
The work boots that will serve a rig worker are much different than the type of boots a farmer will need. If this is your first pair of work boots, it is a good idea to speak to your foreman, supervisor, or workmates to find out which type of boot will best fit your work site.
Choosing the wrong work boot for your industry can lead to accidents, poor-fitting, and even worse. Your work boots will need to follow specific safety standards in many industries such as being OSHA approved.
The construction is also very important. Some boots need to be able to resist electric shock while others will need to repel water.
Premier American Boot Brands
We have put together a list of some of the most prominent brands of work boots made right here in the USA.
Frye has been creating American made work boots for generations. Their boots are usually made of pure leather and offer a stylish yet versatile spin on the modern boot. In addition to work boots, they also make casual boots that can be worn to the office or any upscale event.
Chippewa Boots company has been around since the turn of the 1900s. This classic brand puts a lot of emphasis on traditional craftsmanship and durability. They offer four main categories of boots and always update their styles to keep in line with current trends. Chippewa also offer rugged outdoors boots, sleek road boots, outdoor durable boots, and field boots for the active traveler.
Truman Boot Co. is one of the newer brands in the US made boot market, but it is set to rise to legendary proportions. Their boot style is a mix of old-world craftsmanship elegantly paired with modern ideas. Made from high-quality leather, these boots take the classic design and flip it on its axis.
Red Wing Shoes is a well-known brand that has reached icon status. Though there has been talk of outsourcing recently, this brand is still historically a favorite among workers and casual booth enthusiasts alike. They offer sleek boot styles that fit in with current trends in addition to hard-soled durable leather work boots with ruggedness in mind.
Danner Boots is another American-made boot company based in Portland Oregon that makes a wide variety of boots ranging from casual hikers, traditional hikers, work boots, hunting boots, and boots for the military. They have become enormously popular for their moc-toe boot which is both USA-made and prices slightly less than much of the competition.
Thorogood is one of the most popular American boot makers, with their best selling American Heritage Moc Toe gaining a steadfast reputation for striking a nice balance between quick-break in and medium-lasting wear. These boots are some of the more affordable options which means nobody really has an excuse for NOT buying American.
Whites Boots is a company out Spokane Washington and known for making hand-crafted works of leather art for your feat. Among one of the most highly reputable boot makers in America Whites are a lifelong investment that while on the more expensive side when compared to the competition, will also probably outlast you.
Whites also just launched their own moc toe boot called The Perry in 2021 to compete with popular moc toe offerings from Danner, Thorogood, and Red Wing. The boot has been reported to be a nice middle ground between Red Wings and Danners.
What To Look For In Quality Work Boots
There are a few different things to look for when buying a pair of boots for work. The type of work you do will play a big role in the boot you end up buying. Let’s start with the toe of the boot. If you work in construction, you will need a boot that has an OSHA-approved tip.
The most common are composite toe tips and steel toe tips. This feature helps to protect the feet from electrical hazards and impact damage.
A reliable work boot will also need to have a solid tread. The tread type will determine the slip-resistance. This is very important because most workplace accidents are caused by falls, trips, and slips.
Some work boots have cleats while others feature deep tread that helps the user to better grip the surface during their workday.
Choose a work boot that has a tread that meets your needs, no work boot should have a bald bottom, however.
The construction of the boot will have a dramatic effect on the safety they offer and their overall comfort. Welting work boot construction is very durable because the sols are stitched directly to the boot. They tend to cost a bit more, but they also last longer.
With welting, if there is damage to the sole, it can easily be repaired or replaced. Cement construction boots are the lightest, but the soles are not replaceable if damaged or worn out.
The fit is another important thing to look for. They should offer firm support but not be too tight. If you are trying them on, make sure to wear a pair of thick socks or the socks that you plan to wear during your workday. This will allow you to get a more accurate feel for how the work boots fit when worn.
Work Boot Styles
There are several different styles of work boots to choose from. Most styles are crafted to fit a specific industry or to be used for specific environments but there are multipurpose boots available as well.
The most common work boot styles are steel toe boots and insulated boots. Both offer superior foot protection while also maintaining wearer comfort.
There are logger boots that grip the ground and help repel water and traditional construction boots that offer a no-slip tread and superior foot protection. Iron Ranger style boots can be used in a variety of settings is one of the most recognizable styles across the world.
Mud stomping boots feature a high cut to protect the ankle and lower calf while flexguard steel toes offer superior impact protection.
Work Boot Brands That Pair Style & Purpose
L.L. Bean probably makes you think about picture-perfect models wearing trendy outdoors outfits but going no-where. While the advertisements may be perfectly posed, their work boots are actually some of the best on the market. They are made in the USA from real premium leather and paired with waterproofing that ensures your feet stay warm and dry regardless of the outdoor conditions.
Nick’s Handmade Boots is a company that offers customers custom made options to fit their needs. 100% made and sourced in the USA, these boots can be tailored to fit any size and any purpose. If you need a boot that is waterproof and will stand up to the rigors of a construction site, Nicks can do it. Perhaps you need a steel toe work boot with extra deep treads, Nick’s can craft those too. Of course, they also offer pre-made boots for people just looking for a high-quality pair of American made work boots.
If you are looking for a pair of work boots that work as hard as you do, then Wolverine is the brand for you. This brand offers extremely sturdy work boots that are resistant to shock and weather. While other brands focus on fashion, Wolverine cares more about purpose. They have an overall rugged look that doesn’t take away from the overall function.
Timberland is an essential brand to add to our list. It has been around since the early 1950s and remains one of the most popular American work boot brands to this day.
Even though many of their models are made overseas, they are still equally popular on the construction site and in the shopping mall. They make sturdy work boots that can last throughout the long haul and make a fashion statement at the same time. Timberlands are often featured in pop culture which has further cemented this brand’s place in the American boot market.
How To Buy American Made Work Boots
It is always a good idea to shop for work boots in person unless you are simply replacing an old pair with new ones from the same line and brand. Price is always important, but don’t let that be the main factor when choosing a sturdy US-made work boot.
Make sure that when you do find a pair that meets your requirements that you try them on. This is very important because most American made boots are pure leather and will have a very specific fit.
Good work boots tend to last for at least five years, so the last thing you want is to be stuck with a pair of too big or too small boots. It is important to think about the soles of the work boot.
Will you buy Thermoplastic polyurethane outsoles, rubber outsoles, or ethylene-vinyl acetate midsoles? Each option offers different benefits which will be important for specific industries.
Slip-resistant soles are always important. If the work boots don’t have slip-resistant soles, then they are not actually made for work. EVA midsoles make for a very comfortable shoe and offer much more stability than other types. People with back or knee pain should choose a work boot with EVA midsoles.
Rubber outsoles have a natural gripping ability that is further boosted by the natural properties of rubber. TPU soles are more elastic in nature and can resist damage from chemicals and abrasion more effectively.
How Do You Know Your Boots Are Made In The USA?
With all this talk of being made in the USA, it makes sense to want to confirm your work boots are actually local. One of the easiest ways to know your boots are made in the US is to look for the label “made in the U.S.A.” Some boots stamp an American flag on the sole or the leather itself.
Work boots that are Berry Complaint are the best US-made certifications that exists. Products, including work boots that are Berry Complaint, are not only made in the USA, but every part down to the stitching is sourced or grown in the United States as well.