The 8 Best Work Boots for Walking

The 8 Best Work Boots for Walking in 2018

by Purposeful Footwear - Last Updated: December 4, 2018

All work shoes are not made equally. Work boots have several different benefits- some are good for walking, others are good for standing. If you are always on the move at your job site, you should wear a comfortable pair of boots that follows employer regulations and eliminates foot fatigue.

We’ve reviewed the top-rated work boots for long hours of walking so that you can buy your next pair with confidence.

Work BootFitPriceBest Feature
Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss 6” Steel Toe BootMen'sModerately pricedOur pick for the best men’s work boot for walking

Midsole with Timberland’s Anti-Fatigue Technology is shock-absorbent and has energy return
Timberland Women’s 6” Premium BootWomen’sExpensiveOur pick for the best women’s boot for walking

Midsole has Timberland’s Anti-Fatigue Technology which diffuses impact away from the foot and provides energy return
Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work BootMen’sModerately pricedSteel shank in midsole for shock absorption and stability
Skechers USA Men’s Mariner Utility BootMen’s Budget-friendlyCushioned insole for a comfortable fit with arch and heel support
Timberland PRO Direct Attach Steel Safety Toe Cap Waterproof Insulated BootMen’sExpensiveNylon shock diffusion plate absorbs impact as you walk
Bates Women's Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Sport Side-Zip BootWomen’sModerately pricedCement diffusion plate has support and shock absorption
Skechers for Work Women's Workshire Peril Steel Toe BootWomen’sBudget-friendlyShock absorbent outsole and midsole
Timberland PRO Women's Titan Waterproof BootWomen’sExpensivePowerfit Comfort System in outsole and midsole has shock absorption and diffuses impact

Best Work Boots for Walking

Timberland PRO Men’s 6” Pit Boss Steel Toe Work Boot

Image of the Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6

Timberland is one of the most famous producers of work footwear, one that has a global presence. Named after their famed waterproof boot, Timberland corners the market on work boots and appears on many lists of “best work boots.” The Timberland PRO Men’s Pit Boss Steel Toe Work Boot is one of their best-selling models. With a slip-resistant, oil-resistant, and puncture-resistant outsole, the Pit Boss stands up to the messiest work environments. A 100% Nubuck leather upper holds up well, protecting your foot against abrasions. The steel toe follows safety standards, making them a natural choice for many outdoor workers. An internal antimicrobial liner pulls sweat away from your foot, so they are great for any climate.

The real winner of this boot is the comfort. Armed with Timberland’s Anti-Fatigue Technology, the boot’s shock-absorbent midsole diffuses shock away from your foot with every step with energy return. This prevents foot fatigue and leg pain when walking longer distances. A comfortable insole shapes to your foot, supporting the bottoms of your feet as you walk. As comfortable as they are, they only last about a year, especially if you are rough on your boots. The lace hooks are flimsy, so lace your boots with care. Unfortunately, these boots are not waterproof, so they aren’t ideal for extremely wet work conditions. Overall, their comfort makes this moderately-priced work boot our choice for the best men’s work boot for walking.

Pros

  • Our pick for the best men’s work boot for walking
  • A moderately priced work boot with a strong Nubuck leather upper
  • The durable rubber outsole is slip-resistant, oil-resistant, and puncture-resistant
  • ASTM-certified steel toe boot
  • An antimicrobial liner pulls sweat and moisture away from your foot, fighting odors and keeping your feet comfortable
  • Midsole with Timberland’s Anti-Fatigue Technology is shock-absorbent and has energy return
  • Cushioned insole

Cons

  • Flimsy lace hooks
  • Not for extremely wet conditions
  • Only hold up for about a year with rough use

Timberland Women’s 6” Premium Boot

Image of the Timberland Women's 6” Premium A1K38 Nubuck Leather Boot Black-Black- USWomens 9

The Timberland Women’s 6” Premium Boot is an upgrade of the original waterproof boot that put the company on the map. With a 100% leather upper, this 6” ankle work boot is sturdy and comfortable for all-day wear. The rubber outsole has deep lugs for excellent traction for women who walk over rugged construction sites. Timberland’s Anti-Fatigue Technology midsole diffuses impact away from the foot, giving you energy return as you walk. This relieves foot and leg fatigue after long days on your feet. For more comfort, the boot has a padded ankle collar and a removable polyurethane insole for all-day wear.

With all of this protection against leg and foot soreness, the boot can feel heavy when you first put it on. There is a mild break-in period during which the leather will stretch, and you will get used to the weight of the boot. They do run large and narrow, so they will feel tight around the midfoot if you have wider feet. The Timberland Women’s 6” Premium Boot is expensive, but it’s Anti-Fatigue Technology and support will keep your feet happy during long shifts of walking. That is enough reason to invest in a pair. They are our choice for the best women’s work boot for walking.

Pros

  • Our choice for the best women’s work boot for walking.
  • 6” ankle work boot with 100% leather upper for durability
  • Rubber outsole with deep lugs for good traction
  • Padded ankle collar for comfort
  • Midsole has Timberland’s Anti-Fatigue Technology which diffuses impact away from the foot and provides energy return
  • Removable insole for comfort and bounceback
  • Waterproof construction keeps feet dry

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Feel heavy
  • Run large and narrow

Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot

Image of the Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot,Dark Brown,11 M US

The Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot is popular among construction sites for their comfort and protection. This 6” ankle work boot has a 100% leather upper for long-lasting wear and support. A slip-resistant Goodyear welt rubber outsole has defined lugs that tackle uneven terrain without straining your feet. Caterpillar built shock-absorbent features throughout the whole shoe. The thick 1.25” safety heel and 0.75” heel reduce the strain on your feet and knees, and a steel shank in the midsole diffuses impact away from your body. A removable polyurethane insole is denser than most memory foam insoles for more protection and comfort.

Built for comfort, the breathable mesh interior liner keeps your feet dry all day. A padded ankle collar and tongue cushion your foot for ultimate support. There is a mild break-in period for the leather upper, which shouldn’t last more than a week. These shoes run large: if you like a looser fit, order your regular size. Even in the roughest conditions, these moderately-priced boots should last you about a year of constant wear.

Pros

  • Moderately-priced 6” ankle work boot with 100% leather upper
  • Slip-resistant rubber outsole
  • 1.25” safety heel and 0.75” platform for shock absorption
  • Padded ankle collar and tongue for comfort
  • Breathable mesh interior liner
  • Metal lace grommets for an adjustable fit
  • Steel shank in midsole for shock absorption and stability
  • Removable polyurethane insole for cushion and bounceback

Cons

  • Mild break-in period
  • Run large
  • Sole separates from the upper after about a year of rough use

Skechers USA Men’s Mariner Utility Boot

Image of the Skechers USA Men's Mariner Utility Boot,Dark Brown,11 WW US

If you walk for long hours in a warehouse, then you need the Skechers USA Men’s Mariner Utility Boot. This budget-friendly ankle boot has excellent traction and shock absorption for long days for walking on concrete or tile floors. The 100% waterproof leather upper makes them ideal for any environment, keeping your feet dry through spills and rain. The padded ankle collar supports the back of your foot, and a cushioned insole keeps your feet comfortable with its arch and heel support.

With a thick rubber outsole, The Skechers USA Men’s Mariner Utility Boot is great for walking on hard surfaces. The 1.5” defined heel absorbs impact with every step, and the sturdy construction of the outsole diffuses shock away from your feet and joints. They do run narrow, so you may want to order a size up to get the width you need. If you feel that the insole doesn’t have enough cushion for you, take advantage of the extra space and use a gel insert. There is a mild break-in period for the leather and sole to stretch to your natural gait. After that, they will be one of the most comfortable work boots you’ve ever worn. They usually last about six months to a year in rough conditions. If you work indoors, they will last you much longer.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Durable ankle work boot with 100% waterproof leather upper
  • Padded ankle collar for comfort
  • 5” defined heel absorbs impact with every step
  • Rubber outsole with incredible traction and shock absorption
  • Cushioned insole for a comfortable fit with great arch and heel support

Cons

  • The insole is not removable
  • Run narrow
  • Mild break-in period
  • Last six months to a year

Timberland PRO Direct Attach 6” Steel Safety Toe Work Boot

Image of the Timberland PRO Men's 26038 Direct Attach 6

When Timberland released their Timberland PRO line of work boots in 1999, they set the standard for a protective work boot that holds up to any environment. The Timberland PRO Men’s Direct Attach 6” Steel Safety Toe Work Boot is both waterproof and insulated, a sturdy work boot that fits several work environments. If you work in wet, oily, or messy conditions, the Direct Attach will protect your feet while keeping them comfortable for a long day of walking. On the 100% leather upper, metal grommets hold up for adjustable lacing for a custom fit. The thick synthetic rubber outsole with a defined heel and a nylon shock diffusion plate in the midsole absorb impact every time your foot hits the ground. This relieves ankle, knee, and joint pain during 8+ hour work days.

In this long-lasting work boot, Timberland included a breathable interior liner to keep your feet from feeling drenched in sweat. An antimicrobial polyurethane insole supports your foot while fighting odors, while the padded collar wraps around your ankle for a long-lasting, comfortable fit. The Direct Attach runs small and narrow, so you will have to order a size up. There is a mild break-in period, but it usually doesn’t last more than a week. They hold up for about a year with rough use: if you work in less demanding conditions, they will last much longer. Once they start to fall apart, the waterproofing will fail. Use a sealant spray for extra protection before replacing them. Although these Timberlands run high on the price point, their comfort and protection against messy work conditions make them an excellent choice for many outdoor workers.

Pros

  • 6” insulated and waterproof work boot fit for several work environments
  • 100% waterproof leather upper
  • Metal grommets hold up for adjustable lacing
  • ASTM certified steel toe
  • Oil-resistant, synthetic rubber outsole with 1.75” heel and 0.75” platform are shock-absorbent, protect your feet from rough terrain
  • Nylon shock diffusion plate in midsole absorbs impact
  • Breathable interior liner
  • Antimicrobial polyurethane insole is extremely comfortable while it fights odors
  • Padded ankle collar for a comfortable fit

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Run small and narrow
  • Waterproofing may fail; spray with a sealant for extremely rough conditions
  • Mild break-in period
  • Last about a year with rugged use

Bates Women’s Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Sport Side Zip Boot

Image of the Bates Women's Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Sport Side Zip Boot,Black,6.5 M US

The Bates Women’s Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Sport Side Zip Boot is a comfortable and convenient work boot for women in supervisory roles. This soft-toe work boot has a leather and nylon upper that breathes well, and it is easy to clean with a damp cloth. The breathable GORE-TEX liner has moisture-wicking technology, pulling sweat away from your foot to keep your more comfortable. For long days of walking across the job site, the slip-resistant rubber outsole and the cement midsole plate absorb shock and relieve foot and leg fatigue. These boots hold up exceptionally well, and they have a side zipper for easy slipping on and off.

Although they are not completely waterproof, the Bates Ultra-Lites keep your feet dry in minimally wet conditions. They run narrow in the midfoot, but they have a roomy toe box. Ideal for women with long, narrow feet, this boot allows you to splay your toes as you walk, supporting your natural gait. There is a considerable break-in period, during which the leather and rubber outsole need stretching. Using a shoe stretcher will speed up the process. One common design flaw is that the zipper and the unpadded tongue can chafe the skin; wearing a thicker pair of socks will alleviate this problem. Despite these few design flaws, the moderately-priced Bates Women’s Ultra-Lites are a durable and sturdy work boot for women who need extra support for long days on their feet.

Pros

  • Moderately priced
  • Lightweight soft-toe work boot comfortable for all-day wear for women in supervisory roles
  • Leather and nylon upper is breathable and easy to clean
  • Breathable GORE-TEX lining has moisture wicking technology
  • Cement diffusion plate has support and shock absorption
  • Slip-resistant rubber outsole with great traction for wet environments
  • Side zipper for easy on and off
  • Hold up well

Cons

  • The zipper can chafe skin without thick socks
  • Not completely waterproof
  • Run narrow, but have a roomy toe box
  • Break-in period
  • Tongue in an uncomfortable position causes rubbing on the top of the foot

Skechers for Work Women’s Workshire Peril Steel Toe Boot

Image of the Skechers for Work Women's Workshire Peril Boot, Dark Brown, 8 M US

One of the most familiar names in footwear, the Skechers for Work Women’s Workshire Peril Steel Toe Boot is one of the best-selling products in the company’s work boot line. Made for women who work harder than they play, this budget-friendly work boot measures 5.25” from the arch with a strong leather upper for the best protection. The steel toe meets ASTM qualifications, and a synthetic rubber outsole with deep lugs digs into the ground as you walk. Lacing your boots is a snap with the metal-reinforced grommets that never fail so that you can get that perfect adjustable fit. The outsole is the first line of defense against impact while you walk, with 1” platform and 1.5” heel. The midsole also diffuses impact away from your feet, protecting your feet, joints, and back from unnecessary pain.

For more comfort, the Workshire has a memory foam insole with cushion and bounceback for long stretches of walking. The shoe might feel heavy in comparison to other women’s work boots, but your body will get used to the weight during the break-in period. Although the memory foam insole is amazingly comfortable, it provides little arch support. If you have high, defined arches, you can replace it with a custom insert. There is padding around the ankle for more comfort, but this can make the foot feel a little tight against your skin. Instead of investing your hard-earned money into a more expensive model, the Skechers for Work Women’s Workshire Peril Steel Toe Boot has all of the comfort and shock absorption that you need for a reasonable price.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Strong and durable women’s 5.25” ankle work boot with a sturdy construction
  • Removable memory foam insole
  • ASTM-certified steel toe protection
  • Metal grommets don’t break down for long-term adjustable lacing
  • Synthetic rubber outsole with deep lugs for amazing traction
  • Shock absorbent outsole and midsole

Cons

  • Fits tight in the ankle
  • No arch support
  • Feels heavy during the break-in period

Timberland PRO Women’s Titan Work Boot

Image of the Timberland PRO Women's Titan WaterProof Boot,Brown,8 W US

We round out our list with another model by Timberland, the Timberland PRO Women’s Titan Work Boot. Great for mechanic and construction work, the 100% leather upper and durable outsole protect your feet when you need it the most. Safe for any work site, the ASTM alloy toe and the slip-resistant, oil-resistant, and abrasion-resistant outsole suit women who do the messiest jobs. The solid construction and padded ankle collar cradle your feet for more comfort throughout the day.

Timberland’s patented Powerfit Comfort System reduces foot and leg fatigue for women who spend all day walking at their job. The rugged outsole has shock absorption, and the polyurethane midsole diffuses impact away from your feet. A nylon diffusion shank provides valuable support when standing and walking, reinforcing your natural gait. The Outlast Adaptive Comfort memory foam insole cushions your foot, while the heel inserts minimize pressure with every step. The long-lasting Women’s Titan runs narrow with no arch support. They may be uncomfortable for women with wider feet or defined arches. There is a mild break-in period for the shoe to stretch to your foot, so they can be slightly uncomfortable until you get used to them. Despite the expensive price tag, is one work boot no working woman should be without.

Pros

  • Durable leather upper and rugged outsoles for best protection
  • Nylon shank supports your natural gait
  • Powerfit Comfort System in outsole and midsole has shock absorption and diffuses impact
  • Outlast Adaptive Comfort memory foam insole
  • Steel toe passes safety standards
  • Oil-resistant, slip-resistant, abrasion-resistant

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Run narrow
  • No arch support
  • Mild break-in period

What Features Should I Look for in a Work Boot for Walking?

When shopping for your next work boots, you should choose a pair with the following features:

  • A durable rubber outsole with good traction will keep you balanced and comfortable on uneven terrains.
  • A shock absorbent midsole will diffuse the impact of walking, relieving foot fatigue and taking pressure off of your joints. A thick rubber outsole and comfortable insoles may also offer this protection.
  • Comfortable insoles – usually EVA memory foam, polyurethane, or gel – will keep your feet more comfortable with long hours of standing and walking. These materials give you cushion under the foot while adding to the boot’s shock-absorbent qualities. Some models have extra protection under the heel and the ball of the foot for more comfort during your stride.
  • Many work boots have breathable membranes in the interior liners to keep your feet from overheating. Some have moisture-wicking technology to pull sweat away from your foot to eliminate odors.

The Bottom Line

When you walk for hours on end, you need a comfortable and supportive work boot that has shock absorption and comfort to relieve leg and foot pain. Although employers have different requirements for their safety footwear, most work boots today have the safety and comfort features that appear on this list. For maximum comfort and durability, we recommend the Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss 6” Steel Toe Boot and the Timberland Women’s 6” Premium Boot. With these options, crippling pain in your feet, legs, and back after walking all day will be a thing of the past.

 

Resources:

“Do shoe insoles work?” SiOWfa16. Penn State University. http://sites.psu.edu/siowfa16/2016/11/20/do-shoe-insoles-work/

“Effects of footwear on back pain.” Laser Spine Institute. https://www.laserspineinstitute.com/beendoctors/section/lifestyle/25/footwear/161/

“Foot Comfort and Safety at Work.” CCOHS. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/prevention/ppe/foot_com.html

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