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 Boot||Fit||Price||Best Feature|
|Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss 6” Steel Toe Boot||Men's||Moderately priced||Our 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 Boot||Women’s||Expensive||Our 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 Boot||Men’s||Moderately priced||Steel shank in midsole for shock absorption and stability|
|Skechers USA Men’s Mariner Utility Boot||Men’s||Budget-friendly||Cushioned insole for a comfortable fit with arch and heel support|
|Timberland PRO Direct Attach Steel Safety Toe Cap Waterproof Insulated Boot||Men’s||Expensive||Nylon shock diffusion plate absorbs impact as you walk|
|Bates Women's Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Sport Side-Zip Boot||Women’s||Moderately priced||Cement diffusion plate has support and shock absorption|
|Skechers for Work Women's Workshire Peril Steel Toe Boot||Women’s||Budget-friendly||Shock absorbent outsole and midsole|
|Timberland PRO Women's Titan Waterproof Boot||Women’s||Expensive||Powerfit 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
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.
- 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
- Flimsy lace hooks
- Not for extremely wet conditions
- Only hold up for about a year with rough use
Timberland Women’s 6” Premium Boot
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.
- 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
- Feel heavy
- Run large and narrow
Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot
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.
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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
- Fits tight in the ankle
- No arch support
- Feels heavy during the break-in period
Timberland PRO Women’s Titan Work Boot
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.
- 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
- Run narrow
- No arch support
- Mild break-in period
Caterpillar Women’s Echo Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot
This mid-shin level boot has a solid steel toe for long-lasting protection, all-over waterproofness, and extra padding around the tongue and opening of the shoe, to help prevent blistering and keep water out. The upper is constructed of Nubuck leather with a Nylex sock liner and nylon mesh lining that make the shoe comfortable.
Despite the tall height of this 8” boot, it is not heavy. The Caterpillar Women’s Echo Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot also has a PVC midsole to add to comfort and support. The sturdiness of the boot offers great ankle support. The rubber outsole has a deep tread that helps prevent slips.
This is a good shoe for women who want feminine work boots since it is available in a blue color and a grey color, but not in traditional blacks, browns, and tans. It has a roomy toe box but narrow fit, making it a good choice for the average female foot.
The break-in period for this shoe can be painful, especially in the ankle and heel areas. The deep tread will stop you from slipping, but it also may get stuck in grates or the mud. Finally, the color of the boot stains easily when exposed to wet, oily, or dirty environments, so it is not the right choice for all jobs.
Timberland PRO Women’s Titan Waterproof Boot
These work boots are rated for waterproofness, anti-electricity, and anti-slip. The thick, rubber outsole is also resistant to abrasion and oil. It absorbs impact while walking so your joints and feet aren’t so stiff after a long day. The traction helps you grip onto the many surfaces you might encounter through the workday.
Inside the Timberland PRO Women’s Titan Waterproof Boot, a mesh comfort lining and temperature-regulating footbed help keep the feet comfortable and prevent sweating. An anti-microbial lining stops odor. The boot also features a shank through the middle to add support and a roomy inside, including the toe box. It is wide enough to be comfortable, without worrying about your foot sliding around. The shoe will hug your foot after the break-in period.
This medium-height boot also has a full-grain leather upper. The upper is durable and will not be stained by water and other substances. Though this boot is a little heavier than some other models, the energy return from the midsole, shank, and outsole help make every step count. The materials used are durable enough to last through years of use.
While these boots are comfortable, the extra layers of padding can make it feel bulky. They can be hard on the ankles during the break-in period and could use a little more cushioning on the ball of the foot.
Timberland Men’s 6” Premium Waterproof Boot
These boots rise to just above ankle height, which lets them offer great ankle support. There are several color and design options, which lets your feet stand out in a crowd. This is a non-steel version, though there is a steel toe version available if you need it. The leather upper is guaranteed waterproof and the tongue is sewn to the boot to ensure water does not come in the seams. The upper of the boot is also resistant to scratching.
The outsole is made of a thick rubber material with ridged traction that grips a variety of surfaces well. The Timberland Men’s 6” Premium Waterproof Boot also has a big, roomy fit that ensures you won’t get blisters from rubbing. It has good arch support, a padded collar that prevents the boot from rubbing against your leg and seals water out, and a suede coating on the tongue to prevent blisters.
The inside of the boot has a removable insole. The older version has a stitch on the inside of the boot where the heel is sewn in, but the newer model is a solid piece, which decreases irritation and increases durability. Even though this boot is not insulated, it keeps your feet warm in cold working conditions.
Out of the box, these Timberlands can be stiff and uncomfortable, but the padding makes the break-in period slightly easier. Though the boot is roomy, it tends to run small and the inside can have a sloppy fit for someone with narrow feet. If you want to maintain the color of the Nubuck leather, you will need to treat it to prevent staining.
Irish Setter Men’s 83606 6” Aluminum Toe Work Boot
People employed in hazardous work environments will appreciate these boots for walking around obstacles. It features an aluminum toe that remains lightweight while providing protection, as well as an outsole that is heat resistant up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. It is slip-resistant, too.
The upper has a classic moccasin toe style and is made of authentic Trout Brook full-grain leather made in Red Wing, a standard that Irish Setter boots have come to be known for. The leather is high-quality, being able to withstand weather, corrosive substances, and more.
The shoe is designed to rise above ankle height. When you tie the Irish Setter Men’s 83606 6” Aluminum Toe Work Boot all the way up, it offers full support of the feet and ankles. Inside the boot, there is a non-woven nylon lining and removable polyurethane footbed. It has a moderate to roomy fit with great shock absorption to cushion your back and joints.
Though this boot is slip-resistant, it might not hold on ice or in wet grass. Additionally, though the boot is water-resistant, there is no seal between the tongue and boot to make it waterproof. Additionally, while the upper is scratch resistant, it is still susceptible to nicks that might occur in a work environment.
Skechers for Work Men’s 76759 Soft Stride Galley Work Boot
This mid-top work shoe resembles a sneaker more than a boot, but it meets the same standards that a work boot would be expected to meet in the workplace. The upper is made of leather and synthetic materials. It features ripstop upper panels to increase durability and a composite toe to keep your foot safe from falling hazards at work.
The casual style of the Skechers for Work Men’s 76759 Soft Stride Galley Work Boot makes it a good choice if you often do running around after work. It is designed with an OSHA compliant outsole that is slip-resistant and hard. The construction is solid enough to stand up to walking across concrete. The outsole is attached to the upper with quality stitching it offers great support for your foot. This comes together in a boot that is not as bulky as some other options but still meets company standards for safety.
Inside this boot, polyurethane removable insoles add comfort while giving you the option of wearing custom orthotics. The fit is roomy for the most part and there are wide models available to accommodate people who need a wider fit. After the break-in period, this boot cradles your foot perfectly, so you feel good at the end of a workday.
These boots are stiff out of the box, so there is a tough break-in period. However, the boots will become comfortable after this period. It can be a little cramped in the toe area for some people and the outsole is not as flexible as you might want it to be. Even so, its cushioning and shape helps your foot remain comfortable while walking. The most annoying feature of this shoe is the squeak, which may or may not go away with wear.
KEEN Utility Women’s Flint Low Work Shoe
This sneaker-style work shoe has the same protection of a work boot without the height. The upper is constructed of leather and synthetic blend, which makes the shoe breathable and waterproof. It also features a torsional stability shank that improves midfoot support, asymmetrical steel toes, and a lightweight design.
Inside the shoe, the KEEN Utility Women’s Flint Low Work Shoe has a dual-density meta-anatomical EVA footbed. There is a large, roomy toe box that prevents the toes from pinching when the boot flexes and a natural snug fit in the heel. The shoe also offers good arch support and eventually breaks in to cradle the natural contours of your foot.
The flexibility of this shoe makes it perfect for walking. There is extra molded reinforcement on the toe box that increases the durability and the outsole does not slip on wet, oily surfaces. As an added benefit, it comes in a wide range of colors, even feminine ones, that let you show off your style. It is lightweight, supportive, and everything you need in a work boot.
This shoe runs a little on the large side and does not offer as much ankle support as a traditional work boot would. There is also a slight difference in the actual color of the shoe when compared to the photos provided online.
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.
“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
Jennifer Conerly is a writer and editor with extensive retail experience in athletic shoes and fitness she never thought would come in handy.