[Updated March 2020] From our experience on-site, the most talked-about piece of workwear is shoes. There is a good reason for this. These are the item you are standing, walking and working all day.
We look at footwear that is comfortable to be in all day and durable enough to withstand the environments they are used in. Here’s our opinion on the best waterproof steel toe boots for wet conditions.
Steel toe shoes and boots protect your feet and are a vital part of PPE for millions of workers daily. It is essential that the shoes protect your feet and they fit correctly. If in doubt speak to specially trained safety advisors.
The best waterproof steel toe boot we tested was the Timberland Pro Keele Ridge which has an 8.5-inch ankle height offering further protection form the wet conditions.
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Top 10 Best Waterproof Steel Toe Boots
1. Timberland PRO Men’s Keele Ridge
The Timberland Pro Keele Ridge are a mixture of leather and textile with an 8.5-inch ankle measured from the arch section. The mesh is waterproof as is the treated leather and comes with a waterproof membrane. The toes are protected by the front steel safety toe section.
What we liked: The design of the boot is more closely related to a hiking boot and that gives it extra comfort especially for those who are on their feet all day.
Steel toe meets I/75 and C/75 impact and compression ASTM F2412-11 and F2413-11 safety standard
We liked that they look great and are comfortable without the need for a lengthy breaking period. We allowed an extra size for use with larger socks in cold weather.
The Safety Workwear Guide view: This is a great all-round boot designed to keep your feet dry and protected whilst working on manufacturing and construction sites. They look and good and are comfortable to wear.
2. Skechers Work Men’s Ledom
These boots by Skechers are made with manmade textiles, rubber sole, and leather. Seams are waterproof constructed. Good grip from the sole as well. The Skechers name is more familiar with walking and sportier options but we were impressed with this work boot.
The boots are Steel toe rated for ASTM F2412-2011 I/75 C/75 and EH rated.
The insole is cushioned well and would be suitable for all-day wear.
3. Caterpillar Men’s Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Industrial Boot
These men’s Caterpillars steel toe boots are made from leather uppers and a rubber sole. The leather upper is breathable allowing your feet to wick away some of the moisture.
The outsole made of rubber has a good quality slip-resistant feel to them. The inner membrane ensures that there is extra protection for your feet and the insole is removable so it can be washed down.
The ankle shaft measures 5.25″ from the arch which allows a fair bit of protection when standing in puddles and muddy conditions.
4. KEEN Utility – Men’s Braddock Mid
Keen Utility offers a few quality products in the waterproof steel toe boot category but we felt these were the best choice.
What we liked about these boots is that the steel toe part of the upper is specially designed. It has a unique design that provides protection to ASTM F2412-11 but also gives a bit of extra room for your toes compared to other boots.
This part of the boot also wraps up and over the boot. This is a patented design.
The boots include an inner membrane that is breathable, allowing your feet to air whilst keeping them dry.
The outer soles have excellent grip qualities and meet ASTM standards for oil and slip resistance.
It is American built from the world’s best materials.
5. Black Hammer Mens Leather Safety Waterproof Boots S3 SRC
The Black Hammer safety boots are a heavy-duty boot with waterproof leather upper and steel toe cap protection. The rubber sole comes with a six-month warranty. The soles have a great grip and are resistant to oil. They have a breathable mesh lining and are lightweight despite looking bulky.
These boots are certified to ASTM F2892-18
The midsole is reinforced with steel to prevent penetration of the boot by sharp objects.
6. MICHELIN Men’s Hydroedge
These Michelin Men’s Hydroedge has the protective toe area and the upper is made from full-grain leather. The boots have a waterproof membrane giving extra protection against the elements.
The boots are stated as puncture-resistant, please remember this isn’t puncture-proof though!
We like the design and look of these boots as the steel toe section blends in with the rest of the boot.
7. Dunlop E76294310 Purofort Full Safety
These Full Height boots come in a different range offering varying protective qualities. If working all day in extremely wet conditions then these are the option to go for.
The boots include a lightweight technology to reduce fatigue and impact whilst walking. The purofort technology is 40% more flexible than a normal rubber.
The boots offer protection against water in which they are 100% waterproof. They are chemical resistant and oil resistant and provide anti-static qualities. They can also be used in cold temperatures up to -4F
8. Chippewa Men’s 9″ Waterproof
These Chippewa Waterproof boots at pretty high in the protection of the ankle area offering decent protection against water. They are made here in the USA by people who care about boots.
Safety toe cap meets or exceeds ASTM F2413-05 standards for impact and compression.
These are boots are well insulated with 3M Thinsulate Ultra providing a warm comfortable boot.
The membrane of the boot is waterproof but breathable allowing air to flow and providing comfort for feet when working for long periods.
The sole has been designed to withstand slips and it has thick heel.
These are a quality boot and are built to last
9. Timberland PRO Men’s Rigmaster
Another entry from Timberland but these are rigmaster boot. The shaft on the ankle measures 8″ from the arch giving a fair amount of protection against water ingress.
The leather upper is 100% leather integrated withPro rubber vamp which gives increased durability and heat resistance.
These boots look well built and able to carry out their job for a long time,
The sole has a good grip and is thick rubber construction.
10. Wolverine Men’s Darco 8″
These Wolverine boots give good protection against water with the medium-high ankle length. The ankle shaft measures 8″ from the heel (unsurprising as that was it says in the title)
Made from 100% leather and a synthetic sole, they also feature a Goodyear welt cast bond over the top of the toe protection.
he boots have a fibreglass shank to aid with structural support
What To Look For In A Pair Of Waterproof Steel Toe Boots
Most trades work over 8 hours a day on-site. That’s a long time to be standing and moving around whilst operating equipment and walking on concrete. Add in wearing thick socks and you could end up with screaming feet by the end of the day. Look at what soles are made of, what material the boot is made of
The boots should be made to last. You won’t want to replace boots every 5-7 months and should look for quality boots made to last. As the boots are going to be used for in some harsh conditions you should look at if they can handle oil/ chemical spills, can the boots last when used in muddy and wet terrain. Sharp objects like nails, glass and broken construction material
You need boots suitable for the tasks that you are carrying out. It is a good idea to write a list of the task that you regularly carry out to ensure that the boots are designed for the hazards that they may face. Safety Boots can be made from a combination of materials. Typical materials found on safety boots are leather, plastic, carbon fiber, alloy, rubber, and steel
Working on-site can present different terrains. Boots come in varying ankle heights that can protect against ankle roll especially on uneven terrains
Types of Toe Protection
- Steel Toe Boots- These are the classic option for safety boots but also the heaviest. These offer great protection to the toe area because of the inclusion of steel and protects against fallen material or tools on to your toes. Most construction sites insist on steel toe protection because of the level of protection they offer.
- Aluminum Toe Protection- Boots made with aluminum toe protection offer a sturdy lightweight option but these boots aren’t suitable for the extreme cold or hot weather conditions.
- Composite Toe Protection- These are the lightest option available and only designed for lesser bumps and contact. This option can be used in extreme temperatures. Normally made of Kevlar or Carbon Fiber.
If you exposed to external conditions and there are chances of wet weather or environment it is best to have waterproof boots, especially in winter. The materials that the boot is made off is an important factor.
Rubber and Leather are the best options when it comes to waterproofing. Canvas and nylon should be avoided. Rubber is a great option because of the material properties. The material is usually thick but flexible but extremely difficult for water to penetrate. The material is easy to mold in a factory environment so a rubber shell can offer great protection.
The sole should be made to grip well and be anti-slip. The soles can be made which specially designed grip and allows the water to be redirected.
The boot may also offer further protection with inner liners or membranes. This enables the second line of defense against any water penetration. They can also help with wicking away any perspiration.
All boots in the USA should be built to ASTM standards. One boot on the pair should clearly identify to which ASTM rating the footwear has been tested for. There are rigorous testing standards that footwear should undertake to ensure that worker’s feet are protected from the risk of injury in hazardous surroundings. ASTM 2413-18 is the standard for Performance Requirements for Protective (Safety) Toe Cap Footwear.
Boot Ankle Height
When looking at choosing the best waterproof steel toe boots it is a good idea to look at the ankle height especially if standing in puddles is part of your working day. The higher the better when it comes to this choice.
Difference Between Water Proof and Water Resistant
Waterproofing means that the boot is completely watertight and that you can stand in water without the worry that your feet will get wet.
Water-resistant is more of a protective layer that prevents water droplets from wetting the boot. This is usually achieved with a spray-on material that protects against splashes and lighter rainfall and not extreme weather. All ways go for a waterproof boot if working in areas that are likely to get very wet.
Keeping your feet dry whilst working in wet conditions is essential for your mental and physical wellbeing. It is worth spending a few extra dollars to ensure that you have the best protection. Hopefully, our guide will provide you with the best information to enable you to choose the best waterproof steel toe boots.
For further information on safety boots please read our ultimate guide to safety footwear