The 5 Best Rigger Boots With Ankle Support (2022 Review)
Welcome to our 5-minute review of the best rigger boots with ankle support. If you jump onto any ecommerce store, you’ll see dozens of rigger boots on offer.
The question is, which ones are going to provide the most ankle support and be the most durable?
We’ve included our top pick for the best rigger boots with ankle support (both overall and for those on a budget). And, we’ve offered several alternatives for comparison’s sake.
Table of Contents
Best Rigger Boots With Ankle Support
Below are the 10 best recommendations for rigger boots — so there’s one to suit every budget.
First on our list of the best rigger boots for tradesmen, we’ve got the DeWalt Tungsten.
These are waterproof rigger boots for site work, rather than those that are simply water resistant “enough” to work in muddy conditions on occasions.
Cheaper boots compromise something to weigh in much cheaper. That might be ankle support, waterproofing, or durability.
There’s no compromise here.
The DeWalt Tungsten, like the Scruffs (below) have upper ankle support built into the leather.
So, if you have a small slip, you won’t be having weeks of work with a dodgy ankle!
As these are waterproof boots, DeWalt has made sure they’ve built in breathable fabrics.
So, if water does get in over the top of the boots, moisture will be wicked away quickly keeping your feet dry.
And, there’s even a removable padded insole for those that have flat feet.
The DeWalt’s are built to last.
They’ve got a steel penetration resistant midsole, stitched seams, and ridiculously thick durable soles.
Basically, if you can’t make these rigger boots last, you’re a true grafter – respect!
What most cheap rigger boots don’t incorporate into their design is oil and petrol-based resistance.
The DeWalt soles repel both oil and petrol, so that’s going to reduce the chance of a slip/fall on-site (and weeks off work).
Are the DeWalt Tungsten rigger boots cheap? Nope.
There ARE cheaper boots on the market.
But, if you’re looking for value for money (i.e. comfort, safety/protection and durability) over just “cheap”, then they’re worth the cash.
The online reviews are mostly positive for the DeWalt Tungsten.
The only negatives I could find relate to:
- They fit a little loose (solved: buy a size bigger)
- They lose their waterproofing after 6-12 months (solved: almost ALL waterproof outdoor products need re-waterproofing after 6 months – I use NikWax).
They’re one of the more expensive on our best rigger boots list, but they’re definitely worth the cash.
The DeWalt’s just offer that little extra in terms of ankle support, durability, waterproofing and even sole resistance to oil/petrol than anything else on this list.
If you want the best-of-the-best and have the budget, this is where we’d be heading.
Our Pick For: The Cheaper Alternative To Dewalt’s Tungstens
OK, so you need a set of waterproof rigger boots like the Dewalt Tungstens, but don’t want to fork out that much £££?
You need the Apache Traction boots.
The stiff TPU shell on the Apache Traction boots is going to offer you ankle support that rivals the DeWalts.
And that support is held together by Honcho leather, so you get flex AND support at the same time.
Your feet are staying dry with these Apaches – they’re waterproof.
But, if on the off chance you still manage to get wet, there’s a breathable liner built-in, so moisture is going to dry quickly.
And like the Dewalt rigger boots, the Apaches are built to last.
You’ve got a steel toe cap, tough outer shell, and mid sole protection – perfect for hard site work.
The EVA sole is comfortable and durable.
More importantly, it’s anti-slip!
These boots sit in the perfect mid-range.
Expect to pay around £60, so around £20 more than the cheaper boots on this list, but still around £20 saving when compared with the Dewalt safety boots above.
Check out the online reviews for yourself.
There are a tonne of buyers saying how good these boots are for the money.
The only note is that like many other rigger boots, buying a “size-up” is probably a good idea.
The Apache Traction rigger boots are a pure contender for the DeWalt Tungsten, and not just because they’re cheaper.
They’re great for:
- Wet and muddy site work, as they’re waterproof
- Site workers working 5-7 days a week (they’re tough)
- Those without the budget for the more expensive DeWalt’s
If you’ve got the cash, head for the Tungsten’s.
But, if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, the Apache Tractions are the best alternative…
There’s no doubt Scruffs produce some quality workwear for tradesmen.
But, what about their safety boots?
The leather on the Scruffs Gravity boots is flexible.
But, it’s slightly stiffer on the ankle, offering some support.
The whole of the ankle area is padded to offer that little extra protection on-site.
The comfort doesn’t just come from the ankle padding.
The Scruffs Gravity rigger boots have a thick fleece lining. It’s breathable enough that you’ll not get sweaty feet in the summer but offers enough insulation to keep your toes warm in the winter.
The thick leather is triple stitched to stop seams splitting, and you’ll get steel toe caps, as well as a steel mid-plate protection.
That’s not just giving these rigger boots that extra protective boost, it’s making sure they’re going to last too.
The first thing that wears out on most work boots is the sole. That’s why Scruffs have made sure the ones on the Gravity are extra durable.
That’s combined with a SRC slip rating, reducing the chances of a slip or fall on site.
And here’s the thing that makes the Scruffs one of the best rigger boots on the market; they’re dirt cheap.
Typically, you’d expect to pay £60-90 for quality boots from leading brands.
For Scruffs? You’ll be looking at forking out around £40.
It’s worth going and checking out the 100s of online reviews for the Scruffs rigger boots.
They don’t have the MOST reviews online, but they have one of the highest number of positive reviews when compared with competitor products.
The Scruffs rigger boots tick all the boxes.
- Provide plenty of ankle support
- Perfect for muddy and wet conditions
- Breathe well enough to be used in summer and winter
Looking for the best rigger boots with ankle support (but on a budget)?
You won’t go wrong with Scruffs…
If you’re looking for alternatives, we’ve got a few more to consider, including the riggers from Dickies.
The ankle support for the Dickies comes in the form of a PU/rubber on the outer of the ankle.
That’s enough to protect your ankle from twisting, but not much else – so it’s pretty-basic.
The main source of comfort here comes from the lining inside the leather.
Dickies have lined the leather with mock fur. That’s going to keep your feet warm and dry throughout the year.
More importantly, the upper leather is water resistant, so these boots are perfect for muddy site work.
The Dickies are more about durability than comfort. They’ve incorporated a thick leather which offers support (but again, is focused more on durability), as well as a TPU scuff cap both on the heel and toe.
There’s a steel toe cap for foot protection, and the soles are heat resistant up to 300°C.
These are cheap rigger boots, that offer a lot of bang for your buck. In fact, they’re one of the cheapest on the market (at least, from a well-known work wear brand).
Depending on what promotional deals are on offer, you could be paying as little as £40, and that makes them roughly half the price of the Dewalt Tungsten’s.
The online reviews for the Dickies are extremely positive, with most buyers saying they’ve lasted a year or more on site, doing 5-6 days per week.
For cheap rigger boots, the Dickies are certainly a contender for the Scruffs Gravity.
They’re great if you’re:
- On a tight budget
- Need water resistant boots that keep your feet dry for muddy site work
- Don’t wear rigger boots every day
If you wear rigger boots a few days a week, you’ll be saving a tonne on the Dewalt’s by buying the Dickies.
However, if you wear safety boots daily, you’ll want something with more durability, ankle protection and that are waterproof, so our suggestion there is definitely the DeWalt Tungsten (#1 on our list).
And don’t forget about the Apache Safety Boots, a definite competitor to both Dickies and the Scruffs Gravity.
Like the Dickies and Scruffs, you’ll get a padded ankle area, with supportive leather.
The difference here is that this integrates directly with the heel support system, offering a much more rigid ankle/heel area (and consequently, more support).
What a lot of rigger boots in this price range lack, is a sole that’s focused on comfort.
Alongside the support in the ankle/heel areas, the shock absorbing sole certainly helps.
And, it’s a noticeable if you get ankle or knee pain.
You’ll get a sole that’s tested up to 200 degrees which is dual density, a steel toe cap and mid sole protection.
And, that means the Apache rigger boots are going to last.
It’s not just the shock absorbing characteristics and durability of the sole on the Apache’s that’s impressive.
Not many boots in this price range resist both chemicals and oil, but the Apache’s do.
And, that’s going to mean less chance of a slip or fall on site.
Expect to pay under £50 for the Apaches.
And, that puts these boots as not just one of the cheapest ones available online, but in a similar price bracket to the Dickies and Scruffs.
Like all the boots on this list, the feedback on the Apache’s from online reviewers is positive.
The main takeaway though?
Buy a size bigger than your usual shoe size.
A great rigger boot for the money. If you’re planning on buying the Apache’s, you’ll be getting:
- Great value for money (they’re cheap)
- A boot that can resist oil and chemicals (less chance of slips/trips)
- A durable sole that’s perfect for rough site conditions.
The ankle support is there, but it’s limited — and this is why rigger boots are banned on many construction sites.
That said, the ankle area is firm enough that these boots will keep you safe while gardening, farming, and performing other general tasks on uneven terrain.
Still, if you’re looking for rigger boots with guaranteed ankle support, I’d urge you to opt for our #1 pick — the DeWalt Tungsten rigger boots.
What they lack in ankle support, these rigger boots make up in comfort. Not only is the seemingly tough exterior actually soft and flexible, but the special insole gives this boot that edge that will keep your feet from feeling sore at the end of a tough work day.
The Buckler Safety Rigger Boots are durable enough — as long as they’re not used on particularly harsh construction sites.
Keep in mind, too, that whilst they’re good for occasional work in the mud, they’re not completely waterproof. If you’re after a pair of rigger boots that doesn’t let a single drop of moisture through, we suggest you go for our 1st pick, the DeWalt Tungsten rigger boots.
The sole on these rigger boots offers tonnes of redeeming qualities.
Firstly, it’s HRO-certified, meaning it’s heat-resistant to 300°C on contact. Secondly, it’s highly slip-resistant, and boasts an SRC certification to prove this fact. Lastly, the outsoles are anti-static.
Keep in mind, too, that the midsole on these rigger boots has steel protection (as does the toe), so you needn’t worry about stepping on sharp objects.
These boots are far from cheap. In fact, their price point rivals that of the DeWalt Tungsten. But for this money, you get lasting comfort, genuine, crazy horse leather, a heat and oil resistant outsole, as well as a midsole and toe that protect your feet with nothing less than steel.
The majority of reviews are positive, and the feature that gets the most praise is comfort. Even buyers with negative feedback take the time to give credit where it’s due — these boots are incredibly comfortable.
On the other hand, most negative reviews tend to focus on these downsides:
- The boots are NOT waterproof — they’re water-resistant
- In harsh conditions, the boots begin to wear out after several months
- The boots are a bit narrow
Like the DeWalt Tungstens, the Buckler Safety Rigger Boots are on the pricier side. However, if you’re after comfort, sole protection, slip and heat resistance, and an appealing, crazy horse leather exterior, you’ll find these rigger boots are worth the money.
Just remember that they’re not waterproof; nor are they meant for rough construction sites.
These waterproof rigger boots from V12 offer heaps of padding, tough leather, and special reinforcement for robust ankle support. This should suffice for most job sites.
Balancing comfort and durability isn’t always simple — tough materials are typically hard on the skin. And these boots are definitely more durable than they are comfortable (although they’re just snug enough that you can have them on without issues for an 8-10 hour shift.)
That said, the V12 Tomahawk waterproof rigger boots are extremely breathable, so they’ll keep you from perspiring during long, brutal work days. And, they’re actually waterproof, meaning your feet will stay dry even if you work in muddy, wet conditions.
Durability is what sets these rigger boots apart. They feature a cow hide leather upper that’s triple-stitched together for maximum protection against wear-and-tear. The toe comes with a steel cap, whilst the midsole is reinforced with a composite material that’s rated to 1,100 N.
With any work shoe, durability hinges as much on quality as it does on the type of work you’ll use them for.
The V12 Tomahawk rigger boots are incredibly durable in most conditions; that said, you may see some wear-and-tear after 3-6 months if your job site is particularly brutal.
You’ll be happy to learn that the triple-density rubber sole is oil and heat-resistant (up to 300°C on contact). It can also withstand acid, alkali, and hydrocarbons. This level of protection not only guards your feet against these nasty hazards, but also adds to the boots’ imperishability.
At the time of writing, the V12 Tomahawk rigger boots commanded a price similar to that of our top pick, the DeWalt Tungstens. Which, although high by most people’s standards, is easily justified by these boots’ toughness, safety, functionality, and aesthetics. In simple terms — you’ll pay more upfront, but spend less on replacement.
The majority of consumer reviews overwhelmingly list durability and ankle support as the most positive features of these boots.
Among the negative reviews, you’ll find buyers who are not entirely satisfied with comfort.
If you value durability, safety, and solid ankle support above all else, these waterproof rigger boots from V12 are a fantastic choice. Don’t fret, though, they’re still comfortable — perhaps just less so than some of the other picks on our list (like our pick from Buckler above).
Another DeWalt creation on our list, these rigger boots may lack the rugged appeal of their pricier Tungsten cousins, but they’re by no means less durable or safe. Want a pair of DeWalt rigger boots that’s on the cheaper side? Consider the option below.
The ankle area is padded, giving you a relative degree of ankle support. There’s also a TPU support for your heel.
So, would we wear these rigger boots on a farm, unpaved, muddy area, or other rugged terrain? Sure. But for a brutal construction site, we’d opt for the Dewalt Tungstens instead.
These rigger boots from DeWalt offer a healthy assortment of features that will keep your feet — and legs — comfortable at work.
Thanks to their cushioned collar and counter lining, you can rest assured that these boots won’t cause any annoying chafing around your calves. What’s more, their antibacterial insole boasts a dual-density seat for improved shock absorption.
Durability shouldn’t be an issue with these rigger boots — not under most conditions, anyway. The full-grain leather upper is triple-stitched, with a steel-capped toe, while the outsole is made with welted Goodyear rubber. The composition of the sole also adds a great deal of toughness to these boots — more on that below.
Overall, this is as durable as rigger boots get.
First things first — the sole is rated to withstand heat of 300°C on contact, and is designed to resist oil and various chemicals. The midsole also has steel protection, so your feet are well-shielded from sharp objects on the job site.
As we mentioned, these rigger boots from DeWalt are a bit cheaper than their Tungsten cousins from the same brand. That said, they still pack tonnes of value, so don’t think of them as the “budget” alternative.
A good chunk of negative reviews point to early wear-and-tear. But such complaints are few and far in between. Keep in mind that some job sites are bound to destroy a quality shoe far earlier than others.
On the upside, dozens of happy buyers from various trades swear by these boots. Also note that consumer feedback here is overwhelmingly positive, with over 80% of reviewers giving these boots 4 stars or higher on Amazon.
If you want to save a few quid but still end up with a reputable pair of DeWalt rigger boots, the pair above seems like an excellent choice.
Comfortable, durable, and inexpensive — isn’t this all you need from a pair of rigger boots? Apart from a minor downside, the pair below seems to hit all 3 of these criteria; read on and see for yourself.
The ankle is padded, but if you prefer robust, fail-safe ankle support, it’s best to go for a different pair — like the DeWalt Tungstens.
These rigger boots have several key features that ensure your comfort. These include:
- Jontex lining to keep your feet dry (WR-certified) and let them breathe
- Cushioned footbed
- Shock-absorbing heel
- Leather pull loops that won’t cause chafing or irritation around your calves
And indeed, customer reviews serve as validation that these rigger boots are built for comfort (more on this below).
There aren’t any features that set these boots apart in terms of durability. That said, these humble boots have all the standard elements that give work boots their toughness:
- Dual-density, oil-resistant sole
- Strong, leather, water-repellant upper
- Waterproof lining
- Steel-capped toe and midsole
Rigger boots take a lot of abuse, but no other part of them suffers more than the sole. That’s why you’ll be relieved to learn that this essential component on the Grafters is designed to keep the rigger boots — and your feet — safe from various hazards. In fact, the dual-density sole is certified to resist oil, fuel, static, and features an anti-slip outsole.
Notably, however, there’s no mention of heat resistance; if this characteristic is important to you, you can opt for any of the other pairs on the list above.
At the time of writing, these rigger boots from Grafters were some of the cheapest on the market (you can check the price yourself here).
And, in our opinion, they’re worth every penny. Their only notable downside, really, is that they’re not rated for heat resistance — unlike their pricier peers. Apart from this flaw, this Grafters model is a splendid pair of rigger boots that packs a tonne of value.
For an unpretentious, less expensive item, we found that the Grafters rigger boots have an unusual number of glowing reviews. Sure, some buyers noticed wear-and-tear earlier than they expected; but generally, these boots get tonnes of praise for both comfort and durability.
If you’re looking for a tough, yet snug pair of rigger boots that won’t burn a hole in your wallet, this pair from Grafters may be a solid option. Just don’t forget that they’re not certified for heat-resistance.
Last but certainly not least, wrapping up our list of the best rigger boots is a lightweight, steel toed, multi-functional pair that scores high in both comfort and protection from various hazards. Despite their many features, these work boots have a surprisingly reasonable price point.
These boots comprise multiple upper panels that are designed specifically to provide top-grade ankle support. This feature isn’t too common among rigger boots, and makes this pair a great option for working on rough terrain.
For your comfort RockFall has equipped these boots with a fur-lined, anti-fatigue EVA footbed. EVA — in case you’re not familiar — stands for ethylene vinyl acetate, which is a rubber-like plastic that provides exceptional shock absorption. This compound is also highly resistant to both heat and cold, and thus offers an added layer of protection against the elements.
These rigger boots are oil-resistant, have a water-repellant upper, and are built with high-quality materials. Most consumer reviews note a good degree of durability on various types of work sites.
The midsole comes with a steel plate to protect your feet from abrasion, while the dual-density sole helps reduce the stress on your feet.
These mid-range rigger boots are less expensive than some of their peers on this list. For reference, they cost about as much as the Apache Safety Boots; you can check the Amazon price for yourself, if you like.
This is one of those products where buyers either love them or hate them; luckily, there are more of the former than the latter. In fact, over 85% of reviewers have left these rigger boots a rating of 4 stars or higher on Amazon.
That said, we should mention that most complaints, as sparse as they are, focus on issues with comfort.
Given the price point, these boots from Rock Fall offer fantastic value. However, if you’re looking for the best rigger boots on the market, I’ll urge you to go with our #1 pick — the DeWalt Tungstens.
Rigger Boots Buying Guide
If you’re not satisfied with any of the rigger boots on our list above — no worries. Keep reading, and we’ll walk you through some essential information you should know before making a purchase.
What Rigger Boots are Really For
Rigger boots are a great option for wet, muddy terrain, but not all of them provide the best ankle support for typical construction sites.
Back in the day, these boots were made for oil rig workers — hence their name. And, in their original function, these boots were meant to be slipped off quickly if a worker ever went overboard.
Nowadays, their easy slip-on nature and looser fit are what makes these boots so popular amongst myriad different trades. Throw in waterproofing, and you’ve got the perfect work boot, right?
Unless you find a pair with ankle support, your boots will not be suitable for most construction sites (and may even be banned by management on some). And this is why we’ve assessed each model on our list above for ankle support.
That said, even rigger boots without adequate ankle support are not exactly useless. There is plenty of wet, muddy terrain where you’re not as likely to roll an ankle as if you were, say, hiking in the wilderness or working on a demolition site. So, if you need boots for farming, gardening, or working on a flat, wet surface, rigger boots are a suitable choice.
What to Look For When Buying Rigger Boots
Apart from having ankle support, you should also make sure that your chosen rigger boots have the following characteristics:
- A sole that’s resistant to slips, heat on contact, oil, static, and abrasion
- A steel capped toe
- A comfortable footbed
- A water-repellant, leather upper
- Waterproof lining
Good consumer reviews (there will ALWAYS be some negative reviews for any pair of work boots; just make sure they don’t outweigh the positive ones)
FAQs About Rigger Boots
Below, we’ll try to answer some FAQs we often get about rigger boots.
Why are rigger boots banned?
There’s no statute out there that bans the use of rigger boots. That said, many construction sites prohibit their use because they lack adequate ankle support.
The best way to find out if you can wear these boots on your site is to ask the superintendent or someone on the health and safety committee. If your rigger boots can support your ankles properly — like these DeWalt Tungstens — then they may be allowed.
Are rigger boots waterproof?
Traditionally, rigger boots are supposed to be waterproof; unfortunately, not all of them are.
In the list above, we found several waterproof rigger boots, like these ones from Rock Fall. That said, make sure you read customer reviews to find out if the manufacturer’s waterproof claims are true.
Can I find rigger boots with ankle support?
Yes, there are plenty of rigger boots out there that have sufficient ankle support. Again, take the DeWalt Tungstens, which have ankle support built right into the leather.
Like with waterproofing, though, it’s good practice to check consumer reviews for indications of falsehood on the manufacturer’s sales page.
Thanks for reading our 10-minute review of the best rigger boots for construction work, inclusive of ankle support.
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