10 Best Work Boots for Safety and Comfort in 2021 (Reviews)
Whether you’re a plumber, roofer, or builder, our review of the best work boots has EVERYTHING you need to know to make your next purchase.
The review covers a range of boots from the top brands, focusing on durable, comfortable, and hard-wearing safety boots with steel toes caps. We’ve also offered up a recommendation for a set of boots specifically designed for women (#10 on this list).
Table of Contents
The Best Work Boots In The UK
Below are our 10 recommendations for the best and most comfortable boots — so there’s a pair to suit every budget.
If you’re looking for a true all-rounder, the Dewalt Titanium safety boots (with steel toe caps) are a good place to start.
The first thing you’ll notice is there’s a big focus here on comfort. Unlike the cheap work boots that flood the UK market, both the collar AND the tongue of the Dewalt Titaniums are padded.
This way, you won’t get any discomfort from rubbing, even if you’re standing up all day.
Compared with other work boots, this pair has a slightly wider fit. And the fact that they’re both breathable and waterproof means you’ll be comfortable all day, even if you’re working in hot conditions, or on a muddy site.
You’ll get plenty of durability with these steel-toe boots, too. There’s a high-quality (and protective) 200J steel toe cap, and a shock-absorbing sole that’s dual-density (so it lasts). The mid-sole is steel penetration-resistant (meaning no nails through your foot), plus you’ll get a rigid TPU heel guard, and plenty of ankle support.
There’s a big problem with most of the best work boots on the market today — they look ugly and feel bulky.
So if you’re looking for a set of steel toe boots that are also lightweight and visually appealing, look no further than the Scruffs Switchback.
These men’s workboots are so lightweight and slimline, there’s a good chance they’ll be mistaken for trainers. But on top of the sleek aesthetics, you’ll also get plenty of protection, like a steel toe cap that’s S3-rated. What’s more, these work boots come with a durable midsole that’s reinforced to guard your foot.
The cushioned leather uppers and sports-style inner sole mean these are some of the most comfortable steel toe boots in the UK right now. And, unlike other durable safety boots, you won’t need to break these ones in. Just like a pair of trainers, you’ll get no rub, straight out of the box.
For durability, the Scruffs Switchback boots give you a heat-resistant sole. The moulded protector keeps the boot intact, but it’s also extremely comfortable; no rubbing, no blisters.
As a testament to the above, there’s a tonne of online reviews from happy tradesmen that have purchased the Scruffs Switchback.
Do you feel your budget doesn’t stretch to the Scruffs Switchback or the DeWalt Titanium? Worry not, our lineup of the best work boots has got you covered — check out these DeWalt Apprentice boots.
A quick search online shows that the DeWalt Apprentice steel toe boots are among the most popular in the UK; there’s a tonne of reviews online. And that’s because they’re ridiculously cheap, all while affording the same enduring quality you get from most DeWalt products.
I’ve owned a few pairs of the DeWalt apprentice steel toe cap boots, and they do offer excellent value for money.
Firstly, they’re breathable — you shouldn’t perspire in these boots, even if you’re working in them all day (if you do, there’s an anti-bacterial sole). This means your steel toe boots are nice and fresh even at the end of an exhausting, sweaty work week.
More importantly, these work boots offer plenty of protection. You’ll get a sole that isn’t just dual-density but also shock absorbent. It’s made from soft, flexible EVA rubber, tested to 300 degrees, and has an SRA slip rating thanks to being oil-resistant. With a sole like this, these steel toe boots are safe enough for all types of site work, including roofing.
Overall, the DeWalt Apprentice is one of the best work boots you can get without breaking the bank. HOWEVER, if it’s comfort you want out of your new boots, I’ll urge you to put aside another £15-20 and upgrade to a set like the DeWalt Titanium.
If you’re a fan of the Scruffs Switchback but want something with more protection, head straight for the Scruffs OXIDE. Like the Switchbacks, the OXIDE boots look cool, while also delivering on all fronts including comfort, durability, and water resistance.
Just remember, “water-resistant” doesn’t mean “waterproof”. If you stand in a deep puddle for a while, your feet will get wet. But if you’re simply going about your workday on a soggy, muddy job site, the OXIDE boots will keep you dry and comfortable.
Speaking of comfort, you’ll get soft leather and suede on the upper part of the boot, as well as the standard padded tongue and collar. Like most Scruffs work safety boots, the OXIDE have a sole with one purpose — to absorb shock. If you’ve got problems with your ankles or knees, this design will make an enormous difference.
Durability-wise, these work boots will give you a sole that’s pierce-, slip,- and heat-resistant; simply put — these boots will last.
After a cool-looking set of water-resistant steel toe boots? The Scruffs OXIDE are tailor-made for you!
If you MUST wear protective footwear at work, but your boots seldom see the typical job site hazards (i.e. you’ve got an administrative role), there’s no need to overspend. In fact, I recommend you look no further than the Dickies Hiker — they’re steel toe boots, and they’re absolutely dirt-cheap. I mean, you’ll probably get change from £20 on a good day.
Don’t get me wrong, these boots do offer a reasonable level of durability, comfort, and protection. You get a steel toe cap and a steel midsole, with a prime purpose of protection underfoot. And to be fair, the dual-density sole offers enough shock absorption to make a difference if you suffer from knee pain.
Combined with the price, this means that Dickies sell a tonne of these safety boots. In fact, they’re one of the most popular work boots available online, with hundreds of positive reviews.
If you need cheap work boots, the Dickies Hikers are the ones for you. But if you’re looking for comfort when both driving to a job site and working, you might have to rub a few more notes together and head back to #1 and #2 on this list.
Next up on our list of the best work boots is a direct competitor to the DeWalt Apprentice — the Apache Safety Boots. They’re similar in price, and the features are almost identical. If you’ve got the budget for the DeWalt Apprentice boots, you’ll want to check out Apache too.
You’ll notice they don’t have the volume of online reviews that the Apprentice boots have, but that’s more of a brand thing than anything else. DeWalt are just better known and stocked in far more stores.
The materials used to manufacture the Apache Safety Boots are water-resistant, so you’ll stay dry and comfortable in anything but torrential rain. The padded collar and tongue, composite mid, and shock-absorbing sole all add to the comfort.
These steel toe boots come with S3 safety and SRA slip ratings, so they’re perfect for sites where the foreman is strict on what can and can’t be worn. The Apache Safety Boots have earned these ratings with their chemical-resistant, oil-resistant, and tough EVA rubber sole.
As the Apprentice, the focus is a middle-ground between durability and comfort. So, if you’re looking for the most comfortable work boots in the UK, you’d better go with the #1 and #2 picks on our list. But if you’re ready to compromise a little and save around £20 in the process, The Apache Safety boots are the ones for you.
If you’re looking for mens work boots with a tonne of ankle support, very few picks will compete with the CAT Holtons. It’s a protective but comfortable boot, perfect for those needing ankle support as well as those with wide or flat feet.
The 100% leather upper on the Holton boots is flexible, but it does offer additional ankle support (being higher than most) in comparison to your average trade boots. Comfort is further amplified thanks to the Flex sole and padded tongue and collar. If you have ankle problems, or work on rough terrain where it’s easy to twist or roll your ankle, you’ll be much more comfortable in these boots than any others.
Safety-wise, you get the usual steel toe cap with a 200J rating. The overall safety rating for the CAT Holton work boots is S1 P SRA.
There is one letdown with the CAT Holton boots, though, and it’s the midsole. Although incredibly durable, it’s not as protective as that of #1 and #2 on our list. That said, it’ll still suffice for most average job sites.
And don’t fret, you won’t wear these boots out any time soon. That’s because they’ve got a chemical-resistant, oil-repelling, anti-static, and 300-degree heat resistant sole.
Looking for the best work boots for ankle support? The CAT Holtons are the ones for you.
If you work on construction projects with countless hazards, you need to think beyond comfort and look for work boots with the maximum possible protection. That’s where the Scruffs Twisters fit in our lineup of the best work boots.
The core feature of the Scruffs Twister work boots is the strength of the steel toe cap and mid-sole protection. These steel toe boots resist piercing pressure of up to 1100kN, so they’re unimaginably strong.
But their strength doesn’t make the Scruffs Twisters uncomfortable. Far from it, in fact. Thanks to the PU sole that merges into rubber, these are some of the lightest work boots available in the UK. And the comfort they offer is elevated even further thanks to the padded tongue and upper part of the boot.
These boots utilise a flat heel, which means they’re even comfortable if you’ve got flat or wide feet.
For on-site safety, you’ll get an SRC slip-resistant sole. And, for durability, you’ve got a hard-wearing sole and reinforced lace eyelets.
Want to keep your feet intact on-site? Head straight for the Scruffs Twisters.
Looking for a set of work boots that look like trainers, and want flat-out comfort? Where you need to put your money is in Scruffs’ pocket.
They’ve come up with a range of “trainer-looking” work safety boots that incorporate steel toe caps, and the Twister Sport trainers are one of them.
The Twister Sport guard your feet with a strong steel toe cap and you get added protection in the form of a composite midsole. These work boots come covered by a durable but flexible rubber sole, so they won’t wear out any time soon.
Price-wise, they compare to the likes of the DeWalt Apprentice and the Apache Safety, so they’re a lot cheaper than many of the other top work boots out there.
The Scruffs Twister Sport are a great alternative for tradesmen that just can’t get the desired comfort level from traditional safety boots. And, they look awesome!
Unfortunately, the selection of women’s work boots is quite lean. That’s why we found a specifically designed women’s work boot, for those on a tight budget.
If you’re looking for a good set of women’s work boots with ankle support, there’s a good chance you don’t have the budget to buy the CAT Holton. If that’s the case, your next best bet is the Amblers FS7.
The FS7 has a durable steel toe cap, and unlike the Holtons, there is extensive mid-sole support here. The lacing structure reduces pressure points on the ankle but offers the required support at the same time.
Comfort-wise, you’ll get a padded tongue and upper boot area, and the usual SRA slip rating, so your feet will be safe on the job site.
Looking for women’s work boots on a budget? Head straight for the Amblers FS7.
Work Safety Boot Brands
We’ve already recommended a tonne of comfortable work boots here and explained which ones work best for what.
But if you’re not a fan of our picks and plan to look elsewhere, just make sure you stick to reputable workwear brands. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a tonne of cheap (and honestly, low-quality) brands work their way onto popular e-commerce stores and local builders’ merchants.
The problem? You really do get what you pay for. If you want protection (quality steel toe caps), comfort (especially if you have flat or wide feet), AND durability (hard-wearing soles), you’ve got to stick to the best work boot brands.
Ready to jump straight into the list?
What Are The Best Work Boots Brands
Amblers aren’t your average workwear brand. Instead of producing a full range of workwear, they focus solely on work safety boots. Better still, they’ve been producing their safety boots in the UK since the 1980s.
Although they’re not as well known as the likes of CAT or Scruffs, Amblers made our best work boot brands list thanks to the fact they’re a specialist UK boot manufacturer.
And another bonus? They’re cheap as chips.
If you’re a fan of UK companies, then Apache is another work boot brand you should look into. They’ve been creating quality workwear for the construction industry since 1999.
The manufacturing process for their work boots starts in the UK, and if you stroll into any leading builders’ merchant you’ll see their workwear.
I’ve owned plenty of Apache products, including their work trousers. I can, hand on heart, say that their stuff is cheap, but it rivals the very best in the business.
If you’re looking for hardwearing work boots, CAT has got you covered.
Typically, their boots tend to be suited to muddy site work (groundworkers, etc) and those looking for extra ankle support (the CAT Holton boots, for instance).
They’re better known for their tools, but the workwear coming out of the DeWalt factory is some of the best.
They’ve got work boots right at the low-end, and some in the premium price brackets. Even their cheap work boots (like the DeWalt Apprentice) are some of the most comfortable on offer in the UK.
The Dickies brand is probably the oldest and most well-known workwear company on this list. They’ve been creating workwear (including safety trainers and work boots) since 1922.
That said, Dickies aren’t quite as comfortable as some of the other brands we’ve listed here. Of course, the compromise on comfort does have an upside — cost. Dickies tend to offer work boots at the lower end of other workwear brands.
Another UK-based boot brand is Dr Martens.
We’re a huge fan of specialist companies, and Dr Martens is exactly that. The company was formed back in 1901 in Northampton and have since added work safety boots to their product lineup.
Their boots are priced higher than average, and the focus here is on design and comfort. If you’re looking for the cheapest work boots possible, Dr Martens are probably not the right brand for you.
Scruffs is another of the newer brands that have managed to make a reasonable dent in the UK workwear market — they were only set up in 2003.
Scruffs offer products that sit in a nice middle ground. They combine aesthetics, quality, durability and comfort; but their kit doesn’t break the bank. There’s a tonne of quality safety boots on offer, such as the OXIDE and Twisters.
Your workwear brand won’t last for 40 years and expand to 40 different countries unless you’ve got good stuff to sell. And that’s what Snickers has managed to achieve; they’re arguably one of the best work boot brands in the world.
If you’re looking for stuff that fits well, offers plenty of comfort, looks cool, and is in the mid-high-end in terms of price, Snickers is a good shout.
Another company that specialises in producing top quality boots, for all walks of life. Timberland have been producing gear since 1952.
Typically, the focus here is on comfort, which usually comes at a cost — Timberland are some of the most expensive work boot brands on this list.
Work Boots, Or Rigger Boots?
Our lineup of work boots isn’t necessarily suitable for every site condition. Especially not if you work on excessively muddy or soggy sites. If you’re a groundworker working on muddy construction sites, there’s a good chance that rigger boots are going to be more suitable. We’ve already created an extensive guide to the best rigger boots on offer here, so go ahead and check it out.
However, if you’re a plumber, electrician, or roofer working on an average site, you’ll want to stick to the boots we’ve listed above.
Mens Work Boots: CONCLUSION
Thanks for reading our guide to the best work safety boots with steel toe caps, and for maximum comfort.
Got a set of safety boots that are available in the UK but aren’t listed?
We’d love to hear what you think about them, drop a comment below.