It's important to have the right safety boots when you're working in industrial settings; safety, durability and comfort are all important. Since good work boots are not cheap, we compiled a list of the top 12 brands of work boots that employees swear by, and also why they like 'em. 

Approximately 100 men and women provided input about their preferred brand(s) and their top choice was by far, Thorogood boots with Red Wing coming in as a close second. See their list below, with links to each brands' website for easy browsing if you're in the market for a new pair.

Thorogood Boots

Thorogood is the only way to go.

Thorogood lace up. Lasted a year and still going and super comfortable.

Thorogood lace up's all the way!! Will last forever and always comfortable on  your feet.

Thorogood. I'm an iron worker, I climb steel all day. Had mine for a year and a half and still going strong -- best boots and as comfortable as they get.

Thorogood lace up hands down!!

Thorogood wedge soles lace ups; best investment you'll ever make in your life. Trust me.

Thorogood lace-ups.

Thorogood. I recently bought my first pair. I'll never buy another boot again.

Depends on how hard you work in them, but Thorogood.

Danner, or Thorogood!!

Either Danners or Thorogoods.

Thorogoods are by far the best and have lasted the longest for me.

Red Wing Work Boots

Red Wing and Thorogood second. I've had 4 pair Red Wings, one pair I've had 5 years. But Thorogood just as comfortable, not sure if they'll out last but definitely half the price.

Red Wings all the way, baby!!

I've had my Red Wings for 5 years and they're finally breaking down. Only thing I've done to them is replace the insole with the Red Wings memory foam insole.

Red Wings. I had mine for about 5 years and just bought some more like 6 months ago. I could have went longer, just needed the change the insole and shoe strings.

Red Wings, they cost a little more but they are the best.

All I've owned for the past 8 years are Red Wings. I've never had trouble with them breaking in or ever had a pair that didn't last at least 2 years. I have a pair in the toolbox on my truck I have had for 5 years.

With any boot, it's how well you take care of them. I use saddle soaps and mink oil to condition my boots about once a month. You can also paint over the steel toe with a Kevlar coating from Red Wing that will keep the leather from wearing out. The paint mix is sold in boot shops for around $15 to $20. I've had boots wear out from the inside, but never had a pair wear out from the outside yet. Red Wing Irish Setters are the most comfortable breaking in but they are heavy. Filson boots have cork insoles and are by far the best boots for your feet and back, however, they will cost you around $300.

Red wings with the wire laces.

Twisted X 

My Twisted X boots lasted 10+ months (each pair) and I'm extremely hard on my boots...plus, my Twisted X boots are the comfiest and easiest to break in.

Twisted X -- very comfortable and last.

I have pancake flat feet. Seems like the softer the sole, the worse it is for me. I wear Twisted X because I don't like my feet being forced to arch and the soles in Twisted X seem to work out for me.

Ariat Work Boots 

Cheap, but look good.

Pipefitter here. Love the road worker shirts for non RF situations. Cool as nothing and holding up very well. Boots are great.

I've had Justin's and Ariats, both are comfortable you just have to find a good size and a good insole. SnoSeal works great for waterproofing/dirt proofing them, I can hose mine off at the end of the day and not get the leather wet at all, and it lasts about 2 months before I have to reapply. And I usually buy 2 pair so I can rotate them out when one pair needs to get resealed I can let them sit for a day.

Danner Boots

Either Danners or Thorogoods.

I spent $300+ on a pair of high end Danner boots and they didn't loo any better than a $150 pair of Ariats did after a year. I will never spend that kind of money on Danner boots again. I wish Red Wing made a steel toe in their "Heritage" line (the line with the replaceable good year weld sole). Unfortunately, they keep them more of a "dress" line. I have tried the Red Wing steel toe once and they just wrecked my feet. I have a pair from the Red Wing heritage line that are great though -- non steel toe unfortunately. 

Georgia Boots

Got a 3 year old pair of mud dogs from Georgia Boot; don't wear them every day, too heavy and hot, but warm and dry when needed.

Georgia boots. Light weight, long lasting

Chippewa Boots

I'm a big fan of Chippewa. I have a soft toe pair about 10 years old -- still wear them. I also bought a pair of steel toes about 2 years ago. American made, high quality and super comfortable after break in (that part really sucks), plan on many more years out of this pair.

I like Chippewa Loggers

Carolina Boots

Carolina's also keep your posture correct so it's less strain on your back

Carolina makes an all composite toe and shaft very light, comfortable and water proof. 

Justin Boots

Justin lace up's, I get 3 years. I keep them clean and polish when needed. Made in America!

Double-H Boots

 Double H and Irish Setters.

Wesco Boots

Westco lineman's boots. They're expensive $250-$300 a pair, but you will never find a better boot. I used them when I was a lineman, now I use them as a welder. A pair lasts me about 3 years.

Lacrosse Boots

Comfortable from day one, no break in.


We'd love to hear from you too, so feel free to continue the conversation in the comments below -- the more input, the better! 

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