Best Logger Boots: 5 Great Choices for working with Timber and Forestry

The logging industry is no joke. Being a lumberjack remains the most dangerous profession in the United States by quite a bit, with highly irregular and unpredictable work environments that injure and kill at an astonishing rate.

For that reason I’m going to take the time today to discuss the features to look for when buying logging boots. 

After that I’ll pick some of the boots I think provide these features best.

Features to Look For In A Logger Boot 

Waterproof & Breathable

Working outside makes waterproof boots an absolute must.

Working at all makes a breathable liner just as good an idea. 

Even on the days it’s not raining, making sure your foot gets the necessary fresh air is going to require a breathable membrane.

While all full-grain leather is naturally waterproof, moisture-wicking, breathable liners are not naturally sewn in the inside of boots, and you’re going to have to make sure that the pair you pick offers that feature.

It’s no fun getting out on the job and realizing your feet feel like they’re about 150 degrees because they don’t breathe for 9 hours at a time. 

Outsole & Heel

Thick outsoles with raised heels will give you the footing and angle needed at work. 

The terrain you’re working in is wild at best, and completely uprooted at worst. 

On top of that, you’re often on a slope as well. 

This makes it important to have outsoles with powerful lug patterns that will give your foot a grip no matter what the ground looks like.

The added heel height also makes it easier to traverse slopes quickly. 

Imagine a cross section of your foot walking up a pitched hill. If you were able to lift just the heel of your foot, it brings the foot closer to level. This is the what the extra heel is providing

Materials and Construction Style

Whatever brand logger boot you decide on, make sure it’s made with full-grain leather or quality modern synthetics. 

With loggers you need the most support and protection you can get, so don’t try to save money on materials.

It’s also important to get welted boots that will be with you for a number of years. 

For other professions I would say it’s up to you to go welt or cement construction

For loggers, I would always suggest sticking with tried and true welted methods as you need stability. 

Height (Heel and Shaft)

The height of your new logger boot is something that needs to be considered. 

In addition to keeping you warmer and keeping debris out of your boot, tall logger boots protect more of your body from falling or rolling objects.

When buying a normal work boot, we usually take it for granted that the height will be 6 inches and we don’t have to think about this, but with loggers there is a greater range in sizes.

Definitely flip through your memory bank and see if you’re regularly getting smacked in the legs with logs and branches. 

If that’s the case, you might want to opt for a 11 inch or taller boot with a heel and shaft that protects your lower legs as much as it does your feet.

Protect your tootsies with a Safety Toe

Now I’m sure I don’t have to constantly remind you of how dangerous your job is.

All that climbing, chopping, heavy lifting and working with heavy duty machinery.

I’m curious to know how many times you’ve been struck by falling objects, getting stuck between objects and even been run over by logging equipment?

You should therefore definitely consider a safety toe of some sort.  

A steel toe, aluminium or composite toe are always a good bet.  

You only grow a pair of feet once in your life so its worth protecting them.

If you’re unsure then you should;

  1. Always consult with your PPE rep (this may be HR)
  2. Refer to the OSHA guidelines that might help you decide on what you need as a logger.
  3. Speak to a trade body such as the American Loggers Council who might be able to advise. 

Buying Guide Features Overview

Waterproof and Breathable – Keep your feet fresh and dry by controlling moisture in both directions.

Outsole – Extra thick, chunky lug pattern, raised heel for better traction and balance.

Welt Construction – Durable full-grain leather or aramid fiber uppers for longevity reinforced by expert welt construction for strength and stability.

Height – Keep your shins safe and the inside of your boots empty with taller loggers.

Safety toe – to keep your toes protected from falling objects or being run over by machinery.  This will be dependent on your job type.

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Our Picks

Choice 1: Zamberlan 5011 Logger Pro GTX RR Work Boots

We begin with the next generation materials and construction of these 8 inch Zamberlan Logger Pros that’ll keep your foot safe from everything including a chainsaw

I typically prefer full-grain leather and welted constructions but this logger had so much going on I had to give it a look.

These pair of boots are like wearing an army tank on your foot!

From the top down, this boot is constructed with the patented Hydrobloc Perwanger Leather that gives best in industry protection against outside water and moisture. 

Underneath that you have three layers of aramid fibers that will prevent even a chainsaw cutting through.

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a 360 degree rubber rand that gives the entire boot an added bumper. 

With an alloy toe cap for safety and comfort, the tops of these boots are doing everything possible to make me start logging just so I can go buy a pair for myself.

The Teton Vibram outsole (made of anti static rubber) with hearty lugs and a temperature resistant material means you won’t have your boots soaking up the cold on winter mornings. 

The heels are not as pronounced as I would like to see, but I can’t have everything.

On the insides, these boots feature a Gore-Tex membrane that allows air in but sweat out keeping your feet as fresh as they can be during a day of work.

The polypropylene and fiberglass insoles do a one-two punch with their puncture and shock resistance. 

The EVO wedge midsoles will keep you comfortable for the long term with further patented Zamberland technology.

Pros

  • Excellent safety 
  • Light
  • Breathable
  • Shock and puncture resistant
  • Cut resistant technology which makes the boot chainsaw proof
  • Vibram outsole for excellent traction

Cons

  • Non-welt construction
  • Heel is short for typical logging boots
  • Not the best looking boot
  • Expensive

Model Number: 5011 (5011PM0G-B0-42)


Choice 2: Gravel Gear Men’s 10 inch Waterproof Steel Toe Logger Work Boots

Mama mia, what a find! 

I had to take a second look when I first saw these. 

They remind me of the Chippewa/Thorogood Logger boots.

These Gravel Gear loggers have all the necessaries to make for a great boot for forestry.

To begin, 10 inch full-grain leather uppers ensure that your legs are just as safe as your feet while out on the job site. 

Add to that they’re backed up with a Sympatex waterproof and breathable membrane and you’re sure to start and stay comfortable.

An extra tall throat demands extra padding and Gravel Gear doesn’t disappoint. 

Padded tongue, collar, and removable polyurethane insoles work to ensure that you can stay comfortable as you stay dry.

I can’t forget to mention the 3/4 gusset and detachable kilties on the tongue that work together to ensure no debris can work its way into your boot over the course of a workday.

The polyurethane outsoles are affixed with dependable Goodyear Welt construction that allows you to replace just the outsole, not the whole boot. 

I also need to mention the deep lugs and 90 degree heel that will keep you stable the whole day. 

Great for when you’re climbing trees.

To finish off, I can’t forget the traditional steel toe that’s ASTM rated for impact and compression.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Full-grain leather
  • Goodyear Welt construction
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • 10 inch work boot
  • Good outsoles
  • Very good looking boots

Cons

  • Poor brand recognition for boots (but starting to gain traction)
  • No puncture protection

Model Number: NT200401-1ST


Choice 3: Irish Setter Elk Tracker 860 Boot, 12 Inch, Waterproof 1000g Insulation

While these 12 inch Irish Setter Elk Trackers would suggest other uses by their name, their hunting design works perfectly for anyone logging as well.

Before anything else, let’s note that these boots have 1000g of Thinsulate, so this is only a winter boot. 

There are other models with different levels of Thinsulate if you want a little less insulation.

Made with handsome full-grain leather uppers, they are waterproof and supported by a breathable Gore-Tex membrane that keeps the flow of air moving for your feet. 

The liner is moisture-wicking nylon, truly keeping your feet dry as a bone.

A hearty rubber outsole is firmly connected to the uppers through some beautiful Goodyear Welt construction. 

A high shaft also ensures cushioning and ankle support.

The lug pattern does fall short of what I’d like to see from a logging boot, but to be fair, it’s really a hunting boot.

Pros

  • Tall
  • Solid construction
  • Steel shank
  • Insulated and will keep your feet very warm
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable and will keep your feet very dry and fresh
  • Very comfortable 
  • Recognised brand

Cons

  • Weak lug pattern
  • More suited for Winter (potentially too hot for summer)
  • Not puncture proof 
  • No safety toe protection

Model Number: 860


Choice 4: Carolina Men’s 8 Inch Waterproof Steel Toe Logger Work Boots

These 8 inch Carolina Men’s logging boots perform beautifully against the wear and weather of logging.

The uppers are built with Crazy Horse full-grain leather uppers that are naturally waterproof. 

Loaded with a breathable membrane and a waterproof liner.

They have an ASTM-rated steel toe and are EH rated against electrical hazard.

Outsoles have a prominently raised heel and a cutting lug pattern that gives a grip when it’s needed most.

This is a workingman’s boot that will serve you through and through, but lacks some of the more advanced features of other designs.

Pros

  • Specifically made for logging
  • Renowned brand
  • Steel toe adheres to or exceeds the ASTM F2413-18 standard.
  • A beautiful looking boot
  • Waterproof boot using SCUBALINER technology
  • breathable
  • Full-grain leather and welt construction.
  • Strong heel and outsole
  • Goodyear Welt Construction
  • Good value 
  • Steel toe

Cons

  • At 8 inches, slightly shorter than we’d like but not a dealbreaker
  • Little shock resistance

Model/SKU: CA9821


Choice 5: Men’s Chippewa® 9 Inch Waterproof Steel Toe Super Logger Boots

Finishing us out are the handsome Chippewa Super Loggers. 

These boots do a beautiful job fusing the old and new to make a versatile boot any logger would be happy with.

Right off the bat, you can’t miss the 9 inch oiled full-grain leather uppers that provide stability and waterproofing. 

The oiled leather uppers are supported by a Chip-A-Tex breathable and waterproof membrane and a moisture-wicking Dri-Lex liner. 

With a Poron cushioned insole and padded collar, you’ll be working for hours in comfort.

Finishing the uppers is an ASTM-rated steel toe cap and 400 grams of Thinsulate insulation. 

This light application of Thinsulate makes these boots good for light to moderate cold. 

You could probably wear them for half the year before it got too hot to continue. 

These boots have a 4 Iron rubber midsole for support and shock resistance, and a thick outsole with a pronounced heel that’s absolutely perfect for the demands of loggers on pitched hills. 

All these soles are held together with the thick welts Chippewa is known for; All that and thick lugs. 

When ordering, they are known to run slightly small and narrow so it might be worth ordering half a size bigger.

When you buy a Chippewa boot, you know are associating quality with this quality brand.

Pros

  • Made with a waterproof leather upper
  • Breathable
  • Light insulation
  • Sturdy outsole and welt construction
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • A little bit short at 9 inches
  • Might feel slightly heavy

Our Choice – So what are the Best Logger Boots?

The Gravel Gear ended up winning the day.  With a variety of valuable features such as Waterproof, breathability, high heels, a simple but strong design, and an unbeatable price, no boot came close.