Contractors have a difficult job in more ways than one.
In addition to spending the entire day on their feet, they continually create and solve complicated mathematical problems, work in ever-changing environments, and frequently encounter on-the-spot decisions that determine whether or not a job is profitable or not.
Here are the best work boots for contractors to keep their minds on work and not their feet.
Work Boot Features for Contractors to Consider
I owned a contracting business and considered my experiences while writing. The safety boot features below reflect things that helped me during those years.
That said, this is your job and your feet. This buying guide exists to help guide your decision, but it’s your decision.
Anyone reading this should consider their worksites. Be cautious about anyone who knows ‘the right boot for you’ without hearing your job’s challenges.
With that, let’s get into the features that make an excellent boot for contractors.
Puncture Resistance (PR)
Stepping on a nail is among the most memorable and least enjoyable aspects of working as a contractor.
For many years, along with missing the nail and hammering your thumbnail instead, it was considered a right of passage for young contractors. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to time off work.
I still remember a moment my foot felt heavy, only to notice three feet of colonial casing attached to the bottom of my sole.
Fortunately, midsole technology has advanced, so a misstep won’t be a mistake you remember forever.
There are boots offering PR midsoles made of steel or Aramid (a woven fiber material like Kevlar).
Steel is more affordable but heavier and less flexible. It also conducts temperature and electricity.
Aramid is lighter, more flexible, and doesn’t conduct anything. They’re more expensive, but so is a visit to the emergency room.
Working on pitched roofs, extension ladders, and all sorts of awkward positions as you finish caulking the crown moulding are examples of the ways that contractors push their bodies and balance to the absolute limits.
Several construction elements make for a more flexible boot.
Cement, direct-attach, and injection-molded construction styles provide more flexibility t.
A shank, the bridge area between your sole and heel, made of composite materials (plastic, nylon, fiberglass), will also add to your boots’ flexibility.
Feeling like your feet are working with you and not against you can be the difference between safety and danger.
Flexibility can also be the difference between moving a ladder every four minutes instead of every two. Contractors know how appealing that sounds.
Buying Guide Features Overview
Puncture Resistance – Get midsoles of steel or aramid to stop sharp objects before they reach the foot
Moisture Management – Waterproof exteriors and breathable liners to keep your feet dry
Insulation – Where do you live? What hours do you work? How cold is it then and there?
Flexibility – Construction methods and materials that allows for more natural movement
We don’t usually include a comfortable work boot or fit since this is something we would expect as standard.
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Complete rubber construction with Hydrokote water-repelling technology, a breathable airmesh lining, and removable insulated liners made of 5mm of Densoprene keep your feet warm and dry.
The suitable temperature for the Megatars ranges from -20F to 75F, making these good for all seasons but summer.
For stability, these boots have a steel shank, both toe and heel are triple reinforced, and there is a double reinforcement for the Achilles heel ensuring these are not the floppy pair of yellow slickers you had as a kid.
Breathable mesh lining
Steel toe metatarsal protection
Meets ASTM F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 EH for toe protection.
Reebok isn’t the first manufacturer that comes to mind when discussing contractors, but the Trainex offer many features that contractors want.
Waterproof leather exteriors, moisture-wicking nylon liners, and a waterproof membrane work together to keep water away from your foot, regardless of the source.
With a direct attach, Athlite traction, EH-rated rubber outsole that features a 90-degree heel for stability, and a puncture-resistant PU midsole, the soul of these boots’ soles is hearty and reliable.
The direct attach construction allows for good flexibility and will aid contractors as they lean, reach and crouch throughout their workdays.
A metal-free composite toe cap closes out the Trainex’ features to ensure no falling hammers bruise or break toes.
If you’re a contractor looking for a comfortable and lightweight work boot, this is a good choice.
Waterproof leather upper
Puncture Resistant midsole
Meets ASTM F2413 Standards
Electrical hazard protection
The Dryshod Megatar and the Reebok Trainex split the top spot in this guide.
Both had excellent features, it just depends on the climate and work conditions you experience at your job as to which you should choose.
The purpose of researching and writing these guides made itself apparent as I’m recommending two boots that I never would have considered at first glance.
Are you a contractor? Which work shoe from the list above do you like?