In this guide we’ll look at some of the best work boots for the UK market.
We’ve compared comfort, durability, protection and cost
to give you our top recommendations.

What Are The Best Work Boots?

IMAGERECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCTFEATURES
  • Hardwearing
  • Comfortable
  • Solid flexible sole
  • High boot
  • Steel mid and toe
  • Warm and comfortable
  • Welly style/fully waterproofed
  • Comfortable
  • Cold insulation
  • Toe and midfoot protections
  • Comfortable
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight strong sole
  • Leather upper
  • Smart and stylish

More Detailed Work Boots Reviews

CAT Footwear Mens Gravel 6 S3 Safety Boots

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FEATURES
  • Hardwearing
  • Comfortable
  • Solid flexible sole
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CAT Footwear Mens Gravel 6 S3 Safety Boots Review

CAT Footwear Men’s Gravel 6 S3 Safety Boots are some of the best safety boots on the UK market. They are very hard-wearing, have a solid, yet flexible sole with excellent grip yet provide a great level of comfort.

Even tough these boots do not have a steel toe cap they are very hard-wearing thanks to the combination of high quality materials used in their construction. The upper is constructed from tough but smooth leather that is both hard-wearing and polishable, and Flexion Rubber SRX Outsoles.

The interior is made from a combination of a moisture-wicking lining and a high quality insole. The wicking material draws moisture away from your feet, so they don’t get sweaty and the boot remains very comfortable even after a long day’s work.

The ERGO EVA insole is removable if you want to change or replace it once it becomes worn. This creates a very comfortable and supportive base for your foot.

The insole sits on top of a solid yet flexible rubber sole. The rubber sole protects the bottom of your foot from debris or sharp objects and provides good grip.

Overall, these are one of the best all-round safety boots because they are tough and durable, offer great protection and are comfortable to wear all day long.

Buckler Mens Waterproof Safety Rigger Boots

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  • High boot
  • Steel mid and toe
  • Warm and comfortable
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Buckler Mens Waterproof Safety Rigger Boots Review

The Buckler BSH010BR Men’s Waterproof Safety Rigger Work Boots are also a great choice for best work boots on the UK market. If you are looking for a high boot with a steel toe and midsole, and a sturdy construction that provides comfort and warmth you cannot go far wrong with this pair.

This boot comes right up to your mid-calf. It has a steel toe cap to protect your toes and a solid mid-sole plate to protect the arch of your foot from sharp objects. The boots are certified to European S3 HRO SRC standard.

These boots have a really nice lining that keeps your foot and calves lovely and warm. The insole is removable and can be replaced when worn to breath new life into the boots, whilst the insole offers great padding and comfort.

Buckler Buckbootz Mens Safety Wellington Boots

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  • Welly style/fully waterproofed
  • Comfortable
  • Cold insulation
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Buckler Buckbootz Mens Safety Wellington Boots Review

Buckler Buckbootz BBZ6000BL Neoprene Rubber Safety Wellington Boots are a great choice for best waterproof work boots.

Although our other selections are water-resistant this boot is ideal if you are working in really wet conditions. It will basically keep your feet totally dry. The boots come to just below the knee and have a neoprene top that fits snugly around your leg to stop water seeping in.

These boots are also very comfortable thanks to their inner lining and strong but flexible sole. This inner lining is also insulating and will help to keep your feet warm all day, as the boots are rated down to -17 degrees Centigrade.

Black Hammer Mens S3 SRC Safety Boots

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  • Toe and midfoot protections
  • Comfortable
  • Inexpensive
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Black Hammer Mens S3 SRC Safety Boots Review

If you are looking for a pair of cheap safety boots these Black Hammer Steel Toe Cap Safety Boots are a great choice.

Not only do these boots have the standard solid steel toe cap typical of most work boots, they also have a steel mid-sole to protect the arch of your foot from sharp or jagged objects. These boots also meet European standard S3 SRC.

These boots are also very comfortable thanks to the interior padding that cushions your foot as your work. They also have a good quality removable insole, that can easily be replaced once it becomes worn.

This pair of boots is a great option if you need some cheap work boots for occasional use. You get protection for the toe and mid-foot areas, and a good comfort level at a very affordable price.

Redback USBK Chelsea Safety Boots

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  • Lightweight strong sole
  • Leather upper
  • Smart and stylish
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Redback USBK Chelsea Safety Boots Review

These Redback USBBK Australian Made Chelsea Safety Boots are a great best lightweight safety boot option thanks to their soft and light PU/TPU sole, leather outer and easy slip-on design.

The sole of this boot really sets the tone in terms of quality and comfort. It’s made from quality synthetic materials that allow it to be strong, flexible and lightweight. This makes the boots very protective whilst still being lightweight and manoeuvrable.

The leather outer is very hard-wearing and can be polished to keep the boots looking clean and tidy for a long time. The thick leather and and steel toe caps offer great protection. They are CE certified to ISO 20345-2004 Class 1-SB.

The Chelsea boot design makes these boots nice and easy to slip on and off. They also look much smarter and more stylish than your average work boot!

Overall, this is a great option if you want a stylish yet sturdy, practical safety boot.

Work Boots Buyer’s Guide

Main types

There are three main types of safety boots on the market that all have specific advantages – traditional, rigger and wellington boots.

Traditional work boots

Traditional work boots like CAT Gravel and Black Hammer boots have a common style that has been around for years. These boots are solidly constructed with steel toe caps. They lace-up from the front and have rubber soles. They are a multipurpose, durable and flexible boot that you can use anywhere from the garden to the construction site.

Rigger work boots

Rigger Boots are a high sided boot. They provide good waterproofing higher up your foot and leg and are normally slip-on rather than lace-up. This style of boot is great if you work outside in all weather conditions and require added warmth and waterproofing. In addition, rigger boots like the Buckler Waterproof Safety Rigger Boots offer extra protection when working with concrete or other materials that could permeate the lace holes of traditional work boots.

Wellington safety boots

Wellington safety boots provide total waterproofing to just below the knee. They still provide excellent protection with steel toe caps and mid-soles but are also extra flexible. The Buckler Buckbootz Wellington Boots are a great example. Many are also insulated against the cold.

Safety boots can either be lace-up or slip-on. Slip-on boots are easy to put on and take off but are less adjustable. Lace-up boots can take a little longer but their fit is more adjustable.

Comfort

Good comfortable boots made from quality materials can make all the difference on long workdays. Leather uppers are a great choice as the natural material moulds to your foot.  Look for breathable fabrics or wicking with good internal padding to keep your feet comfortable and dry. A good insole will greatly increase the comfort of your boots. Many have replaceable insoles which will extend the life of your boots too.

Lightweight boots like Redback Chelsea boots can relieve your legs of strain and won’t tire your feet as much as heavier boots.

If you are working in cold environments or outside, then having good insulation in your boots will help keep your feet toasty warm all day. Choose a thick and durable leather boot with an insulated lining. Insulated linings will trap heat and keep your feet warm all day. For extra warmth higher up your leg consider an insulated rigger or wellington boot.

Durability

If you use safety boots on a regular basis then premium quality boots are definitely a worthwhile investment. Choose well-constructed boots whose outers are made from leather or neoprene.

Protection

Of course the primary requirement for safety boots is that they keep your feet well protected. There are a range of safety standards that govern safety boots. For work use you will need a minimum of S1 SRC boots. These feature steel toe caps, antic static technology and non-slip soles. But depending on your industry you may need a different standard of safety boot. It certainly pays to be vigilant in this area.

All SB rated boots provide toe protection to an impact of 200 Joules.

In addition S1 rated boots are anti-static, resistant to fuel oil on the outsole and have energy absorption in the heel.

S2 rated boots have the features as S1 plus they prevent water penetration and absorption into the upper layer.

S3 rated boots have the features as S2 as well as midsole penetration resistance.

SRC testing is carried out in order to determine the slip resistance of footwear. SRC is the most stringent specification for safety footwear and slip resistance.

An HRO rating means the outsole is resistant to hot contact.

Outer Material

The outer material on your work boot needs to be nice and thick to protect your foot from knocks or falling objects. Leather outers make boots hard-wearing and long-lasting. Leather is also polishable so you can refinish your boots to keep them looking as good as new.

Although many safety boots have water-resistant outers, if you need totally waterproof boots then consider choosing a neoprene welly-style safety boot.

A good outer will also help to keep your feet warm and dry, a feature not to be under-estimated on a long workday.

Sole

The sole not only provides a boot with protection and grip but also improves comfort.

A boot’s grip is one of its most important features as it can prevent serious injury through a slippage or fall. For work on construction sites you should choose a safety boot with an SRC rating.

In addition, a good cushioned sole can really add comfort and support to your foot during long workdays.

A durable and thick rubber base can stop sharp objects on the floor reaching your foot. For added protection choose a boot with a steel plate in the midsole to further protect your feet.

Inner (liner)

The inner liner is an important component for your work boots. It can influence the comfort of the boot in a variety of ways.

A nice soft liner can keep you comfortable all day even when working. Furthermore if the liner contains wicking moisture will be drawn away from your feet helping to keep them warm and dry.

Weight

Boots designed to protect your feet to a specified safety standard will quite clearly weigh more than non-protective boots, but weight is a small price to pay in order to ensure your feet are properly protected. The weight will vary depending on the size and model of your boot and the protection it offers but as a guide, you can expect a good quality protective boot to weigh between 2 and 4 kg.

What environments are work boots most suited for

Different styles of work boots shine in different situations whilst some are designed to be multipurpose and handle all situations well.

Rigger boots are great if you are going to be working outside, either on a worksite or in a natural environment, thanks to their high sides and warm inners. They also prevent material from penetrating the top of the boot as  they do not have lace holes.

Wellington style boots are perfect for farming environments or the great outdoors in general. They protect your feet well whilst keeping them warm and dry, since they are totally waterproof.

Traditional work boots are the best “jack of all trades” heavy duty footwear as they offer both good protection and manoeuvrability. They are ideal for working on construction sites as well as general DIY and gardening.

When to wear work boots

Work boots offer an inexpensive way to protect your feet from injury when working outdoors. If you injure your feet you could be left unable to work for an extended period of time. Plus an injury could seriously impair your quality of life.

If you work in certain industries, then safety boots are a legal requirement. However even for odd jobs they are well worth purchasing so you can be sure of completing your jobs injury-free.

Conclusion

A good pair of work boots or safety boots is essential when performing jobs that could compromise your personal safety. They protect your feet and provide extra grip to keep you safe. They are an inexpensive way to protect yourself and stay comfortable all day long.

We’d recommend the CAT Footwear Men’s Gravel 6 S3 Safety Boots because they are very hard-wearing, have a solid, yet flexible sole and a high level of comfort.

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