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How to Choose the Right Work Boot


How to Choose the Right Work Boot

Wondering how to choose a great pair of work boots this season? We’ve got everything you need to know.

Timberland Original 6-Inch Boots

With so many work boots available, choosing the perfect pair for your needs can seem like a challenge. Good news is, it doesn’t have to be. Here, we’ll give you the rundown of everything you need to know when it comes to choosing a great work boot. Plus, we’ll help you navigate a variety of factors such as safety, comfort, size, and more.

What is a good work boot?

A good work boot strikes just the right balance between comfort and safety. It should be durable, supportive, and designed to withstand your specific work environment. Whether you're working in construction or hiking through rough terrains, a good work boot protects your feet while ensuring comfort, day-long.

When selecting a good work boot, consider the following factors:

Safety features:

  • Depending on your work environment, you may want to look for boots with steel or composite toe protection. Puncture-resistant soles and slip-resistant material add safety on the jobsite.

    Material quality:

  • High-quality materials like full-grain leather or nylon are durable and can withstand tough work conditions.


  • If you're working in wet or muddy conditions, waterproof boots are a must. Try our iconic Original 6-Inch Boot, with styles for both men and women.


  • Consider boots with good arch support and cushioning. If you'll be on your feet for long periods, comfort is crucial.


  • If you're working in cold conditions, look for boots with thermal insulation.

    Ease of use:

  • Features like quick lacing systems or side zippers can make putting on and removing the boots easier.


  • Lightweight boots can reduce fatigue during long workdays.


  • Breathable materials can help keep your feet dry and reduce odour.

Looking for something to fit all of the above? Timberland’s PRO® range considers all of these factors and more, for both men and women.

Should you buy work boots a size bigger?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions when choosing a work boot. The answer is no. A correctly fitting work boot should be snug but not tight. A boot that is too large can cause your feet to slide and rub, leading to discomfort and potential blisters.

For any size questions, head to our size chart. Here you will find size information for mens. Womens, kids, and our PRO® range.

What does a correctly fitting work boot feel like?

A properly fitting work boot should provide ample room in the toe box, ensuring your toes are not cramped. The heel should fit securely, preventing your foot from sliding forward. The sides of the work boot should comfortably embrace your foot without squeezing it. As a rule, work boots should feel comfortable from the get-go and not require an extensive "break-in" period.

How do I know my boot size?

If you’re not sure about your work boot size, start by measuring your foot. You can do this by placing your foot on a piece of paper, tracing around it, and then measuring the length and width. Compare these measurements with a size chart to determine the appropriate size.

Trying on work boots in store

If you’re trying on boots in store, here are some key points to remember when fitting:

  1. First, consider the time of the day. Our feet tend to swell throughout the day. Try on boots in the afternoon or evening for the most accurate fit.

  2. Next, wear the type of socks you'd normally use at work. They impact the fit of your work boot.

  3. When you try on the boots, walk around the store. Check the overall comfort. There should be no pinch points or slipping. Make sure your heel stays in place with each step.

What should work boot laces be made of?

Work boot laces contribute significantly to the overall comfort and safety of your footwear. They should be made of durable materials that can withstand wear and tear. Materials such as nylon or polyester are often used due to their strength and durability.

Can I use regular socks with work boots?

While you can wear regular socks with work boots, it is highly recommended to use the best quality, cushioning socks you can. The best work boot socks will provide additional support, moisture management, and durability, enhancing overall comfort during long hours of wear.

Work boot safety

When picking a work boot, consider safety requirements. Various industries have different needs. For instance, steel-toe boots provide protection in heavy-duty work. Boots with slip-resistant soles are crucial for jobs involving slick surfaces. Make sure the work boot you choose meets the safety needs of your field.

Made to the highest standards and built with the way you work in mind, Timberland’s PRO® collection is designed with safety at the forefront.

How weather affects your work boot choice

Climate can significantly influence your work boot selection. In cold environments, insulated boots help keep your feet warm. In warmer areas, opt for breathable materials to avoid overheating. Boots with waterproof features are essential for damp or rainy places.

Taking care of your work boots

Proper care can extend your work boots’ lifespan. Clean your boots regularly to remove dirt and debris. Use a conditioner to prevent leather boots from drying and cracking. And finally, replace your work boot laces when worn out, ensuring a secure fit.

See our full guides on:

How to clean, protect and remove stains

How to remove strains from leather or suede boots

In short, choosing the right work boot boils down to understanding your individual needs and work environment. Comfort and safety should be your topmost priorities.

At Timberland, we offer a broad range of men’s work boots, work boot laces, work clothing, and other workwear, so you have the perfect gear, no matter your needs.