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Nitroracer
Nitroracer SuperDork
1/3/15 2:12 p.m.

Since GRM is a good source of information for nearly any subject, how about work boots? I've been running around in some cheap generic $75 steel toes for the last three years now and they're about done. The back of the shoe is ripping and the soles are scary in the snow. Are there any certain brands worth spending a few extra dollars on or should I just get another couple years out of a cheap set?

TRoglodyte
TRoglodyte SuperDork
1/3/15 2:22 p.m.

Redwings,best money I ever spent.

toad9977
toad9977 Reader
1/3/15 2:22 p.m.

I am sold on Danner's. They will cost you but they are the most durable and most comfortable pair of work boots I've eve owned. I would also look at some LaCrosse boots as they are owned by/own Danner (can't remember which), Carolina boots are also very good and are cheaper than Danner and LaCrosse. I've owned a couple pairs of them and liked them. Only downfall is I do environmental construction work which requires me to be outside in all sorts of ground conditions and Carolina boots don't have very aggressive soles for outside work. LaCrosse and Danner all have Vibram soles I believe and are nice and aggressive for snow/mud/you name it.

I bought these boots: http://www.danner.com/product/work/quarry-usa-8-distressed-brown-at.html

I have had this current pair for a little over 2 years now and they show no signs of wearing out. They do cost more than a lot of brands out there, but will last you at least twice as long. If you spend as much time as I do a day in work boots, your feet will appreciate these boots.

logdog
logdog Dork
1/3/15 2:45 p.m.
TRoglodyte wrote: Redwings,best money I ever spent.

Yep. Make sure to get the USA made ones.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn PowerDork
1/3/15 2:57 p.m.

I like Red Wing boots, Danner are good too. The important thing is to get some that fit and are comfortable, regardless of brand.

toad9977
toad9977 Reader
1/3/15 2:58 p.m.

I agree with stuart.

I absolutely cannot stand Red Wings but love the Danners. Try on a few different brands and see what fits you the best.

KyAllroad
KyAllroad HalfDork
1/3/15 3:10 p.m.

I walk a lot but in a more industrial setting so comfortable is more important to me than super duper stomping heavy dutyness. For me and most of my co-workers Keen makes the best most comfortable work boot for our environment.

HiTempguy
HiTempguy UberDork
1/3/15 3:56 p.m.

Dunno if you guys get Dakota work boots down in the US, but that is all I have used the past 8 years of my life.

They are a great boot, durable, not too expensive (~$150cdn). I've tried redwings and they feel awful, if they were worth it, I'd get them as my company pays, but they just do not feel good on my feet. Way overpriced for what they are IMO.

wbjones
wbjones MegaDork
1/3/15 4:07 p.m.
stuart in mn wrote: I like Red Wing boots, Danner are good too. The important thing is to get some that fit and are comfortable, regardless of brand.

I've got an extremely narrow foot … so most of the really good boots won't fit …

but thank goodness for Red Wing and Irish Setter boots ( and Dunham by New Balance)

92dxman
92dxman Dork
1/3/15 4:24 p.m.

I've had good luck with magnums. They aren't the most heavy duty per say but pretty dang comfortable and worth the coin IMHO.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
1/3/15 4:40 p.m.

Timberland makes a line of steel toed workboots that I've worn for about 12 years. I'm on my third pair and due for the fourth, but I work in an office and only wear them when doing chores or working on cars, so YMMV. I find them particularly useful and comfortable on race weekends. I have flexible arches and standing on concrete for any length of time in any other shoes makes my feet and back hurt. I can wear these all weekend without any pain or soreness.

More recently I bought some steel-toed slip-on work shoes from Timberland that I call my "garage slippers". I found myself changing shoes going in and out of the house a lot and got tired of lacing and unlacing the workboots (lord help me if I kept them on and tracked grease or paint into the house!). These slip on and off and are just as comfortable as the boots. I wouldn't go on a long hike with them, though.

Ditchdigger
Ditchdigger UltraDork
1/3/15 5:08 p.m.

Does timberland have different quality ranges or something? I was looking over their display last weekend when the missus was shoe shopping and was appalled at the shoddy quality for the $180 and up they were priced.

Was this just the "fashion " line they sell at malls and the real work boots are sold elsewhere? I have heard many great things about the brand over the years. These looked like $29 shoes. Every pair had really poor joints between the sole and upper with glue squeeze out everywhere.

Advan046
Advan046 SuperDork
1/3/15 5:15 p.m.

In reply to Nitroracer:

What environment are you working in?

All concrete?

All loose surface?

Multiple surface? %s?

Standing still? Moving?

I have been through 4 sets of work boots in five years. One pair melted due to chemical exposures, one just didn't work for the mileage per day on that specific job, a third went down to multiple shrapnel hits into the steel toes. (Should have been wearing gaunlets that job)

Another pair was purchased just because of the cold weather exposure I needed them for.

I have had redwing, some Canadian brand I don't remember, and a Sears one (they had a line a decade ago or so that were great but discontinued soon after.)

EvanB
EvanB UltimaDork
1/3/15 5:43 p.m.

I have some Carolina boots that have been going strong for a few years. I don't wear them all the time but I am happy with the quality and fit.

HappyAndy
HappyAndy UltraDork
1/3/15 5:45 p.m.

YMMV. I've had RedWings and hated them, I'm totally unimpressed by timberlands. I've had mixed results with Dr Martins (IDK if they currently make steel toes, and you would have to buy them online to get a sane price).

I'm currently on my second pair of Sketchers steel toe work boots. I'm not going to say that they are the best ever, but they are pretty good. From a bang for the buck point of view, I'd give them a A-. They lasted a little over a year as every day work boots, and were comfortable up to the end. The insoles could have used better cushioning, walking long distances on concrete was bearable, but not joyful. If they lasted longer, or had better cushioning, I'd move my rating up to an A+. At @ $80 I really can't complain, I've spent twice as much for boots that didn't serve me as well.

Lancer007
Lancer007 Dork
1/3/15 5:47 p.m.

I've had a pair or Danner boots for years and love them. Had a pair of Bates and they wore out and fell apart within a year.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
1/3/15 5:56 p.m.

I have a made in the usa pair of Carolinas. They are old but durable. Nearly 10 years old

Buy vibram soles.

oldopelguy
oldopelguy SuperDork
1/3/15 6:29 p.m.

I'm 4 years into a set of custom made Red Wings and they probably have that much more in them if I keep wearing them every day.

I ordered mine through a small hole in the wall shop with a real cobbler that has a dozen brands of top boots. The owner spent an hour with me measuring my feet and trying on different brands and styles. He didn't have what we finally figured out was what I wanted, and he ordered them custom made and shipped to my door directly from the manufacturer.

For work boots I'd recommend a good shop more than any particular brand. Look for where nurses buy their SAS shoes or a cobbler.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
1/3/15 6:32 p.m.
Ditchdigger wrote: Does timberland have different quality ranges or something? I was looking over their display last weekend when the missus was shoe shopping and was appalled at the shoddy quality for the $180 and up they were priced. Was this just the "fashion " line they sell at malls and the real work boots are sold elsewhere? I have heard many great things about the brand over the years. These looked like $29 shoes. Every pair had really poor joints between the sole and upper with glue squeeze out everywhere.

Timberland Pro is the workboot line I'm referring to. Not available everywhere and not available at their outlet stores. I usually buy them online. Sears used to carry them, but Sears is so dysfunctional I don't know if it worth trying them. Regardless, maybe their quality has gone down the last few years, IDK.

Here are pics of the boots/shoes I was referring to. The boots are pretty ragged looking at this point, though they still work fine. The slip-ons I bought within the last couple of years and the quality seems to be very good, fwiw.

Be happy these pics aren't taken in smellivision, lol.

The0retical
The0retical HalfDork
1/3/15 7:06 p.m.

Irish Setter which is owned by Red Wing. Pretty much the best work boots I've owned. Aluminum toe so they're light plus they're comfortable without any funny arch or ball supports which hurt my feet.

I had an issue with Timberland Pros where the arch fit my feet funny and caused my feet to fatigue and hurt.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron UltimaDork
1/3/15 7:51 p.m.

I will second the vote on Keen's. For steel-toes, they were the only ones I could find that really truly fit my feet comfortably.

Really it comes down to everyone's feet being a bit different. Try a bunch of different brands and styles and pick the one that is the most comfortable for your feet.

fritzsch
fritzsch Dork
1/3/15 7:56 p.m.
logdog wrote:
TRoglodyte wrote: Redwings,best money I ever spent.

Yep. Make sure to get the USA made ones.

QFT, some of them are now made in CHINA :(

xd
xd Reader
1/3/15 8:21 p.m.

I liked red wings and have pairs of iron rangers in rotation now quality is just not there for 350 boots, but work boots goes hands down to Whites.

old_
old_ Reader
1/3/15 9:16 p.m.

Love keen boots. Super comfortable and last forever.

Ditchdigger
Ditchdigger UltraDork
1/3/15 10:06 p.m.

I have pretty much decided that red wing heritage iron ranger boots will be my next big purchase

They will be bought from some place that will measure my feet beforehand and I will pay through the nose for them.

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