When it comes to getting dressed in the morning, there’s one rule of thumb that we live by: always wear shoes that fit the occasion!
Sneakers for the gym. Heels for a day in the office. Sandals when we’re heading to the beach.
But those aren’t the shoes we’re talking about today. Today we’re talking about protective work boots. And if you’ve ever been in any sort of industrial workplace, you know that protective footwear is a must.
Maybe your employer requires that you wear them. Maybe you’re just trying to take your own safety precautions. Either way, there are plenty of work boots for women to choose from.
From non-skid soles to steel toes, we’ve compiled a list of the best work boots for women who don’t wear heels to the office!
Related: How To Break In Boots
Editors’ Top Picks
Work Boots: It’s All About Safety
Work boots are made in different ways and for different purposes.
Some have steel toes to protect your feet from falling objects or dangerously heavy loads. Some have rubber soles to protect against electrical hazards or prevent slipping on floors. Some are designed to be waterproof, which is essential if you work outdoors in the elements.
Before you choose a pair of work boots, think about the features that matter to you.
If you’re on your feet for hours each day, you’ll need them to be comfortable. If you work outdoors, you’ll need them to protect you from all types of weather. If you work in construction or an industrial environment, you’ll need boots that will prevent slipping on oil that might be on the floor.
Work boots need to be tough and durable. They need to provide the exact sort of protection you need. And they need to fit your personal sense of style.
Ready to shop? Here are the best and most comfortable work boots for women.
1. Best Overall Work Boots for Women: Timberland PRO Titan 6” Alloy Toe Work Boots
We asked Adrian Victor at BestForMyFeet.com for his take on the best overall women’s work boots and the Pro Titan was at the top of his list. “This is one of the most popular choices for women working in industries where a safety toe is required,” he shared. “This work boot comes with an alloy toe cap
which makes it a tiny bit lighter than a steel toe work boot but provides the same safety for your toes.”
Rugged, durable, and lightweight, the Pro Titan Work Boots from Timberland offer just about every safety feature you could want in a boot.
Adrian contained, “Just because it’s a safety toe cap work it doesn’t mean you’ll have to sacrifice comfort. These Timberland PRO work boots are comfortable, flexible and with little to no break-in period.”
These leather boots are waterproof to keep your feet dry. They have alloy steel toes so you don’t have to worry about heavy equipment or materials crushing your toes. They also have slip-resistant outsoles so you won’t slip or fall on the floor.
They’re easy to break in, detailed with an antimicrobial lining for odor control, and built with a padded midsole for all-day comfort. There is a reason why these steel-toe work boots are a best seller and popular!
Accented with a bit of plaid trim that adds rugged, outdoorsy style, the Caterpillar Kenzie Steel Toe Work Boot offers the perfect combination of protection, comfort, and style. It’s crafted from 100% leather with a durable rubber outsole for traction, Goodyear welted construction, and steel toes. It also offers electrical hazard protection.
This work boot has a lace-up front with metal accents, a distinctive Caterpillar logo, and contrast color accents. Fairly priced for all that it offers, this is one of our favorite work boots for women who work hard on their feet!
3. Best Waterproof with Steel Toe Work Boots for Women: Caterpillar Women’s DryVerse 6” Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot
In a combo of leather and nubuck, these Caterpillar Waterproof Steel Toe Boots boast durable construction and waterproof protection. They’re detailed with steel toes, a breathable mesh lining, and a moisture-wicking sock liner. They also feature a poured PU midsole for added shock absorption.
These boots are perfect for anyone who works around electrical hazards, and they’re rated to protect against open circuits up to 600 volts. They’re also built with a slip-resistant rubber outsole so you won’t slip on slick floors or muck when walking around a worksite.
Protect your tootsies in style with the Avenger Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot. This rugged boot features durable leather construction with removable insoles for added cushioning, steel toe safety caps, and a lace-up design.
Waterproof, slip-resistant, and designed to protect against electrical hazards, these boots are suited for wearing in a variety of different industrial workplace settings. From factory floors to construction sites, they’ll keep you safe and keep you looking good while you work.
5. Most Comfortable Work Boot for Women: Skechers Workshire Peril Steel Toe Work Boot
Known for making some of the most comfortable shoes around, Skechers work boots are no exception.
So if comfort is one of your main priorities, look no further, these Skechers Workshire Peril Steel Toe Boots. These are some of the best women’s work boots anywhere, in part because of their super-comfortable gel-infused memory foam insole.
Steel toes, a padded collar, and a shock-absorbing midsole offer the perfect blend of comfort and protection. Rubber lug soles add to its rugged look and prevent slipping on oil or slick surfaces. Rubber lug soles add to its rugged look and prevent slipping on oil or slick surfaces. There’s a reason this work boot is a top seller.
We all know that Under Armour makes technical and comfortable workout gear. And now the UA Valsetz RTS Work Boot is making us love their footwear too!
These work boots are super comfortable. They’re detailed with a padded tongue and collar, a breathable lining, and an antimicrobial sock liner for odor-free confidence. They offer shock absorption, excellent traction, and they include a TPU toe cap for added protection.
If you like a boot with lots of texture, these are the ones you want. Varying textures and a distinctive UA logo on the side make them look super cool from every angle.
7. Best Steel Toe Work Boots for Women: Keen Women’s Canby AT Waterproof Industrial and Construction Shoe
Looking for the best steel toe boots for women? Check out these Waterproof Industrial and Construction Boots from Keen. Inspired by outdoor hiking boots, they feature a lightweight design with a dual-density EVA footbed that provides incredible arch support.
Perfect for medium duty work, they’re built with a slip-resistant outsole, a waterproof coating, and a molded insole for extra comfort.
ASTM-rated, the Caterpillar Jace Steel Toe Work Boot offers a cool two-tone look that makes them as fashionable as they are functional. These safety boots are made from a combo of suede and wool and feature a steel toe cap and a waterproof finish so they also provide electrical hazard protection,
Designed for slip resistance, these work boots feature a durable rubber sole as well as a stylish buckle detail on the side.
If you’re looking for a work boot that can do it all, check out the AdTec Steel Toe Work Boot. Comfortable, durable, and slip-resistant, these women’s work boots have a rugged, heavy-duty look, making them perfect for all sorts of hard work.
These boots have a shock-absorbing rubber outsole, a padded collar and tongue for added comfort, and laces with little metal eyelets. Made in rich leather with steel toes, these boots are finished with contrast stitching that gives them a timeless look.
10. Best Tactical Work Boots for Women: Reebok Sublite Cushion Waterproof Tactical Boot
In a combination of leather and nylon mesh, the Sublite Cushion Waterproof Tactical Boot is perfect for a long workday out in the field. Designed for tactical missions, these boots feature a low-cut design with flexible grooves, a cushioned footbed, and rubber outsoles for top-notch traction.
These lightweight work boots are comfortable because they’re flexible, but they have a tough look and an equally as durable design. With zippers on the side, you don’t have to worry about lacing them every time you put them on.
11. The Most Iconic Work Boots for Women: Dr. Martens Women’s Ironbridge Safety Toe Work Boot
Dr. Martens boots are more than just functional – they also make a bold fashion statement. The Ironbridge boot features an 8-hole design with a leather upper, steel toes, and slip-resistant soles. A padded collar makes them ultra-comfortable to wear.
Designed to protect against electrical hazards, these boots include a moisture-wicking lining and extra insulation. Plus, contrast stitching gives them that unmistakable Doc Martens look!
12. Best Fashionable Work Boot for Women: Caterpillar Women’s Echo Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot
Safety features and technical function aside, these are some seriously stylish work boots! The Echo Waterproof Steel Toe Boots from Caterpillar are made to withstand rugged construction conditions; they provide electrical protection against open circuits up to 600 volts.
Steel toes, slip-resistant outsoles, and a shock-absorbing midsole provide protection and comfort. A mesh liner offers breathability and wicks away moisture to keep your feet comfortable and dry in this waterproof work boot. Stitched details and a subtle pop of color make them our favorite work boots on this list!
Contrast pink accents add a pop of color and feminine style to the John Deere Steel Toe Lace Up Boot. This stylish work boot is made from oiled nubuck leather and features a rugged design with a removable orthotic insert for added comfort.
It’s detailed with a John Deere logo label, a padded collar, pink laces, and a rubber outsole that provides great traction. Steel toes make them ideal for wearing at work sites, while the pink trim makes them a stylish option for wearing when working outside or renovating your home.
14. Best Fire-Resistant Work Shoes for Women: HAIX Airpower XR1 Women’s Boots
Most women will not need a fire-resistant boot, but if you do, you’ve found it. These boots are made with first responders, fire company volunteers and wildfires in mind, so you can take on even the most heated situations with ease and peace of mind. The shoes come in sizes 5 to 10, with half sizes available, and you can special-order each shoe size in either a wide or extra-wide variant.
These ultra-insulated work boots offer a super-durable outsole and an exterior that’s resistant to staining. Reviewers do report that the boots run on the narrow side (which may be either good or bad for you, depending on your foot size), but they also love the style, quality and comfortable fit.
These shock-absorbing work boots feature a thin layer of insulation that provides warmth without extra bulk. The outsoles are oil and water-resistant. The boots are made of durable and flexible leather and come in three colors: black, tan and pink.
Reviewers report these boots are on the roomier side and may be more comfortable for you if you don’t like steel-toe boots. They’re roomy enough that you can wear them with thick pairs of socks in the winter, without worrying about the fabric bunching up or an overly tight fit.
If you’re shopping for work boots, chances are likely that you already have at least a few different Carhartt items in your closet. Add a pair of work boots to the mix, like these fashionable, yet also functional, Carhartt wedges that come in both a dark brown color and black.
Unlike many work boots that are just water-resistant, these tanned leather boots are fully waterproof, for greater comfort in even the wettest conditions. Reviewers report the boots offer lots of foot and ankle support, too.
For an easy pull-on work boot that offers the protection of a typical work boot, but the style and ease of use that you get from your favorite pair of fashion boots, look to these boots from MooseLog. The puncture-resistant and electric shock-resistant boots feature high-abrasive outsoles and are water, oil and salt-resistant, too.
Reviewers report these boots are comfortable for a variety of situations. Some use them for shipyard work that requires constant movement and going up and down ladders; others for EMS work, and others for warehouse work. Some even say the boots are ideal for busy moms who need durable shoes that are easy to slip on and off while wrangling toddlers.
This classic short boot ticks a lot of boxes. It’s from a reputable brand known for its durable boots. It’s stylish. It comes in eight different colors. Yes, it can do its job as a work boot, but it’s also a popular pick as a fashion boot, too — no worksite required. (And if you don’t believe us, just look at the reviews and you’ll see buyers saying they wore the boots to Coachella or on backpacking trips to Europe.)
One of the top things that reviewers love about this particular boot? They say it takes no time at all to wear the boots in, so you can go from shoe store to worksite (or music festival or vacation, if you so choose) with no break-in period needed.
These lightweight, nubuck leather, shock-absorbing, steel-toe boots offer one cool feature that makes them stand out from the pack: a zipper along the side, for easy slipping on and off without sacrificing protection along the ankle and calf, like might be the case with other slip-on boots.
Do note that with this particular style, the manufacturer says most buyers require a boot that’s half a size larger than their typical shoe size.
What to Look for When Shopping for Women’s Work Boots
Think that one of the above work boot options might be your perfect fit? Keep just a few things in mind as you shop.
Sure, you know that you normally wear a size 7 … but then there was also that one time you wore a size 6 … and there are those shoes in the back of your closet that are a size 7.5. Maybe you’re not as sure of your shoe size as you first thought.
Unfortunately, when you’re shopping online for shoes, you can’t really try every size adjacent to your “normal” size to determine which is the perfect fit. Instead, you have to rely on reviews.
Look through the reviews for the particular shoe you’re interested in and gauge how often reviewers note that the shoe runs large or small, narrow or wide. Based on that feedback, you can go up or down a size or half size, for your best chances at ordering your perfect fit the first time.
If you work in a certain type of industry that puts you in certain working conditions on a regular basis, you’ll want to pick a shoe that’s well suited to that industry and those working conditions. Are you outside often? Are you working in dirty or grimy conditions? Are you on your feet for eight to 12 hours per day? Are you walking over rough terrain, or smooth concrete?
Whatever your job demands, be sure that your boot can stand up to them.
You don’t want to be buying expensive work boots over and over again, year after year. Look for reviews for your chosen boot that specifically mention how long the boots have lasted the wearer, or how quickly the buyer noticed wear and tear. If you’re seeing reviewers say they noticed rips, scratches or other damage within just a few weeks, or even a few months, of heavy usage, that could be a sign that these boots weren’t built to last.
Beyond keeping you comfortable on the job site, work boots are also intended to give you protection. That’s why, in many cases, steel toe caps are important, as they keep your toes safe from falling objects, as are slip-resistant soles. The last thing you want is an on-the-job injury, so make sure your shoes are doing their part to prevent one.
Okay, so maybe fashion isn’t the first thing you think of when you’re shopping for work boots. Functionality definitely trumps fashion in this particular category of footwear. However, if you can have both, why not go for both?
If you’ve found several different work boots that meet your needs work-wise and safety-wise, go for the most stylish option. Stylish work boots are out there and you can find them, from safety shoes and boots that look more like Chelsea boots to those that have more of a western boot or hiker feel.
Keeping your boots clean can be a challenge, even if your boots are oil and stain-resistant. Keeping your boots clean becomes even more difficult if you purchase boots that need frequent conditioning or treatment with a water repellant (ie, leather boots).
Keep this in mind while you’re shopping. If you go with a pair of leather boots, you’ll want to really make sure you keep up with the maintenance, so your boots remain in pristine condition for years to come.
Women’s Work Boots FAQs
Still not sure which work boots are best for you? Have more questions? Let’s see if we can answer them.
Do I really need a pair of work boots?
If you work in an industry that requires you to be outdoors in inclement weather, or that requires you to work in potentially hazardous conditions, you likely need a pair of work boots. Generally, if work boots are needed, your company will require them.
If you don’t work for such a company and are instead shopping for work boots to potentially wear at home or elsewhere (so not in a work environment), then you may find that the boots come in handy when in any situations that pose a potential risk of foot injury (for example, if you’re chopping wood in the backyard, working in a barn or around livestock, or working in your shop with a lot of heavy tools that could mean a trip to the emergency room if you were to drop one on your foot).
Can’t I just wear a pair of men’s work boots?
If you’re a woman and wondering if you could just get by wearing your partner’s work boots or if you have your eye on a cheaper pair of men’s work boots at the store, you might want to reconsider. Men’s shoes are made differently from women’s, as men and women typically have different foot shapes, differences that go beyond just size. For the most comfortable fit as a woman, go for a boot made for women’s feet.
Do I need steel-toe boots? What about composite safety toe boots?
Some workers will tell you that you absolutely should only buy boots with steel toes. However, steel-toe boots are heavier and, for some, not comfortable. Composite toe work boots are an alternative to steel toes, offering lighter-weight protection made from a non-metallic, non-magnetic composite material. Both offer protection, but the steel toe caps offer more protection than comp toe caps. Go with the option that best suits your individual needs, even if that means a soft-toe boot.
Do I need special socks with work boots?
You’ll likely want to invest in some high-quality socks that match the length of your boots. So, for example, if your boots come to your mid-calf area, you’ll want to buy socks with a similar length, rather than just go with the ankle socks you frequently wear around the house. Not wearing the appropriate socks can result in blisters and general discomfort.
Along those lines, for the most comfort and fewer smelly socks at the end of the day, opt for a moisture-wicking sock, both summer and winter-ready variants. Your boots will likely increase the temperature of your feet throughout the day, regardless of the season, and you don’t want to be sweating into your soles by lunchtime.
Can I wear men’s work socks?
Just like you don’t want to settle for men’s work boots, you don’t want to settle for men’s work socks either. Again, men’s feet are different from women’s feet and the fit will be different depending on which type of sock you buy. For the utmost comfort, go with the sock made for your foot shape.
Can I wear hiking boots or gardening boots instead of work boots?
If you’re considering buying a pair of work boots for use around the house or yard, then a pair of hiking boots or gardening boots may make a decent stand-in, especially if you’re just looking for shoes with traction or waterproofing. However, if you need foot protection, you usually won’t find it with a standard hiking boot or gardening boot.
How to Find the Best Work Boots for Women
The best work boots are the ones made to protect you in your specific work conditions. From construction sites to industrial plants, work boots are a must-have in any environment that poses hazards and dangers.
When you’re ready to buy a new pair, look for high-quality styles that provide all of the necessary protections and offer all-day comfort. It’s not worth it to skimp on features just to save a few bucks.
Whether you are looking for a steel toe, soft toe or composite toe work boot there is one out there to fit your needs.
Most of our favorite work boots are priced in the $100-$150 range, so when you buy them, keep your receipt. If your employer requires you to wear them, you should be able to deduct them from your business expenses at tax time.
You might also be interested in: The 15 Best Waterproof Work Boots To Keep You Comfortable And Dry
20 Best Work Boots For Women:
- Timberland PRO Titan 6” Alloy Toe Work Boots
- Caterpillar Kenzie Steel Toe Work Boot
- Caterpillar Women’s DryVerse 6” Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot
- Avenger Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot
- Skechers Workshire Peril Steel Toe Work Boot
- Under Armour UA Valsetz RTS Work Boot
- Keen Women’s Canby AT Waterproof Industrial and Construction Shoe
- Caterpillar Women’s Jace Steel Toe Work Boot
- AdTec Steel Toe Work Boot
- Reebok Sublite Cushion Waterproof Tactical Boot
- Dr. Martens Women’s Ironbridge Safety Toe Work Boot
- Caterpillar Women’s Echo Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot
- John Deere Steel Toe Lace Up Boot
- HAIX Airpower XR1 Women’s Boots
- Wolverine Women’s I-90 Composite Toe Construction Boot
- Safety Girl Insulated Work Boots
- Carhartt Women’s Wedge Sole Waterproof Work Boot
- MooseLog Women’s Steel Toe Work Safety Boots
- Red Wing Six-Inch Classic Mod Women’s Short Boot
- P&F Workwear 8” Steel Toe Work Bet for Women
Holly Riddleview post
Holly Riddle is a travel, food and lifestyle writer, and a full-time freelance content creator after several years on editorial staffs for a multitude of publications ranging in topic and audience demographic. She currently acts as the editor at large for Global Traveler magazine and is a regular contributor at Trazee Travel, WhereverFamily, TravelMag, CruiseHive and more. Ghostwritten work for travel clients has appeared on Forbes, Bloomberg, Inc. and other top publications. She also manages blogs for tour providers, hotels and tourism boards.view post