The days of gendered occupations are long gone, and women have flooded into what would traditionally have been male-only jobs with abandon. Fortunately, the workwear industry has been more than willing to step up with high-quality gear for women. So much so, in fact, that choosing the best work boots for women can be a real chore. Having plenty to choose from is great, but it can get a little overwhelming.
Work boots are essential for many types of work, such as construction, working with heavy machinery, and generally any job where the possibility of something heavy landing on your feet exists. They are more durable than regular boots in order to withstand the extra abuse they receive—otherwise, you’d be spending a fortune replacing your boots every month or two. They offer additional protection around your heel and often your ankle as well. And, perhaps most importantly, they protect your toes from being crushed.
All of these factors combine to make it essential that you get a good quality work boot; it’s not just a matter of being comfortable.
Still, picking out a good pair of boots takes a lot of research, especially if you want to pick out the best work boots for women that you can get. But that’s why we’re here. You needn’t fret over reading thousands of reviews to try and work out which boot is the best, because we’ve done that for you. But first, what should you be looking for when picking out your next pair of work boots?
What to Look for in Work Boots for Women
The critical thing to remember when looking for the best work boots for women is that there is not one single boot that is the queen of them all. The best workboot for you will be determined by the work you intend to be doing in those boots, and what demands that will place on your workwear. For example, a woman who is working on a construction site where she would be required to move around on uneven terrain all day would want good ankle protection from her boots. This could help her avoid rolling her ankle should she slip on the rough ground. On the other hand, a welder who will be stood at a workbench most of the day might not need the extra ankle support, but they would be interested in fire-retardant properties. Whatever your occupation, think about the demands it places on your footwear, and choose your work boots accordingly.
There are a few universals, however. One of which is durability: regardless of the kind of job you are doing, you want your work boots to be sturdy, and able to withstand whatever your job throws at them. Decent grip is another must. Falling over any time is unpleasant, but falling over in a job like these can be a serious health risk.
1. Timberland PRO Women’s Titan Waterproof
The Timberland Pro Titan is a heavy-duty boot with plenty of protection all round. It provides excellent grip through its substantial tread, and plenty of ankle support thanks to its medium height shaft. Your toes will be protected by an alloy toe cap.
As the name suggests, the Titan is waterproof—or, rather, water-resistant; we wouldn’t recommend wading through and any ankle-deep pools in them. The primary material of the Titan is full-grain leather, while the outsole constructed from Timberland’s PRO material, that is rubber-based, slip and oil resistant, and offers excellent traction. It is also certified for electrical hazards, making it a great option for electricians.
Inside you will find plenty of cushioning to make it a comfortable wear—if a little on the heavy side. The lining is antimicrobial, a feature that should not be overlooked in a work boot, while an Outlast Adaptive Comfort temperature sock works to keep your feet cool and dry. They can be a little tough to break in compared to some other boots, and the weight makes them a little unsuitable for jobs that involve a lot of walking around, but they offer excellent protection and comfort.
2. Bates Women’s Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Sport Side-Zip Boot
Bates’ Ultra-Lites are an unusual boot in that they offer extra ankle protection thanks to the high cuff, yet they retain a lot of the flexibility that is typically reserved for work boots with lower cuffs. This is achieved through a mixture of leather framing and nylon mesh, striking a balance between the protection and durability of the leather, and the flexible and breathable nature of the mesh.
Inside you will find fully cushioned, removable insoles, while the outsoles provide decent grip on flat surfaces. There is a side zipper for getting the boots on and off more easily, while the longer laces allow you a greater deal of adjustment in how snug a fit you want.
In terms of protection, these are quite possibly the least impressive offerings on this list. However, if you need work boots that are light, agile, and comfortable, you will struggle to find better.
3. Ad Tec Women’s 9″ Leather Logger Boot Soft Toe – 2427
Providing a little more ankle protection, we have the Ad Tec Women’s 9″ boot. As you’ve probably guessed, the 9″ in the name refers to the shaft, which offers excellent support and protection for your ankle while reinforcement around the heel gives you extra protection against bumps and scrapes. On the subject of protection, there is no toecap, so bear that in mind before you purchase.
The material is water-resistant, and the outsole is oil-resistant. Speaking of the outsole, a generously deep tread supplies excellent grip that should keep you from slipping on those trickier surfaces.
Inside, there is perhaps not as much cushioning as some of the other boots on this list which, combined with the taller shaft, make it less than ideal for work that involves a lot of walking around. But, for protection around the ankle and heel, this is one of the best options around.
4. Dr. Martens, Men’s Ironbridge Steel Toe Heavy Industry Boots
If you know anything about this brand, you’ll know to expect a beefy boot with plenty of protection and grip. And you wouldn’t be disappointed. The Ironbridge is a boot with steel toe caps, a thick sole, and copious amounts of leather. They are water-resistant, and sport mid-height ankle protection. Inside there is plenty of comfort to be had thanks to the cushioned sole. The boot is lined with a breathable mesh to keep your feet cool and dry.
Design-wise, the Ironbridges come with Catepiller’s characteristic black look with yellow highlights. This is a somewhat heavy boot, even compared to other work boots on this list, so it would not be suitable for jobs with a lot of walking around.
5. Caterpillar Women’s Echo Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot
As the name suggests, these Caterpillar Echo boots are waterproof thanks to the nubuck leather upper, which also looks very stylish. Something that’s not particularly common among workboots.
They are a high-cuffed boot and, as such, offer excellent ankle protection. This combines nicely with extra cushioning around the collar to make them a comfortable fit. Inside there is mesh lining to provide breathability, while a sock liner provides extra cushioning to keep your feel complaint-free all day.
In terms of protection, the Echo boots are rated for electrical hazards, and there is steel reinforcement of the toe box. High laces make adjusting the boot to fit very easy.
6. Caterpillar Women’s Dryverse 6″ Wp St
Another boot that gives away one of its key features in the name, the Caterpillar Dryverse is waterproof thanks to the choice of full-grain leather or nubuck for the upper part of the boot. It is a mid-sized boot with a padded cuff that should offer plenty of protection as long as you don’t need the increased protection that comes with a higher cuff.
On the subject of protection, the Dryverse has steel toecap coverage for your toes, as well as abrasion and slip-resistant outsoles and certification for electrical hazards.
Inside, the lining works to wick away moisture to keep your feet dry, while the nylon mesh lining creates a breathable interior that should keep you feeling fresh on those long workdays.
7. Skechers for Work Women’s Workshire Peril Steel Toe Boot
The Sketchers Workshire boot is a high-quality option that fits the stereotypical workboot mold. It features a 5″ shaft, which offers a nice balance of ankle protection and freedom of movement. However, while the boot is made from extremely durable thick leather, it does not have a steel toecap.
The upper part of the boot is made from tough leather, while the outsole is made of equally tough rubber, which is great for arch support but not particularly flexible. The boot is water-resistant and sports tough laces and metal eyelets for added durability.
There is plenty of cushioning around the collar, as well as a removable memory foam insole making it a very comfortable fit. All in all, the Workshire is a great general-purpose boot, but the lack of steel toecaps, slip resistance, or electrical hazard protection makes it less suitable for specialist work.
8. KEEN Utility Detroit Mid Women’s Steel Toe Boot, Black Olive/Brown, 7.5
KEEN’s Detroit boot is an ideal work boot for women who have to stay nimble on their feet. It offers excellent traction, freedom of movement, and is relatively light. And, as far as work boots go, the Detroit is actually quite stylish.
It is a low cut boot which offers less ankle protection that other boots on this list, but that is a tradeoff you must make for the increased freedom of movement you get. The boot is waterproof, has excellent grip thanks to an aggressive tread pattern, and plenty of protection around the heel.
At the front of the boot, you will find asymmetrical steel toecaps that nicely follow the contours of your feet for added comfort. Overall, the boot is very comfortable to wear and great for jobs that involve a lot of walking around, though not particularly suited for jobs that require extra protection around the ankle.
9. FSI Avenger Women’s 6″ Framer Steel Waterproof Leather Slip Resistant Safety Toe EH Hiker Work Boot
Another traditional looking workboot—albeit with a touch of color you don’t usually find in this kind of footwear—is the FSI Avenger. With a 5″ cuff height, they offer some additional protection for your ankle over a work shoe without seriously hampering your movement.
The boot’s upper is made from thick leather combined with metal D-rings to make for a very rugged boot. The heel area is well-supported, thanks to a little reinforcement. Meanwhile, the insides of the boot are cushioned and soft, as well as breathable, which should help keep the temperature of your feet down.
The tread of the boot provides excellent grip while the material itself is slip-resistant. The boot is waterproof, which is always a bonus, and features a nice, roomy toe box upfront. The boot may feel a little on the broad side for narrow-footed people; however, it is nothing a thick pair of socks couldn’t fix.
10. Caterpillar Women’s Kenzie Steel Toe Work Boot
Our last pick for best work boots for women is also the most stylish. Indeed, this boot could quite reasonably pass for everyday footwear, but don’t let looks deceive you; the Kenzie is a solid work boot.
It sports a 6″ high collar and cushioned cuffs for added ankle protection and support. There is steel reinforcement in the toes, and the outsole is made from strong rubber that is not particularly flexible but does feature an aggressive tread that should make keeping good traction while you work an easy task. It should be noted that the outsole is not anti-slip and is not rated for electrical hazards, however.
The upper part of the boot is made from full-grain leather with plaid fabric trim around the cuffs and is water-resistant. Another advantage to the Kenzie boots is that they are lightweight, making wearing them for long periods feel like less of a challenge.