In this Guide
There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to buying work boots. You have to consider safety features, traction, and waterproofing, just for a start!
No matter what kind of boots you need, though, the number one most important thing is that they’re comfortable! If your work boots aren’t comfortable, you’re never going to be completely happy at work. Not only that, but you’ll be aching or in severe pain hours after you get home!
So, we thought we’d put all those other criteria aside for a moment, and show you the work boots that we think are the downright most comfortable! There are a range of boots here, from safety boots to waterproof boots for the rain and snow. They each meet a different set of needs, but the one thing they all have in common is that they’re super comfortable!
Let’s get right down to it by taking a look at our Top Three!
Most Comfortable for Men
Most Comfortable for Women
Most Comfortable Unisex
Most Comfortable Work Boot Reviews
- Birkenstock Hancock
- KEEN Utility Men’s Pittsburgh
- KEEN Utility Women’s Detroit
- The Original MuckBoots Hoser Classic Hi-Cut Boot
- The Original MuckBoots Adult Chore Steel-Toe Boot
- The Original MuckBoots Adult Arctic Sport Boot
1. Birkenstock Hancock
These Birkenstock boots aren’t as industrial as some of our other recommendations, and we left them out of our Top Three because they aren’t a “safety” model like many workers need. However, when it comes to sheer comfort, these are unquestionably the best of the bunch! They’re as supportive as Birkenstock sandals, with a high-grade leather upper and a thick rubber sole. If you need a comfy work boot, and don’t need safety features, these are a fantastic choice!
We have to start with the footbeds! These Birk’s have the traditional Birkenstock cork footbed, which we know and love from their sandals and insoles. The Hancock’s pop that footbed into a traditional leather work boot!
Like all Birkenstock footbeds, they’re made from natural cork, with a latex bonding and suede covers. They have superb arch support, and a deep heel cup which realigns your weight in the backs of your feet. That takes pressure off your metatarsal ridge, and keeps your gait aligned properly through your hips and core.
If you’ve ever worn Birkenstock’s before, you know how therapeutic these are! They’re great for joint issues, arch pain, and heel symptoms, and we think they’re simply the best footbeds out there. So, to have that comfort and support in a work boot format is exactly what the foot doctor ordered!
We think cork footbeds are a great choice for work boots, too. They last much longer than foam cushioning or other more traditional work boot materials. They also contour to your own feet as you break them in, which gives you a personalized fit.
The soles help out with the natural foot alignment, too. These Hancock’s have a barely-raised heel platform, as opposed to the big heels you usually see on work boots. That keeps your feet closer to their natural alignment.
Even though they’re not specifically rated for things like slip-resistance or electrical hazard protection, these are great soles. They’re natural rubber, with good traction on anything from concrete to hardwoods. They absorb impact nicely, and add some cushion to the supportive cork footbeds.
The uppers are thick, supple leather that looks and feels great. They’re not waterproof, but they stand up very well to extended wear. They break in easily, and the tongues and collars are padded for comfort.
While we wouldn’t subject them to an industrial setting, they’re incredibly well-made boots, and they could serve you well for years in an appropriate workplace. For instance, we think these are great for working in a warehouse, a finish wood shop, or a hosiery–anywhere you don’t need special hazard protections.
They’re expensive, at $200+ per pair. That’s pricey even for work boots, and some buyers might not want to pay that much for boots that aren’t safety-rated. However, if you think of foot health and comfort as an investment, these are boots that more than pay for themselves in the long run!
As we mentioned, they’re not safety boots by any stretch. If you need protected toe caps, slip-resistant soles, or any other special safety features for your work, keep reading!
We also wouldn’t suggest using them in mud, slush, or other outdoor settings where you’d want waterproofing. They’re also too nice of boots to subject to harsh treatment. These are better for relatively clean, dry workplaces.
2. KEEN Utility Men’s Pittsburgh
Our next recommendation for men is the Keen Pittsburgh work boot. These are everything the Birkenstock’s aren’t! They’re safety-rated, waterproof, and equipped for all work conditions. Even with steel toes, waterproofing, and superb traction, they’re still extremely comfortable! They’re our top men’s recommendation for workers who need something super rugged, but still comfortable!
Safety rating: Meets or exceeds ASTM F2412-11 and F2413-11 I/75 C/75 EH standards
They don’t have Birkenstock insoles, but the Keen footbeds in these can hold their own against any other industrial boots. They’re anatomically-shaped, with ample arch support, a low heel drop, and plenty of cushioning. Overall, they’re much better than your average flat work boot footbeds!
They have very stable heels. The outsoles are 90-degree, and the soles have torsion plates to keep each step in alignment. These are ideal for protecting your ankle on mixed terrain outside or on ladders inside.
They can get traction on just about anything! The rubber outsoles are lugged for outdoor traction, but we like that the lugs also have flat surfaces that are ideal for gripping on smooth, wet, or greasy flooring. They’re oil resistant and certified slip-resistant. Plus, they protect you from electrical hazards!
They’re steel-toe. These can protect you from crushing and drop hazards, where the Birkenstock’s would leave you vulnerable. They’re safety-rated to the latest workplace standards.
Our favorite aspect of the steel toes is the fact that they’re asymmetrical, which makes them fit a lot more comfortably than other safety boots. They don’t pinch or rub around the edges, which is a big problem with a lot of symmetrical toe caps.
The toe boxes are also extra wide. That gives you lots of room for your feet to expand, as they naturally do through the course of your shift.
On top of the toe boxes, you’ve also got Keen’s signature wraparound outsole. It extends the rubber up and over the toe boxes to give you a nice padded bumper. That makes these a lot more comfortable to kick in, and lessens the blow if you accidentally stub your toe. The bumpers protect the seams between the uppers and soles, too!
They’re built with leather and mesh uppers, which give you lots of rugged durability without eliminating breathability. The mesh panels are placed around the tongue and laces, to help disperse heat off the tops of your feet. One reason we give these boots so many comfort points is the fact that they’re so much more breathable than other models!
They’re completely waterproof, from toe to cuff! These use a breathable but impervious lining material which extends through the mesh sections as well as the leather uppers.
They last a long time compared to other work boots. Most buyers find they can get at least a full year, if not two years, of daily use from these.
They don’t have a perfect track record for durability, even though they’re better than other brands in that department. Some buyers ran into trouble with the waterproofing, and others reported broken hardware. Thankfully, Keen has a 1-year warranty policy which covers any defects.
Some workers don’t like anatomical footbeds. You can always replace the footbeds, though, if you like something with a lower arch. That way you can still enjoy the stability and breathability of these.
They fit a bit narrow. You may want to go for one of the wider widths if you find normal sizes snug on the sides.
They’re not the most industrial boots Keen make. For instance, we wouldn’t recommend them for welding shops, due to the mesh panels and the mind material soles. If you need something even heavier-duty, we’d recommend the Milwaukee’s, which we review on our main work boot page! However, we don’t think those boots ventilate as well, or feel as good on so many different surfaces.
3. KEEN Utility Women’s Detroit Mid Steel Toe Work Boot
The Keen Detroit’s are our hands-down favorite work boots for women. They’re incredibly comfortable, and they’re some of the only industrial boots on the market that are specifically designed for female feet! They have anatomical footbeds, steel toes, and fantastic performance on all types of terrain.
Like the men’s Pittsburgh’s, they have anatomical footbeds. These are designed for women, though, which is sadly something rare in the work boot market! They have strong arch support, heel stability, and a contour that’s narrow in the heels and wide in the toe box.
The footbeds and midsoles are made from durable but adaptive EVA material. It shapes slightly to your feet, but it doesn’t wear down like foam cushioning.
If you’ve had problems with a lack of proper support from unisex or women’s work boots before, these will be a welcome change!
These are full-fledged safety boots, just like the men’s models! They have steel toes and slip-resistant soles. The steel toes have asymmetrical molds, which makes them more comfortable around the edges, especially at the end of your shift.
They have wraparound rubber bumpers, like other Keen’s. They give you a nice cushion for kicking doors or knocking on equipment. They also soften the blow of a drop impact before it even gets to the steel toes! Best of all, they protect important seams between the upper and the soles.
They’re made with mixed leather and mesh uppers. They give you all the structure and ruggedness of leather, but with breathable sections around the tongue and laces. One of the best comfort aspects of the Detroit’s is the breathability! They’re much less sweaty and stinky than other work boots, but they can still stand up to industrial work!
They’re completely waterproof, too! The lining material is a breathable membrane which also has the property of keeping water from entering your boots. They’re the best balance between imperviousness and airiness we’ve found in a women’s work boot!
They’re very stable. In addition to the anatomical footbeds, these Detroit’s have torsion shanks in the soles, which prevent lateral wobble in your stride. That’s helpful outside on mixed terrain, especially! They also have reinforcements around the heels to protect your ankles.
They have great traction, wherever you take them! The Keen’s have lugged outsoles that are fantastic for dirt, mud, or other outdoor terrain. They’ve also got grippy flat pieces of tread that do particularly well on concrete–even greasy or wet floors. They’re certified to be just as slip-resistant as any men’s work boots, too.
They last a long time. Most women who bought these found they could get at least a full working year out of these, if not two or more!
They’re not perfect in the durability department, even though they’re better than most. Some buyers had issues with leaks, and others found the treads wore down quickly. Any manufacturer’s defects are covered by a 1-year warranty, though, and the vast majority of women who bought these swore by them!
They run slightly narrow. We’d suggest going with one of the extra widths if you find average work boots snug.
4. The Original MuckBoots Hoser Classic Hi-Cut Boot
These Muck Boots are the most comfortable work boots we’ve found for wet conditions. They’re completely waterproof, super flexible, and they’re super lightweight as well! They’re not steel-toed or insulated like the next two Muck Boot styles we’re recommending here, but if what you’re after is simply waterproof comfort, they’re perfect!
They’re super light. These are very easy to walk around in all day, since they don’t weigh you down or feel like you’ve got pipes strapped to your feet. They’re not clunky or stomp-y, and they don’t make you feel tired by the end of your shift.
They’re completely waterproof–right up to your knees! They give you knee-length coverage against water, mud, and other messy conditions. We think these are ideal for working around a farm, in an animal enclosure, or walking around in woods and bogs. As long as you don’t need steel toes, you shouldn’t have any complaints!
You can spray them clean when you’re done using them. They’re just like rubber waterproof boots in that regard.
They’re a lot more flexible than rubber boots, though, which is why we love them! The Hoser’s have a waterproof membrane on the shafts, instead of solid rubber. They’re much cozier than rubber boots, since they feel more like fabric than cold, hard rubber.
They also breathe much better than all-rubber boots! If you find you get sweaty walking around all day in your rubbers, these do a lot better at giving your legs and feet some breathing space. That’s one reason we think these membranes are the most comfortable on the market right now!
The treads on these have fantastic grip on wet concrete, mud, and other damp surfaces, without collecting chunks of mud or bits of gravel. They’re curved at the front and back to keep you walking easily without feeling like you’re clunking around.
They’re very comfortable in the footbeds. They have plenty of arch support, and there’s also a lot of cushion to keep you happy. If you need more specific support, you can also easily slip an insert into these with room to spare.
They have a mixed record for durability. You’ll definitely get a full year out of these, but some people who use them for intense chore work on ranches and farms find that’s about all they can take. For other people who are mainly walking around in wet conditions, instead of treating their boots roughly, these can last a few full years.
They’re pricey. These run for $100+. However, we think they’re vastly better than the cheaper, knock-off versions (Bogs, etc.).
They’re not steel-toe boots. We’ve recommended some heavier-duty Muck Boots with steel toes below which you can check out!
They’re also not insulated. If you want some Muck Boots to use in winter weather, check out the Arctic Sport review below!
5. The Original MuckBoots Adult Chore Steel-Toe Boot
These Chore model Muck Boots are a great choice for people who want a comfortable boot to use for absolutely anything without getting wet. They’re completely waterproof, and a lot sturdier than the Hoser’s we recommended above. These are our top waterproof recommendation for people who need toe protection and some extra ruggedness. Oh, and they’re incredibly comfortable to boot!
Safety rating: Meets ASTM-F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 EH
They’re waterproof to the knees, just like the Hoser’s. They have rubber soles and uppers, with flexible, breathable, and waterproof shafts. They’re much less sweaty to wear for a whole shift than a normal rubber boot, and they’re much easier to move in.
The rubber soles are thick, heavy, and reinforced at the heel and toe box. They’re much more rugged than the soles on the Hoser’s, and even those are pretty durable. These have thick treads, which can grip nearly anywhere, and protect you from sharp objects. They’re reinforced in key wear areas, too, which makes these a better choice for intense farmwork.
They’re steel-toe boots. We love the Hoser’s for casual chores and walking around all day, but they can’t protect you from stomping animals or falling equipment. These can, and will! They’re safety-rated for crush and drop protection.
Thankfully, they’re also generously-sized in the toe boxes. You won’t have any issues with rubbing against the steel caps in these, as you would with so many other boots.
They feel rock solid to walk on–in a good way! They have steel shanks through the soles for stability. The depth of the tread, the square heels, and the wide footbeds all work together to give you a stable, sure platform to conquer any terrain. Honestly–these will make you feel like you can do absolutely anything!
The soles have a mix of lugs and flat sections for traction anywhere. They’re superb in dairy barns and other super dirty spots, and they can handle snow, mud, or slush with no problem. They can also protect you from electrical hazards!
One other benefit of having thicker soles is there’s room for lots of padding in the footbeds! These are super cushy, and they feel great on concrete, where other waterproof boots just feel like pieces of wood. The generous sizing also leaves room to add anatomical inserts if you need extra support.
They don’t have strong arch support out of the box. You’ll need to add an insert if you require a prominent arch mound.
They’re expensive. These aren’t usually available for under $150.
They have an imperfect durability record. These are more rugged than the Hoser’s, but they do occasionally have leaks, or get tears across the uppers. With that said, they’re covered by a warranty, and issues are very rare. You should easily be able to get at least a full year or two out of these before you see any serious wear and tear.
They’re a bit heavy. We’re perfectly happy to take some extra weight in exchange for this much stability, safety, and comfort. On the other hand, they can definitely feel weighty by the end of your shift!
They stay fairly warm in winter, especially if you pair them with thicker socks. However, they’re not insulated, so they’re not ideal for super cold, sub-zero temps.
6. The Original MuckBoots Adult Arctic Sport Boot
These Muck Boots are our final recommendation for the most comfortable work boots out there. Like the Hoser model we looked at above, these Arctic Sport’s aren’t industrial work boots by any stretch. However, we haven’t found anything better for cold weather work! They’re nicely insulated, they have excellent traction, and they’re super comfortable to wear for long periods. They’re a good alternative for people who don’t need as much protection as you get with the Chore’s, but need something to keep them warm in low temps!
Like the other two Muck Boot style’s we’ve recommended, these are weatherproof right to the knees. They’ll keep snow, slush, and water out, while keeping heat in! They’re insulated all the way up the shafts, and in the removable sockliner. In fact, they’re rated to be comfortable down to -40!
While they’re insulated, they still have the same soft, breathable shaft material as the Hoser’s and Chore’s. So, they’re not nearly as bulky as other insulated boots that go all the way to your knees.
They have rubber soles and uppers, with traction made for winter terrain. They have the biggest treads of the three Muck Boots we’ve recommended. They grip right into snow, slush, and ice!
They’re lightweight like the Hoser’s. These don’t feel clunky by the end of the day, and the low weight makes them ideal for people who have to cover a lot of ground during the winter months. They’re perfect for delivery people, farmhands in colder areas, and outdoor workers who spend lots of time in the woods and deep snow.
They have cushioned footbeds and decent arch support as well. These feel great to walk in, especially because they’re so light. They have excellent dexterity on snowy slopes, and they don’t punch through crust as easily as the Chore’s.
They’re not steel-toed or protective against electrical hazards. If you need those protective features, we think you’re better off just wearing thick socks in the Chore’s.
The soles have more seams than the other two, which means they tend to have a few more problems.
You can’t wear them during the summer months without getting super sweaty. If you’re looking for an all-season waterproof boot, we’d recommend the Chore’s.
Most Comfortable Work Boots: Comparison Table
|Much Boot:Adult Chore|
|Muck Boot:Artic Sport|
Now that we’ve taken an in-depth look at all our recommendations for the most comfortable work boots, we want to help you figure out which ones to get!
The Birkenstock Hancock’s are a no-brainer if you work primarily indoors in a clean, hazard-free work zone. They’re the most comfortable, supportive boots here, and they’re extremely well-made. They’re also a good work boot for trekking around outside, as long as you don’t expect to need waterproofing. However, if you have any safety requirements, you don’t want to use these!
The Keen Pittsburgh’s are our recommendation for men who need an industrial boot with maximum comfort. They’re an easy choice for anyone who needs steel toes, waterproofing, and superb traction. They’re good indoors and outdoors, and they last a long time. On the downside, they don’t have as much waterproof coverage as one of our Muck Boot options.
The Keen Detroit’s are our recommendation for women in the same category. They’re the best we think ladies can do for an industrial but comfortable work boot. They’re good for pretty much anywhere, and they’ll last for several years in most jobs. The only downside is the high price.
The Muck Boot Hoser’s are the best casual waterproof work boots here. They’re light, comfortable, and give you lots of waterproof protection up to your knees. If you need steel toes or electrical hazard protection, though, move on to the Chore’s!
We think the Muck Boot Chore’s are the best of the three Muck Boot models we’ve chosen here. They’re a great all season boot, especially if you need extra ruggedness and steel toes. They can be good in most winter climates if you add thick socks, but they also stay relatively cool in the summers. They’re not good to -40 like the Arctic Sport’s, though, and they’re pretty heavy compared to the Hoser’s.
The Muck Boot Arctic Sport’s are our go-to winter work boots, and we recommend them to anybody in extremely cold temps. They’re warm, they have great traction, and they’re completely weatherproof. Just don’t expect them to provide safety features, or last quite as long as the Chore model.
What makes the most comfortable work boots? We’ve got a handy list of things to think about when you’re choosing!
For any shoe to be comfortable, it needs to have cushion! Cushion takes the impact out of each step, and protects your body against super hard flooring like concrete. So, the most comfortable work boots have ample cushioning in the midsoles and insoles to keep your feet and joints from feeling the pain of gravity!
Work boots, like any other shoes, need plenty of arch support. If you don’t protect and support your arch muscles, you could end up with plantar faciitis, or a wobbly walk leading to sprained ankles! There are all sorts of reasons why arch support is important, so look for it! If you find a great pair of boots whose only flaw is a lack of strong arch support, always remember that you can add inserts later!
Since everyone’s arches have a different profile, it can be hard to find boots that are perfect for everyone. That’s why we’ve chosen boots that have replaceable insoles or room for extra inserts. You can get a custom fit by simply adding the insoles that fit your feet best! Check out our guide to the best work boot insoles to find our top picks!
Stability is also important for keeping you comfortable. After all, you can never relax or feel safe at work if you’re always wobbling around or feeling like you’re going to slip. Plus, wobbly boots that leave too much room for movement in the soles make for sore joints and back pain. So, look for stable heels to protect your ankles, torsion plates for midsole stability, and anatomical footbeds to straighten out your gait!
Being too hot or too cold is a guaranteed way to make even the best-made work boots feel unpleasant. So, make sure that your boots have either ventilation or insulation to keep you comfortable in your climate and your workplace!
Wide toe boxes are super important for work boots! Your feet naturally expand through the day, as they swell slightly. You want work boots that give your feet a bit of room to expand, especially in the toe boxes. With steel toes, it’s even more important! If you don’t have some extra wiggle room, you could rub up against the steel toe caps, which is never comfortable. All our recommendations have nice, roomy toe boxes that give you room to breathe and expand as needed.
Lastly, weight is an important but often forgotten-about factor to consider! The heavier your boots are, the better they’ll stand up to hard labor. However, heavy boots are tiring to use all day, so if you’re shopping with comfort in mind, look for something lightweight!
To see more details about any of our recommendations, including size charts and current prices, just click on the links in our reviews to check them out on Amazon!
Or, if you’re still making up your mind about your new pair of work boots, head over to our main guide to the best work boots! We have lots more recommendations and reviews to help you make the tough call!