Last Updated on June 17, 2023 by Sarah Jaffe
When it comes to choosing work boots, safety, and comfort are paramount. However, not all work boot brands are created equal. While some brands may promise durability and protection, they may need to catch up when put to the test.
In fact, there are certain work boot brands that are notorious for their poor quality and lack of reliability. In this article, we’ll explore the work boot brands to avoid and why, so you can make an informed decision regarding protecting your feet on the job.
Top 6 Work Boot Brands To Avoid – A Personal Experience
Below we will be sharing our personal experiences and preferences regarding 6 work boot brands to avoid. It’s important to note that others may have differing opinions about them:
1. Skechers Work Boots
a. Hard at the toe: We found that Skechers Boots have a design that is rather uncomfortable, particularly in the toe area. They seem to lack sufficient padding or protection, making it easier to feel any impact or pressure on the toes.
b. Quick wear and tear: Unfortunately, we experienced durability issues with Skechers Boots. The quality of the materials used and the construction of the shoe seem to be lacking, resulting in its falling apart relatively quickly. This can be disappointing and inconvenient for those relying on their work boots for demanding tasks.
2. Keen Cincinnati Work Boot
a. Heavy and clumsy: In our tests, this footwear felt noticeably heavier compared to other work boot brands. This added weight can make them feel cumbersome and tiring to wear throughout the day, potentially impacting productivity.
b. Heat retention: When temperatures rise, we noticed that they tended to become uncomfortably hot. The lack of breathability in the design can cause perspiration and discomfort, potentially leading to reduced focus and productivity on the job.
c. Poor breathability: Beyond the heat retention, these shoes seem to lack sufficient ventilation overall. The limited breathability can lead to moisture buildup inside them, which may result in unpleasant odors and potential discomfort.
3. Caterpillar Work Boots
a. Difficult break-in period: While some work boots may require a bit of time to break in, we found that Caterpillar was particularly challenging in this regard. The initial period of wearing them can be uncomfortable and may require extra effort to reach a satisfactory level of comfort.
b. Rapid sole deterioration: We were disappointed to discover that its soles deteriorated faster than expected. The material used for the soles seemed to wear down relatively quickly, leading to potential discomfort and reduced traction on various surfaces.
c. Lack of waterproofing: They did not offer adequate protection against water and moisture. This can be problematic, especially for individuals working in wet or muddy conditions, as it compromises both comfort and practicality.
4. Wolverine Work Boot
- Extended periods of wear become quite challenging due to the steel toe’s remarkable discomfort.
- A subpar design afflicts the right shoe, resulting in substantial pain and discomfort. Its fit is simply off, giving an uneven sensation.
- Insufficient padding on the tongue may cause irritation and discomfort, particularly during long periods of being on your feet.
- The overall quality of the boot falls short, raising concerns about durability and potential issues during prolonged usage.
5. Chippewa Work Boots
- One notable drawback of this footwear lies in its slipperiness, even when confronted with various surfaces, including snow. This lack of traction poses a genuine threat within a work environment.
- The dropped heel design induces discomfort and pain, especially concentrated in the heel area. It fails to provide the expected level of support that one would anticipate from a dependable work boot.
- Within a mere span of four months of usage, we observed the unwelcome occurrence of dirt and water leakage in the toe area. This compromises the shoe’s effectiveness and diminishes its suitability for demanding work conditions.
6. Carhartt Work Boots
- The eyelets present on Carhartt work boots have unfortunately proven to be quite uncomfortable, as they tend to dig into the leg just above the ankle. This design flaw is regrettable, and capable of causing irritation and soreness.
- The insoles of these shoes are exceedingly rigid, devoid of the necessary cushioning and support required to withstand long hours on your feet. It gives the constant sensation of traversing concrete throughout the entire day.
- Regrettably, the steel toe on these boots exhibits an unsatisfactory unevenness, resulting in discomfort and the formation of pressure points. Ensuring consistent protection across the entire toe area remains of utmost importance.
To summarize, these are the workboot brands that we believe you should avoid based on our personal observations and opinions. However, it’s crucial to remember that everyone’s feet are different, and what works for one person may not work for another.
Additionally, some people may have had positive experiences with the brands we listed as ones to avoid. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is finding a workboot that is comfortable, durable and provides the necessary protection for your job.
Sarah is the brains behind BootsNerd. Sarah Jaffe is a writer, editor, and boots lover based in Brooklyn, New York. She has done BA (Hons) in Footwear Design from De Montfort University, UK. She loves to write about boots and has a particular interest in vintage and sustainable fashion.