Choosing the best insulated work boots can be tricky as it requires a good understanding of the technical features. Besides your job’s safety requirements, you need to consider different types of insulation for specific temperatures and levels of physical activity.
Don’t worry, we’ll cover everything you need to know to find the perfect pair for the winter. But before we dive deeper into the topic, let’s start with the basic features that you need to check:
- Insulation: Brands invent materials to keep the feet warm and use jargon when referring to them in the product description. Without proper context, words like “Gore-Tex” membrane or Thermaplush can be confused as insulation. To be clear, there is such a thing as “Gore-Tex insulation.” Unless it is explicitly stated, do not assume that the footwear is insulated. When in doubt, look for the keywords like 3M Thinsulate, Thermolite, Zylet, Primaloft, HeatSeeker, and Optiwarm.
- Waterproofing: Even in cold months, insulation can cause perspiration and this will make your feet cold. Having insulated work boots with a good waterproofing system will not only block out moisture from outside but also prevent trapping sweat from within. This, in turn, will create a dry environment for your feet to stay warm and comfy.
- Height of the boot: So you’ve been checking out warm work boots online and you’ve noticed that some are taller than others. That’s because the shaft aids in regulating temperature. Those who need to cross deep snow can benefit from a higher shaft. On the flip side, you can go for an ankle-high snow work boot, which offers more mobility.
Of course, there are other factors to consider, such as safety, comfort, and budget. If you want to know my recommendations, read my take on the twelve insulated work boots below. Otherwise, head over to the “Buying Guide” where I compiled useful tips to help you make a more informed decision.
Table of Contents
- List of Top 12 Insulated Work Boots Reviews
- 1. Timberland PRO TB065030713 Waterproof Work Boot
- 2. Chippewa 9″ Waterproof Logger Boot
- 3. BOGS 60142obsolete-M Men’s Classic High Boot
- 4. EVER BOOTS EB611TAN Work Boots
- 5. Carhartt CMF8389 Safety Toe Work Boot
- 6. XPETI Men’s Thermator Waterproof Hiking Boots
- 7. WOLVERINE W10717 Composite Toe Work Boot
- 8. Carhartt CMC1259 Insulated Composite Toe Pac Boot
- 9. WOLVERINE W01195 Waterproof Insulated Boot
- 10. Rocky Ranger RKS0438 Insulated Outdoor Boot
- 11. Timberland PRO TB0A11SB214 Waterproof Work Boot
- 12. Thorogood 804-4304 Waterproof Safety Toe Boot
- What Is a Pair of Insulated Work Boots
- Types of Insulated Work Boots
- Why Do You Need Insulated Work Boots
- Buying Guide
- Care and Maintenance
- Frequently Asked Questions
List of Top 12 Insulated Work Boots Reviews
1. Timberland PRO TB065030713 Waterproof Work Boot
As we kick off our review, allow me to present you with these men’s insulated work boots from the Timberland PRO collection. Built with Thermolite insulation, they feel amazingly comfortable during winter but I don’t mind wearing them even in spring or autumn. Even if the temperature fluctuates, they do not make my feet overheat.
Looking at the features, I think this is a nice all-around pair for hiking or working. The boots can provide underfoot protection against electrical hazards. Meanwhile, the rubber outsoles are resistant to heat, slippage, abrasion, and oil. When things get wet in the field, the seam-sealed construction and waterproof leather keep my feet dry.
Long walks feel less tiring thanks to the shock-absorbing PU footbed and midsole. On top of that, the contoured shock-diffusion plate provides structural support. Both the insulation and intense physical labor can cause perspiration. Despite that, the boots hardly smell due to the antimicrobial treatment.
2. Chippewa 9″ Waterproof Logger Boot
Proudly made in America, the quality of these ASTM-rated insulated steel-toe work boots proves that the brand knows their customers’ needs well. Steel can turn cold in bone-chilling weather but the 400 grams of insulating material and the tall shaft warms the ankles and feet. As such, they are perfect for those who work outdoors in rough conditions.
Unlike other logger-style boots, I find this pair is much more breathable thanks to the waterproof membrane system. With the Chip-a-tex, it blocks the moisture from entering while simultaneously allowing air to pass. Together with the moisture management lining known as the Dri-Lex, my feet stay sweat-free throughout my shift.
One feature that stands out at first glance is the rubber outsoles with heels that are slightly raised. Besides making me look taller, it somehow alleviates the discomfort around my back when I stand for long periods. As a whole, the design of the lugs makes them grippier and more stable on wet surfaces.
3. BOGS 60142obsolete-M Men’s Classic High Boot
Among farmers and hunters, this is one of the best insulated waterproof work boots. Made of durable neoprene fabric and rubber, I can brave swampy areas or cold water. Unlike the traditional wellies with wide openings, the stretchable shafts hug my calves so no pebbles, twigs, or insects can get in. Plus, I can tuck my pants in so they don’t get covered in mud when I work. Furthermore, this design allows for quick donning and doffing.
I like that these boots can keep my feet warm without turning toasty if the temperature changes. So far, sweat and odor have not been an issue due to the moisture-wicking lining and odor control. At the end of the day, I just spray off all the mud and dirt with water to clean the footwear.
4. EVER BOOTS EB611TAN Work Boots
At an affordable price, these boots perform unbelievably spectacular. Designed with Goodyear welt construction, durability is pretty much guaranteed. Even better, they are comfortable straight out of the box. Without the break-in period, I don’t have to endure the discomfort that usually comes with a new pair of stiff, clunky leather boots. Hence, they are preferred by many workers who are always on their feet.
For me, these boots feel warm during mild to moderately cool weather, where thick insulation is deemed overkill. In my experience, the insoles are comfortable and I like that the manufacturer did not glue them to the footwear. If you need supportive footbeds, you don’t need to stack two insoles as it usually makes the fitting tighter. Since the collars are padded, I never get blisters.
5. Carhartt CMF8389 Safety Toe Work Boot
If you’re searching for electrical insulated work boots, I highly recommend this pair. Known for its safety component, the footwear can act as secondary underfoot protection against electrical circuits of up to 18,000 volts under dry conditions. Featuring non-metallic safety toe caps, you can pass through metal detectors without setting them off. Thus, they are suitable for electricians, plumbers, airport workers, or similar professions.
With 400 grams of insulation, I can wear these boots whenever I work outdoors during wintertime. Based on experience, my feet are warm and dry throughout the day. I think this is partly because of the FastDry Technology, which serves as the footwear’s moisture-wicking lining. On top of that, the waterproofing system creates a barrier that prevents the liquids from penetrating while promoting good air circulation inside.
6. XPETI Men’s Thermator Waterproof Hiking Boots
Hikers love these XPETI boots but let me tell you why workers can benefit from them too. For starters, their 200 grams of insulation is appropriate for mildly cold conditions or cooler weather with high levels of physical activity. Likewise, the waterproof construction maintains a dry environment for my feet.
Both the outsoles and toe caps are made of tough rubber for maximum grip and added protection. In particular, the tread patterns on the soles are known to be aggressive. As such, the combination of these features allows me to walk safely on different terrains. On the other hand, the EVA midsoles ensure my long journey on foot is bearable.
What sets these boots apart from the rest is that the uppers are made of durable fabric, which explains why they are lighter. In turn, this helps me save energy and work more efficiently. Plus, the fitting is spacious enough for my forefeet and toes to spread evenly. I did not even have to break them in!
7. WOLVERINE W10717 Composite Toe Work Boot
Tall safety boots can sometimes restrict movement. Yet, in many instances, you still need ankle support. Well, let me introduce you to these high-quality mid-cut composite toe insulated waterproof work boots. I have submerged them in puddles and ankle-high floods but my feet have stayed dry. Plus, the 400 grams of insulation proves to be helpful when I work during winter.
In terms of safety, the ASTM-rated composite toes are strong enough to withstand falling objects. Besides weighing lighter than steel, they do not turn colder as the temperature drops. Ergo, I get the protection that I need without sacrificing comfort. Those who work with electricity can also take advantage of the boot’s electrical hazard protection.
What makes these boots tough and flexible is the athletic contour welt construction, which makes me feel like I’m wearing my tennis shoes. The rugged outsoles bend as I walk or squat. Perhaps the only difference is that they have far more traction than ordinary sneakers and are chemical-resistant.
8. Carhartt CMC1259 Insulated Composite Toe Pac Boot
Next on our list is this pair of Carhartt Waterproof Pac insulated work boots for winter. In conjunction with the 1000 grams of insulation, the breathable waterproof membrane keeps my feet warm and sweat-free. Besides dealing with subzero temperatures, I would wade ankle-high floods in this footwear.
Both the composite toe caps and electric hazard protection meet the ASTM standards. As such, these boots are safe in various types of workplaces, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. On freshly mopped floors and rough terrains, the heel guard and rubber outsoles help me maintain my balance.
If you walk several miles a day, I’m sure you will be pleased with the foam-cushioned insoles. The good news is that they are removable; you can replace them in case you need to address specific foot conditions. As for me, I like them as they are since they can absorb the shock and minimize fatigue.
9. WOLVERINE W01195 Waterproof Insulated Boot
Working outdoors and exposing yourself to the elements will put your shoes to a tough test but these Wolverine men’s winter work boots pass with flying colors. Despite putting them through rain and snow, I’m amazed that they lasted a couple of years. Of course, I did my part in preserving them but they remained waterproof because of the high-quality leather and permanent direct-attach molding.
Although these boots look clunky, you’d be surprised to know that they are lightweight and comfy. While the insulation warms my feet, the breathable mesh lining simultaneously manages the sweat to maintain a dry environment. Furthermore, the midsoles and outsoles bend nicely as I stroll and hike and the nylon shanks retain the footwear’s structure. Apart from supporting my ankles, the shafts boost warmth.
10. Rocky Ranger RKS0438 Insulated Outdoor Boot
Featuring 800 grams of insulation, these warm winter work boots are among the best options for frosty conditions with low physical activity. Aside from providing a thermal barrier, their waterproof construction includes breathable GORE-TEX to ensure dryness. When trudging snowy surfaces or rugged terrains, I rely on the oil and slip-resistant outsoles so I don’t slide, fall, and hurt myself.
Thanks to the Goodyear welt construction, the footwear is more resilient to rough environments and movements. However, it also allows me to replace the soles so I don’t have to buy another pair of boots when the tread inevitably wears down. On the other hand, the fiberglass shanks retain the soles’ form even as they bend. Just the same, the full-grain leather uppers are tough yet flexible, which promotes good mobility.
11. Timberland PRO TB0A11SB214 Waterproof Work Boot
Yet another Timberland insulated work boots make this list! Indeed, this brand continues to excite many workers with its highly specialized protective footwear. Well, this particular model caters to the laborers in the gas and oil industries. In addition to the steel toes and electrical hazard protection, the outsoles provide a stronger grip on slippery surfaces. All of these comply with the ASTM standards.
While they are not exactly winter boots, the uppers are sufficiently thick for mildly cold weather with intense physical labor. More importantly, the waterproofing system effectively repels moisture. With these two features working together, my feet can stay heated and dry throughout the shift. Not to mention, the shafts’ collars are padded, which adds to the warmth. When trekking, they also support my ankles while preventing them from getting blisters.
Since they are made with Goodyear welt cast-bond construction, these work boots are extremely heavy-duty. For good structural support, they also have fiberglass shanks. Plus, they are available in wide options. Hence, you can find a size that lets you wear your winter socks without making the boots feel tight.
12. Thorogood 804-4304 Waterproof Safety Toe Boot
Search the keywords “insulated work boots composite toe” on your browser and this pair will appear. Well, it goes to show that it is a crowd favorite. But don’t be deceived by its chunky and tough looks! Believe it or not, they are light and flexible. For better comfort, the anti-friction footbed makes me feel like I’m walking on soft cushy pillows. On top of that, they ease the soreness around my feet and legs.
Apart from electrical hazard protection, the boots are fitted with ASTM-rated composite toes that can withstand the impact of falling or rolling objects. Best of all, they do not turn cold under freezing temperatures. Like most work shoes, slip-resistant outsoles are a standard but what makes these unique is that they are self-cleaning. That’s why they are commonly worn by truck drivers, plumbers, and electricians.
What Is a Pair of Insulated Work Boots
Insulated work boots utilize insulating material to block cold air outside while trapping the heat inside. How much insulation you need depends on the temperature of the location, your activity, and the type of socks you wear.
Like most work boots, many of them feature toe protection, waterproof materials, and high traction rubber outsoles.
Types of Insulated Work Boots
It’s hard to find the exact boots you are looking for if you don’t know how to describe them when talking to a salesperson or searching on Google. In any case, here are some of the insulated work boots that you can find in the market:
- Insulated field boots
- Insulated hiker boots
- Insulated work boots with toe protection
- Insulated farming boots
- Insulated firefighter boots
- Insulated tactical boots
Why Do You Need Insulated Work Boots
Freezing temperatures can cause people to lose body heat through the extremities. Without enough protection, this can lead to frostbite or hypothermia. But alas! We cannot skip work during the winter. Moreover, some people are employed in cold storage industries. Under such circumstances, it is important to bundle up from the head down to the toes. Wearing gloves, insulated boots, and thermal socks can keep you warm as you work.
In the introduction, I’ve walked you through the features that help keep your feet warm but as I said, they are not enough. Protection and comfort are necessary. However, these things are subjective since every person and every job will have different needs. Here are some of the things that you have to consider before buying insulated work boots:
These days, you can find insulated work boots with soft toe, steel, or composite toe caps. The level of protection hinges on the type of work that you do. When the job is deemed risky, your employer may require you to wear insulated steel toe boots.
Keep in mind that steel can make your feet cold so be sure to check if the toe caps are well-padded. Under subzero temperatures, you can opt for extreme cold weather composite toe work boots. Still, you need to make an accurate risk assessment before buying anything.
High traction outsoles
Another safety feature that you must not overlook is the work boot’s outsole. Water, oil, and snow make surfaces very slippery and prone to accidents. Without grippy treads and lugs, you will have a much harder time controlling your movement. Depending on the nature of your work environment, you may also want to consider outsoles with oil, chemical, and abrasion resistance for good measure.
Remember, you will be wearing your boots with winter socks as they work hand in hand to keep your feet warm. Be sure to choose a size that leaves some wiggle room for your toes even with hosiery. Besides providing you with comfort, this will allow the heat that your feet emit to circulate back to your body. Tight-fitting toe shoes can limit blood circulation and make your feet even colder.
Weak construction and materials will render any type of insulation useless. A hole on your work boot may not be a big deal if the weather is warm and bearable. In cool climates, this opening can let the snow or cool wind penetrate the footwear and make your feet ice-cold. When buying work boots for winter, know the brand well and read the reviews written from reliable sources to make sure that they are indeed durable.
Regardless of whether your job is physically demanding, you need to feel comfortable with your footwear. My advice is to choose work boots with padding so that no hard material will rub against your skin and produce blisters. If you’re always on your feet, check if the insole and midsole are shock-absorbing and capable of providing cushion and support. You can also consult your doctor if you have specific foot conditions that need to be addressed.
Care and Maintenance
The cleaning methods you need to employ will vary depending on the material of the boots and how dirty they are. For instance, insulated farming boots are made of materials that can self-clean because they are made of neoprene and rubber. However, synthetic fabric or leather will require a different strategy, which you can read below.
Before you wash your boots, strip off the laces and insoles. If the footwear is caked with mud, remove the chunks and pebbles using a shoe brush or an old toothbrush when you get home. Avoid using the same brush for shoe-shining as this may contaminate the bristles and transfer the dirt to your dress shoes.
Clean your insulated leather boots with a bar of saddle soap and water. On the other hand, use mild shampoo for synthetic fabrics. Gently work the soap or shampoo on the uppers with a cloth. Dampen a clean rag with water to remove the soap, then dry them with a towel. For leather uppers, apply some leather conditioner to keep them shining and well-hydrated. Leave it on for 15 minutes then brush the uppers until they look polished.
To clean the interiors, dip a clean cloth into a mixture of soap and water, then rub it gently on the boot’s lining. Allow the boots to dry in an open space and keep them away from any heat source or damp areas.
If the odor does not go away, you can dampen a clean cloth with a mixture of water and vinegar. Gently rub it on the lining. Another way is to put baking soda in a pair of old socks and place it inside the boots overnight.
Note that these are just general instructions. The shoe manufacturer may have specific cleaning instructions on their website or label. You can also consult the salesperson who helped you select your footwear.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted insulated work boots brands?
Based on the quality and performance, I found that Timberland, Chippewa, BOGS, EVER BOOTS, Carhartt, XPETI, WOLVERINE, Rocky, and Thorogood fare better than most brands. That said, I know some of my friends swear by Red Wing insulated work boots. The reason that I did not include them is that I have not tried the boots myself.
What makes insulated work boots better than regular boots?
Wearing winter socks and regular work boots cannot avert the loss of body heat in extremely cold places. Insulated work boots, on the other hand, are naturally warmer so you don’t have to wear double socks. Furthermore, the insulating material is highly durable. They will not tear even when you walk a lot.
How many grams of insulation do I need for insulated winter boots?
Before we get into the insulation weight, you need to determine how long you will be exposed to the elements. Second, you need to figure out the intensity of the physical activity.
For instance, 200 grams of insulation is ideal for a chilly day with low physical activity. You can also use these cold-weather work boots in cooler temperatures for short periods or if you will be moving a lot. Meanwhile, 400 grams is most commonly used for outdoor work with moderate physical activity. In fluctuating temperatures, it can warm the feet without overheating.
Next is the 600 and 800 grams, which is considered to be more appropriate for longer periods outdoors with little physical activity. This type of insulation is preferred by road workers who sit or stand throughout their shifts in colder weather. In frigid zones or if you have to walk in deep snow, you can wear 1000 to 2,000-gram insulated work boots.
Does wearing 2 pairs of socks keep your feet warmer?
Most insulated work boots are designed to fit one pair of socks. Adding another pair of socks can make the footwear feel tighter, which restricts the blood flow around your feet and make them colder.
If you have to wear double socks, experts suggest doing away with cotton socks. Instead, choose a sock liner made of silk, nylon, wool, or polyester that can wick away moisture. For the second layer, go for lightweight wool. You can buy double-layered socks or toe warmers as an alternative. Whatever method you choose, be sure that your work boots have enough room to fit two layers of socks.
Where can I buy insulated work boots?
Insulated work boots are sold in various physical retail stores, as well as e-commerce sites and apps. You can also head over to the manufacturers’ websites.
At this point, I’m sure you already know that it is not enough to simply go to a shop and look for snow working boots without knowing how much insulation you need. Plenty of brands manufacture insulated boots but the market is also riddled with poorly designed footwear. In extreme climates, you cannot afford to wear the wrong shoes.
To find the best insulated work boots, you must factor in the temperature of the location, your activities, and other work requirements. In this way, you can better prepare yourself for the job and prevent frostbite, hypothermia, or overheating.