Belts are one of those fashion accessories that we take for granted but they can make or break our day. We use them to hold loose pants or shorts, yet at times, they can feel obtrusive. When we think and choose more carefully, this strip of leather, canvas, or nylon web can make your outfit much more stylish. Beyond that, they serve essential functions like holding pouches.
Here are the key features that make for the best work belts:
- Straps: Nowadays, we can find belt straps made of leather, nylon, canvas, suede, and even a combination of a whole bunch of materials. They also come in different lengths and widths. At work, you will not just consider the dress code but the basic functionalities you need are also crucial. If you need to carry tools, the strap has to be strong enough to hold the weight of loaded clip-on pouches, which fashion belts cannot do.
- Buckles: Manufacturers and designers have developed different types of buckles to address specific functional and style-related concerns. However, there will always be instances where you need to think more about functionality. If speed is a concern, you can get belts with buckles that let you fasten or remove them quicker. When attaching heavy pouches, the buckle needs more grip.
- Adjustability: When dressing up for an important meeting, we always strive to strike a balance between looking sharp and feeling comfortable. While leather belts have pre-drilled holes, you may not find one opening that fits your waist perfectly. In contrast, nylon belts with flip closures or slide ratchet allow you to adjust the fitting even if your weight fluctuates by a few increments.
As you can see, there are more considerations relating to belts than meets the eye. Don’t worry; I have hand-picked the most suitable belts for various types of work or occasions. In addition to the review, you can head to the “Buying Guide” to learn how to choose the right belt.
Table of Contents
- Top 12 Work Belt Reviews
- 1. JUKMO Tactical Belt
- 2. Dickies 17DI0203 Leather Belt
- 3. FAIRWIN Tactical Belt
- 4. JASGOOD Men’s Tactical Belt
- 5. Levi’s 11LV0277 Men’s Casual Belt
- 6. Columbia 11CO0310 Military Belt
- 7. Carhartt CH-22601-00 Belt
- 8. FAIRWIN Elastic Braided Belt
- 9. Logical Leather 30WB-BK Work Belt
- 10. Jumbofit Tactical Belt
- 11. Timberland PRO BP0001/0832 Belt
- 12. Dickies 11DI02F9 Men’s Work Belt
- What Is a Work Belt
- How Does It Work
- Types of Work Belts
- Why Do You Need Work Belts
- Buying Guide
- Care and Maintenance
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 12 Work Belt Reviews
1. JUKMO Tactical Belt
One of the most versatile belts I’ve ever had, this unisex tactical belt is made for long hours of physically demanding jobs. Accurate adjustment is possible thanks to the alloy buckle. All I have to do is put the webbing into the buckle, pull it till it feels snug, and then press the lid to clip it in place. In total, the whole process takes a few seconds.
After I figured out the right fit, I don’t have to redo it. I can lock and unlock the belt with the buckle. When I’m in a rush, putting this belt on never slows me down. However, the top-tier part is that the strap can stretch yet hold my radio, flashlight, and pouches full of tools. The belt moves with me as I squat, bend over, climb ladders, or sit.
2. Dickies 17DI0203 Leather Belt
Belts with two prongs provide a better grip. If that’s what you need, let me introduce you to Dickie’s leatherworking belt. The strap does not twist or droop, no matter what I clip or attach to it. Moreover, it holds my pants nicely and follows the contours of my waist. Even with two holes, the width is just right for me as it keeps the strap from cutting into my waist.
While I normally use this for work, the strap and buckle go well into my formal wear. It’s a practical choice for any worker who needs to look dressy while performing a tough job. For one, the leather feels smooth with a nice matte finish. Not to mention, the color looks good on anything. For another, it is flexible enough to let me breathe when I sit but not to the point that it becomes flimsy.
3. FAIRWIN Tactical Belt
One of this tactical belt’s highlights is that the strap is fully adjustable. Regardless of your body type, this belt comes in plenty of sizes to choose from. Besides the usual belt colors, this model also comes in a camouflage version. In terms of dimensions, the strap’s width is both wider and thinner than most tactical belts. That said, I assure you that it can fit the belt loops on your pants. Moreover, it does not dig into the stomach.
Apart from that, I like that the nylon strap is softer and therefore takes the shape of my waist easily. In other words, I did not need to break this in when it was new. Yet it is sturdy enough to support my holster, flashlight, or multi-tool. Although it is designed primarily for police officers, firefighters, or military personnel, I think anyone who needs a belt to hang pouches on can use it.
4. JASGOOD Men’s Tactical Belt
When I got this belt, I did not expect that the manufacturer would include an extra buckle. This thoughtful gesture won me over in an instant. But I know that it is also partly because the lifespan of plastic buckles is shorter than metals by nature. I still have not replaced the original buckle attached to the strap. Plus, it eliminates the hassle of my belt each time I pass through the metal detectors.
If you need to replace the buckle, I promise you that it will not be difficult. Furthermore, the user-friendly design allows me to fasten or loosen up the strap easily. I don’t need to find holes to get the right fit. Indeed, they are perfect for anyone who needs to dress up quickly and respond to emergencies. Whether I’m at the office or doing fieldwork, the water-resistant belt is comfortable yet rigid enough for any tough job.
5. Levi’s 11LV0277 Men’s Casual Belt
Levi’s flagship product is the iconic blue jeans but the brand has also been making high-quality belts. We know their pants last long so it’s only fair to expect the same from this men’s work belt. Since I first bought it years ago, I’m amazed that the strap has not been deformed. Meanwhile, the holes where I normally put the two prongs did not expand.
Another feature that makes this a good work belt is that the grip is impeccable. Attaching my pouches and radio will not cause any drooping around my pants’ waistbands. On that note, let me add that the width of the strap fits nicely into the belt loops of all my pants.
Outside of work, I also like to wear this belt with any casual attire. The black strap and the buckle’s gunmetal finish can make any outfit look a lot nicer. By the way, this particular model also comes in brown and it looks just as stunning. As far as size is concerned, it caters to diverse body types as it is available from small to extra large.
6. Columbia 11CO0310 Military Belt
Coming from a top-notch outdoor gear brand, this military-style web belt is worn by many hikers and workers alike. Sometimes, I go for this web belt instead of the leather as it allows me to alter the fitting better. I find it perfect for that awkward phase that I have to go through when trying to lose weight. With the slide plaque buckle, adjusting the belt is a breeze.
Despite its ability to flex, the strap is wide and firm enough to hold a light pouch or a small flashlight without flopping. Besides, its width can fit the belt loops of many women’s work pants. Just the same, the color options can suit any hiking, work, or casual attire.
Promising long-lasting durability, the belt can last years of frequent use. I’m impressed by how it can hold its form and rigidity. Plus, it’s so easy to pack this in a suitcase when I need to travel for work or vacation. All I have to do is roll the strap and sneak it in between my clothes.
7. Carhartt CH-22601-00 Belt
Carhartt work belts have become many workers’ fashion staples, be it on and off duty. This particular model, however, is reversible. You get to choose: brown in the front or black on the back. As for me, I don’t have to buy another color of the same belt. Both colors are neutral so I can wear any denim, slacks, or work pants, and the color compliments the outfit nicely.
Anyway, my whole intention of getting this belt has a full-grain leather strap, which lasts longer than genuine leather. Besides enduring the daily wear and tear, this belt is comfortable enough to allow me to move without feeling restricted. Moreover, it has a nice metal loop on the buckle to hold the excess strap. It’s a nice touch knowing that others have this type of loop but it usually moves a lot and releases the strap.
8. FAIRWIN Elastic Braided Belt
Inexpensive yet fashionable, this woven golfer-style belt is something I like to wear to the office or dinners with a client. Looking at it, the elegant weave can instantly make a plain outfit look a little more stylish, yet it does not grab too much attention. Although advertised for men, the design can look nice with a woman’s outfit.
The belt’s adjustability is spot-on since I can poke the buckle’s prong at any part of the woven strap to fasten the belt securely. What’s more, the weave is well-made so it does not get too loose or untangled when I insert the prong on the same area several times. It can maintain its form for many years. Even if my weight fluctuates after meals, the belt can hold my pants firmly.
9. Logical Leather 30WB-BK Work Belt
With heavy-duty leather work belts as its claim to fame, Logical Leather is a brand that has kept true to its promise. Believe it or not, the particular belt is said to have durability that can last a lifetime, according to the manufacturer. Undeterred by the weight of all the pouches I attached to the strap, the full-grain leather does not skew or sag. For years, the belt has kept its shape.
It is also worth noting that the belt’s strength comes from the fact that it has a double-prong buckle for a strong grip. At the same time, it flaunts a beautiful vintage finish. Meanwhile, the wide strap contributes to the belt’s superb functionality and the texture and color make it pleasing to the eyes. The logo is discreetly embossed on the strap so I don’t have to hide it. That’s why I love wearing this even with formal attire.
10. Jumbofit Tactical Belt
This set is a great gift idea for your friend or yourself, offering a belt, a water canteen holder, and a pouch in a single purchase. Considering the budget-friendly price, I know it may seem too good to be true but I reassure you that the quality of each item is outstanding.
The pouch has plenty of room for my tools. I can even squeeze in a small pack of snacks when I’m hiking. On the other hand, the bottle holder can support more than a liter of water and that’s impressive.
Given that the two items in the set are both durable, it’s only reasonable to expect the belt to have the same quality. In particular, I love how it can stretch but also sticks on my waist while bearing the weight of the water bottle and pouch. Despite that, the stitching on the nylon has not shown any sign of wear and tear. Plus, the strap itself is long, so it can fit diverse body types.
11. Timberland PRO BP0001/0832 Belt
Just like the brand’s signature work boots, this belt is made with full-grain leather. In other words, it outperforms any other type of leather in both longevity and rigidity. I can clip on any pouch and fill it up with tools and I guarantee you that the strap won’t sag along with my pants. As such, it frees up my hands and I don’t have to constantly pull up my pants or re-tuck my shirt as it keeps my clothes in place.
Apart from scoring high in functionality, the no-frills design can blend with uniforms or everyday attire. Available in black and white, the manufacturer also offers plus-size options. When it comes to comfort, the length belt goes around my waist nicely without too much excess strap. On the other hand, the width does not dig into my stomach when I’m sitting or crouching.
12. Dickies 11DI02F9 Men’s Work Belt
Sturdy and dependable, this Dickies work belt is built to last long. Despite clipping a flashlight, radio, and a holster for my phone, the strap never droops. It stays in place and retains its shape. From what I see, it can hold up to any job that is rough on your clothing, which speaks volumes about the brand’s craftsmanship.
Another reason to like this black work belt is its simple yet fancy design that can go well with uniforms and casual attire. For those who hate screaming logos on garments, I have good news for you! The brand’s identity is subtly embossed and placed near the buckle so you can hide it easily when you tuck the strap. Thus, I look nice and sharp in my work outfit throughout the day.
What Is a Work Belt
If you search the word “belt” in a dictionary or online, you will most likely find the word’s meaning is defined by its main function: A strap that securely holds a piece of clothing. You can wear a belt to tighten the fitting of your pants, shorts, skirts, and even dresses.
In work, belts can hold multiple pouches full of tools so you can carry them as you climb the ladder or walk around a job site or workshop. For security or military personnel, the belts can hold gun holsters.
How Does It Work
Thanks to their intuitive designs, we can all wear any belt without reading the instruction manuals. Generally speaking, belts have buckles or clasps that hold the two ends of the strap. In effect, it helps us adjust the fitting of our clothing better. That said, each type of material or design serves specific purposes.
By way of example, those who need to access their tools and gadgets quickly will need sturdier quality belts to prevent sagging. In this scenario, you need something thick and rigid enough to hold the heavy pouch. At the same time, the width should not cut into your waist to allow you to move freely.
On the other hand, if you need to wear a belt as a piece of fashion accessory, you will not need these kinds of features.
Types of Work Belts
These days, you will find different belt designs across the market. For this article, I will only include the ones that you can use for work:
- Leather belts
- Nylon belts
- Quick-release tactical belts
- Woven belts
- Double-prong belts
Why Do You Need Work Belts
The reasons for wearing work belts can vary from person to person. Like most fashion accessories, they can help accentuate your waist. The strap of leather or nylon and fine-looking buckle can be a good addition to the overall attire that you wear for meetings, conferences, or formal gatherings.
On a regular workday, the belt can help you carry all the tools you need to complete a job. This leaves your hands free to hold onto a ladder, to bring more oversized items, as well as build or fix something.
By nature, our weight fluctuates throughout the day or week and our pants can’t always keep up. If you lost some weight but don’t want to give away your favorite trousers, your belt will come to the rescue.
We all wear belts for different reasons. Some of us want to feel a little bit more confident while others need to carry their tools. Rest assured, they are all perfectly valid and understandable. Now that we have gone through all the pros and cons of each belt in the review let’s talk about the other considerations. After all, we often think beyond straps and buckles.
Longevity is always a consideration when buying clothes or accessories for work, especially when we rely on them to perform our day-to-day tasks. Hence, you need a dependable belt that can last long so you can save money from buying new ones again and again. Besides thinking long-term, you also need a rigid, heavy-duty belt that will not sag once you start attaching pouches filled with assorted tools.
Imagine working for long hours and feeling a pinch around the waist. Regardless of your job, comfort is necessary. Focusing on the task at hand can be hard if you have to deal with discomfort. Besides the material, you need to check whether the belt’s design allows you to “customize” the fitting down to the tee. Of course, that is not to say that you should ditch your leather belts altogether! Whatever style or design you choose, you need to try the belt first to see if the length matches your waist and if the width will not cause the belt to dig into your tummy.
Many designers have come up with belts that meet the need for style and function. However, this does not come without compromise either in quality or price. Knowing where and when you intend to wear your belt will help you make better choices. When you’re in a business meeting, you do not need thick, rigid belts since you will not be showing off your tools. If you need to spend an entire day at the workshop or a job site, then you need to equip yourself with your trusty work belt.
You’ll find many do’s and don’ts in fashion magazines contradicting each other. Often, the guidelines are based on someone’s taste. At the end of the day, these so-called rules are not the end all be all. My advice is to choose something that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Right now, you can find different styles, materials, and colors to match your uniform or any casual outfit.
Do you work outdoors often? Gardeners, first responders, and people who are frequently exposed to the elements need belts that can hold up extreme weather conditions. A durable leather belt, for instance, can eventually deteriorate when it constantly gets wet. That’s why workers who stay outside most of the time resort to spraying waterproofing agents on their belts.
Care and Maintenance
For nylon, cotton, or canvas belts, you can let your washing machine take care of the “dirty business.” Just don’t forget to hang them dry.
On the other hand, a leather work belt will require proper methods but starts with getting the correct size. If the belt is too long for your size, it will crease, and if it’s too short, it will rip. If your work exposes you to dirt, make it a point to wipe the superficial dirt off the leather regularly with a moist paper towel.
It’s always good to have a leather conditioner at home. Besides the belt, you can apply it to boots and other leather goods. Manufacturers have specific instructions on how to use the leather conditioner they crafted. Be sure to read them carefully. In general, you would need a rag to help you work the conditioner through the leather.
Another tip is to alternate two leather belts if you have to wear one daily. Avoid keeping your belts on your pants when you hang them on a rack after work. Doing so will deform the material.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are work belts a good investment?
Yes! Investing in a belt is almost always worth it. To be clear, you don’t need to splurge thousands of dollars to buy the best work belts in the world. You only need to factor in the right features to help you do your job better.
For instance, if your goal is to improve the way your pants fit, a cheap everyday belt is good enough. But for first responders or police officers who need to access their flashlights or weapons quickly, they will need to clip or hang all these tools on a more rigid web belt.
What is the strongest work belt material?
Leather is deemed the most durable material. Often, leather work belts for electricians and construction workers can carry an average of 50 pounds of load. Its downside, however, is that this material does not make the most comfortable belt. When it digs into your stomach, it can irritate you and affect your performance.
Nylon belts for men and women come to a close second in terms of strength, but they’re much more comfortable. Hence, many manufacturers add padded nylons to leather straps to create top-rated belts. You’ll find several of these quality types on catalogs on Buckle Belts or belt brands like Occidental Leather.
Is it better to get a bigger or smaller work belt?
As a rule of thumb, women’s and men’s belts should be one size bigger than their pants measurements. This will ensure that the belts fit comfortably and look flattering on your body.
Another way to determine the correct measurements is to use your old work belt:
- You can start by wearing a belt, making sure that it is threaded in all the belt loops of the trousers. Tip: Use non-stretch hard belts instead of stretchable nylon hiking belts.
- Take note of the hole that fits you well.
- Remove the belt and lay it flat on a table.
- Measure the length of the buckle’s end to the hole using a measuring tape.
- Write down the measurement and refer to the belt brand’s size chart.
Note: The directions above should be able to give you an idea of the size that fits you well. If you need to fit a gun holster, you will need to account for the holster and add 3” to 6” to your actual waist size.
What are the most trusted work belts brands?
Most hiking, industrial, and tactical garment brands also manufacture belts of any kind like Dickies, Carhartt, Timberland, Columbia, Levi’s. Some specialize in producing leather goods like Logical Leather. Meanwhile, JASGOOD, Jukmo, FAIRWIN, and Jumbofit remain high on my list because of their quality tactical belts.
What size work belt should I buy?
The size of your belt is not the same as your pants. That layer of denim on your waist will add an inch or two so you adjust accordingly. As a rule of thumb, add two inches to your trousers sizes. By way of example, your belt size will be 34 if your pants are size 32. For low-waist pants, manufacturers recommend adding three inches to determine your belt size.
How much should a good work belt cost?
The prices of belts can go from a few dollars to more than a grand. Either way, we ask ourselves, “Are they worth it?” This question always haunts us as we look through various shop designs. Affordability is often subjective. Rather than judging the product based on the price tag, check the quality of the belt you are eyeing.
How can I make my short work belt longer?
So a colleague gifted you a leather belt for work but it’s a tad too short. Perhaps your size was not available but you bought the work belt anyway because you love the way it looks. Well, it’s not the end of the world! You can buy ready-made belt extenders or make your own. I suggest checking out DIY blogs to learn about the different ways to make a belt extender!
By this time, you probably already realize that buying a work belt is not just about making sure that it fits. Of course, that’s just one way to go about it but you also have to consider job requirements such as following dress codes or adding extra pouches. Above all, you need to feel comfortable.
Good work belts are not hard to find. In this article, I’ve gathered twelve of the best work belts in the market but feel free to explore other brands and designs. I’m sure that you’ll find all sorts of suggestions from different blogs and forums like Reddit. Ultimately, you need to decide based on what is useful and comfortable for you
Veronica is our content editor. She is a talent in delivery. Her main work is editing and writing articles that are both informative and simple to follow. She is in charge of synthesizing our understanding of what personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed in each job, how to best apply it, and how to visualize that equipment.