Safety footwear can be a broad topic. There are so many types of safety boots on the market to the extent that it is confusing to choose the suitable ones. It is not only the boots’ functions but also their weight, measurements, durability, and breathability that must be taken into consideration.
In this article, we will be taking a closer look at logger boots vs work boots to help you pick the appropriate safety footwear for yourself. The main differences between these boots are their weight and safety features like the boot sole, water resistance level, and foot protection functions. Dive in for further details.
Table of Contents
What are Logger Boots
Before making a comparison, let’s quickly go through the definition of logger boots to understand their properties.
Logger boots are also called calk boots, cork boots, timber boots, or logging boots. This type of footwear is most often used in the timber industry. However, due to their amazing safety features, people also wear them when hiking or climbing in the wilderness. Most timber boots are made of leather or rubber, featuring a high neck, a thick, sturdy sole, and a raised heel. Also, logging boots come with spikes to prevent traction.
The Department of Labor OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has strict standards of foot protection for heavy-duty logging workers. Employers must equip employees with heavy-duty timber boots that are waterproof and over the ankle. If the employee works with chainsaws, the boots must be cut-resistant to minimize injuries in the event of contact with a running chainsaw. Despite not being as widely used as work boots, logger boots are good for many particular jobs. If you are interested in getting a new pair of logging boots, watch this video on 8 Best Logger Boots For Men for the excellent advice.
Differences Between Logger Boots and Work Boots
It is hard to say exactly what boots are heavier as it depends on many factors, such as protective reinforcements and materials. However, logger boots are usually more weighty than work boots for several reasons:
- Standard logger boots must cover the wearer’s ankle. This high neck feature adds weight to the boots.
- Mostly used in humid conditions, logger boots have thick and bulky outsoles to prevent slips and falls.
- Other parts of logging boots like vamp and toe boxes are made from thicker leather for protection and insulation.
There are high neck and insulated work boots on the market, but most regular work boots are designed with shorter necks and less heavy soles. On average, work boots are lighter and more mobile. Therefore, if your work doesn’t involve wet, dirty terrain, chainsaws, or other heavy-duty equipments; we recommend a pair of regular work boots.
As said, logging boots have higher necks than work boots. The average height of logger boots is 9 inches, but their heights can be up to 12 inches. The high neck protects the legs from falling objects, flying debris, or scratches from the wood. The boot’s neck must fit your ankle snugly to lock out moisture. It also helps support your ankle when walking on uneven terrain, carrying heavy loads, and climbing trees (a task that most lumberjacks have to carry out daily).
Meanwhile, most work boots are around 6 inches tall. As ankle injuries don’t happen as often at construction sites, work boots are made with low necks to allow mobility and flexibility. They are for standing long hours, walking long distances, and keeping dirt and grease away from the feet. More so, work boots come with other safety features such as toe cap, shank, or heel cushioning, which we will discuss in the next part of the article.
As being designed for different purposes, these two boot styles have distinctive safety features.
Outsole: The outsoles of standard logger boots are chunky, bulky, and heavy. It is because the boots must grip well to the ground on muddy terrain, wet, dirty trails, and tree trunks when lumberjacks climb. The outsole of logging boots might not be good-looking, but they are crucial to the job.
On the other hand, work boot outsoles are made for walking on flat surfaces and vary slightly depending on their end purposes. Some boots feature strong, heat-resistant outsoles for working in very hot conditions or with hot debris from welding. Other outsoles provide high tolerance against chemicals and oils. They are usually made out of lightweight materials like TPU (Thermoplastic Urethane) or Nitrile. Additionally, you might be familiar with steel shank work boots, which are boots with a thin piece of steel inserted in the middle of the sole to prevent punctures.
Toe protection: One similarity of these boots is the toe protection feature. Both logging and work boots come with steel or composite toe caps. This protective reinforcement will prevent your toes from many types of injuries, such as falling objects, cuts, burns, and compression.
Foot protection: In addition to the thick leather, some logging boots have a kiltie under the laces to assure no water, dirt, or debris can come into the shoes. The shoes’ uppers are made from aramid fibers like xenon, renzi, or kevlar (a very strong woven plastic that is proven to be five times stronger than steel). The materials are then coated with chemical-resistant coatings to resist chemical spills. These aramid fibers can also resist blade cuts.
Work boots have similar foot protection features but not as intense. For example, leather is a popular material to make work boots as they are sturdy, long-lasting, and strong. However, leather doesn’t provide high tolerance against the cut or harsh chemicals.
Heel protection: A unique feature of a logger boot is the raised heel. At first glance, this raised heel can feel uncomfortable and awkward to walk in. But the benefits it brings are remarkable. When going uphill (which is a daily task of lumberjacks), our heels bear most of our weight. Whatever we are carrying, this raised heel feature acts as a shock and pressure absorber. In case of slips and falls, it helps minimize ankle and heel injuries.
In contrast, work boots’ soles are usually flat as a flat sole offers more mobility and flexibility, which are needed for busy construction worksites. On the market, there are work boots that have external heel protectors – a protective reinforcement attached externally to the heel counter. This also supports the ankle and heel so that in the long term, workers are less likely to experience heel pain. Though work boots do not come with a raised heel, know that you can always find other options for heel protection and support.
Water Resistance and Boot Breathability
Water resistance and boot breathability are the next major distinctive properties between logger boots and regular work boots.
As mentioned above, logger boots are made to work in wet weather conditions. Therefore, these boots are well resistant to water. From the soles to the upper parts, logger boots are made out of water-resistant materials with extra coatings to assure all moisture is locked out, making these boots less breathable. Because regular exposure to moisture can cause the feet various health problems like swollen, sweaty, even cold or flu, manufacturers have to sacrifice breathability for better water resistance.
On the contrary, casual work boots are not necessarily water-resistant, their materials allow better air circulation and are more breathable.
Can You Use Logging Boots at Construction Sites or Vice Versa
We do not recommend replacing logger boots with work boots or vice versa for many reasons. Logger boots can be problematic at construction sites as they do not allow movements and mobility at a fast pace. Walking or standing in logger boots for a prolonged period can easily lead to heel and ankle pain. Meanwhile, work boots lack the protective features against moisture, brush, muck, and even insects. Not to mention that work boots will wear out faster under harsh conditions in nature.
That’s it, all of the main differences between these two boot styles. It can be mind-bending and confusing to choose the right safety work gear. Both logging and work boots have their own special properties, so take your time to learn about them carefully to maximize their potential.
We hope the information we provide helps you understand the differences thoroughly and make the smartest choice when it comes to logger boots vs work boots. Before you leave, let us know your thoughts in the comment section. Look forward to seeing you then!
Having worked in the field of personal protective equipment for over two decades, Andrew Carnegie is a specialist in the field.
At EDC, he strives to improve performance efficiency and promote workplace safety for EDC’s readers and customers. He also researches the most up-to-date equipment that has earned relevant accreditation for use in a wide range of industries and specialties.