Choosing The Best Pull-on Work Boots
Work boots are all made for one purpose, but the style can vary quite wildly from one pair to the next. The classic lace-up boot is a popular option, but you also have to consider the best pull on work boots as well.
This particular type of boot will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they have some major advantages over the classic style with only a few minor drawbacks. We’ve chosen four boots that stand out from the rest, but before we get to those, we’re going to tell you what to look for.
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Considerations before buying pull-on work boots
The shank is the part of the boot that sits between the insole and outsole. On work boots, this area is also where puncture protection tends comes into play although the shank is narrower and adds support to the arch area.
Having a wider shank in your boots provides more stability, and they are made a wide variety of materials. That includes steel and plastic, and there are even extended shanks and ones geared towards people with a variety of medical conditions.
Even the best pull on work boots will only come in one of two styles – tall or short.
In some cases, this is simply a matter of preference as some people will prefer a shorter boot more in line with hiking boots or work boots in the 6” range. The downside to shorter pull on boots is the fact they don’t provide as much protection as a taller boot.
Taller pull-on boots resemble cowboy boots with one big difference. They have soft treads on the bottom instead of a slick sole with a hard heel. If you’re accustomed to cowboy boots, you will feel right at home in these.
Other things to consider
Waterproof vs. Water-resistant
Do you need boots that are completely waterproof or just ones that can withstand a quick walk in the rain?
If it’s the former, pay attention to whether it’s totally waterproof or simply “resistant” otherwise you’ll end up with soaked feet. Alternatively, you can also treat boots to add an additional layer of protection against the elements.
Jobs that require you to be on your feet all day can drain your energy before lunch rolls around. Having comfortable boots will help you stay fresh, and the pull-on style can be just as cushy as regular boots.
We won’t dive into how work boots should fit, as we covered that in our guide, but we will tell you to keep your size and socks in mind. If your boots are too loose, socks can fix that, or you can opt for an insole to tighten things up and add an extra layer of cushion.
Many boots will come with a cushioned footbed but look for boots with removable ones if you have custom orthotic or may use your own at a later date.
Want to stay upright in the rain or walking down steep grades with a handful of tools?
Pay close attention to the tread on the bottom of the boot if this is a major concern. The outsole can be resistant against oil and other substances, and some can even withstand extreme heat.
Think about where you’ll wear them, and the color as light-colored outsoles are not ideal in many environments.
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Top Choice: Caterpillar Men’s Revolver Pull-on Steel-Toe Boot
Caterpillar is a worldwide leader when it comes to heavy equipment, and they make some pretty slick gear as well. That includes gloves and work boots like the Revolver which can hold its own with any lace-up boot on the market.
Shank and Design
Caterpillar decided to keep things simple with this boot, and it works. It’s tough as nails, but good looking and has two pull handles at the top to help you slide it on. You’ll need them as the Caterpillar Revolvers are tall with a wide opening measuring around 15” in diameter.
The boots have a lining made from nylon mesh and a Taibrelle + Pu Sock Liner. In short, that means your feet won’t smother on hot summer days nor will the freeze if it gets chilly outside.
You’ll also get the advantage of steel-toe protection so crushed feet will no longer be a concern while you’re on the job.
As for the features, the Revolver Steel-Toe Work Boots are rated ASTM F2413-05 1/75 FH against electrical hazards. The sole is slip resistant as well, so working in a downpour or walking across oily surfaces won’t be an issue.
While great on flat surfaces, there is enough tread on the bottom for these boots to be suitable in mud or dirt as well.
Caterpillar has produced a quality boot at an affordable price in the Revolver. They may not be fancy, but they deliver on what they promise which is a reliable, comfortable boot.
The one downside to this boot is the fact it may take longer to break in than other styles due to its design and construction. If you’re interested in this boot, it’s available in wide and regular sizes from a 7 to a size 14.
Ariat Workhog Pull-on Waterproof Pro Work Boot
Ariat’s Workhog boots share a few common features with the Revolver and the rest of the boots on our list. Where they differ is the style and the fact they are an option for people with high arches and wide feet.
This boot’s claim to fame is the U-Turn Entry System. This allows the shaft to flex so people with wider feet can get past that tricky turn. You won’t have to tug the Ariat Workhog’s on, and we think you’ll be impressed by the rest of the features as well.
Do you have sweaty feet?
If so, you will appreciate the footbed in this boot as it can wick moisture away with ease. Beneath that is a layer of gel which adds to the shock absorption provided by the EVA midsole. They aren’t the lightest boot on our list, but they could be the most comfortable.
It’s hard to find fault with these boots as the ATS MAX system will keep you comfortable on any type of terrain and your feet will stay dry regardless of the conditions. Considering they have Goodyear welting, it’s safe to say they are durable as well.
The Ariat Workhog comes in the usual sizes and in four different styles. While we opted for the Oily Distressed Brown, there are three other options available that offer up a bit more flair.
Carhartt CMU1242 Work Boot
Carharrt has made a splash with their clothing lineup in recent years, but their boots are well worth a look. We chose the CMU1242’s for their combination of durability and outstanding resistance against several types of hazards.
These boots have a safety toe and are rated ASTM 2413-11. They are also tall with an 11.5” shaft and a 1.25” heel. Large legs won’t be an issue either as the leg opening is roomy at 16” in diameter.
Another thing we like about these boots is the TPU heel counter, a feature that adds to the stability. The OrthoLite footbed is a nice touch as well, and something to consider if comfort is high on your list when shopping for a new pair of work boots.
These big boots are ideal for anyone that works outdoors or operates heavy equipment but doesn’t dig lace-up boots.
While they are very thick, there is no insulation which may be something to consider if you work in colder climates. The only other negative would be sizing, as your options will be limited although the most popular sizes are available.
Skechers USA Segment-Dorton Chelsea Boot
Bringing up the rear is a boot from a company not necessarily known for their work boots. It’s Skechers, and the Segment-Dorton Chelsea Boot is an interesting option if you’re looking for a trendy pull-on boot.
It has a 5” shaft, but by comparison, the Segment-Dorton Chelsea is short compared to the rest of our picks. It’s more in line with a traditional work boot, but a hybrid of sorts considering it’s sans the laces and only has a single pull loop in the back.
These boots are made from leather with a synthetic sole and a short platform of only 0.75”. There is no special protection in the toe or anywhere else, but they are comfortable with a gel-infused insole and great choice if you need a light-duty boot for work.
We’ll state the obvious with these; they are not what you’ll want if you work on a construction site. If you are around nails and objects that can break your toes in seconds, you’ll want a tougher pair of boots.
On the flipside, these are affordable, and not everyone needs a boot that weighs 2 pounds or a rugged exterior. They are stylish and “plain” enough to be worn in places a regular work boot would look out of place.
A good pull-on boot keeps your feet comfortable and will perform just like their laced brethren when it counts. In some cases, they are better and considerably quicker to get on in the morning when you’re in a rush.
Just remember to keep your size in mind and fall back on our tips and look towards the features if you find yourself torn between two styles.