Best Electrician Work Boots

Do your work boots take a beating? I know mine do.

Tough environments need a tough pair of boots. So I'm forever on the prowl for the best electrician work boots for long days on the job.

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I go to great lengths to keep my feet properly shod. In twenty plus years of work in the trades, I've been through plenty of brands of electrician work boots including varying styles and prices.

Comfort is a big deal with me. I'm on my feet all day and if my soles are unhappy - my soul is unhappy. After my boots are on I don't want to think about my feet again.

I present to you this guide of the best work boots for electricians cured from solid research, questioning manufacturers, personal experience, and recommendations from electricians active in the trade.

Our Top Picks - Quick Look

Full Boot Reviews


#1  Red Wing SuperSole 2.0 8-inch Boot #2412

Super Sole 2.0

Quick Look

PROS

  • Waterproof (Gore-Tex) Leather Upper
  • Soft inner sole
  • Puncture and chemical resistant outer sole
  • 400 Gram Insulation (3M Thinsulate)
  • Electrical Hazard rating
  • Steel Toe
  • Steel Shank
  • Comes in extended Sizes and Widths
  • Available in Custom Fit (order one pair in 2 sizes)
  • Re-Soling available if needed

Cons

  • Pricey
  • No covering over safety toes

Red Wing brand work boots are a favorite among electricians. The quality and comfort is exceptional. Sure, you're gonna fork-over more cash, but in my opinion the durability and comfort make this investment a no-brainer.

Personally, I would rather spend money up-front for a quality pair of boots that keep me dry and comfortable. It's much preferred to running back to the store every 3-4 months because I bought a cheap pair. Plus, I'm not sure we're really saving money with the latter method.

Red Wing Shoes is an American staple founded in 1905, and is still headquartered in Red Wing, Minnesota. Their factory makes over 1.2 million shoes annually.

Features and Benefits

Two Layer Soles

Made from two densities of urethane. The outer layer has high abrasion resistance while also delivering oil, chemical, and gas resistance. The inner core is low density giving cushioning support.

And that's why it's called 2.0!

High Quality Leather

Premium leather made in Red Wing, Minnesota. Their quality and durability is difficult to beat.

Sizes Galore

Challenging sizes have met their match. The 2.0 comes in sizes 7-15 and widths A-H.

Insulated: Stay Warm

The Red Wing Super Sole 8-inch Work Boot is a favorite among electricians. I like that it comes in insulated and uninsulated versions. If you're someone that works in cold conditions on a regular basis, then you'll want to take advantage of the 400 grams of Thinsulate 3M insulation. If not, opt for the uninsulated (style #2414) that retains all other features and benefits.

Waterproof: Stay Dry

Waterproof boots are a must in my book. I don't always know what a day will bring, so I prefer to always be prepared. And prepared you will be sporting these full-grain leather uppers with a Gore-tex membrane. I always add my own waterproofing product for extra measure.

Protection: Steel Toe and Fiberglass Shank

Keep your toes protected from heavy falling objects. Protective steel reinforcement in the toe area of these Red Wing Super Sole boots meet today's safety standards.

The fiberglass shank, located underneath the foot between the heel and balls of your feet, offer support and comfort to your arches. It also offer protection and reduces injury from any sharp objects from underneath.

A Swen-Flex insole also offers puncture resistance and maximum protection without metal.

Resistant

Let's start with abrasion resistance. I'm one of those guys that tends to shuffle my feet at times. This can really wear down my soles. This boot delivers the best in abrasion resistance offered by Red Wing.

As mentioned before, you also get the best in oil and gas resistance, and chemical resistance. The Super Soles also offer slip resistance and heat resistance.

Electrical Hazard

Be reassured by wearing boots rated EH for electrical hazard. This means they are non-conductive and protect you from completing an electrical circuit to the ground.

They are rated and tested by ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) for protection from electrical shock.

Red Wing Distinctions

Do yourself a favor and run to your nearest Red Wing Dealer. You can find the closest store here. A custom fit is best for work boots protecting your feet 8+ hours a day, 6 days a week.

If there is not a store near you, then check out the other work boots in our list. These work well for all trades and are favorites among electricians.

There are a limited amount of Red Wing work boots sold on Amazon as well.

Resoling is available through Red Wing. It is significantly less money to resole your boots than to buy a new pair. However, I find that by the time I need new soles, my entire boot needs to be put to rest anyway.

Get unlimited free cleanings and conditioning of your boots when you buy from a Red Wing retailer. I can't think of anything that beats that. Find a Red Wing store!

Red Wing has about 197 work boots to choose from encompassing a variety of soles and features. A lot of these are great for electricians.

Keeping your leather boots cleaned and conditioned will prolong their life. Winning!

The lighter, 6-inch boots, are also a great option. 

If there is not a store near you, then consider purchasing a pair of Red Wing boots on Amazon.


#2  Timberland Pro Boondock 6" Comp Toe Work Boots - Waterproof and Insulated

Quick Look

PROS

  • Waterproof Leather
  • Waterproof Membrane
  • Insulated (400 grams Thermolite)
  • Anti-fatigue Footbed
  • Composite Safety toe (lighter than steel)
  • Electrical Hazard Protection
  • Slip and oil resistant

Cons

  • Heavier in weight than some (2.09 lbs. - size 9)

Features and Benefits

Timberland started out in 1955 as the Abington Shoe Company. They have a long history of product sustainability and innovation.

Waterproof Protection

There's a lot to like with this waterproof and insulated boot from Timberland Pro.

For starters, liquids bead up and run off the specially treated leather. To ensure your feet stay dry, Timberland included a water-impermeable membrane.  A dry foot is a happy foot.

Keeping Warm

Insulation at 400 grams should be enough to keep toes warm. Make a smart choice with socks and you can concentrate on the job at hand instead of cold feet.

Comfort Check

Many workers in the trades have commented on the comfort of these boots. In my book, that is priority #1. Timberland has an exclusive anti-fatigue technology that absorbs shock and returns energy at key zones. For even more comfort, consider an additional insole. 

You get a roomy toe box out of the deal, which may take a small amount of time to get used to. But, honestly, who wants pinched toes? 

Safety, Safety, Safety

I'm really liking the composite safety toes (lighter than metals), which is slower to conduct heat or cold. And, of course they meet ASTM safety standards. 

Electrical hazard protection meets ASTM standards and with slip and oil resistant soles to boot, you get a lot for your money.

Do your feet a favor and snag a pair of these work boots! Great for electricians and other trades.


Non-Insulated Timberland Pro 6" Boondock Boots

Same great quality and features except non-insulated for warmer climates.


#3 Carhartt CMF 6366 Composite Toe Boots

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Quick Look

PROS

  • 100% Oil-tanned Leather
  • Shock-absorbing rubber sole
  • Multiple layers of cushioning 
  • Composite Toe
  • Ladder safety channels
  • Electrical hazard protection

Cons

  • Water-Resistant (use a water-proofing product)
  • No covering over safety toes

Carhartt began in Detroit in 1889. Their motto, "honest value for an honest dollar", started with their bib overall. The Carhartt brand is still popular today due to the high quality and durability of their products.

Features and Benefits

Get Comfortable

Carhartt's CMF 6366 work boot offers comfort with a padded tongue and collar. When jobs require you to kneel, maneuver through crawl-spaces, and lug heavy tools up and down ladders, then you'll appreciate the extra padding.

Your feet will be happy with the Ortholite insole that provides included layers of cushioning. Plus it fights fatigue and odors.

If you like flexibility, you'll be pleased to know that these boots are made with a unique "Rugged Flex technology" to move and stretch with you.

Water Resistant

Full-grain leather offers water-resistance and the 6" height safeguards ankles. You may want to apply a leather waterproofing product if you expect to be in wet conditions.

Safety Points

Carhartt's composite toe box is plenty wide for comfort. I like knowing my toes are protected.

In the same way ASTM 2413-11 EH meets electrical hazard requirements.

Light EVA midsoles run the full-length of these boots. These midsoles with steel shank resists puncture from underneath you. Kinda reassuring.

Another key point is that steel shanks give support to the boots and to overworked arches.

Furthermore the rubber soles  are oil, slip, and chemical resistant. Gripping lugs and ladder lock channels help keep you safe.

Last Word

The Carhartt CMF6366 is a well-rounded electrician's work boot with the safety and comfort features needed. Get a waterproofing product to increase the water resistance and you should be good to go.


#4  KEEN Utility Braddock -Waterproof

Quick Look

PROS

  • Waterproof Leather Upper
  • Roomy Composite Toe Box
  • Oil and Slip Resistant
  • Electrical Hazard Protection
  • Removable EVA footbed

Cons

  • Non-insulated

Keen has a reputation for quality and comfort. Who has time to replace a pair of work boots every 3 months? With Keen, you can forget about your feet and keep busy on the job.

Features and Benefits

The Utility Braddock work boot has just about every feature an electrician needs.

Steel Toes

You're going to get steel toes uniquely contoured to the shape of toes on the right and left foot. As far as I know, only Keen makes their safety toes in an asymmetrical manner for a better, more comfortable fit and roomier toe box.

And, of course, it meets the ASTM impact and compression standards.

Extra Toe Protection

One of my favorite features of this boot is the patented toe protection that wraps the sole up and over the toe area.

If you've worked in the trades any length of time, you know leather above steel or composite toes wears quickly. I blame attics and crawl spaces that force us to our knees. This extra protection is a nice aspect.

Comfort

Customers have remarked that this is the most comfortable work boot the've worn.

Moreover, additional cushioning at the heel is a trait with comfort in mind. I like that. I've had days of sore heels, and that's not too enjoyable.

Again, the asymmetrical safety toes add a comfortable, more custom fit to each foot.

Waterproof Protection

A breathable waterproof membrane will keep your feet dry.

Additionally, the waterproof nubuck leather upper is going to do it's job to keep water out. 

Use an additional waterproofing product to add an extra layer of protection. You can never be too careful.

Slip Resistance

With these boots, you get oil and slip-resistant soles. Non-slip outer soles meet or exceed ASTM F1677-96 Mark II non-slip testing standards.

Warranty

The one year warranty on these boots is pretty solid. I like that they save you the hassle of having to ship back defective boots. A picture is accepted.

To finish off, I'll let you know that originating in 2003, Keen has donated over $15 million to non-profits around the globe.


#5  Danner Vicious 8" NMT Work Boots

Quick Look

PROS

  • Full-grain leather
  • Waterproof with Gore-tex lining
  • Speed lace system
  • Composite Toe
  • Electrical hazard protection
  • Meets all ASTM standards 
  • Lighter weight
  • Vibram outsole

Cons

  • No protective covering over safety toes

Danner is another long-standing American Company. In the midst of the Great Depression, Charles Danner opened his shoe store to build handcrafted work boots that Americans could afford.

Features and Benefits

Waterproof Leather

Most of you know that Gore-tex is a popular waterproofing product used in many products. This membrane will keep your feet dry in these leather boots. I will not wear a pair of work boots that are not made to be waterproof. At the same time, I still use a good waterproofing product to boot. (no pun intended).

Save Time

With one tug, get a tight fit from toe to top with their special hardware. In the event that your boot laces loosen, you'll appreciate this Speed Lace System. 

Ahhh - Comfort!

Many owners assert that these boots are comfortable straight out of the box with a short to no breaking-in period. 

To begin with, some extra room was invested in the toe box to "accommodate feet that are carrying heavy loads". Equally important, the boot is made to cup your heel to keep feet happily in place.

Together with an 8" height for great ankle support, the Vicious work boot's EVA midsole cushions properly.

Keep Safe

Gotta have all safety requirements and these boots fit the bill. The composite toes keep the weight of the Vicious boot down and meets all ASTM requirements and Electrical Hazard (EH) protection as you'd expect.

I prefer a non-metallic safety toe and these boots deliver. As a result they do not transmit heat or cold. Moreover, they won't set off metal detectors.

As an added bonus, the Vibram outsole gives oil and slip resistance along with a 90 degree heel for some extra safety.


Non-Insulated Danner Vicious 8" Work Boots

Same fabulous features in a non-insulated version for warmer climates.


#6  Thorogood American Heritage 8" Safety Toe Boot

Quick Look

PROS

  • Oil-tanned Leather uppers
  • Lining wicks moisture
  • Removable shock absorbing insert
  • Steel Toe
  • Electrical hazard protection
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Cons

  • Not Waterproof (use a waterproofing product)
  • No protective covering over safety toes

Thorogood work boots have been produced by Weinbrenner Shoe Company since 1892. Many are still made in the U.S.A. In fact, Weinbrenner initiated many safety features used today. All their footwear is tested to ensure it meets or exceeds industry and ASTM safety standards.

Keep your ankles stable with the 8" height. Not everyone likes the extra weight of 8" boots, but it does provide that extra bit of support. You'll also get linings that wick moisture and are thickly padded.

Thorogood makes a solid boot and the American Heritage meets all safety standards for compression, impact, and electrical hazard. 

Customers have mentioned that these boots are comfortable from day one. What more can you ask for in an electrician's work boot?


#7  Irish Setter 6" Crosby Boot

Quick Look

PROS

  • Waterproof Leather
  • Gore-tex waterproofing
  • Composite Safety Toe
  • Slip, chemical, heat, abrasion resistance
  • Electrical hazard protection
  • EVA mid-sole
  • Puncture resistant

Cons

  • Non-insulated
  • Color is a bit odd (if you care about such things)

In case you don't know, Irish Setter is part of the Red Wing Shoe company. This particular line is named after an actual Irish Setter named Red Mike. 

The Irish Setter Crosby boot checks about every box needed for an electrician's work boot. At the same time, the Crosby is not insulated so if that is a must have for you, consider the Carhartt CM6366, Timberland Pro, or Red Wing Super Sole. Personally, I appreciate a non-insulated work boot because I can wear it year round.

Durability

I'm especially liking the protective covering over the safety toe. It's called Armatech technology. Placed in high wear areas, you can expect it to extend the life of the boot.

Not to mention that the high-rebound material, usually used in athletic shoes, should bring a bigger spring to your step.


Electrician Work Boot Buyer's Guide

When it comes to electrician work boots, there are plenty of options to take into consideration. 

Refer to our Work Boot Buyer's Guide for the run-down on what to consider when buying a pair of work boots. We cover:

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    What is the best place to buy work boots?
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    Do I prefer 6" or 8" tall boots?
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    What makes a boot comfortable?
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    Importance of Durability
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    Should my boots be water-proof?
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    Should I get an insulated version?
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    What safety features are non-negotiable or required?
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    Safety Toes: Steel vs. Composite vs. Alloy
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    How to Care for your Leather Boots

Best Place to Buy Work Boots

I'm a firm believer in trying on various types of boots. Feet are unique and what feels comfortable to one person may cause a gripe for the next.

Get out there and try on different styles. I highly recommend Red Wing Shoe stores. (No, I don't own stock in the company.) Red Wing has a notable amount of styles but most noteworthy, they offer quality footwear highly prized among those in the trades.

Work Boot Shaft: 6-inch vs 8-inch

Find yourself vacillating between the 6-inch and 8-inch work boot shaft? As a rule, the final word on shaft height comes down to personal preference. 

If your ankles are prone to sprains or you just want some extra support, then an 8" boot is the way to go. Since 8-inch boots rise above the ankles (unless you're a giant), you'll get that extra protection.

Same thing goes for wet, outdoor work. If your travels frequently take you to the world of puddles, slosh, and mud, 8-inch work boots can help stand guard against these forces endeavoring to make you miserable.

But let me sing the praises of the 6-inch work boot.

Call me impatient, but I prefer to put on and take off my boots as quickly as possible. Six-inch boots help me win that battle. 

Extra weight on my feet is also a big deal. I can be on the job10-plus hours a day so I want to be as light on my feet as possible. Those 2 inches make a difference to me in terms of the extra weight I'm picking up with every step.

At the end of the day, there is no hefty reason to choose one over the other. It's simply a matter of personal preference.

Comfort and Fit

In my book, an important aspect of comfort is staying dry. Unless you exclusively work indoors, buy a pair of waterproof, genuine leather boots. If they're water-resistant, then use a good water-proofing product.

Feet are pretty unique so getting a good fit differs for each individual. My best advice is to try a number of pairs and brands to find what works best for you. The electrician work boots in our buying guide are tried and true versions that perform for electricians day in and day out.

Another important factor in comfort is the midsole and insole. Midsoles absorb shock and provide cushioning. They also furnish stability.

Some in the trades have had success with over-the-counter orthotic insoles to get that extra shot of cushioning.

All day comfort starts with the right size boot. Don't expect a steel or composite toe boot to stretch. Make sure your toes have enough room from day one. Perhaps try a wider width before moving up a size.

Summing up, to win the comfort battle in a pair of work boots make sure you:

  1. Sample various brands and styles on your feet at the store.
  2. Get midsoles and insoles that cushion and absorb shock. Good construction is crucial.
  3. Consider an orthotic insole.
  4. Double check size: try a wider width before moving up a size.
  5. Pick up a waterproofing product and apply frequently - even on boots labeled waterproof. Staying dry is essential to lasting comfort.
  6. Stay warm. If you're ordinarily working outside in cold conditions, go with 200-400 grams of insulation. 

Durability

I'm a firm believer in shelling out more for superior quality. I've found that I'm not really saving money when opting for an inexpensive pair. 

Get a durable, lasting pair of electrician work boots and save in the long run.

On the other hand, if money is a factor right now, you can still get the safety standards you need in a cheaper pair.

Then, do your best to start saving for a good quality pair the next time around. 

Consider it one of your most important tools. 

Should My Boots be Waterproof?

Sooner or later you'll run into a wet day, no matter how dry the climate is where you work. Even if you work solely indoors, a decent pair of waterproof boots can keep you from skirting puddles to and from your vehicle.

Make sure your boots are as waterproof as can be. Few things are more miserable than wet feet for 8 hours. 

Even if your boots are marked "waterproof", I recommend using a good water proofing product every few months.

Also - keep them clean.  Cleaning and conditioning the leather will increase the lifespan. (Red Wing Shoe Stores include free cleaning and conditioning of their boots as often as you wish.)  

Should I Buy Insulated Work Boots?

Do you work outdoors in very cold climates on a consistent basis? Then please buy some insulated work boots to protect your feet from being cold and miserable. Insulation weight typically varies from 200-800 grams of weight. The higher the number, the warmer you will be.

Insulated boots do have their downside. Your feet can get hot working indoors, and most likely you'll want a second pair of non-insulated boots for warmer months.

I personally prefer non-insulated boots for more versatility. I can slip on a pair of heavy wool socks when working outdoors on cold days and wear my same boots in the middle of July.

When I am in the snow I usually switch to my snow boots, which are always with me. In this way my toes stay warm and dry, and at the end of the day I have a dry pair of boots to change into.

Tips From the Top:  Keep an extra pair of socks with you!

Call me lazy, but it's nice not to think about which boots to grab on any given day. 

Safety Features

I gotta say that safety and work boots should go hand-in-hand. You generally want to look for these 3 features:

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    Safety toes (steel, composite, or alloy)
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    Electrical Hazard (EH) protection
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    Puncture Resistance (PR) protection

Down and dirty details of the technical aspects of safety standards, which are set by CFR (Dept. of Labor Code of Federal Regulations) can be found here.

Let's boil it down.

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) sets the minimum standards and methods of testing of safety shoes and boots.

Three lines describe the standards for safety:                

  1. ASTM F2413-11 (11 denotes the year of the standard)
  2. F or M (female/male) I/75 C/75 (I=impact, C=compression)
  3. Additional standards such as EH (electrical hazard), PR (puncture resistance), etc.
Puncture Resistant Boots

EH Electrical hazard (EH) footwear has non-conductive electrical shock resistant soles and heels.

Puncture resistant boots have typically had a steel plate as part of the outsole to prevent sharp objects from piercing your foot. Composite plates are now preferred by many and meet ASTM standards. 

Make sure you check with your employer or HR department for all the safety features required by your company.

Safety Toes: Steel vs. Composite vs. Alloy

Protective footwear is important when you work in the trades. Here's a quick look at the 3 types of material used to reinforce work boots and shoes.

Toe Cap work boots should meet the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) impact and compression safety standards for protective footwear.

#1  Steel Toe Work Boots

A steel reinforcement in the toe area to protect your foot from falling objects and/or compression. Many also have a mid sole plate to protect from punctures from underneath. Steel Toe are considered to offer the maximum protection from impact and compression.

#2 Composite Toe Work Boots

Non-metallic and non-magnetic reinforcement in the toe area for protection from falling objects and/or compression.  A composite toe is lighter in weight and will not conduct cold and heat as easily as metal. And, they will not set off metal detectors.

#3 Alloy Toe Work Boots

Made of aluminum or titanium, you can expect them to be 30-50% lighter than steel. Since they are made thinner you'll also have more room in the toe box. 

Unlike composite toe boots, alloy toe will set off metal detectors.

Steel-Toe protectors

The leather directly above the toe area of safety-toe boots tends to wear quickly. I like to use toe guards to protect that area of my boots​.

Popular Toe Guard Products

1.Tuff Toe 

2. KG's Boot Guard

3. Boot Saver

How to Care for Your Leather Work Boots

Want your boots to last longer? Keep them clean and conditioned.

Boot Cleaning Tips

Just follow these steps:

1. Remove Stubborn Dirt

Use a soft-bristled brush and a minimal amount of warm water. Gently agitate stubborn stuck-on dirt. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth. 

2. Apply Leather Cleaner

With another clean cloth apply a leather cleaner using the manufacturer's directions. Remove with a damp cloth and allow the leather to dry.

3. Condition and Protect!

Choose an oil or other leather conditioner and apply with a clean cloth or your fingers. Test in an inconspicuous area if you are concerned about color changes.

I recommend Huberd's Shoe Grease that includes ability to waterproof and preserve leather .

Investing time to keep boots clean and condition will extend the life of your leather work boots.

This all-in-one kit is also a good choice as well.


Final Thoughts

Look at work boots as one of your most important tools. Buy the highest quality you can afford. If that's not much, put aside cash to upgrade your next pair.

Your feet will thank you!

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