Part of growing up is flying under your own financial wing, cutting whatever monetary umbilical cord existed between you and your parents. It’s a satisfying feeling really. Working for a living, while not glamorous, instills a sense of pride within us as we suddenly appreciate the value of a job well done. Too often these days this experience is put on hold for whatever reason. Call it a trust fund, over-coddling, fear. Whatever the case this post isn’t for them. We’re not catering to their chosen path. Instead, we’re choosing the correct course, the one of autonomy, independence, and financial freedom. It’s a tougher road no doubt, as we’ve all learned over the years. One that’s long, difficult, unforgiving and heartbreaking; better bring your boots.
It’s for these reasons that we put together a post that’s a bit more niche than the rest because not all of us need work boots. They’re reserved for those who honor the art of the trade, the value of working with your hands, and the reward of the build. It’s these individuals that work behind the scenes, so the rest of us can get to work safely, power up our houses, or even have a house at all.
These are the rugged individuals who don’t complain about a little heat or a bit of rain. So it only makes sense to look for footwear that’s as unapologetic and durable as the wearers themselves, because at the end of the day it’s all about reliability. That’s why we wanted to bring you the 12 best American made work boots available for those who not only chose the right path but a rough one at that.
Frye Arkansas Moc Toe
Frye has been in the business since 1863 and by the looks of their Arkansas Moc Toe work boot, they know what they’re doing. Featuring Rugged Leather complete with a rubber outsole these boots are modest yet classy in appearance and durable in function. The Arkansas also features leather laces and is ready to make an appearance just about anywhere.
Wolverine Tacoma Durashocks
Having wet feet on the job not only ruins your day but also your boots, priming them for a slew of fungal and bacterial growth. Luckily, these Wolverine boots protect against the wetness thanks to their waterproof full-grain leather upper and long-lasting Dri-lex sweat-wicking lining. They also host a steel toe and Vibram rubber outsoles to maximize traction when out and about.
Thorogood American Heritage
These leather steel toe boots boasting a crepe sole are slip resistant thanks to their quality US construction. Thorogood is known throughout the industry as the leader in quality and durable work boots that are comfortable yet reliable in the field. This boot is comprised of Tobacco Oil-Tanned Leather and its vintage leather upper ensures these boots look good while getting the job done in the process.
Chippewa GQ Apache Lacer
If they’re made in America why not embrace a traditional Americana style work boot? These full-grain leather Chippewa boots host a classic look thanks their plain toe, contrast stitching, and leather upper with a distressed finish. You’ll also find a removable insole and Vibram Stockbridge outsole for an enhanced grip while working on the range.
Justin Original Jmax Steel Toed Work Shoe
In the face of all that shimmers and shines there’s nothing like an appreciation for simple functionality. Such characteristics are honored amongst the workforce and these Justin Jmax boots are no exception. The company’s been around since the early 20th century and these Groucho leather boots complete with a Dri-Lex lining, single stitched welt, electrical hazard rating, and steel toe profile adhere to tradition.
Keen LeavenWorth Internal Met
Complete with a Steel Toe, these Portland-made waterproof work boots make the outside grind an easier one thanks to drier feet. It’s an all-season boot wearable even in the wettest of conditions. The Leavenworth also hosts a non-slip sole with a 90-degree heel for enhanced grip no matter how slick the surface may get. You also find an integrated heel cushion, metatarsal guard, an electrical hazard rating and oil resistant capabilities to boot.
Carolina Domestic Work Boot
Carolina boots have a reputation of longevity. Known for outliving the majority of their competitors, these boots carry both comfort and function with them throughout their lifespan. The Domestic Work Boot features an AG7 footbed and DRI-LEX lining to keep your feet dry and cool while on the job. In addition to all that, these boots are given a Poron Permafresh insole to protect again the fungus, a solid electrical hazard rating, dual density polyurethane outsole, and is available with a steel toe.
Red Wing Heritage Moc Boot
Built for the casual working lifestyle, these Red Wing boots provide everything you need to remain comfortable on the job. With a leather construction, synthetic sole, and Moc-toe with a Traction Tred rubber outsole these things cover all the bases when in comes to a quality work boot that’s all about function.
Danner Quarry USA Black Boot
Built in Portland, Oregon the Quarry is Danner’s most popular work boot. For good reason too. They’ve developed their own Vibram Quarry outsole and enhanced the midsole to a single solid piece to improved longevity. It’s also 100 percent waterproof and features a GORE-TEX lining, a full-grain leather upper, triple stitching for endurance in the elements, electrical hazard protection, and is oil and slip resistant. Not bad Danner. Not bad at all.
Woolrich Men’s Yankee Boot
For those interested in a bit more style on the job check out these the leather work boots from Woolrich. They’re sleek, feature a wool lining and a double-sticked apron toe. The contrasting eyelets also make this boot really pop in a classy manner, and thanks to the corded laces there’ll be no question regarding their durability.
Nicks Custom Men’s Traveler Work Boot
Each pair of Nicks Custom boots are handmade leather works of art. Since 1964 they’ve been producing these quality made-to-order workhorses from their Spokane, WA workshop and they don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. These Travelers feature a vibrate sole, Tobacco Leather composition from Seidel, and are rebuildable so with the right mindset they’ll last for decades.
Eastland 60 Readfield USA Plain Toe Boot
Handcrafted by Maine shoemakers these Redfield’s are built from 100% Horween leather, tanned right here in the USA. You’ll also feel safe knowing these boots are well grounded with a Vibram Military Grade 360 Force Sole which provide solid protection from worksite hazards. The laces come from natural rawhide and with a genuine leather midsole, it’s safe to say this work boot will provide you with comfort for years to come.
Trask Elkhorn Boot
Sometimes you come across a pair of work boots that are almost too nice to wear to work. Take these Elkhorn boots for example. They’re built from hand-selected Horween Chromexcel American bison leather, complete with a leather lining and sock. These boots carry with them a mellow attitude but are ready to get the job done with a shock-absorbing Vibram NewFlex outsole. Available in both saddle tan and bourbon.