best work boots for women

9 Seriously Tough And Best Work Boots For Women

Like men, women work in challenging environments like construction sites, factories, and outdoor parks. Many women need comfortable, functional work boots to support and protect their feet throughout the working day. 

Finding the best work boots for women that fit comfortably and provide all the necessary safety features, maybe even looking good but definitely giving value for money, is equally challenging. There's a difference between fashion boots and work boots in the quality of material and build, and every working woman knows it. 

Plus, women's feet are different from men's feet in their anatomical features. Women have higher arches, shallower big toes, a deeper curve to the inside line, and smaller feet compared to height. For ultimate comfort and protection, you need the best work boots for women to fit a woman's foot and not a scaled-down men's version. 

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Best Work Boots For Women

How The Reviews Are Organized

I've searched for nine of the best work boots for women that cover a range of applications. There are four with safety toes (steel, alloy, or composite) for environments where you need a full-on safety boot, three that are sturdy work boots without specialized safety toes, and two insulated work boots for when you need additional warmth. 

Other Options

As you will see, there are a lot of great work boot options for women. However, if you are looking for more specific footwear options, I'd review the following:

  • 13 Best Waterproof Work BootsThis highlights a wide selection of waterproof work boots that supply different features, such as steel or composite toe, and insulation.

Best Work Boots For Women

Below, please find my list of the best work boots for women. Each of them offers a range of options for different work and weather environments in a range of prices. 

Composite Or Steel Toe: Best Work Boots For Women

The following four boots supply extra protection around your toes to help avoid injury from punishing impacts. 

Timberland Pro Hightower 6"

Best work boots for women

Pros

  • Built on a woman's cast for women's fit
  • Alloy safety toe for protection (ASTM F2412-11 and ASTM F2413-11 for impact and compression)
  • Secondary electrical hazard protection
  • Polyurethane footbed with dynamic arches for beating fatigue
  • Heat resistant (to 248˚F) thermoplastic urethane outsoles.
  • Waterproof with a breathable membrane for dry feet. (ASTM F1671-07)
  • Linings are antimicrobial for odor control
  • Easy maintenance and durable 100% leather uppers
  • Cement construction means it is possible to resole these boots
  • Women's shoe sizes from 5 - 12 with half sizes
  • Three colours - black, dark brown and beige

Cons

  • Need breaking-in
  • No easy lace metal hooks, only eyelets

Conclusion:

Timberland PRO Hightower 6" Alloy Toe Waterproof Industrial & Construction Shoes are one of the best work boots for women for their fit and combination of safety features. Built on a woman's foot, these 100% waterproof leather uppers consider the real differences in foot shape between men and women. 

Timberland PRO Hightower 6" work shoes include plenty of high-quality boot technology, including dynamic anti-fatigue midsoles for cushion; breathable membranes and antimicrobial linings for dryness and odor control; extensive waterproofing features such as special tanning of the leather, waterproof inner lining (that breathes), and integrated gussets; and slip and skid resistant rubber soles with electrical hazard protection. 

Overall, Timberland PRO Hightower 6" work shoes are a good looking boot that is ideal for women who work in the construction industry at risk of secondary electrical shock, potential crush injuries to the feet, and wet cement and mud underfoot. 

Skechers Work Brooten

Best work boots for women

Pros

  • Steel toe meets safety standards (ASTM F2413-2011 I/75 C/75 protection)
  • Electrical hazard protection (ASTM F2413-05 EH)
  • Reinforced heel for durability and support
  • Removable memory foam insole for ultimate comfort
  • Full-grain leather upper for durability
  • Midsole – lightweight, shock-absorbing, and supportive
  • Nitrile outer sole gives excellent traction and is oil resistant
  • Available in two color combinations - black and carmel
  • Women's shoe sizes 5-11
  • Well priced

Cons

  • Needs wearing in
  • No additional reinforcing on the toe cap so may be prone to wear
  • Each boot weighs 19oz - steel toe boots are heavier than alloy 

Conclusion:

Skechers Work Brooten work shoes are one of the best work boots for women for its' safety features. They are affordable, good looking, available in black and brown, and in women's shoe sizes 5-11, with half sizes for your most comfortable fit.

Memory foam insoles, padded ankle and tongue, and a sensible lacing arrangement mean that once you have broken them in, you have comfortable boots made with high-quality materials. Add in the safety features such as the steel toe, nitrile rubber lug traction and oil resistant outer sole, and electrical hazard protection, and the Skechers Work Brooten work shoes offer almost everything for you to feel comfortable, safe, and secure while carrying out your job responsibilities. 

Keen Detroit Work Boots

Best work boots for women

Pros

  • Asymmetrical aluminum toe protection for lighter boots and greater flexibility in kneeling (ASTM F2412 & F2413 EH)
  • Traction meets safety standards (ASTM F1677-96) for non-marking oil and slip resistance rubber outer sole
  • Electrical hazard protection
  • Waterproof and breathable membrane to keep feet dry and fresh
  • Contoured insole to provide extra support and reduce foot fatigue where you need it
  • Toe and heel reinforcement for extra support durability
  • Available in grey/blue and brown/wine red as a nice change from brown and black
  • Women shoe sizes from 5-11, with half and wide sizes

Cons

  • Fabric lace loops instead of metal eyelets 

Conclusion:

Keen Utility Women's Detroit XT Mid Steel Toe Waterproof Industrial Boots are the best work boots for women who want a flexible boot that looks more like a trainer.

They are lighter on your feet than other steel toed boots because aluminum is a third of the weight of steel. In addition, the asymmetric toe cap protects all your toes but allows you to bend your foot more naturally. If you have a job that needs you to kneel to pick things up or work at ground level, then this women's work boot would be ideal. 

Like the other women's work boots with steel toes listed here, the Keen Detroit work boots offer a bunch of comfort and safety features. For comfort, the boots supplies a contoured sole, and breathable membrane to reduce sweaty wet feet. For safety, in addition to the aluminum toes, the outer sole is rubber, oil and slip resistant, and has electrical hazard protection.

For fun, the Keen Detroit work boots come in two unique colours - grey and blue, and brown and red. There are multiple sizes, half and wide sizes, so everyone should be able to find a comfortable fit. 

Carhartt CWF5355 6" Work Boots

Best work boots for women

Pros

  • Composite safety toe meets safety standards (ASTM 2413-18 and ASTM 2413-11 EH)
  • Flexible rubber sole for protection and ease of movement up and down ladders and general walking
  • Rubber toe and heel bumper give protection from accidental knocks
  • Fast dry lining wicks away sweat for drier and more comfortable feet
  • Cushioned support from EVA midsole
  • Cement or Strobel construction means you can resole these boots
  • Only comes in brown in women's shoe sizes 6-11, with couple of half sizes

Cons

  • Not available below size 6
  • Water-resistant rather than fully waterproof

Conclusion:

The flexible rubber soles of the Carhartt CWF5355 work boots are what make these boots one of the best work boots for women. They allow women to easily climb up and down ladders, and walk over uneven surfaces in comfort. The natural flex of the sole reduces fatigue, and the comfort foam cushioning and EVA midsole all contribute to a comfortable and natural foot movement during the day. 

Carhartt CWF5355 work boots also offer key elements to make it a great choice for a women's work boot. It has a composite safety toe, and fast drying insoles to keep your feet cool and dry.

These women's work boots have the look of traditional hiking boots with an easy lace system and padded ankle supports. However, they also have the safety, comfort and stability features that you need for some challenging work environments.

Everyday Women's Work Boots: The Best Work Boots For Women

Many working environments don't need full-on safety boots with toe protection. You still want durable, strong boots that can stand up to workplace demands, but you can opt for lighter boots that are easier on the feet and legs. 

Twisted X Cowboy Work Boots

Best work boots for women

Pros

  • Easy to pull-on and off boots with reinforced pull holes at the top
  • Soft 100% full-grain leather upper with minimal breaking-in time
  • Easy to maintain and condition against elements
  • Fresh feet every day with a removable and washable moisture-wicking, antibacterial footbed
  • Flexible rubber sole for comfort and ease of movement with slip resistance and integrated spur ridge
  • Toe and heel are reinforced with stitching to improve durability
  • Interior seams are taped for comfort and to avoid" hot-spots" from rubbing
  • Women's shoe sizes 6-11, with couple of half sizes
  • Comes in shades of brown, some with blue accents

Cons

  • Not available in very small, very large, or wide sizes. 

Conclusion:

Twisted X Cowboy work boots are the best work boots for women whose job involves a lot of time outside doing yard or barn work. They are quick to pull on and off when moving from outside to inside. The lack of laces and zips allow you to avoid problems related to them, such as wear and tear, or letting in water.  

The 100% leather uppers and washable insoles of the Twisted X Cowboy work boots mean that that you can keep these boots in tip-top condition with weekly cleaning. The flexible and thick rubber soles offer cushion, slip resistance, and ease of movement for all day comfort. 

For a little bit of fun, these cowboy inspired women's work boots come in different shades of brown, some with blue stitching. The do not come in a huge selection of sizes, but with the soft leather and the pull on and off style, you should be able to find the right fit for your feet.

Adtec Logger Boots

Best work boots for women

Pros

  • Full grain oiled leather for durability
  • Easy lacing hooks in the calf section for adjusting fit and to increase speed in lacing and unlacing
  • Oil resistant rubber sole with deep lugs for traction
  • Calf high logger boot with a reinforced heel and ankle areas for support
  • Good Year welt for durability and keeping the sole attached to the upper
  • 90-degree heel for better maneuverability getting into and out of vehicles and crossing rough ground
  • Women's shoe sizes 6.5-10, with couple of half sizes

Cons

  • No breathable membrane for moisture-wicking
  • Not classed as a waterproof boot, but the leather provides the same degree of waterproofing as any leather shoe provided they are properly maintained

Conclusion:

Adtec Logger work boots are the best work boots for women who need a robust outdoor boot with plenty of ankle and calf support. 

Full grain oiled leather takes a premium full-grain cowhide and uses oil treatments to provide a durable and beautiful leather prized for saddles, bags, and these work boots. The leather is attractive, durable, and straightforward to maintain.  

With Adtec Logger work boots, you don't get all the high-tech elements that you find in safety boots. However, you do get a great traditional logging boot with a thick rubber outsole that is oil resistant, and a heel that offers excellent manoeuvrability over rugged terrain. In addition, the lacing system lets you adjust the boot to give you the fit you need.

Carhartt CWP1150 Work Boots

Best work boots for women

Pros

  • Durable leather and nylon upper
  • Rubber sole with excellent traction
  • Electrical hazard protection
  • Waterproof and breathable for dry feet
  • Non-Safety Soft Toe EH styles meet ASTM F2892-18 EH standards
  • PU insoles provide comfort, compression and reduce foot fatigue
  • Women's shoe sizes 6-11 and available in brown or black

Cons

  • No safety toe
  • No additional insulation

Conclusion:

Carhartt CWP1150 work boots are some of the best work boots for situations where you need a water proof boot without a steel toe. In appearance, they are a combination of an everyday fashionable boot with a  wellington boot. They are ideal for working outdoors in a wet cool environment. 

The inner membrane of the Carhartt CWP1150 work boots allow moisture to evaporate and prevents water from coming in. However, you should plan to wear thick wool socks to help insulate the boot if the weather gets too cold. 

The PU insoles supplies lots of cushion and compression to reduce foot fatigue whereas the rubber outer soles are thick, flexible and offers lots of traction for rugged terrain. In addition, the rubber soles provide electrical hazard protection.

These are smart, stylish women's work boots that come in two colours - brown and black - and in women's shoe sizes 6-11. Carhartt CWP1150 work boots are not classed as safety boots, but they are ideal for wet jobs like stables, gardening, and yard work that require some foot protections. 

Insulated Women's Work Boots: The Best Work Boots For Women

Here are two women's work boots for those situations where you need an excellent boot that is insulated against cold weather.

Timberland Pro Work Boots

Best work boots for women

Pros

  • Easy to maintain durable leather upper
  • Steel toe caps
  • Pro comfort system offers arch support, cushioning, and reduces fatigue
  • Moisture-resistant Thermolite insulation (200g)
  • Rubber sole provides traction, grip, and is slip-resistant to oil
  • Electrical hazard protection
  • Women's shoe sizes 5.5-12, with a couple of half sizes

Cons

  • No toe cap to limit wear on the leather

Conclusion:

Timberland PRO Women's Direct Attach 6" Steel-Toe Waterproof Insulated Work Boots are one of the best work boots for women who need warm certified safety boots. These boots have steel toe caps to help protect toes from injuries, and rubber soles that provide traction not only on snow and ice, but also against oily surfaces.  

The cushion, comfort, and arch support supplied by Timberland PRO Work Boots also mean that you can wear them all day with minimum foot fatigue.

The additional 200g of Thermolite insulation, offers enough warmth for a reasonably cold winter day. However, you will need additional insulation or warm wool socks for extreme winter weather. 

These insulated winter work boots look like smart hiking boots rather than clunky safety boots, which makes them wearable beyond the work day. They are offered from women's shoe sizes 5.5 to 12 with a couple of half sizes.

Muck Boot Arctic Sport Boots

Best work boots for women

Pros

  • 100% waterproof
  • Fleece lining provides insulation to -40˚F
  • Soft, flexible neoprene exterior
  • Protects leg up to knee from water and snow 
  • Vibram sole provides traction and grip
  • Comfort insole supports and cushions feet
  • Pull tab for easy slip on and off
  • Women's shoe sizes 5-11
  • Comes in black or grey, and other fun playful colors

Cons

  • No safety boot features 
  • No half or wide sizes
  • Expensive

Conclusion:

Muck Boot Arctic Sport Boots are one of the best work boots for women for frigid cold weather. They are meant for wet, muddy, slushy and snowy conditions by keeping your calfs and feet warm and dry while walking outdoors. 

Muck Boot Arctic Sport Boots are made from soft supple neoprene (5mm thick) to fit your foot and leg while avoiding rubbing and blistering. The insole provides support and cushion, and the outer sole supplies excellent traction to avoid slipping. They are 100% waterproof and its fleece lining supplies warmth up to -40˚F.

These winter work boots come in women's shoe sizes 5-11 in black or grey, and other multiple fun colours. Although they are not recommended for a construction site, they are an excellent choice for many other outdoor jobs that require excellent traction in cold weather.

Buyer's Guide to the Best Work Boots for Women

You need the best work boots to suit your individual needs and working environment. Unfortunately, if you want a good pair of boots, most are expensive. Accordingly, you should be aware of the important elements that make a fantastic women's work boot so that you purchase exactly what you want and need.

The best work boots for women include some or all of these elements:

  • Safety features – such as crush resistant toes and electrical hazard protection;
  • Comfort – cushion and padding in high impact areas;
  • Support -  to avoid foot fatigue, and rubbing and blistering;
  • Waterproof or water-resistant exterior - to keep your feet dry;
  • Breathability – to wick away moisture from hot sweaty feet;
  • Traction – for grip from your outer sole; 
  • Durability – the amount of wear you get before you need to replace them;
  • Materials – whether it is weather appropriate and easy to maintain;
  • Insulation – additional warmth when working in cold or subzero conditions. 

What you may need from this checklist depends on your circumstances, but it helps to be clear on your "must haves" before shopping for the best working boots for women. That way, you can be confident that the boots you buy fit your needs, your work, and your environment. 

Safety Features

The safety features that you need in the best work boots for women depend on your working environment.

If your work boots are necessary for your personal protection, your employer should specify the safety standards that your boots need to meet, such as steel toe boots, and outer soles that have electrical hazard or puncture protection.

Then, there are workplaces where your employer does not demand these kind of safety boots, but it makes sense to wear them. 

Accordingly, assess the safety features that you absolutely need, and those that you want.

1. Toes

Steel toe caps are ideal for protecting the toes from crush injuries in jobs where you may accidentally drop a tool or other objects, such as construction. They are not always suitable in places where you need protection against static or live electricity. In this case, you need to avoid steel toe caps and choose a composite one to provide a mixture of impact and electrical hazard protection.

For durability, bear in mind the toe is an area very prone to scuffs and abrasion; extra features like rubber toecaps or extensions to the sole over the toes help with durability. 

2. Outer Soles

Safety features offered on outer soles include traction or grip with heavily defined lugs. Oil and chemical resistant, or slip or skid-resistant outer soles may also be necessary, in addition to protection from electrical shock.

If you need puncture resistance, you need to find work boots with a steel insert to protect the bottom of the foot. 

3. Ankle Support

The best work boots for women provide adequate ankle support. A physically demanding workplace combined with uneven ground can put a twisting strain on ankles. Well-designed women's work boots offer excellent support and protection for the ankle and lower calf. 

Comfort

Comfort in the best work boots for women involves cushioning, support and insulation for warmth if you will be working in a cold climate. 

1. Safety Features

Metal components add weight, and a heavy boot can have you dragging your feet by the end of the day because of the extra energy needed for every step. It's a balance between having light boots and additional safety features. Consequently, be aware of the weight of the boots and whether you really need any additional safety features that add extra weight.

2. Padding

Soft cushioning around the ankle and a padded collar provides comfort by avoiding rubbing against calves, ankles and feet. Additional padding from an Eva midsole, under the heel, or the lining of the boot is also critical to avoid foot fatigue. In the event there isn't any or enough padding in the original design of the women's work boot, you can add extra comfort through a choice of socks, inserts, or heel pads. 

3. Arch Support

The arch acts as a natural shock absorber for the foot, and typically, women have higher arches than men. Good arch support gives your feet more energy at the end of the day, increases your stability and reduces leg fatigue. It is not always easy finding work boots with arch support. Accordingly, you may need to add your own shoe inserts or purchase socks with arch support to help.

4. Flexible Soles

A flexible sole adds another layer of comfort. Your natural walk involves a transfer of your weight across the length of your foot. A sole that allows your foot to flex naturally enables you to conserve your energy. If you have a job that involves a lot of hiking between locations, this detail makes a big difference in how comfortable your feet will feel.

5. Heels

A heel provides extra shock absorption and provides a more comfortable walking boot. Work boots that offer increased traction on the heel as well as elevating your foot allows you to face more difficult or challenging surfaces.

Boot Materials

There are benefits to both leather and synthetic materials.

Synthetic materials may be softer and more comfortable to wear than leather, but leather is naturally breathable, more durable and easier to maintain provided it is properly cared for.

A breathable membrane keeps water on one side and allows moisture from sweat to pass through the membrane and evaporate. It acts as a barrier against moisture seeping into the boot while allowing the water to travel from inside the boot to the outside. 

Synthetic materials do not naturally breathe and require proper venting to do so. Even then, your feet are more likely than not to be hotter in boots made of synthetic materials than leather as the venting has to be limited in order to keep the boots waterproof or water resistant.

Wet feet are prone to feeling slippery, rubbing and blistering on the inside of the boot, and contracting fungal infections. In addition, wet feet cause bacteria and bad odor. Maintaining dry and fresh feet through the working day is easier with leather, or technology that includes breathable membranes and material lined with antibacterial and antimicrobial treatments. 

Insulation

Insulation keeps your feet warm when you work in cool or subzero temperatures. This is especially important for women who are more prone to cold extremities.

Material useful for insulation includes layers like Thinsulate or wool and reflective materials with thermal properties. If you need an insulated work boot, pay close attention to the amount of insulation included or the temperature at which the boot is rated. At a minimum, you will want at least 200g of Thinsulate or the boot rated to -25F if you will be working outside in the winter. For frigid temperatures, you will want even more insulation and rated for much colder temperatures. 

Waterproof

Feet that stay dry while splashing through puddles or moving through rain are vital for all-day comfort.  The outer materials may be water-resistant – keep your feet dry during limited exposure to water. Or the boots can be waterproof and allow you to be in and out of water all day with dry feet. 

Waterproofing is not only the upper material but points of weakness – where the sole joins the upper, seams, and the lace-up areas. The best work boots for women who work in wet environments have plenty of waterproofing features and molded soles. 

You buy the boots as 100% waterproof, and some materials, like neoprene, will keep the boots 100% waterproof with minimal maintenance. On the other hand, if you purchase leather boots that are 100% waterproof, you will need to polish and otherwise maintain them to keep them that way.

Speed Lacing

Lacing on work boots is a good idea as it lets you adjust the fit to accommodate your foot and lower leg shape. However, you may be working in an environment that needs you to pull on or off your work boots on a regular basis. If that is the case, you may need to find a work boot with speed lacing hooks at the top, rather than eyelets. 

Durability

The tires on your car wear and need replacing depending on the amount of mileage you put on them. At the same time, work boots for women, even the best ones, are not going to last forever. 

Soles provide you with traction and grip - very important elements for a work boot - but the high impact areas on your soles will wear with time. Accordingly, you need to keep an eye on them and watch for when you begin to lose tread. Some work boots allow you to have them resoled, but unless you opt for a custom-build work boot, this is unlikely to be a viable option because of the expense of the repair compared to the cost of replacing the boots. Plus, when the soles start to wear, the rest of the boot will also be getting tired and less effective. 

The best work boots for women with a resole option involve boots with an upper that detaches from the sole and allows a-like-for-a-like replacement. Boots build with Cement or Strobel construction are built in this manner and these boots offer a resole option. 

Work boots break down through abrasion, exposure to chemicals, and general use. Durable work boots wear out and don't suffer from soles separating from the uppers or tearing around the laces.

Durable boots have good connections, robust materials, and reinforcing in the toe, heel, and lace-up areas. 

Other Accessories That Keep Feet Comfortable

Insoles and socks can improve the comfort of your working day.

Insoles

Insoles are a real game-changer for foot comfort and health as well as reducing leg fatigue and putting more spring in your step. There is a lot out there from which to choose. You can get insoles for padding, insulation, freshness, support, or medical reasons. The right insole can make your feet feel like they are running around in high-performance trainers rather than heavy work boots. 

In my article 10 Best Insoles For Work Boots, I highlight a selection of some of the best insoles for work boots that address many of these issues. If your feet still hurt after a day on your feet in one of the work boots described in this article, I would recommend taking a look at this article to see if one of the insoles might work for you. 

Socks

Socks can offer you extra padding, arch support, moisture wicking abilities to reduce sweaty feet, and warmth. You need to pay as much attention to finding the best and right pair of socks for your needs as you do for finding the best work boots for women.

I have written a couple of articles that explores these issues. The 10 Best Boot Socks For MEN and WOMEN highlight a selection of socks that compliment your work boot experience. For those of you who work in a hot climate, or have sweaty feet, my article 12 Best Socks For Sweaty Feet for MEN and WOMEN also provides advice about which socks might suit you best. 

For sizing of your work boot, it is important to identify your preferred socks to address the possibility of thick socks. If you work in a very cold climate, you may wish to add even more than one pair of socks! 

Conclusion

Your checklist for the best working boots for women depends on your working environment, the weather, and how you need them to perform. The right boots help you perform better and end the day energized. The wrong boots may leave you feeling tired, achy, and bad-tempered even before you get to lunch. It's worth investing time, money, and effort into buying great working boots that meet your needs.