Best Lightweight Work Boots

A pair of work boots need to last you, they are your livelihood, if you aren’t comfortable in them then you aren’t comfortable doing your job, and could lead to some bad work outcomes. Therefore, a good pair of work boots are the same as having the right tool for the job, without them, you can’t do your work.

The two things that are crucial when looking at work boots are the categories of safety and comfort. You need a work boot that can keep you safe in your line of work, if you have a shoddy work boot you could lead yourself to ankle or foot injury and have to take time off.

The other factor is comfort, you’re going to be wearing these boots throughout your shifts, if they aren’t comfortable, then you aren’t going to be able to perform as well as you need to.

Having a lightweight work boot is what every contractor or tradesman wants, a heavy work boot can weigh you down and make each step feel like five, which isn’t what you want when lifting heavy objects or walking around a building site all day.

The perfect work boot should be hardly noticeable and just an extension of your feet. In this article, we are going to explore some of the best lightweight work boots on the market right now and discuss why they are the best fit for contractors and tradesmen across the different fields.

Irish Setter Men’s 6″ 83605 Work Boot



The Irish Setter is one of the most stylish work boots on the market right now, you wouldn’t be out of place wearing these straight from work and to the bar. Handcrafted by the S.B. Foot Tanning Company, this leather is crafted exclusively for the Irish Setter brand.

They don’t mess around when it comes to comfort and safety either. These work boots weigh in at 1.56 pounds, meaning that you will barely feel the difference between these and a normal shoe, perfect for walking around all day.

The Irish Setters have a protective 1.5” heel that protects from any electrical wires that you may stand on with their electrical hazard guarantee. The Irish Setters are also heat resistant with developed outsoles that have been designed and tested to perform on very high heated surfaces, melting at a minimum of 475 degrees Fahrenheit.

The handcrafted leather isn’t just for show either, because of its quality, the leather is also durable, meaning that you can wear these boots to work every day and not have to worry about replacing them due to comfort issues, wear and tear, or damage. 

The Irish Setters also has a removable polyurethane footbed, so if you decide that the footbed isn’t for you, you can simply remove it and replace it with a footbed that you find comfortable. The lining of the shoe is also non-woven nylon that is sure to keep your foot as comfortable as possible.

Pros

  • Handcrafted Leather – The Irish Setters are made from handcrafted premium leather, which doesn’t only make the Irish Setters look stunning, they also guarantee that the shoes are durable and long-lasting.
  • Electrical protection – The 1.5 inch sole on these work boots also acts as protection against any loose electrical wires that you may stand on in your line of work, ensuring protection to you and the boot.
  • Heat resistant – The Irish Setters sole has been tested against heats of up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore making them safe to use in any environment.
  • Comfortable footbed and lining – The work boot has a removable footbed, meaning if you would like to change the footbed to something better for you, it is easy to do so.

Cons

  • Narrow toe box – Some users have said that the toe box on the Irish Setter is quite narrow and can cause discomfort if you aren’t used to a narrow toe box.

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Carhartt Men’s 6 Inch Waterproof Wedge Steel Toe Work Boot



When looking for a light work boot, you hate to see the words ‘steel toe’. Normally, having a steel toe in a work boot will make it feel heavy and hard to carry around for a 12-hour shift. Carhartt has a work boot that has all the fantastic features that you’ll need in your work boot, including a steel toe, while still weighing less than 2 pounds!

Having a steel toe in your safety boot is perfect for anyone who spends their shift carrying around anything heavy, or working on a building site that could possibly have hazardous surroundings including falling bricks. As well as the steel toe, the Carhartt also protects against electrical currents, with its sole being able to provide protection against incidental electrical contact of up to 18,000 volts.

As well as safety features, this boot contains a lot of comfort features too, including Storm Defender Waterproof Breathable Protection. This protection not only makes sure that no water or moisture can get into your shoe, which is crucial when working outside in wet weather, it also makes sure that moisture can leave your shoe so your foot doesn’t get too uncomfortable and sweaty.

As well as this protection, the Carhartt’s also have FastDry technology in their lining that wicks away the sweat for added comfort.

Pros

  • Steel toe – Having a steel toe on a lightweight boot is a huge plus. Steel toes can protect you from any heavy object that falls on your foot, protecting you from injury.
  • Electrical protection – This work boot has a sole that can protect from accidental or incidental contact with electrical circuits and can protect you from shocks of up to 18,000 volts.
  • Waterproof and breathable – Having waterproofing on your boots is crucial if you are working out in the rain or in wet conditions, however, sometimes it is tough to find waterproof boots that aren’t stuffy. This work boot is also breathable meaning although no water can get in, moisture can get out.
  • FastDry lining – The lining on the inside of the boot has FastDry technology which means that any sweat or moisture that accumulates will dry very quickly and not cause discomfort.

Cons

  • Durability – There have been users who have found that the Carhartt’s aren’t as durable as other work boots on the market and may need replacing more often.

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Cat Footwear Men’s Second Shift Work Boot 



Cat’s second shift work boot is a fantastic work boot if you want to focus on comfort, and is probably the lightest boot on this list weighing in at just 1.5 pounds. As well as being incredibly lightweight for a work boot, their 100% leather and lace-up boot make them a very stylish work boot. 

The Cat contains a nylon sock liner and lining that makes it very comfortable to wear, it is also one of the most breathable work shoes on the market, allowing moisture to leave the boot and stopping your foot from becoming too sweaty and uncomfortable. The shoe has the Goodyear Welt Construction which provides flexibility in your comfort too.

As well as being comfortable, the Cat Second Shift also comes with some safety features, namely, its oil-resistant non-slip sole which is perfect for working in environments where there could be a slippery surface. The T3 rubber outsole delivers optimal traction so you can go about your shift without worry of slipping or falling and works on all surfaces to give you stability. 

Pros

  • Breathable – These boots have an engineered nylon mesh that optimizes the breathability of the shoe, allowing moisture to escape throughout the day and not leave your feet uncomfortable.
  • Comfortable – The Cat’s have a nylon sock liner and lining that make the shoe very comfortable to wear, the Goodyear Welt Construction also provides that the boot has flexibility so you don’t feel too stiff.
  • Non-slip – The sole of these boots is made to be all-terrain and non-slip, meaning that if you work on a slippery surface, you don’t need to worry about possible injury. It also means that whatever terrain you are working on you will be comfortable.

Cons

  • Insoles aren’t able to be removed – Sadly, the insoles cannot be removed from this work boot, meaning that if you require a special insole or you do not find the insoles comfortable, you cannot change them out.

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Skechers for Work Workshire Peril Steel Toe Boot



This work boot is marketed toward women but is definitely a unisex shoe and one of the most lightweight steel toes on the market weight at only around 1.6 pounds.

That means you’ll barely be able to notice the steel toe as it adds to your comfort and protection. Steel toes are crucial if you are doing a lot of heavy lifting during your job, if your livelihood is on the line, you don’t want a broken toe messing it all up.

As well as the steel toe, these soles have an oil-resistant outsole to make sure that you don’t slip in wet or oily conditions, and are very durable due to their 100% leather and their lug traction rubber outsole. They also have one of the most comfortable footbeds on the market when it comes to work boots.

Their footbed is a memory foam, gel-infused footbed, which will support your foot and shape the footbed to the outline of your foot, meaning the comfort will be unique to you. This is perfect if you are wearing these boots for shifts on end.

Pros

  • Steel toe – Having a steel toe means you have the comfort of knowing that if you do drop something heavy onto your foot, it won’t break your toe, or hurt as much as if you didn’t have steel toe caps.
  • Oil-resistant – The Skechers have an oil-resistant sole meaning that you don’t need to worry about slipping on wet or oily surfaces during your shift.
  • Durable – Being handcrafted from 100% leather and having a lug traction rubber outsole, they last longer and don’t give in to wear and tear as easily as some other work boots.
  • Comfort – These boots come with memory foam, gel-infused footbed that shapes itself around your foot, providing you with extra support and comfort throughout your day.

Cons

  • Not for bigger feet – Because they are marketed toward women, the shoe sizes available for this shoe don’t go as high as they would if marketed toward men. If you have a large foot then you may have to find a different, more accommodating work boot.

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Buyer’s Guide

If none of these lightweight work boots are for you then here’s a handy buyer’s guide that can help you in searching for a work boot that is unique to you. When looking for work boots you will be focusing on two things, comfort, and safety. These two factors will depend on you, and your job. 

Comfort

You are going to be wearing these boots for long periods of time each day and will need to make sure that you feel comfortable in them. The first thing you should be looking at when looking for comfortable work boots is breathability. If a work boot is breathable, it means that moisture can easily escape the boot and won’t leave your foot to be sweaty and uncomfortable. 

Some work boots advertise the comfort of their soles by telling you the material they are made out of, if you know exactly what type of sole you find comfortable, look for work boots with that sole. If you are unsure then look for work boots with removable soles so you can change your sole depending on what you find comfortable.

Safety

Because you are going to be working in these boots, they are going to see some wear and tear and some terrain that might be different from any other boot that you have. If you are lifting heavy things for a living then we recommend that you find a boot with a steel toe, as this gives you the comfort that you will not be hurting yourself too much if you drop something.

The same applies if you are constantly working on wet or oily surfaces, look for non-slip soles on work boots so you are safe knowing that you don’t have to tiptoe around. If you are working outside in all weather conditions, get waterproof boots, having soggy socks can be really uncomfortable.