Why are boots the work footwear? What are some classic quality brands?

Hi, I work outside in the field. I wear boots because it's what I think of as work wear, but they aren't very comfortable after long hours and when I go hiking I wear sneakers, which got me to thinking why are boots the work foot wear? Are they supposed to be more comfortable then shoes if you buy a quality pair? Does anyone have suggestions for me?

I would like comfortable quality foot wear with these preferences:

above the ankle for support

good for long hours

quality brand (I would like to buy a great pair and get them resoled as needed rather than buy new ones)

can go from work to dinner

good for riding a motorcycle

and would really like an old classic brand from before the 70s that would be a good 2nd hand find (I like old things, I'm an archaeology student)

I have been thinking red wings, doc martens, timberlands, or alden's if I get lucky. Am I thinking in the right direction?

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I think you're looking in the right direction. I'd recommend Field and Stream Gore-tex boots. That is the boot I wear for hunting/working. They are comfortable and I can't say anything bad about them. I would also recommend a pair of combat boots, they are light weight and designed for extreme work. The combat boots I've tried on have been very comfortable as well.

I prefer Timberlands and Wolverines (both are American-made as supposed to another brand manufactured in a "Red" country...

as to the combat boots thing, I was a Soldier from '02 thru '05/'06, as much as I LOVED my Tanker Boots, I found that even the "desert boots" were hard on my feet.

So I discourage wearing combat boots in place of work boots.

Tim's and Wolverines are well-made and whenever I replace my footwear it's with either of these 2 brands.

To the original Poster:

As a sidenote both manufacturers as well as others. produce Hiking boots and "Athletic" footwear. Give those a shot?

Actually these days combat boots are getting pretty decent; Vibram has made some gear that, although I was originally issued for work, I now where out and about. Probably not the most fashionable choice, but they are multifunctional. 

You know it bro, also the Bates 922s are super light weight and flexible, but not as protective I think

I prefer cowboy boots.  More comfortable than once they're broken in.  Ariat is good for cowboy boots.  All purpose ... work boots, dress boots.  I always preferred Sketchers for lace-up boots.


Boots are work wear because they can protect you and take a beating, or at least good pairs will.  Sneakers are all soft rubber and cloth, with some plastic thrown in.  Comfortable, but not as sturdy.

Another brand to consider is Allen Edmonds.  They're quality, cheaper than Alden, and usually made in the US.  They mostly make dress shoes, but they have some good boots.

Lace ups. I think engineer boots look great, I tried a pair once but they made my feet feel like they were on fire after a few steps and I never went back.

I red that if you get stiched leather you can keep them your whole life and get them resoled, but finding classic brands has been a bit difficult, and I don't really have older men in my family I could ask.

Thanks everyone for responding.

They are there as a second barrier to moisture and grass seeds , if you are not comfortable in you masculinity you could always cut it to a straight edge rather the perforated edge .

I have, I guess, about 9 pairs of boots. Some for hiking, some for bad weather, some specifically for snow, some for dress, and a pair just for Cowboy Action Shooting. This is one of those boots shown in the photo below. This boot design is a replica of a common 1870's style used generally west of the Mississippi. I found that I didn't care for the mule ear pulls, so I had them shortened and sown into loops that tuck inside the upper. Boots this tall are worn with your pants tucked in, like riding boots or range boots.

You just can't get a boot that will be adequate for everything . Military boots are a bit restrictive on a building site and a damned pain in the ass if you have to take them on and off all day but are great as biker boots , cowboy boots feel great but are hard to get up and down ladders in , slip on boots with elastic sides are the most comfortable but when they get wet and the elastic expanded give little to no angle support .

Why are boots the standard choice for workwear?


Think of the requirements for workwear.  Practical.  Sturdy,  Protective.  Functional.  And, comfortable.


You seem to have issues with the last one.


I am exactly the opposite of you.  I wear boots, usually a cowboy or wellington style, almost exclusively...in the few places where I am forced to wear a sneaker, like at the gym, it is unpleasant to me.  I can not strip them off quickly enough.  They're a recipe for extreme pain and foot problems, later on.


If allowed, I have a pair of steel toed Wolverine lace-ons that would be FAR more comfortable for me to wear...but there's a rule against anything that isn't an athletic shoe.


Boots, when properly fit, are more comfortable than any other footwear.  *Any* other footwear.


Yours don't fit.

I got a pair of 8" Wolverine's that confirm that.


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