Our company owns a shoe site that been online over 20 years. One of the largest categories of shoes on that site is hiking and outdoor boots. Hiking and outdoor boots are grouped together because what people are actually looking is not necessarily the same as the keywords they use in their search. Hiking boots and trail runners have a very different intent than boots for scaling mountains, crossing glaciers, or surviving in the rugged outdoors and a person should plan accordingly. Discussed in this article are the major brands of men’s hiking and outdoor boots and whether that brand is suited for hiking or for something else.
Carolina – Mens Carolina makes the largest collection of work boots available online. There are other work footwear brands that make more styles, but Carolina’s collection is almost exclusively boots. Available options include waterproof, steel toe, metatarsal guard, slip resistant, etc. and prices range from $65 a pair to $165 a pair. Carolina is a good choice for a medium price range work boot with lots of options.
Georgia Boot – While Carolina boots sport your conventional work boot look, Georgia boots are generally less conventional in their look. A large portion of their collection are wellington boots rather than lace up and they even have moc-toe wellington boots which I’ve personally not seen in other brands. Prices range from $90 to $300 a pair though most boots fall in the mid 100s. Like Carolina you can find waterproof, insulated, steel toe, metatarsal and slip resistant, but also get specialty boots such as boots for miners.
Rocky – Rocky Boots have a very diverse catalog of work boots including 16” waterproof lace-ups, wellingtons and ropers, and conventional work boots. Rocky also makes some work shoes which start in the $70s online but none of their work boots are below $80 a pair and most fall in the mid 100s with the most expensive style costing over $330 a pair.
Caterpillar – Caterpillar is actually a brand of Wolverine Worldwide. Caterpillar shoes cost less than Wolverine brand shoes but are made in a similar fashion with similar styles. Caterpillar is a good economical choice making most conventional styles of men’s work boot and their prices range for $60 a pair to only $150 a pair with most falling below $100 a pair.
Timberland – Timberland is the largest brand on our list in terms of total footwear styles made, but timberland boots are not just made as men’s work boots, but also as footwear for infants, girls, boys, and women, and not every style has the features necessary to be a good work boot. When shopping for Timberland boots, don’t assume that the style is ideal for work just because it is Timberland brand. Check the features and make sure it is right for your type of work and expect to pay between $60 and $150 a pair (similar to Caterpillar).
Wolverine – No discussion of men’s work boots would be complete without talking about Wolverine work boots. They are the bottom of our top 6 list only because the other brands make more styles than Wolverine boots, but Wolverine Footwear ranks very high on my personal list of work boots for quality, comfort, and features. Wolverine has paved the way with many new innovations over the years and continues to offer great work boot features every year. Expect to pay between $70 and $200 a pair depending on the desired features.
Work boots is one of the largest footwear collections for men. Probably because it is one of the most important types of footwear for men. We’ve only been able to address the 6 largest brands in this article, but other large work boot brands include: Ariat, John Deere Boots, Converse Work, Danner, Dr. Martens, Magnum, AdTec, LaCrosse, Bates, Double H, Dickies, McRae Industrial, and Kodiak.
If you work outside of an office, one of the most important purchases you make is your work boots. They do more than protect you, they keep you going and being productive. The more adapted to your work environment the safer you will be and the easier you will find your job becomes, which means more productivity and less fatigue.