Construction workers know good boots matter. Visit any job site and you’ll overhear workers comparing boots, because it’s hard to find a pair that can keep up with a demanding job. Throw in bad weather, job hazards, and long days, and most boots just don’t measure up
That’s why we’ve put together our recommendations for reliable work boots, so you can finally find a pair of work boots that’s up for the job.
Getting the right work boots is a point of pride here at Wei’s. Our founders had a mantra of “we’ll have your size”, and in work boots that means stocking from size 6-16, in widths from D all the way to H and 4E (we even have some cowboy boots in 5E!).
At Wei’s, we currently stock more than 25 different brands of CSA approved boots (the ones with the green triangle). These are required at any construction site in Canada, and we want our customers to not only be happy, but also happily employed.
Yes, Wei’s also stocks a few soft-toed safety boots, made by reputable brands for people who want them for their specific needs.
Why Do Good Construction Boots Matter So Much?
If you’re on your feet all day, you know the importance of comfortable boots and shoes. They’re all that’s separating you from the cold, hard ground, the slippery cement, or the scaffolding. It’s not enough for your feet to be comfortable—they also need to be protected. After all, one in ten workplace accidents injures the feet, which is why good construction boots are so important.
So let’s explore exactly what makes a good construction boot and what you should look for. Your feet work hard for you and protecting them is easy with the right boots. Let’s dive into it.
Construction Site Hazards
Construction sites can be dangerous and there are many hazards to watch out for. But the feet are often overlooked, even though they keep us standing and able to do our jobs. So, what hazards are your feet most vulnerable to, and what should you look for in a work boot to help protect them?
- Impact Protection: You know that a safety toe made of steel, approved aluminum or approved composite is important, but did you know the criteria laid down by the CSA Standards? The famous CSA Grade 1 green triangle that your workboots must have means the toe can withstand “the equivalent of a 50 pound object dropped at a height of 22 inches.” You can be glad for that green triangle!
- Puncture Resistance: Construction sites are full of debris, and one stray screw can cause a serious foot injury. This is why workplace safety standards in Canada (CSA), USA (ASTM), Europe (EN), and other jurisdictions require a puncture-resistant plate or shank in the sole, to prevent screws from coming through the bottom of your boot. By the way, shanks also help support the arch of the foot, so you can last longer in your boots.
- Falling Objects: The top of your foot is where the five metatarsal bones live, and they need coverage and protection from falling objects. Metatarsal injuries are actually the most common foot injuries in warehouse jobs.
- The CSA lays it out right here in CSA Standard Z195-09. CSA-approved safety footwear with a met guard “must have a shield over the top of the foot with sufficient width and height, attached to the shoe or boot that provides protection against impact to the metatarsal area of the foot.”
- An internal MetGuard sits below the tongue of the boot, while an external MetGuard sits on top of the laces and offers better protection.
- Wei’s has seen MetGuards become more and more in demand at jobsites, so we’ve increased the number of them that we stock. Currently we have metguards in boots from Red Wing, Canada West, Terra, Ariat, Blundstone, JB Goodhue, Baffin, and Timberland PRO.
- Slippery Surfaces: Whether you work outside in the cold and wet weather, or you’re working around slippery surfaces you’re going to need to think about traction in your work boot. After all, one wrong move and you can be flat on your back, or worse. If you’re climbing ladders or moving across surfaces that aren’t level, it’s critical that your boots have grip and resist slipping. Look for rubber outsoles with a tighter, smaller tread design to better grip surfaces.
- Every job site is different (more on that next), but the more protected your feet are, the better. After all, one wrong move and you could be unable to work! Don’t get caught up too much in the style or looks of your boot, and instead focus on the safety features that keep your feet safe.
Different Boots for Different Work Environments
Here’s the thing: a work boot can be fantastic in one work environment, but dangerous to you in another. Different work environments require different boots, and understanding what boots you need for your job site will better protect you. Later in this blog, we’ll recommend boots for different needs.
- On Feet All Day: You’ll want lightweight boots with a composite toe (typically 33% lighter than steel-toe boots) for comfortable protection.
- Heavy Machinery: Choose a steel toe and MetGuard for solid protection.
- Cold Weather: If you’re working up north in the cold, insulation is no joke. Look for 800g or more of Thinsulate insulation in your boot to stay warm.
- Electrical Plants: Electrical static dissipation (ESD) boots help prevent the buildup of static electricity thanks to a conductive sole.
Not sure of the type of boot you need? It never hurts to ask. Wei’s can help recommend the right pair of boots to keep you safe and comfortable on the job.
Canadian Standards Association: Look for the Green Triangle
The Canadian Standards Association, or CSA, sets all standards in Canada for safety boots. By following their recommendations, you’ll help protect your feet from injury and feel more comfortable during a long day on the job.
The American counterpart is ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), and following recommendations from either organization is a safe bet, however your jobs sit probably requires certification from a particular organization.
Look for the CSA’s green triangle when shopping for work boots. It means that the toe and sole of the boot are up to CSA standards to protect the foot.
Top Construction Boots at Wei’s
When it comes to work boots, you don’t have the time or money to test out endless boots before you find the right pair. Skip the guesswork and rely on Wei’s years of experience to guide you to the right work boots for your needs, because there’s work to be done.
Looking for a standard, no-nonsense work boot that helps you perform your best on the job? These three 8” options are trusted and used by professionals across North America, so you know you can rely on their work-readiness.
- JB Goodhue Ironworker boots are solid in non-winter weather, and best for comfort
- Timberland PRO Men's Work Boots 8" Boondock CSA Composite Insulated 89645
- Canada West Men's Work 8" FR CSA Steel Toe Insulated Welder's Boot 34379
Boots Taller Than 8”
For those looking for a little extra stability and protection, Wei’s carries a great range of boots taller than 8” for the job site.
- Boulet Men's Work Boot 13" CSA Steel Toe 4374
- Canada West Work Western Boots 5249
- Timberland Men’s Work Boots 11" Boondock Pull-On CSA Comp Toe Waterproof A4499214
There’s truly nothing worse than working in cold, waterlogged boots. Waterproof boots are an absolute must for many construction workers and you need a boot you can rely on, rather than finding out halfway through the workday it’s a little less waterproof than advertised. A True waterproof boot will have a built in membrane that will not let moisture in. This will also make the boot a bit warmer
For many job sites, a steel toe just isn’t enough protection for your feet. A MetGuard helps protect the top of your foot where your metatarsal bones are, because there’s very little fat or muscle to protect those small bones from injury. MetGuards can be internal or external, so here are two great options for both depending on your preference
- Carolina Men's Work Boot 505 Metguard
- Timberland PRO Men's Work Boot 8" Endurance Metguard CSA Comp Toe A1WU
- For warehouse work a 6” boot may be acceptable, and the Blundstone style 165 features an internal metguard.
Being a lineman is a serious job and requires a serious boot. Climbing a 40’ pole or a 1000’ tower you need dependable equipment. When climbing tall poles utilizing steel rungs or pegs, it is imperative to have work boots that provide strong shank support, have solid heels and aggressively structured outsoles.
- A great choice here is Canada West’s Climber
There’s nothing like trying to untangle muddy, wet laces at the end of a long day to make you appreciate the ease of pull-on boots. More and more pull-ons are available and these days it seems almost every brand is bringing out a Wellington!
These options for work boots are a breeze to slip on and off, without sacrificing comfort and protection. Ariats are famous for being comfortable right out of the box, but lots of workers say that a break-in period means a better boot.
- Red Wing Men's Work Boots 11" Leather Pull-On 3505
- Boulet 13" CSA Steel Toe 4374
- Canada West 13” CSA 5249
- Ariat 11” Workhog
Lace-up boots help you find the perfectly snug fit you need to be on your feet all day. You can loosen or tighten throughout the day to adjust your fit, and on days when you throw on an extra pair of socks for warmth, you can wear the same boots just by adjusting the laces.
Some of our favourite lace-up work boots include:
- JB Goodhue Men's Work Boots Rigger Waterproof Steel Toe 07889 Tan - the laces span from toe to top of the boot, giving you the ultimate control. (Note: these are not recommended for winter wear, according to one of Wei’s staff.)
- Stompers work boots: several styles with rave reviews and the quality and fit
- Red Wing 2412 or 2414 are always in demand
- Terra Paladin boots are proving popular with customers
Western Work Boots
OK, we know we said to not worry about what the boot looks like, but some cowboys will not wear anything but cowboy boots!... which is why both Boulet and Canada West make cowboy boots with steel toes, and here they are:
Extreme Cold Weather Boots
When you say “freezing cold!”, we hear you say one of these:
- Baffin boots are typically rated for Celsius temperatures of -40, -60 or -100
- Dunlop Boots are rated for about -50
- Muck Boots have some Arctic styles rated to about -40
- Danner Canadian boots may not be polar-rated but they do have 1000g of Thinsulate
If your job site allows it, the Blundstone steel-toe is a great option for certain cases. The shorter height of the boot gives you more freedom of movement and breathability, and the classic pull-on, laceless style is a gift at the end of a long day.
- Blundstone Unisex Work Boot CSA Steel Toe Stout Brown 167
Despite the fact that women make up just under 10% of all trade jobs in Canada, it’s hard to find women’s work boots. Luckily, Wei’s has you covered with more than eight brands of quality women’s work boots that get the job done.
- Canada West Women's Work CSA Boot Pull On Vibram Sole 6205
- Keen Women’s Work Boots Oshawa 8 Inch CSA Steel Toe Waterproof 1012768
- Terra Women's Work Boot Beaujoulais
- Blundstone Work Boots CSA Steel Toe Rubber Toe Cap 169
- Women’s Wolverine Guardian Work Boots (Note: Wei’s has several Women’s Wolverine work boot styles, just check out website for more)
- Wei’s also stocks women’s western steel toe boots.
- See Wei’s website for more. Just search on the “Womens Work Boots” collection
Hard Working Boots You Can Trust
For protection, comfort, and reliability, Wei’s selection of work boots makes your job a lot easier. When you can look through 25 work boot brands, Wei’s should be your starting point! You can find even more work wear tips here to round out your gear.
Visit Wei’s in store or online to find your new favourite pair of work boots, so the next time the team is comparing work boots on the job, you can bet your boots you’ll have something to brag about.