Top 5 Electrician work Boots

Specifications

There are all kinds of work boots on the market, and they are not all made the same. I’m not just talking about general quality either, each boot has different specifications and ratings that are fit for a certain type of trade whether its steel workers, farmers, oil rigs or electricians. There are 6 key elements I look for in a boot.

ASTM F2413-18: This specification should be your bare minimum for work boots. Footwear with this specification meets requirements for impact and compression resistance, metatarsal protection (protecting the top of the foot), static electricity resistance, electric shock resistance, and puncture resistance on the sole of the boot.

Electrical Hazard (EH) Rated: This is a separate and additional rating than ATSM F2413. To qualify for this specification, manufacturers have to prove the boot can withstand 18,000 volts at 60Hz for a full minute, with no current flow or leakage in excess of 1.0 milliampere. While this helps keep you safe in case of accidental contact with live equipment, keep in mind this is only secondary protection and you should still never work on live conductors unless specifically trained and qualified for the task.

Non-Metallic Safety Toe: A safety toe boot is required on most job sites, and with the ASTM F2413 rating will protect against impacts and compression on your toes. I however always stick with non-metallic safety toes as it reduces conductive materials in the boot, increasing your electrical protection, and reduces the weight of the boot.

Toe Caps: I now always buy boots that have protective toe caps, as without them boots will quickly wear out the leather around the toes and expose the inside to the elements. This leads to cascading effects of water entering the boot and ruining it much quicker.

Worn boots without toe caps
Worn boots without toe caps
Worn boots with toe caps
Worn boots with toe caps

Waterproof: You will want boots that are waterproof, at least up until 4″. Even if you live in a dry environment, there are times where you may encounter the occasional puddle that’s deeper than you expect, and the last thing you want is to end up with wet feet. This not only is very uncomfortable, it again further wears out the boot and poses an electrical safety hazard. Keep in mind, there is a difference between waterproof and water resistant, and you want the former.

Slip Resistant: There is no market standard or testing method for boots being slip resistant, however you still want to identify boots that have strong rubber bottoms with a good pattern to prevent slipping in wet or oily environments.

But wait. Lets talk insoles.

Boot insoles are one of the most important things left out of the discussion when talking about boots. The dirty and unfortunate secret is that most insoles that come with boots are just not that great. Boot manufacturers generally throw in a flat insole that’s comfortable enough to make you not really consider it, but ultimately provides zero support for your feet and that’s why they ache at the end of the day. There’s a reason they will advertise everything about the boot except for their insole.

If you have ever been to physical therapy for your back, knee, or ankles, chances are you have been recommended SuperFeet. SuperFeet are industry leaders in shoe inserts and have been clinically proven to increase comfort, minimize repetitive stress and prevent injuries. Lucky for us they have made a version, SuperFeet Orange, that is specifically designed for all day professional use in high impact environments with a focus on pain relief.

Redwings

Before we go the boots, I want to address Redwings. For a couple good reasons, I do not recommend them at all in this page. They are a very popular boot, but their quality has consistently gone down over the years and more and more models are being made overseas while the price tag for a pair remains close or over $300. While there are still good models out there, I can’t justify buying them. All my recommendations are close to half of what a Redwing cost and will last just as long if not longer.

On to the boots… in no particular order.

These are my top 5 boot picks, but since all the boots meet my requirements above and fall in the same price range ($150-$200) I do not place them in any ranked order. These are all very solid boots, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. From here choose what you think will be the best fit for you.

Wolverine Legend Durashocks Carbonmax

Wolverine has come up as one of my favorite underdog boots on the market, and this model is probably their best boot. Reviewers constantly report it lasts well over 2 years with daily use on a job site, and my experience so far seems to indicate the same.

Carolina Gravel Comp Toe

Carolina boots have made a reputation for themselves as one of the most comfortable boots on the market. This boot is 7″ instead of the standard 6″, which gives you higher ankle support and is waterproof up another inch. Perfect for those always working in wet environments.

CAT Hauler

Believe it or not, Caterpillar makes boots, not just heavy equipment. These boots are solid all around, meeting all the safety requirements and are made with high quality leather. They have put a special focus on their boots to be very slip resistant, making this the perfect boot for those working in more industrial environments where there may be slick surfaces.

CAT Excavator XL

The CAT Excavator is a beast. This beefy boot has extra bumpers on the heel and toe to prevent wear and tear, and features ergonomic ankle pods to offer more protection and durability. If you’re looking for a boot that will last for years in the absolute toughest of environments, this is your pick.

Wolverine Moc Toe

Okay, I lied. All the boots meet the above basic requirements I spelled out except this one. For those who want a more stylish look on the job, or those who enjoy Moc Toe style boots, this is the one for you.

Don’t worry, it’s still got all the required safety specifications including being waterproof and a composite safety toe, it just doesn’t have the toe cap. Be aware the toes may wear out quicker on this boot than other models.

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