If you work at an automotive technician job, you know that one of the very first priorities for work gear is a good pair of work boots. In addition to those that meet government-imposed safety standards for mechanics’ footwear, you also want boots that are comfortable enough to wear throughout long days on your feet.
It can be difficult to balance safety needs with comfort – steel-toed boots can be so heavy that they put strain on your ankles, yet you need the protection of extra layers in the toe to keep your feet safe from heat, sharp objects, and other shop hazards. Designers and manufacturers are answering the call for lighter protective materials which still meet safety standards. The industry is moving toward composite toes, which are durable and safe, yet lighter than steel and don’t conduct hazards such as heat and current. Of course steel toes are still going strong, if that’s your preference.
Work boots are an investment – you want them to last, and be comfortable from the first day you wear them until the last. Here’s a look at 10 great choices for those who work in an automotive technician career.
10. Blundstone Crazy Horse Boot - $180.00
With a history nearly 150 years long, Blundstones are favored for their sturdy construction, comfort, and available lifetime warranty. Models like the Crazy Horse feature heat, oil, acid, electrical hazard, and slip resistance, along with a steel toe cap for maximum protection. Prices run mid-range, between about $150 and $200.
9. Red Wing Water Proof Composite King Toe Boot - $199.99
This longtime favorite is still providing great work boots at a mid-range price. Choose from steel, aluminum, or non-metallic composite safety toes, like the 6” Red Wing Waterproof Composite King Toe Boot.
8. Danner Crafter Boot - $150.00
Popular with military personnel, Danner makes several models perfect for automotive technicians. The Crafter features a waterproof leather upper, underfoot venting, a protective composite toe, and a roomier toe box for greater comfort.
7. Wolverine Hudson Boot - $100.00
This classic brand makes solid work boots for mechanics, including the Hudson – the padded tongue and lightweight construction add comfort, and at $100, Wolverines are a great affordable option for those just out of automotive technician school.
6. Thorogood American Heritage Moc Toe Boot - $180.00
The Thorogood American Heritage Moc Toe is as stylish as it is durable. If you’re looking for Goodyear welt construction, you can’t go wrong with these boots. Shock-absorbent insoles mean comfort all day, and the price is wallet friendly.
5. Dr. Marten Ironbridge Boot - $140.00
Doc Martens have enjoyed a prominent position in the fashion world, but they also make rugged steel toe work boots ideal for the auto tech, like the Ironbridge. This style offers non-slip soles, and a padded, moisture-wicking insole.
4. Caterpillar 2nd Shift Boot - $84.00
The 2nd Shift from Caterpillar is another affordable option offering comfort and durability. The leather upper and Goodyear welt construction are accompanied by padded ankles and a breathable insole.
3. White's Classic Work Boots - ~$500.00
If you’ve been in your automotive mechanic career for a while, you might be ready to invest in the cream of the crop – White’s customizable work boots. They’ll set you back about $500, but the superior construction and perfect fit are difficult to match.
2. Timberland Pro Steel Toe Pitboss - $150.00
Another enduring standby, the Timberland Pro Steel Toe Pitboss is affordable, at between $100 and $150, and features a generous toe box, antimicrobial footbed, and removable sock liner for added comfort.
1. Redback Work Boot - ~$180.00
Hailing from the land down under, these work boots come in a range of styles, including steel toe, slip resistant, and electrical hazard safe. The Australian brand has caught on with American mechanics, perhaps because of the Anatomic Support System in the boots, which is said to help prevent back and leg pain after long days on your feet.
For most automotive techs, the above boots are a good investment and will endure plenty of heavy use. One thing to consider, however, is whether or not you work in a shop where you perform regular transmission flushes, or other transmission work which results in heavy exposure to transmission fluid.
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