The Best Work Boots for Women of 2023

Designed to shield women’s feet from injuries, the best work boots offer adequate protection while being comfortable enough to wear all day.

By Glenda Taylor | Updated Oct 27, 2022 3:08 PM

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The Best Work Boots for Women Option


Hazards vary from job to job, and the most appropriate work boots for you vary depending on the risks associated with your specific career. The best work boots for women protect feet from injury and are designed to be comfortable and flexible, and they should also provide ankle support. High-quality work boots can be worn all day, assuring you that your feet can handle any mishaps that might happen on the job.

The best work boots offer secure footing, solid foot and leg support, and all-day comfort. If you’re in the market for a pair of work boots, read on to learn what to consider. Use these recommendations to help find the best work boots for your job and lifestyle.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Caterpillar Women’s Echo Waterproof Steel Toe Boot
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Geddard Waterproof Ankle Boots
  3. BEST FOR ELECTRICAL SAFETY: Caterpillar Women’s Mae Waterproof Steel Toe Boot
  4. BEST FOR FIRE: Cofra Work Shoes – Heat Resistant Asphalt Footwear
  5. BEST PUNCTURE RESISTANCE: FSI Avenger 6″ Women’s Framer Steel Work Boot
  6. BEST FOR HEAVY OBJECTS: Dr. Martens Women’s Maple Zip Steel Toe Industry Boot 
  7. BEST FOR COLD WEATHER: Muck Boot Arctic Sport LI Extreme Winter Boot
  8. BEST FOR SLIP RESISTANCE: Viking Unisex Marine Kadett Boot
  9. BEST STEEL-TOE: Skechers Women’s Workshire Peril Steel Toe Boot
  10. BEST WATERPROOF: Hunter Women’s Original Tall Rain Boot
The Best Work Boots for Women Options


Protective Features of Women’s Work Boots

Not all boots are suitable for all types of work; some must protect the toes from dropped objects, while others need to keep the feet warm, for example. The best work boots for women feature different protective elements based on the wearer’s particular career.

Safety Concerns

Some work boots feature anAmerican Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) label, which includes the boot’s model number, production date, the gender the boot is designed for, and an impact rating: A rating of I/75, for example, means the best steel-toe boots will protect against an impact of 75 pounds.

Unfortunately, not all online sellers list ASTM numbers with their products, and not all boots come with ASTM numbers. If the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires a specific type of footwear for a particular job, that will likely require purchasing work boots that are ASTM certified.

Electrical Safety 

Working in a field where stepping on live wires is common requires a measure of protection against voltage traveling through the sole of the shoe. When shopping for a work boot that provides safety from electrical shock, look for the term “Electrical Hazard Properties” (or EH) followed by the maximum amount of voltage resistance.

The voltage resistance will look similar to the following: “Rated to protect against open circuits up to 600 volts in dry conditions.”An employer should be able to provide the amount of electrical resistance necessary for the particular line of work.

Explosions and Flammable Material

Women who work in careers such as Emergency Management Services or those who serve as firefighters need a boot that’s heat-resistant—one with a sole that won’t melt if they step on hot coals or other smoldering items.

Women who work around potentially explosive materials, such as drivers delivering gasoline, need electrically conductive or static dissipative work boots that prevent the buildup of static electricity, which could lead to sparks and a potential explosion. If this is the case, the exact type of boot should be detailed in a worker’s safety manual.

Spinning Blades

Operating saws near ground level, such as chainsaws or circular saws, increases the risk of cutting through a standard work boot, so if the worker handles this type of cutting equipment regularly, it’s a good idea to have a pair of cut-resistant work boots. Chainsaw boots are reinforced with layers of cut-resistant fibers to protect against accidentally touching the foot with a running saw.

Molten-Metal Protection

Work boots that are suitable for careers in molten metalworking, such as in a foundry where metals are heated to a liquid state, must protect the worker’s feet in case some of the molten metal accidentally falls onto the boot. This type of boot often features a heat-resistant shield on the top that prevents the hot metal from burning through. The safety feature often appears on a boot as MT, which stands for metatarsal protection.

Puncture Resistance

Women in carpentry and construction jobs need work boots with reinforced soles that resist punctures in case they step on nails or other sharp items. This type of boot might have a thick, hard sole or come with a puncture-resistant midsole that lies between a nonslip outer sole and the boot’s inner sole.

Heavy Objects

The time-honored steel toe is the gold standard for protecting the foot, and especially the toes, from injury when a heavy object drops on the work boot. Most women’s steel-toe boots feature a steel shank that covers just the toes, while others feature an extended shank that also protects the arch of the foot from impact.

As mentioned above, protection from dropped heavy objects is listed on an ASTM label as an “I” followed by a number, such as 75, which denotes the maximum impact weight the steel will protect against. Some boots feature a newer composite toe material that also protects from impact but doesn’t weigh as much as steel, so the boot is lighter.

Cold Weather Protection

For the best in cold protection, work boots should be both insulated and come with a water-resistant exterior. The downside to completely waterproof boots is that the worker’s feet tend to sweat and the moisture has no place to go. Some winter work boots feature waterproof-membrane material on the sides, back, and lower part of the boot but leave a ventilated panel along the top of the foot where sweat can dissipate.

Moisture and Slip Resistance

Rubber boots, reminiscent of rain boots, can either slip directly over the foot like other boots or might fit over a separate set of shoes or boots to keep the foot dry when walking in wet conditions. Rubber or other nonslip materials help keep boot soles from becoming slippery on wet or icy surfaces. In addition, treads with deeply textured soles offer further slip protection on ice and packed snow.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Women’s Work Boots

Buying a good pair of work boots is an investment both financially and for the wearer’s safety and comfort. In addition to hazard type, keep the following factors in mind while shopping.


Durability is key for work boots, and the uppers of many pairs come in full-grain leather, which offers support and a measure of water resistance. Note that leather boots can feel quite stiff at first and might require a 2- to 3-week break-in period before they’re comfortable enough to wear for an extended time.

Boots are sometimes constructed with nylon uppers for breathability, neoprene, or rubber, a key material for soles due to their slip-proof quality. Many boots combine a variety of materials to create a durable piece of footwear that wicks away sweat and offers slip protection.


Since work boots are designed to wear for as long as 8 to 10 hours at a stretch, they should be comfortable. The heel should not slide up and down in the boot, which is a sign they’re too big and might cause blisters. The toes should not touch the ends of the boot but rather be about 1 inch away. It can be difficult to tell how close toes are to the ends with women’s steel-toe boots because the wearer can’t compress the toe with fingers. Squatting down while wearing the boots will cause the foot to bend and push forward; if the toes still don’t touch, it’s a good sign.

In addition, the sides of the boots should be snug but not uncomfortable. The foot should not slide forward when walking but remain in one place within the boot. When shopping online for work boots, be sure to check for a size chart.


Expect a new pair of work boots to provide less-than-optimal comfort at first if the uppers are made from thick leather. In time, leather boots soften and form to the shape of the wearer’s ankles and feet, and they might even become extremely comfortable after a while. As long as they meet the criteria listed above in the Fit section, don’t worry too much if the leather uppers seem a bit stiff when trying to bend at the ankles.

For those whose feet may become fatigued after standing in work boots for long periods, a padded insole could provide the comfort and support needed for an entire work shift.


The sole of the boot determines its degree of flexibility, and if the sole is completely rigid, it’s unlikely to loosen up with wear. Flexibility at the ball of the foot helps the foot take a more natural step and reduces standing and walking fatigue. Try the new boots out by walking around, paying special attention to whether the sole flexes when walking.

Our Top Picks

The following women’s work boots offer protection for a variety of foot hazards, should prove easy to break in, and feel comfortable to boot (pun intended).

Best Overall

Best Work Boot Options: Caterpillar Womens Echo Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot

The Caterpillar Echo Waterproof women’s steel toe boot comes from a national manufacturer of both heavy construction equipment and the clothing (and footwear) necessary for keeping workers safe. The boot comes in either frost gray or marlin (blue) and a variety of women’s widths and sizes ranging from 5 to 11.

High-quality leather comprises the upper part of the boot, and a rubber sole provides nonslip protection in wet or icy conditions. The boot features traditional laces, a breathable mesh lining, and a padded collar that’s designed to help sweat dissipate while cushioning the foot and ankle. The steel toe is rated to take an impact up to 75 pounds, making this a good work boot for women in the construction or warehouse industries.

Product Specs

  • Material: Leather upper with rubber sole
  • Protection: Waterproof and steel toe
  • Additional features: Moisture-wicking nylon mesh lining


  • Breathable material
  • High-topped to protect ankles
  • Reputable brand
  • Multiple colors available


  • Pricey

Get the Caterpillar Echo work boots for women on Amazon.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Work Boots for Women Option: Geddard Waterproof Ankle Boots

Shoppers looking for suitable footwear to wear in a range of situations—from the beach to work—will want to take a look at these lace-up ankle boots from Geddard. The boots are available in a wide range of colors, and the water-resistant fabric upper and nonslip rubber sole can keep users more secure when moving on wet surfaces.

While some other boot brands produce high-price leather footwear, Geddard passes the savings on to shoppers by providing a budget-friendly option made from polyurethane fabric. When treated and maintained carefully, these boots can last just as long as more robust options on the market.

Product Specs

  • Material: Fabric upper with rubber sole
  • Protection: Water-resistant
  • Additional features: Removable sole insert


  • Affordable
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Stylish to suit a range of activities


  • Prone to scuff marks
  • Material is less durable than others

Get the Geddard work boots for women on Amazon.

Best for Electrical Safety

Best Work Boot Options: Caterpillar Women’s Mae Steel Toe Waterproof Boot

Women who work around live wires or other sources of electricity should consider the electrical-hazard protection of this Caterpillar Mae women’s steel toe boot. The mid-rise uppers are made from full-grain leather, and the rubber soles give the wearer traction on slippery surfaces. These waterproof boots also come with a steel toe that will withstand up to 75 pounds of impact and an interior with a cushioned nylon mesh lining for comfort.

This lace-up work boot is a good choice for many types of workers but is especially appropriate for those who spend the day around electrical circuits. The boots will protect the wearer from up to 600 volts in dry conditions, such as those encountered by HVAC repairers and electricians.

Product Specs

  • Material: Leather upper with rubber sole
  • Protection: Electrical hazards; steel toe; waterproof membrane
  • Additional features: Slip-resistant


  • Made from high-quality full-grain leather
  • Steel toe for added protection
  • Slip-resistant rubber soles


  • High arch may not be suitable for some users

Get the Caterpillar Mae work boots for women on Amazon.

Best For Fire

The Best Work Boots for Women Option: Cofra Work Shoes - Heat Resistant Asphalt Footwear

First responders should consider the Cofra work shoes if they’re looking for extra-durable rubber outsoles that won’t melt when they come into contact with hot embers or other smoldering materials. The boots are designed to resist temperatures as high as 572 degrees Fahrenheit, and the nonslip polyurethane rubber soles and insole provide enough protection for up to 1 minute of contact with extreme heat.

The Cofra boots are made from leather to provide a breathable and weatherproof upper part of the boot. They are available in sizes 6 to 12 in both standard and wide options.

Product Specs

  • Material: Leather upper with polyurethane rubber sole
  • Protection: Effective against heat up to 572 degrees Fahrenheit; crush-resistant toe cap; puncture-resistant
  • Additional features: Slip-resistant; water-resistant


  • Ideal for asphalt-laying work
  • Available in regular and wide sizes
  • High heat resistance


  • Soles can feel quite hard and uncomfortable

Get the Cofra work boots for women on Amazon.

Best Puncture Resistance

Best Work Boot Options: FSI Avenger 6” Framer Steel Waterproof Work Boot

Women who work around boards with nails or other sharp objects can benefit from the FSI Avenger Framer steel work boots. They feature a reinforced midsole designed to reduce the risk of step-on punctures. The slip-resistant boot also includes a composite safety toe that protects against impact but is one-third lighter in weight than steel-toed boots.

The leather uppers on the FSI Avenger have insulation to help keep feet warm in cold weather. The boots also offer protection from electrical circuits, making these boots a good all-season choice for women who work in the construction, agricultural, or virtually any other industry where there’s a risk of stepping on nails or sharp objects. The boots are available in a variety of widths and sizes from 6 to 11.

Product Specs

  • Material: Leather upper; polyurethane sole
  • Protection: Steel toe; puncture-resistant; electrical hazards
  • Additional features: Slip-resistant; waterproof


  • Treaded soles for slip resistance
  • Includes removable insole for added comfort
  • Suitable for most work environments


  • May feel uncomfortable without thick socks

Get the FSI work boots for women on Amazon.

Best For Heavy Objects

The Best Work Boots for Women Option: Dr. Martens Women’s Maple Zip Steel Toe Industry Boot

From a manufacturer known for comfortable footwear comes the Dr. Martens Women’s Maple Zip Steel Toe Industry Boot featuring an internal steel-toe cap to protect the wearer from impacts up to 75 pounds. The upper features industrial tumbled leather for comfort and durability, and the boots have a SoftWair sock liner that offers added heel cushioning and wicks moisture away to keep feet dry. The lining is infused with antimicrobial properties to keep feet healthy, and the boot comes with an air-cushioned PVC outsole for slip resistance.

These Dr. Martens work boots are great for protecting the foot from heavy objects, plus they’re designed with long-wearing comfort in mind. They are available in seven sizes, from 5 to 11, and color choices of black, olive, and teak.

Product Specs

  • Material: Leather upper with PVC sole
  • Protection: Electrical hazards; steel toe
  • Additional features: Slip-resistant soles


  • High-quality brand
  • Comfortable for a full day of work
  • Multiple sizes and colors are available


  • Pricey

Get the Dr. Martens work boots for women on Amazon.

Best for Cold Weather

The Best Work Boots for Women Option: Muck Boot Arctic Sport LI Extreme Winter Boot

For working outdoors in cold temperatures, it’s hard to beat the Muck Boot Arctic Sport LI Winter Boot. The sole and lower half of the uppers feature high-grade rubber to keep water and snow out, with a 100 percent waterproof design. The top half of the upper comes in neoprene to provide flexibility and comfort.

The Muck boots feature a comfort insole and fleece lining that is soft and warm, suitable for temperatures as cold as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The 16-inch height of the uppers helps keep snow and cold air out, and pant legs can be tucked inside the boots for added warmth. They also feature insole support and a slip-resistant sole, making these boots a good option for women who spend a lot of time outdoors in frigid temperatures.

Note that these winter work boots do not feature a steel toe and are not designed to protect from impact. The Arctic Sport Ll Extreme Winter Boots are available in seven sizes, from 5 to 11, with six stylish designs to choose from.

Product Specs

  • Material: Rubber exterior with fleece lining
  • Protection: Waterproof
  • Additional features: Warm lining; impact absorption


  • Flexible rubber material
  • Fleece lining to stay warm
  • Multiple colors available


  • Limited breathability

Get the Muck Boot work boots for women on Amazon or Muck Boot Company.

Best for Slip Resistance

The Best Work Boots for Women Option: Viking Unisex Marine Kadett Boot

Calling all deckhands: The Unisex Marine Kadett Boots from Viking are highly effective at keeping workers from slipping and falling on wet surfaces. The boots are made from rubber on both the uppers and the soles, and they come with a polyester lining for breathability. The Marine Kadett boots include orthopedic insole inserts to help support the arch of the foot, and the insert can be removed if desired.

These slip-resistant work boots are available in 12 sizes, ranging from 3 to 14, so they’ll accommodate many women’s feet. They’re a solid work boot for women who work on fishing boats or in any other industry that brings them into frequent contact with wet surfaces. The boots are not designed for impact resistance.

Product Specs

  • Material: Rubber
  • Protection: None
  • Additional features: Slip-resistant


  • Ideal for boat and dock workers
  • Removable orthopedic insole
  • Stylish design


  • Not high enough for deep water

Get the Viking work boots for women on Amazon.

Best Steel-Toe

The Best Work Boots for Women Option: Skechers Women’s Workshire Peril Steel Toe Boot

These Skechers work boots feature a leather upper with a traditional lace-up design and a steel safety toe that is ASTM certified. These boots also offer suitable protection from electrical hazards. While some work boots may be quite rigid and inflexible, these boots are designed with a relaxed fit, allowing wearers the space to move around comfortably.

Users will also appreciate the memory-foam sock liner with removable gel-infused footbed, providing additional comfort during long days at work. These Skechers boots are available in multiple colors and sizes, including wide options.

Product Specs

  • Material: Leather upper with rubber sole
  • Protection: Steel toe; electrical-hazard protection
  • Additional features: Memory-foam cushioning


  • Multiple colors and sizes
  • Comfortable memory-foam insole
  • Rugged and durable exterior


  • Foam insole can wear down over time

Get the Skechers work boots for women on Amazon.

Best Waterproof

The Best Work Boots for Women Option: Hunter Women's Original Tall Rain Boot

There’s nothing more uncomfortable than working with wet feet. These handmade latex rubber boots from Hunter provide a stylish and durable solution to working in a wet environment. The 16-inch-long boots provide plenty of waterproofing protection. They’re also available in a wide selection of styles and colors to suit shopper preferences.

While they are slightly on the pricey side, they make up for it with the high-quality rubber and latex materials from a reputable brand. To avoid uncomfortable rubbing against the skin, the manufacturer recommends wearing socks with these rain boots.

Product Specs

  • Material: Rubber and latex
  • Protection: Waterproof
  • Additional features: None


  • High-quality materials
  • Reputable brand
  • Multiple colors available


  • Users must wear socks to avoid rubbing

Get the Hunter work boots for women on Amazon.

Our Verdict

For the best women’s steel-toe boots that can stand up to heavy use in tough environments, consider the Caterpillar Echo work boots for women, made from high-quality leather with a durable rubber sole. Shoppers looking for a fully waterproof option would be hard pressed to find fault in the Hunter work boots for women, providing 16 inches of tall waterproof latex rubber boot.

How We Chose the Best Work Boots for Women

When gathering our top work boots for women, we looked at the various types of boots commonly used around a wide range of workplaces. This list of recommendations covers everything from the best steel-toe boots suitable for heavy-duty work to keep users safe from falling objects; to fully waterproof options ideal for wet environments; to more specialized footwear suited for protection against cuts, extreme heat, and electrical hazards.

We made sure that most of our picks feature some sort of slip-resistance technology to keep workers as safe as possible in hazardous and slippery environments. Many of our top picks also come in a wide range of sizes, including both regular and extra-wide fits.


It’s common for first-time work boot buyers to have some questions about how the boots are supposed to fit and perform. Find answers to common questions below.

Q. How should women’s work boots fit?

Correctly fitted boots should be snug enough to keep the foot from sliding forward but not so tight that they cut off circulation. The best work boots for women will also flex slightly at the ball of the foot for added walking comfort.

Q. How can I make work boots more comfortable?

Leather boots sometimes require a break-in period, during which they naturally stretch and adapt to the shape of the wearer’s foot. If possible, wear a new pair of work boots for about an hour each day, and in a couple of weeks, they should be more comfortable.

Q. What socks should I wear with women’s work boots? 

Socks made from wool and synthetic blends will keep your feet comfortable in boots during cold weather. And if you’re on your feet for most of the work day, consider wearing socks that have cushioning on the bottom.