The 5 Best Breathable Summer Work Boots

Keeping cool during the summer months can be a challenge when you work in construction, but one of the most effective ways to beat heat exhaustion is to put away your winter work boots, and swap them for a pair of durable hot weather work boots.

Switching to lighter work boots during the summer months can help you stay cooler, prevent blisters, reduce foot fatigue, and help to prevent conditions like athletes foot.
Read on for more information on the best breathable work boots to keep your feet cool and safe this summer.

Boot

Design

Comfort &
Protection Rating

Price

Timberland Boot brown

TOP PICK

Timberland PRO Boondock 6" Non-Insulated

BEST OVERALL

$$

Boot Utility Keen

Keen Utility MT Vernon 6"

$$

Caterpillar Boot covex

Caterpillar Men's Convex Mid Steel Toe

$

Skechers for Work Men's Blais Hiking Shoe

$

Keen utility boot

KEEN Utility Men's Pittsburgh

$$

Work boots for summer time

Why do you need hot weather work boots?

Work boots might not be the most obvious article of clothing to change during the summer, but as there are more sweat glands in your feet than anywhere else in your body, swapping your regular boots for a pair of breathable steel toe work boots could help you to stay cool and prevent foot problems.

Men working in hot weather with metal

What’s special about summer footwear?

Breathable steel toe work boots meet all of the the same industry safety standards as regular boots. However, regular work boots are designed to insulate your feet against the cold, while their cooler cousins have been designed to promote airflow to cool your feet, while remaining water tight.

Because of the complexity of creating a strong durable, water tight boot which is also highly ventilated, many warm weather boots resemble hiking boots or have much shorter ankle protection.

Athletes foot and other issues associated with hot feet

Let’s face it, no one would have sweaty feet by choice. They feel uncomfortable, smell terrible, increase your risk of blisters, and can damage the inside of your shoes. However, sweaty feet can also have medical implications. Most commonly, athletes foot.

Athletes foot is a bacterial infection commonly associated with sweaty feet and can be caused by naturally occurring bacteria multiplying out of control in the warm, moist environment caused by sweaty work boots.

Athletes foot and doctor

Doctor dermatologist examines the foot on the presence of athlete’s foot

If left untreated this condition can spread to other people and areas of your own body, such as your hands. In severe cases, the damaged skin can contract a further severe bacterial infection called cellulitis which should be of particular concern to anyone with diabetes.

Choosing the right summer work boot

Choosing the right work boot to keep your feet comfortable and safe can be a complicated business at the best of times, but when you’re looking for work boots for summer time or the best work boots for sweaty feet, there are some additional requirements that you should consider:

Ventilation is important

Is the boot designed with ventilation in mind? Is it made from breathable material? Is it insulated? You will want a boot designed to circulate air around your feet to keep them cool.

Toe cap - What's it made of

Steel toe caps tend to conduct heat during the summer, meaning that a steel toe cap boot may be warmer than a composite toe cap boot.

types of safety toes

Which is best when it comes to hot weather? 

Removable insoles

If you feet do sweat on a particularly hot day, you may find that your shoes are still slightly damp the following day, making them a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. To prevent this, buy boots with a removable insole that you can swap, allowing the damp insoles to dry thoroughly.

Comfort and fit

While comfort and fit is important in any work boot, it is doubly so in summer weight ones as you will want to wear lighter socks. Ideally you want a boot that is supple enough straight out of the box to require very little breaking in. If you buy your summer boots early, remember to break them in using a lightweight sock to prevent over stretching.


5 of the best summer work boots available

Timberland PRO Men's Boondock 6" Waterproof Non-Insulated

Boot boondock Timberland brown

Timberland’s PRO boondock boots are one of the more comfortable work boots in our list with a composite toe cap and a rubber toe protector. They have removable insoles and no insolation, ensuring that the boots remain as cool as possible while still being an extremely sturdy boot.

While fairly resilient it is worth noting that these boots aren’t officially puncture resistant. The soles also have a reputation for wearing quickly and are more water resistant than water tight.

Pros

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    Removable Insoles
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    No insolation
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    Composite toe (won’t set off metal detectors)
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    Extremely sturdy
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    Extra rubber toe protector

Cons

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    Not puncture resistant
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    Sole wears out quickly
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    Not watertight once broken in

Keen Utility Men's MT Vernon 6" Waterproof

Keen utility work boot

The Keen MT Vernon’s are a medium to heavy duty boot with a focus on comfort. They have a unique membrane designed to remove moisture without allowing water in and an asymmetrical steel toe designed to give a more comfortable fit.

Although the MT Vernon’s tend to be very comfortable, break in quickly, and stand up well to a challenging work environments. They also tend to show significant wear after only 9 months, so they do need to be properly maintained in order to prolong their life.

Pros

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    US built
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    Light for a steel toe boot
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    Shaped steel toe makes them very comfortable
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    Available in wide fits
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    Watertight

Cons

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    Show significant wear relatively quickly
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    Width runs small


Caterpillar Men's Convex Mid Steel Toe

Caterpillar Convex

The Caterpillar Convex boots look and feel more like an athletic boot then a work boot. They tend to wear in quickly and remain comfortable in hot weather thanks to mesh panels which allow air to circulate.

Although these boots look like a sport boot, they are steel toed so will feel quite heavy to anyone not used to them. They are also one of the less rugged boots on our list and shouldn’t be considered for heavy industrial work.

Pros

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    Fashionable
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    Comfortable
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    Good air circulation
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    Good slip resistance

Cons

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    Only suitable for lighter work
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    Non-removable insoles
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    Water resistant rather than water tight

Skechers for Work Men's Blais Hiking Shoe

Sketchers

Skechers Blais is a hiking shoe rather than a work boot, but it does meet industry standards making it a good alternative if you want something a little lighter. This is not a heavy duty work shoe, but is more than up to the challenge of lighter duty work.

While the shoe itself looks like a normal hiking shoe, it has a steel toe which does make it very heavy, this can also cause some rubbing if you have wider feet.

Pros

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    Memory foam removable insole
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    Very comfortable straight out of the box
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    Watertight
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    Fashionable
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    Good air circulation
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    Very Low Cost

Cons

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    Glued seams can come loose over time
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    Steel toe makes the shoe unusually heavy
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    Padding around the steel toe is a little thin

KEEN Utility Men's Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot

Keen men's Pittsburgh

KEEN Pittsburgh’s are a medium duty work boot which looks and wears like a hiking boot. The boot is designed with a special membrane which draws moisture away from your feet while remaining waterproof. They are also designed for comfort, with lots of arch support and a asymmetrically shaped steel toe cap.

While practical and comfortable, the KEEN Pittsburgh’s aren’t the hardiest of boots and do show significant wear after around 6 months of hard use. However, proper care may prolong their life.

Pros

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    Comfortable fit
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    Shaped steel toe
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    Designed to allow moisture to escape
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    Fashionable​​​​

Cons

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    Wear out quickly
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    Are water resistant rather than water proof

And the winner is...

Choosing the best summer work boot for your needs often requires you to balance the boots resilience to wear and the elements, with its ability to keep your feet cool and dry. However, Timberland’s PRO Boondock work boots stand out as the best breathable work boots on this list because they tick both of these boxes.

The boots are sturdy and relatively hard wearing, have removable insoles that can be swapped to keep the inside of your boot dry and fresh, have no insulation so they will remain relatively cool, and have a composite toe which is unlikely to conduct as much heat. As such, they are the perfect compromise between summer comfort and practicality.

estone
 

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