Best Lineman Boots For Pole Climbing - Great Traction
As a lineman, you come face to face with some unique challenges that aren’t all that common across other occupations. Whether you’re working at ground level or up high on the powerline poles, your work boots need to stand up to rough use on the daily.
In this article, we’re going to highlight the most important features commonly found in best lineman boots. After, we’ll take an in-depth look at the top five pairs that will not only get you through the work day, but do so with comfort, safety, and a bit of style.
Equipped with so many features, lineman boots are far from being the cheapest occupational footwear. The last thing that you want to do is invest in a pair that saves you a few bucks (though likely not many) while compromising your safety and failing the test of time after a few months of use.
HOFFMAN BOOTS 10" Composite Toe
Wesco Highliner 10" Brown
Irish Setter 8"
What to Look for in Pole Climbing Boots
Sole Traction & Durability
Serving as the layer that makes contact with the variety of surfaces you face, the soles play a particularly important role for linemen. More than likely, you’re tasked with the occasional (or everyday) climb to reach powerlines needing your masterful touch. Having aggressive treading and high-quality traction are two must have features for any linemans boots.
Deep tread lines will ensure that your boots are able to grip limited climbing surfaces while the traction keeps your footing in place if conditions are slick. These both contribute greatly to your safety and grant you the confidence to perform your best on the job.
(Check out our 11 top-rated work boots for any job HERE)
Sole durability is another important feature that will make sure your boots stick around for many years and keep your wallet happy. Encountering rough climbing surfaces as well as everyday wear and tear can easily burn through soles lacking durability and cause you to have to invest in a few new pairs every year.
Working around electricity, it’s an inevitable safety risk that all linemen face. Regardless of whether or not your employer requires your footwear to have certain safety features, electrical hazard grade work boots are something you should consider.
Supporting Your Ankles
Secure footing plays an integral role when you’re climbing poles and metal towers. While you don’t want your boots to restrict your motion, tall boots with full lacing and reinforced ankle support will reduce the risk of injury.
Live wires and open circuits will always be dangerous, but proper boots can help to mitigate the risk. By having a pair that passes the electrical hazard certification, you can perform your job more comfortably.
(Full guide to the really comfortable work boots here)
Having boots with built in safety caps also serve an important role for the climbing lineman. One of the last things you want to have to worry about is the risk of stubbing your toe during an ascent or descent. No one enjoys a stubbed toe, but in this circumstance, it can hinder your climbing ability.
Why is Waterproofing Important
Your job may take you indoors on some days, but the majority of your time is going to be spent outside. Rain is an almost impossible element to avoid as an outdoor worker. As a result, the best lineman boots are prepared to handle wet conditions.
The first layer of defence starts from the outside, usually with a leather exterior. Additional seam sealing is a great added measure that reinforces the weakest points along the boots. If any water makes it to the inside, having a moisture wicking internal lining will handle the rest and make sure your feet stay dry and comfortable which is an important feature to looks at line boot reviews.
If you need boots that specialise in waterproofing or working on roofs or the our list of recommended insoles see our full list.
Our 5 Best Lineman Boots
HOFFMAN BOOTS Men's 10" Composite Toe Dri-Line
The first thing you’ll notice about these pole climbing boots is their sleek, stylish appearance. Beautiful waterproof full grain leather is reinforced with triple stitching from the top to bottom, including a side patch that can handle the wear and tear of climbing poles.
Equipped with thick Vibram soles sporting aggressive tread, these boots are capable of gripping any surface and keeping you secure whether you're on the ground or high above the streets. Even more impressive, they come built in with two steel shanks to protect your arches from climbing discomforts while giving you the perfect amount of support.
Lastly, composite safety toes handle the impact protection as well as electrical hazard safety without adding much weight. Though they’re not the cheapest pair of boots on this list, they’re armed to make your job as a lineman easy and enjoyable.
- Superior waterproofing (external and internal)
- Provide warmth in cold weather
(For a full guide to the best winter work boots click here)
- Excellent arch and climbing support
- Full ankle, foot, and toe protection
- Extra wide options available
- Composite Toe
- External leather needing cleaning quite often
Wesco Highliner 10" Brown Lineman Boots BR9710100
Wesco boots are often referred to in the lineman profession as the best of the best. The tall design and lace-to-toe build are perfect for keeping your feet and ankles secured as well as protected while climbing up rough, unforgiving surfaces.
They meet traction standards with Vibram soles and deep tread lines, but more importantly, it’s the build in steel breastplate heel that really makes them shine. This unique feature ensures that your feet aren’t fatigued and irritated during long climbing days. If that’s not enough, a ribbed steel shank and leather slip also rest between the soles and your feet for additional support.
One final steel plate is built into the sides under an extra flap of leather to add external durability.(most durable work boots here) As you can see, these boots were built for the climbing lineman and live up to the industry standard they’ve set.
- Superior comfort and full foot support
- Surprisingly lightweight
- Durable leather exterior
- Great built in climbing support
- Waterproof features are good
- Doesn’t hold up well for climbing steel
- Not electrical hazard safe
- Quite Expensive
La Sportiva Karakorum Boot
At first glance, these boots will look like they’re meant for hiking. With a waterproof rubber shell around the base, shallow puddles stand no chance of reaching your dry feet, and anything deeper will quickly roll off thanks to the abrasion and water resistant rugged leather.
The leather is uniquely made to withstand harsh environments while maintaining breathability around the uppers so your feet can ventilate in conjunction with the internal mesh lining. Slipping your feet in, you’ll notice the welcoming flexibility around the heel and ankle that offers just enough support to keep you feeling secure while having the freedom to move as your job requires.
Between the multiple layers of insole and midsole (best work boot midsoles here), your feet will be well taken care of with shock absorption and comfort. While these heavy duty boots weren’t initially designed with linemen in mind, they’ve grown in popularity throughout the profession due to their relevant features, long lasting build, and versatile use.
- Great for ground workers and climbers
- Leather that can last for years
- Flexible yet supportive
- Vibram soles with crampon compatibility
- No electrical hazard protection
- Rubber shell prone to separating
Georgia Boot Men's Loggers G7313
These Georgia boots come loaded with a ton of features at one of the most affordable prices on this list. Smooth full grain leather creates the waterproof barrier, lined all the way to the top with stud hooks and steel washer eyelets ensuring secure lacing with long lasting durability.
Not only are the soles thick and deep with tread patterns, but they’re also heat, oil, slip, abrasion, and chemical resistant so they can withstand any conditions your job throws at them. Along the interior, your feet will be cradled by orthopedic inserts that provide both comfort and much-needed arch support for long shifts.
You’re fully protected with an impact and electrical hazard safe steel toe cap with ample wiggle room. For the price and number of features, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better value than these Georgia boots.
- Solid traction for confident footing
- Fast break in period
- All day comfort
- Ample toe room with a secure fit
- Leather lacks long term durability
- Sizing can be difficult to get right
- Waterproofing prone to leaks over time
Irish Setter Men's 83810 8" Steel-Toe
The Irish Setter brand is well known for creating boots of the highest quality, which holds true even as they venture into the category of lineman boots. For some, the defined heel of the slip and oil resistant sole may feel a bit awkward at first, but once you get used to them, you realize that they’re built for climbing and supporting your efforts.
Rugged waterproof leather with seam sealed lining creates an impregnable fortress for your feet no matter how wet the conditions get. At the top, your ankles are sealed and comforted with padded tongues and collars to keep debris out as well.
They’re built with 400g of Thinsulate, ideal for cold weather while the lineman boot with steel shank keeps your feet feeling great before and after a climb. For carrying such a strong name brand and a number of high-end features, they’re the most affordable boots on this list.
- Warm and waterproof
- Secure footing in all kinds of environments
- Full boot durability
- Exceptional comfort
- Thinsulate can create a tight fit
- Long break in period
- Boots sizes prone to running narrow
And the winner is...
After careful consideration and reviewing some of the highest-quality boots, we’ve decided that the Hoffman Men's 10" Composite Toe Dri-Line are the best lineman boots for tackling the demanding work you face in the field.
They’re waterproof, impact and electrical hazard safe, have deep, durable tread with added features for climbing, and offer great full foot support. No matter how long the shift or how high the climb, this Hoffman footwear will have you fully equipped and serve you for a long time to come.