Best Work Boots for Plumbers:Reviews in 2020
As a plumber, you do a noble job, ensuring that water-related appliances, systems, and fixtures are well maintained.
However, this means that every day, you work in slippery and wet places with heavy tools to keep homes and businesses running smoothly when it comes to matters of water.
It is, therefore, vital that you get the best work boots to cater for your needs. It is easy to think that just any boot will do.
There is much more to choosing a work boot for a plumber than just looking for a boot that you think looks good.
Features such as durability, comfort and being waterproof are important. This is why in this review, we look at the best work boots for you.
With this comprehensive list, you will know the best options available to you as a plumber. Besides, you will find additional information about things to consider before buying and how to care for the boots. Read on.
Need us to help? Check these top 3 boots!
Top 9 Best Work Boots for Plumbers
1. Timberland PRO Men's Direct Attach Six-Inch Soft-Toe Boot
Just like every other shoe in this list, this one from Timberland offers superior protection to the feet of anyone that needs extra care.
This shoe is in line with the classic design that made Timberland shoes such a hit in the first place. But the Timberland look is not all that this boot has to offer.
The boot offers comfort and durability to its wearers thanks to its build. It features waterproof leather that makes them strong and durable.
Also, the boot is known among its wearers for the comfort they give thanks to 200g of Thermolite Insulation and the seam-sealed construction.
These boots are fit for on-site work because they are waterproof and strong. The padded collar is useful in the prevention of debris from entering the boot and is also a key point of comfort in this shoe.
For those with problems with foot odor, we have good news for you; this shoe efficiently incorporates a mesh lining that has antimicrobial treatment. Also, there is a shock diffusion plate lined with nylon to ensure enough support.
For further flexibility and comfort, the boot has a plastic midsole that is lightweight. For purposes of absorbing shock and keeping the foot energized, the boot features the Pro 24/7 anti-fatigue technology.
The boot is also oil-resistant which makes it ideal for working not just in the environments where plumbers frequent but also in areas where heavy padding for the feet is needed.
The outsole also works to the advantage of the wearer as it is non-marking. Lastly, the weight of one boot stands at 910 grams for a size 9, making it only moderately heavy for this kind of job.
This boot, therefore, is easy on the feet. Many users reported this boot to be among their absolute favorites mainly because these features make the boot comfortable, warm enough, and there is an antibacterial treatment that promotes odor control.
If you are looking for a trendy yet comfortable work companion, then this is definitely the boot of choice for you.
- Anti-fatigue technology
- waterproof leather
- Thermolite insulation
2. Timberland PRO Men's 6" Pit Boss Soft Toe
Timberland once again makes it to our list of the best plumber boots that you can get.
As was mentioned earlier, the Timberland brand is well-known. This is one of the reasons why their line of Timberland Pro is popular.
This shoe utilizes the Timberland 24/7 comfort system that is highly ranked for its ability to reduce fatigue in the feet. This technology also supports the arch of the foot, ensuring comfort for the boot wearer wherever they go.
This shoe, thereby, offers 24 hours, seven days guarantee of comfort and safety. Also, the shoe is comfortable but tough, thanks to its leatherwork that meet safety standards required by the ANSI.
The shoe is safe for plumbers to work with because it is abrasion, slip and oil resistant thanks to the outsoles.
With steel toe protection, you can be sure that your feet are safe should a heavy object come tumbling down. The shoe is also slip-resistant and features shock diffusion, so you do not have to worry about electrocution.
With all these good qualities, it is important to note that these shoes are not waterproof. Also, they do not offer puncture resistance.
If you are considering a boot with every safety measure in place, the lack of these two features may discourage you.
As we highlighted above, working as a plumber will expose you to some of the most challenging environments you can ever endure at work, and having the right boots can make working easier.
This shoe meets the needs of the people who work in such environments and is a solution that delivers a powerful combination of durability, protection, and comfort in one package.
- 24/7 comfort system
- oil, abrasion, and slip-resistant
- made of 100% leather
3. Irish Setter Men's 6" 83605 Work Boot
One thing that struck me about this shoe is how good it looks. This shoe is stylish, but do not think that is all there is to the Irish Setter Men’s 6" work boot.
This boot comes from the Irish Setter brand that has been in the boot manufacturing business for decades.
Over the years, they have grown tremendously, incorporating all the right technologies in building their shoes. This is why their boots are known for durability and comfort.
The boot is made of leather and features the classic mock toe with three stitches. The extra-thick sole is made of rubber, but this does not make the boot weak.
Thanks to the traction, the boot provides sufficient grip, even to the plumber who works in places where there is a potential danger of slipping. The boot features metal eyelets and also has a polyurethane footbed that ensures comfort.
Talking of comfort, some of the boots in this list may require you to wait for the break-in. This boot, however, is different because, for most, it is comfortable almost immediately.
The most you will have to wait for your foot to get comfortable is a day, as this is the amount of time that the leather requires for softening.
The footbed is removable, and the midsole helps provide cushioning for your foot when you are at work. The shoe also has a padded tongue and collar that ensures your ankles are comfortable.
Unlike some boots in this list that are steel toe, this boot is soft toe. Not to worry, though, as these boots meet the ASTM F2892-11 standards.
They are, therefore, shock resistant, making them the ideal partner for working where there are electrical components. The boot is also oil and heat resistant.
You may want to consider another boot if you are in search of a water-proof boot, or you may make use of water-resistant applications for the wet weather.
Apart from this slight inconvenience, the Irish Setter is one of the trendiest, most comfortable shoes you can wear to your plumbing job.
- heat, oil and slip-resistant
- triple stitch style
- mock toe style
- triple stitch
4. Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot
This boot enjoys an excellent rating on Amazon and is definitely one that caught my attention in my search for the best boots for plumbers.
The Caterpillar brand name is associated with strong boots that can withstand different environmental conditions.
If you are a tough and resilient plumber in search of a boot with a lace-up front, collar with a pad, and protective steel toe, then this may be the ideal boot for you.
The round steel toe allows for the free movement of your toes to eradicate any discomfort. With its solid construction, this boot will last longer, no matter how heavy your work may be.
The ankle cut work boot also features an outsole that is oil-resistant and thus may be suitable for professionals such as auto mechanics.
The boot is also slip and electrical hazard resistant for added protection. The rubber sole is remarkably strong at 1.25 inches. The outsole features a Goodyear welt build with a single stitch.
They also feature a Climasphere sock liner to enhance comfort by regulating temperatures. Also present is a nylon mesh liner. This liner works by absorbing moisture and preventing excessive sweating.
The padded collar provides a cushion for your ankle. Interestingly, these shoes need what is referred to as a break-in period where you have to wear them and wait for the leather to become softer and flexible.
An added advantage is that you can wear these shoes throughout the year and still feel comfortable.
Most importantly, they keep your feet safe in work environments that require you to take steps to ensure that your feet are safe in case heavy objects fall on you.
- 100% leather
- oil, and slip-resistant
- leather nylon mesh
5. Timberland PRO Men's Powertrain Sport Alloy-Toe EH Industrial & Construction Shoe
This is yet another Timberland shoe that makes it to our list of the best work boots.
While this shoe looks more like a sneaker, its suitability for the plumbing environment cannot be underestimated.
The upper part of the shoe is made of ripstop nylon, which makes it durable. It also has a mesh lining that works hand in hand with the microbial treatment to enhance breathability and reduce odors.
The midsole is composed of polyurethane, which enhances comfort. Together with the fiberglass shank, the shoe is great at offering structural support for your feet.
The shoe’s toe is asymmetrical and lightweight.
However, it meets the ASTM F2413-11 and ASTM F2412-11 safety standards making it an ideal choice for those who want protection against hazards in the workplace.
The shoe needs minimal break-in time thanks to its flexible cement construction. The polyurethane outsoles are abrasion and heat resistant, thus adding on to the shoe’s durability.
The shoes also offer shock resistance, which makes it an ideal partner for working in environments that are laden with electrical wires.
An added advantage is that the manufacturer offers a 30-day comfort guarantee that allows the buyer to return the shoe if, within the first 30 days, they feel that the shoe is not comfortable for their feet.
At this point, Timberland Pro promises a refund provided the buyer presents a receipt.
- 30-day comfort guarantee
- antimicrobial treatment
- alloy toe cap
- polyutherane outsoles
6. Thorogood Men's GEN-FLEX 6-Inch Lace-Toe Composite Work Boot
Thorogood is an American brand, but that is not all that makes this boot tick. With more than a century’s experience in boot making, Thorogood delivered the promise of comfort with the Thorogood Men's GEN-FLEX 6-Inch Lace-Toe Composite Work Boot.
The shoes are made of 100% leather, which makes them resilient, strong and durable.
Also, the shoes are abrasion and shock resistant thanks to the side bumpers and rubber toes. To make the boot durable and breathable, Thorogood incorporated a polyurethane mesh lining.
The boot also features compression-molded gel inserts that work to ensure the boot wearer’s comfort. No matter what environment you work in, Thorogood boots will hold up for a long time.
The boot also has wide heels that work to ensure that the wearer is stable. Thanks to its sporty looks, you can don these boots at work, or you can choose to use them for everyday activities.
Many users report that these boots are ideal, even in tough environments. However, if you use them excessively, they may serve you for approximately 8 months.
- polyurethane footbed,
- shock, and abrasion-resistant
- 100% leather
7. Ariat Work Men's Groundbreaker Work Boot
The Ariat Work Men’s Groundbreaker work boot is the brainchild of Ariat International Inc.
The company Ariat is recognized as a high-end maker of boots, not just for heavy work, but for riding as well.
This boot, in particular sports the classic western boot style that exudes functionality and comfort. The shoes have a full-grain leather upper, making it well suited for the harshest conditions.
This simply means that anybody that needs rugged performance can wear this boot, not just plumbers.
The boot also features a durable tread, including a Duratread outsole that is oil, acid, and slip-resistant. The debris release design ensures that the wearer of the boot experiences top performance.
With a soft toe for extra protection, these may just be the right boots for your plumbing needs. The Groundbreaker work boot offers supportive cushioning and extra protection on the feet, thanks to the insole, which has a higher rebound.
Depending on the boot you choose, the boot may have a 2 or 4-row stitch that ensures it is strong. The boot also has the breathable Clarino leather shaft that helps regulate temperatures such that heat is retained in winter and dissipated in Summer.
For easy wearing, the boot incorporates pull tabs. The Groundbreaker platform ensures that the boot can withstand the harshest conditions, offering you the utmost protection. This boot also meets the ASTM F2892-11 EH regulations.
- soft toe
- Duratread outsole
- high rebound insole, full-grain leather
8. Skechers for Work Men's Workshire Relaxed Fit Work Steel Toe Boot
Sketchers are popular not just at home but abroad as a footwear pioneer. The manufacturer is hailed for producing high quality, reasonable products that come at affordable prices and meet the needs of their wide variety of clients.
It is no wonder that they have designed a boot that is desirable among plumbers. The Skechers for Work Men's Workshire Relaxed Fit Work Steel Toe Boot is made from quality leather, making it comfortable and durable.
With the linen fabric in place, the shoe has a smooth feeling. The boot also features a padded collar, which gives strength and helps secure and guards the foot against any harm.
With thick rubber soles, the shoe is shock resistant and offers proper grip such that the wearer can be confident when working in any environment. Some of the boots that we have featured here require decent break-in time.
However, this is not the case with this boot. It features the memory form which makes the break-in time shorter than most boots.
Also, this Sketcher boot offers comfort and security thanks to the polyurethane footbed. The boot also features eyelet lacing making them fit perfectly for their sizes. If you are wondering whether these shoes fit industry standards, it would be important to note that they are ASTM-approved.
They can, therefore, protect your feet against any heavy falling objects thanks to the steel toe and are also shock absorbent. With an antimicrobial treatment sole, these shoes prevent you from catching bacteria that cause infection.
It is worth noting that these shoes may become shabby when there is heavy rain because it is not made from waterproof leather.
- 100% leather
- antimicrobial treatment
- thick outer sole
- polyurethane footbed.
9. KEEN Utility Men's Pittsburgh Soft Toe Work Boot
This boot fuses durability, versatility, and flexibility and this is what makes it particularly loved by many.
This boot truly lives up to the great legacy that the KEEN Company has built over the decades.
These boots hold up well, whether they are worn on concrete or dirt surfaces. The shoe is named after the city of Pittsburgh.
This city has many steel plants and factories, creating the need for the people who work there to have safety shoes such as the Pittsburgh soft toe.
The boot features a rubber guard for the toe to ensure that the foot is well protected.
When it comes to comfort, this great boot can only be likened to tennis shoes or better.
With a waterproof breathable lining, the shoe efficiently keeps moisture out. The midsole and footbed are EVA, promoting the wearer’s comfort. These shoes can serve you sufficiently the entire day without tiring the feet.
If you have flat feet, then this boot is for you because it will provide you with the much-needed extra support in the heel area. This boot provides electrical hazard protection and is slip and oil resistant.
Further, these shoes are waterproof, thanks to their Nubuck leather lining and breathable membrane. You, therefore, do not have to worry about them soaking in water as you work. This shoe is, therefore, not only suitable for plumbers.
They can be worn by farmers, construction workers, those who operate machines, and by people going on hikes. This boot is my favorite in this list thanks to its great build and the comfort and reliability.
- 100% leather
- soft toe protection
- breathable membrane
- oil, and slip-resistant
Factors to Consider When Buying Work Boots
It is common knowledge among plumbers, and other professionals who need work boots that work boots are not the same and that some might feel better on foot than others.
This section is, therefore, laden with information regarding factors that you might want to consider when buying work boots.
The risk you encounter at work
You can surely find multipurpose work boots in the market. However, before picking just any boots, understand the kind of environment that you will experience so that you reduce the risk of a foot injury.
Some of the risks that you could face and should be considered include:
- Exposure to heat, cold and in extreme cases, water
- Electric shock
- Exposure to corrosive liquids
- Uneven ground that may require extra support on the boot
- Sharp objects penetrating the foot
If you do not know for sure the kind of risk you shall be facing, it may be beneficial to ask a fellow employee or the company you will work with, so you get the right type of boots.
The assembly of the boot you choose will definitely affect your safety. If your boot has cement construction, then it simply means that the sole and the upper part of the boot are cemented using cement.
Shoes with this kind of make are lightweight and affordable. Unfortunately, it is not possible to replace a worn-out or damaged boot. Also, there is welting construction.
These kinds of boot, unlike the former, are durable. In the paragraphs before this one, you saw the mention of Goodyear welting. This is not the only type of welting. There is also Blake welting.
However, welting generally involves stitching the shoe into the sole. Goodyear welting involves making a double stitch into the sole. Interestingly, Goodyear welt construction will mean the boot is more durable and expensive, as well.
These boots are the most common among plumbers and are good when the job involves climbing and walking. The boots can withstand wet and cold climates and are easily repairable when the sole wears out.
Type of sole
There are different types of soles that you will encounter in your quest for the right boots. Thanks to this guide, you will get to understand the types of soles available to you.
A tip, however, is to ensure that you choose slip-resistant soles. We explain more below:
- Rubber outsoles. Rubber outsoles are made of rubber, which naturally provides good grip. If you are choosing a boot for plumbing, therefore, you will have to consider getting boots with rubber outsoles. This goes for anyone that works in a damp or wet environment.
- Thermoplastic polyurethane. Polyurethane has also been mentioned above. These soles tend to be elastic. Therefore, they are resistant to abrasion, oil, chemicals, and splitting. This means that the shoes are not easily destroyed.
- EVA midsoles. EVA stands for ethylene-vinyl acetate. As you may have observed from the reviews done above, EVA midsoles stand out because they provide extra cushioning making boots good for those with flat feet and those who suffer from knee and back pain
If, therefore, you plan to choose a boot, consider the type of sole you want.
Types of toes
In the above section, you must have seen the mention of steel and soft toe. Steel toe boots are good for the protection of feet from heavy objects. However, steel boots are bulky. Boots made of steel will definitely conduct heat.
This means that when it is cold, the shoes will feel colder. When the temperatures are warmer, the shoes will be warmer.
Fortunately, you can get the benefits of the steel toe without having to deal with the drawbacks by using composite toes.
Composites are made from carbon fiber or Kevlar and plastic. With the composite toe, the effects of the weather will not be felt, but your feet will be equally well protected.
This may seem like an obvious thing to consider. However, we must discuss this because it would not be worth it spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on shoes that do not fit or hurt your digits.
The perfect fit most times is usually a little snug but never too tight on foot. A tip that I often use is going shopping in the evening.
The reason why I do this is that feet commonly swell throughout the day, and shopping for shoes in the afternoon or evening helps you know how well a boot would fit at the end of the say.
Also, carry with you socks so that you know exactly how the shoes will fit. For some shoes, you will have to consider the break-in period. Luckily, we have discussed the details of break-in periods to make your work easier when choosing a good boot.
Kind of work boots suitable for Plumbers
For you to get the best boots as a plumber, the characteristics that you should look out for include:
- Comfort. As a general rule of thumb, you should strive to have comfortable shoes not just for work but for everyday wear. If you have ever had uncomfortable shoes at any one point in life, then you must know that the discomfort from shoes can simply turn your life into a nightmare.
Since we spend most of our days at work, comfort becomes an important factor when considering the shoes to buy.
- Slip resistance. Throughout the review, you will notice that most of the boots were slip-resistant. Slip resistance is important because, as a plumber, you work in areas that may be slippery or where there is a risk of falling. The outsoles of your shoes are best slip-resistant.
- Safety toe caps. As a plumber, you work with equipment that is heavy, and it is not uncommon to hear that something dropped. Since we cannot change the environments we work in, the best bet is usually to protect the feet.
Shoes that are ASTM rated do this job quite well, and therefore, you should ensure that yours are labeled as such. Since you work around water, you may also have to consider getting electrical hazard resistant shoes because water conducts electricity exposing you to risk of shock.
- Durability. Since you work around water, you will have to consider how durable the shoes you want will be. In the review above, I discussed in detail the durability of each shoe to help you make the best decision yet.
There are materials and construction types that are more durable than others. Durability goes hand in hand with quality, and therefore, many quality boots are durable as well.
As such, you should think about investing in your work boots so that you get durable quality ones that will serve you for longer. The boots we reviewed are some of the best performing boots worldwide and from reputable companies. Choosing a boot from that list will definitely guarantee satisfaction.
How to Take care of your work boots
Now you have bought your boots, and you are wondering what practices you can use to ensure that the boots are in their best form always. In this section, we let you in on the maintenance essentials that will keep your boots looking top-notch.
Do not oil your boots during the break-in period
Caring for your boots starts from the day they are bought. Many people, during the break-in period, are tempted to oil their shoes so that they become softer and more comfortable.
If you choose a shoe that needs a considerable break-in period, the best you can do is to give it time. Be patient so that your foot can mold the shoe so that it breaks around your foot and not as a result of being oiled. When oiled, boots may end up fitting sloppily.
If the shoes have already gone past the break-in stage, then you can apply oil for preservation purposes. Do this by applying an even coat. Look at how the shoe is stitched and consider the welting.
Areas where the pieces of leather meet should receive extra tender loving care, if you can call it so, with the oil treatment.
Ensure that you do not put too much oil around the eyelets and hooks as these may pull out as a result of the leather stretching.
Most boots come already waterproof, especially if they are made of leather. However, if your boots are not fully waterproof, you do not have to worry because waterproofing is both cheap and simple.
To ensure your boots in their best form, use water-based waterproofing products.
This is vital because water-based products do a better job allowing your boots to breathe.
Breathability is key when work boots are involved. Water-based products will allow evaporation of sweat while helping your precious boots repel water from the outside.
Water-based products do not contain petroleum.
Petroleum stretches leather since it requires heat to apply and can warp leather in the process. Water-based lubricants also do not attract dust.
While the use of water-based products is recommended, you can use other types of products. Note that for any product, the best result is achieved after the application of two to three coats.
The first coat is normally applied when you get the boots initially. A second comes approximately a fortnight later, and so does the third.
Cleaning of boots should be done regularly so that they last longer. However, this does not necessitate every day cleaning. After all, all you want to do at the end of a long hard shift is to go home and sleep.
You can, however, comfortably clean your boots over the weekend, for instance. A quick five-minute break in the day to care for your trusted booties will do no harm.
With the exception of suede, every other type of leather boots is to be cleaned using water-based products. For scrubbing, use a nylon brush as it is the most effective. Those with suede boots should utilize pencil erasers instead. To clean the inside of your boot, use a low PH shampoo.
After some time, you will notice that your boots begin to stiffen. Worry not, this is just a small bump on the way.
The simple solution is to soften the boots by conditioning. Leather easily dehydrates, and what follows is usually cracking.
To make matters worse, it becomes susceptible to scratches and other types of problems. For suede leather, you will have to identify a suede conditioner to get the job done.
Removal of scratches
There are steps that you can take to reduce the damage caused by scratching on leather boots.
For grain leather, first, you will have to clean and condition the boot. After, you will smooth the scratch with conditioner again as you try to compress the part that has been affected by the scratch.
Apply white vinegar while compressing the affected part. What is interesting is that you will notice the leather closing up because vinegar closes up leather. You will then apply polish to the leather.
For patent leather, you will clean then use shoe polish to buff the scratch. Next, cover your boot with liquid silicon. Liquid silicon has a similar appearance to the polish that is used by manufacturers to coat patent leather.
This liquid silicone plays a vital role in helping hide scratches and the polish used as well. Your boot will look as good as new.
By now, you must have noticed that suede leather is a special type of leather. This type of leather is usually delicate. To work on a scratch that is on suede leather, you will have to clean the boot using a pencil eraser.
Next, raise the areas around the affected place by using a toothbrush to buff. The next step will be to condition as we described in the preceding paragraphs.
When boots are worn for long hours and used on tough surfaces, the first part of the shoe to be affected is always the sole. It is common sense to replace the soles when this happens.
However, to add an extra layer of protection before the soles get worn out, you could buy insoles. Insoles work perfectly to ensure extra comfort for the shoe as well.
Choosing the best work boot is not easy. However, our comprehensive list will help you pick the boot you deem most fit for your needs as a plumber.
Additionally, the review gives you the best tips showing you what is most important when you are choosing a boot, what options are suitable for you as a plumber, and, ultimately, how to take care of your grain, patent, and suede leather boots.
Having read this comprehensive review, I know that you will now have an easy time picking the best boots for your needs at the best budget. Also, you will be able to take care of your shoes efficiently.