Carpenters are artists and creators that must be protected at all costs. They do their activities standing for long hours, working with different tools and machines to produce beautiful furniture that makes our homes and surroundings gorgeous. Suppose anything should happen to their feet, they can't function well.
If you are a carpenter or you have a loved one who does carpentry or woodworking, the best way to ensure safety at all times is to invest in a safety shoe. In light of this, check out this buying guide of the best shoes for carpenters in 2020.
Thorogood Men's American Heritage 6" Moc Toe
KEEN Utility Men's Pittsburgh 6" Steel Toe Work Boot
RedbacK Men's Safety Bobcat USBOK Dark Brown Elastic Sided Steel Toe Leather Work Boot
Irish Setter Men's 83606 6" Aluminum Toe Work Boot
EVER BOOTS Tank Men's Soft Toe Oil Full Grain Leather Work Boots
Our 7 Best Shoes For Carpenters Picks:
Here are the detailed reviews on the top shoes that we feel best for carpenters-
1. Thorogood Men's American Heritage 6" Moc Toe
The Thorogood® Men's American Heritage shoe is manufactured by the Weinbrenner Shoe Co. company in Wisconsin, USA. Since 1892, the company has been crafting shoes that provide exceptional comfort and high endurance for many jobs.
They were the major supplier of boots to the US Army during the world wars. And they donated about 500 pairs of work boots to Ground Zero following the September 11 terror attacks to workers in the rubble. Their shoes bear the American badge proudly.
The Thorogood American Heritage boots are built to get the job done. It is one of the best shoes for carpenters and people who work on rigid surfaces all day long. However, it's costly.
Its collar height is 6". Weinbrenner Shoe Co. made this shoe with quality craftsmanship and heavy-duty stitching to provide you with utmost comfort and functionality. The tobacco oil-tanned, full-grain soft leather makes it breathable and extra comfortable.
Furthermore, it has a removable ultimate shock-absorbing footbed that provides cushioning and a better fit. Extra cushioning is provided with the innovative poron® comfort cushion insole.
Thanks to this shoe's fiber shank features, it won't lose structure and foot support for years. Its MAXWear Wedge slip-resistant outsole with rugged patterns provides firm traction on all-terrain and has resistance to electric shock.
Your toes are also well protected with the steel safety toe placed at the top of the shoe.
This shoe has Goodyear storm welt construction, where the tongue and eyelet strip are sewn together for keeping out moisture. And they run true to size.
- Well built with good slip-resistance
- Extra comfortable
- Made in the USA
- MAXWear Wedge slip-resistant outsole
- Goodyear storm welt construction to keep off moisture
- Runs true to size
- Minimal break-in period
- Tobacco oil-tanned, full-grain soft leather
2. KEEN Utility Men's Pittsburgh 6" Steel Toe Work Boot
The Keen utility Pittsburgh work boot is a very close runner up to the shoe above. It is versatile, durable, and flexible for a wide range of outdoor purposes.
With its soft cushioning, lateral support, and a 90° contoured heel-lock for a perfect fit, it is an ideal shoe for carpenters, electricians, constructors, and any outdoor occupation. It is made from 100% nubuck leather to last long. KEEN used a lot of their innovative technologies in manufacturing this shoe.
It features the "KEEN.Dry" technology that features a medium-duty waterproof membrane that's breathable without allowing water to penetrate the shoe.
The dual-density compression-molded EVA and PU shock-absorbing midsole supplies enough cushioning and stability to keep you comfortable and protected all day long. It has a removable metatomical footbed design that gives ultimate arch support and holds the foot's natural contours.
The Keen utility Pittsburgh work boot has left and right asymmetrical safety toe design to provide more toe box room and extra comfort. This shoe has steel toe protection, where its outsole covers the toes totally for maximum protection.
Speaking of the outsole, it is made from an oil and anti-slip non-marking rubber to provide firm traction in all-terrain, at all seasons. The outsole has a full-length TPU stability plate that fits into the midsole like a key, providing superior torsion stability, middle and side support, and forefoot stone bruising protection.
Additionally, it has locking metal hooks and lacing eyelets for quick lacing and firm grip. Its American society for testing and materials (ASTM) standard is F2412-11, and electrical hazard standard is F2413-11 I/75 C/75. It weighs 876.0 g and has a collar height of 6".
However, KEEN shoes always have expansive toe rooms, which makes them not run true to size. You can get half size down your standard size or check out the size guide on their website before buying.
- Very comfortable
- "KEEN.Dry" technology keeps out moisture
- It has steel toe protection
- 100% nubuck leather makes it last long
- Oil and anti-slip non-marking rubber outsole for firm traction
- Doesn't run true to size
- Does require a break-in period
3. RedbacK Men's Safety Bobcat USBOK Dark Brown Elastic Sided Steel Toe Leather Work Boot
The Redback brand is one of the reliable manufacturers of work boots and shoes in Australia.
They are the brand with the distinctive spider logo. Redback creates high-functional shoes that work with your foot and not against it to provide all-around comfort all day. They have different shoes, but we'll be taking a look at their bobcat USBOK steel toe work boot.
The bobcat USBOK steel toe boot is manufactured from 2.5 to 2.7mm thick leather, making it 20% sturdier than a regular work boot. It has a full chrome, oiled tannage, which ensures it doesn't harden and crack, maintaining its shape all year long.
Redback used a sole anatomic profile in this shoe to reduce foot fatigue, leg & backache, and arch flexion, otherwise known as sagging. Although, it's reasonably breathable and has no waterproof feature.
Furthermore, it has a steel toe feature to protect the toes from injuries. The shaft is approximately 6" from the arch, and the platform measures 1".
Traction on terrain is good with its non-slip, compression-molded translucent outsole. However, its slip-resistant is, to an extent, depending on the surface you are walking on.
Be informed that these boots are in Australian/UK sizing and not the US. So you'll have to do a sizing conversion to get the size right for you. These shoes are lightweight (2.95 Pounds), and you won't have to go through the hassle of lace when wearing or taking them off, thanks to the elastic sides.
- Extra comfortable and fairly breathable
- No hassle of lace
- Anatomic sole profile reduces shoe fatigue, leg & backache, and arch flexion
- Lightweight and durable work boots
- You'll need to convert sizing from Australian/UK to the US
4. Irish Setter Men's 83606 6" Aluminum Toe Work Boot
The Red Wing shoe manufacturing company manufactures the Irish Setter shoe and is one of the USA's oldest shoemakers. Carpenters, technicians, contractors, electricians, and workers trust in the Irish Setter shoe to protect their feet and keep them comfortable all day.
These shoes feature the trout brook waterproof leather handcrafted by SB Foot Tanning Company, exclusively for the Red Wing shoe brand. The Irish Setter shoe comes in different styles, but we'll be focussing on the style 83606.
The Irish Setter shoe style 83606 is as tough as a nail and as comfortable as slippers. It provides complete protection to the foot in any circumstances. It features a removable soft polyurethane Texon® footbed that provides comfort 24/7 and a better fit.
The rubber-EVA traction tred outsole and heel feature the Red Wing state-of-the-art technology HRO that makes it heat resistant. Additionally, the outsole is designed to limit electric hazards. It meets ASTM F2413-11, M/I/75/C/75 Safety Standards.
This shoe has a Goodyear Welt construction making it sturdy. Its toe box has an aluminum-toe covering to protect your toes from falling heavy and sharp objects.
Actually, the aluminum toe is lighter than a steel toe, so this Irish Setter boots weighs 2.06 pounds. It has a 14" round opening and a 6" lace-up. Also, it doesn't run true to size.
- Water resistant Tout brook leather
- Comfortable for construction sites
- Aluminum toe protection
- Long-lasting Red Wing Boots
- HRO heat-resistant outsole
- It meets ASTM F2413-11, M/I/75/C/75 Safety Standards.
- Goodyear Welt construction
- Doesn't run true to size
- Little arch support
5. EVER BOOTS "Tank Men's Soft Toe Oil Full Grain Leather Work Boots
Ever Boot is a newcomer in the work boot manufacturing industry. Yet, they have gained deserved recognition amongst workers, contractors, carpenters, etc. Their "TANK" work boot launched in October 2015 and is gaining popularity globally.
Ever Boot made it cheap so small scale carpenters, workers, etc., can afford it. It features premium 2.0mm nubuck oil full-grain leather that makes it comfortable and, at the same time, durable. This shoe has an insulated mesh lining that adds extra comfort and ensures your foot stays warm all day.
Furthermore, the TANK work boot has the Goodyear Welt construction for extra durability. Its rubber oil-resistant outsole, with the signature Tank tread pattern, provides strong traction on all kinds of terrains. The shaft is 6" from the arch.
It has a steel shank at the arch, designed to reduce the pressure that causes foot fatigue. So your feet won't get tired from walking around in this shoe. Thanks to the PU insole, comfort is guaranteed all day long. You can remove the insole of the shoe to suit your convenience. Also, the speed hooks allow you to put on and take off the shoe easily.
This shoe has a soft toe in place of a steel toe. Ever Boots stands behind their products, so there's a three-month limited warranty on this shoe.
However, the warranty only applies if the outsole falls apart within three months, leather rips due to normal wear, and the upper and outsole separate. The TANK shoe weighs 3.65 pounds and runs a half size big.
- Cheap and durable
- PU insole gives comfort all day long by keeping feet warm
- Steel shank design to reduce foot fatigue
- Oil-slip resistant outsole
- 3-month limited warranty
- Not true to size
- No steel toe
6. Timberland PRO Men's 6" Pitboss Steel-Toe Boot Shoes
Timberland PRO is a top-rated American shoe manufacturer known for its expertise in creating heavy-duty waterproof boots for years. They have built a tradition of quality craftsmanship and innovation in their shoes.
One of their masterpieces is this 6" pitboss steel-toe boot shoe. This shoe has a sturdy nubuck leather upper that offers premium comfort to your feet and durability to the shoe.
Like other top-class work boots, it has the Goodyear® welt construction that makes it tough and capable of handling all the hustle and bustle of a job site. The steel toe provides a roomier toe box and protection from falling heavy objects. Plus, it meets ANSI safety standards.
Timberland PRO used a removable open-cell polyurethane midsole in this pitboss shoe for lasting comfort. It has the patented anti-odor Cambrelle® fabric linings that inhibit odor by killing the odor-causing microbial, so your shoes won't smell.
Furthermore, it has padded top collars for extra comfort. Its outsole has electrical hazard protection and slip-and-oil resistance to deliver strong traction on the job on any terrain. Also, there are nylon shock-diffusion plates for added support and torsional rigidity.
The pitboss shoe meets the USA and Canadian safety standards as well as ASTM F2412-11, ASTM F2413-11 I/75, and C/75 impact and compression safety standards. Note that this shoe doesn't run true to size. You should order a half size up.
- Comfortable Padded collar
- Electrical hazard protection and slip-and-oil resistant outsole
- Anti-odor Cambrelle® fabric linings
- Steel toe protection
- Durable work boots
- Doesn't run true to size
7. WOLVERINE Men's Quest Puncture Resistant WPF Composite Toe Work Shoes
The Wolverine brand has been around for 135 years. They have consistently designed shoes that put carpenters, contractors, electricians, etc., at the top of their game.
This quest puncture-resistant WPF composite toe work boot is one of these shoes. It is all you need to be safe and comfortable on a job site all-day because it gives complete protection and all-around comfort to your feet.
Wolverine made the shoe from premium-quality waterproof leather and a thick, more durable waterproof nylon to ensure your feet stay dry always in any condition.
Further, this high quality pair doesn't sacrifice breathability for protection thanks to the breathable waterproof membrane with a moisture-wicking lining. So rest assured, your feet will breathe just fine.
This shoe has composite toe construction that meets ASTM F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 EH standard. Its footbed is a removable full-cushioned molded EVA with a puncture resistance shield to protect your feet against sharp objects. It also helps prevent blisters by providing extra comfort, warmth, and a perfect fit.
The lightweight compression-molded EVA midsole adds cushioning and stability to your feet, enduring all the challenges of heavy workdays. Traction on any terrain is guaranteed with the Vibram rubber lug slip, oil, water, and abrasion-resistant outsole.
However, the outsole has a break-in period. Also, it weighs 1.5 pounds, making it lightweight enough for the job. And it runs true to size.
- Well-made with premium-quality leather
- Lightweight and extra comfortable footwear
- Composite safety toe meets ASTM F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 EH standard
- Vibram rubber lug slip, oil, water, and abrasion-resistant outsole
- Breathable, moisture-wicking lining
- Very durable
- It has a break-in period
How to Choose the Best Shoes For Carpenter?
A carpenter's shoes are one of the most important tools he or she needs. They are probably not the first that comes to mind when thinking of working wood, but they definitely should be when it comes to safety. Here are some key questions to ask oneself when choosing shoes for a carpenter:
What are the risks in the workspace of a carpenter?
Woodworking workshops have more than boards and limestone. There are certain risk factors that feet can be protected from. These are some of the most common ones:
The simplest pieces produced by carpenters still involve, to some extent, the use of chemicals that range from inoffensive oils to skin-burning solvents.
A carpenter does not want any of that on their body and even less if it goes through their new pair of fancy shoes to get to their toes. Make sure your carpenter boots have thick, protected material that will not let anything pass.
Especially regarding the sole of any shoe at all, your footwear can save your life. Just like grandmothers would tell us not to open the refrigerator barefoot, a carpenter should not plugin or manipulate any electrical machinery without good, thick rubber soles underneath them.
Rubber or any material that does not conduct electricity will stop the current from going through one's body to the floor if the unlucky event of receiving an electrical discharge onto the fingers from a power source – which is sadly common.
And, of course, human error is the riskiest of all. Slippery hands, rapid movements, multi-tasking… and countless other classic human habits can land a hammer, a knife, or any heavy instrument directly on your toes.
The best way to keep them safe is with strong safety toes that will make the impact seem less. And that takes us to the next question…
What are safety toes, and which are the best ones for a carpenter boot?
Safety toes are hard protectors placed on the front end of a shoe, where the toes go, following the same curvature of the boot and leaving some space between the shoe and the actual foot. They vary mainly in material, but the concept is the same across types.
Steel carpenter shoe toes
Steel is the most used material for toe protection in carpenter shoes. It is durable and super strong, resisting the impact of very heavy and blunt objects that fall on it.
The only con it has is that it is a very heavy material to carry on your feet all day, especially if you have a large foot that requires a large surface to protect.
Aluminum carpenter shoe toes
Also great for its durability and impact absorption power, aluminum is among the favorites for protection. It even has the benefit of having a really thin profile, meaning it weighs far less than steel, so it does not have that point against it.
What does lower its score a little is the sensitivity it has to temperature. It is recommended for someone who works in very average weather conditions (not too hot nor too cold). Otherwise, it would risk getting deformed or dented without even being impacted by anything.
Composite carpenter shoe toes
For modern or innovative carpenter shoe designers, there is a lot more than steel and aluminum to play with when it comes to developing toe protectors. Materials like plastic, Kevlar, carbon fiber can be great protectors if they are well built into shoes.
They are, unlike aluminum, not affected by temperature and, unlike steel, are super lightweight and hardly noticeable when walking around. Ideal! Of course, with nice benefits come not-so-nice prices, and you may find shoe toe protectors made out of these materials tempting until you check the tag.
And speaking of costs, there is one last question to ask oneself before purchasing the carpenter shoe:
How much comfort can I afford when I buy carpenter boots?
Additionally, to the ones mentioned, many features will not make boots necessarily more efficient or safer but will improve the experience of the person wearing the shoe.
Considering that this kind of footwear is made for working and having on practically all day, some comfort matters are relevant. If they can be taken into account during the buying process, they can make a difference. Of course, the comfier they are, the more expensive they may be, but here are some cases in which we consider it worth the while:
Carpenter shoes should be waterproof
Although not as dangerous as strong chemicals, water in your toes can be very annoying and eventually cause other problems to your health or be incredibly bothersome while working.
Carpenter shoes should be flexible.
Given that a carpenter is usually walking around and standing on his feet, it is fundamental that it is not a pain every time he wants to reach out for a tool on the other side of the room. Considering they are quite heavy per se, you do not want it to feel like you are dragging stones every time you move a few steps.
Carpenter shoes should be durable.
With durability certainly comes to the price, but if you are thinking of being a woodworker long term, you might as well invest in it now, instead of having to go to the store over and over, and even worse: unexpectedly. Durability can be achieved especially through the material, but also be aware of fabrication methods and techniques.
In many cases, carpenters, contractors, and workers are required to wear safety boots on the job site at all times. Not adhering to this may be detrimental.
That said, each shoe that made it to this list was handpicked and carefully analyzed amongst the thousands of safety shoes available in the market. Some are quite expensive, but they are a good investment as long as safety and all-day comfort are your priorities.
In conclusion, we have reviewed each of them with their specs and features. We hope you find the best one well suited for your job and budget.