7 Best Landscaping and Landscape Construction Boots for 2020
by CARA SPINDLER
Landscapers and Landscape Construction workers are a special breed.
Not just because their jobs have them laboring on their feet all day, but because they are always working outdoors in the elements.
Landscapers and Landscape Construction Workers need rugged work boots that can handle whatever Mother Nature chooses to throw at them. Because finding a work boot that fits their specific needs can be a chore, Family Footwear Center has some expert advice to help you find the best work boots for these heavy duty jobs.
With the 2020 Landscape Construction season upon us, here is all the expert advice you need for choosing the right boots, based on safety and performance.
Landscape Construction Boots Should Meet the Following 5 Criteria:
Staying Dry - Landscaping Work Boots Need a Waterproof Membrane
Landscaping work boots have to handle walking through the dewy wet grass in the mornings, then suffer the drying effects of the hot afternoon sun. On those days when the rain and sun alternately come and go, it can be especially tough on leather work boots.
When a leather work boot gets wet and then dries out continually over and over again, it can cause the boot's leather uppers to become stressed, and then crack relatively quickly.
You should invest in work boots that have waterproof leather uppers.
If not, make sure you self-treat your work boots with a waterproofing cream or spray, prior to wearing them on the job. Since technology has come a long way, be sure to follow the boot manufacturer's specific recommendations on what type of waterproofing you should use on your particular boots.
But that's not enough.
In addition, your work boots should have a state-of-the-art waterproofing system that effectively seals out water, to make sure that your feet stay completely dry.
Most major work boot manufacturers have designed their work boots to have an internal waterproof membrane built right into the lining of their boots, and they are so seamless and comfortable ...you won't even know it's there!
The science behind the waterproof membrane is simple.
A waterproof membrane is a one-piece, impenetrable liner that water cannot get through, but air can still flow into and out of the boots.
Tiny air holes in the membrane allow tiny air molecules to easily pass through into the boots and circulate around the feet, while the much larger water molecules simply cannot fit through.
Staying Safe - Landscaping Work Boots Need a Protective Safety Toe
Whether you will be running lawn mowers, using weed-wackers and hedge clippers, or doing much heavier landscape construction work, it is important to invest in landscaping boots that have safety toe protection.
Working with heavy bricks, Belgium blocks, wheelbarrows of cement, or driving and working around backhoes and dump trucks make a job site dangerous.
Just stop by any landscape construction site and ask the workers there how often they were grateful they were wearing boots with a safety toe. They will no doubt have stories to tell about serious injuries they avoided because they were wearing protective safety toe boots.
You should wear ASTM approved safety toe work boots to help protect your feet on the job.
ASTM is an international organization, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, which sets the worldwide safety standards for job site safety gear, including safety toe work boots.
This standard helps to protect worker's feet from the impact or compression that might be caused by a heavy object dropping or rolling over the feet.
Once a work boot has protected you from heavy impact or a compression, its strength has been compromised and the work boots should be replaced immediately, even if you do not see any visible dents in the toes of the boots.
While there are different types of materials that safety toe caps can be made of, the use of steel is the most traditional.
However, steel safety toe caps do have their disadvantages.
- Steel is heavy and adds weight to a work boot
- Steel is thick and tends to cramp space in the toe box area
- Steel will conduct heat or cold into the boots
Modern-day technologies now provide light weight safety toe choices.
Safety toe caps that are made out of composite materials, alloys, or even aluminum will provide the same strength and protection as steel, but without the added weight or thickness.
Staying in Control - Landscaping Work Boots Need a Traction Outsole
Working as a landscaper or in landscape construction brings its own set of concerns. You need to take into account that you will be walking over varied terrains, such as loose sand and gravel, wet grass, dirt piles, and concrete.
The outsoles of your landscape boots will need to be able to handle all these different surfaces on dewy mornings, hot dry days and also on wet rainy days.
Secure footing is not an option, it is a necessity, especially if you are pushing a wheelbarrow full of 100 lbs of dirt up a wooden ramp. The grip of your work boot's outsole is everything.
Some work boots come with official slip-resistant outsoles that meet the standards that are set for slip coefficient on different inclines, under different slippery conditions. Work Boots and Shoes that officially meet this standard are stamped slip-resistant on their outsoles.
Staying Cool - Landscaping Work Boots Need to Be Breathable
The weight of a work boot is extremely important to landscapers and landscape construction workers.
The hot sun can tire workers out, so the lighter the weight of the boot the better. The best choice for a landscaper's work boot is one that is either uninsulated or unlined.
This applies even if you are working on jobs into the Autumn.
Even though the weather may be getting cooler, hard work creates sweat inside of leather boots.The work boots you wear will most likely still be non-insulated at this time and it is essential to keep feet cool, deep down within the boots.
Most non-insulated work boots will have a soft lining inside that is both breathable and moisture-wicking, which work together to keep feet cool, dry and comfortable.
Unlined Boots, a favorite of many landscape workers who work into the Fall months, do not have an interior lining. Instead, they will have just raw, slightly rougher leather on the inside of the boot shafts, where the leather hide has not been completely smoothed down.
Many landscapers and also many landscape construction workers opt for unlined boots, but for added comfort will use wool-blend socks that do not itch, and that act as their moisture-wicking layer that will keep their feet cool and dry in the hot months, yet warm and dry in the colder months.
Staying Comfortable - Landscaping Work Boots Need Cushioning and Arch Support
Sufficient cushioning and adequate arch support in a landscaping boot are essential to help absorb shock and to guard against foot pain and fatigue.
The level of comfort of a landscaping boot will come down to your individual needs.
Everyone's feet are different. Some workers have a lot of natural padding under the balls and heels of their feet, and some do not, and the amount of foot padding can change over time with age, or as we put on weight.
Proper arch support
helps prevent foot fatigue.
If you find your feet are generally hurting you by the end of a workday, try removing the boot's insoles and replacing them with after-market ones, such as Spenco Insoles. (pictured above) to provide just the right amount of arch support that your feet need.
Landscape workers that suffer from specific gait or posture issues may need to use their own custom-made orthotics in their work boots. If so, we suggest you look for work boots that have removable insoles, so you can easily swap them out with your own.
With all this in mind here are
Family Footwear Center's
expert picks for the
7 Best Work Boots for Landscaping and Landscape Construction
Chippewa is a leader in the field when it comes to making men's safety toe work boots and the Paladin is a great example of that. They are packed with all the features that make it one of the best work boots for landscape construction workers.
The Chippewa Paladin's uppers are made with 100% waterproof Bay Apache leather and a Chip-A-Tex® waterproof membrane that work together, to not only keep feet dry but to also keep them cool and breathable!
These landscape work boots are non-insulated and the waterproof membrane technology allows air to flow naturally into and out of the boots.
The Chippewa Paladin has a removable Texon Orthotic Insole and lace-to-toe styling, meaning you can adjust the boot laces to create more room for your feet further down into the toe boxes. A strong supportive steel shank and a logger heel that will help guard against foot fatigue.
Protective Steel Toes exceed the ASTM F2413-11 standard for impact and compression, and they are Electrical Hazard (EH) Rated with a world-class Vibram outsole.
The Carolina Sarge Composite Toe work boots are made in the USA in Martinsburg Pennsylvania, from fine components sourced worldwide. This is so only the best materials are used in the construction of these boots here in America.
The Sarge work boots bring together 3 technologies that will keep feet cool and comfortable; they manage heat and moisture, and they also prevent microbial and fungal development.
These Carolina Boots are the best work boots for landscape workers that have wide, or narrow feet! They are available in B (Narrow), D (Regular) 2E, 3E, and 4E, so you will be able to find just the right width for your feet.
The Timberland PRO work boots are engineered to be extra tough and to provide landscape workers with stability and traction.
The Boondock landscape construction boots are super-supportive, with rigid external heel cups for maximum lateral support
These landscaper work boots are built on Timberland's Titan last, which is designed to provide a roomier toe box, and they are made with Cement Construction, which makes them flexible and gives them a super-quick break-in period.
Deep Lug Outsoles keep footing secure in all types of environments, they'll dig right into heavy dirt piles, loose debris, and even into wet, slippery mud.
If you need a landscape construction boot with a hard-working outsole, and ladder grip, the Iron Age Troweler is it!
Overall, the Troweler is a solid work boot. It has a Composite Toe Cap, is waterproof, and it also has really great features like a cushioned ankle guard, a shock absorbing heel, speed lacing hooks and a rubber toe guard.
But the real reason this work boot stands out from all the rest is its intense rubber lug slip-resistant outsole, engineered with traction stabilizers for secure footing, even during the harshest weather conditions.
The Troweler's outsole has rubber web-strike lugs that stick to rails & grates, and Ladder Latch Lugs with Defined Heels to help prevent falls when climbing ladders.
Need a heat and chemical resistant work boot?
Georgia Boot has got your feet covered!
Georgia's Zero Drag landscape construction boots are both heat and chemical resistant.
This is what you need to have on your feet if you work around industrial-type chemicals, such as; grease, oil, or diesel fuels. The Oil and Slip Resistant Outsoles will assure solid traction on any job site.
Engineered to be strong and tough, these Georgia work boots have heavy-duty abrasion resistant toe and heel guards and even have milled brass hardware that gives these boots hardcore durability.
These Wolverine safety toe boots are made with Wolverine's patented CarbonMAX technology that makes use of modern-day Nanotechnology.
It's the safety-toe, reimagined!
The result is a work boot with a much thinner toe cap wall than a traditionally construction boot.
The benefit? A super-lightweight work boot,with lots more room in the toe box area, meaning plenty of wiggle room for toes at the end of the day when feet tend to swell.
These CarbonMAX boots have another great feature: they are made with a High-Visibility Reflective Wrap midsole. This makes these work boots ideal for working in the low light of early mornings, or into the early evening hours on the job site, when visibility tends to be greatly reduced.
If you are looking for a quality Nubuck Leather work boot that will last season after season, the Danner Quarry Work Boot is for you.
Handcrafted in American in Portland Oregon, with imported components, these work boots are built to be extremely tough and durable.
The Danner Quarry has an impenetrable Gore-Tex 100% waterproof membrane and they have an Exclusively Made Vibram Quarry Outsole.
While these may seem overly-pricey for a Landscape Construction boot, you will get your money's worth out of them. They are Triple-Stitched, using Danner's legendary stitch down construction, which provides a wider platform for increased balance and more secure footing.
It also means that these work boots can be resoled and recrafted by Danner's craftsmen at a later date, thereby extending the life of these boots over many seasons of seriously hard work.
One Final Thought on the Best Construction Boots
While the price range of a quality work boot can vary greatly, keep in mind that landscapers and landscape construction workers can easily blow through more than one pair of work boots over the course of a landscaping season. Depending on your specific job site needs, you could save yourself time and money by investing in a high-quality pair of work boots that will last for a year or more.
The benefit is that you won't be buying pair after pair, having to suffer through that uncomfortable break-in period over and over again during the course of a landscape construction year.
Updated March 11, 2020 to confirm the most accurate information
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