All Riggers Deserve To Be Comfortable and Protected
If I learned something over my years as a tradesman is that my job’s performance is strictly related to two features I expect from my equipment. And those two features are comfort and protection.
I mean, I need to be comfortable in all conditions and still be protected from any hazards I may encounter at my job. And this is no different for riggers!
I admit, being a rigger can be tough, not everyone can do it. Having to deal with heavy machines and heavy loads is something usual that is not for everyone. And the worst is that if you don’t take the necessary precautions you can get hurt pretty badly!
But, the problem is not only that but the fact that most brands tend to prioritize protective features over comfort features when it comes to designing work boots. This situation leaves riggers with a market full of work boots that are overpriced and uncomfortable.
The good news are that in this article I’m gonna show you the 5 best rigger work boots that successfully combine comfort and protective features!
The 3 Elements I Think The Best Rigger Boots Should Have
As a rigger, the first problem you will encounter will be the work tasks you’ll be required to do.
Moving heavy loads and managing heavy machinery will be at the top of them.
If anything would fall on your feet you’re toasted, my guess is that you’ll lose a toe or two (not kidding).
But in front of this situation, the solution is simple, you must get a pair of boots that effectively protects you and your toes with safety features such as a steel toe and a good-quality outsole that will provide you with traction even on sketchy surfaces.
Most rigger boots I see are protective, but they end up being uncomfortable to wear. This ends up in the majority of riggers thinking that there aren’t any comfortable boots in the market.
Manufacturers exploit this fact and they don’t spend money nor energy creating comfortable boots, which creates a situation where there are only a few rigger boots worth buying.
My solution is looking for rigger boots that come with cushioned footbeds and midsoles that are shock absorbing. So far, these are the two features that make all the difference in the world when it comes to giving my feet comfort.
I’ve noticed that nowadays most brands end up outsourcing their production process to third-world countries which are a decision that at the end reduces the boots level of durability, along with their cost to make.
This elevates the chances of you getting a pair of work boots that won’t endure a fraction of the time you need them to, making you lose money along the way.
What you can do, as a rigger looking for a great pair of boots is looking for superior leather and improved construction methods, as those will ensure a certain base level of quality and durability.
How Did I Test The 5 Best Rigger Boots In The Market
Most riggers know what it is to walk around the construction site for hours and hours without any breaks.
That’s why I’ve decided to purposefully walk around on different surfaces of the construction site, leveled, unleveled, slippery, etc.. to properly test their protective and comfortable features.
I also tested them by repeatedly hoping on and off cranes and other big and heavy machines, as riggers are constantly in contact with them.
I mean, I tried, as much as possible, to replicate the conditions that riggers face in their daily job so I could choose the best riggers boots the right way.
The 5 Best Rigger Boots For Operating Heavy Machinery
1) The Most Durable Rigger Boots: Timberland PRO Men’s Rigmaster XT Steel- Toe Waterproof Work Boot| Review
Awesome Protection With Great Additions
Built with superior quality materials, these Timberland rigger boots have great features which protected my feet nicely during the testing period.
To begin with, they came with top-rated safety steel toes responsible for giving me the ultimate protection from any hazards that could have occurred at the construction site.
They were also made with top-quality waterproof leather used to keep my feet dry no matter what! That same leather was treated with a unique mesh lining that prevents odor from building up, which is a great addition for all of us workers who’re used to sweat a lot in hot weathers.
Finally, these awesome Timberland boots came with non-marking PU outsoles that were specifically designed with triangular lugs that helped my feet in maintaining adequate grip preventing any falls when walking on slippery surfaces.
These are one of the most durable and comfortable rigger boots out of the many options available.
Primarily, they came with the so-called “Ever-Guard” leather which was reinforced in specific areas following the advice of many past customers who have complained over the years that had the same exact problems.
I mean, I’m not kidding when I tell you that this feature is responsible for making them last at least 2 years in great conditions!
On the account of comfort, these great rigger boots had a unique “Timberland Anti-Fatigue Technology” that was guilty of providing me impressive shock-absorbing features no matter the surface I would test the boots in.
This feature, mixed with the Contoured Single-Density Polyurethane footbed provided me with a comfort level enough to make me feel as if I was walking on clouds!
Features and Specifications
Waterproof full-grain leather upper with waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry.
High-wear areas are reinforced with Ever-Guard™ leather to enhance durability in rugged work site.
Water-impermeable membrane keeps feet drier and delivers superior waterproof protection. Also provides blood-borne pathogen protection.
Features The PowerFit™ comfort system uses a combination of ergonomically-designed elements at key zones to supply movement and provide critical support – delivering maximum comfort all day long.
Heavy-duty laces with quick-release hardware for easy on/off.
Goodyear® Welt Cast-Bond™ construction for a durable mechanical and chemical bond.
Anti-Fatigue technology with conical PU midsole geometry.
Nonmarking PU outsole is lightweight yet rugged with excellent oil and slip resistance.
Aggressive tread design featuring triangular lock lugs for maximum traction.
Foam-padded collar and tongue.
Unique “”fingergrip”” pull-on feature for ease of entry.
Mesh lining with Agion® antimicrobial treatment.
Contoured, single-density OrthoLite® footbed.
Steel safety toe meets I/75 and C/75 impact and compression ASTM F2412-11 and F2413-11, EH safety standards.
There are more than 105 reviews in Amazon.com about these work boots at the time of writing and they have given them a 4.4 out of 5 rating on average. The reviews of this pair of work boots are positive overall, stating things like “Amazingly comfortable for the price.“, “Purchased for my son..great review” and “Great product“
2) The Most Comfortable Rigger Boots: Irish Setter Men’s 83606 Aluminum-Toe Work Boot| Review
American-Made Durability and Protection
These boots came with safety aluminum-toes that surpassed various high-standards like the ASTM F2413-11, M I/75 C/75, and not only that, but they’re also electrical hazard rated which is awesome for me as I’m used to working near wires and cables that usually make me nervous!
In terms of durability and looks, these boots were surprisingly good, providing triple-stitching details with laces that had durable metal eyelets that made the boots feel superior and attractive.
These Irish Setter work boots came with an American-made “Briar Turbo Vegas” waterproof leather that kept not only my feet protected, but also their whole structure as it was of a great quality.
To conclude, what I really enjoyed about these Irish Setter rigger boots was the fact that they were constructed following the “Goodyear Welt “method which if you know something about boots, is one of the best procedures to manufacture protective footwear!
There are more than 302 reviews in Amazon.com about these work boots at the time of writing and they have given them a 4.2 out of 5 rating on average. The reviews of this pair of work boots are positive overall, stating things like “I’ve never worn a better boot.“, “Five-star boot comfort, beauty, affordable” and “Light, comfy and sturdy.“
3) The Best All-Around Rigger Boots: KEEN Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot| Review
Responsible for giving me one of the best protective experiences I’ve ever sensed with a pair of boots, these Keen Utility Pittsburgh work boots had non-marking rubber outsoles which provided me maximum traction on any surface I would test these boots.
Additionally, they came with safety steel toes that were responsible for providing me the protection I needed during the testing period. I mean, as a rigger you have to be in constant contact with heavy machinery, and a good-quality safety toe becomes essential!
To wrap this review, these Keen Utility boots came paired with the famous “KEEN Key-Tech” TPU interlocking torsion plate, giving me the support and flexibility I needed to make any movement I wanted to do, no matter what, without any risks of hurting myself.
Along with its great performance protection wise, this pair of Keen Utility boots excelled at the durability test too.
The leather the guys at Keen used to make these boots was properly waterproofed which not only kept my feet dry and odor free but also maintained the looks of the boots pretty nicely after months of having tested them on really tough external conditions like rain, mud, and concrete.
In terms of comfort, things went great too.
They came with dual density compression-molded EVA and PU midsoles that gave me the suspension I needed to achieve any position or movement I would need to do, which isn’t something I can say of most other work boots.
Features and Specifications
Dual density compression molded EVA and PU midsole
Locking metal hooks and lacing eyelets
Meets or exceeds ASTM F2412-11 and F2413-11 I/75 C/75 EH standards
Oil and slip resistant non-marking rubber outsole
KEEN Key-Tech™ full length TPU interlocking torsion plate
KEEN.Dry waterproof breathable membrane
Left and right asymmetrical steel toe
Lining with hydrophobic/hydrophilic 2-zone comfort technology
There are more than 550 reviews in Amazon.com about these work boots at the time of writing and they have given them a 4.5 out of 5 rating on average. The reviews of this pair of work boots are positive overall, stating things like “Happy Keen Feet“, “Absolutely love these boots” and “Love these boots“
4) The Most Protective Rigger Boots: Irish Setter Men’s 83608 Steel Toe Work Boot| Review
Meeting various safety standards, these pair of Irish Setter boots possessed safety steel toe-caps responsible for providing me protection which seemed was custom-made to fit the needs of riggers who deal with heavy machinery on the daily.
Additionally, they came with unique P UV-Grip outsoles that had very good traction on every surface I would test them on, no matter if that ground was slippery or even straight oily (something very common in most construction sites).
Now, to comment on the boots durability features, they came with top-quality full-grain leather able to stand the very hard circumstances I would test the boots into, in order to see their limits.
To close, they also were constructed with the widely-known “Direct-Attach Construction Method” which added years of durability to the boots, for every rigger that wants a pair of boots that lasts a lot.
To begin with, my review on the boot’s comfort features, let me tell you that they came with molded heels that provided me with an excessive comfort sensation while also letting me adopt any type of posture without restriction.
Furthermore, these Irish Setter rigger boots came with mind-blowing removable polyurethane footbeds that were also cushioned which provided my feet with extra comfort, making it an essential feature in all the work boots I test from now on!
I really was not expecting that the most protective rigger boots were going to be that comfortable!
There are more than 193 reviews in Amazon.com about these work boots at the time of writing and they have given them a 4.5 out of 5 rating on average. The reviews of this pair of work boots are positive overall, stating things like “Five Stars“, “good boot” and “Better than expected“
5) The Best-Price Rigger Boots: Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss Steel- Toe Boot| Review
The comfort provided by this pair of Timberland Pitboss boots was noteworthy.
First, to prevent any feet pains, the boots came with open-cell polyurethane footbeds and midsoles which were to blame for the awesome cushioned sensation I had every time I took a step during the testing period.
Apart from that, their padded top collars doubled the comfort sensation making them feel more convenient and easy to use.
To conclude, the boots had nylon shock-diffusion plates which were vital in giving me the support I needed, which every rigger needs too, to make any movement I wanted to do at the construction site without worrying about the boots bulkiness or their lack of flexibility.
These Pitboss boots had awesome protective feature. I mean, it’s no wonder why I labeled them as the best price rigger boots.
To start out, they came containing the famous Timberland safety steel toes in charge of protecting my toes against any possible hard objects that would fall at the construction site, which is an essential feature for most riggers as they’re working with heavy machinery all the time!
On top of that, they had rubber outsoles prepared to provide additional grip and resistance in oily and slippery surfaces, which are more than common in most construction sites.
On the other hand, their durability features were impressive too.
They came made from a rugged leather that provided extreme durability in more than demanding external conditions.
Along with that, they were made following the “Goodyear Welt Construction Method” which, if you know something about work boots, adds years of durability to any boot’s lifespan as it’s one of the smartest boot manufacturing methods nowadays.
Features and Specifications
Rugged nubuck leather upper for comfort and durability
Goodyear welt construction for extra durability
Steel safety toe
Open-cell polyurethane footbed with antimicrobial treatment for comfort and
Polyurethane midsole for durable comfort
Cambrelle fabric lining with antimicrobial treatment for odor control
Padded top collar for comfort
Nylon shock-diffusion plate for support and torsional rigidity
Cast metal top hooks for increased durability
Timberland PRO rubber outsole is abrasion-, slip- and oil-resistant
There are more than 2662 reviews in Amazon.com about these work boots at the time of writing and they have given them a 4.2 out of 5 rating on average. The reviews of this pair of work boots are positive overall, stating things like “These boots are AMAZING“, “One of the few boots that can survive my job” and “Very Happy with the Purchase.“
My Verdict: And The Best Rigger Boots Are..
Irish Setter Men’s 83608 Steel Toe Work Boots
Check out their review by clicking the button down below to understand why I chose them.. Review
The Conclusion: Always Go For Resistant and Flexible Features!
Most riggers are used to work with heavy machinery and heavy loads, this is obviously a problem for most of them. They’re constantly doing calculations to decide how to move and place heavy loads accurately. This means that riggers need protection but also comfort from their work boots. I mean, without comfort nor protection they won’t be able to work properly.
That’s why always prioritizing comfort and protective features when it comes the time to decide which work boots to buy, is the best thing to do!
Hopefully, in this article, I’ve shared with you some knowledge on which are the best rigger boots in the market to satisfy all your needs.
Hey, my name is Michael Donovan. I'm a rigger and, I think, good father from Texas who's in love with his job and family. I'm happy to be a writer here in WorkBootsGuru.com and I hope my experience can help you!