Apr 02, 2015

ManMade Essential Toobox: You Need a Pair of Trusty Workboots

One day you will be tearing down a plaster and lathe ceiling, or cutting up some wood pallets in the back yard, or cleaning up a gutted bathroom, and you will bring your foot down on a two- or three-inch long nail. The metal will pierce the skin, cruise through the soft abductor hallucis muscle that forms the arch of your foot, and, if you step down hard enough, take out a tiny chip of bone from one of your metatarsal. I'll let you imagine the sound of that for a minute.


You could take the advice of a guy who's speaking from experience (I stepped off a ladder onto a nail sticking out of piece of lathe while wearing, of all things, old Ben Sherman tennis shoes), and get yourself a decent pair of work boots. Thus, the subject of today's ManMade Essential Toolbox post: GET YOURSELF SOME SOLID, COMFORTABLE WORKBOOTS!

created at: 04/02/2015Here's the thing - you see lots of guys walking around these days sporting Red Wings, Wolverines, Chippewas and the like. Look! There's even a blog to make fun of them/us: http://www.hipstersinworkboots.com/. Hah! I can take a joke.

And also? ManMade has covered the subject pretty well here (boots for any budget roundup). Yes! Work boots are a legitimate fashion statement, and, mocking blogs aside, I highly recommend them for that purpose.

But that's not what I'm talking about here. Today, I'm telling you, you need a pair of good, not-too-expensive-but-still-comfortable-and-protective boots that you can wear into the ground. These should never see the inside of a coffee shop, night club, or, god forbid, art gallery. 

My Duluth Trading Co. boots

I have a pair of Duluth Trading Co. 8" Contractor's Boots that I love. At $199, they may or may not suit your definition of expensive, but I think they're a good deal (they'll last me five years ... that's $40 a year). They're super comfortable, and I like the extra ankle support I get with the 8" version.


Wedge Sole:

$199: Duluth Trading Co. Contractor's Boot (8")

Duluth Trading Co. Contractor's Boot
Chris & I both have these, and absolutely love them.

$65-$70: Golden Fox Moc Toe Light Weight Work Boot

Golden Fox Moc Toe Wedge Sole Boot
These come well-reviewed (on Amazon and a few other places I checked), so they look like a reasonable option if you want to spend a lot less).


$109-$140: Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 

Timberland PRO Pitboss
These are the best sellers in their category. Tons of good reviews (4.5 stars with 1,200 reviews!). 

For work and play:

$70: Golden Fox Men's Chukka Boot

Golden Fox Chukka
These look like a great combination of a tough work boot, and a shoe that you could actually wear out of the house. Full grain leather and a pig skin lining, and plenty of solid reviews. This might be good for you if you're looking for more of an all-around piece of footwear.





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Will on Feb 12, 2016:

I have a pair of the Golden Fox Moc Toe Light Weight Work Boot, amazing construction. Been wearing them for about 1 year and they still stand well. Best work boot for the price! Bought mine off their website and saved 15% off for my first purchase. 

DaveD on Apr 06, 2015:


I'm just guessing based on the looks and origin. They certainly look the same. You have to wait for a % off boots sale on Amazon (which they seem to run fairly regularly) and you should be able to get them for around $130. I really like mine (got the 8" round toe version).

DaveD on Apr 03, 2015:

Those Duluth boots are obviously made by Weinbrenner (who make Thorogood). They even state a "Wisconson boot maker" makes them. You can get them from Amazon for around $130. Thorogoods do not come with the "removable shock-absorbing insole" (though that's hardly worth the markup)...