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Eight-inch work boots give you the ultimate in protection. If you work in a job where you may suffer any foot injuries, then eight-inch boots are going to protect you. They are worn the world over by police officers, security guards, construction workers, farmers, military personnel, and more. They give protection, support, and can still have you looking stylish when doing all of that.
As eight-inch boots also protect your ankles, you are less at risk of ankle injuries, and many people find this extra support more comfortable. Depending on your job, you can also find eight-inch boots that are waterproof, and some that come with a whole host of extras.
Let’s take a look at some of the best eight-inch boots out there.
Our Top Picks
When we went looking for the best eight-inch boots, there was a lot to wade through, but there were some that caught our eye more than others. Here are the seven best pairs that we found.
1. Kodiak Men’s 8-inch McKinney Work Boot
Safety toe: Composite | Waterproof: Yes
These Kodiak 8-inch McKinney boots are made in the USA. They come with a rubber sole that offers optimum grip, great for workplaces where there is water on the floor. The boot opening is 12” in circumference, enough to easily get your foot in, and it closes up nicely to protect your ankle.
When it comes to comfort, you have that in buckets here. The inside is soft while the exterior is rugged, and the signature full-bellows leather tongue gives flexibility, breathability, and does not rub or chafe. The full-grain leather upper is waterproof, with an extra waterproof membrane layer to really keep the water out. The 200gm Thinsulate insulation also keeps your feet warm. Great boots for cold weather conditions, but with enough breathability to keep your feet cool in the heat.
The Comfortzone footbed comes with OrthoLite comfort foam, and that helps to cushion your feet when you are on them all day, and, when you are on your feet all day, you know that you can get odors in there. The Kodiak footbed technology helps to keep your feet and your boots odor-free.
Perfect work boots for demanding environments when you are on your feet all day.
Read our hands-on review: Men’s Kodiak McKinney 8-Inch Composite Toe Work Boot
2. Wolverine Men’s Hellcat UltraSping CarbonMax 8-inch Work Boot
Safety toe: Carbon | Waterproof: Yes | ASTM standard: ASTM F2413-18 M I/75 C/75 EH
One look at this eight-inch work boot and you know that it is built to last. They have extra protective layers so that they can stand up to abrasions, impacts, and punctures. They are 100% made in the USA, and they have an extra nylon shank that adds extra strength to the exterior. With a rubber sole on the bottom, they give you an amazing grip even in wet conditions.
The premium full-grain leather upper is completely waterproof, and the leather makes them breathable too, so water is not getting in from the outside, and the moisture inside is easily wicked away. The rubber lug sole really grips the surface below you, and the time-tested Goodyear welt construction gives you the same grip that tires have on the road.
Inside is where it is at with these Wolverine Hellcat CarbonMax boots though. The removable OthoLite cushioned footbed is light and comfortable. You can easily remove it to wash it, and it holds shape well over the years. There is also the revolutionary UltraSpring high-rebound midsole that not only cushions your step but also helps to energize it.
If you have had trouble finding a work boot that was comfortable, then look no further.
3. Timberland PRO Men’s 8-inch Boondock Work and Hunt Boot
Safety toe: Carbon | Waterproof: Yes | ASTM standard: ASTM F2412-11 and F2413-11
Timberland knows what they are doing, and this American company has been crafting work boots for years. If you have ever worn a Timberland boot, then you know that they are a perfect mix of comfort, functionality, and durability. The Timberland PRO Boondock boots are extremely rugged, with a look that mimics that, and they are crafted from 100% leather and textile with a high-quality rubber sole.
The heel measures in at 2”, giving you great support, especially when you are on ladders, and the extra thickness provides a great barrier against punctures from nails and other sharp objects. The eight-inch work boot also has a waterproof membrane for extra protection from moisture and dual-purpose lacing hardware. If you need to get your boots on and off quickly, then this is the boot for you.
A fiberglass shank gives you extra support throughout the boot, and the rubber toe-cap protects you when you are in the moment.
If you want a boot that you can trust, this is the one to check out.
4. Bates Men’s UltraLite 8-inch Tactical & Work Boot
Safety toe: Carbon | Waterproof: Yes | ASTM standard: ASTM F2413-15
If you want eight-inch work boots that are made in the USA and have a little more chic style than all the others, then you have come to the right place. These Bates UltraLite boots come all in black, and they look amazing, but don’t let their style detract from what they can do. When you compare them to the other work boots on the list, they more than hold their own.
The Bates boots are 70% leather and 30% nylon. This gives you all the durability and breathability that comes with leather and adds in the extra mobility that nylon gives you. There is a rubber sole on the bottom, and a zipper on the side so that you can easily slide them on and off.
The non-metallic toes offer premium protection and add to the protection from electrical hazards that these boots give you. They are also slip-resistant, moisture-wicking, and breathable. There are removable cushioned EVA midsole inserts for easy cleaning.
If you are looking for something a little bit different with your work boots, then give these a shot.
5. Carolina Boots Men’s 8-inch Logger Boots
Safety toe: Steel | Waterproof: Yes
Crazy Horse boots look amazing. They start out looking fresh and stylish, and eventually, the leather will distress over time. While many other boots will start to look old and worn as they are weathered over time, Crazy Horse boots take on a beautifully distressed look.
The Carolina Logger Boots are 100% waterproof, with a waterproof membrane, and they will keep your feet dry all day. They are electrical hazard rated, and the triple-rib steel shank makes them among the most durable work boots out there.
If you want something beautiful that will only become more beautiful over time, check out these boots.
6. Red Wing Men’s 8-inch Work Boot RW2280
Safety toe: Non-metallic | Waterproof: Yes | ASTM standard: ASTM F2413-18, M/I/C, EH
Another pair of work boots that are made in the USA, and also offer exceptional comfort for those who are on their feet all day. One thing that you will appreciate if you suffer from sore toes or blisters, is the 44% more toe room compared to the average work boot. The non-metallic safety toe not only protects your toe from impacts, but it creates a little more wiggle room too.
These Red Wing work boots are built to be durable and functional. If you work with electricity, the safety toe also makes sure that you do not get any unpleasant shocks. The waterproofing on the leather upper that extends up your calf also protects from shocks if you are in wet conditions, and the leather features best-in-class resistance against oil, gas, chemicals, and abrasions. You can remain dry, comfortable, and protected all day long.
The thermoplastic urethane sole adds an extra layer of waterproofing, and it is comfortable when you are on your feet all day. The rubber sole also adds a lot of traction underfoot.
If you are working with any hazardous materials, this is definitely a boot to consider.
7. Thorogood Men’s 8-inch 1957 Series
Safety toe: Moc Toe | Waterproof: Yes
These American-made boots come straight from the fifties but are updated with the modern world in mind. These Thorogood boots are built to be durable and comfortable, but also to look great under your work pants. They have a smart look that looks great in the workplace but will fit in equally well with your after-work clothes.
The full-grain leather is beautiful and gives enough flexibility and breathability to keep your feet comfortable all day. The removable shock-absorbing footbed allows for easy washing and adds to the comfort. There is also a MAXWear slip-resistant outsole for any wetter (or slippery) condition. The Goodyear storm-welt construction ensures that the sole will last as long as the rest of the boot (which is a long time). You can also re-sole the work boots as needed.
These Thorogood are high-quality work boots for those who appreciate a job well done. Great for wet and muddy conditions, these boots are going to stand the test of time.
If you are nostalgic for the high-quality boots of the past, these are for you.
What To Know Before Buying 8-Inch Work Boots
When you work in potentially hazardous conditions or need more protection on your feet, you need eight-inch work boots. But, before you buy, here are some things to consider.
8-inch Boot Advantages
Eight-inch work boots offer you more protection when you are on the job site, but they also extend beyond that. They are great for any activity when you want more protection from your feet, or do not want your ankles exposed. For this reason, they are also ideal boots for hiking (especially through thick vegetation), camping, and any other outdoor activities.
Eight-inch boots are taller than regular boots, so they are naturally going to protect your ankles and lower leg. Not only will they protect them from abrasions and impacts, but they offer more support too. If you regularly roll your ankle or need extra bracing around your ankle, then eight-inch work boots will offer that extra support.
They offer more warmth than regular boots, and that is down to them being more restrictive. The air is trapped inside and does not move a lot, which is fine for cold weather but can be detrimental in the heat. If you work in warmer climates, look for breathable material like leather, or added ventilation on the boots.
If you need any sort of foot or ankle protection or want more support, eight-inch work boots are your best bet.
ASTM 2413 Standard
ASTM International is an organization that is responsible for international standards when it comes to materials, products, systems, and services. There are over 12,000 technical ASTM standards worldwide.
ASTM 2413 sets the minimum standards and testing procedures for safety footwear, which includes, yes, you guessed it, eight-inch work boots.
When you are looking for eight-inch work boots, you know that you are getting a high standard when you see the ASTM 2413 identification. Of course, just because a work boot does not have this, it does not mean that the high-standard is not there.
Visit Wikipedia to learn more about the ASTM F2413 safety standard.
Steel toe caps were once the gold standard when it came to toe protection, but composite toe caps are now widespread. They can now be made of kevlar, carbon fiber, plastic, and fiberglass. If you need toe protection, then check out some of the options below.
Steel offers more protection than most toe-cap options and can take more impact than other materials. It is also one of the cheaper options when added to a work boot. The main disadvantage is that steel is heavier, so the work boot is going to be heavier overall. This can impact your work if you are wearing the boots for long periods.
Composite toe-caps can be made from kevlar, carbon fiber, plastic, and fiberglass. One of the main advantages over steel is that they are resistant to electricity, and they will not affect any worksites that use metal detectors. A composite toe-cap is often chosen by electricians and engineers.
Composite toe-caps are also lighter than steel, by at least 30%, and this can make them more comfortable when worn all day. They are also less affected by heat, and still offer similar impact resistance to steel.
Alloy toe-caps look and feel a lot like steel toe caps, but are typically lighter. They are made from lightweight alloys, such as aluminum and titanium, and are roughly half as heavy as steel toe-caps.
The alloys also tend to be thinner, and this can leave you more room for your toes, making them more comfortable than steel toe-caps.
The work boots of old would be treated with oil or wax to create water-resistance, and this required a lot of maintenance to keep them waterproof. Thankfully, modern membranes create water-resistance that is permanent.
The one thing to look at when choosing your boots is waterproof vs. water-resistance. Water-resistance will keep water out to an extent, but if you are standing in water all day, some is going to get in. Waterproof boots will keep everything out.
Slip resistance is all about the sole of the boot. The sole should be firm, but still soft enough to grip oily and wet surfaces, with a tread pattern that will draw fluids out from under the shoe. It is hard to get an idea of the slip resistance from look alone, so look at reviews if you can before buying the boots.
Your boot needs to be constructed well if it is going to be durable. There are three main construction methods when it comes to workboots: cement, Blake switch, and Goodyear welt. Let’s take a look at all three.
This is the most popular construction method, and that is because it is the cheapest. Manufacturers use glue to attach the sole of the shoe to the shoe itself, and no sewing means that it is quick and easy. This makes it the least durable method.
If you don’t see any visible stitching on the sole of the boot, it has probably been joined with cement, and you might want to steer clear. While cement construction can last for a long time on some shoes, but for work boots, it may not last.
This method is more durable than cement, and stitching is used to join the sole. Because the upper and sole are stitched together instead of being glued, there is less chance of something like moisture or chemicals destroying the bond.
If you see stitching on the sole of the shoe, it has probably used the Blake stitch method. This method creates a higher quality boot, and is still relatively easy to achieve, as it does not need special machinery to accomplish.
The best quality boots come with Goodyear welt construction. The upper is first attached to the insole of the boot, and that is attached to the sole of the boot using a small piece of leather, which is known as a welt. The pieces are then stitched together.
When you see stitching on a boot, check the sole, and if you see the stitching extend through to the bottom, then it is likely the Goodyear welt method that has been used. The Goodyear welt method creates the most durable bond and will last for a long time.
The weight of the boot can dictate how comfortable you are over the course of the day. If boots are too heavy, then that can take a strain on your feet. Look for boots that are protective, durable, and are still lightweight, especially if you are going to be on your feet all day.