Carolina work boots

The 7 Best 8-Inch Work Boots for Any Type of Job

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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.

Related: 12 Best Waterproof Work Boots For Men

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


  • Waterproof and warm
  • Comfort foam footbed
  • Odor prevention


  • None

Safety toe: Composite | Waterproof: Yes

Read our hands-on review: Men’s Kodiak McKinney 8-Inch Composite Toe Work Boot

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.

2. Wolverine Men’s Hellcat UltraSping CarbonMax 8-inch Work Boot


  • Waterproof full grain leather
  • Light & comfortable footbed
  • UltraSpring midsole


  • May be too warm for summer wear

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. Carhartt Rugged Flex Safety Toe CMF8389 Work Boot


  • Composite safety toe
  • Cushion comfort insole
  • Completely waterproof leather


  • Some wearers find them heavy

Safety toe: Carbon | Waterproof: Yes | ASTM standard: ASTM F2413-18 EH

If you work in the cold, in the wet, with heavy objects that could break your toes if dropped, or even with electricity, these 8” Carhartt Rugged Flex work boots are ready to keep your feet safe. True to size, and made from 100% leather, these boots contain a composite safety toe that will protect your toes from impact, compression, and up to 18,000 volts of electricity in dry conditions. The Rugged Flex rubber outsole is cement constructed, and adds to the durability of the boot, its grip, and its ability to protect your foot from harm.

400 gram Thinsulate Microfiber insulation will keep your feet warm in most types of cold weather, by trapping air molecules in the material of the boot, and allowing your body temperature to create the warmth. This is backed up by the Storm Defender Waterproof Breathable Protection, which, while completely waterproof, still promotes airflow and circulation.

The FastDry Technology Lining is sweat wicking, keeping your feet dry on the inside. All that’s left to want is comfort! Well, these boots are certainly all-rounders, and comfort is well within their ability to provide. The multi-layer shock absorbing cushioning consists of a Carhartt PU insole with foam cushioning, an EVA midsole with a PU strobel pad, and the Rugged Flex outsole.

4. Thorogood 1957 Series 8” Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boots


  • American-made
  • Full grain leather
  • Moisture-wicking lining


  • Soles may not last as expected

Safety toe: Steel | Waterproof: Yes | ASTM standard: N/A

The Thorogood 1957 Series 8” Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot is made from full grain saddle leather, and features a slip-resistant rubber outsole and heel, a comfortable insole, and a breathable steel safety toe. To give it a vintage look and make the boot waterproof, it is coated with a special wax, and the gusseted tongue ensures no leakage via the front of the boot.

Built for hard work, this is the perfect work boot for a vast range of dangerous and dirty industrial or outdoor applications, such as carpentry, construction, electrical work, plumbing, pipefitting, welding, and heavy machinery operation. Although comfort is an important concern when looking for a good work boot, there is so much more to consider these days, and Thorogood has done just that: the boots are bloodborne pathogen penetration compliant, as well as resistant to electric shock.

You can expect to get a long lifespan out of your boots, thanks to their sturdy Goodyear Storm Welt construction, and if the soles wear out, no need to worry, they can easily be re-soled. Enjoy excellent traction, even on slippery surfaces, due to the MaxWear90 outsole, and endless comfort thanks to the removable Ultimate Shock Absorption™ memory foam footbed.

5. KEEN Utility Coburg 8″ Steel Toe Work Boot


  • Made in the USA
  • Asymmetrical safety toe
  • Integrated heel guard


  • Not the best laces

Safety toe: Steel | Waterproof: Yes | ASTM standard: ASTM F1677-96 MARK II Non-Slip

These hardy and comfortable work boots are proudly assembled in Portland, Oregon, USA, from the finest imported materials, responsibly sourced from around the world. The minimal waste design means that you can buy these shoes guilt free, and know that the manufacturing was done responsibly, as well.

Built for use in extreme conditions, these KEEN Utility Coburg 8″ boots have oil and slip resistant rubber outsoles, which will keep your feet safe, even when exposed to very high temperatures, as they are heat resistant up to 572 °F. Heel guard protection will shield the heel from bumps and scrapes, and Tough-tech abrasion resistant fabric will ensure that your boots look good for a long while.

A shaped, asymmetrical steel toe cap allows for more toe space, and keeps your feet safe from heavy falling objects. A KEEN.DRY waterproof breathable membrane lets vapor out, while preventing water from getting in, ensuring your feet will stay dry and comfortable. The Cleansport NXT™ inner will keep your shoes safe from unwanted odors, while the removable metatomical dual density EVA footbed will keep your feet comfortable throughout the workday. These boots weigh only 30.6 oz, and come in brown or brindle.

6. Timberland PRO 8″ Rigmaster XT


  • Premium waterproof leather
  • Durable and long lasting
  • Great ankle support


  • Not for very cold weather

Safety toe: Steel | Waterproof: Yes | ASTM standard: N/A

Timberland has a history of producing excellent boots, whether they are for hiking, working, or a combination of the two. These PRO 8” Rigmaster XT work boots are no exception. With uppers made from premium, full-grain, waterproof leather, and the rest from abrasion resistant Ever-Guard™ leather with a waterproof membrane, these boots will keep your feet safe and dry throughout the workday, and stand up to the rigors of your job.

A padded top collar ensures a comfortable fit, while a breathable and moisture wicking lining will ensure your feet stay dry. Foot odor is controlled by an antimicrobial treatment, and anti-fatigue technology polyurethane footbeds will absorb shock, and keep your feet feeling fresh and ready throughout the day.

A steel safety toe gives you peace of mind on the job, along with the heat-, abrasion-, slip-, and oil resistant, non-marking rubber outsoles, with electrical hazard protection and Ladder Lock™ technology. The durability of these boots is ensured by the Goodyear welt cast-bond construction, and a fiberglass shank provides much needed structural support for your feet. In case you are still not convinced, Timberland is so sure of their product that they offer a 30-day comfort guarantee, so you have nothing to lose when buying these rugged work boots.

7. Thorogood Men’s 8-inch 1957 Series


  • Flexible, breathable full grain leather
  • Made in the USA
  • Electrical hazard resistance


  • Tongue may feel too thick

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.

Toe Protection

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 Toe-Cap

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-Cap

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-Cap

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.

Safety toes compared.


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

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.

Boot Construction

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.

Blake Stitch

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.

Goodyear Welt

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.

Learn more about different boot construction methods.


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.

Editorial Staff

The DM staff writers are often joined by topic experts, to bring you the most accurate, reliable and trustworthy content.

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