When you’re working outside on a hot sunny day, chances are that you would have to deal with sweaty feet at some point.
Because your job requires you to stay under the sun for long hours! It’s not surprising that the longer you stay under the sun, the more your feet will sweat because it’s just how your body reacts to temperatures.
But, it’s worth noting that this mostly happens if you’re wearing the wrong kind of footwear- non-breathable work boots in this case.
Breathable work boots allow your feet to breathe no matter what the outside temperature is. These are specially made to keep your feet cool and dry so that you don’t feel the urge of changing into a new pair.
Now, if you’re wondering where to find the best breathable work boots, don’t go anywhere because we have them!
What Are The Good And Bad Sides Of Breathable Work Boots?
Breathable work boots obviously have good sides because they aim to provide protection and comfort no matter the season.
In the past, work boots were treated with a solvent-based spray to make them waterproof. But, because of the damage it is known to cause to the environment, such a method isn’t followed nowadays.
Instead, manufacturers implement moisture-wicking and water-repelling technologies to leather work boots. The fabrics used in breathable summer work boots feature micro-pores that not only prevent water droplets from entering inside but also allow sweat to evaporate. As a result, your feet remain cool and dry all day.
Had you chosen non-breathable work boots for construction and other tough jobs, you would have to deal with various issues.
When your feet start to sweat, moisture would be trapped within the boots and create a dwelling place for bacteria. Accumulation of bacteria will then lead to foot problems, such as Athlete’s foot, blisters, corn, and plantar fasciitis. Alongside, you would also have to deal with embarrassing odor from your work boots every time you take them off.
When it comes to the disadvantages of wearing breathable work boots, we can say that there are no apparent limitations because many people across the globe recommend wearing them.
Are Waterproof Boots Breathable?
Considering the need for keeping water out and letting moisture go in different situations, many brands have implemented both breathability and water-proofing technologies in their work boots.
Although having both qualities in a work boot might seem impossible, they actually aren’t. Waterproof breathable work boots are usually made of leather because it is a porous material that ensures breathability and prevents water from getting inside.
However, leather alone won’t give you protection and comfort effectively when it is subjected to harsh conditions, like heavy rain, and muddy terrain. So, the material is usually combined with Gore-TEX, eVent, or SympaTex membrane as it ensures breathability, water impermeability, as well as durability.
Factors To Consider When Purchasing Breathable Work Boots
When you’re shopping for hot weather work boots, you will need to keep a few things in mind so that you can pick exactly the one you’re looking for! Below is a list of the factors to be considered.
Wearing a pair that is too tight or too loose can make you feel uncomfortable as you walk. Not only that but also there’s a high chance of experiencing foot injuries.
Therefore, a pair of the right size is the first thing you will want to look for. Some brands offer boots that are true to size, but other brands tell you to choose a size bigger or smaller than your usual size for the perfect fit. So, make sure you check for any information before purchasing.
Material And Construction
Breathable work boots are typically made of leather combined with synthetic fabric. The reason for adding synthetic material to the already porous leather is because it makes the feet feel lighter and also boosts air circulation. Not only that but also, synthetic fabric makes the work boots more durable.
While the upper contains leather and synthetic fabric, the inside of the boots usually contain mesh lining. The purpose of this lining is to wick away moisture from the heels, sides, and the top of the foot. For absorbing moisture from underfoot, a breathable insole is used.
As for the outsole, rubber or TPU is used. While both are good at providing traction on different surfaces, the latter one tends to last longer.
Technology For Breathability And Insulation
In order to let your feet breathe, manufacturers implement different technologies to breathable work boots.
The most common technology used is the Gore-Tex membrane because it is outstandingly breathable, durable, windproof, and waterproof. This type of fabric is bound to keep your feet cool and dry all day.
Apart from that, eVent and SympaTex are also used for absorbing water vapor and releasing it to the outside.
If you live in a cold region, insulation is just as important as breathability. In that case, you might want to look for work boots that feature Thinsulate, Thermolite, Smartwool, or PrimaLoft insulation material for keeping your feet dry and warm.
You wouldn’t like it when your new work boots tend to lose their functionality so fast, would you?
Well, nobody would like that because work boots generally aren’t that cheap. And to ensure your investment yields in the long run, it is recommended you choose work boots that are constructed with high-quality materials. You can also take a look at customer reviews to know how long your desired work boots will hold up.
Whichever work boots you pick, make sure they provide good arch support. Work boots having a cushioned footbed is ideal as they provide comfort, absorb shock, and also prevent joint and muscle pain.
If you’re working in challenging environments, a work boot with a safety toe is a must. Safety toe is available in steel, alloy, and composite- all with the aim of protecting your feet from potential injuries.
While steel toe is commonly used by workers because of its rigidness, it tends to get very hot at high temperatures. So, it is not an ideal choice for the summer.
As for aluminum toe, it also conducts heat and is not as strong as steel toe.
On the other hand, a composite toe is ideal as it is a poor conductor of heat, so your feet will stay cool in the summer.
Top 8 Breathable Work Boots
There’s no doubt with the fact that breathable work boots give you peace of mind as you toil away for hours. But, as long as those are the best breathable work boots, you can rest assured your investment will be worthwhile.
Here are some of our top picks you might be interested in.
Cat Footwear Men’s Lightweight Breathable Work Boots
Cat is known as the world’s largest manufacturer of equipment used in construction, agriculture, mining, and other fields. The brand doesn’t limit its offerings only to machinery but it also offers clothing and footwear.
A good example is the men’s Threshold steel toe industrial boot. This pair of work boots boasts of protecting your feet in harsh environments. Even if you work long shifts, like 14 hours, you won’t feel the urge of taking these boots off in between.
Material: The upper of these work boots are constructed of full-grain leather. It is known as the highest-quality leather because it is sturdy and lasts a long time. What’s even better, full-grain leather doesn’t wear out! Instead, it develops a patina as you keep using it for a long time.
Breathability: The leather used in the upper is breathable, so you won’t feel uncomfortable as you focus on your job. There’s also a waterproof membrane that prevents your feet from getting wet.
Comfort: The removable ERGO midsole ensures comfort as you walk around. It is soft, lightweight, and a great shock-absorber.
Safety: These work boots feature a steel toe that protects your feet from the impact caused by heavy objects. Plus, the rubber outsole lets you stay firm on your feet as it resists slipping.
Variation: These work boots are available in black and brown.
FREE SOLDIER Men Safety Shoes Breathable Hiking Boots Steel Toe Work Boots
Free Soldier boasts of providing a range of high-quality workwear, footwear, and accessories since 2008.
The men’s tactical boots are specially made for people who engage themselves in different activities, like hiking, motorcycling, and hunting. They are also suitable for use in the military as they have sturdy construction. Moreover, these are a great pair of work boots for hot weather.
Material: These work boots are constructed of suede leather combined with Cordura fabric of 1000 Denier. While suede leather provides comfort with its softness, the Cordura fabric ensures durability and resistance to abrasion.
Breathability: The linings of these work boots are made of Lycra fabric, which ensures your feet stay cool in the hot weather. At the same time, it prevents water from entering inside the boots. Additionally, the exterior of the boots has a waterproof coating for keeping your feet dry.
Comfort: The EVA midsole used in these work boots ensures comfort, absorbs shock, supports the arch, and provides adequate cushioning as you engage in outdoor activities.
Safety: The toe cap and the heel of these work boots are reinforced to protect your feet and support the ankle. As for the outsole, it is designed in such a way as to prevent you from slipping.
Variation: These tactical boots are available in three different colors with options for thick or thin fabric. Free Soldier recommends you choose boots made of thin fabric for breathability and thick fabric for warmth.
KEEN Utility Men’s Lansing Mid Steel Toe Work Boot
Since 2003, Keen has been delivering a wide range of comfortable footwear for men, women, and kids. The brand started gaining attention because of its waterproof sandals, and later, work boots, hiking boots, and shoes.
Among the work boots, the men’s Lansing work boot ensures all-day comfort regardless of the environment you’re exposed to.
Material: The upper of these breathable mesh work boots comprises leather that is durable and waterproof. To make the boots even more waterproof, the boots are equipped with the brand’s signature KEEN.DRY membrane. Whether you walk on a puddle or muddy terrain, you can rest assured water won’t get inside your boots.
Breathability: The KEEN.DRY membrane used in these work boots features micro pores that allow the circulation of air from the outside to the inside of your boots. Thus, your feet will remain cool even during summer. The membrane is also treated with Cleansport NXT technology to eliminate bad odor.
Comfort: For comfort, the boots feature an EVA midsole. This foam-like material cushions your feet and absorbs shock so that your feet don’t ache as you walk or run. The EVA midsole used in these boots is compression-molded, which means it will last longer than injection-molded ones.
Safety: These work boots feature steel toes that protect your feet in challenging environments, such as industries and construction sites. Also, the boots are electrical hazard-rated, so there’ll be no problem if your job involves live wires. Even if you need to walk on slippery surfaces, the rubber outsole will save you from injuries.
Variation: These work boots are available in two colors- Cascade Brown/Brindle and Raven/Tawny Olive.
Thorogood American Heritage Moc Toe Work Boots
Thorogood has been a name in the footwear industry since 1892. The brand boasts of delivering safety and comfort to its customers with its wide range of outdoor footwear suited for tough environments.
The American Heritage moc toe work boots are no exception. These are a great pair of work boots that let your feet breathe and at the same time protect them from injuries.
Material: These work boots are constructed of full-grain leather that is oil-tanned to make them pliable and waterproof. In order to add more durability and protection against moisture, these boots have a Goodyear Storm Welt construction. There’s also a fiberglass shank that helps the boots maintain their structure regardless of the force exerted on them.
Breathability: The Poron insole in these boots is there to cushion your feet, absorb shock, and wick away moisture. Regardless of how long you need to stand or walk around, this insole will never flatten out.
Comfort: The Poron insole and the MaxWear Wedge outsole ensure comfort in every step.
Safety: Although this pair lacks a safety toe, it does have a moc toe that protects your feet in different environments. Also, the MaxWear Wedge outsole withstands high voltages for a minute and prevents your feet from injuries as you walk on gravel and oily surfaces.
Variation: These work boots have five variations- Tobacco, Black, Trail Crazyhorse, Black (Midnight Series), and Black Walnut.
Under Armour Men’s Valsetz Military & Tactical Boot
Under Armour is also a great brand that has been offering a range of footwear, sports apparel, and accessories since 1996.
The Valsetz military and tactical boots are soft and lightweight enough to keep you going for hours. If your job requires you to stand all day or walk from one place to another, you can consider these boots to be the perfect selection.
Material: These work boots are constructed of textile and synthetic leather, which is known to offer durability by resisting scratches and abrasions. Also, the entire perimeter of these boots is welded with polyurethane film for added resistance to abrasion.
Breathability: The textile and synthetic leather used in the upper allows your feet to breathe. Although these boots aren’t naturally waterproof, you can always spray them before going to a wet environment.
Comfort: According to numerous users, the Valsetz work boots are very comfortable.
Safety: These breathable black work boots feature a TPU toe cap that is lightweight and sturdy enough to withstand impact. Not only that but these boots also feature the ClutchFit ankle support system to eliminate the risk of sprains.
Variation: These boots are available in two black variations.
Timberland PRO Men’s Breathable Work Boot
Timberland is an extremely popular brand across the world because of its wide range of premium-quality footwear, apparel, and accessories suited for people of all ages.
The Drivetrain athletic work boot is the one that you can keep your eyes on if you’re on the hunt for breathable work boots for sweaty feet. Take a look at some of its notable features below.
Material: These work boots are made of ripstop nylon, which makes the boots lightweight and breathable. When you wear them, you will feel as if you’re wearing tennis shoes. If you’re someone who’s always walking here and there, these are a great pair for you!
Breathability: Because of the ripstop nylon, air will be able to pass through the inside of the boots. Your feet will stay cool no matter how long you wear these boots.
Comfort: These work boots are also comfortable because of the polyurethane insole. The material has a soft texture that makes you feel comfortable all day. It also resists abrasion and absorbs shock with every step.
Safety: These boots feature composite safety toe integrated with Carbon Shield technology to protect your feet in less challenging environments. Alongside, the TPU outsole prevents injuries caused by heat, sharp objects, and slippery surfaces.
Variation: These boots are available in black only.
ORISTACO Steel Toe Work Boots
Being new in the industry, Oristaco aims to satisfy its customers by using high-quality materials and innovative designs in its footwear.
These steel toe work boots are one of the collections that might satisfy you. They’re not only durable but also comfortable enough to let you focus on your task regardless of your profession.
Material: These work boots have a synthetic upper that keeps your feet protected from abrasion and ensures your feet don’t feel heavy. They have a welt construction, which makes the boots sturdy. Whether you’re working as an engineer, logger, or concrete worker, these boots are a suitable choice.
Breathability: The lining of these boots wicks away moisture to keep your feet cool and dry.
Comfort: The memory foam insole relieves pressure from the balls and heels of your foot to provide comfort. It also absorbs shock as you walk or run.
Safety: These boots feature a steel toe to protect your feet from injuries caused by sharp or heavy objects. Not only that but also the rubber outsole lets you walk confidently on slippery surfaces.
Variation: These work boots are available in black and grey colors.
Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex Composite Toe Work Boot
For over 130 years, Carhartt has been a reliable brand among many people for its wide range of high-quality workwear, footwear, and accessories.
The men’s Rugged Flex composite toe work boot falls into the brand’s high-quality footwear category. As its name suggests, this boot is rugged enough to allow you to work in various environments.
Material: These work boots are made of oil-tanned leather to make them pliable and waterproof. They have a cement construction, which means there’s no welting, so your feet will feel light with every step.
Breathability: The lining of these boots features FastDry technology for wicking away moisture. Additionally, there’s the Storm Defender membrane that not only wicks moisture but also prevents water from entering inside the boots. You will have no trouble wearing these boots in hot or wet environments.
Comfort: These boots feature EVA midsole and OrthoLite insole for providing adequate cushioning, ensuring comfort, and absorbing shock.
Safety: These work boots feature a composite safety toe that protects your feet against impact and compression. The safety toe is also electrical hazard rated to protect your feet during accidental contact with electrical circuits. Besides, you won’t slip as you walk on slippery surfaces because the rubber outsole provides good traction.
Variation: These work boots are only available in wheat color.
Our Verdict: KEEN Utility Men’s Lansing Mid Steel Toe Work Boot
As far as we can conclude from the above list, these Keen work boots are the best breathable work boots. Being made of leather, these boots are both breathable and waterproof. The EVA midsole adds to further comfort. And the steel toe helps with extended protection while working on construction sites.
How To Keep Your Feet Cool In Work Boots?
It’s not just summer work boots that make your feet comfortable, but you will also need to put a bit of effort from your end. Here are some tips you can follow.
- Always keep your feet clean. Use an anti-microbial soap and a foot scrubber to unclog the pores of the feet. Additionally, you can dip your feet in warm water for 15 minutes and remove dead skin using a pumice stone. It is recommended you do this at least once a week to prevent your feet from getting rough.
- Always stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet. Doing so will prevent excessive sweating of the feet.
- Wear moisture-wicking socks and use a moisture-wicking insole in your work boots. While both are bound to keep the feet cool, the insole is designed to absorb shock and eliminate odor.
- Use foot powder or an antiperspirant before wearing work boots. It will help eliminate odor while keeping your feet fresh all day.
- Regardless of your work boots being breathable, it is essential you take the boots and socks off for at least a couple of hours in a day. As the temperature inside the work boots is higher than the outside, removing them will bring the temperature of your feet back to normal.
- Always leave your boots to dry every night. Drying will eliminate odor, kill bacteria, and also allow air to pass through the mesh linings.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are Leather Boots Breathable?
As long as the boots are made of real leather, they are breathable. That’s because real leather has micro-pores that allow moisture from the skin to evaporate to the outside air. At the same time, these pores prevent liquids from entering through them.
2. How Do I Make My Leather Boots Comfortable
When you purchase a new pair of leather boots, you might find them stiff upon wearing them. That’s because those boots have never been worn after manufacturing and so they need some time to conform to your feet permanently.
In order to get comfortable, you can wear thick socks with the boots and then walk around the house.
3. Why Are My Feet Sweating In My Boots?
If you’re working in an environment where the temperature is high, your body will naturally react to the temperature in the form of sweat. As a result, your feet get sweaty inside your boots.
Another cause of sweaty feet is wearing tight footwear. If you wear tight socks and work boots, your feet will get compressed and start to sweat.
4. How Do You Get Moisture Out Of Your Boots?
There are several ways you can get the moisture out of your work boots. Before you start following any of the methods, it is recommended you clean the boots and take the insole (if it’s removable), and the laces off them.
Method 1: Using A Long Stand Fan
1. Place a towel under the base of the stand fan to prevent the floor from getting wet.
2. Use a hook to hang each boot to the exterior of the stand fan. Make sure to position them in such a way so that the air can directly reach the inside of the boots.
3. Turn on the fan and let the boots dry overnight.
Method 2: Using Newspapers
1. Scrunch some old newspapers into small balls and place them inside your work boots. Make sure not to stuff them tightly, or otherwise, water might not be absorbed properly.
2. Wrap the exterior of the work boots with more newspaper.
3. Leave the boots for two hours and then check whether they are fully dry. If not, keep replacing the newspaper every couple of hours until the boots have dried.
Method 3: Using Towels
1. Take an old towel for each boot. Make sure it is large enough to cover the whole boot.
2. Take one corner of the towel and stuff it inside the boot.
3. Grab the remaining corners and wrap the entire boot.
4. Leave the boots until the towels are soaked up. Once fully soaked, replace the towel with a dry one.
Just like how you would prefer wearing breathable clothes in the summer, you should also practice wearing breathable work boots. Your feet will not only feel comfortable, but also your mind will remain focused on what you’re doing.
By reading this guide, you now have learned about the importance of wearing breathable work boots, as well as the factors that can affect your experience. If you take a look at the features of the above work boots carefully and follow the buying guide, there’s no doubt you’ll be a step ahead in selecting the best work boots for summer!
|Product||Material||Shaft Height (inches)||Heel Height (inches)|
|Cat Footwear Men’s Threshold Steel Toe Industrial Boot||Full-grain leather||Approximately 5.25||N/A|
|FREE SOLDIER Men’s Tactical Boots||Suede leather, 1000D Cordura fabric||6||Approximately 1.4|
|KEEN Utility Men’s Lansing Mid Steel Toe Work Boot||Leather, mesh||Approximately 5.5||N/A|
|Thorogood American Heritage Moc Toe Work Boots For Men||Full-grain leather||6||N/A|
|Under Armour Men’s Valsetz Military & Tactical Boot||Synthetic leather, textile||Approximately 6.75||Approximately 1.5|
|Timberland PRO Men’s Drivetrain Athletic Work Boot||Ripstop nylon||Approximately ankle-high||Approximately 1|
|ORISTACO Steel Toe Work Boots||Synthetic||N/A||N/A|
|Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex Composite Toe Work Boot||Leather||Approximately 6.5||Approximately 1|