Best Work Boots in Australia

By Ivan Bezbradica | Updated 16 November 2021

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Whatever trade you do, be it chippy, sparky or labourer - you need a good pair of work boots to get you through the day. But what are the best work boots in Australia? In this guide we list popular work boots that last and offer great protection. Our picks are chosen after hours of research, comparing expert reviews and tradie opinions.

Best for most

Oliver AT 150mm

If you ask a tradie for a Aussie boot recommendation, a Oliver will likely come to mind. Although it's on the expensive side, it's well worth investing in comfortable work boots when working long hours. The Oliver AT comes in both zip and zipless versions.

OUR
PICK
Oliver AT work boots

Also good

Steel Blue Argyle

Steel Blue is another good Aussie brand. Popular among all trades, they offer comfort and protection with their steel cap boots. The Argyle is their most popular boot. It comes in zip or zipless versions and multiple colours.  

Steel Blue Argyle

Slip on

Redback Easy Escape

If you prefer a more classic safety boot, you can't go wrong with a Redback. It has a simple slip on design, steel cap, full grain leather top, and extra comfort rubber sole. 

redback work boots

How We Decided

When it comes to deciding what makes a good work boot, we decided it was best to go straight to the source - the people that use them. So we started our search by researching what boots tradies recommended on public forums such as Whirlpool and Reddit. Here we noted down the most mentioned work boots to help form the base of our list.

Next we researched each safety boot individually, noting their pros, cons, prices, and user reviews. We placed more value on reviews by tradies that used their boots on a daily basis. In particular how long they lasted and how happy the user was. It was also important that we selected some boots that are compliant with Occupational Protective Footwear Standards (AS / NZS 2210). There's no point buying a boot if your boss won't let you wear them!

After all this research we narrowed down our list to our five picks below. We picked boots that suited different uses as well as good 'all rounders'. 


Best Work Boots Australia: Top 4


Best for most

Oliver AT

What we like 

Great reputation

Excellent cushioning 

Specifications

Type: High top

Toe: Steel toe

Material: Water resistant leather

OUR
PICK
Oliver AT work boots

When looking for the best work boot in Australia one name that frequently comes up is the Oliver work boot (2). This is because they have a strong reputation among trades to be comfortable and durable. Oliver has a big range of steel cap boots to choose from to match your industry. So it is best to browse their selection to see if their is a boot made specifically for your industry. But if you're looking for a good 'all rounder' our favourite among the range is the Oliver AT as it offers a good mix between comfort and safety. 

What we like

Comfortable

When selecting a good work boot, we believe that comfort is one of the most important factors. The Oliver AT is a very comfortable boot that was many features that help to reduce fatigue after a long day. Such as a impact absorption system that uses a combination of "cellular ethane", "shock absorbing polyurethane", and comfortable leather. 

Steel Cap and Heel guard

Oliver is also our best steel cap boot in Australia. It comes with a steel toe guard that is compliant with AS / NZS 2210 standards with a wide profile for extra comfort.

Anti odour material

If you have a spouse a likely compliant will be the smell of your boots. A cool feature about these boots is that its made with anti odour material that helps prevent smells. It's a nice feature that solves a common issue. 

What we don't like

On the expensive side

This boot is one of the more expensive ones you can buy. However many users in trade forms comment that a good pair of boots is something you shouldn't cut corners with. It'll help you work longer and safer in comfort.

Who's the Oliver for?

The Oliver AT is made for a person who wants to invest in a good work boot and is fine with spending bit more money to ensure they get a quality tool for their feet. Oliver has a wide range to choose from, we like the Oliver AT as a good all rounder and has a good reputation among users (3). 


Also good

Steel Blue Argyle

What we like 

Derby style work boot
Popular among brickies and grazers

Specifications

Type: High top
Toe: Steel toe
Material: Full grain leather

Steel Blue Argyle

Steel Blue is another popular Australian brand of work boots. They cater to a wide range of trades and tailor make their boots specific for the job. Our selected boot, the Argyle, is a good allrounder that is popular among bricklayers and glaziers.

What we like

Oil and Slip Resistance

If your worksite is slippery or contains oil, you'll be happy to know that all Blue Steel footwear is designed to have oil and slip resistance. It meets the requirements of both EN ISO 20345 and AS 2210.30 to keep the safety inspector happy (4).

Great Leather

A common trend on forums is people commenting that these boots are very comfortable thanks to their good quality leather. There's nothing more annoying buying an expensive boot only for it to be a pain to wear or not last long. Blue Steel boots are made from long lasting and comfortable leather (5).

Anti-Static Material

Prevents the build-up of static electricity within your body by dissipating it through the sole.

What we don't like

Also on the expensive side but...

Like the Oliver above, this steel cap boot is one of the more premium on the market. However a good boot is hard to find. You want to invest in something that can keep you comfortable and on your feet all day long. 

Who's the Blue Steel for?

Blue steel are the best safety shoes for most jobs. This is because they have a wide range of boots to choose from that fit your trade. If you're looking for a good all-rounder, the Argyle is a great choice.


Slip on

Redback Easy Escape

What we like 

Slip on 
Air cushioned sole

Specifications

Type: High top
Toe: Steel toe
Material: Full grain leather

redback work boots

For some people boots with laces can become tiresome. Tying and untying your boots every morning and when you get home can get annoying. If this is you then what you need is a good slip on work boot. Redback is popular Australian brand of slip on boots that many turn to.  

What we like

Anatomic Sole

Redback has what they like to call a "Anatomic Sole". This is a fancy word that means that the boot's sole is shaped to cradle your foot. This helps reduce foot and arch strain, fatigue and pain.

Air Cushion

We love it when a work boots creates features that make it even more comfortable - and what's more comfortable than walking on air? That's why the Redback has a air cushion in its sole that helps reduce shock absorption that makes it comfortable to wear.

Slip on

The great thing about slip on boots is that they are super easy to put on and take off. No messing around with laces or straps. Just a quick slip and you can put up your feet for the rest of the day.

What we don't like

You'll love it or hate it

Slip on boots are not to everyone's liking. Some people prefer to feel secured with laces. Whilst others love the comfort of slip on. But if you've never worn a slip on work boot before, don't discount this one - it may become the glass slipper you never knew you were looking for. 

Who's the Redback for?

The Redback is the best slip on work boot for people who love a shoe that is easy to put on and rake off. 


Mid top pick

Mongrel Mid-Top

What we like 

Mid-top fit

Zip for easy access

Specifications

Type: Mid top
Toe: Steel toe
Material: Leather and Synthetic 

Mongrel boots

Unlike the other boots on this list the Mongrel is our first mid-top boot. If you like this style then make sure you check this boot out. Many users have commented that Mongrel boots are comfortable and they like how they are Australian made.

What we like

Easy Access

The Mongrel is a easy shoe to get in and out of thanks to it's side zipper and strap. After coming home from a hard day's work, being able to chuck off your shoes with ease is a pro in our books.

Steel Cap Boot

The Mongrel is comes equipped with a 200J resistant steel toe cap. Meaning you can go about your day safety without worrying about dropping heavy tools on your foot. It certified to AS/NZS 2210.3.2009 class 1 standards.

Foot and Arch Support

The Mongrel is designed to provide support to your feet thanks to it orthodontically designed foot bed and arch support. 

Who's the Mongrel work boot for?

The Mongrel is best suited for the person you likes a mid-top boot that comes equipped with compliant safety features, comfort and easy boot access thanks to it's side zip. 


Work Boots Buying Guide

Now that we've reached the end of our work boot reviews hopefully you've found a safety shoe that suits your needs. But if you're still deciding what boot best suit you, below are some common questions you need to ask yourself when picking a work boot. It'll help you narrow down our top picks even further.


What Features Do I Need?

The first question you have to ask yourself is what features your work boots need. Your trade may have specific requirements set by your boss, industry or union. For example requiring a steel cap toe that can take at least 200j of pressure.

After you note down your "must haves", next you should look at what features you need specific for your job. Do you work in a slippery environment? Then you'll need good grip and a water proof work boot. Are you going to be on your feet all day? Then you must have a comfortable boot. Do you like slip on boots or boots that feel secure and snug? You need to choose between the two.

We recommend making a short list what the requirements you need to have as this will help narrow down your list quickly. 


What's Your Budget?

Price is obviously a consideration when buying any product. Our advice is to not skimp on price when buying a work boot. A good work boot makes all the difference on how you feel at the end of a long day. It's not just a tool for your feet - a good boot will help prevent aches and pains. The best Australian made work boots tend to be priced between the $120 - $190 range. The better boots are on the higher range but they are worth the investment.


Does The Boot Fit Well?

It's important that you buy a boot that fits your foot profile. Some people have wide feet, others have narrow feet, or feet with high arches. You want to make sure the boot you choose matches your foot profile. There's only one way to go about solving this issue - trying on boots. We recommend either trying your boots in store to make sure they are comfortable or buy them from a online provider for a good price that has a good return policy.


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions people ask when work boots. If you have a specific question you need answered please contact us and we'll add it to the list.  

Who makes the best work boots?

In Australia many people have commented that the best work boots are made by Oliver, Steel Blue, Redback, and Mongrel. These are brands that produce a range of work boots to suit your job and trade.

What are the best socks for work boots?

The best socks for work boots are thick and comfortable cotton socks. You should also take into account the fit of the boot to match the type of sock you need. If the boot is a little to big for you, a thicker sock may be needed to have a snug fit. 

What work boots are the most comfortable?

The most comfortable work boots are made by premium work boot manufacturers such as Steel Blue, Mongrel, Oliver and Redback. This is because they use a combination of quality materials, shock absorption and orthopaedic design.

Are steel toe boots comfortable?

Yes. Steel boots are comfortable as long as they fit you well. Obviously they're a bit heavier than you average boot due to the steel. But you get used to it very quickly.


Sources

1. https://ablis.business.gov.au/service/wa/australian-new-zealand-standard-as-nzs-2210-occupational-protective-footwear/17487

2. https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1686037

3. https://www.reddit.com/r/australia/comments/9v8a9w/best_steel_cap_boots_you_fellas_have_had/

4. https://www.iso.org/standard/51036.html

5. https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2537498

6. https://hdforums.com.au/Thread/674014/1