Best Wedge Sole Work Boots of 2022

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Best Wedge Sole Work Boots of 2022

Published Jun 7, 2022 2:12 PM If you spend your days on your feet on hard concrete floors, then you’re mo

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Published Jun 7, 2022 2:12 PM

If you spend your days on your feet on hard concrete floors, then you’re more than likely familiar with the lower back pain, shin splints, bunions, knee pain, and various other ills these hard surfaces can dole out on your body. While many people turn to workboots for relief, they don’t necessarily choose the right ones. 

A standard work boot with a lug sole may be ideal for rugged outdoor terrain, but they aren’t the best choice for the hard smooth surfaces you find on warehouse loading docks or factory floors. A wedge sole work boot has a flat bottomed sole that allows for better contact with these smooth surfaces, making them better able to grip these surfaces even when wet or oily. 

A wedge sole boot also has a thick midsole that acts as a shock absorber, helping to prevent wear and wear on the soles of your feet, knees and hips. Many are designed with a mock toe that offers more room and better flexibility than other toe styles. If your 9-to-5 finds you working on smooth hard concrete, then read on to find the best wedge sole work boots for your feet.

Things to Consider Before Buying Wedge Sole Work Boots

Design

What sets wedge sole work boots apart from other work boots is that they have a larger contact area between the outsole and ground (or floor) than a traditional work boot. While lug sole work boots have a gap between the heel and the toe box that does not make contact with the ground, a wedge style work boot has a flat sole with no gap. This design allows the entire outsole to make contact with the ground, resulting in better traction on smooth surfaces, such as the concrete floors found on warehouse loading docks and in factories. Wedge sole work boots aren’t great for all environments. The lack of a gap in the outsole makes them a poor choice for jobs that require climbing a ladder, and they aren’t great at providing traction on loose or uneven outdoor terrain.

Toe style

Many edge style boots have what’s known as a Moc toe, which refers to the arc shape stitching around the toe box that mimics the design of a mocassin. A moc toe has a few advantages. It creates more space in the toe box for toes and adds more flexibility, making them more comfortable to walk around in. Boots with moc toes also tend to be lighter than standard boots. Some, but not all, moc toe boots include a steel toe, a safety requirement in work environments that involve the use of heavy machinery, crates or boxes that create a crushing hazard.

Comfort

The secret to the comfort of a wedge sole work boot is its broad outsole and thick midsole. With its large surface area, the outsole distributes pressure throughout the entire foot and not just on the heels and balls of the feet, reducing foot fatigue over long periods of standing. Quality wedge work boots also take advantage of the thick midsole, using high-density foam and air cushioning to absorb shock and provide rebound, not only keeping the soles of the feet from getting sore but also protecting knees and hips from the impact of walking on a hard surface. Similar to other work boots, a good wedge work boot’s footbed uses high density foam or gel for cushioning.

Best Overall

Best_Wedge_Sole_Boots_Thorogood

Why It Made The Cut

This wedge sole boot’s large flat sole provides ample traction in various types of work environments.

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 5 – 9.5
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Materials: Genuine leather w/ rubber sole

Pros

  • Large flat sole provides ample slip resistance
  • Lace up style creates form fit around foot
  • Thick outsole absorbs shock

 Cons 

One look at the Thorogood Men’s American Heritage workboot and it’s clear that this is a boot made to provide maximum traction. Not only is the outsole thick, but it also creates a wide flat footprint that maximizes its contact with the floor. If you’re looking for a work boot that will keep you upright even on wet or floors, this is it. A dual-density polyurethane midsole provides ample shock absorption for the feet, while compression-resistant high-density foam in the footbed adds cushioning. 

This boot is also durably constructed, thanks to its use of a Goodyear welt that holds the upper to the outsole and a fiberglass shank that provides stiffness. A moc toe provides added flexibility while creating more room in the toe box, and a steel cap protects the toes from crushing force. In addition to being suitable for the workplace, this set of boots is also one of the more attractive wedge work boots on the market, thanks to its genuine leather upper, which comes in five color options.

Best 7-Inch

Best_Wedge_Sole_Boots_Wolverine

Why It Made The Cut

The 7-inch wedge creates plenty of bounce and rebound that helps to prevent leg fatigue. 

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 7 – 9.5
  • Height: 7 inches
  • Materials: Genuine leather

Pros

  • Better ankle protection with 7-inch column
  • High-density foam footbed provides cushioning 
  • Moc toe for better flexibility

 Cons 

  • Higher column may not suit some jobs

With a tall 7-inch column, this pair of wedge work boots provide great ankle support.  Wolverine’s wedge work boot is also equipped with a polyurethane midsole and nylon shank that adds rebound and shock absorption, reducing foot and leg fatigue over long days on unforgiving factory or warehouse floors. 

As with other wedge style work boots, the large surface area of the outsole gives them excellent slip-resistant qualities on solid surfaces. Inside the boot is a removable high-density foam footbed that provides cushioning through the long workday. A welted sole creates a durable connection to the boot while also keeping water out. With its soft full-grain leather upper and lace-up style, this boot conforms nicely around the foot. Similar to other wedge boots, the Wolverines have a moc toe that creates more space in the toe box. A steel cap protects toes while a padded shaft provides ankle support.

Best Outdoor

Best_Wedge_Sole_Boots_Irish_Setter

Why It Made The Cut

With its waterproof construction, 7-inch column height and heavy tread, these wedge boots are well-suited for messy outdoor conditions. 

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 8-11.5
  • Height: 6.5 inches
  • Materials: Genuine leather w/ rubber sole

Pros

  • Waterproof construction
  • Moc toe creates flexibility and adds roomier toe box
  • Tread sheds dirt and debris as you walk

 Cons 

  • Not well-suited for indoor use. 

While most wedge work boots are designed for warehouse floors and loading docks, Irish Setter’s leather boots are meant to be outdoors slogging through the mud like the classic hunting boots they are modeled after. In addition to the wedge sole that creates excellent rebound and shock absorption, the Wingshooters also feature Irish Setter’s UltraDry waterproofing system, which will keep your feet dry in wet conditions. 

There are other features to like about this pair of boots, including a metal shank in the midsole that adds stability while walking on uneven surfaces, a welted seam that keeps water out, and a moc toe that adds room in the toe box. A beefier tread than you’ll find on most wedge style work boots provides excellent traction on loose or slippery surfaces while also efficiently shedding dirt and debris as you walk. The 7-inch column height protects the ankles while ensuring water doesn’t find its way into the boot from the opening.

Best Leather

Best_Wedge_Sole_Boots_KEEN_Utility

Why It Made The Cut

With its waterproof design and “barnyard-resistant” leather, these boots are a good option for outdoor use. 

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 7-10.5
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Materials: Full grain leather

Pros

  • Lightweight carbon toe cap
  • Waterproof interior membrane
  • “Barnyard-resistant” full-grain leather construction 

 Cons 

  • Not as much traction for muddy conditions as a lug sole boot

While a wedge sole work boot may be designed to protect feet on smooth hard surfaces found indoors, there are also plenty of smooth hard surfaces to be found outdoors where weather can be a factor. With its waterproof membrane, this set of work boots from Keen is ideal for those situations. The membrane keeps water out while also allowing water vapor to escape so sweat doesn’t build up inside of the boot. 

The boots’ uppers are also built for outdoor work with what Keen calls “barnyard-resistant” full-grain leather, which is treated to resist the effect of urea, oleic acid, sodium chloride and other unpleasantness one must trudge through when working in agricultural environments. Inside, the Cincinnatis have an air-infused midsole called the Keen Luftcell that provides cushioning and bounce. 

With a shaft that measures 6 inches from the arch of the boot, the Cincinnati provides good support while still allowing enough freedom of movement for crouching. As with other wedge style boots, the treads have a large surface area, maximizing traction on smooth slick surfaces. These boots also use a carbon fiber toe cap, making them 15 percent lighter than steel toe boots.

Best Soft Toe

Best_Wedge_Sole_Boots_Carhartt

Why It Made The Cut

A waterproof membrane, high shaft, and oil-tanned leather make these boots an ideal option for jobs that don’t require a steel toe. 

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 8.5-13
  • Height: 7 inches
  • Materials: Oil-tanned leather

Pros

  • Waterproof interior membrane
  • Oil-tanned leather offers greater flexibility
  • High shaft provides protection from wet weather

 Cons 

  • Tread not as well-suited for outdoor conditions as other boot styles

While many job sites require hard toe boots to adhere to safety regulations, there are jobs that don’t require that kind of protection. In those cases, a soft toe boot, which offers more comfort and flexibility in the toe, is a better option. This set of soft toe boots from Carhartt is designed for outdoor use with its waterproof design and a moc toe that flexes more easily while providing more space to wiggle your toes.

Carhartt equips its wedge work boots with its Storm Defender technology, which consists of a waterproof membrane that keeps moisture at bay wil allowing water vapor from sweat to pass through. At 7 inches high, the shaft rises higher than other wedge style boots, providing greater support and better protection in muddy and wet conditions. We also like the solid construction of this boot, which includes Goodyear welted soles that add durability and water resistance. The upper consists of oil-tanned leather that makes the boots softer and more flexible, ideal jobs that involve a lot of crouching and walking over uneven terrain.

Best Cheap Wedge Sole Work Book

Best_Wedge_Sole_Boots_Timberland_PRO

Why It Made The Cut

Timberland manages to produce a well-made waterproof wedge work boot at an affordable price. 

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 7-15
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Materials: Full-grain leather

Pros

  • Uses at least 50 percent recycled materials
  • Waterproof interior membrane
  • Equipped with Timberaland’s 24/7 comfort system

 Cons 

  • Tread not as well-suited for outdoor conditions as other boot styles

Let’s face it, unless you’re willing to compromise on durability and comfort–which isn’t really an option if you’re on your feet 8-plus hours a day–a good set of work boots will set you back several hundreds dollars or more. That’s not the case with Timberland’s Wedge sole work boots. They boast many of the same quality you’ll find on other wedge sole work boots only at a much more affordable price. 

Timberlands take on the wedge work boot features genuine leather construction with a waterproof membrane that keeps water out while wicking away sweat. As with other wedge style work boots, you also get the wide flat sole that offers plenty of traction on smooth surfaces. A slip-resistant treatment on the outsole keeps you upright on wet or oily surfaces. A mock toe adds additional room in the toe box.

Timberland’s 24/7 comfort system helps reduce foot fatigue while providing ample arch support and plenty of cushioning. This set of boots are also environmentally conscious, consisting of 50 percent recycled materials.

Best Pull-On

Best_Wedge_Sole_Boots_ARIAT

Why It Made The Cut

Ariat manages to successfully marry a wedge sole to a pull-on style work boot, creating a cowboy-inspired wedge work boot that offers both excellent traction and freedom of movement. 

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 7-15
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Materials: Full-grain leather

Pros

  • Easy to take on and off
  • Stylish appearance 
  • Great traction and freedom of movement

 Cons 

  • Soft toe cap
  • Not as much ankle support as a lace-up boot

Ariat is known for making cowboy-inspired work boots and the Ramblers are no exception. In addition to being a pull-on boot, they also have a decidedly Western design thanks to weathered genuine leather and western stitching and seams. But while most cowboy boots have a raised heel that creates a gap between the front and back of the outer soles, Ariat equipes the Ramblers with a wedge sole. While this may make them poor choice for riding, as there’s no notch for the stirrups, it adds more surface area and hence traction for walking around on smooth surfaces. 

The Rambler also employs other tech found in Ariat’s extensive line of work boots, including Ariat’s ATS torque stability technology, which provides rebound and cushioning via a heel stabilizer and gel-cushioned footbed. Ariat’s boots are known for being one of the more attractive work boots on the market and the Ramblers are no exception. With their stylish looks, these boots are as at home on an evening out as they are on the factory floor.

How I Made My Picks

If your livelihood requires you to stand on a hard surface for long hours day in and day out, then a wedge work boot is the best option to keep your feet comfortable and safe. Keeping these factors in mind, I selected boots from some of the most well-regarded boot manufacturers in the business to create my list:  

  • Comfort: A wedge work boot’s design creates a thick outer sole that inherently provides shock absorption. While you’ll find that quality in pretty much any wedge work boot, the models I chose go beyond by using that large mid sole to create air cushioning that provides additional bounce and cushion.
  • Construction: A wedge work boot must be well made to endure daily use, so I chose boots with genuine leather construction, rubber soles, with a welted seam, ensuring the boot holds up for a long time.
  • Value: Most of the boots on this list are not what one might describe as affordable. But while these boots may have higher upfront costs, they’ll perform better from day one than a pair of cheap wedge sole boots and will ultimately last longer.
  • Protection: As with any other work boot part of a wedge sole work boot’s purpose is to protect your feet. With that in mind, I included models with composite or steel toe caps that can meet the safety standards of certain workplaces as well as some soft toe models for less hazardous work environments.

FAQs

Q: How much do wedge sole work boots cost?

Unfortunately a good pair of wedge sole work boots are expensive. Expect to pay between $150 and $300 for a quality pair. While you may find cheaper work boots, keep in mind that you’ll probably have to replace them sooner, eliminating that savings.

Q: What are wedge sole boots used for?

The wedge style sole on these types of work boots give them much greater contact with the ground than a standard pair of workboots. This has the effect of giving them more traction on smooth hard surfaces. This larger surface area also better distributes pressure across the sole of the feet, leading to less foot fatigue while also better absorbing impact.

Q: What’s the recommended height for work boots?

Most work boots are between 6 and 8 inches. A pair of 8-inch boots provide more support; however, they’re also more restrictive and less flexible than a pair of 6-inch boots.

Q: How do I take care of wedge sole work boots?

To keep your boots clean, you should clean, condition, and polish them regularly. Begin by using a damp cloth to remove mud and debris. You can also use an old toothbrush to remove mud from smaller crevices. Next, use a soft brush to remove any scuff marks. Once the boots are clean of debris and completely dry, apply leather conditioner using small circles beginning at the bottom of the boot and moving to the top.

Q: What insulation should I get for wedge sole work boots?

If your work takes you outside in cold weather, you’ll want to buy insulated wedge sole work boots that use Primaloft or 3M Thinsulate, which is excellent at keeping body heat in the boot while remaining lightweight and compact. Work boot insulation is measured in weight and typically ranges from 200 to 600 grams. Insulation of 200g to 400g is suitable for most cold weather while 600g might be necessary for more extreme cold.

Q: Are wedge sole boots better than rubber and other soles?

How wedge sole boots compare to rubber and other types of soles has to do with the environment in which you wear them. Wedge sole work boots beat out most other work boots in work places where there are smooth hard surfaces, such as on a warehouse floor, loading dock, or auto shop. The amount of the tread’s surface area that comes into contact with the floor is much greater with wedge sole work boots, giving them superior traction on smooth surfaces. They also excel when these surfaces are slick from oil or moisture. Rubber sole work boots, with their heavy tread and gap sole, are better suited for outdoor work that involves mud and loose gravel.

Final Thoughts

Sure, the Thorogood Men’s American Heritage Work Boot may be one of the more expensive sets of boots you’ll find, but their durable construction coupled with a design that will keep you upright on slick surfaces while keeping your feet comfortable, make them worth the extra money. If you’re looking for a wedge work boot that will keep you within your budget, then consider the Timberland PRO Men’s Wedge Sole Boot, which has much of the same features found in higher end work books at a much lower price.

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