Farm work can be grueling, dangerous, satisfying, and exciting all at the same time. As a farmer or rancher, you never know what the workday will bring. Because of the vigorous nature of the job, you need equipment and tools that work just as hard as you do.
Work boots are an essential component of your arsenal to tackle the day. Choosing the best farm work boots to protect you from the perils of farming will provide you with superior comfort for the long haul.
Benefits of Wearing Proper Footwear
Farmers and ranchers are constantly on the move and on their feet. Farmers are walking, crouching, lifting, bending, and moving all over the place. As a farmer, you need work boots that are comfortable and ones that won’t worsen your foot fatigue throughout the day. More importantly, good work boots can protect you from the occupational hazards on a ranch.
Farmers have to watch out for everything from falling objects to getting stepped on by an animal. Sharp objects can also puncture through footwear if it’s thin enough. All of these perils can be avoided with a boot that has the right protective features. Work boots should also be waterproof to avoid a nasty fall that could prevent you from working.
A farm is home to a wide range of animals including ones that may not be so forgiving to your feet. Work boots can protect you from snakes and spider bites. Farm boots can also protect your temperature-sensitive feet from extreme cold or heat. Additionally, they can keep your feet clean of mud, water, harsh chemicals, and other farm debris.
Finding the Right Fit
Farmers spend most of their day toiling away in their work boots. Finding the right fit means you can be comfortable from well before dawn and beyond. The best farm work boots are resilient enough to withstand the mud, rain, and rugged terrain.
Ideally, you want to go shoe shopping in the afternoon. Feet naturally expand with use during the day. Farmers are especially prone to swelling in the feet. Feet can even swell up to a whole shoe size larger compared to their size in the morning.
Consider that feet become flatter and longer as the day progresses. For this reason, boot shopping should be put off until the afternoon when your feet are at their largest. Look for farm boots that have enough space around the ankle, instep, and heel. Give your toes enough space to move.
When looking for the right boot fit, make sure you’re wearing the socks that you normally wear to work. Ultimately, it’s about comfort. You may need to try out different sizes as they differ among manufacturers. Also, consider wider shoe designs if needed to avoid compression.
Comfort and Durability
When looking for the right farm and ranch work boots, comfort and durability should be top of mind. Working on a farm takes you here, there, and everywhere. It’s up to your shoes to keep up with the varying terrain and environment.
Farm work boots are worn for extended periods of time. Farmers can clock in up to 14 hours of work or more per day performing farm duties. You need a boot that won’t weigh you down during your long hours at work. The best farm work boots are lightweight and don’t compromise on durability.
Consider your farm work environment to choose the perfect shoe. Ideally, you want a boot that’s waterproof and breathable at the same time. You also want a boot that can keep you warm during those winter months.
Farming can be a dangerous way of life if you’re not careful. While head and eye protection are crucial for this profession, foot protection is right up there, too. Farmers have to worry about getting stepped on by animals or dropping heavy or sharp objects. The best farm work boots are also safety shoes.
Work boots help farmers avoid accidents with certain safety features such as a steel toe cap. Steel shanks can distribute foot weight evenly. This improves support and comfort for any activity, whether it’s climbing a ladder or crouching down.
Metatarsal guards go over the top of the shoe, although some are built into the boot. Steel midsoles can be added or built-in, as well. These safety features protect you against punctures and bruises from stones, glass, nails, or barbs.
Finally, slip-resistant soles reduce the chances of you slipping and falling in wet or muddy conditions. Your shoe must have the appropriate traction and shock absorption to provide all-day comfort. Remember, shallow treads can reduce debris under the shoe, but they lack the traction of more rugged tread patterns.
Extend the life of your work boots by regularly replacing your boot insoles. A supportive insole can significantly improve the comfort and durability of your shoe. Replacing the insoles of your worn-in boots can also prevent you from spending more on a new pair altogether.
We recommend Georgia Boot insoles, which are able to fit most Georgia Boot and competitors styles. A heel cup provides maximum support and comfort. Its memory foam construction allows the insole to adapt to the shape of your foot.
Under the memory foam, the insoles feature a polyurethane layer for superior cushioning all day. Airflow channels keep your feet dry and cool. Ergonomic arch support provides relief from foot fatigue.
Socks are an underappreciated component of farm foot protection. Let’s start with the basics. Cotton socks are killers on the field. For those that tend to sweat a lot in their feet or those working in rainy weather, cotton can retain more moisture than desired. Plus, they can take a long time to dry out, which can leave your feet vulnerable to pruning and blisters.
When choosing the right pair of socks for your work boots, look for moisture-wicking materials. Synthetic fibers can wick moisture quickly and dry out your feet when needed.
Get socks that match your booth length. Generally, crew socks should do since they sit around your mid-to-upper calf. Getting the right sock length can prevent irritation from rubbing your bare skin against the boot material. Also, consider compression socks if you’re worried about muscle aches and foot fatigue. Compression socks can increase blood circulation.
Georgia Boot men’s socks in charcoal are made from 85 percent merino lamb’s wool, one of the most breathable and moisture-wicking materials available. Merino wool helps regulate your temperature in cold or warm environments. Danner offers another merino midweight crew work sock alternative with targeted cushion and venting zones.
Carhartt’s A66 cold-weather boot sock is meant for those frigid winter mornings. These socks are made of a sweat-wicking wool blend with acrylic, polyacrylic, and elastic fibers. The socks feature abrasion-resistant yarn in the heel and toe for extra longevity.
Fox River’s wick-dry Northwest extra-heavyweight socks go over the calf for superior insulation. They’re made of a soft cotton and acrylic blend for a comfortable fit that can withstand cold temperatures.
Durability, comfort, and protection are the foundation of farm and ranch work boots. Farm shoes come in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes. Choose from different leather, nylon, rubber, and polyurethane varieties that keep your feet warm.
Completely leather construction offers style and functionality. Select shoes with a stylish profile and rich leather construction. Classic designs can look good on and off-the-clock. Natural leather just gets better with age.
Farm Work Boot Features
When shopping for the best farm work boots, there are some boot features you should consider. The outsole material is the external layer of a boot. Generally, an outsole is made from rubber, polyurethane, and thermoplastic polyurethane. All options are abrasion-, oil-, and slip-resistant.
Rubber outsoles are the best outsole option for quality boots if you’re worried about traction. A rubber sole is meant for the uneven terrains of farm work sites. Whether it’s a wet or dry surface, a rubber sole has got you covered.
Polyurethane outsoles are lightweight and comfortable to wear all day long. Their flexible nature allows you to have a more comfortable fit compared to a rubber sole. Thermoplastic polyurethane is a long-lasting and chemical-resistant option for farmers. It’s also more lightweight than rubber and just as comfortable.
The midsole of a farm work boot acts as the main shock absorber for your feet. It’s located between the upper and the outsole of your boots. Good midsoles are made of lightweight materials that won’t weigh you down. Polyurethane midsoles offer a good level of comfort and support.
Ethyl-vinyl acetate (EVA) midolses are attached to the upper and outsole of a shoe. EVA midsoles can mold to your foot shape and size to make your shoe more comfortable. These midsoles, however, provide less durability than other options. EVA midsoles are commonly found in sporty or lighter-weight shoes.
Toe style is another factor you should consider. Generally, you’ll run into composite and steel-toe cap styles. Steel-toe caps are the most commonly available and offer superior protection from impact or compression.
Composite-toe caps are an increasingly popular option for physical laborers. This option meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards, but it’s also more lightweight than its steel-toe counterpart. They also transfer heat and cold less than steel varieties, which is helpful for harsh weather conditions.
How a boot is constructed is a key factor in its quality, flexibility, weight, and durability. Direct-attach or injection construction includes a sole that’s permanently fixed to the upper materials.
Direct-attach boots are flexible for most types of farming work. Plus, its closely sealed construction provides a weatherproof boot. Goodyear welt construction keeps the upper and inner sole together with a strip or welt. This allows you to re-sole or repair your farm work boots in the future.
Cement construction features the shoe’s outsole and midsole permanently fused to the upper. This method of construction provides you with a lightweight and flexible boot, although it can be less durable than injection construction.
A shank in work boots provides extra support between the insole and the outsole. It’s located right under the arch of your foot. Shanks can protect your feet against puncture wounds and deliver the best support. Shanks can be made of steel, fiberglass, plastic, and Kevlar.
Consider the lining of your shoe to keep your feet dry and warm. Waterproof farmers boots are a must-have on the farm. Most work boots for farmers are made of waterproof leather and additional water-repellent materials inside the boot. The materials keep water out while keeping the right air circulation for your feet.
Waking up at 5:30 am or earlier every day can expose you to the frosty elements. For cold weather, insulated lining in your farm work boots can keep your feet warm. If you can’t brave the cold, then you’re going to need to invest in some new work boots for farmers.
A work boot’s footbed is one of the most important factors to consider when deciding how comfortable you want your shoe to be. A footbed keeps your feet stable and supported through all your farming tasks. Some footbeds come with additional shock absorption to distribute impact over a large surface area. This reduces overall foot fatigue.
Factor in the upper material depending on your work environment. For instance, leather boots are the standard in work boots. They last a long time. They’re breathable. They can conform to the shape of your feet over time. Not to mention, they’re waterproof.
Synthetic upper materials are lighter than leather options. Despite its lightweight properties, it can withstand the dangers of farm life and offer waterproof protection for your feet. Each work boot upper material has its own pros and cons depending on your preference.
Some boots feature metatarsal guards that sit atop the laces and can extend across the entire length of a boot. Usually made of leather, the metatarsal guard is there to protect the upper part of your foot from any sharp or heavy objects. Some farmers may not like these since they can make accessing your laces more difficult and increases the weight of your boot.
Some work boots feature pulls that are sewn into the side. These pulls help you get boots on and take them off. The most common type of pull is the over-the-top pull. Mule ears sit inside the boot for a sleeker look.
The best farm work boots can be a pricey but necessary investment for your work life. That means that it’s important to keep your pair of boots in good shape to avoid having to spend more money in the long run. Taking care of your boots can extend their life and looks.
Proper boot care starts off with regular maintenance. For instance, you can use a brush to wipe off dirt and mud from your leather shoe as soon as you can. These substances can degrade the quality of your leather over time. You can use a good boot cleaner and water to clean the outside of your boot.
What should you do when your pair of boots inevitably get sopping wet? One quick way to dry them is to stuff them loosely with newspaper. Then, place them in a relatively warm spot to dry out. Avoid placing them near a heat source such as a fireplace or heater since they can ruin your leather.
Finally, don’t forget to keep your leather boots conditioned. Leather conditioners can protect your boots from water and restore old leather shoes. A conditioner’s essential oils replenish the moisture to keep your boots from drying out. Practice proper conditioning techniques to avoid over-oiling your boots.
Best Rubber Boots for Farm Work
Rubber boots are a necessity for farmers. For one, they can keep your feet warm during the early morning days and winter season. Rubber boots are also waterproof so they can keep your feet dry all day long. The best boots for mud are typically a rubber farm shoe.
Bogs Classic Ultra High Insulated Boots
This classic boot style was originally made to keep dairy farmers’ feet dry and prevent slippage. The classic boot features pull handles that make them easy to put on. They’re made out of hand-lasted rubber over 7 mm waterproof Neo-Tech insulation for maximum protection.
This pair of work boots feature an internal midsole and rubber sponge inside for additional cushioning and warmth. A DuraFresh odor protection insole is a small luxury that can really pay off. Best of all, these boots are unisex, so they can be worn by everyone on the farm team.
Muck Boot MuckMaster Hi Commercial Grade Boots
The MuckMaster XF is the company’s best-selling commercial grade boot available. The original MuckMaster was a favorite among farmers and laborers for over a decade. This new and improved version features a gusset construction for an extended fit. In fact, it gives you up to five more inches of room for the best rubber boot fit. Plus, they’re unisex.
LaCrosse Men’s 18” Burly Rubber Boots
LaCrosse’s Burly Rubber Boots provide you with 100 percent waterproof protection. For nearly six decades, Burly has brought outdoorsmen this insulated and versatile rubber boot. Made from LaCrosse’s resilient ZXT rubber, you’ll know they can stand the test of time.
A wool felt midsole provides you with additional warmth. It’s also super comfortable. An adjustable top strap makes them easy to put on. An air-grip outsole has a cool self-cleaning tread pattern that provides the best traction at all times.
Best Farm Boots for Hot Weather
Working out on the farm exposes you to a wide range of weather conditions. Choosing the right shoes for hot weather or summer can make your tasks less back-breaking. Extremely hot temperatures can cause excessive sweating, chafing, and blistering. Good summer shoes are lightweight, breathable, and protective.
Ariat Men’s Brown Terrain H2O Boots
Ariat’s Brown Terrain H2O Boots are made of waterproof full-grain leather. Its moisture-wicking construction provides you with the ultimate breathability. An additional toe and heel guard protects you in those high-wear areas. A gel-cushioned footbed provides you with maximum stability while on the job.
Carhartt Men’s 6” Steel Toe Waterproof Wedge Work Boot
Carhartt’s Wedge Work Boot is a comfortable summer work boot. These boots were designed for warehouse and construction sites in mind, but can work just as well in farming environments. A leather upper features a breathable and waterproof coating so you can stay dry during the rain and cool during the sweltering months. An extra-thick insole provides one of the most comfortable fits around.
Danner’s Men’s 5” Brown Corvallis Waterproof Boots
Danner’s Brown Corvallis Boots offer the best of both worlds in terms of comfort and durability. These work boots were designed for workers who spend all day on their feet. This design has features usually found in heavier boots including triple-stitched seams and a non-metallic safety toe. These features keep your pair of boots light while providing you with protection.
Best Winter Farm Boots
As winter approaches, you notice the difference in temperature as soon as you wake up. Extremely cold temperatures can make your daily chores more burdensome. No amount of jackets, hats, and scarves can keep your feet warm. You need cold-weather work boots that have enough insulation to make the frigid temperatures bearable. Slip-in felt liners can also be worn with most of the best farm and ranch work boots.
Muck Arctic Ice Boot
Muck’s Arctic Ice Boot features state-of-the-art Vibram outsole technology. The brand’s Arctic Grip sole was made to provide traction in a winter environment including ground with wet ice. Its multi-direction lug design allows you to remain stable in a variety of terrains. The 5 mm CR Flex-Foam has flexible, waterproof, and insulating characteristics. A fleece interior provides you with warmth and comfort.
Danner Recon 8” Insulated 200G USA Work Boot
Danner’s Recon Insulated Work Boot has a rugged and classic look. Its all-leather stitchdown construction provides your feet with the ultimate support. 200G Thinsulate insulation provides warmth, while its GORE-TEX lining makes your boot 100 percent waterproof and breathable. The lightweight insulation can keep you warm in the snow or rain.
Bogs Rancher Insulated Boots
Bogs’ Rancher Insulated Boots are made of 100 percent waterproof and hand-lasted rubber. A four-way stretch inner bootie provides you with insulation and comfort during cold days. These boots are comfortable in temperate to -40º F or sub-zero conditions. Its non-slip and non-marking insole provides you with excellent traction in winter surfaces.
Best Boots for Dairy Farmers
While one could argue that any pair of rubber boots are suited for life on a dairy farm, there are some unique factors you should consider. Some dairy farmers may not like low-cut rubber shoes. Instead, opt for a calf- or knee-high pair of boots.
XTRATUF 15” Neoprene Boots
XTRATUF’s Neoprene Boots are popular for fishing but are also good for dairy farmers. These boots feature a signature Chevron outsole for maximum traction. In fact, it features some of the highest levels of slip-resistance available on the market.
Its 100 percent waterproof triple-dipped neoprene design protects you from wet environments. Because it’s made of neoprene instead of standard rubber, you get a softer and more comfortable-fitting shoe. While you can get an insulated version for winter, these boots are breathable and durable.
Georgia Boot Amp LT Wedge Waterproof Pull-On Work Boot
Georgia Boot’s AMP LT Wedge work boot features a classic wedge design with a sleek style. The upper material is made from their premium SPR leather, which is resistant to chemicals and acids. Its waterproof system prevents water from coming in while being breathable.
DryShod Haymaker Men’s Hard-Working Farm Boots
DryShod’s Hard-Working Farm Boots can handle any outdoor terrain using its molded gum rubber outsole. It features a roll-down calf pipe so you can roll down the top to tuck in your pant leg. Sturdy back-pull tabs help you take them on and off. A 4-way stretch breathable air mesh lining keeps your feet fresh and dry.
Easy-grip panels on the shaft make wearing these boots simple. A heel-stabilizing counter lock system prevents your heel from slipping. Additionally, it protects your boot when you take them off with the other foot. A memory foam footbed gives you the comfort you need.
When the farm work is over, a pair of Romeo boots provide the perfect comfort and style. Popularized at the turn of the last century, these boots feature polyurethane outsoles, leather materials, elastic sides, and a lining to keep you warm and comfortable. These tough boots are now available for the entire family including the little ones.
Choose from brown or black leather options for men, women, and kids. Go with classic and monochromatic designs or ones with a splash of pink or teal that adds a delicate and feminine touch. These boots can handle the rugged terrain of the pasture and look stylish during a dinner date with your partner.
Best Farm Boots for Women
Many farm boots come in unisex designs, but some are specifically made for the farm woman. These shoes are both practical and stylish featuring interesting designs and colors. Here are just a few of today’s most popular women’s work shoes.
Ariat Ladies’ Terrain Pull-On H2O Boots
Ariat designed this pair of waterproof farmer boots to meet the slender feet size of most women. These shoes combine western and work boot designs for a functional and fashionable shoe. Made of full-grain leather and suede, you can’t go wrong with these shoes.
Danner Ladies’ 7” Black Quarry Waterproof Alloy Safety-Toe Work Boots
Danner’s first Quarry work boots were released over a decade ago. Since then, these farmer boots have become a favorite among farmers across the country. These Black Quarry Boots are made from full-grain leather and feature triple-stitching for more durability.
Georgia Boot Ladies’ Blue Collar Waterproof Work Boot
Georgia Boot’s Ladies’ Blue Collar Work Boot is specially crafted for the female foot, unlike other boots that just have a smaller version of men’s farmer boots. Its waterproof system keeps your feet dry. An EVA midsole and polyurethane insole provide all-day comfort.
Danner Ladies’ Springfield Boot
Danner’s Springfield Boot is a waterproof and hiking-inspired work boot. It features the support and comfort of a trail boot and the resilience of farm work boots. An oil and slip-resistant outsole keeps you steady on your feet. Its sleek lavender and gray design has just the right amount of style to wear from dawn to dusk.
It also comes with a removable Ortholite footbed, which features three layers of varying density for better support, comfort, and air circulation. Electrical hazard protection ensures your soles and heels are non-conductive and resistant to electrical shock. Electrocution is an all too real danger out on the farm. Modern farmers have a plethora of boot choices. When buying the best boots for farm work, consider how long they will last you. Sometimes, it makes more sense to make a higher initial investment for a shoe that will last for years or decades. Find many more of the best farm work boots for men and women at Wilco stores.