The Best Work Boots and Shoes for Mechanics in 2020

Standing over an open hood working on an engine for hours on end can take a toll on your feet. Then there are the chances of tools or other heavy things that could fall on your toes. Keep your feet comfortable and protected by wearing the best boots and shoes for mechanics.

best work boots and shoes for mechanics

 

Our top 7 picks of the best automotive mechanic work shoes and boots

1. Timberland PRO Hyperion Work Boot

Timberland loaded these boots with features to protect your feet and keep them comfortable. There are leather uppers, alloy safety toe caps, a lightweight molded midsole made from EVA, and an easy lacing system. Anti-fatigue patented insoles help absorb shock, and the Vibram outsole is oil, slip, and abrasion-resistant.

Timberland PRO Men's Hyperion Waterproof Work Boot
  • Durable hiker boot featuring abrasion-resistant upper with waterproof membrane
  • Rubber double toe and Ever-Guard heel and instep overlays
  • Mesh lining with Agion antimicrobial treatment
  • Molded EVA midsole
  • Durable Vibram outsole

 

2. Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Boots

Caterpillar is a popular brand when it comes to work shoes. Its second shift boots have steel toe caps under a leather upper with a breathable lining. There’s a steel shank in the outsole for stability and support, and the traction soles help prevent slipping on oil.

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Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot, Dark Brown, 10 M US
  • Ankle-cut work boot with steel toe with padded ankle and oil-resistant outsole

 

3. Wolverine Men’s Overpass 6″ Composite Toe

A lighter weight option for protecting your toes is a composite toe cap. These boots from Wolverine have a patented carbon max toe cap covered in an abrasion-resistant textile coating. The uppers are waterproof leather, and the outsole is oil, water, slip, and abrasion-resistant.

Wolverine Men's Overpass 6" Composite Toe Waterproof Work Boot
  • Flexible, athletic contour welt construction moves with you by bending and flexing at essential points
  • Premium waterproof leather with abrasion resistant toe
  • Removable ortholite cushioned footbed for all-day comfort
  • Slip, oil, water, abrasion, and chemical-resistant outsole for added protection on the job site
  • Composite Toe ASTM F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 EH

 

4. Reebok Industrial Construction Shoe

These sneaker-style shoes from Reebok have a mesh upper and an alloy safety toe cap, making them lightweight and flexible. The rubber outsole is slip-resistant with deep grooves allowing your feet to move. A MemoryTech Massage footbed is designed to mold to the contours of your feet for cushioning and comfort.

Reebok Work Men's Sublite Cushion Work RB4041 Industrial and Construction Shoe, Black, 11 M US
  • Features an Alloy Safety Toe that meets ASTM F2413 Safety Standards and Electrical Hazard Protection
  • Full -foot flex grooves for improved mobility and flex with every step with a low-cut design for a sleek, athletic look or easy ankle mobility
  • MemoryTech Massage footbed adapts to the contours of your foot and provides immediate cushioning, with Sublite foam midsole for lightweight cushioning and soft support
  • Alloy Safety Toe reduces weight, while maintaining impact protection [meets ASTM F2413]
  • Industry leading lightweight comfort at approximately 350 grams per shoe; Insole: MemoryTech Massage Removable Cushion Footbed, Outsole: Sublite EVA Cushion Midsole with Rubber Heel and Forefoot Pads

Reebok Work Sublite Cushion Work Comp Toe SD Black 7.5 B (M)
  • Microfiber & Mesh Uppers
  • Moisture Wicking Nylon Mesh
  • MemoryTech Massage Removable Cushion Footbed
  • Composite Toe
  • Sublite EVA Cushion Midsole with Rubber Heel and Forefoot Pads

 

5. Timberland PRO Men’s 6″ Pit Boss Steel Toe

The men’s Pit Boss boots from Timberland are a favorite choice for many in the workplace. These boots have a six-inch shaft finishing at the ankle, which contains padding for comfort. They have a steel toe cap, slip and oil-resistant soles, and comfort suspension technology to complete the package.

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Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6" Steel-Toe Boot, Black , 11 D - Medium
  • STAY ON YOUR FEET: Our Pit Boss is everything a steel toe boot should be: Safe, tough & comfortable. These leather work boots meet ANSI safety standards and feature slip-, oil- and abrasion resistant outsoles for traction & padded top collars for comfort.
  • SAFETY AND COMFORT: PRO 24/7 Comfort Suspension technology is a unique comfort system that meets the most rigorous work site demands -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It helps reduce foot fatigue, support the arch and cushion every step.
  • A SOURCE OF PRIDE: We know you take pride in your work, so our soft-toed shoes and boots and steel-toe boots and shoes are designed to provide you with enhanced job performance day in and day out. Wear them at work well as at home with comfort & style.
  • QUALITY WORKWEAR: Timberland PRO assesses the unmet needs of those who work in the most demanding environments and then develops solutions that deliver ultimate comfort, durability & protection—all day long—from work boots & shoes to anti-fatigue insoles.
  • TIMBERLAND PRO: Compare the quality workmanship of Timberland PRO work boots & work shoes to products from Justin, Muck Boots, Servus, Tingley, Doc Martens, Romeos, Red Wing, Merrell, Ariat, Cat, Wolverine, Maelstrom, Stanley, Keen or Carhartt.

 

6. KEEN Utility Atlanta Work Shoes

Keen brings us a work shoe that has waterproof leather and mesh uppers and a non-slip rubber outsole. It comes in regular and wide fittings and has a mesh liner to keep feet cool and fresh. Asymmetrical steel toes protect your forefoot from injury from falling objects.

KEEN Utility Men's Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe, 10.5 EE US, Black/Black, 10.5EE
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KEEN Utility Men's Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe, 10.5 EE US, Black/Black, 10.5EE
  • Torsional Stability Shank
  • Mesh Liner provides breathability to help keep feet cool in warm environment
  • Dual density compression molded Eva midsole
  • Left and Right asymmetrical steel toes

KEEN Utility Women's Atlanta Cool ESD Steel Toe Work Shoe, 10 M US, Gargoyle Grey/Lake Blue
  • Torsional Stability Shank
  • Oil and slip resistant
  • Secure fit lace capture system
  • Clean nxt for natural odor protection

 

7. Thorogood Men’s GEN-FLEX

The Gen Flex work boots provide your feet with comfort, protection, and grip. They‘re flexible and lightweight with shock-absorbing multi-layer cushioned insoles. They have a composite protective toe area, are electrical hazard rated, and have a non-slip outsole with multi-directional lugs.

Thorogood Composite Safety Toe Gen Flex 804-4445 6-Inch Work Boot, Brown, 10 M US
  • GEN-flex2 outsole
  • Goodyear storm welt construction
  • EVA Cushion Flex Insole
  • Toe Protection: Composite Safety Toe
  • Removable single-density polyurethane footbed

 

 

In Depth reviews of the best boots for mechanics

You’ll want your work boots or shoes to be comfortable, and you’ll also want them to protect your feet and stop you slipping on oily or wet workshop floors. Here are our top 7 picks of the best automotive mechanic work shoes and boots.

 

1. Timberland PRO Hyperion Work Boot

Timberland manufactures work boots and shoes in many different styles. The Hyperion is rugged in appearance with lots of attributes to protect your feet and keep them comfortable.

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The grey and black high-quality leather uppers have a waterproof membrane to keep moisture out. There’s also a moisture management system to keep your feet dry, and prevent friction. An alloy toe cap protects your forefoot while remaining lightweight.

Timberland PRO® rubber toes help prevent the front of the shoe from damage, and the Ever-Guard™ leather backstay protects the heels. The boots also protect from electrical hazards.

Your arches are supported by a molded EVA midsole, a dual-density footbed, and a fiberglass shank. They aim to prevent tiredness in your feet by absorbing impact and bouncing the energy back. These patented anti-fatigue technologies also help absorb shock in targeted areas of your feet.

Thermoplastic overlays in the instep provide more support for your feet, and a mesh lining with an antimicrobial treatment helps prevent odor.

The Vibram outsoles are durable and rated as being resistant to oil and abrasions. This could help provide stability when walking on garage and workroom floors.

The sizes available are from a 7 through to a 15, and in two widths, regular and wide. Half sizes are available up to a size 11.5.

Timberland has confidence in these boots offering a 30-day comfort guarantee. Keep your receipt, and if you find these boots aren’t as comfy as other brands you have owned, they’ll return your money to you.

On the downside, it seems pressure can be felt in the ankles by some users in these boots, and they might be a little heavy for some.

Pros

  • Leather uppers.
  • Alloy toe caps.
  • EVA molded midsole.
  • Anti-fatigue technology.
  • Odor control.
  • Electrical hazard resistance.
  • Money-back 30-day guarantee.

Cons

  • Might create pressure points in the ankles for some.
  • Could be a little heavy.
The Hyperion provides your feet with good support, flexibility, and cushioning with their anti-fatigue footbeds, fiberglass shank, and an EVA midsole. Safety features include alloy toe caps, oil and water resistance, and protection from electrical hazards. They’re also waterproof making them a good choice for mechanics work boots.

 

2. Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Boot

Caterpillar is an international brand known for its work apparel and machinery. The company has created the soles of these boots using their knowledge of machine tracks. Made from rubber, they have Goodyear welts and are slip-resistant.

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The uppers come in black full-grain leather, or three shades of brown, or charcoal grey nubuck leather. You can choose from sizes 7 through to 14, with half sizes up to 11.5. Two width fittings are also on offer; regular and wide.

You’re offered stability and support for your ankles by a 6.5-inch shaft and a fully padded collar. Proprietary Climasphere insoles work together with a mesh lining to keep feet dry and allow them to breathe. A removable polyurethane (PU) sock liner adds cushioning and comfort.

The embedded steel shank within the sole provides further stability for your feet. These boots have a steel cap to protect the toes and are rated for electrical hazards up to 600 volts in dry conditions.

Some find these boots take a little while to wear in. Be prepared for them to hurt for a day or so.

Pros

  • Anti-slip Goodyear welt soles.
  • Climasphere insoles.
  • A wide range of sizes.
  • Steel toe cap.
  • Electrical hazard rating.

Cons

  • Might take a short time to break in.
These boots for mechanics have leather uppers and insoles, and a mesh lining designed to allow your feet to breathe. Goodyear welted anti-slip soles, steel toe caps, and electrical hazard ratings keep your feet protected.

 

3. Wolverine Men’s Overpass 6″ Composite Toe

Founded in 1883, Wolverine has a long-established record for producing hard-wearing, comfortable work boots. Their original 1000-mile boot launched in 1910 promised to last that long and more.

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These Overpass boots are available in sizes 7 to 14 and regular and extra-wide widths. They promise to be as flexible as an athletic-style shoe while supporting your feet.

The uppers are made from top-quality waterproof leather and textile. They have protective areas over the heels and toes to prevent abrasions and wear.

Your toes are protected by a thin, lightweight Carbon Max composite cap. This helps prevent injury from falling objects and knocks and bangs. The outsole consists of polyurethane and dual-compound rubber, and it has deep lugs to help give traction on slippery surfaces.

Removable OrthoLite insoles are designed to mold to the contours of your feet and provide cushioning and support. The linings are mesh and wick moisture away, keeping feet dry and comfortable. A nylon shank in the sole helps provide stability and strength to the boots.

Wolverine offers a 30-day comfort guarantee with these boots. If you think they aren’t the most comfortable boots you’ve worn, you can return them for a refund.

It seems these boots might run about a half-size small, so consider sizing up when ordering. The extra-wide width might also not be wide enough for some.

Pros

  • Lightweight composite toe cap.
  • Moldable insoles.
  • Traction rubber soles.
  • Comfort guarantee.

Cons

  • Might run narrow and small.
Backed by years of manufacturing experience, these leather Wolverine work boots are flexible and have a lightweight composite toe cap. The outsoles have deep lugs for traction, and the inners are moisture-wicking, cushioned, and supportive.

 

4. Reebok Industrial Construction Shoe

Reebok brings us a sneaker-style shoe for mechanics, which is lightweight and comfortable but still has protective features.

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There are styles available for men and women. Sizes range from 4 to 16 in regular, wide, and extra-wide options for men, and 4 to 12 for women in regular and wide choices.

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These shoes have lightweight mesh uppers and oil and slip-resistant rubber soles. They will also help protect you from electrical hazards. The soles are flexible, giving you a good range of movement for your feet.

An alloy toe cap helps protect against impact while not adding too much to the weight of the shoes.

Inside the shoes, patented MemoryTech footbeds mold to the shape of your feet, providing cushioning where you need it. There’s a SubLite foam midsole for additional comfort and support.

If your workplace has a tile floor, the slip resistance of these shoes might not be the best. They also tend to run small, so you might need to order a larger size than you normally wear.

Pros

  • Lightweight sneaker-style shoes.
  • Flexible soles.
  • Alloy protective toe caps.
  • MemoryTech moldable footbeds.
  • Breathable mesh uppers.

Cons

  • Could be slippery on tiled floors.
  • Don’t run true to size; they might be small.
If you want a sneaker-style shoe for work, these from Reebok could fit the bill. They have protective alloy toe caps and a cushioned supportive footbed. The soles are flexible for comfort and slip-resistant on most surfaces.

 

5. Timberland PRO Men’s 6″ Pit Boss Steel Toe

Founded in the early 1970s, Timberland is well-known for its sturdy work boots. The Pit Boss is loaded with features you would expect to find in automotive mechanic work boots.

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Sizes range from a 7 to 15, in wide and regular fittings. Colors, including brown, black and wheat are available in nubuck, and black in oiled leather.

There’s a 5.5-inch shaft with a padded top collar for comfort around the ankles. The boots have laces that thread through cast-iron top hooks. This enables you to secure them to your feet for stability.

A steel toe cap protects your feet from falling debris. The toe box is designed to be roomy giving you plenty of wiggle room. The boots also protect your feet from electrical hazards.

Heat and slip-resistant soles are made from a special rubber compound, while the Goodyear welt construction helps make these boots hard-wearing. Keeping your footing on oily, wet floors should be a breeze. There’s also a nylon plate in the sole providing shock diffusion and rigidity.

The midsole consists of polyurethane for support and comfort. An antimicrobial treatment has been added to the Cambrelle fabric lining to help keep foot odor at bay. You can remove the lining for cleaning and drying.

These boots may be uncomfortable at first but stick with them. Many find they last several years and are snug and comfy.

Pros

  • Steel toe caps.
  • Rubber soles for traction.
  • Wide range of sizes and widths.
  • Antimicrobial liner.

Cons

  • Could need some perseverance to wear-in.
Timberland brings us durable, comfortable boots. The quality features include rubber soles, leather uppers, and a steel toe cap. They have odor protection and a supportive, cushioned midsole.

 

6. Keen Utility Atlanta Work Shoes

These automotive mechanic work shoes come in styles for both women and men. They’re rugged in appearance and have a leather and mesh upper, which is water-resistant.

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The sizes on offer are 7 through 15, for men with half sizes up to a size 11.5. For women, there are sizes 5 through 11, with half sizes up to a 10. Regular and wide widths are available for both.

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There’s a mesh liner in the uppers designed to cool your feet in warm weather and keep them warm when it’s cold. The secure lace capture system eliminates the danger of tripping over loose laces. It prevents them from becoming unfastening and dangling down.

Keen’s patented steel toe protection system wraps the outsole over the toes for added protection. The toe caps are designed to be asymmetrical for each foot, and the toe box has plenty of room for movement.

A contoured heel aims to hold your foot in place, and arch support and a shank provide further stability. An EVA midsole provides shock absorbency and comfort, and the mesh lining repels water. Cleansport NXT helps keep odors at bay with its antimicrobial properties.

The outsole is made from rubber with treads that are oil and slip-resistant. The soles are also non-marking.

Some find the shoelaces, while secured, do come loose. Many remove this lacing system and replace it with traditional strings.

Pros

  • Patented protective toe caps.
  • A wide range of sizes for men and women.
  • Leather and mesh breathable uppers.
  • Non-marking, non-slip soles.

Cons

  • The lacing system might be lacking.
These protective shoes for men and women have patented steel toe caps and leather and mesh breathable uppers. Anti-slip non-marking soles keep you on your feet while your heels and arches have built-in support.

 

7. Thorogood Men’s GEN-FLEX

American-based company Thorogood has been making boots and shoes for over 120 years. Based in Wisconsin, it’s employee-owned and produces over 125 styles of American Heritage footwear.

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The sturdy Gen Flex 2 comes in black or brown full-grain, oiled leather. Lightweight and comfortable, they have a composite toe cap to protect your feet. There are also Scotchlite reflective accents making these boots more visible in the dark.

Available in sizes 7 to 15, with half sizes up to a 11.5, you can choose from wide or regular widths.

Patented VGS 300 technology gives these boots good shock absorption. They have a multilayered interactive cushioning system that has been tested to withstand 300 pounds of pressure.

The outsole has multi-directional lugs to give you traction, and they’re slip, oil, abrasion and heat resistant. They’re also free from metal in their construction, and are rated for electrical hazards.

Goodyear storm welt construction makes them durable, and a composite shank helps give them stability. A removable single-density polyurethane insole provides cushioning and support for your feet.

Some find the laces supplied with the boots aren’t good quality, but you could always change them out. It also seems that these boots might run large so you could order a half-size down or wear thick socks or insoles.

Pros

  • Leather uppers.
  • Goodyear storm welt.
  • Cushioned and supportive.
  • Composite safety toe.
  • Metal-free construction.

Cons

  • Laces might be sub-par.
Thorogood has a proven track record when it comes to manufacturing work boots. These leather ones have a composite toe cap, and slip and oil-resistant sole. There’s no metal anywhere on the boots, and they’re rated for electrical hazard protection.

Do Mechanics Need Special Footwear?

Working in the automotive industry can leave you open to any number of accidents. There are tools that can fall on your feet, heavy vehicle parts that can drop on your toes and oily, wet floors you can slip on.

Not only is there the safety aspect to consider, but there’s also comfort. The chances are you’re going to spend a lot of time on your feet or crouching down with your feet bent.

Wearing the best work boots or shoes for mechanics will ensure you’re doing as much as you can to protect your feet. The features you should consider when looking for automotive work shoes include:

 

1. Toe Protection

Keeping your little pinkies safe is a must. You can guarantee that no matter how careful you are, when accidents happen, your toes are inevitably in the firing line. Protective toe caps come in three different types:

  • Steel toe caps: Strong and durable, steel is often the choice to protect those delicate bones in your feet. These toe caps have long been the choice of many protective shoes and boots, as they’re strong and durable. They can be a little heavier than some alternatives adding weight to your work boots.
  • Alloy toe caps: Offering a similar level of protection to steel, these are manufactured from materials such as aluminum or titanium mixed with other metals. While these toe caps might be thicker than steel ones, they’re generally between 30 and 50 percent lighter in weight. You’ll often find these toe caps in sneaker-style safety shoes.
  • Composite toe caps: Materials such as carbon fiber, fiberglass, Kevlar, or plastic are used to form composite toe caps. Again, they might be bulkier than their counterparts, but they’re very lightweight. These are a good option if you work around electrical hazards as they contain no metals.

The differences between the various types of toe caps are highlighted in this video.

When considering your toe protection, keep in mind the comfort factor. You’ll want to make sure your toes aren’t in contact with the front of your boots or shoes. Also check that they aren’t so far back that the toe cap doesn’t offer protection.

There’s a simple check you can do to see if your toes are in the correct position. Try your boots or shoes on and squat down in them. The beginning of your toes should be seated at the flex point of the footwear (where it bends).

Our article on how boots should fit will tell you more about making sure you get the right size.

 

2. Soles

Three factors come into play when you’re looking for good soles on your mechanics work boots:

  • Flexibility: Working on vehicles can involve lots of squatting and bending. This can put pressure on the middle of the soles of your boots or shoes. So, while you want them to be flexible, you also need them to be durable, or they could degrade in this area.
  • Slip resistance: Workshop floors can be slippery and hazardous; oil spills, water, and other chemicals can leave them like ice rinks. Deep lugs in a rubber sole rated for slip resistance will help keep you steady on your feet.
  • Electrical hazard rating: Power tools and other electrical appliances are all around a garage or workshop. Making sure your boots or shoes are rated for electrical hazards will protect you from electrical shocks when things go wrong.

 

3. Insoles

Hours every day on your feet are part and parcel of your job as a mechanic. You’ll need to make sure your feet have the support they need to keep your feet comfortable. Many work boots and shoes come with insoles designed to support heels and arches and help prevent foot pain.

Often the insoles are removable. This is particularly useful if you suffer from foot conditions like heel spurs, metatarsalgia, Achilles tendonitis, or have high arches. You can change the insoles out for some that will make your feet more comfortable.

You can also find insoles that will compensate for boots that are too big. If you want to know more about insoles for work boots, you can check it out in this article.

 

Safety Standards for Work Boots

safety standards for work boots

When looking for work boots for mechanics, you might see various ASTM ratings. These are set by the American Safety Standards for work boots.

The most common of these is ASTM F2413-11, followed by any of the following letters and numbers: I/75, C/75, EH, SD, SR, and PR. But what does this mean?

ASTM F2413-11 is the number allocated to the standard for protection in boots and shoes.

The I/75 denotes the amount of impact the boots can withstand. It means that if you drop something weighing 75 pounds on your toe caps, you’ll be safe. They’ll leave a clearance of 0.5 inches in men’s shoes, and 0.47 inches for women’s shoes.

The C/75 relates to compression on the toe caps. It means that if something weighing 2,500 pounds rolls over your toes, there will still be 0.5 inches of clearance.

Another aspect of ASTM 2413 is the letters EH. This indicates that the shoes can withstand electrical currents of 18,000 volts at 60 hertz for a minute under dry conditions. This helps protect you from accidental electric shocks.

The letters SD indicate that the footwear can dissipate static. SR denotes slip resistance and PR, puncture resistance.

 

What Else Should You Look for in Mechanics Work Boots?

We have mentioned many of the attributes you need in your boots for working as a mechanic. As well as these consider:

  • Materials in the sole: Rubber tends to be flexible, and materials like Vibram could be hard-wearing as well. Look for deep lugs that’ll give traction.
  • Support: Higher shafts can give more support to your ankles and prevent them from twisting. Padding in this area will provide comfort. Also, consider our comments on insoles to make sure your feet are cushioned and protected from impact.
  • Water resistance: The ability to withstand water permeating your boots is a bonus if you’re washing vehicles or working outdoors when it’s wet. It will help keep your feet dry.
  • Odor control: Wearing boots all day can make your feet sweat, and bacteria that cause smelly feet love moisture. Look for antimicrobial treatments that help keep odors at bay.
  • Moisture-wicking: Liners that pull moisture away from your feet will help keep them dry and fresh. They can also help prevent blisters.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Best Work Boots for Walking on Concrete All Day?

Concrete floors can be unforgiving on your feet. You’ll want your feet to be cushioned and supported. All the boots we’ve chosen can stand up to a concrete workshop floor, but you can also find more choices in our article on work boots for concrete.

 

What Are the Best Work Boots for Standing All Day?

Boots that have a cushioned sole and support for your arches and heels are ideal for standing all day. If you find your work boots stand up to all your requirements but leave your feet aching at the end of the day, you can change the insoles. Check out the best insoles for standing all day to give you that added boost your feet need.

 

Should I Get Six-Inch or Eight-Inch Shafts on My Work Boots?

This is a matter of personal preference. An eight-inch shaft might offer more support for your ankles, whereas a six-inch shaft could offer more flexibility. There are boots and shoes for mechanics that provide either of these options.

 

Getting Down to Work

Wearing the correct footwear for the job can help keep your feet protected from accidents and comfortable all day. Choosing from our selection of the best work boots or shoes for mechanics will ensure you get both.

All the boots and shoes we have selected meet the ASTM standards for toe protection as a minimum. Some have added features like electrical hazard protection and slip resistance. The style you choose will depend on which are aesthetically pleasing to you and have the features you’re looking for.

We would love to know which ones you select and how you get on with them. Please leave us a comment, and don’t forget to share.

 

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