Rangers are a different kind of businessman. In addition to their normal ascent activities, they risk their lives to ensure that people can stay put at home, running water, and keep food safe during terrible storms. As a result, they need shoes that can keep up with their pace. After all, a malfunctioning boot while climbing a tower or pole could spell disaster.
Because boots designed for lineman work are so rugged and durable, they can often excel in other tough situations, such as hiking, climbing ladders for DIY projects, and working with chainsaws. But choosing the best lineman's boots is never easy, as each situation may require specific features such as steel toe, insulation, weather resistance or electrical hazard ratings.
This guide will help you understand the most important features needed in a lineman's boot, and share some reviews of the best lineman's work boots for specific uses.
Best Overall: Thorogood Emperor Toe 8″ Briar Pitstop Work Boot
Great Value: AdTec Men's 9″ Waterproof Steel Toe Logger
Upgrade Choice: Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Non-Insulated Hiking Boots
Best Hiking: La Sportiva Makalu Hiking Boots
Best Logger: Danner Flashpoint II
Best Safety Toe: Georgia Boot Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boots
Best Waterproof: Carhartt 8″ Insulated Composite Toe Hiking Boots
Best Remote Call: La Sportiva Karakorum
Best Insulation: Chippewa Waterproof Insulated Steel Toe EH Boots
With a new backdrop of the best lineman boots, it's time to start shopping. The list below contains some of the best work boots for linemen, but be sure to keep the above considerations in mind when shopping.
Rangers who are looking for a great performance boot may benefit from these boots from Thorogood. This Emperor Toe 8-inch Briar Pitstop work boot features a composite toe with extra room inside, allowing users to spread their toes or add a thicker cushioned insole without squeezing the toes together. In addition, the raised heel on the rubber outsole provides plenty of grips when climbing poles, ladders or other equipment.
These Thorogoods have a removable single-density polyurethane insole for improved comfort and a composite core to keep the boots lightweight. While they are not waterproof or insulated, their rugged construction and EH rating make them a strong contender among the best boots for lineman's work.
Lineman boots may be expensive, but this pair from AdTec may fit many tighter budgets. The logging-style boot has a sturdy raised heel to hold a slant bar or ladder cross in place and a rubber outsole for slip resistance in oily conditions. It has a steel toe, but a version that offers a soft toe can bring more comfort. It also features full-grain oiled leather for added durability and water resistance.
While these boots are affordable, the lower price comes at the expense of design and performance. They are not rated for electrical hazards. In addition, AdTec does not advertise the hilt or its materials, so it is hard to say what it is made of. However, it may be a good choice for those who are looking for a lineman's boot to take them from the office to the tower.
Linemen can't always pull their trucks up to work. Sometimes long distances need to be covered, and in bad weather, a pair of Kenetrek Mountain Extreme boots may work. These hiking boots feature a high leather upper that protects the linemen's ankles and legs while hiking and provides a comfortable surface for gaffs. It also features breathable, flexible membrane waterproofing.
The rubber outsole of this boot provides plenty of grip, and the rubber sole guard extends up around the bottom of the boot to provide abrasion resistance - a helpful benefit considering this is a soft-toe boot. The raised rubber heel creates a solid grip on the bar or a set of harpoons. Keep in mind that these boots are not EH rated, but they do feature a steel core for comfortable weight distribution while climbing.
For those who want a pair of boots that are comfortable enough to be marked in the woodlands but don't want to sacrifice the durability of a steel core, the La Sportiva Makalu boots are worth a look. These hiking-style boots feature an all-steel shaft that distributes weight evenly across the diagonal brace or riser stakes, making them a favorite of rangers who spend time on buckets or spars.
These boots are made from unique rugged Idro-Perwanger leather - a classic abrasion and waterproof material associated with mountaineering. They also feature a Vibram rubber compound sole and a large raised heel that prevents slippage on a variety of surfaces. They have a moisture-wicking lining and a padded midsole for a comfortable fit. Keep in mind that these boots do not have an EH rating, so they may not be well suited for patrollers working for companies that require EH boots.
Those who want a sturdy and durable pair of logging boots may want to take a look at Danner's Flashpoint II boots. Designed for the fire service, these boots are extremely durable and hard-wearing. They are also electrical hazard rated, waterproof and heat resistant due to the Nomex material used in their construction.
The boots feature an all-steel core and a Vibram fire-resistant outsole. The leather upper is 10 inches high, making this boot comfortable enough to hold an angled leg in place. The leather is also fire, puncture and water resistant, which means it can handle almost anything a patrolman might throw at it. the Vibram Fire Logger outsole provides plenty of grips and a raised heel.
Keep in mind, however, that these boots are not warm, so they may not be the boots of choice for cold weather.
Border patrolmen who are looking for a boot that will keep their toes safe and secure may benefit from the Georgia Boot Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boots. These boots come with a protective steel toe that protects the feet from things like dropped tools or stubs while climbing. They also have an electrical hazard rating, feature an all-steel shank, and are relatively affordable.
These boots from Georgia feature 100% leather uppers and a waterproof design that will keep feet dry in harsh or flooding conditions. The abrasion-resistant outsole solves the problem, as it has large, powerful lugs for traction and a raised heel for locking in slants, traverses or spikes for safe climbing. The only thing these boots can't provide is insulation, which may or may not be a deal breaker.
Wet feet are not only uncomfortable but unsafe. But with Carhartt's 8-inch hiking boots, this is not a problem, as these boots feature a waterproof leather upper to keep water out and a breathable waterproof membrane inside. These boots also have a 400 gram 3M Thinsulate insulation to keep feet dry.
These boots are true hiking boots. They are EH rated and they have a full steel shank to support the weight of the hiker on gaffs, spikes or ladder rungs. The insole also has to cushion to absorb impact, while the rubber outsole has sturdy lugs and a raised heel to hold the climber in place. The composite toe prevents drops and falls. The only downside to this boot is that it may be slightly expensive compared to other boots, but with its features, it is worth the investment.
Reaching those power lines and towers deep in the woods may take some effort, but La Sportiva's Karakorum hiking boots are up to the challenge. Featuring La Sportiva's Idro-Perwanger Roughout leather, these boots offer a durable and waterproof upper that can handle the rough materials that rangers may encounter.
These hiking style boots feature a Vibram sole with an eye-catching lug pattern for grip and stability. While these boots do not have a steel upper, they do have an anti-torsion plate on the insole to provide additional stability and comfort. They are not EH-rated and therefore may not meet some company standards.
Those looking for an all-around quality boot should check out Chippewa's 9-inch waterproof insulated boot. This logger style boot is waterproofed with a durable leather upper and Chippewa's own Chip-A-Tex waterproof membrane. These boots also feature a Vibram logger sole with a large raised heel and a steel core for grip and support on ladders and diagonal braces.
These boots feature 3M Thinsulate insulation and a steel toe design with an electrical hazard rating, making these boots a great choice for climbing patrollers. Keep in mind that sizing can be challenging, as most of these boots are available in a wide range of sizes.
For those looking for a fully functional and powerful boot, check out the Thorogood linebacker boots as they have a roomy toe, lightweight and good grip. However, those who need a more rugged approach may prefer the Kenetrek lineman boots as they feature a durable leather and a waterproof design.
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