Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit

Heating(work boot)Help?

Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Member Posts: 2,553
I've tried Red Wing, Wolverine, Die Hard, and mostly Timberland, among others. I tear through a pair of boots in about 9 months before they're falling apart. My feet always hurt and my back isn't far behind but I'm not sure I can blame the boots on that.

What's your go-to boot?
PHC News Columnist
Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC


  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    I'm also searching again.

    Bought a pair of Danner Vicious NMT earlier this year -- very comfortable and seemed well made, but the toe covering material turned out to be woefully inadequate (looked like someone had slashed it with a knife after about 10 days on jobsites.) Anyone got a lighter weight boot they can recommend that will take a bit of abuse?
  • jonny88jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    Steel toe timberland every 9 months.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,150
    Red Wing was my favorite by far when I was in construction. Last time I bought a pair was 2007 though so maybe things have changed.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    There's always White's...
  • Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Member Posts: 2,553
    jonny88 - I know dropping a cast iron section on your toe would be awful but ...I've never been comfortable in steel toes. Bad excuse, I know.
    PHC News Columnist
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,060
    Red Wing safety boots with steel toe and steel shank. Last me 2 to 3 years with no attention at all. Can't even remember broken laces. Wear them 6 days a week. The steel toe is shinning thru.
    I have 2 pairs that I alternate in the summer because of sweat issues. I get new because after the 2 or 3 years the support starts to fail. Have very flat feet and easily 30 # overweight.

    I read the obvious fact that we spend most of our lives either in bed or footwear and not to cut corners when buying either.
    So a king size SleepNumber bed and these Red Wings have worked for me.
  • delta Tdelta T Member Posts: 813

    These are personal favorite, last about a year and the toe starts to wear through to the plastic and the sole stats to go bald, but they are my pick for comfort. Everyone's feet are different though so what works for me may make you hurt.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 13,683
    Winter foot wear? I added a thin foam pad inside, made from the foam sill seal material. I found working on cold concrete all day really drains energy and causes aches and pains. Bubble foil shoe footbeds work great also.

    I have not tried one yet, but the Dr Schols insole machine that you stand on sounds like a good idea to get the boot insole to fit your foot best.

    The ski shops can build custom footbeds also, an exact fit to you foot makes a big difference. We notice this more as we age :)

    For the jobsites that require steel toes, I have found the soft, almost sneaker-like steel toes are most comfortable.

    I have had great luck with footwear, all their gear really, from Duluth Trading Company. They seem to find top quality materials still, a bit $$. They cater to, and add unique features to their clothing for tradespeople.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
    Steve Minnich
  • Steam_StarterSteam_Starter Member Posts: 109
    Anything by Chippewa Boots. I work in a rugged outdoor environment aboard barges and tugs and these babies have lasted me over two years. I have two pair and they are comfy even being on my feet all day.
    "Hey, it looks good on you though..."
    Steve Minnich
  • MikeGMikeG Member Posts: 154
    This doesn't replace a good fitting comfortable boot part, but if you need toe protection and don't like steel toed boots they do make toe covers. I don't care for steel toe boots. If you are kneeling down the toes take a beating. I use a chain saw regularly. I have some toe covers and some metal plates that lace in the top of the boot for upper foot protection. It has helped from the dropped log tool etc. Not the same as a cast iron boiler, but it may be thought. I think I got them from a outdoors or forestry supply place years ago.
    Steve Minnich
  • njtommynjtommy Member Posts: 1,105
    I use to buy Timberland pros every 6 months at the tune of $150 each.

    2 years ago I switched to redwings. I can say they don't seem as comfortable, but quality is so much better.

    If you have a Redwing store near you they have plenty of boots to try and they come with a 30 day money back guarantee.
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    I like the composite toes better than steel -- especially when it's cold out.
    njtommyRich_494Johnpiperick in Alaska
  • Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Member Posts: 2,553
    I'm going to have to raise my prices to cover my work boots overhead! My plan is to buy a pair of Red Wings today, and then follow with another pair of Timberland Pros and probably a pair from Duluth Trading. I'm eating Advil like candy for back and foot pain so it'll be a sound investment/experiment.
    PHC News Columnist
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
  • Rich_49Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,540
    Red Wings with Orthotics or the Dr Scholls Hot Rod eluded to . Take the provided insole out and replace . Those insoles make the RedWings much better . Nothing on my feet but since 1995 , 8 -10 pairs in 20 years aint bad .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    With that kind of pain, I'd seriously consider some custom boots. The good ones are $$$ and heavy, but I know people wearing 40 year old White's and 20+ year old Dehners.
  • Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Member Posts: 2,553
    Kurt - When I was kid I had special shoes for flat feet. If these Red Wings don't work out, I'll be visiting a podiatrist.
    PHC News Columnist
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 13,683
    Excellent idea, the foot doctor..

    I went through that same routine when I was young. Special shoes, walking on a tapered wood plank my dad built every evening, crazy stuff.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
    Steve Minnich
  • Harvey RamerHarvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,215
    I've been using Dr. Scholl's for a couple years now. I'm a big fan.

    Crocs are most comfy. To bad we can't wear them to work.
    Ramer Mechanical
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • JStarJStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Red Wings sells a less expensive brand called Worx. I'm trying out a low-top with plastic composite toe. I like them so far. They feel like sneakers, but with protection.
  • Paul S_3Paul S_3 Member Posts: 1,257
    I use these....pretty expensive but warm I'm winter Paul S
    ASM Mechanical Company
    Located in Staten Island NY
    Servicing all 5 boroughs of NYC.
    [email protected]
  • AFredAFred Member Posts: 81
    I've been wearing red wings for more than 15 years. I wear the 2406.
    I buy 2 pairs at a time, they are more willing to deal that way, cash talks too. I alternate pairs everyday, sweaty feet. Two pairs last me about 2 1/2 years. I know to replace the insoles when my feet hurt before the day is over(about every year).
    A few years ago they talked me into stepping on the 'pressure point mapping thingy-ma-gig/mat' then proceeded to tell me my feet would feel better with some~$50 insoles. They were right.
    If I oil my boots the leather over the steel toes last longer.
    Don't buy the cheap china ones, yes they make those too. Get the ones 'made in america with american materials', there's a difference.
    Steve Minnichnjtommy
  • JackJack Member Posts: 1,044
    After a few decades of Red-Wings I tried a Chippewa 6" model that has been fantastic. It is an Engineer model, I believe they call it. I've never been a fan of steel toed boots. Was working with a fellow whose toes would have been crushed in any case, but the steel toes cut them off clean and I've not worn them since. Of course that knife cuts both ways. I wasn't a fan of seat belts until I went through a windshield either, so.... One of the things I like about the Chippewa is that they have the good vibrate sole that isn't lugged. You can wipe your feet and not be carrying tons of dirt. I have a set of the Superfeet pads I got at REI that I use in some shoes/boots that make a big difference, but I don't use them in the Chippewa's. They were like slippers the first time I put them on. The 6" height gives some protection as well as range of motion.
  • unclejohnunclejohn Member Posts: 1,603
    Being the cheep skate that I am I get Lugz. They last a year but I wear them for about 18 months.
  • happydavehappydave Member Posts: 79
    Red wing waterproof with inserts and the glue on toe guards
  • matt_sunwaysolarmatt_sunwaysolar Member Posts: 61
    I'm very hard on boots and wear them out fast. At this point, I only wear Danner Boots. I used to where Red Wings, but agree they fall apart too easy. I work on roofs and outdoors a lot, so I need something more rugged. They are also far and away the most comfortable boots I've worn.

    That said, Danner's aren't cheap, but totally worth it. Plus, when the outsole wears out, it can be replaced, which I have had performed by a local shoe repair shop for $60 (beats buying a new pair). And the boot itself is still in great condition.

    Here's the basic Danner Work Boot. It's what I wear and well worth the money, in my opinion.
    Steve Minnich
  • Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Member Posts: 2,553
    edited November 2015
    I went with the Red Wings and the fit and comfort is really good but after just two days in a boiler room they look pretty worn. Maybe I'm just reckless?
    PHC News Columnist
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
  • njtommynjtommy Member Posts: 1,105
    Winter boots being wearing these been great for the really cold days on roofs. After a long day out side in them I can still feel my toes.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,060
    Stephen, Your not supposed to kick the boiler with your new Red Wings, especially if the customer is watching. ;)
    Steve Minnich
Sign In or Register to comment.


It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!