7 Best Boots for Landscaping in 2021

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A pair of landscaping boots on a grassy lawn in front of a weed eater and a hand pruner.

Landscaping often involves lifting heavy materials, using power equipment and long days on your feet. Wearing the proper footwear can help you stay safer and spare you from unnecessary aches and pains. 

Key points to choosing the best boots for landscaping include:

  • Safety toe construction
  • A waterproof treatment
  • A tight-fitting collar and tongue
  • Non-slip, grooved outsoles
  • Secure closure
  • Breathable material

In this article, we’re looking at the details of 7 of the best boots for lawn care of all kinds. We also talked to a landscaping professional to get his input on must-have features and tips for choosing the right boots.

Let’s get started! 

RELATED: In addition to proper footwear, outdoor work calls for a good sun-protective hat! Check out our post on 10 gardening hats to see the variety of styles and features to choose from!

Parts of a Landscaping Boot

Before we get into the detailed reviews, let’s define our terms and take a look at the components of a work boot:

Anatomy of a boot

1. Rockrooster AK232Z Work Boots

Rockrooster AK232Z Work Boots
  • Upper material: Full-grain oiled nubuck leather
  • Outsole material: Thermoplastic polyurethane
  • Shaft height: 7 inches
  • Safety toe: Yes, steel toe
  • Waterproof treatment: Yes
  • Removable insole: Yes
  • Closure type: Lace-up and zipper dual closure
  • Other color options: Black
  • Size range: 4-15 (whole sizes only), X-wide width is standard

With a 7-inch shaft, these boots are tall enough to get plenty of protective overlap with your pants. And to save you a little time in the morning, the side zipper closure spares you from having to undo and redo the laces over and over. 

One great feature of these Rockrooster boots is that an extra-wide toe box is standard in all sizes. This gives your toes enough space to move naturally throughout the day with no constriction. This can be especially critical for helping you stay comfortable with the frequent kneeling and crouching of landscaping work. 

For another safety feature, an internal Kevlar plate in the sole protects your feet against punctures from sharp objects on the ground. A deep groove pattern and polyurethane soles give you good grip, even in muddy or wet conditions. 

The inner lining uses PORON fabric to help absorb shock and increase comfort. The insoles contain CoolMAX technology to help dissipate heat and allow for breathability. 

However, some users find that the insoles tend to break down quickly, requiring replacement. Thankfully, the included insoles are easy to remove!

Pros

  • Extra-wide toe box is standard
  • Kevlar plate midsole
  • Shock-absorbent, breathable interior materials
  • Dual lace-up/zipper closure saves time

Cons

  • CoolMax insole inserts can wear out rapidly

2. Timberland PRO Men’s Endurance

Timberland PRO Men's Endurance
  • Upper material: Full-grain leather
  • Outsole material: Rubber
  • Shaft height: 6 inches
  • Safety toe: Yes, composite toe
  • Waterproof treatment: Yes
  • Removable insole: Yes
  • Closure type: Lace-up
  • Other color options: Brown
  • Size range 7-15 (half-sizes available up to 11.5), standard and wide widths in all sizes

Like all Timberland PRO models, these boots have specialized Anti-Fatigue technology. This comfort system provides targeted support to the heel and ball of your foot and reduces impact shock.

These boots also feature Vibram Arctic Grip Pro, which delivers excellent traction in snowy or icy conditions. While most landscaping work takes place in the warm months, this extra grip could come in handy if you’re doing yard clean-ups in the unpredictable weather of the early spring or late fall.

The midsole contains a non-metallic puncture-resistant material. So even if you step on a sharp object, it shouldn’t make it through your boot and into your foot. 

One thing to be aware of: Several users state that these boots are on the heavy side, with each boot weighing about 2.2 pounds.

But given the number of safety and comfort Timberland PRO packed in it’s not too surprising. And most people said that the extra weight didn’t affect performance.

Pros

  • Anti-Fatigue system delivers fantastic comfort
  • Extra grip in cold conditions
  • Puncture-resistant midsole plate

Cons

  • Heavy

3. Carhartt Rugged Flex Safety Toe Work Boot

Carhartt Rugged Flex Safety Toe Work Boot
  • Upper material: Full-grain leather
  • Outsole material: Rubber
  • Shaft height: 8 inches
  • Safety toe: Yes, composite toe
  • Waterproof treatment: Yes
  • Removable insole: Yes
  • Closure type: Lace-up
  • Other color options: None
  • Size range: 8-15 (half-sizes available up to 11.5), standard and wide widths in all sizes

For waterproof landscaping boots, it’s hard to beat the extra-tall Carhartt Rugged Flex!

Aside from the fairly standard water-resistant features (leather upper, tight stitching and tongue/body overlap), these boots also have a Storm Defender waterproof membrane that keeps your feet totally dry under almost any weather conditions.

But while the Storm Defender membrane keeps water out, it’s also a highly breathable material. Plus, a moisture-wicking material in the inner lining quickly transfers sweat away before it becomes an irritant. 

These boots also have 400 grams of Thinsulate for insulation, making them a great year-round choice in cooler climates. However, if you work in a hot climate, they may be too warm. 

While most users state that these boots are extremely comfortable over the long term, there can be a fairly long break-in period. So make sure to allow for some time for the materials to conform to your foot.

Pros

  • Exceptional waterproof materials/design
  • Highly comfortable once broken in
  • Insulating layer is perfect for colder climates

Cons

  • Can take a while to break in
  • May get too warm in a hot climate

4. Danner Men’s Vicious Work Boot

Danner Men's Vicious Work Boot
  • Upper material: Full-grain leather
  • Outsole material: Rubber
  • Shaft height: 8 inches
  • Safety toe: Yes, composite toe
  • Waterproof treatment: Yes
  • Removable insole: Not stated
  • Closure type: Lace-up
  • Other color options: None
  • Size range: 7-14 (half-sizes available up to 11.5), standard and wide widths in all sizes

Danner constructed the Viscious boot with foot ergonomics and comfort in mind. The toe box is wide, allowing your toes to move freely without pinching or crowding. And the boot’s heel portion has a narrow profile that reduces heel slip and the chance for blisters. 

Thanks to a GORETEX inner lining, these boots are fully waterproof but still allow for outstanding breathability. Specially designed Vibram soles are engineered to be lightweight and durable, and they deliver good grip in wet conditions. 

If you’re not a fan of spending time getting your laces just right before heading out the door, you’ll probably appreciate Danner’s quick-lace system. Raised eyelets let the laces slide smoothly, so all it takes is one pull to get a snug, comfortable fit. 

One thing to be aware of: These boots are not insulated, so they probably aren’t a great choice if you work in climates that get cold. If cold protection is a feature you know you want, you’re probably better off with the Carhartt Rugged Flex we looked at in spot #3.

However, the lack of insulation combined with the exceptional breathability could make these boots a perfect choice for working in warm climates. 

Pros

  • Extra room at the toes, narrow heel stays in place
  • Quick-tighten lacing system
  • Breathable waterproof membrane
  • Tough soles are light and have great traction

Cons

  • No insulation for cold-climate work

5. KEEN Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Work Boot

KEEN Utility Men's Pittsburgh Work Boot
  • Upper material: Nubuck leather
  • Outsole material: Rubber
  • Shaft height: 6 inches
  • Safety toe: Yes, steel toe
  • Waterproof treatment: Yes
  • Removable insole: Yes
  • Closure type: Lace-up
  • Other color options: Bison (a brown/red combo), Black, Raven/Yellow, Wheat
  • Size range: 7-15 (half-sizes available up to 11.5), standard and wide widths in all sizes

If you prefer landscaping boots with a bit of a sportier look, this style from KEEN might be a great option. 

These boots utilize KEEN Dry, an internal membrane that keeps water out and still allows for moisture evaporation. 

While the KEEN Dry system keeps sweat to a minimum, KEEN also uses CLEANSPORT NXT technology to cut down on odors through a natural, probiotic-based process. 

A molded heel cup helps keep your foot stable and reduces heel friction while you work. The steel toe box also features an extra-wide, asymmetrical design that reduces friction on your foot’s most vulnerable points.

One concern: Some users report sole breakdown issues after a short time. However, most users don’t seem to have that problem, and KEEN offers a 1-year warranty on manufacturing defects. 

Pros

  • Sporty styling
  • KEEN Dry waterproof membrane
  • CLEANSPORT NXT reduces odors
  • Spacious toe box and molded heel cup

Cons

  • Outsole is occasionally a weak point

6. Carhartt Men’s Waterproof Safety Toe Wellington

Carhartt Men's Waterproof Safety Toe Wellington
  • Upper material: Oil-tanned leather
  • Outsole material: Polyurethane
  • Shaft height: 11 inches
  • Safety toe: Yes, steel toe
  • Water-resistant treatment: Yes
  • Removable insole: Not stated
  • Closure type: Pull-on
  • Other color options: None
  • Size range: 8-15 (half-sizes available up to 11.5), standard and wide widths up to 14, size 15 is wide-width only

Here we have another Carhartt option, this time in a pull-on style.

At 11 inches tall, this boot offers the best protection against debris or irritants of any kind making their way into your boot. And with the shaft opening measuring roughly 16 inches around, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting your foot in and out. 

Just like the Carhartt Rugged Flex we looked at in spot #3, these boots have a Storm Defender membrane that makes your boots both reliably waterproof and comfortably breathable. And with a single-piece body construction, water has no chance of getting inside through any nooks or crannies. 

Carhartt designed these boots for maximum heel comfort and stability. A molded heel cup keeps sliding/rubbing at bay, and the flexible joint at the ankle gives you great range of motion. 

One thing to be aware of: These boots seem to run a bit on the small side, and some users commented that standard width sizes had a narrow steel toe box. So you may want to go with the wide width or consider ordering a half-size up. 

Pros

  • No tongue space for water to leak in
  • Extra-tall shaft keeps debris/water out
  • Convenient pull-on style
  • Molded heel cup for stability

Cons

  • Runs a bit small

7. Caterpillar Diagnostic Work Boot

Caterpillar Diagnostic Work Boot
  • Upper material: Full-grain leather
  • Outsole material: Rubber
  • Shaft height: 6 inches
  • Safety toe: Yes, steel toe
  • Waterproof treatment: Yes
  • Removable insole: Yes
  • Closure type: Lace-up
  • Other color options: None
  • Size range: 7-13 (half-sizes available to 11.5), standard and wide widths for all sizes

Thanks to Caterpillar’s ERGO comfort system, the Diagnostic gets rave reviews for feeling more like a tennis shoe than a work boot. ERGO engineering takes your foot mechanics into mind to provide targeted support and allow for a great range of motion. 

Caterpillar designed the rubber outsole with deep treads and slip-resistance, helping you maintain safe traction even in landscaping’s wet or slippery conditions.

The Diagnostic has 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation, which is about half of what the Carhartt Rugged Flex in spot #1 offers. If you’re looking for an all-season boot in a moderate-to-cool climate, this could be a great choice.

An inner mesh lining wicks away sweat and allows for breathability, and the gel-foam insole helps absorb impact shock to your foot. 

To keep moisture out, Caterpillar treated each seam with a waterproof sealant. However, a waterproof internal membrane would have been even better. 

Pros

  • Engineered for comfortable movement
  • Anti-slip outsole
  • Moderate insulation
  • Shock-absorbent insole

Cons

  • External waterproofing only

Expert Tips: Interview with a Pro for the Best Landscaping Boots

A list of features is a helpful starting point, but the voice of experience provides the best direction out there.

For expert input, I talked with Hussain Abdul, the owner of Green City Lawn Maintenance, a landscaping business in Belvidere, Illinois.

Here are a few takeaways from the pro:

Leather Construction

Abdul says that he always prefers a leather boot over canvas or other materials.

Leather offers excellent foot/ankle support that conforms to your foot’s anatomy over time. It also has a naturally breathable texture that can help your feet stay cooler and most comfortable while you work. 

Abdul also points out that leather is “easier to manage on a rainy day,” since the muck washes off rather than leaving you with permanently mud-stained shoes. 

Another point Abdul shared is that it’s worth investing the time to allow the leather to conform to your foot. “Leather can take a while to break in,” he says, “but you’ll be glad you did.”

A Safety Toe

Abdul cautions that without safety toe protection, “a simple accident could jeopardize you from staying in this field.” 

He gives the example of unloading rocks or other heavy material from a truck bed and says for landscapers wearing a safety-toe boot, “Those guys are going to be the winners.”

Safety toes come in three primary types: 

  1. Steel 
  2. Composite
  3. Alloy 

Steel, composite and alloy toe caps must meet OSHA and ASTM safety standards. All approved toe caps provide excellent protection against crushing injuries, puncture wounds, certain hazardous material exposures and other workplace dangers. 

(To get an idea of what ASTM standards are, Tyndale USA has a helpful summary.)

For landscaping work, any toe cap material should be more than enough to protect you from common injuries like falling objects and toe stubs.

NOTE: Steel and alloy are heat conductors, so they tend to get colder or warmer depending on the environmental conditions. That may be helpful to keep in mind if you work in extreme temperatures. 

RELATED: Safe footwear is critical for landscaping work, but your hands are another area that deserves protection. Stop by our post on thorn-resistant gloves to keep your hands safe from blackberries or other plants with thick, tough thorns. 

Water-Resistance

Boots use water-repelling materials in their construction to help keep moisture out, reducing the chance for blisters and overall discomfort.

Abdul says to look for a boot that is “non-absorbent into the foot, nothing is water-absorbent.” So make sure that every part of the boot is water-resistant, including the inner lining, tongue and insole. 

Look for these moisture-resistant features:

  • An internal waterproof membrane
  • Non-absorbent inner lining material
  • Good overlap between the tongue and the body of the boot
  • Sealed outer seams
  • A tall shaft with a snug collar
  • No mesh panels

A Tall Shaft with Lace Closure

Abdul says that he prefers boots with a taller shaft as opposed to shoe-style models. 

He points out, “Higher ankles support stability, and they can fit under your pants.” This helps keep debris or water from making their way inside your boot, preventing scratches and skin irritation.

Styles with lace-up closures tend to offer the most ankle support, and they also let you get the most customized fit. Abdul says that in his experience, “Lace is a little bit sturdier.” 

Final Thoughts

The best work boots for landscaping offer an ideal combination of safety, comfort and support. And there are plenty of great styles to choose from to suit your unique preferences and needs. 

So don’t try to force an athletic shoe to take the rightful place of a well-designed work boot. Your long-term safety and comfort are well worth the investment! 

We’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you have any more questions about boots for lawn care and landscaping? Are there any other brands or styles you’d add to the list?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

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