Best Work Boots For Framing: Our Top Picks And Buying Guide

A framer is anyone who gives shape to something. This is a person who gives something its shape and dimensions. Once the framework is all in place the builders can come and give it more solidarity, whether this is literal or figurative. In construction, this solidarity would be literal.

best work boots for framing

What Does A Framer Do In Construction?

A framer, in the context of building construction, is a carpenter who puts together all of the major structural elements of a building that uses a wood-based frame. The walls are made using studs, headers, and sills. Floors are made with beams and joists. Roofs are made with rafters and ridge poles.

Construction Site Footwear Requirements

According to OSHA, all construction workers are required to wear boots that are slip-resistant and have puncture-resistant soles. Safety-toed footwear should be worn in order to prevent the toes from being crushed when working about heavy equipment or any place that might have falling objects.

Our Picks:

Here is a list of the five boots that we believe will perform well for you as a framing carpenter. Comparison shop to find out which one is best for you.

1. Timberland PRO Men’s 6″ Pit Boss Steel-Toe Work Boot

Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6" Steel-Toe Boot, Brown , 12 D - Medium

Timberland has decided not to mess with a classic. It’s heavy, it’s clunky but it’s protective and lasts a long time. This is made with a thick rubber sole that does not degrade easily. Once it’s oiled up, it will repel water like anything. The overall construction is strong and solid so there’s little chance of it just falling apart on the job.

Features and Benefits:

These are leather work boots that meet the safety standards of ANSI and have a slip, oil, and abrasion-resistant outsoles for better traction plus padded top collars for comfort. The Comfort Suspension technology aids in the reduction of foot fatigue by supporting the arch and cushioning every step.

They meet ASTM F2412-11, ASTM F2413-11, and ASTM F2892-11 standards so they are safe to use around electricity. The Goodyear Welt Construction provides both ruggedness and high durability. Antimicrobial treatment controls and prevents foul odors.

What We Like:

  • It’s safe and tough while managing to stay comfortable.
  • The toe box is roomy.
  • The metal hooks are durable.
  • The sole is a thick, flexible rubber.

What We Don’t:

  • The metal hardware can pinch. Wear thick socks with them.
  • They are water-resistant rather than waterproof so oil them up.

2. Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot

Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot, Black Full Grain, 11 M US

The heavy-duty oiled leather of the Caterpillar can stand up to about anything. It is very dependable and durable for something in its price range. The solid rubber sole is sure to last a long time. It’s a fully welted boot so that makes it more work-friendly. It’s hard and strong leather on the outside with soft and comfortable polyester on the inside.

Features and Benefits:

This boot comes with a round steel toe rated ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75 for safety. They are slip-resistant and oil-resistant. The nylon mesh liner wicks away all moisture keeping the foot dry and comfortable. The boots feature a Climasphere sock liner that regulates the temperature which keeps your feet cool when it’s hot out and warm when it’s cold.

What We Like:

  • The build is overall very durable.
  • The padded insole is both removable and comfortable.
  • The steel toe provides protection.
  • It is unusually comfortable for a steel toe boot.

What We Don’t:

  • There is a bit of a break-in period.
  • They run large.

3. Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6″ Moc Safety Toe Work Boot

Thorogood 804-4200 Men's American Heritage 6" Moc Toe, MAXwear Wedge Safety Boot, Tobacco Oil-Tanned - 11 D(M) US

If you need a little extra protection in the form of shock and slip resistance with a thick sole, this Thorogood is for you. It’s also got some ankle support with shock-absorbing inserts and comfortable cushioning so that you can feel safe and secure as well as stable and comfortable. These are boots that are built not only to work, but work for a long time.

Features and Benefits:

The fiberglass shank provides stability. The outsole is slip-resistant making them safe to walk around in slick conditions. Steel toes keep the toes safe from crushing injury.

It is safe to use around electricity up to 18,000 volts of electric shock resistance so you can wear it around electrical wires and equipment. The laced-up closing structure makes for an adjustable fit.

What We Like:

  • The white soles mean less of a possibility of leaving marks on floors.
  • The leather is soft yet durable.
  • There is not much of a break-in period.
  • The soles do not wear out easily.

What We Don’t:

  • They run small.
  • The stitched-on extended flap from the laces can be irritating.

4. KEEN Utility Men’s Milwaukee 6″ Steel Toe Work Boot

KEEN Utility Men's Milwaukee 6" Steel Toe Work Boot, 10.5D, Brown/Slate Black

While these boots are a little on the hefty side, it is due to the fact that the undersole is designed to have unbeatable traction. In spite of this extra weight, they are comfortable and breathable. The boots themselves are innovatively constructed not only to survive rough wear but with additional protection in parts most prone to damage.

Features and Benefits:

The full-grain water-resistant leather upper keeps the foot dry and well protected. The removable metatomical dual-density EVA footbed is both convenient and durable making a long-lasting, solid build.

The one of a kind KEEN WELT construction provides enhanced durability to extend the life of the boots. The unique Tough-Tec leather is abrasion-resistant. The locking metal lace hooks provide a secure fit that will stay closed.

The outsole is oil-and-slip resistant as well as non-marking so it is both safe and convenient to wear. It meets ASTM F2412-11 and F2413-11 I/75 C/75 EH standards to make them safe to wear around electricity.

What We Like:

  • The boots break in quickly.
  • They are good to use on a variety of surfaces.
  • The steel toe and thick construction provide extra security to wearers against injury.

What We Don’t:

  • They are a bit weighty and not good to wear for a very long time.

5. Red Wing Men’s Iron Ranger 6″ Boot

Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-Inch Boot, Amber Harness, 9.5 D(M) US

This is quite the robust boot that has not double, not triple but quadruple stitching to insure all those pieces will stay together for a very long time. There’s nothing like a traditional Goodyear welt construction and a hammered sole to assure you that you have a well-made, high-quality boot. The reason why it’s traditional is that it works.

Features and Benefits:

The double-layer toe and heel counters deliver an extra dose of durability and protection. The Vibram 430 mini-lug outsoles provide a good grip on slippery or uneven surfaces.

The Goodyear Welt construction is a very durable method that makes repeated resoling possible in order to extend the lifetime of the boots. The stacked leather heels are easy to repair. The cork midsoles mold to the wearer’s feet over time to provide a custom fit.

What We Like:

  • The sole is oil resistant.
  • The sole is waterproof.
  • This is a long-lasting boot.
  • The durable stitch-down welt construction means these boots will stay in one piece for a long time.

What We Don’t:

  • They take a while to break in.
  • The soft toe scratches easily.

What Is The Difference Between A Framer And A Carpenter?

All framers are carpenters but not all carpenters are framers. A carpenter shapes, cuts and installs wooden materials. A framer concentrates on using this wood to build the roofs, floors, and walls.

Is Framing A Hard Job?

Well, that depends. Are you building a shed for Farmer Brown or are you doing reconstruction on Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris? And of course, your company is going to have their own way of doing things. This may be easy or complicated.

How To Become A Framer?

To get the certification as a framer one must first finish an apprenticeship program. You will get your framing technician credential after completing your job training plus the exams and technical training.

What Skills Are Required To Be A Framer?

Some basic math skills are required as is the ability to read blueprints and follow them. They must be able to follow the carpenter’s rule of “Measure twice, cut once.” Some knowledge of local building codes helps. A framer must be strong enough to lift and carry heavy materials. And, of course, the framer must be able to use both manual and power tools.

How To Get Started In Framing?

Most programs call for a secondary school diploma or its equivalent. You might find it useful to enroll in courses in shop, math, industrial arts, and mechanical drawing courses.

What Tools Are Needed For Framing?

Circular saws make straight and balanced cuts. A drill with long battery life is essential. A level is a small but helpful tool. A nail gun is useful but a good old-fashioned manual hammer still has its place. Of course, you will also need safety equipment like gloves, goggles, and work boots.

How Much Does A Framer Make A Year?

That varies by state. In New York, the average yearly salary for a framer is $45,618. In sunny Florida, the average yearly salary is closer to $35,135. This can even vary from one year to the next. It depends on whether any construction or reconstruction is going on in an area.

Common Construction Site Hazards

We could be here all day listing the various ways someone could be injured or worse at a construction site. The risk of fatal injury in this industry is higher than the national average in this category when compared to all other industries.

  • Falls are a common cause of injury.
  • Collapses from trenches or scaffolds are a common hazard as well.
  • Not using protective equipment on the job is a sure way to get an injury that would be otherwise prevented.
  • Repetitive motion injuries rarely lead to anything fatal, but they do make it difficult if not impossible to get any work done.

Construction Site Safety Tips

There are many things you can do to keep safe on the job.

  • The most major one is to always wear proper safety equipment. Remember to wear all of your safety equipment and keep it in good condition, just as you would for any other tool you use on the job.
  • Crazy as it sounds, having good posture can prevent accidents because your body is always properly aligned.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and always take two seconds to think before doing something.
  • Are you doing it safely? Always leave the walkway clear so no one trips over anything.

There are many other considerations to take in keeping a workplace safe. Every workplace should have their workers go through a comprehensive safety program so they’ll know what the safest thing to do is.


Because framing is a job that puts the person in a position where they are apt to fall, slip-resistant boots are a must. They must also be comfortable and durable. The Goodyear welt is a traditional but reliable way to make such a boot. Construction of any kind is dangerous work. A safe pair of boots is a sure way to make your steps a little safer.


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