Best Work Boots For Landscaping: Your Guide To Choosing Reliable Footwear That Withstand Job Hazards

Landscaping is a difficult job often done under extreme conditions. It requires a great deal of creativity and struggling with the elements of nature. It requires a knowledge of horticulture and a deep understanding of the land. It’s not only mentally taxing but physically exhausting.

Tools such as lawnmowers, spades, tillers, mulchers, rakes, weed whackers and hedge trimmers are only some of many potentially dangerous objects that must be handled carefully. Fertilizer, potash, and pesticides are among the harsh chemicals that must be handled. But when it’s all over, you can step back and look at a living work of art and know that it was all worth it.

Only a special sort of person has what it takes to work for long hours, taming the local flora and terrain into an artistic vision. Only a special kind of boot can withstand the mud, chemicals, electrical hazards and other hazards a landscape worker will run into. You work hard on this job, so you need a pair of reliable boots that work as hard as you do.

What To Look For In A Landscaping Boot

Now that you’re thinking all the hazards someone in landscaping may run into, you may better understand what to look for in a work boot to do landscaping in. Let’s look at a few.

• A Steel Shank is necessary to support your arch and give you stability on various terrains.

• Quality construction (such as Goodyear Welt construction technology) is a must.

• Comfort is of the utmost importance because as a landscaping contractor, you will be on your feet for long periods at a time.

• Job site safety is vital. Depending on what your job requirements are and your employer’s regulations you may require a boot with a steel or safety toe along with some other safety features.

The Five Best Boots For Doing Landscape Work

Below are the most ideal boots for use in doing landscape work. These boots were selected for being safe, comfortable, protective and durable. At least one of these brands of boots will be right for you. Compare and contrast until you have decided which pair will be your new go-to pair of boots.

1. Timberland PRO Direct Attach 6″ Steel Toe Waterproof Insulated Boot

These boots are very similar to the original 6-Inch Timberland boot. However, these boots have been upgraded with even more features in order to ensure that you will be completely safe and comfortable at the worksite. The Timberland PRO 6-Inch Waterproof Insulated Steel Toe is a durable boot that will give you the stamina in order to keep going, even during the longest of shifts.

This rugged leather boot features a hefty 400 grams of insulation for warmth plus an oil-resistant, non-marking rubber lug outsole for traction. The waterproof leather uppers are seam sealed. They have prepared the mesh linings and open-cell polyurethane comfort footbed with an antimicrobial treatment that will resist odors.

What’s more, a nylon shock diffusion plate has been incorporated to keep your foot rigid where you need support the most. With all that this boot offers, you could hardly ask for more. This rugged leather boot features a hefty 400 grams of insulation for warmth plus an oil-resistant, non-marking rubber lug outsole for traction. The waterproof leather uppers are seam sealed.

They have prepared the mesh linings and open-cell polyurethane comfort footbed with an antimicrobial treatment that will resist odors. What’s more, a nylon shock diffusion plate has been incorporated to keep your foot rigid where you need support the most. With all that this boot offers, you could hardly ask for more.

This rugged leather boot features a hefty 400 grams of insulation for warmth plus an oil-resistant, non-marking rubber lug outsole for traction. The waterproof leather uppers are seam sealed.

They have prepared the mesh linings and open-cell polyurethane comfort footbed with an antimicrobial treatment that will resist odors. What’s more, a nylon shock diffusion plate has been incorporated to keep your foot rigid where you need support the most. With all that this boot offers, you could hardly ask for more.

Features and Benefits:

It is made of pure leather and has a waterproof insulated upper with a lace-up vamp. The toe is capped with steel. The bottom is slip-resistant. This boot should be breathable, yet waterproof. The steel toe protects the toes from injury. Slip-resistant shoes make for fewer falls on the job.

Pros:

  • The boots are warm and waterproof.
  • If you’re looking for something that meets ANSI, ASTM and OSHA standards then this is the boot for you.

Cons:

  • Steel toes mean it’s not as comfortable as it can be.
  • They run big and so would best be paired with thick socks.

2. Georgia Men’s Pull-On Mud Dog ST Comfort Core Work Boot

The Georgia Boot pull-on Muddog Comfort Core work boots are both rugged and super comfortable. These wellington boots are fabricated from only the toughest of materials, such as SPR leather. Compared to traditional leathers, SPR leather is about three times as strong and stands up to abrasions two and a half times as well.

It is resistant to many chemicals and acids because of a singular mix of proprietary materials. This makes it an ideal choice for ranch work, not to mention many other harsh environments. This men’s work boot comes with a rubber Phoenix outsole that’s made to resist chemicals, oils, and slips. It’s non-marking and provides cushioning throughout the entire workday.

This comfortable boot has a Comfort Core insole which offers a heel plug for shock absorption plus airflow channels that promote breathing. A fiberglass shank gives you arch support and a steady footing. For the best in chemical-resistance and comfort, just pull on these Georgia Boot Muddog work boots. You’ll be glad you did.

Features and Benefits:

These were made with Goodyear welt construction. The Georgia Waterproof System comes equipped with a heavily fortified defense against water. It is made from specialized SPR leather. It is designed with pull-on cutouts and loops at scallop. It comes with a supportive steel shank and a non-marking outsole.

The upper and the sole were sewn together with a strong and flexible stitch thereby creating greater durability. The unique waterproof system ensures that air comes in but water stays out.

The patented SPR leather is resistant to even the harshest of caustic chemicals. The cutouts make the boot easy to pull on. The shank is necessary for arch support and to give the wearer stability on various terrains.

Pros:

  • These boots are watertight and yet surprisingly breathable.
  • They are quite flexible once worn in.
  • The toes are protected from tearing from kicks or accidentally dropped tools.
  • The leather is super tough.

Cons:

  • The steel toe makes the boot less comfortable than it could be.
  • It can take a while to break them in.

3. KEEN Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot

Just like you, these boots are tough as steel with a willingness to run headfirst into a hard day’s work. What could describe the city of Pittsburgh is also apt for the eponymous work boot from Keen. It is more than just footwear. This is an indispensable tool to get the job done right.

With a mile-long list of technology and features, this boot wards off fatigue and saves your energy so that you’ve got something left in the tank even long after your shift is through. They have painstakingly chosen leather uppers built to last. Of course, if you’re wearing your KEENs every day, they will rarely be scuff and dirt-free.

To treat the day to day wear and tear, particularly on lighter color leathers, it is recommended that you use a leather cleaner and conditioner. These can be found at most footwear dealers and/or shoe repair shops. Reflective webbing provides additional safety.

Features and Benefits:

KEEN Utility boots come with asymmetrical toe protection specifically made to fit the left and right foot. It has a metatomical footbed design. It has the comfort and fit comparable to a hiking boot. The patented KEEN.dry system is a waterproof and breathable membrane that allows vapor to get out without letting water in.

The larger toe box allows your toes to breathe and spread out. The internal support mechanism is anatomically engineered to offer superior arch support and to cradle the natural contours of the foot. It fits well and is comfortable. Your feet will stay dry in these boots.

Pros:

  • They are waterproof with good arch support.
  • They are durable, yet springy.

Cons:

  • Alas! The steel toe again! (Though, it is roomier than the usual steel toe.)
  • The soles do not seem built to last.

4. Carhartt Men’s CMF6366 6 Inch Composite Toe Boot

Carhartt Rugged Flex Composite Toe Work Boots are boots that won’t break the bank without your feet getting broken! It can be a hard-knock life when you head out your door in the morning. You never know what’s waiting for you on that next shift. These Composite Toe Boots from Carhartt will keep your toes safe without skimping on flexible comfort and support. Just look at all these great features!

The uppers are made with full-grain leather. The rubber outsole is abrasion-resistant with both gripping lugs and ladder lock channels. The composite toe is extra wide in order to give your toes ample room to move around.

The boots also come with Strobel comfort cushioning, a dual-density footbed with OrthoLite top layer to lower foot fatigue and full-length EVA insert with steel shank for better support. They even come with electrical hazard protection.

Features and Benefits:

Carhartt’s one of a kind Rugged Flex technology moves and stretches with the wearer throughout the day. The sole is made of rubber. The outsole is Cement constructed Carhartt Rugged Flex. The boot comes with a generously padded tongue and collar as well as a lightweight EVA midsole and OrthoLite insole.

Flexible shoes are easier to move around in. Rubber soles absorb shock, making walking more comfortable. The construction makes a boot that is durable and long-lasting. The layers of padding make for a comfortable shoe.

Pros:

  • Finally! A composite toe! Your feet can be both comfortable and safe.
  • The boot is waterproof.
  • The laces are strong and sturdy.
  • The boots meet requirements for ASTM 2413-11 EH.
  • They are oil-resistant, slip-resistant, abrasion resistant and chemical resistant.
  • Also, surprisingly lightweight.

Cons:

  • They do take some time to get broken in.

5. Irish Setter Men’s 83906 Wellington Steel Toe Work Boot

It is a well-known truth that a work boot needs to be both durable and tough. But when you are in need of a boot that amalgamates all those qualities with the utmost comfort, superior flexibility, and excellent traction, the Two Harbors family is a perfect choice.

They have used premium technologies and construction methods to fabricate a boot that works just as hard as you do, all the while keeping your feet comfortable and protected. These pull-on boots are among the best out there on the market. The wearer should find them to be extremely comfortable. They are one of the few pull-on boots a wearer can flat out sprint in.

Features and Benefits:

This footwear is constructed with electrical hazard protective sole and heel. The Irish Setter UltraDry construction combines a moisture management lining with waterproof components. It has a protective steel toe cap. The lining features Agion antimicrobial treatment.

The boots can protect the wearer from dangerous electrical shocks. The patented UltraDry system will keep your feet dry and comfortable. The foot is protected from compression and impact. The antimicrobial discourages the build-up of bacteria and fungus that can lead to foot problems.

Pros:

  • The boot meets the safety standards of ASTM F2413-11 and M/I/75/C/75, EH.
  • There is little to no break-in period.
  • They are waterproof yet well insulated.

Cons:

  • Steel toe, again, prevents the maximization of comfort.

Should You Invest In A Steel Toed Boot?

There are many different types of materials used to make safety toe caps. Steel is the most traditional. While steel is strong and hardy, it has its disadvantages. Steel may be strong, but it is also cumbersome. This can add weight to a boot. Steel is also thick which can crowd your toes and leave them feeling cramped.

You may prefer a roomier toe box. Steel is a conductor of heat and cold. Any extreme temperature will be doubled. It may be better to opt for a safety toe made out of composite materials. An aluminum alloy can be strong and protective without being uncomfortable.

What A Directional Lug Is For

When you need a little extra grip on various different terrains, many work boots suitable for landscaping come with built-in directional lugs. They are located on the outer sole of the work boots on the bottom. The purpose of these directional lugs is to enhance the overall grip and generally make the boot more slip-resistant. Not only does a landscaper have to be careful about slipping on wet or oily surfaces, but mud slicked leaves, loose sand, and other slipping hazards.

How To Clean Your Landscaping Boots

Sad but true, that beautiful full-grain leather is going to get caked with mud as you work. Fortunately, boots are easier to clean than you think. The first step is to remove the laces. These can be machine washed or replaced. You would then use a soft brush or cloth to remove any dirt, debris or grime from the leather surface.

Next, you should mix a solution of warm water and mild dish soap. Use a soft cloth to apply the soapy solution to the exterior of the boot. Use another clean, damp cloth to wipe away the soap then dry with a towel. You may now rub in some leather conditioner. Dry your shoes in the open air but not in the sun or by a heater. Here are some specific stains you may need to remove from your boots:

• Oil and Grease First, liberally sprinkle cornstarch or baking soda on the spot. Use a damp cloth to gently rub it in. Let it sit for several hours up to overnight, long enough for the oil to be absorbed. You may then wipe the powder off with a soft cloth.

• Ink Take a cotton swab and dip it in nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol. Gently blot the stain but do not rub. Blot until the stain is gone and wipe with a clean, damp cloth followed by a towel drying.

• Scuffs A non-gel toothpaste will do the job here. Just squirt a dab of it on the scuffed area and rub with a soft cloth.

• Mud Mud is easier to clean off after it has dried. Set your boots on some paper while the mud dries to keep your floor clean. Use a stiff brush to tap off the mud. Banging the shoes together will loosen the mud up. Stubborn spots can be scraped off with a spoon. A dry towel can take off the rest.

• Salt Salt, on the other hand, is easier to remove when fresh. Mix a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar into a cup of cool water. Use a cotton ball soaked in this solution to wipe off the salt stains. You should then buff the surface with a clean, dry cloth.

• Blood If you have encountered blood on the job, you have bigger problems than some stained boots. Solve that problem first. Mix a solution of lukewarm water and mild soap and create a good amount of suds. Use a sponge to gently apply the foam to the stained area. Take care not to spread the stain. Wipe it dry with a soft, clean cloth. This method will also remove pesticides. Do not use peroxide as this will saturate the leather and strip the dye system.

• Feces You really stepped in it! Clean it off as soon as possible without smearing. Cover the remaining stain with baking soda. Leave it for two hours and wipe off with paper towels. It’s time to get out the saddle soap. Dilute as directed on the container. Dip an old toothbrush in the solution and scrub to remove all traces of the stain. Dampen a cloth with clean water and use it to rinse. Dry it off with a towel.

The Hazards Of Landscaping

So, what kind of boots should you wear if you work in landscaping? Well, here are five main hazards landscapers run into while on the job. This is what you have to think about when buying a pair of boots.

• Work Tools: The usage of tools such as shovels, rakes, trimmers and garden forks, not to mention other various sharp tools and equipment may cause serious cuts and even amputations. Even if you are someone who is very careful with such things, you may be endangered by someone who isn’t. And anyone can have an accident.

• Electric Hazard: Most people these days prefer to use power tools on the job. Electrical equipment such as saws, drills, nail guns, edgers, and even electric lawn mowers are often used in landscaping. These can pose electrocution risks which can be prevented by wearing a work boot that provides solid protection against electrical hazards.

• Ergonomics: It isn’t just for desks and keyboards! This is yet another health hazard a landscaping contractor can face. Not only would you be on your feet all day, but you may often find yourself working in awkward positions for long periods of time. This will require boots that mold comfortably to the foot.

• Lifting and Moving: Heavy materials, tools, and equipment need to be moved around on the job site. This can pose a falling object risk. Therefore, a steel or composite safety toe may be of the utmost necessity.

• Chemicals: Pesticides, oil, and abrasives are all harsh chemicals a landscaper must deal with. Don’t forget! Water is technically a chemical too! It’s one that does more damage than you think it could. The presence of all these chemicals results in the need for a boot that is resistant to all these materials. That includes being completely waterproof. Accidents such as slips, trips, and falls can be prevented by selecting a work boot that has a rubber sole which provides good grip and traction on most surfaces.

• Heat: This is heavy-duty work often done in the heat of the day. Zones 8 and 9 are particularly hard on people who work outdoors. It’s a good way to easily work up a sweat. Breathable boots make feet not only more comfortable, but healthier in the long run. Something that fights odors with an antimicrobial treatment would really be a boost.

Landscaping Safety Tips

Landscaping is a rewarding job, but it is also very dangerous. Always keep the following tips in mind when doing any sort of landscaping job.

• Dress right. Wear colors that will make you highly visible to others with long pants, sturdy shoes, and gloves. Eye and ear protection are also vital. Don’t wear jewelry or anything loose that could become entangled in equipment. Long hair should be secured. If you use a chainsaw on the job, wear chaps. Hardhats may be required when pruning large trees. Keep the weather in mind. You are strongly advised to wear a broad-brimmed hat in the hottest part of the day.

• Stay sharp. Though it may seem counterintuitive, dull blades actually do more damage than sharp blades. The user has to exert more force to get a dull blade to work and that can lead to clumsiness which leads to injury. Keeping tools sharp also protects from repetitive stress injuries.

• Read the manual. Many power tools can malfunction or cause serious injury if used incorrectly. Read the safety manual the tool came with before using it for the first time so that you’ll know what to do. When using chemicals, read the label and follow the directions exactly.

• Turn it off. If a tool needs fixing or a jam needs to be cleared, turn the tool off first. Only bring your fingers anywhere near the blade if there is no way that the blade can be moving. Even then, it may be better to use a stick or other tool to loosen debris than even gloved fingers. Do not leave power tools running unattended. Make sure the switch on a power tool is in the off position before you plug it in. Do not refill a gas tank while the device is running.

• Take your time. The apocalypse is not upon you. Take your time to do the job right the first time and prevent injuries. Stop, think and assess the situation before you do anything. Ask yourself first how would be the safest way to go about this. Be aware of your center of gravity and do not overreach, particularly when working on ladders.

• Don’t leave things lying around. Tools, hoses, cords and other objects can present tripping hazards. Roll them up and/or put them where people can’t trip over them.

• Stay hydrated. It isn’t just the plants that need water! You’re sweating a lot while doing this work and losing water. If you feel thirsty, you are already severely dehydrated. Take several small swigs of water throughout the day.

Conclusion

Landscaping is a job that is difficult, dangerous and demanding. It requires a lot of time on the feet and in peculiar positions. You need to find a tough and durable boot that is comfortable, waterproof and will protect you from electric shock. You need a steel shank for stability and a safety toe.

Steel toes will work, but a composite toe would be for the best. Looking for a boot that has everything you need to do landscaping can be a chore, but hopefully one of the five brands listed above will provide what you need. Stay safe, keep yourself and your boots in shape and there’s no reason you can’t breeze through from one landscaping project to the next.

Attribution to www.assh.org