Best Logger Boots for 2022



Updated Jun 14, 2022 10:56 AM

According to the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA), logging is the most dangerous job in the country, and forestry can be equally hazardous—which means that protective, purpose-designed logger boots are a vital safety factor. The dangers are no less for those who fell trees for their own use.

There are plenty of choices, but as with all workwear, there can be a world of difference between the best logger boots and those you’ll want to avoid. The following review looks at all the key factors and offers our suggestions for the best logger work boots currently available.

Things to Consider Before Buying Logger boots

Logger boots may have to put up with more abuse than any other footwear. The work environment would play havoc with most normal boots. They need tremendous toughness, extreme traction, and outstanding safety, and they ought to provide all-day comfort in the worst weather conditions. The following areas should be looked at in detail:

Performance

It’s easy to say logger boots need to be tough, but what makes them that way? Leather is still the optimum material for the upper, usually full-grain. This is a flawless skin that only has the hair removed before tanning, thus retaining maximum strength. It may also have a wax or oil treatment to improve water-repelling ability.

Soles are almost always rubber compounds that are hard wearing, often slip- and oil-resistant, and have deep treads to maximize traction.

On the best logger boots, the two are put together using what is called a Goodyear welt construction. Upper, footbed, and outsole are interlocked before stitching. Not only does this provide great strength, it helps keep the elements outside. It also means that logger boots can be resoled by any skilled cobbler in the event of high wear or damage. A metal shank may be included running from the heel through the arch for additional support.

Protection

All logger boots should have safety toes. Steel-toe logger boots are common, but composite toes (which may be fiberglass, carbon fiber, or kevlar) are equally effective. Steel is less expensive; composite is lighter. They should be ASTM-rated (American Society for Testing and Materials), which guarantees they can withstand a 75-pound impact, or 2,500 pounds per square foot under compression. In professional environments, the OHSA demands logger boots achieve this standard, and all of our top picks qualify.

The designation Extended Heel (EH) is generally used to signify a standard of grip when climbing ladders. It is equally valid for logger boots as it offers secure footing when stepping over fallen branches or logs.

Comfort

The ankle area should have good stiffness to support the foot as it twists and turns. Although slip-on logger boots are available, most prefer a lace-up that cinches tight around the calf, and prevents twigs and leaf litter from getting inside. Traditionally, 10-inch logger boots were common, and knee-high logger boots were not unknown, but most are now 8 or 9 inches.

Insoles and padded footbeds offer not just comfort but also help absorb shocks. Materials like GoreTex and Thinsulate add waterproofing or insulation, but are also breathable. This, combined with moisture-wicking properties, helps prevent the sweat build up that causes blisters.

Best Overall: Georgia Boot Men’s 8″ Safety Toe Logger Boot

Best Overall

Georgia Boot Men's 8 Safety Toe Logger Boot is the best overall.

Why It Made The Cut

The Georgia Men’s Logger Boot is made without compromise and excels in every area, combining traditional style with quality materials, excellent protection and high comfort.

Key Features

  • Size Range: 6 to 15 (including wides)
  • Heel Height: 2 inches
  • Safety Toe: Steel

Pros

  • Full-grain leather and Goodyear welt
  • Steel shank adds strength
  • Fully waterproof

Cons

  • Some time to break in
  • Three colors are brown, brown, or brown

A lot of the best logger boots have impressive specifications, but few can match the high standards of the Georgia Men’s Logger Boot. It gets top marks for toughness, safety, and comfort.

The upper is made of hard-wearing full-grain leather. A nice touch is the traditional kiltie that protects the tongue area. The sole is abrasion-resistant rubber, with deep lugs (tread) providing excellent grip while being wide enough apart to prevent clogging. The two are combined using a Goodyear welt.

A steel safety toe offers the necessary protection at the front, and there’s a steel shank running through the heel for added stability. The Georgia Men’s Logger Boot uses top quality GoreTex for waterproofing, and a three-layer “Comfort Core System” for the footbed that includes memory foam. This shapes itself to the wearer’s foot for cushioning and support.

The fact that they take a while to break in could be seen as a negative, but is a reflection of their structural strength. The size range is excellent, and pricing is competitive. The only small niggle is that they claim to be available in three colors, but all are similar shades of brown.

Best for the Money

Adtec Men's Rugged Goodyear Welt Construction Utility Boot Logger is the best for the money.

Why It Made The Cut

The Adtec Men’s Utility Logger Boot shares many features with premium brands, and are an affordable option for general tree-felling and woodland management tasks.

Key Features

  • Size Range: 6 to 14 (including wides)
  • Heel Height: 1.75 inches
  • Safety Toe: Steel

Pros

  • Oil tanned, full-grain leather
  • Goodyear welt construction
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Interior is basic
  • Occasional quality control issues

It is not difficult to find cheap steel toe logger boots, but they may not last very long. Adtech’s Men’s Construction Utility Logger Boot sounds like a bit of a jack-of-of-trades, but despite the budget-friendly price it has many features we would look for in a top quality logger boot.

The upper is tough, full-grain leather. The sole is synthetic rubber with deep lugs. These are a bit close together along the edge, which can cause occasional clogging, but it’s a minor drawback. Construction uses Goodyear welt techniques, and a steel safety toe is included.

Given the low cost, savings had to be made somewhere. This appears to be inside the boot. They are fully waterproof, and there is a cushioned insole, but they have no moisture wicking liner, and no steel shank through the arch. They are not uncomfortable, and break in relatively quickly, but they don’t treat the feet as kindly as the leading brands.

While the Adtech’s are not full-on professional-standard logger boots, they are the best forestry boots we found for those on a budget, and a good choice for those felling their own trees or managing woodland.

Best Insulated

Chippewa Men's 9" Waterproof Insulated Steel-Toe EH Logger Boot is the best insulated.

Why It Made The Cut

Chippewa are often quoted as being the “gold standard” for logger boots, combining renowned durability with waterproofing and insulation for exceptional comfort in all weathers.

Key Features

  • Size Range: 6 to 14 (including wides and extra-wides)
  • Heel Height: 2.25 inches
  • Safety Toe: Steel

Pros

  • Three layers of waterproofing and insulation
  • Excellent Vibram sole
  • American made

Cons

  • A little heavy
  • Premium price

Chippewa have been making outdoor work boots since 1901. These 9-inch tall boots combine a long tradition of skilled craftsmanship with the latest in materials technology.

The upper is full-grain leather, there’s a steel safety toe, and construction uses the Goodyear-welt method. While these are all signs of high quality, the stand-out features of this boot are the interior and the sole. A Dri-Lex lining offers moisture wicking to control sweat. There is also a waterproof Chip-A-Tex membrane. Both are breathable. Finally there is 3M Thinsulate Ultra, perhaps the world’s best footwear insulation material.

The sole is made by Italian specialist Vibram. Every lug is designed to maximize traction. The rubber compound is slip- and oil-resistant, and offers tremendous grip in wet conditions. It also works equally well regardless of temperature. The high arch meets EH standards for safety.

By the brand’s own admission, the Chippewa is a “hefty” logger boot, though they don’t feel cumbersome on the move. Size range is excellent, and there are three different colors to choose from. They do come with a premium price tag but are made to an exceptional standard, and are arguably the most comfortable winter logging boots available.

Best Waterproof

Carhartt Men's 8" Waterproof Composite Toe Leather Logger Boot is the best waterproof.

Why It Made The Cut

Most logger boots are waterproof. These from Carhartt have a composite safety toe that reduces weight, an insulated layer for all-weather comfort, and reinforced safety heels.

Key Features

  • Size Range: 8 to 15 (including wides)
  • Heel Height: 2 inches
  • Safety Toe: Composite

Pros

  • Waterproof, insulated, and breathable
  • High comfort insole
  • Meets EH safety standard

Cons

  • Not for smaller feet
  • Shorter than some

Almost all logger boots claim to be waterproof, but just how waterproof can vary. GoreTex is the industry-standard material, but Carhartt’s own Storm Defender breathable membrane is equally effective. However, that’s just one of the elements that make this our pick for best waterproof logger boot.

Like all the best logger boots, the upper is full-grain leather. Here it is triple stitched to provide durability in even the toughest conditions. The heel is reinforced with what Carhartt calls a “heel stabilizer,” this is a thermoplastic-polyurethane (TPU) insert that increases protection and support.

In addition to the waterproof membrane, the interior has 3M Thinsulate lining. It isn’t quite as efficient as the Ultra used in the Chippewa logger boot, but provides good warmth without overheating in milder conditions. A padded insole increases comfort, and spreads foot load to reduce fatigue.

Soles are slip-, oil-, and chemical-resistant with a deep lug pattern that provides good traction without clogging. The heel and arch incorporates a steel shank and meets the EH safety standard. Carhartt boots are competitively priced, though not available in the full range of smaller foot sizes.

Best Made in the U.S.A. Logger Boots

Thorogood 1957 Series 8” Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boots For Men are the best made in the USA logger boots.

Why It Made The Cut

Although perhaps not strictly a logger boot because of the lower heel, Thorogood’s American-made work boot has all the toughness and traction needed for forestry work.

Key Features

  • Size Range: 8 to 14 (including wides)
  • Heel Height: ¾ inch
  • Safety Toe: Steel

Pros

  • Made in America
  • Waterproof
  • Very durable sole

Cons

  • Comparatively low heel
  • Limited sizes

Thorogood have been making work boots for 130 years. They are widely recognized for extreme durability, excellent safety, and high comfort. The Thorogood 1957 Series work boot is a prime example, hand-made in Wisconsin from super-tough full-grain saddle leather.

These boots are fully waterproof with an external wax coating, a broad tongue that helps keep liquids out, and a breathable liner that is also moisture-wicking. A dual-density footbed adds shock absorption, and there is a removable insole for comfort. Construction uses the Goodyear Stormwelt method with an extra moisture seal layer between upper and sole.

The sole itself is Thorogood’s own deep-lugged Maxwear 90 design. Unusually, it is made of polyurethane. This is claimed to give extra traction, and last 30 percent longer than rubber competitors. It meets the OHSA-recognized ASTM standards for slip resistance, and electrical shock resistance to 18,000 volts (in dry conditions). A steel safety toe is fitted.

Some loggers prefer a taller heel, and the size range doesn’t cater for feet smaller than size 8. However, there are few better made or tougher boots on the market, and they make an outstanding general-purpose forestry boot.

How We Made Our Picks

Here at Field & Stream, we see a huge variety of different boots, and the best can often do double-duty. A work boot might also make a pretty good hiking or hunting boot, for example (you can check our complete list of the best upland hunting boots here). Top-rated logger boots also offer good versatility, and are popular with a number of other trades. However, for our purposes our focus was on their capabilities as a logger boot.

While several of our team members have experience of tree felling, none of us are professional loggers. In addition to the construction and safety features outlined above we also researched each of the leading manufacturers, a wide range of products, and current materials technology.

Brand was a key issue. We avoided little-known makers and stuck with those who have both a long-standing reputation for quality, and positive feedback from both independent experts and ordinary users. Value is important too, but in this case has to come second to performance. Durability over time is more important than low initial cost.

FAQs

Q: What makes a boot a logger boot?

A typical logger boot is invariably made of tough leather. It runs 8 or 9 inches up the leg, offering good support and protection to the ankle. Good logger boots always incorporate a safety toe, and usually have a relatively tall heel. The sole has an aggressive tread pattern to maximize grip.

Q: How much do logger boots cost?

How much logger boots cost depends on specification and brand. Few of the best logger boots are under $100, and they can be up to $400.

Q: Are logger boots good for everyday use?

Whether logger boots are good for everyday use depends on your occupation. Their toughness makes them popular with construction workers, linemen, and farmers, and many are very comfortable. They also share several features with good hunting boots (you can follow this link for expert reviews of the best elk hunting boots). They may be a little stiff and heavy for less strenuous occupations or for casual wear.

Q: Why do logger boots have such a tall heel?

Logger boots have a tall heel to keep the main body of the boot out of the mud, and to provide a high arch that clears obstructions like branches and logs on the forest floor, thus providing better foot stability.

Q: Are logger boots good for hiking?

Logger boots can be very good for hiking, offering excellent durability and good traction over varied terrain. However they are heavier, and tend to restrict movement somewhat. For comparison you can check out an in-depth review of the best hiking boots that we put together.

Q: Why do logger boots have spikes?

Most logger boots no longer have spikes (which are properly called caulks). While initially they gave increased grip when walking on logs, they don’t perform well on solid ground, concrete, or tarmac. More aggressive lug patterns on modern logger boots mean that although still available, logging boots with spikes are no longer as popular.

Q: What is a kiltie on a logger boot?

The kiltie on a logger boot looks like a decorative fringe but is actually a replaceable strip that extends from the top of the boot, up into the tongue. It protects the leather from dirt and grit that gets trapped in the laces, and also helps stop stuff getting inside. Some logger boots still incorporate them but many do not.

Final Thoughts

The Georgia Boots Men’s Logger Boot is an extremely impressive piece of footwear. It has all the qualities needed for one of the toughest jobs, and most difficult terrain. After initial breaking in it is comfortable too. It isn’t insulated, but a decent pair of socks takes care of that. The Adtec work boot may not be made to quite the same exceptional standard, but still offers good strength and safety, and is a terrific value.





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