Safety boots are essential wear in many workplaces, and you need to know they are going to do their job well. To do that, they must not only provide effective protection for your feet but also be hardwearing enough to stand up to the rigours of hard work long-term, and comfortable enough to spend all day on your feet.

Some brands of work safety boots are better than others, and some of the best brands are as follows:

DeWalt

DeWalt's boots make great all-rounders. They withstand a fair amount of force (200 joules for most boots in the range), and much of the range is also chemical-, oil-, and heat-resistant. They are comfortable, very durable, and have excellent grip. The only negative point is that the sizing of Dewalt Safety Boots is a little odd, so you may need a smaller size than normal.

Caterpillar

Caterpillar boots offer decent protection, and have built a reputation for comfort and long-lasting dependability. Caterpillar safety boots offer some of the best value you can get per pound spent. They seem to suffer from more cases of a boot splitting within a relatively short time than most brands. Considering the boots are otherwise quite sturdy, this suggests a slightly higher chance of manufacturing flaws.

Timberland

Timberland boots tend to be a little more expensive than other brands, but you are not just paying for the label – or for the stylish looks. They produce exceptionally durable boots which offer robust protection, and comfort levels are nothing to sniff at. This does come with a little extra weight, which can take some getting used to, but other than that, Timberland Safety Boots are hard to beat.

Dickies

Dickies are one of the best budget brands of work boots. They may be cheap, but they are miles ahead of other low-cost options and can definitely be relied upon. For little outlay, you can get not only a sturdy steel toecap but also a steel midsole, all in a boot that is comfy, breathable, and usually sturdy. For a bit more money, you can get a high-top versions of traditional Dickies work boots. Like caterpillar, there are a few cases where the boots have failed fairly quickly, but these still seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Sizing can also be a little odd.

Dr Marten

“Doc Martens” are a classic name in the world of footwear, but they are more readily associated with certain fashion subcultures than with safety boots. Nonetheless, the brand does produce some excellent work boots. They are high-quality and very durable, and also provide excellent protection from blunt force, chemicals and oil. They have the same stylish look as signature Dr Marten boots, and a cushioned sole and textile lining make them extremely comfortable – though they tend to need a bit of breaking in before you can appreciate it.

Blackrock

Another budget boot, Blackrock has plenty to offer for its modest price tag. They are sturdy and hardwearing, and offer decent protection from not just a steel toecap but also a midsole. The shock-absorbing sole could also be a real benefit if you experience a sharp jolt. Blackrock safety boots are respectably comfortable, but their weak point is in a relative lack of support for feet and back.

Chukka

The cheapest of all the budget options on this list, Chukka are nonetheless a solid choice for those who want a decent work boot on the cheap. They offer a steel toe and midsole, and excellent grip. They are impressively comfortable, though some say the heel is a little lumpy. Like some other boots on this list, sometimes they come apart after just a few months of wear, but this seems to be an occasional problem with most wearers reporting they last a good, long time.