11 Best 8 Inch Work Boots for Support Near the Ankle [2022]


Many workers prefer 8 inch work boots because they provide extra support and protection up around the ankle. If you prefer 8 inch work boots, the good news is most all major boot brands make 8 inch boots.

*This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. (info)

These are our choices for the best 8 inch work boots:

  1. Timberland PRO Direct Attach 8″ Work Boots (click here to view)
  2. Thorogood American Heritage USA 8″ Moc Toe Work Boots (click here to view)
  3. Carhartt Men’s Ruggedflex 8″ Safety Toe Work Boots (click here to view)
  4. Irish Setter Wingshooter 8 Inch Steel Toe Work Boots (click here to view)
  5. Wolverine Men’s Loader 8″ Soft Toe Wedge Work Boots (click here to view)
  6. Danner Quarry USA 8-Inch Alloy Toe Work Boots (click here to view)
  7. KEEN Utility USA Men’s Mt Vernon 8″ Work Boots (click here to view)
  8. Timberland PRO Men’s 8″ Rigmaster XT Work Boots (click here to view)
  9. Danner Men’s Vicious 8 Inch Work Boots (click here to view)
  10. Chippewa Men’s Ryodan USA 8″ Waterproof Work Boots (click here to view)
  11. *Women’s* Caterpillar Clover 8″ Steel Toe Industrial Boots (click here to view)

Yes, all 8 inch work boots provide additional support up around the ankle, but beyond that, they can differ greatly.

Do you need a safety toe or a soft toe? Do you want a traditional square heel or a wedge sole? Do you need insulated boots or waterproof boots?

There’s a lot to consider when buying work boots, so let’s start by discussing seven things you should consider when purchasing boots.


7 Things to Consider When Buying 8 Inch Work Boots

Safety

What type of toe protection do you need? Our list above contains steel toe, composite toe, and soft toe boots.

Ultimately, the safety requirements of your job will help determine what type of boot you need. One drawback to 8 inch work boots (in comparison to 6 inch shaft boots) is when they are combined with a steel toe, they can be a bit heavy.

Outsole

Do you need a traditional outsole that has a square heel (outdoor)? Or will a flat, wedge outsole work better (indoor)?

The traditional square heel boots are built for rugged terrain. The 90-degree heel can help prevent slipping on things like a ladder and uneven terrain. The drawback is they aren’t usually as comfortable as a wedge sole.

The wedge sole is flat, and helps evenly distribute the stress across the bottom of the foot. Most people consider a wedge sole to be more comfortable than a square heel boot, but there are other factors that affect comfort, including brand.

The drawback to wedge is although they usually are slip-resistant, they are best used on smooth surfaces like a factory floor because they don’t have the raised heel to help you find grip on uneven terrain, etc.

Waterproof

Waterproof boots are obviously popular for those who work outside. If you work on a factory floor, these waterproof linings are not needed and can actually trap heat and feel uncomfortable during the summer months.

Insulated

If you work outside during the winter, insulated 8 inch work boots might be needed. The weight of insulation used will vary boot to boot.

The standard weight of insulation is usually 400 grams, although it can range anywhere from 200 grams all the way to 2000 grams. For many workers, 400 grams will be the right amount, but there are exceptions.

If you want to read more about insulated boots, visit our articles linked below:

Modern Boots

If traditional, bulky boots are not your thing, then perhaps a modern hiker work boot might be best for you. These types of boots are a combination of a hiking boot and a work boot.

This design helps maximize comfort and flexibility while still providing enough toughness to stand up to a work site. On our list above, the Danner Vicious boots are good example of a hiker work boot.

Toe Overlay

Some work boots (like the KEEN boots on our list) will not only have a safety toe for protection, they will also have a rubber overlay that covers the toe of the boot and adds extra abrasion resistance.

This can be helpful and help extend the life of the boot. As you probably know, it is very easy to damage the front of a work boot, and these overlays help prevent that.

Made in USA

Do you prefer to buy American made 8 inch work boots? Yes, work boots made in the USA usually have better quality, but they are usually more expensive too.

In our list above, we added USA to the boots that are made here in the USA. In my experience, Carolina has some of the most affordable boots made in the USA. Read more here:


Best 8 Inch Work Boots

Timberland PRO Men’s Direct Attach 8″ Steel-Toe Boot

Timberland is a boot brand that many workers feel comfortable with. The Timberland PRO line is a line of boots made specifically for workers. The Timberland PRO Direct Attach boots are a popular pair of 8-inch boots.

Here’s what these Timberland boots look like:

This is the current price of these Timberland 8 inch work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These boots are available in wide sizing.

  • Material – These boots feature a seam-sealed waterproof leather to provide durability and help keep your feet dry and comfortable. The top collar of the shoe is padded for comfort.
  • Soft Toe – This is a plain toe work boot, but you can also buy this boot in a steel toe version.
  • Insulation – These boots have 400g of Thermolite insulation.
  • Sole – The outsole is made from oil-resistant rubber to provide traction. The midsole of the book has a lightweight plastic for added flexibility and cushioning.
  • Odor – The footbed has an antimicrobial treatment for breathability and odor control.

I’ve owned several pairs of these Timberland Direct Attach boots over the years. Here’s a look at my newest pair:

timberland-direct-attach-boots-top

I like these boots because they have a decent price point compared to the market, have that traditional work boot design, and have a comfortable fit, especially up around the collar.

Click here to buy these Timberland work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). To read more about how Timberland boots fit, visit our article about Timberland Boot Sizing.


Thorogood American Heritage 8″ Moc Toe Work Boots

Thorogood makes some of the best work boots, and they still produce a lot of their boots here in the USA (including these boots). These American Heritage boots are some of the most popular premium work boots on the market.

They come in both a moc-toe and a round-toe version (with plain toe and safety toe). Here is a look at my moc-toe 8-inch version:

thorogood-american-heritage-boots-side

This is the current price of these Thorogood American Heritage 8 Inch Work Boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). The American Heritage boots are made in the USA by union workers.

These boots also can work well as casual boots and pair very easily with jeans.

They are made with 100% leather, and have shock-absorption footbeds. The wedge sole is both oil and slip-resistant.

thorogood-american-heritage-boot

In my experience, these boots fit true to size. As with all types of leather work boots, you can expect these boots to stretch out a bit as you break them in.

As you can see, these boots use a flat wedge sole (although, Thorogood does offer these boots with a square heel also).

Wedge soles tend to be more comfortable because they help evenly distribute stress across the entire bottom of the foot instead of centralizing it on the heel and toe pad.

thorogood-american-heritage-boot-sole

These types of boots are great for factory workers who spend their whole work day standing on a hard factory floor.

But wedge sole boots aren’t great for all jobs. They are best used on smooth surfaces like concrete, plywood, tile, packed dirt, etc.

If you work on uneven terrain, it would probably be best to stick with the traditional square-heel outsole that offers some slip protection.

Click here to buy the Thorogood American Heritage Moc-Toe Boots at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Multiple colors are available for this boot.


Carolina AMP USA 8 inch Wedge Work Boots

Carolina Shoe Company is another popular boot brand. Carolina still makes a lot of their boots here in the USA, including multiple 8 inch work boots.

In my experience, Carolina boots are a bit more affordable than other types of USA-made work boots.

If you are shopping for work boots made in the USA, but don’t want to spend $200 or more, these Carolina Boots might be a nice option for you.

Click here to view the Carolina AMP USA 8 inch Wedge Work Boots (affiliate link takes you to Carolina Shoe Company’s website). This boot is style number 7001.

These boots are made with leather uppers, and have a removable polyurethane footbed. They are made with a steel shank (a shank is a supportive piece in the mid-sole of a boot).

These are similar to the Thorogood boots we just discussed. Both are 8-inch work boots made in the USA that use a wedge outsole. One noticeable difference for these boots is they are round-toe, instead of moc-toe.

Overall, Carolina is a great company to consider if you want USA work boots because they have very reasonable price points.


Carhartt Men’s Ruggedflex 8″ Safety Toe Work Boots

Carhartt is a brand that many workers trust and already wear. They are famous for their rugged work jackets and pants, but in recent years their boot line has gained popularity.

Here’s what these Carhartt Ruggedflex 8-inch Comp Toe Work Boots look like:

This is the current price of these Carhartt 8 inch work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these boots.

  • Toe Type – These are composite toe work boots.
  • Material – 100% leather uppers; rubber outsole.
  • Insulation – These boots use 400 grams of 3M Thinsulate for insulation.
  • Waterproof – These boots do have a waterproof breathable membrane to help keep your feet dry while you work.
  • Extra Details – These boots have a toe and heel bumper to help the front and back of the boot hold up longer from things like when you kick your boots off at night.

Although you can wear these in the summer, it’s important to emphasize that these are 400g Thinsulate boots. These are best used during the winter months.

If you are unsure what weight of insulation you need for winter, 400 grams is a very common weight of insulation used in winter boots.

If you are in a dangerously cold environment, you may need a heavier insulation. For most active jobs in the USA, a 400 gram boot will do the trick. I wear 400 gram boots in Kansas during winter and it gives me the warmth I need.

Only you know the needs of your job, and if you are in dangerous winter conditions, choosing an extreme 600g+ boot may be necessary. For many workers, 400g is an appropriate solution.

Click here to buy these Carhartt 8-inch work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Wide sizing is available for these boots.


Irish Setter Wingshooter 8 Inch Steel Toe Work Boots

Irish Setter boots are owned by Red Wing Shoe Company, which has been making premium footwear since 1905. Red wing Shoe Company is based out of Red Wing, Minnesota.

Here’s what these Irish Setter Wingshooter Boots look like:

This is the current price of these Irish Setter 8 inch work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these boots:

  • Material – 100% leather uppers.
  • Outsole – These boots have a comfortable wedge outsole that is best used on a smooth surface like concrete, wood, tile, packed dirt, etc.
  • Waterproof – These boots have a moisture management lining to help keep your feet dry while you work.
  • Safety Toe – These boots have a non-metallic safety toe.

Click here to buy these Irish Setter work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Wide sizing is available for these boots.


Danner Quarry USA 8-Inch Alloy Toe Work Boots

The Danner Quarry boots are rugged, heavy-duty boots. These boots are built for power and durability, and can stand up to some of the toughest work environments.

The Danner Quarry boots are made here in the USA. Here’s what they look like:

This is the current price of these Danner Quarry 8 inch work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). As you can see, they have that classic lace-to-toe boot design.

If you are looking for something that is more like a sneaker (sneakerboot), then these boots won’t be for you.

These Danner Quarry boots are heavy-duty boots that prioritize toughness and quality, and have a classic, traditional work-boot build.

Although the Danner Quarry boots are quite comfortable to wear in comparison to other heavy-duty work boots, this boot first and foremost prioritizes toughness and durability. This boot will hold up on jobs where a more modern, lightweight boot will not.

Here’s a look at my Danner 8-inch Quarry boots:

danner-quarry-boot-side

If you work in an environment that demands toughness from boots, the Danner Quarry delivers. It has a classic lace-to-toe design, where the laces drive down far near the toe of the boot.

Danner is a premium boot company that has not been willing to sacrifice quality for quantity. They still prioritize premium design features (like lace-to-toe) and prioritize making as many of their styles here in the USA.

danner-quarry-boot-top

This Quarry boot uses what is called a “610 last”. A last is a foot-shaped mold that helps determine the shape and fit of a boot.

The 610 Last used for this boot is Danner’s most universal last and can be worn by many different types and shapes of feet.

According to Danner, this 610 last type is industry standard made true-to-size and has a relatively broad and deep toe box area, which provides more volume in the forefoot and toe.

Click here to buy the Danner Quarry 8 inch boots at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Wide sizing is available. To read more about the Danner Quarry boots, visit our Danner Quarry Boot Review.


Danner Men’s Vicious 8 Inch Work Boots

Danner also offers the Danner Vicious 8 inch work boots which are a sort of modern hiker work boot that gives you a blend of comfort and toughness.

Here’s what these boots look like:

This is the current price of this Danner Vicious 8 inch work boot available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

In general, traditional boots tend to be built more for power while these Danner Vicious boots blend in more comfort and flexibility.

But just because these are hiker work boots doesn’t mean they can’t hold up to a tough site. I’ve been wearing the Danner Vicious boots for years as my go-to flexible work boot:

danner-vicious-boot-side

These boots have a comfortable design that is easy to move around in. They also have a low-profile 90-degree heel that isn’t huge and bulky, but still gives you some slip protection. Here’s mine:

vicious-danner-heel

One thing that is worth noting is that these boots use a nylon shank. A shank is a supportive piece between the outsole and insole of a boot.

Many types of traditional work boots use a steel shank. These Danner Vicious boots use a nylon shank that helps make the boot more flexible.

  • Fit – These boots are built with a DLE-01 last type mold. According to Danner the DLE-01 last type mold is “designed to be an extension of the foot to allow the user to feel the surface underneath them.” The DLE-01 provides plenty of space in the toe-box area.

Click here to buy these Danner Vicious Work Boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Wide sizing is available for these boots.


KEEN Utility Men’s Mt Vernon 8″ Work Boots

KEEN makes a wide range of footwear, all the way from sandals to work boots. One thing I’ve always liked about KEEN is they build a great heavy-duty work boot.

Here’s what these Keen Mt. Vernon boots look like:

These boots are waterproof and slip-resistant. I’ve always liked how KEEN will put a rubber toe overlay on their boots to help the front of the boot hold up better over time.

This is the current price of these KEEN 8 inch work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These boots do have a steel safety toe and are made in the USA.


Timberland PRO Men’s 8″ Rigmaster XT Work Boots

As I mentioned earlier in the article, Timberland PRO line is a line of boots made specifically for workers. Here’s what the Timberland PRO Rigmaster boots look like:

These 8 inch boots are slip-resistant and made using waterproof leather. What really stands out about these boots is the rubber vamp that makes the front of these boots durable enough for even some of the most rugged environments.

This is the current price of these Timberland work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These boots do have a steel safety toe.


Wolverine Men’s Loader 8″ Soft Toe Wedge Work Boots

Wolverine is another well-known name in industrial footwear. They have a wide selection of work boots, including 8 inch work boots.

Here’s what the Wolverine Men’s Loader boots look like:

These boots are made with 100% leather uppers and have a wedge outsole. They are unlined which makes them nice for warmer environments.

This is the current price of these Wolverine 8 inch boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These boots have a soft toe, but you can also buy them in a safety toe version.


Chippewa Men’s Ryodan 8″ Waterproof USA Work Boots

Chippewa’s beginnings date back to 1901, and to a small factory in the lumber town of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Since then, they have grown to become one of the most trusted names in premium work boots.

Here’s what these Chippewa Men’s Ryodan Work Boots look like:

These boots are made here in the USA. They are 100% leather, waterproof, and have premium rugged Vibram outsoles.

This is the current price of these Chippewa 8 inch work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These boots are not steel toe boots.


Women’s 8 Inch Work Boots

Caterpillar Clover 8″ Steel Toe Industrial Boots

Caterpillar is the world’s foremost manufacturer of heavy equipment, but in recent decades Caterpillar has also become a reliable supplier of industrial and casual footwear for America’s workers.

They do make a popular women’s 8 inch work boot. Here’s what these Caterpillar Clover 8″ Boots look like:

These boots have a comfortable, athletic fit. They have a moisture-wicking liner and slip-resistant outsoles. The upper collar is padded for comfort.

This is the current price of these Caterpillar women’s 8 inch work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These are steel toe work boots.


Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

Recent Posts