10 Best Composite Toe Hiker Boots for Work [High Top]


Composite toe hiker boots are a nice blend of comfort and protection, with a functional design that is easier and more comfortable to wear than most traditional work boots. I like the Wolverine Legend composite toe hikers because of the waterproof protection they offer, and also because they have extra padding around the collar to provide bang protection to my ankle.

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These are our choices for best composite toe hiker work boots:

  1. Wolverine Men’s Legend Waterproof Comp Toe Work Shoe (click here to view)
  2. Danner Men’s Vicious Non Metallic Toe Work Boot (click here to view)
  3. KEEN Utility Davenport Waterproof Composite Toe Industrial Shoe (click here to view)
  4. Kodiak Men’s Quest Bound Mid Waterproof Composite Toe Hiker Boots (click here to view)
  5. Georgia Boot Men’s Amplitude Men’s Waterproof Work Boot (click here to view)
  6. Carhartt Men’s Lightweight Waterproof Hiker Carbon Nano Safety Toe (click here to view)
  7. Carolina Quad Carbon Composite Toe Hiker Work Boot (click here to view)
  8. *Women’s* Danner Springfield 4.5″ NMT Shoe (click here to view)
  9. *Women’s* Carhartt Lightweight Waterproof Work Hiker Carbon Toe (click here to view)
  10. *Women’s* Kodiak Journey Composite Toe Hiker Work Boot (click here to view)

I personally like hiker work boots for two main reasons. First, they are much more flexible than traditional work boots, and have the responsiveness needed for active work environments. Second, they transition well from indoor to outdoor work.

That’s a problem with work boots. Indoor work boots may be designed with wedge soles to add comfort, but they don’t handle rugged outdoor terrain well. Outdoor work boots may be able to handle that rugged terrain, but they are heavy, bulky, and add useless weight in an indoor setting. Hiker work boots are a perfect middle ground for those who spend part of their work day inside, and part of their work day outside.

I have experience with many composite toe hiker boots, and will use pictures of the boots I own in this article. Let’s take a closer look at the options on this list so you can find a composite toe hiker work boot that fits your needs.


Best Composite Toe Hiker Boots

Kodiak Men’s Quest Bound Mid Waterproof Composite Toe Hikers

I really like the design of these Kodiak Quest hiker boots, and they provide me the waterproof protection I need. These boots also have abrasion protection on the toe and heel to help ensure these boots last over the long term.

Here I am wearing these Kodiak Quest composite toe hiker work boots:

kodiak-quest-worn
kodiak-quest-side

This is the current price of these Kodiak Quest composite toe hiker boots (affiliate link takes you to Kodiakboots.com). Here’s what you need to know about these boots:

  • Design – These boots have a modern, hiker design that has less bulk than a traditional, heavy-duty work boot. These are 6-inch boots that fit near the ankle. One design feature that I really like is Kodiak has a rubber overlay on the toe and a rubber kick-plate on the heel to keep these two high-abrasion areas from wearing down.
kodiak-quest-toe
kodiak-quest-kick-plate
  • Safety – Yes, these are composite toe hiker work boots. It’s also important to mention that they use premium, Vibram outsoles that have verified testing data on Kodiak’s website so you can feel assured these boots will provide the stable footing you need. Not many hiker work boots use a Vibram sole, so this is a nice touch.
kodiak-quest-vibram-outsole
best-composite-toe-hiker-boots

Material – These are lightweight compared to many of the other options on this list. These boots are made with premium leather and textile uppers. The textile helps keep the overall weight of the boot down. They also use EVA midsoles that are foam-like and provide underfoot comfort without the weight of leather or rubber midsoles. My size 12 weighs 1.91 pounds:

kodiak-quest-weight
  • Waterproof – These are waterproof boots that are made with a breathable waterproof membrane that keeps water out but lets heat and vapor escape your foot. It also has anti-microbial technology to help control and combat odor. The tongue is also gusseted to help keep out water and debris. Here’s a look at the tongue gusset:
kodiak-quest-gusseted-tongue
  • Comfort – As I mentioned earlier, these boots use textile on the uppers, and EVA midsoles which help keep the overall weight of the boot under control. One thing I really like about these boots is the collar area is very padded and fits comfortably against the ankle.
kodiak-quest-collar
kodiak-quest-boots

Click here to buy these Kodiak Quest composite toe hiker boots (affiliate link takes you to Kodiakboots.com). In my experience, these boots fit true to size.


Wolverine Legend 6 Inch Waterproof Comp Toe Work Boots

Wolverine is another well-known name in industrial footwear. They do have a popular composite toe hiker-style work boot. Here’s what these Wolverine Legend Work Boots look like:

This is the current price of these Wolverine composite toe hiker boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these boots:

  • Material – These boots are made with 100% full-grain leather uppers and have a design that makes them not quite as bulky as some other traditional work boots.
  • Toe Protection – Yes, these are composite toe work boots. These boots also have the rubber toe overlay for extra abrasion protection.
  • Waterproof – These boots combine waterproof leather uppers with a waterproof breathable membrane to help keep your feet dry. The moisture-wicking mesh lining keeps odors under control.
  • Other Details – This boot’s DuraShocks outsole is slip-resistant and employs energy return to help absorb shock. The footbeds are removable so you can clean or swap them when needed.

Here I am wearing these Wolverine Legend Boots:

wolverine-legend-worn

I have found these boots to fit true to size and provide a comfortable fit that keeps my feet dry. They are particularly comfortable up around the collar where they have extra padding. Just like the Kodiak Quest boots we discussed first, these boots have a rubber toe overlay that provides abrasion resistance for the front of the boot:

These boots do weigh a little bit more than my Kodiak Quest boots we discussed first. My size 12 Wolverine Legend boots weigh 2.05 pounds per boot:

wolverine-legend-weight

One thing I really like about these boots compared to some other types of hiker work boots is what I call “bang protection” that they have on the sides of the ankle. This padding reinforcement protects the sides of the ankle in case you accidentally bang it into machinery or other hazards on the job:

wolverine-legend-side-2

Click here to buy these Wolverine composite toe hiker boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Wide sizing is available for these boots.


Danner Men’s Vicious Work Boots

Danner boots is based out of Portland, Oregon. Danner was started when founder Charles Danner ventured to the Pacific Northwest to build premium work boots for loggers in 1932.

Danner has a wide range of work boots and hiking boots, and these Danner Vicious boots are the first style of hiker work boots I ever wore, and I still use them often. I feel like they are more flexible than other options on this list.

Here’s what these boots look like:

This is the current price of these Danner work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). This boot is offered in both a 4.5 inch and an 8 inch version.

While traditional boots tend to be built more for power and can be bulky and stiff, these Danner Vicious boots blend in more comfort and flexibility.

danner-vicious-boot-side
  • Flexibility – Yes, these boots are very flexible and responsive. I’ve been wearing the Danner Vicious boots for years as a go-to flexible work boot, and they have held up very well.
danner-vicious-boot-flexibility
  • Heel – Like the Kodiak boots we discussed first, these Danner boots use premium Vibram outsoles. One cool thing is this outsole has a low-profile square heel so it still provides the slip protection needed. Here’s mine:
vicious-danner-heel
vicious-danner
  • Waterproof – These boots are made with waterproof leather uppers, and have a breathable Gore-Tex waterproof liner. They also have a gusseted tongue to help keep out water and debris. Here is a look at the gusseted tongue:
danner-vicious-gusset-tongue
  • Toe Type – Yes, these boots use a non-metallic safety toe. There is no rubber toe guard on these boots, but they do have extra abrasion resistance on the heel:
danner-vicious-boot-heel
  • 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. In my experience, these fit true to size.

Overall, these boots are very lightweight and comfortable. Because these don’t fit as high on the ankle as some of the other boots on this list, the overall weight is less. My shoes weigh 1.72 pounds per shoe:

danner-vicious-boot-weight

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. Remember, these are also offered in a taller version.


Georgia Boot Men’s Amplitude Waterproof Work Boot

These Georgia Boot Composite Toe Hiker Boots are another option that check all the boxes I like to see in a hiker boot. They have toe and heel reinforcement, with bang protection on the ankle, a waterproof design, and a comfortable fit around the collar.

Here’s what my Georgia Boot Amplitude Hiker looks like:

georgia-amplitude-hiker-side

This is the current price of these Georgia Boots composite toe hiker boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these boots:

  • Durability – Like many of my other favorite hiker work boots, these Georgia boots have rubber reinforcement over the toe and heel for extra abrasion resistance. Like the Wolverine Legend boots we discussed earlier, these boots also have what I like to call “bang protection”, which is padded reinforcement on the sides of the ankle. Here’s what it looks like:
georgia-amplitude-hiker-toe
georgia-amplitude-hiker-ankle-protection-2
  • Flexibility – This is another very flexible option. These boots are made using a nylon shank and EVA midsoles combined with flexible cement construction. These are not stiff work boots – they have a responsiveness needed for active work.
georgia-amplitude-hiker-flexibility
  • Waterproof – These boots do have a waterproof liner to help keep your feet dry while you work. They also have a mesh lining designed to wick away sweat in hot weather.
georgia-amplitude-hiker-collar
  • Comfort – These boots are very comfortable to wear. They have memory foam insoles, a padded collar, and a lightweight design. My size 12 boots weigh exactly 2 pounds:
georgia-amplitude-hiker-weight

Click here to buy these Georgia Boots composite toe hiker boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Wide sizing is available for these boots.


Other Composite Toe Hiker Boots to Consider

  • KEEN Utility Davenport Waterproof Composite Toe Industrial Shoe – These boots have a waterproof KEEN.Dry liner to help keep your feet dry while you work. The footbeds can be removed to be clean or swap. These boots are not insulated, but KEEN does offer the Davenport boot in an insulated version if you need something for winter. Wide sizing is available for these boots. Click here to view this KEEN Davenport Composite Toe Shoe available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
  • Carhartt Men’s Lightweight Waterproof Hiker Carbon Nano Safety Toe – This lightweight hiker by Carhartt is made with leather/textile uppers and features a breathable waterproof membrane. There is reinforcement over the toe and heel for extra abrasion resistance. The liner is also designed to wick away sweat to help keep your feet dry in a hot environment. Click here to view these Carhartt composite toe hiker work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
  • *Women’s* Danner Springfield 4.5″ NMT Shoe – If you are shopping for a women’s composite toe hiker boot, Danner has several great options, including this Springfield shoe. This shoe has a waterproof liner and has a flexible, but stable, design that allows you the responsiveness you need in an active environment. This is a Danner NMT shoe, which stands for non metallic toe. Click here to view this Danner women’s hiker work shoe available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

8 Things to Consider When Buying Composite Toe Hiker Boots

Waterproof

When it comes to waterproof work boots, some companies will use a play-on-words to make you think that you are getting more waterproof protection than you think. Quickly, two things to know:

  • Does it Have a Liner – Some boots may be marketed as “waterproof”, but just simply have waterproof leather and no liner. For better protection, you will want both waterproof leather and a waterproof liner.
  • True Waterproof – It is very difficult for a leather/textile work boot to be completely waterproof. Yes, seam sealed leather and a waterproof liner helps, but don’t expect to submerge the boot in water and come out completely dry. For that, you’d need pvc work boots or rubber work boots.

Most composite toe hiker boots have a waterproof liner since they are made for outdoor environments. One drawback to waterproof liners is they can trap heat. If you work in a hot, dry environment, the waterproof liner wouldn’t do you any good. To read more, here are our favorite waterproof comp toe boots.

Indoor Boot

If you are looking for a composite toe boot to wear indoors on a factory floor or other smooth surface, another great option to consider is a wedge sole. Wedge soles are flat, and provide more comfort than raised-heel boots.

To read more and to learn about options, visit our article about the best composite toe wedge sole work boots. It would also be good to consider a lightweight composite toe work shoe for indoor jobs.

Gusseted Tongue

Tongue gussets connect the sides of the tongue to the boot which help keep water and other debris out. Not all composite toe hiker work boots will have this tongue gusset, but if you work in wet or rocky terrain, this might be a feature you need.

The Kodiak Quest boots we recommend on our list have a gusseted tongue.

Insulated

If you work outside during the winter, insulated boots might be needed. The weight of insulation used can vary boot to boot. To read more about what type of insulation might be best for you, visit our article about the best insulated composite toe work boots.

Versatility

As I mentioned earlier in the article, I personally like hiker work boots for two main reasons. First, they are much more flexible than traditional work boots, and have the responsiveness needed for active work environments. Second, they transition well from indoor to outdoor work.

That’s a problem with work boots. Indoor work boots may be designed with wedge soles to add comfort, but they don’t handle rugged outdoor terrain well. Outdoor work boots may be able to handle that rugged terrain, but they are heavy, bulky, and add useless weight in an indoor setting. Hiker work boots are a perfect middle ground for those who spend part of their work day inside, and part of their work day outside.

Chukka boots are another good option if you are looking for an indoor/outdoor boot. To read more, visit our article about the best waterproof chukka boots. Some types of composite toe shoes are also made for both indoor and outdoor environments.

Shank

If you are interested in composite toe hiker boots because you want, or need, no metal whatsoever in your work boots, don’t forget to consider the shank.

A shank is a supportive piece near the midsole of a work boot. Not only does the shank provide support and structure to the boot, it can also offer under-foot pierce protection.

Many heavy-duty boots use steel shanks which provide maximum support and protection, and can handle rigorous work. If you need composite toe boots for work because (for whatever reason) you can’t have metal in your boot, be sure to check the shank.

Most boot companies know that if you are interested in a composite safety toe, then you probably don’t want a steel shank. Composite toe hiker boots usually have a shank made of fiberglass, nylon, Kevlar, or some other type of non-conductive material (or may not have a shank). It is best to always double check the shank material.

Manufacturing Origin

Most work boots on the market today are imported, including most composite toe hiker work boots. If you want to buy a composite toe work boot that is made here in the USA, you do have some options. To browse through those options, and to read more, visit our article about the best composite toe work boots made in USA.

Toe Overlay

Many of the composite toe hiker work boots on our list will not only have a composite 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 a way to help extend the life of your composite toe hiker boots. As you probably know, it is very easy to damage the front of a work boot, and these overlays help prevent that.

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.

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