If you are looking for steel toe boots made in the USA you actually do have several options. Although many boots companies have moved productions overseas, some premium boot companies have remained committed to making at least some of their boots here in the USA.
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Here are our choices for the best steel toe boots made in the USA:
- Thorogood Men’s American Heritage Work Boots (click here to view)
- KEEN Braddock Mid Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boots (click here to view)
- Danner Men’s Bull Run Steel Toe Work Boots (click here to view)
- Carolina Men’s USA AMP Steel Toe Work Boots (click here to view)
- KEEN Utility Men’s Mt Vernon Steel Toe Boots (click here to view)
- Chippewa Men’s Steel-Toe Super Logger Boots (click here to view)
- Thorogood Men’s Wellington Pull-on Steel Toe Work Boots (click here to view)
- Carolina Men’s Sarge Lo Steel Toe Work Boots (click here to view)
- Thorogood Men’s Logger Waterproof Safety Toe Boots (click here to view)
- *Women’s* Danner Bull Run Steel Toe Work Boots (click here to view)
All the boot companies listed here are considered to be premium boot companies. This is to be expected since cheaper boot companies choose to import all their boots.
In general, buying USA-made work boots can be a little pricey, but you can also expect much better quality than imported boots. In our list above, we did try to factor in price to our rankings just to put an emphasis on value.
- Although price can fluctuate, in my experience, Carolina Shoe Company offers some of the most affordable USA work boots. Click here to view the entire selection of USA boots that Carolina offers (not all Carolina Boots are USA made, but many are).
Despite being premium boot companies, all the boots listed above are stock boots. What that means is they are made with a stock last, which isn’t custom made for your foot.
For example, you order a size 11 (or whatever your size is) instead of sending in custom foot measurements. If you struggle with foot pain on the job, investing in a pair of custom made boots might be a nice way to try and alleviate some pain.
- If you are interested in ordering some custom made USA steel toe work boots, I’d recommend checking out Nicks Boots (click here). Nicks will take your custom measurements and select a boot shape that will work best for your foot.
Nicks Boots are not cheap, but they are built to last. It might be one of those things that, yes, is expensive up front, but ultimately saves you money in the long run due to the quality and life-span of the boot.
In this article let’s take a closer look at some of the best steel toe boots made in the USA so that you can decide which one might work best for you.
Best Steel Toe Boots Made in the USA
Thorogood American Heritage Work Boots
Thorogood makes some of the best work boots in the USA, and their American Heritage boots are some of the most popular premium work boots on the market.
I actually wear these boots regularly. Here’s what mine look like:
This is the current price of these Thorogood American Heritage Steel Toe Boots made in the USA 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.
This specific version that I own uses a wedge sole. Wedge outsoles offer a bit more comfort than traditional square-heel outsoles, but are best used on smooth surfaces like concrete. If you work on uneven terrain, it would be best to stick with a square-heel outsole.
The come in both a soft toe version and a steel toe version. The wedge sole is both oil and slip-resistant.
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.
Click here to buy the Thorogood American Heritage Steel Toe Boots at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Multiple colors are available for this boot.
If you are interested in a pull-on steel-toe work boot made in the USA, I’d recommend the Thorogood Wellington pull-on boots. Here’s what they look like:
This is the current price of these Thorogood pull-on steel toe boots made in the USA available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These are 11-inch boots with a steel safety toe and removable footbeds that can be cleaned or replaced. To read about more pull on boots, visit our article about the best pull on steel toe boots.
Carolina USA Steel Toe Work Boots
Carolina is another shoe company that still makes several styles of their work boots here in the USA. I always like to recommend Carolina boots to workers looking for USA made boots because, in my experience, Carolina usually has some of the most affordable USA boots.
Buying steel toe boots made in the USA can be a little pricey at times. Of course, it also usually brings a much better quality to the work boot.
If you really prefer wearing USA made work boots, but don’t want to have to spend $250-$500, I’d recommend checking out Carolina boots. There are two specific steel toe versions I want to highlight:
- Carolina Men’s 6″ AMP Steel Toe Work Boots – This is the 6-inch moc-toe version of Carolina’s popular AMP boot. This is actually my favorite style of Carolina boots. I want to highlight this one specifically because it will be very comparable to both the Thorogood boots featured at the top of the article, and the Danner Bull Run boots discussed in the next section. Good opportunity to price compare if you like a moc-toe boot. Click here to view these Carolina boots.
- Carolina Men’s Sarge Lo Steel Toe Work Boots – These Carolina work boots are going to have more of a traditional build. They have a square-heel outsole, and are made with premium leather uppers. These boots can work for both indoor and outdoor trades. Click here to view these Carolina boots.
- Carolina Men’s 8″ AMP Steel Toe Work Boots – These Carolina boots will fit up past your ankle and have a wedge sole. Wedge soles are best used on smooth surfaces, like concrete, and can be a bit more comfortable than traditional rugged outsoles. Click here to view these Carolina boots.
Danner Bull Run USA Moc 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 (source).
Danner, still to this day, makes several styles of their boots here in the USA, including their popular Bull Run moc-toe boots. Here is what the Danner Bull Run Moc-Toe Steel-Toe work boots look like:
This is the current price of these Danner steel toe boots made in the USA that are available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Expect these boots to fit true to size.
The Danner Bull Run boots are made using a 503 last type. A last is a mold which is used to help form the overall shape and fit of a boot. The 503 has a casual fit, and in general, fits true-to-size. Wide sizing is available.
If you are a woman looking for an American made steel toe boot, I’d recommend the women’s Danner Bull Run. This is what it looks like:
This is the current price of these women’s Danner Bull Run Steel Toe work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These boots are made using premium leather uppers, and a steel shank for support.
**To read more about Danner sizing, visit our article How Do Danner Boots Fit? If you want to read more about how Danner compares to the Thorogood boots we covered first, visit our article that discusses Danner vs Thorogood.
Chippewa Logger Boots
Fueled by the logging boom, Chippewa’s beginnings date back to 1901, and to a small factory in the lumber town of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Chippewa has played its own unique part in the history of this country, providing boots for US soldiers in WWI.
Modern day, they have grown to become one of the most trusted names in premium work boots (source), and a trusted source for logger boots. Chippewa boots are part of Justin Brands, a premium brand of western and heavy-duty, functional boots, and they do offer steel toe boots made in the USA.
This is what the Chippewa Logger USA Steel Toe boots look like:
This is the current price of these Chippewa Logger boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). In general, expect these boots to fit true to size.
Logger boots have a raised heel that not only provides needed traction on uneven terrain, it also provides space for the boots to be paired with climbing spurs. Logger boots are popular for lineman and, of course, loggers.
The raised heel also makes logger boots popular for motorcyclists who rely on the raised heel for riding. Farmers and ranchers also use logger boots or packer boots frequently to ride horses or to just elevate their foot out of the muck or mud of a barnyard.
If you work indoors and are shopping for a steel toe boot made in the USA, a logger boot won’t be your best option. You don’t need something that rugged. I’d personally stick with a wedge boot if I was working on a smooth factory floor.
Chippewa’s factory is located in Carthage, MO (click here to view a tour of their factory). Chippewa displays a US flag on the laces of their US-made boots (see picture above).
These boots are 100% leather, waterproof, and have rugged Vibram outsoles with aggressive lug patterns that can stand up to harsh terrain. They are made using a steel shank. These boots use a Goodyear Leather Welt construction that is re-craftable.
If you’re looking for winter warmth, visit our article about the best insulated logger boots.
Click here to buy the Chippewa Logger Boots at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). In general, expect these boots to run true-to-size. Wide sizing is available.
To see a full list of USA logger boots, visit our article about the best logger boots made in the USA. ***If you are interested in a steel-toe rubber boot, visit our article about the best steel toe rubber boots.
7 Things to Consider When Buying Steel Toe Boots Made in the USA
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.
You can also find steel toe boots made in the USA that have wedge outsoles. A 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.
Wedge outsoles also are convenient because they don’t track mud as easily. 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 things like uneven terrain and ladders. To see steel toe options, visit our article about the best steel toe wedge boots.
If you work outside during the winter, insulated boots might be needed. The weight of insulation used can vary boot to boot.
Many work boots will use 400g of insulation, but you can find anything from 200g – 2000g. The weight you need will be determined by activity level, climate, and personal comfort level.
To read more, visit our article about the best insulated steel toe boots.
Do you hate the constant struggle to wrestle your boots on and off? If you’re wanting to make that process a little easier, visit our article about the best steel toe boots with side zipper.
Do you also need a steel 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.
Do you need waterproof protection? Some steel toe boots will be better built to handle the elements than other boots. It is worth considering if you work in wet climates.
Some of the work boots on our list (KEEN) will not only have a steel 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 steel toe boots. As you probably know, it is very easy to damage the front of a work boot, and these overlays help prevent that.
For other safety toe options, visit our article about the best composite toe boots made in the USA.
Although buying steel toe boots made in the USA is a way to help ensure you get a quality work boot, it does come at a price. Some steel toe boots made in the USA can be a bit pricey.
As I mentioned earlier in the article, in my experience, Carolina provides affordable USA boot options, and might be a nice place to start if you are shopping for steel toe boots made in the USA on a tight budget.