If you are shopping for premium, heavy-duty work boots, you’ve probably come across a logger boot. These boots have a unique design and look a bit different than traditional work boots. What is a logger boot?
A logger boot is a type of heavy-duty work boot designed specifically for harsh outdoor conditions where workers face wet and uneven terrain consistently. The raised heel makes these boots compatible with climbing spurs.
Logger boots are used to work through brush, muck, and other types of undergrowth, and to aid in any climbing needed. Logger boots are designed to be worn by workers in the logger industry, hence the name.
Not only do climbing spurs pair with logger boots, but the raised heel itself helps with stabilizing the foot while climbing.
Although the logging industry relies on these types of boots the most, there are other trades and professions that also can benefit from this style of boot (and also some that do not). Logger boots are very popular boots for linemen.
Most logger boots are imported, although some companies still make logger boots here in the USA. For a full list, visit our article about the Best Logger Boots Made in the USA.
Let’s take a closer look at what logger boots are, and who they benefit so that you can decide if they will work for you. We will also take a look at some used photos of one of the most popular types of logger boots made by Chippewa.
What is a Logger Boot?
As we just discussed, a logger boot is a heavy-duty boot built to stand up to harsh outdoor conditions. The style and design of logger boots allows them to provide adequate traction and support on uneven terrain and in wet, marshy conditions.
The raised heel and deep lugs make these boots both adequate in sloppy conditions, and good for climbing. Most loggers have laces, but there are a few pull on logger boots on the market today.
There are several key design features that are common in most types of logger boots:
- Raised Heel – The heel of logger boots is usually over two inches in height. This elevates the foot and helps keep moisture out. It also allows for an aggressive lug pattern on the heel for added traction. Most have a round toe design, although you can find square toe logger boots.
- Welt Construction – Logger boots will use a Goodyear Welt construction, which is the most durable way to build a boot (unless it is hand-built). A welt is a method of stitching the midsole, the boot upper, the insole, and the outsole together, making the boot durable and moisture resistant. Heavy-duty boots need to be built this way, but this build is also one of the things that makes work boots stiff in comparison to sneakers.
- Lace Ankle Support – Logger boots usually are 9″ boots that push up past the ankle. They lace tight to fit snug against your leg. Not only does this provide ankle support on uneven terrain, it also helps keep brush, bugs, debris, and moisture out of your boot.
- Agressive Lugs – Logger boots have an aggressive lug pattern on the outsole that is able to provide traction and support in uneven terrain and in wet conditions. These aggressive lugs are a necessity if you are working in marshy or unpredictable terrain.
- Kiltie – Most logger boots have a kiltie, which is the the fringed, paneled leather that sticks out just at the end of the laces. The kiltie sits under the laces and protects the leather of the boot from being damaged by water, dirt, and debris caught in the laces. Because logger boots come into contact with all sorts of debris, this feature helps preserve the leather and extend the life of the boot.
- Steel Shank – Most logger boots will use a steel shank (most, but not all). A shank is a supportive piece between the outsole and insole of a boot. A steel shank is the most durable type of shank, and is often used in rugged boots to add support and protection to the boot.
Most logger boots are made using premium leather. The laces fit tight against the ankle and tongue which helps keep moisture out. The welt construction also helps keep moisture out of the midsole.
The raised heel keeps the foot elevated out of mud and muck. Most all types of logger boots will also have a waterproof lining that helps keep your feet dry.
Logger boots come in both plain-toe and safety-toe versions, as well as insulated versions for cold, winter climates. If you need an insulated boot, visit our article about the best insulated logger boots.
Chippewa makes one of the best logger boots on the market. They make several different tiers of Logger boots so that you can find one that best matches your needs and budget.
Here is a look at a pair of Chippewa logger boots, and how they have held up over time. As you can see, despite extreme use, these boots are still holding well at the seams:
Who Should Use Logger Boots?
It is quite obvious, based on the name, that logger boots are designed to help loggers function in harsh outdoor conditions. But what about other jobs? Who should use logger boots?
Logger boots are also quite helpful for farmers, ranchers, fence crews, ditch crews, and many other types of jobs where the worker is subjected to consistent wet and uneven terrain. Logger boots are a popular brand of boot for farmers and ranchers who turn to logger boots as a way to take on the mud and muck that can be common in livestock pens, and in open pasture and farmland.
Another reason logger boots are popular for farmers and ranchers is they make good riding boots. The raised heel is useful for riding a horse because it helps prevent the rider’s foot from slipping through the stirrup. Packer boots, which are similar to logger boots, also are popular boots for farmers and ranchers.
Loggers boots are, of course, also quite popular for lineman who have to climb poles constantly and need a rugged, dependable lug pattern, and a strong shank for support.
Who Should Not Use Logger Boots?
Logger boots are designed for outdoor use. If you work on a factory floor, there is going to be a more practical, comfortable boot for you to wear than a logger boot.
One of the most important steps of choosing the right work boot is making sure it is practical and built for your specific job. If you are standing on smooth concrete all day, you don’t need an aggressive lug pattern. You’d be better served using a wedge sole that can add some comfort to your work boots.
Logger boots are also not going to be practical boots for most first-responders who need a boot that can thrive in an urban environment, and provide support while also allowing for easy movement. Logger boots are tough and provide dependable traction, but they aren’t built for quick response.
There are, of course, some situations in woodland/rural settings where some types of fire-resistant logger boots work for firefighters. Logger boots are also a popular type of motorcycle boot.
Are Logger Boots Good for Concrete?
Can you use logger boots on concrete? Of course. But I personally would choose a different type of boot. Using logger boots on concrete is like using mud tires on a street vehicle. Can you do it? Sure. But why?
If you work on a smooth surface like concrete all day, you don’t need an ultra-aggressive, deep lug pattern and raised heel like a logger boot has. Choosing a more traditional work boot with a comfortable outsole, like a wedge outsole, would be the route I personally would take. Wedge soles don’t have aggressive lug patterns. Instead, the soles are built more for comfort.
Again, this is a personal decision and nobody knows your job requirements as well as you do. If you buy premium Logger boots made by Chippewa, White’s etc, those boots are certainly going to be comfortable. If you work part of your day on concrete, and part on rugged terrain, I could see scenarios where a logger would make sense.
But if you work on concrete all day, do you really need a raised heel and aggressive lugs on concrete? Perhaps with your job you do. Or maybe you just prefer it. But if not, there are a lot of comfortable work boots on the market that might be more practical for concrete than logger boots.
Are Logger Boots Good for Construction Work?
In general, I would say no. Much like we just discussed about concrete above, can you use a logger boot for construction work? Sure. But for most construction workers there are likely to be more practical boots and shoes out there.
Now, to be clear, there are many different types of construction work. Urban construction is different than rural construction. There are some rural construction environments that might call for a more rugged boot. Or even some urban construction jobs may use a logger-style boot, for example a carpenter who climbs forms all day.
But again, if you are working mostly on smooth surfaces like concrete or plywood, you just don’t need a heavy-duty aggressive lug pattern that can weigh a boot down, and make it even stiffer than normal. There are many types of traditional work boots that I would rather use for construction over a logger boot.
And again, you could even choose a wedge sole for comfort if you work on mostly smooth surfaces. It’s also important to remember that most logger boots use a steel shank for support between the insole and outsole.
Steel shanks do provide pierce protection to the foot, which can be helpful for construction, but it also makes the boot stiff. Some construction workers prefer more of a sneakerboot, which tend to be more flexible and easier to move around in.
Again, much of this just comes down to personal preference and specific job requirements. You could choose a sneakerboot for comfort and flexibility or a more heavy-duty boot for protection. Either way, I’d prefer not to use a logger boot for construction unless the environment absolutely demanded it. I’d personally opt for a traditional boot with a wedge sole if I worked mostly on concrete and plywood.
To read more, visit our article: Are Logger Boots Good For Construction Work?
Best Logger Boots
Just like traditonal work boots, logger boots are made by several different brands, ranging in price. In general, if you need a logger boot, it’s probably best to pay up for a premium brand. Logger boots are built to withstand harsh environments, and using a cheap boot probably isn’t worth it.
Here are four of the best logger boots on the market today:
Chippewa Logger Boots
Chippewa’s beginnings date back to 1901, and to a small factory in the lumber town of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. They got their start making logger boots. Since then, 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 other types of footwear.
Chippewa logger boots are offered in many different styles and colors. They come in plain-toe, safety-toe, and insulated versions.
Danner Logger 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).
One thing I love about Danner (and can’t figure out why more boot companies don’t do the same) is Danner will tell you what type of last they use for each boot. A last (or “last type”, “last mold”, “lasting process”) is what helps create the shape and fit of a boot. Danner publishes the last type for each boot, and what you can expect as far as fit.
The Danner Logger boots use a 607E last, which generally fits true-to-size and has a relatively broad and deep toe box area, which gives more volume in the forefoot and toe.
Danner offers their logger boots in both plain-toe and composite toe, and also in an insulated version for winter. To read more about how Danner boots fit, you can visit our article: How Do Danner Boots Fit?
White’s Logger Boots
If you are looking for the absolute best logger boots, you will have to at least consider White’s. They are one of the most premium boot makers in the country. White’s has been hand-making boots since 1853. They are located in Spokane, WA, and still present day hand-make their boots in the USA (source).
These are not cheap boots, and they may be out of the price range of what some people are looking for. But buying a pair of boots like this should be viewed as an investment that hopefully will last you 5-10 years, or maybe even longer.
They produce both spiked and un-spiked logger-style boots. Their most popular unspiked logger-style boot is called the Smoke Jumper, a boot that was originally built for woodland fire fighters.
White’s Smoke Jumper boots are hand-made, and built to stand up to the toughest environments. They have a hand-sewn stitch down construction and have heavy-duty screw-in soles. These boots are re-craftable.
These boots are built on a 4811 Last which provides medium-high arch support, and a deep toe box. White’s advises customers to order a half-size down off their normal shoe size.
Thorogood Logger Boots
Thorogood boots are made by Weinbrenner Shoe Co., an employee-owned company based in Wisconsin that has deep roots in American culture. Weinbrenner Shoe Co. started manufacturing shoes in the late 1800’s and was a significant contributor of boots for the US Army in both WWI and WWII (source). Thorogood is famous for their American Heritage line of boots, which is a fabulous factory work boot.
Thorogood also makes a series of logger boots. Their logger boots are all 9″ boots, and come with either a steel-toe or a composite-toe. If you are wanting a plain-toe logger boot, you will need to try a different brand. To read more about how these boots fit, visit our Thorogood Boot Sizing Guide.