I tested ten of the most popular work boots on the market and found the Keen Flint II to be the best summer work boots.
Working in the summer can be brutal. Most of us spend at least part of our day working in the hot summer sun, and it takes a toll on your body each day. Nowhere is this more evident than in our feet, which bear the brunt of the stress and discomfort we’re putting on our bodies.
Your favorite pair of workboots might be perfect for the fall, winter, and spring. But under the hot summer sun, you need boots that are going to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable.
Overall, the Keen Flint II is our top choice as the best summer work boots, as these work boots offer the most complete blend of features and performance. Most importantly, they keep your feet cool and dry even under the hot summer sun.
Whether you’re working on a hot roof all summer long, or you’re moving back and forth between the oppressive heat and an air-conditioned space, we’ll help you find the best summer work boots for how you get the job done.
We’ll also cover everything you need to know to select an ideal pair of boots for yourself. Choose The Best Size For You
Keep reading to see which are the best work boots for summer!
TOP 10 SUMMER WORK BOOTS
Let’s not beat around the bush; read on as we cover the ten best summer work boots on the market today.
This mid steel toe work boot from Keen is a true all-season performer that has an ideal set of features, making it one of our top choices for the best summer work boots.
These work boots are made from a combination of durable tanned leather and breathable mesh, and they feature a heavily treaded slip-resistant rubber outsole that’s both oil and chemical resistant to keep your feet safe from job site hazards.
Asymmetrical steel toes provide enhanced comfort while offering the utmost protection from falling objects.
The Flint II also has a suite of comfort-enhancing features that make these boots a pleasure to wear. The boots feature the Keen ReGEN midsole, which delivers incredible energy return with each step, keeping your feet comfortable and less fatigued during a long shift.
There’s also plenty of heel support and an external stability shank to provide more midfoot support.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more comfortable pair of work boots for summer, and they’re loaded with the safety and comfort features you’ll need to make it through another grueling summer on the job.
- Mesh sections for enhanced breathability
- ReGEN midsole provides all-day comfort
- Moisture-wicking lining
- Asymmetrical steel toes for extra room in the toe box
- Not waterproof
Crafting a boot that’s both waterproof and breathable is one of the greatest challenges for work boot manufacturers, and it’s something that Timberland excels in.
The Keele Ridge boots from Timberland PRO are proof of that, and they deliver impressive safety and comfort features to keep you going during long days.
These hot weather work boots feature waterproof leather and mesh upper with a reinforced cap for superior abrasion resistance in a critical wear area.
Underneath the shoe’s upper is a breathable waterproof membrane that keeps your feet from getting wet while still allowing moisture to escape from your feet.
The Keele Ridge boots are treated with antimicrobial odor control to help keep your boots smelling fresh in spite of sweaty feet. Timberland also outfits these boots with a full suite of safety features, including an asymmetrical steel toe, electrical hazard protection, and a slip-resistant sole.
Perhaps most impressively, these boots are made from over 50% ReBotl material, which is a recycled material made from plastic bottles. So not only with the Keele Ridge keep you cool and comfortable this summer, but they’re good for the earth, too!
- Waterproof but still breathable
- Excellent arch support
- Asymetrical steel toe
- Made from 50% recycled material
- Could be more comfortable
- Soles could be more durable
A perfect blend of performance and value, these tac boots from Belleville are specially designed for use in extreme climates.
If you’re looking for the utmost in breathability without sacrificing performance, you’ll want to give these Belleville boots a close look.
These boots sport a nylon and leather upper, and the shoe is built using Strobel-stitch construction, which is common with athletic footwear.
This construction method makes for a more forgiving boot that requires no break-in time, so your feet enjoy immediate comfort.
A Vibram outsole helps with energy return while reducing the overall weight, and the sole is slip and abrasion-resistant and provides impressive shock absorption.
If you were blindfolded, you would swear you were wearing a pair of basketball shoes on your feet. These Belleville boots are comfortable and breathable, and they still manage to include a steel toe and other features to keep you safe on the job.
- Unparalleled comfort
- Excellent breathability
- Padded collar and tongue
- Steel toe
- Outsole offers good energy return
- Not waterproof/resistant
- Suede toe cap isn’t especially durable
Desperate times call for desperate measures. If you’re working under the most extreme conditions summer can dish out, maybe it’s time to rethink your footwear altogether.
The Powertrain from Timberland PRO delivers all the performance of a high-end workboot while maintaining the profile of an athletic shoe.
The Powertrain Sport work shoe features a breathable nylon upper and a mesh lining that wicks moisture away from your feet.
A sneaker-like outsole provides impressive energy return, which is enhanced with Timberland’s anti-fatigue technology.
While they look like a regular pair of sneakers, these shoes also provide serious safety features. An alloy safety toe helps protect you from crushing injuries, and the rubber outsole protects you from electrical hazards.
Perhaps best of all, they aren’t much heavier than a pair of running shoes, so you’ll be able to do more with less fatigue while your feet stay comfortable and dry all shift long.
- Sneaker-like fit and comfort
- Excellent arch support
- Comfortable for long shifts
- Not waterproof/resistant
- Nylon upper isn’t as durable as other materials
The Rugged Flex boots from Carhartt offer an updated take on a classic boot design, and they’re an excellent all-season boot that can keep you cool and comfortable during the summer.
These boots have an oil-tanned leather upper with a breathable waterproof membrane underneath.
This allows moisture to escape from your feet to keep you cool without allowing moisture to intrude into the boot.
The outsole is rugged but more similar to a sneaker than a boot. During long days, you’re sure to appreciate the more flexible and responsive feel that this outsole provides.
Despite its relatively unassuming design, the outsole is slip-resistant and protects against oil and chemical spills.
To keep you safe on the job, Carhartt equips this boot with a composite safety toe and heel insert. The boot also protects against electrical hazards.
While this boot could be a bit more breathable, it’s still a fine choice for the summer because it’s relatively light, comfortable enough for all-day wear, and still boasts the critical safety features you need to stay safe on the job.
- Flexible and comfortable
- Composite toe doesn’t offer as strong of protection as steel or alloy
- Doesn’t breathe as well as some other options
The Threshold boot from CAT offers a winning blend of value, features, and performance that are sure to keep your feet happy on the job this summer.
These six-inch steel toe work boots feature a full-grain leather upper that gives way to breathable mesh towards the top of the shank, and they’re fully waterproof with sealed seams.
The upper features thick leather that’s abrasion-resistant and can stand up to anything you throw at it.
The footbed uses CAT’s Ease Technology which is lightweight and removable and provides 30% longer life compared to other footbeds while also delivering 30% more energy return.
The midsole uses cement construction and offers electrical hazard protection while being 30% lighter and more shock-absorbing than traditional EVA soles.
There’s also a steel toe to keep you protected from anything falling overhead.
- Steel toe
- Comfortable for all-day wear
- Could be more breathable
One of the best summer work boots for people who need to maintain the utmost in safety and protection through the warmer months, the WOLVERINE Overpass 6″ boot is one of the premiere boots for hot weather.
These boots feature a full leather upper with a composite overlay to add an extra layer of protection against workplace hazards.
The Overpass boot has a relatively low profile, with a 5″ shaft for improved maneuverability. This mid work boot offers slip-resistant rubber outsoles, and an athletic contour welt build for improved flexibility.
The outsoles are also oil-resistant and protect against electrical hazards.
If you deal with sweaty feet on the job, these might not be the best choice to keep your feet dry and cool. But, they’re one of the most protective and comfortable options available, and they excel at keeping your feet safe from workplace hazards.
While composite toe boots are usually considerably lighter than steel toe work boots, that isn’t the case with these boots, which weigh nearly two pounds apiece.
- Superior protection from workplace hazards
- Flexible and comfortable to wear
- Oil and slip-resistant outsole
- Strong arch support
- Not very breathable
These 6″ Keen Utility boots are waterproof, durable, and packed with features that make them a great pair of work boots for summer.
The Keen Utility men’s boots are made from waterproof leather with a Keen soft reinforced toe. These work boots have an asymmetrical insert that protects against minor impacts while still maintaining the flexibility and comfort of a regular shoe.
These hot weather work boots feature a non-marking slip-resistant sole that provides impressive traction on wet surfaces.
The sole is also oil and slip-resistant. These boots also feature a breathable mesh lining that helps keep sweaty feet cool and dry as you work.
These boots also feature the Keen ReGEN midsole, which provides impressive energy return to reduce job site fatigue during a long shift.
If you’re looking to keep your feet cool and comfortable on the job site and you don’t need safety toes in your boots, the Keen Utility boot may be ideal for you.
- Incredibly comfortable
- ReGEN midsole provides excellent energy return
- Quality waterproof leather construction
- No safety toes
The Red Wing Heritage moc boot is one of the most iconic designs from America’s premier work boot outfitter, and it’s a solid choice in any season.
These boots feature Red Wing’s famous Goodyear welt construction, and they’ve been one of their most popular offerings since the 1950s.
A waterproof leather upper keeps your feet dry, while the patented Red Wing Traction Tred rubber outsole keeps you on sure footing in any conditions.
These Red Wing boots offer extra room in the toe and forefoot area, which allows for some additional airflow to keep your feet dry as you work.
The moc toe caps add a stylish touch that’s perfect for people who find themselves splitting time between the field and the office.
Keep in mind this is a soft toe boot that offers no toe protection, so you may want to look towards the steel toe model if you require additional protection on the job.
- Made in the USA
- Lifetime guarantee
- Stylish looks
- Not especially breathable
- No safety toes
The Vicious work boots from Donner combine trail-inspired looks with all the features you’d hope for in a pair of breathable work boots.
These boots feature a durable, waterproof full-grain leather upper with an abrasion-resistant heel cap and breathable mesh sections.
The entire tongue is made from mesh, so your feet stay comfortable no matter how hot it gets. Composite toe caps keep you protected from job site hazards without adding much extra weight or bulk to the boot.
The sneaker-like midsole and Vibram outsole offer impressive energy return, which translates to all-day comfort and less fatigue for your feet.
Danner went to great lengths in the R&D department to deliver an ergonomic fit. Their team began by designing a last that allowed the toes to splay naturally in the boot. Next, they narrowed the heel area to help lock your feet in place.
Lastly, they designed the composite toe around the toes to ensure a perfect roomy fit. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more durable composite toe boot on the market.
- Superior comfort
- Vibram outsole
- Composite toe
- Plastic lace grommets are prone to breakage
SUMMER WORK BOOTS BUYING GUIDE
Before you can select the best summer work boots for your job, there are some things you’ll want to consider. Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know, what features to look for, and answer the most common questions about the best summer work boots.
IMPORTANT FACTORS TO CONSIDER
Everybody is hard on their work boots, but always for different reasons. There are several factors to consider to help you narrow your search for the perfect summer work boots.
WHERE YOU WORK
Where you work is an important factor in deciding on an ideal summer work boot. Do you work inside or outside?
Do you work at night or during the day when the sun is most hot?
Is it mild or hot in the summer where you live? The conditions you work in will dictate the style and type of work boot you’ll need for the summer.
THE TYPE OF WORK YOU DO
How you work is another major factor to consider when evaluating work boots for summer. Do you regularly work around hazardous materials, wet floors, or oil?
Are falling material or tools a danger on the job? These are important questions to ask when evaluating different work boot options.
Depending on where you work, there may be safety requirements that you need to adhere to. Many job sites and warehouses require their teams to observe OSHA safety guidelines, which may extend to your footwear.
Some companies may require you to wear shoes with a safety toe, EH protection, or slip resistance. Always ensure that the boots you’re considering are in line with the requirements of your employer.
FEATURES TO LOOK FOR IN A SUMMER WORK BOOT
Spend any amount of time shopping for work boots, and you’ll see a dizzying array of different features advertised.
Below, we’ll help you make sense of these features so you can evaluate which are most important to you.
The best work boots for summer will provide improved breathability to help allow heat and moisture to escape from the boot.
A mesh lining is a surefire sign that the boot is going to breathe well and keep your feet dry.
Boots that feature a moisture-wicking lining are even better for the summer. This material actively wicks sweat and moisture away from your feet which will keep you much cooler on hot days.
If you work in completely dry conditions at all times, this feature may not be important to you. But, most people find themselves working in occasionally wet, slippery, or muddy conditions.
Nobody likes working in wet boots, so consider pairs that are at least water-resistant. You’ll also find plenty of waterproof options, as well.
Today’s waterproof boots feature thin membranes that prevent moisture from intruding into the boot while still allowing heat and moisture to escape from inside it.
This waterproofing method allows you to enjoy the benefits of a waterproof boot without trapping heat and sweat inside the boot during a hot day in the sun.
The outsole is the part of the boot that makes contact with the floor, and it’s one of the most important components of a work boot. The outsole provides grip and traction, and it’s also subject to the most wear and tear.
The best summer work boots feature a quality slip-resistant non-marking outsole that provides plenty of traction and is oil and chemical-resistant.
Look for models with an outsole made from Vibram, TPU, or other dense rubber materials. These outsoles also provide superior puncture resistance if you were to step on a nail or other sharp object.
How a boot is constructed is a critical area you’ll want to consider when buying a pair of boots. If they’re built the right way using proven construction methods, they’ll reward you with a few years of daily wear.
But, if the quality isn’t up to snuff, you’ll end up replacing the boots within a few months.
Look for boots that employ techniques like Goodyear welt or cement construction and are made using quality materials.
A solid pair of work boots can weigh well over a pound per boot. It might not seem like much, but carrying around that extra weight all day gets taxing, and it puts undue stress on your feet.
While summer work boots are typically a bit lighter than an all-season or insulated boot, you shouldn’t expect them to be as light as your gym shoes.
That said, there are many options that manage to be light without compromising protection or comfort.
Many of the best summer work boots offer a breathable liner, which is an excellent start for a good summer work boot. However, if the upper is made entirely from a non-porous material, your feet aren’t going to breathe well.
If you’re used to dealing with sweaty feet in the summer, look for a pair of work boots for hot weather that offers a breathable upper to help keep you cool and provide moisture-wicking.
Many jobs call for boots with a protective cap that helps shield your toes from falling tools, debris, or other accidents. Safety toe work boots come in several styles to suit the needs of different jobs. Plus, a safety toe work (often a steel toe work boot) boot will keep you safe in most situations.
Boots that provide no toe protection are soft toe boots, and they’re the lightest and most comfortable style. These boots also tend to have a more streamlined look than a boot with toe protection.
The tradeoff for the additional comfort is they offer very little protection from falling objects.
Some boot manufacturers reinforce the toe box of their boots to offer some resistance against mild impacts beyond what you’d get from other footwear styles.
Steel toes offer the utmost protection against workplace accidents. They feature a toe cap made of heavy gauge steel, and they’re the go-to for workers who need the most protection against the hazards of their jobs.
A steel toe cap is a fairly inexpensive add-on, so they’re also the most affordable option for a safety-toe boot.
The downside of this style is they’re fairly heavy, they can be uncomfortable during a long day on the job, and they can heat up under the summer sun more than other boots would.
A steel toe boot will also set off metal detectors, which could be an issue in some lines of work.
An alloy toe workboot has a metal toecap, but they’re as much as 50% lighter than a traditional steel toe. They’re also thinner, which makes for a roomier toe box that most people find more comfortable. The tradeoff is they’re a bit more expensive than a steel toe.
Comp toe or composite toe work boots are made from a fiberglass composite material, and they offer lightweight protection from falling objects and accidents.
They’re non-conductive, and they don’t heat up the way a metal toe cap does, so they’re a great choice for summer.
The tradeoff with a comp toe boot is they don’t offer the same impact or crush protection as a steel or alloy toe boot. Comp toe boots also need to be replaced as soon as they withstand a significant impact.
When it comes to the best work boots for hot weather, there are several excellent options that fit the bill. While the best work boots for hot summers will differ depending on where you work and what you do, one pair, in particular, is our top choice.
The Keen Flint II work boots are among the best breathable work boots available, and they do so while offering superior protection and resistance to the elements.
Plus, they’re oil and slip-resistant, offer a padded collar and tongue for comfort, and keep your feet feeling great all day long.
If you’re looking for the best summer work boots, take a closer look at the Keen Flint II by clicking here.