Footwear is becoming increasingly more and more important, especially for workers with intense, high-risk, or long-shift jobs. It’s no secret that feet also need to be taken care of, despite often being overlooked. Adequate footwear is essential for preventing foot-fatigue, soreness, and many long-term health problems, as well as offering protection for risky work environments. But for linemen, the stakes are even higher. (Pun intended).
Linemen have to climb up high poles for their job, working with electrical objects and completely trusting their climbing gear to avoid falling to their death. Their work uniform has to be in top shape, from the many tools they use to the insulating clothes, all the way down to the footwear. It is extremely important for linemen to find adequate work boots that provide comfort, protection, and especially a good grip for climbing up safely!
There are many key features to look out for and a wide range of options available, so it can be a bit overwhelming to search for such a specialized product. To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list with our top picks, so that you can buy the one that suits you the most.
An all-rounder that covers all the key features sought after in lineman work boots, they are designed to last a long time while offering the needed protection. The only downside that customers have noted is that they easily develop scruff marks, but these can be removed without much problem by simply rubbing them away!
Here are the key highlights that make these boots our top choice:
- High durability
- Nitrile Cork outsole for excellent traction and grip
- Steel shank reinforced steel, great safety when climbing
- Toe-double layer to protect from small impacts
Top 5 Best Lineman Work Boots
OUR TOP PICK
The Red Wing Iron Boots are an overall excellent choice for linemen, which is why we’ve put them at the top of our list. With a great customer satisfaction rate, these boots are a perfect choice. Designed to be stylish while providing great durability, longevity is at the heart of the Red Wing purpose.
Covered in leather, these boots may get many scuff marks, but they are very easily removed by rubbing. The outsoles are made with nitrile cork, the best material for offering great traction while remaining lightweight. The heel is reinforced with a steel shank, which offers greater rigidity and support for climbing up ladders and hooks, perfect for stability and safety.
As for the toe area, it has a double layer of leather for extra protection against small impacts and bumps, as well as having a subtle hump that allows for more wriggle space!
- Highly durable
- Nitrile Cork outsole
- Steel shank reinforced heel
- Toe double-layer
- Scruffs easily (marks easily removed)
Chippewa offers a great option for lineman work boots with its EH Logger Boot. These boots are an excellent choice for linemen that work in places with harsher weather conditions, as they have reinforced stitches that make them entirely waterproof.
Made with 100% leather, the bottom of the boot is a thick synthetic sole with large lugs that ensure enhanced traction and grip. The heel also has a noticeable arch drop which becomes very helpful when climbing, adding that extra security.
It’s safe from electrical hazards and is also heavily insulated in its interior, providing a greater warmth when working at high altitudes or colder locations. Some Dri-tex lining keeps these boots breathable too, so comfort throughout the day is ensured!
- Completely waterproof
- Thick synthetic sole for grip
- Insulated interior
- Dri-tex lining
- Not as durable as other boots
Although the Makalu Mountaineering Boots are designed for mountain climbing and hiking, they are a very popular brand also used by plenty of linemen, as they offer an excellent grip when climbing up the electric poles, ladders, and hooks.
Although they aren’t waterproof, the Makalu boots have a water-repellent leather upper which might protect from occasional water stains and spills.
They feature a MtnFlex insole for comfort inside, and the heel has a full steel shank which is what makes them so ideal for climbing and gripping effectively. They also have a dry-best lining that wicks moisture to keep your feet dry throughout the long and intense shifts!
- Air Cushioned midsole for comfort
- Excellent grip for climbing
- Dry-best lining
- Full steel shank
- No Electric hazard protection
- No toe reinforcement
The Georgia brand has always claimed to work hard to make boots for people that work, so it’s no wonder that the process delivers products such as the tough Boot Loggers. Known for being tough on the outside, and extremely comfortable and soft on the inside sounds like the perfect combination!
With interior lining that provides warmth and comfort and an exterior that is completely waterproof, these boots are perfect for keeping your feet dry and safe from the outside conditions. It also meets plenty of safety high standards, with steel toe protection, electrical hazard protection through a non-conducting sole, and an abrasion-resistant rubber outsole. These boots are also surprisingly lightweight!
- Excellent insulation and comfort
- Completely waterproof
- Non-conducting sole
- The break-in period is long
The Irish Setter gets its name from the distinctive red russet leather that it’s made from. Tested over time, generation after generation, these boots are an iconic and successful option for both outdoor activities and work.
It uses GORE-Tex waterproofing technology and Thinsulate ultra insulation to keep your feet dry and warm, no matter the weather. With a steel toe for extra protection, it’s also reinforced with a heat-resistant outsole, as well as being non-conducting for safety against any electrical hazard. It’s a great option that covers the basics, with a long history of satisfying linemen, despite having initially been designed for hunters.
- Reliable, time-tested success
- GORE-Tex waterproofing technology
- Excellent insulation
- EH safety
- Could have better grip and traction.
Best Lineman Work Boots Buying Guide
Despite being in 2020, with plenty of technology and evolved resources, being a lineman is still a hazardous job with many dangers. It’s vital for linemen to have good working boots that provide them with just as much protection and safety as the rest of their equipment does.
Secure footing is key for a lineman, especially as they climb up high utility poles to work with high voltage lines. They need footwear that is strong and reliable. The boots need to be capable of protecting against impacts and weather conditions, with a strong firm sole for support and heels that can latch on to the hooks and ladders when climbing. All of this, of course, while remaining as comfortable as possible to combat feet-fatigue!
But with so many things to look out for in lineman work boots, it can be difficult to choose the exact right type for you, so we’ve put together this buyer’s guide with the main features to look out for when buying your work boots!
Linemen may face many different types of weather conditions throughout their work shifts, whether it be from going to different locations, or from the altitude difference when climbing up the utility poles. It is extremely important for their feet to remain dry and protected throughout the day so that they’re not distracted by discomfort or lose their footing along the way. Linemen boots are often sturdy and lace-up over the calves.
However, many linemen choose to go a step further, searching for work boots that are waterproof with breathable mesh lining in the interior. This way their feet are completely safe from weather conditions such as rain, but they still remain fresh and ventilated so as to not get humid from sweat. Waterproofing is definitely a key feature to look out for when choosing your pair!
Many linemen will tell you that maximizing protection around your toes is essential. Climbing up poles has its fair amount of challenges, all while carrying heavy equipment.
Having reinforced toes means it will hurt a lot less if you drop something onto your feet, and will also protect from the external pressure of weight and effort. Steel toe protection is the classic option, but there are new modern options such as aluminium or alloy reinforcements that protect just as much while keeping the boots lightweight.
Outsole protection is another extremely important key feature to look out for when choosing the right lineman work boots for you. On a regular shift, a lineman might have to trek over rough terrain, in all sorts of weather conditions, to even get to the pole in need of climbing. From mud, to sand, to high grass or rocks, the outsole of the boot is essential to keep the feet protected from injury or soreness. To ensure this, always check the thickness and resistance of the rubber sole. Can it withstand extreme conditions? Is it thick enough to shield the feet?
The heel is also one of the main things to look out for. It needs to be raised, so that it can hook onto climbing pegs or ladders easily. It also needs to be sturdy enough to support the pressure of heavy weight, as well as keeping the lineman safely balanced at those high altitudes!
Something extra that you can look for in linemen boots, is the protection against electrical hazards. Non-conductive soles are a major plus when it comes to working with high-voltage power lines, and the more safety you can ensure through your footwear the better you will work.
The shank is a part of the internal structure, between the insole and the outsole, that helps protect the feet from external pressure and injuries such as bruises, soreness and puncture wounds. It’s essential in mountaineering boots, and necessary in lineman work boots to protect against the rough terrain and the climbing. You need to look out for shank plates around the arch of the boot, to support and avoid long-term health issues that creep up along the knees and back.
In lineman boots, the shanks tend to be wider, so that the body weight is better distributed and the feet don’t take such a hard hit throughout the day. When in doubt, more shank protection is always better than less.
Comfort is something you should be aiming for in all types of footwear. For linemen, however, comfort can also influence the levels of productivity, concentration and safety. If your feet are uncomfortable you’re likely to get fidgety and distracted, and at high-risk tasks that can become fatal.
Apart from all the safety and security features, along with the protections and reinforcements, you should look out for some soft interiors and cushioning. Ensuring comfort can massively reduce foot-fatigue, therefore increasing the ability to withstand long shifts!
You can also look for insulation against cold weather, as it’s no good to have shivering feet when you’re trying to stay steady and balanced!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are linemen boots so tall?
Linemen work boots usually aim to lace-up and cover the calf. This is to provide better ankle support, and to protect not only the foot but the lower leg.
The tallness of the boots helps secure the footbed, helping the worker be more steady when climbing or trekking over rough terrain.
What is a lineman steel shank?
The shank, usually made out of steel, is a structural piece that sits between the insole and the outsole of the lineman work boot. It provides support beneath the arch of the feet so that the pressures of climbing, trekking, and carrying heavy weights become less strenuous throughout the day.
It helps prevent long term health-issues, foot pain and soreness.