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Work Boots

Ariat Groundbreaker Chelsea Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot – A Detailed Review

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Rating : 8.4/10
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Performance Breakdown


Bottom Line

Featuring waterproof construction in a convenient slip-on design, the Ariat Groundbreaker Chelsea Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot is an excellent choice that you can depend on even in unpredictable weather.


  • Waterproof construction
  • Slip-on design for convenient wearing
  • Four-layer footbed for superior cushioning and support
  • Chelsea boot profile looks great for casual wear
  • Steel toe protection


  • Slip-on design may not feel secure enough for some
  • Can feel too heavy


Waterproof full-grain leather

Type of Toe

Yes (steel)


4.5lb / 2.04kg / 71.96oz



Shaft Size

6 inches


Slip- and oil-resistant

Boot type

Steel Toe Work Boot



Safety certifications


Price range

$154.95 to $300.00


Without a doubt, these are some of the best slip-on work boots that I have ever tried. The combination of premium materials and outstanding construction resulted in a boot that not only delivers excellent protection from safety hazards without compromising a comfortable experience in and out of the work area.


The Ariat Groundbreaker Chelsea Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot is built with the proprietary Waterproof PRO construction to ensure foot dryness when working in wet conditions, and even outdoors with unpredictable weather. The exclusive 4LR footbed features four layers of top-quality materials that deliver long-lasting comfort and support to keep foot pain at bay even with nonstop work throughout the day. The heavy-duty Duratread outsole is designed to keep up with the long hours of work without breaking down while the strong traction increases safety on challenging surfaces. The boot, however, can start to feel uncomfortable the longer it is used since it weighs more than other work boots. We will break down the details of the boot’s features below to check which are the most notable ones and which can benefit from some more enhancements.

For tasks that need to be done in harsh work environments, this work boot has a heavy-duty construction that can keep up with your numerous activities.

Ideal For

  • Work conditions that require waterproof and steel toe boots
  • Those who prefer snug-fitting work boots
  • People who like casual-looking work boots with a pull-on design


Performance Analysis


The Ariat Groundbreaker Chelsea Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot is definitely one of the most comfortable work boots I have ever used – even if it quite heavy compared to other choices. The boot is built with the proprietary 4LR footbed that consists of four different layers of high-quality materials combined to provide all-day comfort. This cushioning worked wonderfully to soften the blow of my continuous walking and moving around, allowing me to work for long hours while protecting my feet from feeling a great deal of discomfort throughout the entire shift.

The cushioning also eased pressure points on the bottom, so I did not suffer from painful blisters even when I needed to wear the boots for the better part of the day.

The 4LR footbed is also fitted with a lightweight shank that helped stabilize my footing, especially when I needed to walk over uneven surfaces. This enabled me to work continuously without compromising my quick movements and safety in the process. The 4LR technology also worked to deliver a higher rebound that made the boot even more supportive to prevent foot fatigue from developing over the course of the workday. A breathable mesh lining worked to keep the interior of the boot even more comfortable as it dissipated heat before it can build up to extreme warmth, which made it possible for me to work hard for the rest of the day without experiencing an overheated feeling within the boots.

The full-grain leather upper has a premium appearance and texture that I fully appreciated as it worked to maintain a waterproof barrier against the elements while allowing me to move naturally without unwelcome stiffness getting in the way.



These work boots are on the heavy side, so they tend to feel a bit uncomfortable when you wear them for long hours at a time. However, I would not say that the boots are totally uncomfortable because the excellent cushioning and support within the 4LR footbed works wonders to balance out the extra weight from the outsole and the entire boot construction. The heaviness of the boot also works as an advantage when walking over uneven ground conditions when the extra weight acts as a stabilizer to prevent accidental falling or slipping.



These boots are fitted with a Duratread outsole that is slip- and oil-resistant. Walking on wet floors and even outdoors was not a problem with these boots, which allowed me to work nonstop without worrying too much about accidental slipping and falling on challenging surfaces. The outsole comes with a 90-degree heel that provides enhanced stability when going up or down various ground conditions. This heel also worked to deliver an even safer experience as it offered a strong grip on ladder rungs, which may not be the case if I used a boot that had a wedge or completely flat outsoles.


Fit and Sizing

These fantastic work boots are true to size, so I was able to enjoy a super fit when I went with my usual size 10 choice, which eliminated the guesswork and frustration that comes with going up or down a shoe size. The pull-on design made it very convenient for me to put these boots on, so I did not spend so much time on this task at the beginning of every workday. There are stretchable panels fitted into the opening so that all foot shapes can be accommodated with ease. The boots had a snug fit that felt truly secure and allowed me to move naturally and even quickly as necessary without feeling unstable. This secure fit also helped stabilize my ankle to prevent painful twisting, especially when lateral movements are vital to finish the tasks at hand. However, this snug fit may not feel great for those with wide feet, in which case the Ariat Groundbreaker Chelsea Wide Square Toe Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot option may bring a more comfortable experience.



The boots are built with the Waterproof PRO construction that provided total protection from water and other liquids, which was a huge benefit when the surrounding area was wet or waterlogged. I was able to work in wet conditions for long hours with the confidence that my feet will not get wet in the process. The construction prevented water and other liquid substances from penetrating the boots to my feet stayed dry and comfortable all day long. The boot is also fully insulated so my feet were able to maintain a comfortably warm feeling for hours when I needed to work in cold environments and outdoors while it was raining.



The Ariat Groundbreaker Chelsea Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot is built with a mesh lining that encouraged continuous airflow throughout. This stopped heat from building up inside even with long hours of wearing the boot, as the excess warmth is dissipated to stop an overheated feeling from bringing extreme discomfort. Working all day long did not make my feet feel hot and sweaty so I was able to focus more on the tasks that I needed to finish without an uncomfortable feeling to deal with.


Quality and Durability

The premium full-grain leather has an impressive texture that looks and feels strong enough to withstand challenging work conditions, so you can look forward to enjoying the boots for a long period of time without worries that the material will easily break down.

These boots are fitted with steel toes that act as protective barriers to keep the foot safe from serious injuries that may be brought by heavy objects falling from an elevated area in the workplace.

Reflective strips are built into the exterior of the heel for an enhanced visibility that will be a great help when working in low-light conditions or at night. Contrast stitching all throughout the boot adds a nice aesthetic while working double-time to reinforce the critical parts to protect them from premature damage when working in tough settings. The snug fit delivers a secure feeling and increased ankle support to maintain stability when working on uneven surfaces. The thick outsole has a heavy-duty construction that will deliver remarkable functionality to keep you safe from slipping on wet or uneven ground conditions while maintaining the durability that you will be able to count on for a long time.

However, it should be noted that this outsole is not flexible so there may be instances when certain movements can be a bit difficult to manage – but this can be easier to do when you get used to using these boots. The rugged outsole construction also contributes to the increased weight, resulting in heavy boots that can start to feel uncomfortable with long hours of continuous use, especially when there is no chance to rest in between tasks for the entire day.

The Chelsea boot silhouette of these boots make them easy to put on and off without the need to deal with laces – and looks classy enough to be paired effortlessly with more casual or even formal clothes.


Other Versions

The Ariat Groundbreaker Chelsea Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot is available in dark brown and brown colors. It has a wide square toe version that can be more comfortable for those with wide feet, or for people who simply prefer roomier work footwear. These boots are offered in regular and wide size options to cater to varying sizing requirements.


The Challengers

Ariat Groundbreaker Chelsea Wide Square Toe Waterproof Steel Toe

The first noteworthy alternative to the Ariat Groundbreaker Chelsea Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot is its own wide square toe version. Both boot versions are built with waterproof full-grain leather uppers and Waterproof PRO construction that keeps the feet dry when you need to work in wet surroundings. These boots both have steel toe protection in place to deliver increased safety against compression and impact threats in the workplace. However, the Ariat Groundbreaker Chelsea Wide Square Toe Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot may be a better choice if you are not comfortable with using snug-fitting footwear. The square toe design of this second version provides more room for the toes to shift when needed to prevent foot cramps that can develop when working for long hours.

Ariat Turbo Chelsea Waterproof Carbon Toe Work Boot

The Ariat Turbo Chelsea Waterproof Carbon Toe Work Boot is a great option if you are looking for non-metallic footwear to keep you safe and comfortable in the workplace. This boot comes with a more lightweight construction compared to the Groundbreaker Chelsea work boots, with a carbon safety toe that protects against rolling or falling objects that might otherwise cause serious foot injuries. the Turbo Chelsea work boot has a flexible structure that makes moving more effortless, allowing you to move as quickly as possible without anything to interfere with your agility. The waterproof construction keeps the feet dry all day long, while the Energy Max foam insole delivers maximum cushioning and energy rebound. Without metal components within the structure, this metal boot will not set off metal detectors. It is also a puncture-resistant boot that provides another layer of foot safety against sharp objects that can pierce other footwear.

Caterpillar Men’s Pelton Steel Toe Industrial and Construction Shoe

The Caterpillar Men’s Pelton Steel Toe Industrial and Construction Shoe is an outstanding choice that works hard to keep your foot protected without compromising your comfortable experience. The steel toe protection guards your foot againts being crushed when something heavy or sharp falls on the boot. The electrical hazard protection protects against live currents that you may be exposed to while in the workplace in dry conditions. The boot is built with a proprietary midsole that is designed to deliver maximum flexibility and shock absorption for superior comfort that you can enjoy throughout the day, without the excessive weight that can be expected from other work boots with similar protective features in place.

Rockrooster 6-inch Steel Toe Slip-On Safety Oiled Leather Shoe

Meanwhile, the Rockrooster 6-inch Steel Toe Slip-On Safety Oiled Leather Shoe is a strong challenger that comes packed with features – but without the exorbitant price. The shoe uses COOLMAX technology to wick away moisture and regulate the temperature within, allowing you to enjoy a cool sensation when working in hot conditions, and for your feet to stay comfortably warm when in cold environments. The slip-resistant TPU outsole keeps you stable on your feet, especially when working in wet or slippery conditions. The steel toe caps are fitted to protect the feet from impact and compression hazards that may be encountered in and around the work area. The shoe comes in a pull-on design that can be put on and removed with ease for greater convenience. Priced at around the $90 range, this work shoe offers fantastic value without skimping on the important components.

Keen Utility Seattle Romeo Aluminum Toe Boot

The Keen Utility Seattle Romeo Aluminum Toe Boot works hard to provide foot protection while maintaining a lightweight structure so you can enjoy superior comfort all day long without compromising your safety in the workplace. The slip-resistant outsole comes with strong traction to keep your stability for long hours at work, especially in slippery or wet ground conditions. This boot comes in a pull-on design for maximum convenience while showcasing a handsome aesthetic that looks great with casual or more formal outfits, just as easily as it works in and around the job site.

Conclusion & Verdict

The Ariat Groundbreaker Chelsea Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot is one of the best work footwear that I have used, comfort- and protection-wise. The outstanding construction is designed to deliver long-lasting strength and durability to withstand tough work settings for long-term benefits. Meanwhile, the 4LR technology works to deliver maximum comfort and support to keep up with the demanding tasks that your job involves. Even with the extra weight that I needed to carry, these boots remained comfortable enough to help me work as efficiently as possible throughout the entire day.


Luke Davis

Luke is the lead author on He has a vast experience in construction engineering and project management in California and Texas, where he had the chance to put to test a wide range of safety boots and PPE. Outside work, Luke is an avid hiker and not surprisingly a DIY fanatic!