The well-made construction of the Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot was evident from the first time I laid eyes on it and was even more pronounced when I started using it for various activities. The high-quality materials, foot protection, and sturdy build stand out, making up for the lack of high-tech features that can be seen in other boots, such as the Timberland Pro Hypercharge. From the same brand, the Caterpillar Outline Steel Toe Work Boot is a superb alternative if you are looking for a work boot with the same sturdy build and steel safety toe but enhanced further with electrical hazard protection. Still from the same brand, the Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot is a fantastic option that offers continuous protection from safety hazards while maintaining a dry foot environment. Meanwhile, the Rockrooster 7-Inch Zip-Sided Steel Toe Work Boot comes with antimicrobial, antistatic, and cooling features in a zip-sided design that offers remarkable convenience. The Carhartt Rugged Flex 6-Inch Composite Toe Work Boot is another waterproof work boot that provides superior, breathable, waterproof protection for wet conditions, this time with a composite toe to protect the toe from impact and compression. The KEEN Utility Men’s San Jose 6-Inch Alloy Toe Work Boot is the perfect choice if you are looking for a lightweight boot that can keep up with the challenges of your workplace.
The Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot is one of the brand’s bestselling work boots, which is not a surprise given its reliable durability and sturdiness that can take on challenging work environments. It comes with a classically rugged silhouette made with high-quality leather that delivers superior strength in the face of various workplace settings. The Goodyear welt construction ensures long-lasting durability that can keep up with a multitude of activities all day long. The rubber outsole with its strong treads will help maintain stability in various terrains and floor conditions for enhanced safety while tackling the day’s tasks. However, this outsole isn’t flexible, so some movements may be a bit harder to manage. Below we will scrutinize the boot’s features even further to determine the most noteworthy ones and see which qualities could benefit from some enhancements.
When challenging work settings call for more than the bare essentials for boots, this pick is more than capable of offering a comfortable experience without compromising your safety.
- Working in work environments that have impact and compression hazards
- People who prefer work boots with a relaxed fit
- Those who like a work boot with a classic silhouette
The Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot works hard to deliver superior protection and tries just as hard to make the experience comfortable as well.
I appreciated the breathable Climasphere insole that worked to keep overheating at bay, allowing air to move freely within the boot to maintain a comfortable dryness all day long. I managed to get through long days at work without feeling like my feet were being baked inside the boots, which helped me work continuously in a more efficient manner since I didn’t have extreme discomfort to deal with.
The PU sock liner provided a soft texture that embraced my foot to help prevent uncomfortable chafing. The mesh lining worked to dissipate any built-up heat and allowed sweat to quickly be wicked away before my feet could get soaked. The padded collar also provided a bit of reprieve from discomfort, as it delivered a snugger fit that made the boot feel more stable, allowing me to confidently walk around without fear that a simple misstep would result in a twisted ankle.
While these features worked hard to make the boot-wearing experience a pleasant one, I noticed that the outsoles were not flexible enough to aid in natural movement. This resulted in a bit of discomfort that could quickly intensify when the boot needed to be worn for long hours at a time. This boot lacks the comfort features that are showcased by other brands, such as Timberland’s Pro Hypercharge and Georgia Hammer work boots that come with high-tech enhancements including anti-fatigue systems and memory foam insoles.
These boots cannot be considered lightweight, with the considerable heft having its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The weight can add a feeling of stability that can make it easier to maintain steady footing when navigating tricky floor conditions or terrains. However, this enhanced weight can also bring a great deal of discomfort, since it will add to the strain that the feet and legs will feel while “carrying” the boots. The steel safety toe caps, rugged outsoles, and thick leather upper all significantly contribute to the weight.
The Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot is fitted with a rugged rubber outsole that delivers powerful traction, which allowed me to work nonstop in slippery and wet conditions without worrying too much about slipping and falling in the process. The oil-resistant outsole comes with aggressive treads to effortlessly grip the surface of various terrains so that steady footing can be achieved and maintained. The approximately 1.25-inch-high heel works to deliver increased stability, especially when going over uneven ground or when climbing up or down ladders as part of the day’s tasks.
Fit and Sizing
These boots have a relaxed fit that may even be too large for some. I went for my usual size 10, but I felt that downsizing to a size 9 would have resulted in an even better fit. This profile will work well for people who prefer their boots to have more room inside to allow the toes to shift when needed so that painful cramps can be avoided. However, it might feel uncomfortable for those who are more used to snug-fitting work boots. The lace-up design made it easy for me to adjust the boots as necessary so that getting to the perfect fit didn’t take too much time and effort. The padded collar made up for the looseness, keeping a snug fit on the ankle and calf area that resulted in increased security to prevent ankle twisting and instability while wearing the boots.
This is not a waterproof work boot so it cannot be relied on to provide wetness protection. As such, it is not recommended for use in wet conditions or outdoor settings. Working in wet areas may result in your feet getting soaked.
These work boots are equipped with breathable insoles that allow generous airflow to move through the interior so that heat won’t have a chance to accumulate. The heat is encouraged to dissipate outwards, so I was spared from having to experience an overly warm feeling. A nylon mesh lining also worked to keep the boot’s interior fresh by promoting proper ventilation as it wicked away moisture to prevent excessive sweatiness.
Quality and Durability
These are extremely well-made boots that will deliver long-term durability. The premium leather upper is built to be tough, so it can resist damage when exposed to challenging settings.
I got the dark brown color and I appreciated how it turned even darker after some use, making the boots look even more attractive without compromising any of its superb and sturdy features.
The steel toe caps provide nonstop protection against compression and impact threats that may be lurking in and around the work area but contribute to the overall weight of the boot, so it cannot be considered a lightweight pair. A steel shank offers additional support to maintain stability, especially when moving over challenging terrains, thus preventing slipping accidents. The lace hooks and eyelets are made from metal that will keep up with the challenges of daily use without easily breaking apart in the process. The thick rubber outsole is quite impressive with a sturdy construction and aggressive lugs that deliver powerful traction to prevent falling on slippery or uneven surfaces.
It should be noted, though, that these boots aren’t suitable for hiking purposes even if they deliver strong traction. This is because the outsoles aren’t flexible and aren’t ideal for walking around comfortably for long hours at a time.
The classic design goes well with work uniforms but can just as easily be paired with jeans for a rugged style that can be taken straight from the job site to a night out with friends.
The Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot is one of the brand’s bestsellers and comes in another version that has a soft toe design. Both of these versions are available in the following colorways: tan, black, dark brown, and honey nubuck.
Caterpillar Outline Steel Toe Work Boot
The first challenger comes from the same brand – the Caterpillar Outline Steel Toe Work Boot. Similar to the Second Shift Work Boot, it comes with steel toe protection to keep the foot safe from objects that may roll or fall from a great height. It’s also made with premium full-grain leather that can keep up with the demands of tough environments without easily falling apart. What makes the Outline work boot a better choice is the electrical hazard protection that makes it ideal for working on job sites where there is a risk of exposure to live electrical currents.
Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot
The next contender is another bestselling work boot from Caterpillar – the Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot. The slip-resistant outsole offers a strong grip on low-traction surfaces. This boot also offers electrical hazard protection and comes with a waterproof construction that will keep the foot dry and comfortable when working in wet conditions. A steel toe feature protects the foot from being seriously injured when something heavy or blunt falls on it from an elevated area. The premium full-grain leather upper works hard to resist abrasions and premature damage even when used in tough working conditions so you can be sure this boot can be enjoyed for a long time.
Rockrooster 7-Inch Zip-Sided Steel Toe Work Boot
If you’re looking for work boots that offer remarkable convenience, check out the Rockrooster 7-Inch Zip-Sided Steel Toe Work Boot. It comes with a side zipper for easy on and off so you won’t need to allot more time for these tasks on a regular basis. The interior of the boot features the proprietary COOLMAX technology that draws away moisture and regulates temperature to keep the foot cool on hot days, and comfortably warm when you’re in a cold environment. These boots also feature anti-fatigue comfort technology that fights the development of foot pain – a significant advantage when you’re working for long hours a day without any break periods to ease the tiredness.
Carhartt Rugged Flex 6-Inch Composite Toe Work Boot
The next challenger is the Carhartt Rugged Flex 6-Inch Composite Toe Work Boot that offers maximum flexibility to keep you moving with confidence and efficiency for long hours without anything getting in the way. The flexible rubber outsole provides strong traction to prevent slipping accidents on uneven terrains, slippery floors, and ladder rungs so you can complete your required tasks in complete safety. The toe and heel portions are enhanced with composite reinforcements to protect these crucial areas from damage in tough working conditions. The boot offers all-day comfort with an Ortholite insole that delivers superior cushioning to ease foot fatigue even with long hours of staying on your feet.
KEEN Utility Men’s San Jose 6-Inch Alloy Toe Work Boot
The KEEN Utility Men’s San Jose 6-Inch Alloy Toe Work Boot is an impressive choice for those who are looking for work boots with all the essential protective features that aren’t too heavy for daily use. These boots are built with aluminum alloy safety toes that are designed to weigh approximately 35% less compared to steel toe caps. This means that the boot offers the same level of protection against compression and impact hazards but maintains a more lightweight profile for increased comfort that will last all day. The waterproof construction ensures long-lasting foot dryness in wet conditions, while the breathable membrane fights excessive sweatiness and heat to keep your feet comfortable for long hours of continuous activities.
Conclusion & Verdict
The Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot is a sturdy and reliable choice that comes with a classic work boot silhouette. It is constructed to deliver long-lasting durability and protection that can take on demanding work environments. However, a heavy structure and the lack of advanced comfort features compromised the comfortability of using this boot, especially for long hours at a time.