Hats off to every lineman out there. You spend your workdays climbing high power lines and risking your lives so that we could have electricity at home. Because of how dangerous your job is, it’s important that you protect yourself fully, and knowing what are the best lineman boots might help you with that.
You’re a superhero who works with electricity and climbs power lines no matter the weather conditions. Every superhero, however, needs a helping sidekick. In your case, your best companion will be your protective footwear. In worst-case scenarios, they might even save your life.
Your job requires proper footwear, and you need pretty much every kind of protection a pair of shoes can offer. Electrical hazards, slipping, falling… Your shoes can reduce the severity of injuries but only if you find the right pair.
Of course, you can’t go to work in a pair of running sneakers and expect them to work in your favor! If you’re not sure how to choose the best lineman boots, we’ve got you covered! Let’s see what are some things you should pay attention to, and what are the best models you can find on the market.
How to pick the best lineman boots
When you’re at work, you need maximum protection. That’s a fact! However, with such an overwhelming choice of protective footwear, how do you know which pair to go for? Well, you can start by learning about all the features your shoes need to have!
We all know how extreme your job is so, your feet need pretty much every kind of protection you can think of. Of course, that doesn’t help much, so let’s see what are some things you should consider when shopping for your work boots.
1. They offer electrical hazard protection
Because you’re working with electricity, you’ll need your shoes to protect you from it, too. This kind of protection is crucial, and some companies even require their linemen to wear boots that have an electrical hazard rating. Simply put, this kind of footwear protects the worker from getting electroshocked.
But, how do they do that? Well, these boots are designed to prevent the electrical current from grounding through the worker by creating separation between him and the ground.
They go through plenty of tests and can withstand about 18,000 volts! When you’re searching for these kinds of boots, look for a sign that they’ve passed the ASTM EH testing. It should be somewhere on their sole or the upper.
2. They come with steel shanks and safety toes
The best lineman boots come with shank support. As a lineman worker, you’re always on your feet, usually high in the air. Because of that, your protective footwear should come with steel shanks that are placed between the insoles and outsoles. That way, your weight will be distributed better and you’ll be a lot more comfortable.
This part of your boots is especially helpful when you’re climbing using metal rungs on the telephone poles. Your steel shanks will allow the weight to be distributed to the whole foot rather than the small part of it, making it a lot less painful.
Another important thing you should look for are raised heels, as they’ll enable you to lock your feet in place when you’re climbing. On top of that, a pair of boots with safety toe caps will protect your feet from any heavy items that might fall on them.
3. They’re slip-resistant
The best lineman boots are slip-resistant. Whether you’re climbing wet or dry poles, you need your footwear to provide you with a nice grip. A good pair of boots with rubber soles might be a lifesaver, as they offer incredible traction.
Don’t shy away from big, chunky outsoles as they’ll give you good footing when you’re working in wet conditions. On top of that, they’ll help you center the spikes on the poles right where you need them to be, giving you a great grip and plenty of stability.
4. You’re able to wear them in any type of weather
As a lineman worker, you work in pretty much any kind of weather. Unfortunately, you don’t get to pick and choose the weather conditions, so you must be prepared for everything. Yes, that includes blizzards, floods, thunderstorms, and every other terrible condition.
Because of that, the best lineman boots come with good insulation and weather protection. When you’re working in a blizzard, you’ll be thankful that your boots are able to keep your feet dry and warm so you don’t risk getting infections or frostbite.
5. They’re comfortable
Of course, your boots need to be comfortable and made out of the right materials. Usually, the best and most popular lineman boots are made of leather, as it’s durable and flexible. When mixed with rubber, it provides ultimate protection against electrical shocks, while offering a great grip, too.
Since you’re climbing high poles, you need your boots to be comfortable, too. When choosing your next pair, make sure it comes with plenty of cushioning and removable insoles that will keep you comfy the whole day.
The 4 best lineman boots on the market
Now that you know what are some things to consider when buying your next pair of protective footwear, let’s see what are some of the best lineman boots that offer these features. Here are our top picks you can’t go wrong with.
1. Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Non-Insulated Hiking Boot
Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Boots is a pair of hiking footwear that will answer most of your job’s requirements. They come with a super tall leather upper, which will protect your ankles and calves while climbing the poles, and make it a much more comfortable experience overall.
On top of being super comfortable, these boots are also waterproof. They will protect you from any kind of wet conditions. With their rubber outsoles, you’ll be able to climb the poles easily with a good grip on the gaffs. At the same time, you’ll be protected from electric shocks.
Unfortunately, these hiking boots are not EH rated, which is one of their main cons. However, they come with steel shanks, which help them distribute the weight evenly when climbing.
2. Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger Lineman Work Boots
Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger boots are made from high-quality leather that will protect you from water, sweating, and staining. No matter what conditions you work in, these boots will be able to withstand them.
On top of being super durable, they look pretty good, too! I know that’s probably not your priority, but it’s still a nice addition. Their outsoles are made from a rubber composite material that’s super lightweight, pretty much indestructible, and provides the wearer with a great grip.
They’re designed with nickel eyelets and hooks which makes them easy to put on and tie, while their raised heels will enable you to lock your feet in place. Although they might take a bit longer to break in, once you do, they’ll become your new favorite pair.
3. La Sportiva Makalu Mountaineering Boot
The best lineman boots will perform well, and provide you with the best possible fit and comfort. La Sportiva Makalu Work Boots are a classic pair that will give you all the things you’re looking for, and more! They’re made of breathable, water-resistant, high-quality leather that will make you fall in love with them.
Because of how durable these boots are, they’ll probably last you for a couple of years. There are many linemen who claim that these are the most durable boots you can find. La Sportiva Makalu boots come with incredibly comfortable footbeds and midsoles, and steel shanks for ultimate comfort.
Thanks to their Mountaineering Performance Evolution outsoles and high heels, these boots provide amazing traction that makes them perfect for climbing. On top of that, their midsoles are shock-absorbent, while their rugged leather has waterproof characteristics.
4. Irish Setter Wellington Work Boot
In case you’re someone who doesn’t want to waste time on lacing your footwear, slip-on boots would be a great choice for you. If this sounds good, you should consider getting yourself a pair of Irish Setter Wellingtons.
Although slip-ons are usually not recommended for this kind of work, these boots are a whole different story. Many linemen praise these boots thanks to their great grip, short break-in time, and waterproof capabilities.
They’re made of composite rubber material that provides the wearer with great traction, durability, and grip. They’re designed with a lining that will keep your feet completely dry throughout the day, no matter the weather conditions you’re working in.
Rain, mud, snow, no matter what it is, you can trust your pair of Irish Setter Wellingtons. You don’t have to worry about breaking them in, either, as they’re good to wear straight out of the box!
On top of that, they feature lightweight shanks. Because they’re nonmetallic, they might not provide as much protection as other boots on the list, but it’s still a nice addition to this great slip-on pair of boots.