The Boot Book

Boot Book: The Essentials

Thorogood / American Union / MSRP $160.

Durability, comfort and protection never go out of style in the work and safety footwear category. And even as the footwear business has been challenged in 2020, work footwear has continued to deliver with performance, style and more.

The work footwear category has remained strong in 2020 despite the industry’s challenges. “Work and safety footwear has been successful, driven by the needs of essential workers. As service and construction jobs resume, this category should continue to outperform,” said Beth Goldstein, fashion footwear and accessories analyst at The NPD Group in a NPD Retail Tracking Service report about second quarter sales.

Lightweight and athletic-inspired work and safety footwear continues to fuel new designs. On the business side, the disruption of supply chains for many brands, coupled with the financial struggles of many U.S. retailers, has the Fall ’20 and Spring ’21 ordering cycle  in a topsy-turvy state, brands and retailers tell us. With this in mind, our Boot Book selections range from at-once and Fall ’20 offerings to upcoming Spring ’21 launches.

Thorogood / American Union

These waterproof boots feature a seam-sealed upper and waterproof leather, with a lug outsole offering reliable traction. American Union series safety toe work boots are Union Made in Wisconsin, and backed by the Union Sportsman’s Alliance. Available Fall ’20 / MSRP $160.

Impacto / Metguard Pro

Not a boot, but rather a safety footwear attachment, the Metguard Pro protects the metatarsal area of the foot with an extended design that compliments steel toe cap and regular safety footwear. The lip of the Metguard Pro sits on top of the foot at load point and secures to footwear with existing laces or optional straps. It helps protect the upper foot by deflecting and dispersing the impact of falling loads. Available Now / MSRP $44.

“Our company continues to see a growing trend, escalated by COVID-19, of the need for athletic safety footwear that performs like sneakers with added safety features. As warehousing and logistics continue to become a larger share of the US workforce due to e-commerce increases, workers in these industries need lightweight, protective shoes that can provide extreme cushion on concrete floors and the ability to log a lot of hours of walking and flexing.” — Brent Jennings VP of Marketing, Warson Brands

Iron Age / Solidifier

This full-grain leather, waterproof work boot features a lightweight polyurethane outsole for durability in outdoor elements, along with a defined heel for added traction and stability. Solidifier is perfect for masons, concrete workers, landscapers, utility workers, and oil and gas workers who want the look and cleanability of a wedge outsole plus the functionality of a defined heel and waterproof liner. Available Fall ’20 / MSRP $143.

Wolverine/ Hellcat UltraSpring Wedge

Combining the classic style and durability of a work boot with modern performance cushioning, the Hellcat UltraSpring Wedge delivers a springy, lightweight ride. The upper is locked to the outsole using Goodyear welt construction for added durability. The waterproof leather design is available in safety (CarbonMAX composite toe) and soft toe. Available Spring ’21 / MSRP $165.

“Athletic-inspired safety styles continue to be sought after by the work consumer.”— Karry Johnson VP/GM, Hytest

Xena Workwear / Omega EH Safety Boot

Seeking stylish safety footwear for women? New brand Xena, a Milwaukee-based startup, delivers with offerings such as the Omega Safety EH Boot, a lightweight style that is slip-resistant and has Electrical Hazard certification. It also features an almond shape steel-toe design. Available Now / MSRP $180.

Red Wing / EXOS Lite

The brand’s lightest work boot ever, Red Wing’s EXOS Lite is designed for indoor and outdoor medium-duty jobs in warehousing, distribution, construction, light manufacturing and service environments. The boot’s SwitchBack Support System requires less material and avoids unnecessary layers of leather found in a traditional work boot, reducing the boot’s weight without sacrificing support, comfort or durability. Available Now / MSRP $209.99.

“Professional women want workwear that will allow them to dress for success in a meeting while having the flexibility to seamlessly transition to the facility floor or a construction site afterwards… Our versatile products allow women to look and perform their very best no matter the circumstance.” — Anastasia Kraft Founder and CEO, Xena Workwear

Hytest / Annex Metatarsal Guard Athletic Shoe

Part of Hytest’s Xergy Athletic Collection, the Annex Athletic shoe features an Xergy anti-fatigue foam midsole, an oil-and-slip resistant rubber outsole, and the Hytest-exclusive Terrapin internal met-guard technology, which deflects energy and absorbs shock. A limited run of 48 pairs of this shoe were made available in August with a full launch set for the spring. Available Spring ’21 / MSRP $130.

“In the past few months we’ve seen strong growth in our e-commerce channels and soft toe work boots has become a leading category, as work boots cross over into casual wear more than ever before.” — Lauren Poole, Brand Marketing Director, Wolverine