The Best Boots for the Everyday Commuter

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Here at Everyday Carry, we like to talk a lot about the tools and accessories we carry to get the job done. But for some people, being on their feet is the job. Whether they're military/LEO, EMTs, doctors and nurses, or those working in heavy industries, many people rely on what's on their feet as much as what's in their pockets.

So we've put together a list of great boots. Boots with the same quality and performance you would expect from a tool you carry and use every day. Any of these boots can last a lifetime with the proper care. And while you may be paying a bit more than generic department store fare, you get much more robust materials, construction, and comfort in return.

Whether you're looking for the longevity a Goodyear welt provides, the breathability and waterproofing from GORE-TEX, or the rugged classiness of a well-worn pair of work boots, in this guide, we've got a pick for you.


Dr. Martens Combs

It would have been easy to pick the iconic Dr. Martens 1460s and called it a day. Instead, we recommend a newer model from the DM catalog: the lightweight, nylon Combs. If you like the toughness of a boot but prefer a lighter pair you can wear every day, then these are the boots for you. Synthetic leather and tough nylon get the Goodyear welt treatment onto DM's signature oil- and fat-resistant AirWair sole, giving you performance without the added weight.

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5.11 Taclite 6” Coyote

5.11's a brand that needs no introduction for EDCers, with packs and apparel with a long history of performance and quality. Their Taclite Coyote boot is designed for high-performance in hot climates thanks to a breathable and lightweight design. An Ortholite sockliner, EVA midsole, air mesh panels, side vents, and EVA foam ankle padding all come together to give maximum comfort during hard use, with a 1200D nylon and suede upper and synthetic outsole rounding out the Taclite's construction.

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Bates Delta-6 ICS

Bates is a longtime LEO/military favorite, with our pick putting together a tidy list of features for comfort and performance. The Delta-6 comes with Bates's signature iCS comfort system that uses a disk in the sole you can adjust to your preferred comfort level. GORE-TEX lining keeps your feet dry, while a YKK side zipper ensures easy entry.

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Wolverine Raider

Wolverine's a well-known American brand known for their work boots, and our pick the Raider comes with the features you would expect from a boot that needs to work as hard as you do. Built with an athletic feel, the Raider comes with a full-grain leather upper with a breathable CK mesh lining for comfort during long days. The boot also uses Wolverine's Contour Welt construction that combines a resilient outsole designed to bend and flex as needed with a shock-absorbent system that uses compression pads for comfort and support.

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Thorogood 6” Moc-Toe

Thorogood is an American heritage brand best known for their moc-toe boots like the 6” seen here. It features black walnut oil-tanned leather Goodyear-welted onto Thorogood's signature oil- and slip-resistant polyurethane wedge outsole. If you're on your feet for long periods, a polyurethane footbed with a Poron 4000 comfort cushion and a rubber midsole keeps things comfortable.

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Chippewa Apache Classic Lacer

Chippewa's been making quality work boots in the USA since 1901, with the Apache one of their most popular and enduring models. It's got a classic look you can wear every day with any outfit, packing quality materials and construction like antique brass hardware, heavy-duty laces, and a Goodyear-welted Vibram outsole.

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Thursday Boot Company Captain

Thursday Boot Company walked onto the scene on the heels of a successful Kickstarter campaign that offered inexpensive but sleek work boots. The Captain is one of their flagship models with its minimalist cap-toe design that dresses up any outfit, featuring chrome leather with full glove leather lining for a comfortable fit. A cork footbed and EVA comfort strip adds even more comfort when worn, while Goodyear welt construction gives the expected water resistance and re-soleability to keep the Captains walking.

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ECCO Track 6 GTX

ECCO's Track 6 boots came to us highly recommended by people who spend most of their day on their feet, vouched for their comfort and longevity. The 7” boot comes with a leather upper and leather sole, with speed lace hardware and a thick padded collar for the best fit and comfort during long use. A GORE-TEX liner keeps your feet waterproof, while the Track 6's understated design lets you wear them with pants, jeans, or uniforms as the task demands.

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Danner Light II

When you think of Danner boots, the first models that come to mind are most likely their military combat boots or their iconic Mountain Light hiking boots. For our pick we went with the Light IIs, a model with a good balance of classy design and high-tech boot features. Leather and 1000D nylon lend durability and quality to the Light's uppers, with GORE-TEX lining and a Vibram outsole keeping your feet waterproof and stable on both wet and dry surfaces.

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Red Wing Iron Ranger 8119

This American brand has been setting the bar for work boot styles and quality for over 100 years(!), with iconic models like the Iron Ranger seen above. The 8119 features a Vibram outsole for extra grip combined with the Iron Ranger's Goodyear welt construction, premium Oxblood Mesa leather, and triple-stitched fit and finish to give you the last pair of work boots you'll ever need to buy.

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Do you have a pair of boots you wear every day? Let us know your favorites in the comments below!

Header photo submitted by Jeff.

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Discussion (48 total)

I'd be curious to learn if anyone has tried out Thursday boots and what their thoughts might be...

In other news, I can easily recommend the Redwings!
I know a guy at work who's dad has been selling red wings for years and he himself wears them at his position in Costco (I work there too). He swears by them and I have heard that from a few. I just have to make the investment lol.
They are amazing, my only problem with them is that the leather scratches easily. Fortunately for me I have a good polishing I like to use, and its not much work covering up the marks and scratches. Asides from that, I love them and they were a perfect option for me and my tight budget.
Got my Madras ropers on right now. Very comfortable.
I've eyed the Chippewa service boots for a long time; they're beautiful. I have an excellent pair of Red Wings (technically they're Irish Setters, so not USA made, but still top quality Red Wing construction) that are coming up on two years old now and better than when they were brand new!
I enjoyed this article though I rarely use boots here in Las Vegas, otherwise known as the surface of the sun. However, I can't help but throw out a boot I bought at Costco for less than $40 - Khombu Ravine. Pretty nice boot and it will be getting more use once Fall hits. Comfy boot too.
Thanks for the suggestion! I like boots of all kinds. How are the Ravines holding up for you?
I can't give a fair/accurate reply yet since I haven't worn them since Feb/March then onto other shoes but they were quite durable, breathable and with nice bottom soles for hiking or dirt and gravel usage. I had to get a size 10 for a 9.5 foot and yeah they seem to be a true to size boot so I wear thicker socks and lace up as tight as I can for decent wear. Costco didn't have the half sizes at the time but if they come back in stock again with half sizes I'll be all over them. Highly recommend oh I mentioned the "true" size as that is an issue I have read among people who buy good (expensive) boots (Massdrop community).
I purchased a pair of the Red Wing Blacksmiths (like the Iron Rangers, but without the toe-cap) and have been wearing them for around a year now, I must say they are the best thing I've ever put on my feet!
I love my Doc Marten Temperley Pascals. They are like the 1460s but have a slightly more refined silhouette, weigh 2/3 as much, and come in some nicer leathers. I find the temperley leather is softer and more flexible. I have a pair of Pascals and a pair of 1460s, and I usually choose the Pascals.
I wear a random assortment of 670-1 complaint boots, but my go to weekend boots are my Red Wing heritage Beckman's. Over any and all casual tennis shoes, or combat boots I have ever worn. Not even my beloved Danner's hold a torch to my Redwings fit and finish and all day comfort.
The Garmont T8 is another boot that is a must own for men. It is the best all around boot I've worn in 20 years of Combat Arms to include SOF in th Army. Built rock solid and provides all day comfort. I've worn Danner, Nike, Oakley, Altama, Adidas and every boot nearly made in some of the worst possible environments and conditions imaginable or days, weeks and at times months of continuous wear. Outside of specialty boots; approach or mountaineering the T8 stood up to and performed about e and beyond. Oh and the traction!!! Epic traction! So if you want a quality, well built, comfortable, superior traction, ingenious lacing system that's affordable, look no further because the GARMONT T8 is that boot. http://uspatriottactical.com/garmont-t8-bifida-boots-desert-tan/
The timing of this article was perfect! I've been looking for a pair of boots that I could wear day to day, but also wear to work (jeans and collared shirts) and look nice. I've NEVER worn boots before, so the Chippewas seemed like the perfect choice (entry level price, but still good quality). Thanks!
I hope they serve you well!
I'd never wear any of these. I have worn combat boots (like the 5.11) before and I personally dislike 5.11 very much. The wolverines are about as close to boots that I'll wear. Give me a pair of merrells and I'm good. If I'm wearing boots, they will be Danners, but nothing like the ones pictured here. Only American made.
Carolina work boots. Used to buy Danner's but they discontinued the boots I wore. Hard use, I wear em till the rubbers gone, lucky to get 2 years, but very comfortable and very well built. Will never buy tennis shoes again.
In the combat boot category I am a fan of the Bates Lightweight Durashocks. The boots will need to be replaced every few years as the soles will eventually shred, but for the performance gains due to weight savings I think it is a solid trade-off to pay such a "tax".
What, no mention of Taft boots?
I like Danner Tachyon GTXs as they give me technical performance, light weight, and waterproofness without the overly tactical look. Since they're more of a 'sneakerboot' I can wear them in the city with street clothes. Pop in a pair of Superfeet since they don't come with much support and they're awesome, just wish they weren't so high at 8".
You need to check out Garmont T8. 20 years in Combat Arms in the Army and these are hands down the best all around boot I've ever worn. http://uspatriottactical.com/garmont-t8-bifida-boots-desert-tan/
In Australia, it's hard to go past the RM Williams Craftsman for comfort, quality and versatility. Issued to our Army Officers as dress uniform, worn by farmers and businessmen alike. Big investment up front, but will look good forever. Treat yourself!
I'm a huge fan of any sort of military boot, and wow those look pretty damn nice! I've been meaning to get Chelseas for the longest time, and this isn't helping, haha.
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