5 Best Railroad Work Boots

If you are one of the many professionals that work for the railroads, you know well enough the challenges and issues regarding personal safety that you face every day you go to work.

Railroad professionals deal with the heaviest of machinery daily, so good PPE is a given and this includes a good pair of protective work boots. 

We asked a group of professional railroad men to test railroad work boots for us and let us in on what kind of work boots serve the most for their professional needs.

Best Railroad Work Boots

Our favorite overall best railroad work boots are the Thorogood GEN-Flex Men’s Second Series Work Boot. Designed with non-metallic and corrosion-resistant composite safety toes, these railroad boots protect from impact injury.

Another pair that merit consideration is the Timberland Boondock Pro Waterproof Work Boots. This work boot is super resistant to the elements resisting oil and slippage and provides EH protection. Thermal insulation and waterproofing make these boots an optimal choice for railroad professionals

Work BootUppersOutsolesSafetyFeatures
Thorogood GEN-Flex Men’s Second Series100% leatherGEN-flex2Composite safety toePU footbed, Composite shank, Goodyear welt
Timberland Boondock Pro Waterproof 100% leatherSynthetic, TPUComposite safety toeWaterproof, Insulated
Keen Pittsburgh Utility Steel Toe 100% Nubuck leatherRubberSteel toeWaterproof, EVA  and PU midsole
Wolverine Men’s Raider WO2421 Six-inch Premium full-grain leatherRubber, LugASTM F2413-18 EH compliant, Composite toeMesh lining manages moisture
Carhartt CMF6366 Men’s Six-inch LeatherRubberComposite safety toe, EHMoisture-wicking lining

Our List of Best Railroad Work Boots

Best Overall Railroad Work Boots

1.) Thorogood GEN-Flex Men’s Second Series Work Boot

Designed with non-metallic and corrosion-resistant composite safety toes, these railroad boots protect from impact injury.

Removable single-density polyurethane footbeds guarantee your comfort during long work shifts together with EVA cushioned flex insoles. 

100% leather uppers are attached to GEN-flex” outsoles with the Goodyear storm welt construction method.

The soles resist electric shock, and the heels can withstand 18,000 volts at 60 Hz for a minute and are ASTM F2913-11 compliant as slip-resistant. Outsole traction is guaranteed with traction lugs that are multidirectional. 


      • GEN-flex2 outsole
      • Composite shank
      • EH compliant
      • Removable PU footbed
      • 100% Leather uppers
      • EVA cushion flex insole
      • Goodyear Welt Storm construction
      • Waterproof 


      • Durability considerations
      • Pricey
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best Waterproof Railroad Work Boots

2.) Timberland Boondock Pro Waterproof Work Boots

This work boot is super resistant to the elements in various work environments. They resist oil and slippage and provide electrical hazard protection.

Thermal insulation and waterproofing make this an optimal choice for railroad professionals. An anti-fatigue design is built to keep legs and feet comfortable during long workdays.

An amply padded top collar, outsoles with traction lugs for mud and snow, are only a few of the characteristics that make these boots appealing. The Boondock complies with ASTM F2892-11 electrical hazard certification requirements. 

The antifatigue design with inverted cones offers support for compression and rebound. These boots are completely waterproof with a waterproof membrane inside and treated leather uppers.

These boots will protect professionals from inclement weather in the rain, sleet, or snow, and are available in six-inch and eight-inch options.


      • Composite Safety toe and EH protection
      • TPU Slip-Resistant outsole
      • Dual-purpose Lacing Hardware
      • Waterproofed and Insulated
      • Antimicrobial treated Mesh Lining controls odors
      • Metal protector friendly
      • Fiberglass shank
      • Designed for wide feet


      • Somewhat heavy
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Best Electrical Hazard Protection Railroad Work Boots

3.) Keen Pittsburgh Utility Steel Toe Work Boot

This is a truly resistant work boot thanks to quality materials and solid construction. This is a rugged, tough, durable work boot.

It features asymmetrical steel toes for impact protection with an external rubber guard. The rubber outsole adds an extra level of protection from workplace risks.

Exceptionally comfortable due to fantastic padding, a lining wicks out moisture from perspiration to keep feet dry all day.

This work boot features a breathable lining and is waterproof. The EVA midsole guarantees comfort and solid foot support with an anti-fatigue design.

This six-inch work boot complies with ASTM standards F2412 and F2413, I/75, and C/75 EH.


      • Good for intemperate weather thanks to waterproofing
      • Protection against, water, slippery surfaces, and falling debris
      • Breathable waterproof membrane
      • EVA midsole
      • Asymmetrical steel toes


      • Needs a period of breaking in
      • Durability considerations
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Best Protective Toe Railroad Work Boots

4.) Wolverine Men’s Raider WO2421 Six-inch Work Boots

This Wolverine Raider Work Boot boasts a sturdy rubber outsole with lugs for dependable traction on uneven terrain and slippery surfaces.

Uppers produced in quality leather retain warmth and liquids are not able to penetrate keeping feet dry during your workday.

Comfort is a priority for Wolverine thanks to a nicely cushioned footbed that cradles your foot on any terrain. The polyurethane outsole is lightweight but offers impressive shock absorption. The boot is ASTM F2413-18 rated.


      • 100% Full-grain leather uppers
      • Contour flexible Welt construction 
      • Removable Multishox insole 
      • Polyurethane lightweight midsole 
      • CK breathable mesh lining 
      • Resists slippage, oil, and abrasion
      • Lugged rubber traction outsole 


        • Sizing may not be true to size
        • Quality considerations
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Best Moisture-wicking Railroad Work Boots

5.) Carhartt CMF6366 Men’s Six-inch Work Boot

An impressive leather work boot with a padded cushioned collar that offers rugged flexibility. Constructed with high standards, these boots have been designed to offer flexibility, support, and comfort.

FastDry technology in the boot lining wicks away moisture while a Carhartt polyurethane foam cushion insole combats foot fatigue for increased comfort.

The EVA midsole has a polyurethane strobel pad for more cushioning. The rugged tough rubber outsole has welt cement construction. A composite safety toe protects from impact injury and complies with ASTM F2413-18 requisites.


      • EH protection
      • Composite safety toe
      • FastDry moisture-wicking
      • Shock-absorbing cushioned midsole
      • Insole with cushioning
      • Rubber outsole
      • Ladder Lock grips


      • Steel shank
      • Durability considerations
      • Water-resistant but not waterproof
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

What Are the Necessary Features for Best Railroad Work Boots?

Safety and Protection

Puncture-Resistant Midsoles

Right off the bat, an obvious necessary protective feature is a work boot midsole that resists punctures. Railroad professionals regularly work with objects that are pointed or have sharp edges.

Safety Toes

Walking around locomotives, railroad cars, and heavy machinery means that at any time you can trip and cause impact injury to your toes. Heavy material or tools can also fall onto feet from above and crush toes, so safety toes become a necessity.

Safety toes can be steel, alloy, or composite and will allow you freedom of movement without worry. 

Outsoles with Slip Resistance

Railroad professionals deal with all types of surfaces from uneven to slippery to railroad tracks. Slip-resistant outsoles are crucial to avoid slips and falls that can cause injuries.

Safety Requirements

When using features like puncture-resistant or slip-resistant outsoles, safety toes, or others, for you to feel safe these features need to be certified. 

When considering work boots that boast these features look for those that meet ASTM and OHS safety standards. This certification means that the boots you are considering are compliant with safety requirements and have been tested. 


Many railroad professionals prefer a heel that is slightly elevated because they deal with uneven terrain and surfaces that potentially can puncture work boot bottoms.

Ergonomic Design

When we refer to ergonomic design, we refer to the process and the systems that enhance the fit of workwear.

The word “ergonomic” is applied to anything that involves people, so you’ll find it in reference to the workplace, equipment, and protective clothing. The ergonomic design intends to reduce the risk of harm to workers.

Ergonomic take into consideration a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

      • Anthropometry or body sizes and shapes
      • Biomechanics of muscles, strength, and force
      • Environmental light, noise, vibrations, radiation, heat, or cold

When looking for railroad work boots with ergonomic features, these merit attention.

Midsoles with Shock Absorbency

When dealing with uneven terrain or surfaces like railroad tracks or surrounding areas, shock-absorbing midsoles and footbeds can make a significant difference in your comfort.

Good Fit

There is nothing worse than a badly fitting piece of footwear that you must wear for a long work shift. Rubbing, blisters, and discomfort will not only make your day miserable but negatively influence your performance and production. Make sure to get the right fit.

Breaking In

The longer the breaking in period with a new pair of boots, the longer the misery of foot discomfort. Ideally, boots that are well made with quality materials and the correct size will need little or no breaking in.

Construction and Durability


The better the quality of the materials used in work boot construction, the better chance you have that your boots will last longer.

Premium leathers, rubber or synthetic outsoles, and brass or nickel hardware will all contribute to a longer lifespan of your boots.

Construction Methods

The three common types of construction used are:

1.) Cement. This is the least costly method for manufacturing companies. Boot uppers are glued to boot soles with industrial-grade adhesives. This attachment will probably offer less durability because adhesives deteriorate with use over time.

2.) Goodyear Welt. Renowned for durability, this method offers water-resistant. Plastic, leather, or rubber is used to attach the soles and upper boots. This technique is more expensive but will permit you to replace the outsole.

3.) Molded. This kind of sole attachment uses no stitching or adhesives. Injection attaches the upper boot to the sole. This kind of binding is water-resistant.

The principal drawback for this type of attachment is the impossibility of repair.  Once the sole wears out, it will be time for a new pair of boots.

By getting the best kind of boot construction your budget allows, you’ll avoid buying a new pair of work boots every several months.

Why Railroad Professionals Need the Best Work Boots

Railroad professionals are exposed to numerous hazards in the workplace. Here are several important reasons why, as a railroad professional, you require protection from footwear.

1.) Impact Protection

Repeatedly exposed to heavy machinery, tracks, vehicles, tools, and more, professionals are exposed to impact injury from trips, falls, and crush injuries due to falling materials or objects.

2.) Electric Hazard Protection

Because railroad professionals work near railroad tracks, they are constantly in contact with electrical sources and devices. This means that the risk of electrocution, even if remote, exists.

3.) Weather and Waterproofing

The pros that keep railroads running work necessarily outdoors. This means that at some point they may encounter rain, cold, snow, wind, mud, and any number of climate-induced conditions.

Decide early on if you need insulation, water resistance, or waterproofing for the environmental conditions you work in.

4.) Comfort

If your work long work shifts and most railroad pros do, your feet need to be as comfortable as possible. Pain will make you miserable, provide a distraction, and influence adversely both performance and production.


As a railroad professional, work boots are fundamental because you will spend most of the workday on your feet. You need boots that are supportive, protective, and comfortable.

Safety features like toe caps, electric hazard protection, and waterproofing will make a difference and can provide railroad workers with the necessary protection to keep them safe on the job.

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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