4 Best Work Boots for Garbage Men

If you are an ecological professional tasked with collecting garbage, you are engaged in a heavy-duty profession. Most people don’t appreciate the importance of this profession or the daily hazards faced by these professionals.

The importance of this profession goes unnoticed until service is interrupted and then these men and women are among the most requested professionals in the area.

Sanitation engineers or waste management professionals, traditionally called garbage men deal with a multitude of debris, sharp and pointy objects, poisons, chemicals, rotting food, and much more.

So, it goes without saying that this profession requires great PPE and above all work boots that offer adequate and reliable protection.

Best Work Boots for Garbage Men

There are hundreds of work boots for waste management in the marketplace. We went to the source and asked a squad of local garbage men to test the best work boots for us while engaging in collection activities. 

Our top pick is the Muck Boot® Chore Wellington Safety Boots. These tall Wellington safety boots are an impressive option for sanitation professionals. They feature 100% synthetic uppers, rubber soles, and most importantly are 100% waterproof. 

We also liked the Tingley 15-inch Cleated pilot Steel Toe Knee Boots as a reliable budget option.

There are over 100,000 waste management professionals in the United States which may appear like a lot, but if you consider the volume of trash that we produce, it’s not.

Out and about often before dawn, these professionals do one of the dirtiest jobs around and render our neighborhoods and lives better.

Work BootsMaterialStileSafetyInsulation
Muck Boot® Chore Wellington Neoprene, Vibram soleTall work bootSteel shankYes
Bogs Forge Men’s Steel Toe Rubber Waterproof 70% Rubber PVCCalf bootsSteel toeYes
Honeywell Ademco PVC Blend PVCCalf bootsSteel toesNo
Tingley 15-inch Cleated pilot Steel Toe Knee Boot PVCKnee bootsSteel toeNo

Our Favorite Best Work Boots for a Garbage Man

Best Overall Work Boots for Garbage Men

1.) Muck Boot® Chore Wellington Safety Boots

Footgear manufacturer Muck Boot® is renowned for its ample selection of boots. These Wellington safety boots are an impressive option for sanitation professionals.  They feature 100% synthetic uppers attached to rubber soles and most importantly are 100% waterproof. 

A rubber outsole is a slippage-resistant feature for surfaces that are slippery regardless of the causes. They will resist most oil-based fluids and other chemicals. Their performance is characterized by a strong grip.

The boot design offers exceptional ankle support and leg protection. The footbed has ample cushioning for increased comfort and the EVA midsole provides substantial shock absorption.

Boot uppers also resist abrasion. The Muck Boot comes with an Airmesh lining for breathability that will wick away perspiration.


      • 100% waterproof
      • Slip-resistant rubber outsole
      • soft toe
      • ATSM rated
      • Heat retention
      • Shock absorption
      • Loops for easy pull-on/off


      • Rigid
      • Somewhat heavy
      • Boot shaft may pinch more developed leg calves
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best Rubber Work Boots for Garbage Men

2.) Bogs Forge Men’s Steel Toe Rubber Waterproof Work Boots

These rubber waterproof work boots are used in the field by oil industry workers, and they protect your feet even when you are ankle-high in water, mud, or solid waste for the very same reasons they work for oil workers.

The boot shaft is 14.25 inches in height from the top to the arch making them ideal calf-length boots. The boots are made from a blend of rubber and neoprene with rubber accounting for 70% of the boot construction.

A smaller neoprene component has been added. The outsoles are 100% rubber and anti-slip on all kinds of surfaces.

These work boots also have an inner bootie that is stretchy that increases breathability. The boot opening at the calf is a little roomier, so air ventilation is possible.

For safety purposes, these boots feature steel safety toe caps and also have a pull tag at the top to help with getting them on. Neo-tech insulation allows you to wear these in winter to keep your feet comfortable, dry, and warm.


      • 100% waterproof
      • Comfortable lining
      • Anti-slip
      • Thermal insulating lining


      • Pricey
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best PVC Work Boots for Garbage Men

3.) Honeywell Ademco PVC Blend Work Boots

These are a terrific, affordably priced pair of highly-rated work boots if you need to trudge through waste. The boots boast a unique design with a backward slope.

Both the boot uppers and the outsoles are made in PVC making them resistant to chemicals and incredibly durable. The boot upper and the outsole are welded together without seams so liquid cannot enter unless they are perforated or cut.

If you spend a lot of time on your feet, they are comfortable thanks to a contoured footbed that also gives lots of support in the ball of your feet and the heel. Like any waterproof pair of PVC work boots, breathability is limited.

Boots come with steel safety toe caps. The outsoles are thick with a bit of a higher heel and feature lugs for stability and traction. All of the stress points have extra reinforcement.

Deep cleats, a steel toe, and superior injection-molded construction make this an attractive budget-friendly option.


      • Great for trudging through muck and waste
      • Steel toe protection
      • Flexible for easy movement
      • Lightweight at 0.8lbs.
      • Budget-friendly


      • Not true to size, they run large
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best Knee-High Work Boots for Garbage Men

4.) Tingley 15-inch Pilot Knee Boot

Trumbull Industries produces the Tingley brand of PVC high-quality knee boots. This material is flexible and soft for comfort on the job.

Legs are well-protected from water, snow, mud, much, and waste and stress points are reinforced. Outsoles are also made in PVC and injection-molded construction is seamless for fantastic 100% waterproofing.

The design gives extra space for breathability, but if you find them to be too roomy, a pair of extra thick socks should resolve this. A steel toe protects from impact injury.

Outsoles are thick with heavy cleats and anti-slip. The soles are thick enough to be puncture-resistant. This is a budget-friendly affordable boot, with good safety features and is ideal for trudging through waste and liquids.


      • Tough outsole 
      • 100% waterproof
      • Lined interior
      • Knee-high
      • Budget-friendly


      • Limited color options
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

What Is Waste Collection and Management?

As the name implies and as the BLS – Bureau of Labor Statistics refers, waste management is the collection, treatment, and eventual disposal of unwanted, discarded waste materials. As a profession, it includes several functions among which we find:

• Collection and transport locally of waste materials

• Solid waste management from commercial, industrial, and residential sites

• Grouping of materials for distribution to specific recycling facilities

• Cleaning of contaminated sites and properties, soil, water, etc.

• Septic pumping and other services

Working Conditions for a Waste Management Professional

A dangerous profession with numerous fatalities annually, it is not a profession for the faint of heart. These professionals, lift heavy objects and bags of trash as well as jump on and off moving garbage trucks. They also risk being hit by cars and have to deal with intolerable odors for their entire work shift. 

Even with technological advancements in garbage collection, where systems are almost entirely automated, these sanitation engineers still deal with challenging environmental situations filled with spoiled food, broken appliances, and every imaginable type of discarded object.

Garbage men work principally outdoors, therefore these professionals are exposed to weather conditions whether rain, summer heat, snow, wind, hail, or other environmental conditions.

Garbage collection is a year-round activity and professionals face a multitude of weather conditions, terrain, and situations, so the correct PPE becomes essential.

Why Work Boots?

When you collect garbage, you may come into contact with sharp objects, toxic chemicals, liquids, and biologically hazardous substances. The proper footgear becomes a priority to protect your feet.

Is this Profession Dangerous?

This profession is considered among the most dangerous US professions. Garbage men are exposed to the hazards of fire, poisoning, and puncture wounds together with extreme weather conditions.

According to BLS statistics from 2019, illnesses and injuries for waste collection and recycling professionals amounted to 5.5 accidents every 100 employees during 2018.

Garbage collection incidents alone rose from 5.1 to 5.9. Injured employees complained of strains, sprains, and tears with an average loss of 13 workdays.

SWANA (Solid Waste Association of North America) together with the NWRA (National Waste and Recycling Association) reiterate increasing concerns about worker safety.

Among the hazards that waste management workers face include:

• Road safety due to distracted drivers, unsafe conditions, poor visibility

• Dangerous chemicals from chemical recycling, toxic and corrosive substances, medical and infectious waste, and radioactive materials

• Cuts and wounds due to sharp waste, syringes, needles, blades, etc.

Choosing the Best Boots for Garbage Collection

With so many work boots in the marketplace to select from, choosing the best ones for garbage collection can be challenging. We’ve done some research and testing for you. When looking for the best work boots for waste management, we considered the following.

1.) Materials

While leather uppers on work boots are exceptional and desirable, when it comes to waste management the proper footgear should preferably be manufactured in rubber, neoprene, PVC, or a blend of these materials.

2.) Comfort 

Comfort is fundamental for any work boot especially if you are working all day long or even overtime. Some of these types of work boots will feature contoured footbeds and comfort linings. Others will ensure air ventilation despite being waterproof.

3.) Durability

Work boots that are suitable for garbage collection will usually be produced in PVC, rubber, or similar. While this type of material can be subject to cracking after considerable wear. As a result, some manufacturers will reinforce stress points to increase lifespan and durability.

4.) High Shaft

While a work boot that reaches your calf is reasonably good, a knee-high boot is preferable. Work boots with adjustable collars are optimal for garbage collection.

This type of boot can be clinched at the top which can help to prevent debris from entering inside the boot. A work boot shaft should ideally measure at least fourteen inches from the boot arch.

5.) Safety

Because garbage collection deals with debris, and heavy materials, work boots equipped with steel toes and perhaps metatarsal guards are a wise choice. Another desirable safety feature is lugged outsoles for efficacious traction on all kinds of terrain.

6.) Slip Resistance

Working in garbage collection exposes you to constant risks of slipping and falling on the job. Leaking liquids, as well as bad weather, can render surfaces slippery, so slip-resistant outsoles are crucial when navigating challenging working conditions.

7.) Waterproofing

One of the primary reasons you wear work boots during garbage collection is to prevent liquids from reaching your feet. Work boots for waste management should be 100% waterproof.


For sanitation professionals that walk all day on all types of surfaces, in all kinds of weather, and through waste, chemicals, muck, mud, water, snow, and all kinds of liquids and substances both toxic and non, good protective work boots are essential if not crucial to their safety and well-being on the job.

The marketplace offers many valid options, and we hope our four choices will get you started on the road to finding the best work boots for your professional needs.

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.

Related Posts: