4 Best Work Boots with Shorts

Summers are a busy time for construction, so if you are a tradesman or professional who finds yourself working outdoors at sites under a blazing sun you know only too well the difficulties associated with footgear in the heat.

While a pair of shorts can replace long pants, you cannot work without a proper pair of protective work boots despite the heat.

Common difficulties when doing physical labor in hot climates include lots of perspiration in your work boots that contribute to chafing, rubbing, and blisters.

Stressed-out skin may turn hard and then crack. Heat may encourage the growth of fungus leading to an athlete’s foot infection.


One way to render your summer work more comfortable while still protecting your feet from injury is to look for work boots that have features designed for hot weather and climates.

We went to some of the hottest states in the union to ask a group of professional tradesmen to test some top-quality work boots and rate them for summer temperatures.

Our top overall pick for hot weather work boots is the Keen Utility Waterproof Lansing Men’s Steel Toe Work Boot. We were impressed with the waterproof leather uppers, breathable mesh lining, and outsoles that are oil and slip-resistant for great traction. 

Another pair of work boots that convinced us was the Timberland PRO Powertrain Work Boots with Alloy Safety Toe with its sleek athletic design.

Work BootUppersOutsolesSafetyFeatures
Keen Utility Waterproof Lansing 100% LeatherRubberSteel toe, ASTM F2412 and F2413 EH, Resistant to oil and slippageWaterproof
Timberland PRO Powertrain TextileSyntheticAlloy toe boxMesh lining, Anti-fatigue technology
Skechers Cankton Men’s Athletic Suede and meshSyntheticSteel toe, ASTM compliant, EHMemory foam
Red Wing Heritage Six-inch Moc Classic100% leatherCrepe wedge soles are traction treadGoodyear Welt construction

Our List of Favorite Best Work Boots for Shorts

Best Overall Work Boot for Shorts

1.) Keen Utility Waterproof Lansing Men’s Steel Toe Work Boot

Long work shifts under the hot sun can make you miserable, so any pair of work boots that can minimize discomfort merits consideration.

These Keen Utility work boots come with some attractive features for just such a climate. First off, they integrate materials that have been produced using probiotic-based technology known as CleansportNXT. This technology breaks down perspiration odor.

Air will travel freely within the boot during wear thanks to waterproofed leather with a mesh inner lining for breathability so that even if it’s hot outside, it won’t be hot inside your work boot.

The safety features include a safety toe to protect from impact compression injuries and outsoles that are slip-resistant to navigate slippery surfaces. The steel toes are asymmetrical for roomier more comfortable protection.

These boots are ASTM F2412 and F2413 I/75 compliant. The outsoles are also compliant with ASTM F1677 MARK II and ASTM F2913 SATRA requisites. EH protection and a TPU shank for support and stability make this an impressive work boot.


      • Waterproof leather uppers
      • Breathable mesh lining
      • Outsoles are oil and slip-resistant for great traction
      • EVA midsoles offer superior cushioning
      • Probiotic-based CleansportNXT technology for resisting odor formation


      • Sizing may run small

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Most Breathable Work Boots for Shorts

2.) Timberland PRO Powertrain Work Boots with Alloy Safety Toe

Another great boot from the Timberland PRO line of work boots, these Powertrain work boots come with an impressive super breathable mesh lining for fresh feet if you have to work outdoors for a full work shift. This lining increases ventilation and airflow.

The boots also feature Timberland’s anti-fatigue technology in both the midsoles and footbeds. This technology can make a difference in the leg and joint support when moving around all day long, especially on hard surfaces.

Alloy safety toe caps offer a safety solution that is lighter in weight than steel toes. Synthetic outsoles provide great traction for all types of slippery surfaces. 

This Timberland PRO is a lightweight athletically styled work shoe offering immediate safety protection.


      • Casual relaxed design
      • Alloy safety toe caps
      • Textile lightweight boot uppers
      • Outsoles are slip-resistant
      • Great traction
      • Breathable mesh linings
      • EH protection
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Lightest Work Boots for Shorts

3.) Skechers Cankton Men’s Athletic Work Sneaker with Steel Toe

Skechers offers a lightweight breathable work boot in an impressive combination of mesh and suede that keep feet cool and fresh all work shift long.

A relaxed sporty design provides a nice appearance even when on-site wearing shorts. Footbeds are produced in memory foam give lots of cushioning when you’re out moving around on really hard surfaces.

The Cankton work boot comes with EH protection and steel safety toes to guarantee your safety while on the job. The outsole is synthetic


      • Lightweight
      • Breathable
      • Suede and mesh uppers
      • Attractive sporty design
      • Comfortable fit
      • Memory foam insoles
      • Steel safety toe caps
      • EH protection
      • ASTM standards compliant


      • Outsole traction could be improved
      • Not slip-resistant
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Premium Work Boots for Shorts

4.) Red Wing Heritage Six-inch Moc Classic Work Boots

Red Wing Heritage Work Boots are American-made with top-quality materials. Manufactured in 100% premium full-grain leather that is water repellent, and that will mold to the shape of your feet for added comfort.

Crepe wedge outsoles offer lots of traction on any type of surface and especially at construction sites.

The Heritage work boot is an “old school” boot with leather uppers, leather construction, leather-lined toes, and leather insoles that are replaceable.

They may need some breaking in like all leather, so in the beginning, they may not be as comfortable as one would like. They may size a bit larger, but they are excellent quality traditional leather work boots.


      • Stylish boots
      • Tough premium leather boot uppers
      • Crepe wedge soles are traction tread
      • Leather insoles 
      • Goodyear Welt construction
      • Leather laces offer a custom fit
      • Moc toe


      • Expensive 
      • Not waterproof
      • Require breaking in
      • No safety toe
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

What We Want in Hot Weather Work Boots

After talking to the pros about what makes a great work boot in the hottest summer heat, we looked for these features during our search.

1.) Comfort

This is important if you spend all day on your feet. Good foot support and shock absorption capabilities can lessen back, hips, and leg stress.

Comfort will depend a great deal on boots’ insoles. Some boots will feature removable insoles you can substitute when necessary.

Insoles support your feet and absorb impact shock.  They are available with padding, in memory foam, gel, or EVA.

Arch support also offers support to prevent pressure and pain in your legs and back. A thicker midsole with contouring will aid comfort.

2.) Construction

Quality materials guarantee protection and comfort if they are well put together. Soles use several methods for attachment to boot uppers. Cement, welt construction, and stitching methods are used.

Welt construction or Welt Storm construction methods are durable and may permit sole replacement when needed rather than buying new boots.

3.) Light Weight

Weight is a consideration. Heavy work boots can strain feet and legs causing pain and discomfort. Lightweight boots will help lessen physical exertion, perspiration, and improve your comfort and well-being.

4.) Materials

Materials are everything when it comes to boots. They must protect on the job.  The upper boots’ materials provide the first line of protection. The most common materials used in boot construction are leather and textiles.

5.) Mesh Linings

Boots have lots of different linings. For hotter environments, a breathable lining made out of mesh is ideal. These improve air ventilation, keep feet cool, and help excess moisture escape. Many linings and footbeds feature antimicrobial treatments to impede odors and fungus.

6.) Moisture Wicking

Breathability will offer air ventilation and contrast perspiration and odors. Sweaty feet and bad smells result from excessive perspiration.

Air circulation together with moisture-wicking help to keep feet dry and prevent chafing, blisters, infections, and fungus.

7.) Outsoles

Slip-resistant soles in good heavy rubber or synthetic tread with lugs will keep you stable to contrast slips and falls.

8.) Safety Features

Puncture-resistant plates and safety toe protection are at the top of the list at summer construction sites. Safety toe boxes in steel, alloys, or composites protect your toes from falling materials, tools, debris, and objects as well as heavy machinery.

Puncture plates are inserted in the boot bottom to protect feet from metal shards, nails, glass, or very sharp objects.

In hot weather, any kind of safety toe will get the job done. However, if you work around electricity a composite safety toe will be better as these toe caps are non-conductive. If you require maximum protection, both steel and alloy toes like aluminum are great options. 

Proper Work Boots for Shorts 

Your feet are not only important to your overall well-being, but they have a lot to do with body temperature. For this reason, getting the correct pair of work boots to wear with your summer shorts can be crucial to health.

Boots that do not cause your feet to overheat and contribute to fainting or illness are fundamental for your overall health and safety on the job.

Work Boot Heights for Shorts

When you wear work boots with shorts, you’ll be doing so because you’ll be working in hot weather. With this in mind, if you are considering work boot heights, the shorter your work boot, the better.

If your work boot is short, more of your leg will be exposed, meaning you’ll enjoy more breathability in the heat.

The ideal height for a work boot with shorts will be a six-inch boot. Should you, however, feel the need for more protection, go with an eight-inch boot, because protection should always take precedence.

Pull-On or Lace-Ups?

While pull-on boots can be incredibly comfortable, easy to keep clean, easy to put on and take off, and do have a stylish look under work pants and jeans, they may not be the best choice for shorts.

This style may not allow as much air circulation as lace-up boots making them a less than ideal choice to wear with shorts.

Boot Socks for Work Boots with Shorts

Along with the boots, you should also consider appropriate socks when wearing shorts. The biggest problem in hot weather will be how much you perspire while on the job.

Socks soaked in sweat will only make you miserable and put your foot health at risk through chafing and blisters.

The best boot socks for shorts should be made from materials that will wick moisture away, keeping your feet fresh, dry, and without unattractive odors.

You may want to avoid cotton as your preferred choice because it does not help with the evaporation of perspiration resulting in sweaty, smelly feet inside your work boots. Wool or synthetic fibers may be a better choice for their moisture-wicking properties.


Choosing the best work boots for the winter may be easier but selecting work boots to wear with shorts is equally important, perhaps even more so.

Wearing work boots is vital for your safety on the job, even with shorts. Breathability, moisture-wicking capabilities, safety, design, and functionality are all factors to search for and the marketplace offers many great options for your consideration.

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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