What Is The Most Comfortable Work Boot? Lace Up vs. Slip On

Whether you are a carpenter, landscaper, hiker, or another type of active individual, a comfortable work boot or hiking boot that is sturdy with proven slip resistance is crucial to your daily tool kit in order to avoid foot pain and experience maximum performance. For on-the-job footwear, you might have a good idea of the material or even the general look you’re aiming for.

However, the shoe debate of the century still rages on. Lace up vs. slip on work boots: which is more comfortable and better at preventing foot pain?

Should you go for easy-access or a firm fit? Looking for a sleek, but waterproof leather boot or a rugged steel toe boot with a sturdy rubber outsole? Whatever your personal taste and needs are, this guide will help you make the final decision regarding what type of boot is right for you.

Lace Up vs. Slip On: The Difference

At first glance, very little distinguishes lace up and slip on work boots besides what their names already tell you. They are both able to receive similar protections should you need to have a waterproof leather, suede or nubuck ankle boot. However, there are several ways in which having or not having laces makes all the difference.

Both types of work boots offer different benefits, so you should choose a pair based on your day-to-day activities. The main factors you should consider when deciding between men’s lace up work boots and slip on work boots are:

  • Safety

  • Convenience

  • Fit retention

  • Upkeep

  • Comfort

  • Performance


Work boots designed for safety are not always the safest in certain situations—a paradox, we know. That’s why you have to pay extra attention to your work environment and use before choosing a pair.

Keep these points in mind:

  • Lace Up – Lace ups are ideal for workspaces that require maximum puncture and slip resistance, like construction sites. Their firmness aids in ankle support, which will come in handy should you trip or slip. However, they can also slow you down or present a potential trip hazard should their laces come loose.

  • Slip On – Slip ons, also known as a toe boot, are notoriously more comfortable, which actually prevents on-the-job slipping, according to Harvard researchers. As for ankle support, the higher quality the slip on, the happier your ankles will be. The downside is that these often offer less puncture resistance than lace up boots.

However, even the safest and most high-quality shoes won’t protect you if you don’t know how to wear work boots properly. Save yourself the hassle of injuries, missed work, and sore feet by practicing good footwear habits, which include:

  • Properly lacing up your shoes

  • Choosing the ideal size boot for each foot (your feet are sisters, not twins)

  • Wearing the correct socks to ensure the perfect fit

  • Break them in before wearing them to work