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I work as a welder so naturally my feet live in heavy steel toe and leather work boots for at least ten hours a day. I have always gotten Caterpillar brand boots because my brother works at a place that sells them and can get me amazing discounts. I haven't really tried other brands because of this. I have found that they are good boots in that they last me about a year or two until I either walk the tread off the bottom or burn holes through the top... Not too shabby. The problem is that they aren't very comfortable after the original insoles break down and even the expensive gel insoles only last a few weeks at best.

I need comfortable boots which can also hold up to at least a year of work! Does anyone have any recommendations for either new boots or insoles to keep my current boots around for another couple of months?
 

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I'm a big fan of Red Wing boots. :thumbup1gif: They have stores around here that specialize in work boots. You would be best served by going to a place like that so you can see all of the boots and talk with knowledgeable people.
 

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I wear Rocky Eliminators at work. They normally last me about 2 years at work and another 2 years on the farm. Danner also makes a very good boot. Prior to switching to the Rockys, boots lasted me about 6 months.
 

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I'm a big fan of Red Wing boots. :thumbup1gif: They have stores around here that specialize in work boots. You would be best served by going to a place like that so you can see all of the boots and talk with knowledgeable people.
dieselshadow, the old style redwing boots was wonderful, but ah they too got dragged down into the gutter yrs ago when they started sourcing their shoes from across the pond. that's when u couldn't get sewed on soles with ur nailed on heels-ouch! how I experienced all this knowledge-well I had to buy redwing shoes, because back then being a bigger fella equaled a better foundation. after trying cheaper type shoes I switched to red wings, mainly because of workmenship of their shoes, and the ability to build my bottom of shoe soles up easily. my soles had to be sewed on, and my heels nailed on. well when they started glueing all of these items on, I was stuck in a bad place for a shoemaker who could do that type of shoe work.

I now have a 3rd generation shoe maker who does a pretty good job of my shoes with super glue, who would of ever thought the commercial that showed the guy hanging off that I-beam would some day be keeping my shoe soles together for me on my redwing shoes
 

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I've worn rocky boots for years. Rocky's quality seems to have fallen off. After having bad luck with the last 2 pairs of rockys I bought a pair of Danners . I really like the Danners , will buy them again.
 

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I had a pair of Rocky "Snow Stalkers" years ago. They were great for keeping your feet warm and dry but not so much for standing all day. I switched over to Chippewa Boots. I have a pair of these on as I type... I end up replacing them every 5 or 6 years. Although I do tend to wear mine until they are completely falling apart! :laugh::laugh:
 

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The quality of boots/shoes has declined so much over the years. And as I get older I find my feet much more sensitive. Finding a quality boot is very difficult anymore.

I have also found that the insoles will wear out long before the tread or uppers.

While Caterpillar might be a good name in equipment I think they just slapped their name on some cheap imported boots.

Danner boots used to be my go to but they have also seen the same decline.

I agree with dieselshadow in that you need to go to a quality boot shop but be prepared to pay $200+ for a good pair of boots.

I know one guy who has had terrible foot problems all his life along with breaking several bones in one foot a couple years ago. But he continues to buy his boots at Wal-Mart and continues to suffer.
 

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I wore Red Wings for about four years, and after going through almost 5 pair I'd had enough. I don't know what they changed, but the ones I had certainly didn't hold up like they should have for the $250+ price tag.

I tried a couple of others, forget what they were but have been wearing a pair of Ariat slip on work boots for about 3 years now. They're pretty trashed at this point, soles are bare, stitching is coming apart and the leather is cut on one of them. They lasted longer than anything else I've had though, and have been very comfortable for store-bought boots.

I'm looking for a new pair myself right now, haven't found anything suitable yet. Been to three different local stores and either nothing in my size or nothing that meets the requirements set by work. May end up having to order online.
 

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To me, Red Wing used to be the best. Wore them for many years, but over time they've lowered their quality; and don't last. Because we're repaid for boot purchases by the company, I buy what is most comfortable, not by brand. Don't know what I'll do after I retire. Might have to go back to wearing sandals and grow my hair long again. :laugh:
 

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I've been wearing Ariat boots too. I don't stand all day. But they seem to wear real well. I've had a pair of their tie shoes for over a year now and they have held up well enough for me to pick up a pair of slip on boots for work around the farm. Very comfortable boots. I was surprised that I could wear them all day and not have any trouble.

I will say, that when I had to stand all day and needed steel toes, Dr. Martens was my go to boot. No need for insoles because the sole of the boot is air cushioned. They are stitched on soles and can be replaced if you have a cobbler near by.
 

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I have moved from Red Wing to Timberland Rig Masters. I take the original insole out and install the best gel insoles I can find. They also make the type that has the metatarsal guard especially suited for welders that handle a lot of heavy metal. YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the good information. I figured I would ask here before asking someone who's job it is to sell me something!

I do have a pair of insulated Chippewa boots I wear for doing chores and cutting firewood in the winter. There's no way I would want to wear them to work though... Way too warm!

I'll probably check out Red Wings first and then work my way to the others if I need to.

:bigthumb:
 

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I've tried them all but nothing is as comfortable to me as Justin boots. I get almost exactly two years out of a pair, and work on concrete on my feet all day. I've never had so much as a frayed stitch with them, and when I do replace them it's because the soles are worn to a nub, not because the leather is worn out or the stitching. I can buy replacement insoles from Justin if I want to get them resoled, and they are 100% made in the USA!! I think if they ever quit making them I'll just go bare foot!!
 

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Wesco boots #1

Right now I have a pair of custom Wesco Jobmaster logger boots they are awesome and will outlast anything out there and you can get them rebuilt when its time. There are so many different options when you order custom boots its great Eh!
I have had Redwings when I was younger then switched to Carolina Grizzlys (8510?) for years but they too are not what they use to be. I noticed the last couple pairs the soles are different cause when it gets cold out they get pretty hard prolly synthetic rubber eh
 

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I only wear Red Wings. I use model number 2412. It has Gore-Tex insolation. I use them year 'round. I usually have two pair, I rotate each day. I replace the factory insole with another that Red Wings makes that are better for my feet. I'm on my feet most of the day. I usually replace a pair every four years or more. I have had one set sent in for a new sole. They was like brand new but without the break-in period. Even some of my oldest boots are still used today. I leave them at certain customers who process stuff so nasty that I change boots while working there.

I used to buy the cheapest boots Sears offered. My feet and back hurt and they rarely lasted a year. Wet cold feet. I tried Red Wings, the sticker price did shock me, but I got to tell you pure heaven. My feet almost are never cold. Always dry. And I prefer to wear them all the time unless I'm dressing up or riding one of the Harley's.

Hands down the most comfortable boot/shoe I ever owned.
 

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I'm a big fan of Red Wing boots. :thumbup1gif: They have stores around here that specialize in work boots. You would be best served by going to a place like that so you can see all of the boots and talk with knowledgeable people.
Diesel took the words from my mouth. Aside from great American made products, knowledgeable sales folks and outstanding customer service and warranty and repair services. They cover the soles on most of their boots for a year or so, sell replacement insoles, etc.

Give them a try:thumbup1gif:

For those commenting on declining quality and non American made products, yes they do have a product line that is outsourced, of lesser quality and a lesser price tag. I buy a new pair every few years, alternating winter (insulated) and summer unlined ones. I stick with the more expensive lines, that are still USA made and IMHO still top quality.
 

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Diesel took the words from my mouth. Aside from great American made products, knowledgeable sales folks and outstanding customer service and warranty and repair services. They cover the soles on most of their boots for a year or so, sell replacement insoles, etc.

Give them a try:thumbup1gif:

For those commenting on declining quality and non American made products, yes they do have a product line that is outsourced, of lesser quality and a lesser price tag. I buy a new pair every few years, alternating winter (insulated) and summer unlined ones. I stick with the more expensive lines, that are still USA made and IMHO still top quality.
Man, RedWing stores must be different there. The ones I went to in TN had probably 80% Chinese made Red Wing boots, average retail staff and they claimed the soles had a warranty until I wanted to use it. Then the story became "The soles wear out so your feet don't". If it were 2-3 years after I bought them, sure. Hearing that 8 months after spending a few hundred bucks on one pair of boots (The fifth pair I bought from that store) was enough to send me elsewhere.
 

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Red Wings are American made, but their other in store brand may (probably) not be. Can't remember the name right now.
 

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Redwing 2231 slip on, a pair normally last me 2 years, wear daily.

Wore Lehigh and Hy Test slip ons when I was working, pretty good boots also, might have been a little more
comfortable than Redwings, but that was 18 years ago, don't know about their quality now days.
 
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