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Rigger boots got their name from the fact that they were issued to all the workers who were in charge of the offshore oil rigs in the North Sea.
They have become so popular that many manual workers now wear them as they offer great protection and comfortability.
This safety comes from the steel toe cap which protects the most fragile part of your foot from falling debris or walking on uneven surfaces. They typically come a third of the way up your leg to protect the ankle as well.
Moreover, they often come with loops to make it easier to put them on and a fur lining to protect the feet from cold weathers when working in winter months or night time.
As you can see, choosing a high quality pair of rigger boots is very important and can determine the difference between a near miss accident or a broken toe.
Rigger boots have been around for a long time and therefore have become somewhat of a fashionable footwear.
Unfortunately this means that there are quite a few options on the market that are more focused on fashion rather than practicality, which is why it’s important to ensure you’re choosing the right design.
We’ve found the best five pairs of rigger boots with practicality, safety and comfortability in mind and listed them below for you to look through.
In a hurry? This is our winner!
Best Rigger Boots – Comparison Table
Best Rigger Boots – Reviews
Best Rigger Boots – Buyer’s Guide
With any boot, the sole has to be durable and sturdy to be considered high quality. You wouldn’t want to buy a pair of shoes only for the soles to wear through within a matter of months, would you? Rigger boots need a durable sole as well – it’s vital.
They need to be slip resistant with lots of traction and preferably made of a material such as rubber. Oil is the most common substance for rigger boots to slip on, so look for a design that counteracts this.
Moreover, some soles are denser than others. This can increase the shock absorption so if you’re going to be walking on uneven ground all day, this could be particularly helpful for you. Others offer anti-static properties which keep you safe from electrical dangers.
As you can see, different rigger boot soles often offer different features, so decide which ones will benefit you the most.
The protection your rigger boots may be the most important factor to consider when looking for a new pair, as you may as well wear some trainers if you don’t need a lot of feet protection.
Steel toe cap
Steel toe caps are very popular for boots to protect the most vulnerable part of your feet – the toes. While working in hazardous settings, you’re more likely to stub your toes on rubble, and the toe is the most prominent area for tools or debris to accidentally fall on. This is why it’s very important to choose rigger boots with a high quality steel toe cap.
The midsole of your foot also needs protecting, especially if the soles aren’t dual density. Midsole protection is often made of steel and stops sharp objects from being able to dig through the sole into your foot. This not only makes the shoes more comfortable when walking on sharp objects, it also prevents nasty accidents from occurring, so make sure you choose a pair of rigger boots with midsole protection.
Heel and Ankle
The heel is not the most susceptible part of the foot so heel protection isn’t as vital as toe or midsole protection, but it doesn’t hurt to have some just in case.
Similarly, ankle support isn’t mandatory for rigger boots, but it is very helpful and beneficial. Luckily most rigger boots on the market include ankle and heel support without too much extra cost, so we’d suggest choosing a design with this rather than without.
Much like the sole, the material of the boot is very important when it comes to durability and reliability. Let’s look at the material of the exterior and interior of rigger boots:
Most rigger boots are made of leather as it is the most beneficial option. Full grain leather is the most durable type so you should look for boots made out of this. Leather is thick and sturdy so it won’t rip or deteriorate quickly. However, high quality leather is also breathable, flexible and comfortable which makes it the optimal choice for boots that are going to be worn for long periods of time.
The interior of traditional rigger boots was fur lining, and there are still a number of fur lined rigger boots on the market today. These are most beneficial for people working in cold temperatures, outside or at nighttime. Having said this, fur is not as durable and therefore has been known to wear down quicker.
On the other hand an inner made from fabric can be more durable and last longer, however it won’t be as warm or breathable as fur.
Water resistant rigger boots are much more desirable than not, because they’re most commonly used outside where there is potential wet weather. Leather cannot be 100% waterproof because of how porous it is, so you’re going to want some rigger boots that have been treated to be as water resistant as they can be.
You should also look for a waterproof inner to keep the extra water out that may have come through the leather.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are rigger boots used for?
Rigger boots are used to protect the wearers feet from all sorts of dangers on worksites, such as electric hazards, sharp debris, falling objects and oil spills. They’re particularly durable and often offer protection to every area of the foot.
Why are rigger boots banned?
Rigger boots are only banned on some construction sites, and it is the construction company’s decision whether to ban them or not. Traditional rigger boots offer no ankle support or midsole protection, so they are banned from some sites to prevent injuries such as rolled ankles, sprains or nasty penetrating wounds from sticking up nails and screws.
Having said this, as you can see from our list above, many new rigger boots offer great ankle support and midsole protection for the wearer, so it stands to reason that new models are more widely accepted on construction sites.