Celebrating National Skilled Trades Day: CAT Footwear Provides Tips for Choosing Work Boots

Heavy-duty work boots are essential for hands-on and skilled trades working in construction. Learn how to choose the right pair in this article.


Michael Boss is the senior brand marketing manager at CAT Footwear. The brand offers durable work boots for construction professionals, machine operators and trade work. Customers can choose from a selection of traditional, casual and modern boots for men and women.

IRONPROS: What are the hazards and risks with using casual or improper footwear on the jobsite?

CAT Footwear: There are two major concerns that we take into consideration when designing our work footwear. The first one is obviously toe protection, the majority of our work footwear has some type of toe cap, either Steel or Composite.

This is for the protection from something falling on the worker's foot. The other thing is protection from slip and fall. This can come in two different forms, sometimes we want something to provide grip, think smooth wet surfaces. The other is traction, this comes from a more toothy outsole design to be used in the outdoors. With every boot we first have to think where the consumer will be working and in what conditions and then we build to that.

IRONPROS: Work environments can vary depending on numerous factors. How can construction professionals ensure they are buying the right work boot for the job?

CAT Footwear: Correct, there’s no one boot that does everything, there’s different boots depending on the conditions and the task. When the consumer is buying boots we rely heavily on them reporting what type of job they intend to wear the product in and then we can best direct them to the product that will suit that job.

IRONPROS: How important is comfort when choosing a work boot?

CAT Footwear: Comfort is super crucial today. Consumers at one time excepted work boots that weren’t very comfortable, not today, today consumers want products that feel more like their everyday shoes.

IRONPROS: Toe protection is critical for construction work boots. When should construction professionals choose steel-toe protection over composite-toe protection (and vice versa)?

CAT Footwear: Both toe types have to meet the safety standards, so one isn’t really better than the other. Comp toes are lighter in weight but they are also usually found in more premium price points.

IRONPROS: What features does CAT Footwear prioritize when designing work boots?

CAT Footwear: Sounds pretty basic but safety is the number one and then we think about what the consumer is doing, so we’ll look at the type of traction or grip the consumer will need. Then of course we are always trying to make the product lighter weight. But beyond that I would say comfort, if the boots not comfortable none of these other things matter.

IRONPROS: What are some product trends currently shaping the work boot space? How has the industry evolved in the past decade?

CAT Footwear: I would say that although the boots haven’t changed much from the outside we have seen a lot of movement on the inside with new ways of building more comfort into the boot with breathable materials and better footbeds and midsoles.

IRONPROS: What can customers expect from CAT Footwear in 2024?

CAT Footwear: The CAT consumer expects quality product that will stand up to the beating that boots go through. We focus on giving the consumer the best experience possible knowing the work consumer is a customer that comes back repeatedly for the same product year after year. 

As for some great new products we have the Invader Mecha and the Threshold Rebound that delivered in 2024.

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