Best Lightweight Waterproof Work Boots | Ultra Light and Breathable

You’re looking for a lightweight pair of work boots that will be comfortable and sturdy enough to allow you to do your job. You are unsure about which are the best lightweight waterproof work boots that will provide a good combination of comfort, fit and durability. I can help you with that decision.

Updated April 2020 by Maya

best lightweight waterproof work boots

In a Hurry? The Top Pick

Carhartt Composite Toe Boot, Read on to see why that boot is my favorite.


Comparison table

WaterproofSafety ToeFeatures
Magnum Precision
Ultra Lite II Boot
YesComposite
EH safety rating
Slip- & Oil resistant
Padded tongue & collar
View
Carhartt BootResistantCompositeRugged flex sole
Ortholite footbed
Slip-, Abrasion- &
Chemical resistant
View
Timberland White
Ledge Ankle Boot
YesSoft
EVA footbed
EVA midsole
Slip resistant
View

Key Features of Lightweight, Breathable Boots for Work

The key feature for these boots is the weight. 

If you need lightweight boots, for whatever reason, you need them to be truly lightweight. These 3 boots are. They all weigh in at about 1.5 pounds per boot. That makes it easier on your feet and leg muscles, especially if you log lots of steps throughout your work day. 

Lightweight boots need to protect your feet comfortably throughout your day.

Any lightweight work boots need to be able to protect your feet while you do your job. They need to be comfortable for the entire work day.  They have to firmly grip the floor or ground beneath you, so that you can concentrate on your responsibilities rather than on keeping your footing. The 3 best lightweight work boots meet that requirement. 

The 3 Best Lightweight Waterproof Work Boots

Magnum Precision Work Boot

The Magnum Precision Ultra Lite II comes with just about all the features possible in an ultra light boot. This boot starts with lightweight leather, adds a composite safety toe, a slip-resistant rubber sole, and a waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry. Each boot weighs about a pound.

PROS

  • Composite toe
  • Oil resistant
  • Removable insert

CONS

  • Not for heavy-duty jobs
  • Imported
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Carhartt Men’s CMF6366 6 Inch Composite Toe Boot

Carhartt Men’s CMF6366 6 Inch Composite Toe Boot is a rugged yet lightweight round toe breathable leather boot with a composite toe, a lugged, rubber sole and a padded Ortholite insole. The boot is oil resistant, chemical resistant and slip resistant. 

PROS

  • Rugged flex sole 
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Ortholite footbed

CONS

  • Not insulated 
  • Imported
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot

Used by many as a hiking boot, the Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot is nevertheless a great work boot, since it’s waterproof and very comfortable. The rubber insole is slip resistant and the oiled leather upper is durable. An EVA midsole and an EVA insole provide cushioning and support.

PROS

  • Waterproof
  • EVA midsole
  • Slip resistant

CONS

  • No safety toe
  • Imported
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Customer Impression

Here’s what customers think of the 3 best lightweight work boots:

Magnum Precision Ultra Lite II Safety Boot

Over ⅓ of the reviewers specifically mention that the Precision Ultra Lite II is comfortable. Nearly as many say that the boot fits very comfortably. Reviewers also appreciate the weight of the boot.

Customers who don’t like the boot repeatedly mention 1) the safety toes seems too narrow for the boot, 2) overall quality is decreasing, compared to former purchases of the same boot, 3) the plastic shoestring hooks break, and 4) the boot is stiff and hard to break in.

Carhartt Men’s CMF6366 6 Inch Composite Toe Boot

–As you’d expect, this Carhartt boot gets great ratings over all. Mechanics, factory workers, construction workers, and chemical plant foremen all gave this boot a 5-star rating. Purchasers note that the boot fits well, often right out of the box, and is very comfortable, even for long days on concrete floors.

Reviewers compare it favorably to previously-owned boots made by Keen and RedWing. The Ortholite insoles don’t get much praise.  Many mentioned that they were cheap and had to be replaced quickly. Some noted that they were inferior to the Timberland insoles. Some also noted issues with the soles splitting. 

Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot

–The Timberland White Ledge boot gets the best ratings for fit.  Almost 90% of the reviewers said the boot fits as they expected it should. It also is very comfortable, and most people find that the boot is durable. 

The waterproofing system did well for some customers and poorly for others. Virtually anyone who mentions the insole does so in a negative way. The insoles are viewed as very flimsy. The other negative comment that shows up repeatedly is a perception that Timberland quality is decreasing overall.

Conclusion

All three of the work boots are lightweight. They are comfortable. They are durable. The Carhartt 6 Inch Composite Toe Boot nudges the other two for overall quality. If you need a very, very lightweight boot, then the Magnum Precision Work Boot would be an excellent choice as best lightweight waterproof work boots.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are ultra light work boots really that great?

PROS

Let’s just go ahead and state the obvious.

  • The biggest advantage of ultra light work boots is that they are really light. This means that your foot and leg muscles don’t work as hard when you take each step. If you walk miles each day as you work, you may notice that your legs and feet feel much less stressed.
  • The best ultra light boots are very comfortable. Many are made of leather and have cushiony soles. Some have well-padded insoles and padded collars. 
  • There are ultra light work shoes that have a safety toe. There aren’t many, but ultra light safety boots are available, mostly in a composite toe. You’ll have to look, compare and read reviews to see if an ultra light will provide all the features you need. 

CONS

  • Ultra light work boots simply aren’t as durable as their heavy-duty counterparts. Loggers,construction workers, and mechanics won’t find that ultra light boots protect their feet well enough.
  • Ultra light safety shoes don’t resist heat, chemicals and oil very well. Welding crews and ironworkers will literally feel the heat of a hot work environment in ultra light shoes.
  • Ultra light boots only rarely contain any steel.  If you need the support provided by a steel shank, or the sustained protection of a steel toe, you’ll need a heavier boot. Steel is great for protection and durability, but it’s heavy. 
  • Ultra lights are don’t provide advanced features like puncture resistant soles and metatarsal shields. These features demand materials that add significant weight to a pair of work shoes. 

What good options are there for lightweight black work boots?

My job requires me to wear a black work boot. I want a lightweight boot because I will be walking several miles most days.

Lightweight black work boots come in lots of styles and include an array of features. The Magnum Precision waterproof, composite toe boot, and the Timberland White Ledge waterproof boot are 2 of the 3 favorite lightweight work boots. They are also black boots. Here are 2 others, both from Ariat, that get good customer feedback and provide you with style and feature options. 

Ariat Men’s Spot Hog Western Cowboy Boot--This is a short pull-on boot with elastic inserts and pull tabs. The upper is made of leather and the sole is rubber for traction. The shaft is approximately 5” from the arch, depending upon the boot size.

ARIAT Men’s Turbo 6″ Waterproof Carbon Toe Work Boot–This is a leather lace-up with a carbon safety toe that won’t set off metal detectors. It meets EH safety standards and is also waterproof. The foam insole increases comfort. The outsole resists oil and is also slip-resistant. 

What do you recommend for lightweight pull-on work boots?

CEBU Men’s Botin Work Boot–The Botin Work Boot by Cebu is a water-resistant, soft-toe, short leather slip on that resists oil, gas and acids. The footbed fights odor and is removable. The boot is recommended for mechanics, bus drivers, plumbers and warehouse workers. 

Ariat Men’s Spot Hog Western Cowboy Boot-We recommend this short boot with elastic inserts and pull tabs for men who need a black boot. It’s also an excellent choice if you prefer a pull-on boot. The upper is made of leather and the sole is rubber for traction. The shaft is approximately 5” from the arch, depending upon the boot size.

Stanley Men’s Dredge Soft Toe Industrial and Construction Shoe–Stanley’s Dredge is the 3rd (and final) short pull-on. With side inserts and pull tabs, this boot has a leather upper and a rubber sole. The sole is slip-resistant and acid-resistant. The toe is designed to be especially flexible.

Ariat Work Men’s Groundbreaker Work Boot–If you prefer a standard-height cowboy boot with a square toe, the Ariat Groundbreaker boot is a good choice. It isn’t as lightweight as some, but is very sturdy.  The boot combines a full-grain leather foot with a Clarino shaft and a rubber sole. The Groundbreaker has a 90-degree heel and Ariat’s patented 4LR sole.

Irish Setter Work Men’s 83912 Marshall 11″ Pull-On Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boot–Although heavier than the short boots, the Irish Setter Marshall is lightweight for a tall boot that is waterproof and has a steel toe. If you need a boot with a steel toe that you can wear in muddy weather but can also get on and off quickly, this is a good choice.  

What do you recommend as the best lightweight women’s work boots? 

“Best” is a subjective concept, and is based on what you need in a work boot, but these boots for women receive high ratings for fit, durability and comfort.

Ariat Women’s Terrain Work Boot–This lace-up,leather boot with a lugged, Duratread synthetic outsole gets very good reviews, with over 90% of the reviewers giving at least a 3-star rating. The Terrain work boot has a padded collar and a shock-absorbing midsole for comfort. The moisture-wicking lining is removable and reduces foot odor. 

Skechers for Work Women’s Workshire Peril Steel Toe Boot–The Workshire Peril is a lace-up boot that meets EH safety standards. The crazy horse leather upper is bonded to an oil-resistant, lugged synthetic outsole. The gel insole cushions your foot and is removable.  

Dr. Martens Bonny Chukka Boot— The Bonny Chukka boot is very lightweight, and has a relatively cheap price, yet gets good reviews. The Bonny has a heavy-duty nylon upper and a synthetic sole that is air-cushioned to provide all-day comfort. 

What are the most comfortable lightweight work boots?

All of the 3 best lightweight boots from the chart above are comfortable. If you would like more options to consider in addition to those, here is another trio of boots, all of which get very good feedback for comfort. Lightweight boots reduce strain and alleviate knee and joint pain to a degree.

Carhartt CMX4023 Lightweight Casual Wedge –This moc toe boot is stylish enough for casual wear, but is very comfortable.  While it’s not made to deal with inclement weather or rugged terrain, for factory work or similar situations, the Casual Wedge sole boot by Carhartt is a great boot that your feet will love. 

Golden Fox Lightweight Boots Insulated–Here’s a steel toe boot that’s insulated against winter weather and is still lightweight. The wedge sole boot has a padded collar and a non-slip, oil-resistant sole. The shaft measures about 6” from the arch.

WOLVERINE Raider Work Boot–The Raider by Wolverine is a rugged-looking lightweight boot with a steel toe, a nylon shank, and a rubber sole. The PU midsole absorbs shock and the mesh lining absorbs dampness. The footbed is removable.

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