Best Wellington Work Boots: 5 Unrivaled Waterproof, Steel Toe & Side Zip Galoshes

If you need to be able to get your work boots on and off quickly, then a pair of wellington work boots may be a great choice. Traditionally, work wellingtons are no-nonsense leather pull-on boots. A few have side zippers to make getting into the boot even easier. Wellingtons come with a variety of safety features that include steel toes and puncture-resistant soles or uppers. 

Updated April 2020 by Tony Bleak

best wellington work boots

In a Hurry? The Top Pick

The best-of-the-best is the Timberland PRO Excave Work Boot. Read on to find out why. 


Comparison table

WaterproofSafety ToeFeatures
Georgia Boot
Farm & Ranch
YesSoft
Rubber outsole
Fiberglass shank
Oil & Chemical resistant
View
Ariat Sierra
Saddle Boot
YesSoftRubber outsole
EH safety rating
Composite shank
Roper toe
View
Golden Fox
Pull On Boot
YesSoft
Synthetic sole
Steel shank
Lightweight
Wedge sole
Anti-fatigue insole
View
Wolverine I-90
Construction
YesCompositeRubber outsole
EH safety rating
Nylon shank
Slip-, Oil &
Abrasion resistant
View
Timberland PRO
Excave Boot
YesSteelRubber outsole
EH safety rating
Steel shank
Rubber met guard
PU midsole
View

Key Features 

Wellington boots need to be truly waterproof. 

The word “Wellington” is synonymous with “waterproof” in many countries in Europe, especially the United Kingdom. Little children don “wellies” whenever the weather turns wet.

That’s because the Wellington boot derived from Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington. The duke wore leather boots while hunting. They needed to be waterproof. His were back then, and true wellingtons are now.

Today’s wellies are basically of two types:

  • The first is the classic rubber rain boot, good for keeping your feet dry while you go to and fro. These come in a multitude of styles, and an array of colors, including black. They are a combination of style and functionality, and let you display a dash of your personality   
  • The second type is the wellington work boot. These hearken back to the Duke of Wellington, and are generally breathable leather, pull-on boots.

Virtually all are waterproof. Some are insulated to keep your feet warm in winter weather. Most of the traditional boot manufacturers make at least one line of wellington. They are sturdy and practical, although not necessarily particularly stylish. 

Wellington work boots are pull-on boots

When used to refer to a work boot, the word “Wellington” means pull-on. One of the reasons that Wellington galoshes are popular is that they are easy to get on and off. When you come home at the end of a long day, you don’t have to fight with a lace-up boot with laces that may be frozen or caked with mud. 

Virtually all of the standard boot manufacturers produce a line of Wellington gumboots. My choices for the 5 best wellington work boots are manufactured by 5 different companies.

While choosing the 5 I looked at boots manufactured by several other companies including Irish Setter, Keen, Carolina, Danner, Carhartt, RedWing, and Thorogood. I also considered some square-toe wellington boots made by Ariat and Justin Boots.    

Wellington rainboots take a single pull-on style and adapt it to include a host of features that nearly any workman can appreciate.

Wellingtons are distinctive because they are all pull-on–usually leather–boots, but within that basic style there are lots of features designed to provide comfort and safety for farmers and ranchers, pipefitters and welders, oil riggers and loggers.

Wellingtons vary in height from short ankle boots to boots that cover the entire calf. Safety toe materials include steel, composites, and alloys. A range of man-made rubber products provide grippy soles, many of which also resist oil and chemicals.

Shanks made of steel, nylon, composites, or fiberglass support your feet as you walk pastures, construction sites, or factory floors. Insoles and midsoles incorporate a variety of anti-fatigue and cushioning materials designed to make your feet comfortable. Some wellington styles are also available with side zippers.

The 5 Best Wellington Work Boots

Georgia Carbo Tec Wellington for Farm & Ranch

As the name implies, the Georgia Boot Men’s Carbo Tec Wellington for Farm and Ranch is designed for men who are likely to work around animals. It is a waterproof leather boot with a sole that is oil resistant and chemical resistant. The Goodyear welt construction that makes the boot repairable. This boot is imported. It’s also suitable for wet environments plumbers might face.

PROS

  • Goodyear welt construction 
  • Waterproof
  • Chemical resistant

CONS

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

Ariat Sierra Saddle Work Boot

The Ariat Men’s Sierra Saddle Work Boot is a cowboy boot with a roper toe. The boot features a leather upper, a composite shank, and a non-slip rubber sole. The Sierra Saddle Work Boot is waterproof and lined. It is also imported.

PROS

  • Waterproof
  • Roper toe
  • EH rated

CONS

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

Golden Fox 12″ Pull On Wellington Boot

The Golden Fox 12” is a lightweight, waterproof, pull-on work boot with a non-slip sole. The insole is removable. The boot’s upper contains little stitching, which makes it attractive to people in the welding field, as well as to men doing construction, farming and ranching. It is imported. 

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Removable insole

CONS

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

Wolverine I-90 Waterproof Construction Boot

The Wolverine Men’s I-90 Waterproof Wellington has a heavy-duty lugged rubber sole that resists oil, chemicals, and slippage. The composite toe provides protection, and the anti-fatigue insole increases comfort. This boot is imported as well. 

PROS

  • EH rated
  • Safety toe
  • Removable insole

CONS

  • No met guard
  • Imported
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Timberland PRO Excave Met Guard Work Boot

The Timberland PRO Men’s Excave Met Wellington Work Boot is a heavy-duty work boot that protects your foot with a steel toe and an internal rubber metatarsal guard. A polyurethane footbed and an EVA insert cushion your foot so that your not only protected but also extremely comfortable. 

PROS

  • Met guard
  • Waterproof
  • Removable insole

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Imported
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Customer Impression

Our favorite wellington work boots hit the mark with the large majority of purchasers

Look at the reviews for any of my 5 favorite work boots and you’ll see a large majority of 5-star reviews. You’ll also note that ¾ or more of the customers who rate the boots say that the footwear fits as they expect it to fit.

Surprises in how a shoe fits usually aren’t good, so a high “fit as expected” percentage is a key number. These wellingtons all score well with the majority of customers in these 2 key areas. 

These types of wellies are so easy to maintain and clean, they are very non-demanding boots compared to leather that needs regular maintenance and conditioning.

Here’s what customers say about each of the 5 best wellington work boots

Georgia Boot Men’s Carbo Tec

By far the biggest issue purchasers have with this boot is the sizing. It runs small. A few people couldn’t find a size that really fit well. Otherwise, this work wellington gets excellent reviews. It is very comfortable, often right out of the box. Customers are pleased with the quality and durability of the boot. 

Ariat Men’s Sierra Saddle Work Boot

This boot gets the most 5-star reviews from repeat purchasers of all of my 5 best wellington galoshes. Numerous reviewers say they have owned several pairs and don’t intend to change brands or styles anytime soon. The Ariat Sierra gets great marks for comfort and durability, as well. Dissatisfied customers complain that the boot doesn’t run true to size.

Golden Fox 12” Work Boot

is a lightweight boot that most people find very comfortable to wear. Some say it feels like a slipper once it’s broken in. Since it’s priced at approximately $100, reviewers sometimes comment on the boot being a great value for the money. Most of the low ratings deal with the boot’s lack of durability, particularly that the soles wear out.

Wolverine Men’s I-90 Waterproof Composite-Toe Wellington

gets praise for how comfortable is it, how long it lasts, and how light it is, even with a safety toe. Satisfied repeat customers say they intend to keep buying this boot as long as it remains the same. A few disgruntled purchasers feel that they received used or defective rainboots. One man developed a persistent rash when he wore these.

Timberland PRO Men’s Excave Met Wellington

Most reviewers agree that these boots are very comfortable and that they provide great protection to your feet. Many find them easy to get on and off.  Many of the negative reviews deal with the lining. It sometimes separates and makes the boot hard to get on and off.  

Conclusion

All of these 5 best wellington work boots are waterproof boots that you can pull on and off. They provide a range of safety features that include non-slip, chemical resistant soles as well as safety toes in a variety of materials.

All are suitable for farming, construction and ranching. A couple are designed to meet the difficult job demands faced by a logger or ironworker. 

None of these boots is cheap. The Golden Fox 12″ Work Boot Pull On Wellington is my pick as the best “value for your money.” The “best of the best” work wellington boot is the Timberland PRO Excave.

It’s comfortable and durable, yet provides the safety of both a safety toe and a met guard, at a price below what you might expect for all the rugged features. 

I am interested in a pair of side zip wellington work boots. Which companies make side zip wellington work boots, and do they get good ratings generally?

Side zip wellington work boots are available from relatively few companies. They come as short and tall boots with a variety of features. (Some short wellington styles use elastic inserts, rather than a zipper, to make the boot easier to pull on.) As you would expect, the ratings vary greatly from boot to boot. Here are some companies that make side-zip wellingtons.

Merrell–Although Merrell is known primarily as a maker of hiking shoes and equipment, their Coldpack Ice+ 8″ Zip Polar Waterproof boot is sturdy and warm for men who work outside during cold weather. 

Thorogood– The Men’s 8″ SR EVA Side Zip Wellington Boot is a heavy-duty boot with a Vibram sole that is EH rated. The boot also features an internal met guard and a heat-resistant outsole.

Georgia Boots– Their side zip wellington is the G4124–Pull-On Side Zip Wellington Waterproof Work Boot. This is a 10-inch boot that features a solid brass zipper and Goodyear welt construction that allows the boot to be resoled. 

Skechers--Their Blaine Orsen Ankle Boot is a short wellington with an elastic side insert. 

What do you recommend for someone who needs a pair of steel toe wellington work boots?

Steel toe wellington work boots are available from several manufacturers. The Timberland PRO Men’s Excave listed in the chart above is a steel toe wellington with extra safety features.  I’ll list below some of the other companies and some of their steel toe wellingtons. Although the name “wellington” implies a waterproof boot, some boots labeled as wellingtons aren’t fully waterproof. You will want to verify that feature as you do your search. 

You will also find an array of other features paired with a steel toe. Some boots are insulated for warmth. Others provide additional safety to your feet via an EH-rated sole, a heat-resistant upper, or an internal met guard. Look carefully so that you aren’t surprised.

  • Irish Setter– The 8396 boot is a waterproof, steel-toe, wellington boot.
  • Caterpillar–The Revolver line has a steel toe wellington.
  • Wolverine–Their Rival, Rancher and Brek lines all have steel-toe wellingtons.

You may want to check products from Carhartt, Georgia Boots and Keen as well. There really are lots of options.

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