The 10 best men’s boots

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Boots are the one item that people complain about the most in terms of durability. There are some of us that are just naturally boot destroying monsters that can tear through even a decent boot in under a year. Separated soles, ripped fabric, warn-out laces, damaged leather… The list goes on and on. For most it’s hard to imagine spending $300 on a pair of . But for some reason we are okay with spending $150 every year on a new pair of boots from Aldo. Do the math, it’s time to invest in a pair of men’s boots. Without further ado, here is our list of the best men’s boots that money can buy. These are all “buy it for life” (BIFL) quality, and if maintained properly, should hold up for years and maybe even decades. Sure, they may not last as long as your cast iron skillet, but it’s as close as you’re going to get with a pair of boots.  Heck, there are people still selling original World War II boots online so it is certainly possible to buy something that is built to last and .

This list will contain three main types of boots: work boots, formal or semi-formal boots, hiking boots. It is a bit like comparing apples to oranges between these types but you can be sure that any one entry on this list deserves to be there.

Overall winner: Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger boot

Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger - Best men's boots (BIFL)

Now this is a friggin’ boot! Red Wing is known for some of the best boot craftsmanship in the industry and the Heritage Iron Ranger is one of their classic work boot styles. Using top tier and quality eyelets and hooks make for a boot that can withstand some serious wear and tear. These boots use a “Goodyear Welt” which is the strip around the outsole which gives the shoe’s construction it’s strength. It’s a time consuming process in manufacturing but it results in a pair of boots that aren’t just going to have their sole fall off in a year’s time.

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$319.95 $320.00

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Wolverine Kilometer boot

This is another great choice. The Wolverine Kilometer boot uses the same Goodyear Welt construction as the Red Wing making it super durable. These boots use a rubber sole designed by Vibram, an italian footwear sole producer that is well-known for it’s quality. These boots are known for their versatility as they can easily be worn in a more formal setting as well as a workboot. If you want to compare the Wolverine Kilometer vs 1000 Mile boot, it’s pretty easy. The 1000 mile boot is basically an upgraded version of the Wolverine Kilometer. This means the leather on the 1000 Mile boot is higher quality. However, I actually prefer the look of the Wolverine Kilometer boot.  So take your pick, they are both awesome! In fact, my absolute favorite Wolverine boot is technically the Wolverine 1883 Kilometer boot.

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$250.00

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Timberland Premium boot

For more budget conscious shoppers the good old Timberland does the job very well. If you like the classic burnt rust look of the Timberland then you in for a treat with a boot that is one of the most comfortable work boots out there. Now these pair are not made with a Goodyear Welt, instead they have opted for the less durable bon welt which is known to be less durable over the long term. The leather on these boots won’t age quite as nicely as the Wolverine’s or Red Wings either due to the quality of leather used. But for the money you are getting a reasonably good pair or boots.

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$190.00

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Thorogood American Heritage boot

The Thorogood American Heritage line are very good boots, especially for the money. They may not have the fashion appeal of the Red Wings, but they are a great choice that verges on the more utilitarian side. Again, these use a Goodyear storm Welt for maximum strength on the sole construction and they do use Vibram soles on this model. This is pretty amazing, considering these guys will only set you back $150-$200 depending on the deal you get. These are also proudly American Union made.

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$153.96 $192.00

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Danner Mountain Light II boot

This is the first hiking boot of the top ten, but boy is it a good one. Full grain leather as well as full waterproof certification will ensure that you stay dry while on a hike in the mountains. Danner are known for the comfort in their boots. It may take a couple weeks to break these suckers in, but you won’t be disappointed with how they mold to your feet. A Vibram sole rounds out this neat package for a hiking boot that performs but also doesn’t look like what Reese Witherspoon was wearing in Wild (good movie though, go check it out).

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$379.95

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White’s Boots Americana Semi-Dress boot

For those fancy-pants buyers out there that also want a durable boot, there’s White’s Boots Americana line. With a classic wood block heel and a rounded toe, these will give you a more refined look when you’re out on the town. White’s boots are also well known for being completely re-buildable if in the future you want to fix these up decades down the road. This is truly what “buy it for life” stands for. They’re not cheap, but they have a pretty legendary reputation for quality.

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$447.00

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Allen Edmonds Dalton dress boots

Another more fashionable entry into the top ten. This pair of boots is probably the best craftsmanship on the list. Period. But you do pay for it. A full 360 degree Goodyear Welt construction, a double leather sole, premium calf skin leather upper, and full re-craftable if you want to touch these up down the line. These boots looks great but will also last you a lifetime.

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$445.00

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Merrell Wilderness hiking boot

You’d be hard-pressed to find any list of best boots without seeing Merrell on there. Their classic design and attention to detail has made their Wilderness hiking boots a staple inthe BIFL crowd. You’ll find people that have owned these hiking boots for over thirty years! And that’s due to their meticulous design that uses a Norwegian welt, Vibram soles, and imported Italian hardware. These just might be your last pair of hiking boots.

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$399.95 $400.00

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Vasque Sundowner GTX backpacking boot

These are another pair of decent, but affordable hiking boots. While not quite as stacked in the design department as the Merrells or Danners, the waterproof Vasque Sundowner probably won’t last you for decades, but it will certainly outperform most boots you’ll find out there. Give these a few weeks to break in and you’ll be enjoying a great hiking boot for years to come.

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$209.99

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Chippewa Original boots

And last but certainly not least are the Chippewa Originals. American made with full Goodyear Welt construction, Vibram soles and a reasonable price tag put these boots right in line with even the top two on this list. They are also rated to withstand 18,000 volts of electricity and are CSA Electrical Resistance certified (for those electricians out there).

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$269.95

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The best men’s boot run down

Here are the top ten men’s boots from least expensive to most expensive. But to be honest, most people would be happy with any of these boots. Just remember, spend a bit of extra cash now, and avoid buying another pair of boots in a couple years. Good luck!

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