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Need New Boots


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This Topic was originally created on Tow411 by Bigbob at West & Son in January of 2013:


My boots I've got now are about over a year old. And are the Walmart $40 specials. Lately my feet get wet just from washing the truck. So been shopping around for a new pair. Narrowed my search down to either Red Wings 971's or The Magnum stealth force side zips from AW Direct. Stopped in Red Wings and walked back out after seeing the $185 price tag. AW is $109. Just wondering. Does anyone have the Magnum stealth force's and how's the waterproof and safety tow quality?


Ronin said:

If you have an Academy near you, you can get Magnums for $15-20 cheaper, plus no shipping.

I use a Danner waterproof hunting boot... just got them resoled after 3 years - love them. Same style of boots I used in the military. Got mine at Bass Pro.
James E. Lewis
ESC tubegreen.gif said:
I have used the magnums for years, and have been happy. However, they wear out on me and start letting water through after a few months. For this winter, i went with a set of $200 redwings. Very happy so far, not wet at all. Very happy with the redwings and will probably stick with them... they last longer.
Ronin said:
Agreed, you get what you pay for, as is true with many things. I went through 6-8 cheaper pairs of boots, and never seemed happy with them, so I went back to a style like the Danner Matterhorns I wore in the AF and used on the SWAT/EST team.... quick break-in, last forever, Thinsulate is great, just change the kind socks you wear if you want them to be warm or cool.
James E. Lewis
Towzone said:
I will never comprehend why anyone that spends hours on their feet put cheap shoes on them. When your young you have no idea what your doing to your feet. It's only when you get some age on you that the reality hits. Good thing is it's really never to late to take better care of your feet. I wore just anything that was comfortable for years, then Magnums for probably 15 years. Last year, I could not get the the Magnums I preferred with the side zipper. Seems the Magnums are a lower quality boot these days. So last year I went to Bates and found a 6in. Gore-Tex Boot w/Side Zipper. They felt different at first but now they fit like a glove and are always dry, unlike the magnums which the soles would begin to leak before the year was out. I used to get a year out of the Magnums and I will likely get 2 years out of these Bates. Can't believe I ever went with the Bates, but finding side zips last year got tough. Now, they seem to have made a grand return.

Search Magnum Side Zips and Bates Side Zips. The prices are all over the place, I found magnums starting at $105 and Bates at $128.

Some guys like the Red Wing Brand, I would not put those on my feet even when they were made well. Some of our guys are wearing the Converse Brand, I do not have any experience with them. But at a little lower cost around $100, I may have to get a pair and try them out for research. I might be giving them away here if I don't like them. Anyone interested in a Test pair of Work Boot size 11.5 or 12. Oh, yes boots do very in size so you may need to go someplace local and check them out. I buy mine online just because I normally cannot find them local or they are at least $30 more.

Sorry I am into my work boots, anyone else feel this way or are they just a pair of shoes to you?
Brian Bell said:
I always get a hole in the top of the steel toe way before the boot wears out. I used to wear the cheap boots and just buy new ever 3-4 months. (can't believe Bigbob got over a year) ... now I wear Wolverine's and get 6-8 months out of them.
BlackAutoload said:
Our career is tough because you need a boot, but want a basic shoe for driving.
I use the Instigator GTX by Danner.
Truck2 said:
ariat mudhogs, watertight, comfy, and look ok.
Ronin said:
Also, buying a new $40 pair of Walmart boots every 3 months ($120) a year, when I dropped $175 on my Danners almost 4 years ago, wore them out, had them resoled ($60) and will wear them another 2-3 years. The math says cheap boots are more expensive, and good boots are certainly more comfortable and durable.
James E. Lewis
RodVT tubeyellow.gif said:
I have been wearing Chippewas for about 7 years and just replaced my first pair. I got a new pair of 6" summer boots and, since the store was closing, also got a pair of 8" winter boots. Even at 30% off they were still pricey (these U.S. made models are anyway), but I am very happy with both pairs. Danner is also an excellent boot. I will only buy resole-able (Goodyear welt) boots. Nothing makes me madder than when those glued on wrap around soles start to peel off and ruin the boot.


Unknown Member said:

Got a pair of bates side zips , found them at sears $85 had them for 2 years only wear them in the winter.


VERNON75 said:

i never thought id like carhartt boots. im on my second winter with the same pair, souls are still good and still water tight. if i remember correctly i paid around $150.00 at tractor supply.

Bigbob said:
Brian Bell. I wear out my shoes until they're falling apart. My last pair, the sole split in half before getting new. Explains the calices on toes and heels.
James Weddington said:
I spent $285 for my Red Wings. I am going on year 3 with them and have only had to re
thtdon tubegreen.gif said:
My late father always taught me that if you are wearing leather work shoes, and you are walking on wet cement, you need to wear rubbers over your shoes.  He always wore rubbers over his Knapp leather work shoes, when he worked in the shop.  I usually do the same.  I have been wearing the Magnum shoes, also.  I like the side zippered models.  A good pair of Tingley rubbers go right over the Magnums.  And my feet are never cold.  When we have snow, I either wear my LL Bean shoes, with the rubber bottoms.  And with deeper snow, I wear my MUCK boots.  I have uniforms and shoes for every weather condition. 

I have a pair of leather work shoes that I bought from the Snap-On truck.  They cost around $175, if I am not mistaken.  I wore them for 13 months, and the sole on the right shoe separated from the rest of the shoe.  I believe that the shoes are worthy to install new soles.  The uppers are still in great shape.  The Snap-On shoes are comfortable, but I don't think that they lasted long enough.

Someotherplace said:
I think there's at least a few other older posts here about boots as you might imagine it's something many of us have our experiences and opinions on.

I noticed Chippewa get a mention and I have to say, I used to wear Chippewa engineer boots for many years until I realized they were killing my feet. They're like wearing stones! Maybe they have some other offerings that are more comfortable but those pull-on engineer boots are horrible. Also, quality has gone way downhill on them too; I had a hand-me-down pair that lasted forever - when they finally wore out, I replaced them with the exact same model and they barely lasted two years.

Doc Martens are another name that has become near worthless, but of course they're made in china now. Fairly comfortable but fall apart quickly.

uzedcarz tubeplatinum.gif said:
Timberland brand all the way.  SOME Tractor Supply stores sell them, but I buy mine online.  Ready to wear right out of the box, no break in,, waterproof, insulated, you can get about any style you want.  I have a pair of boots for winter and I have a pair of oxford style for summer.  I always get at least 2-3 years on any pair I've ever owned.  A little pricey but no more than a Red Wing, etc. which is what I always wore until I tried the Timberland.
George Fulk said:
I where muck opts they sell them at gander mountain best boot in the world good for 20 below and I'll swear bye them
silverhawk tubeyellow.gif said:
I wear Wolverine boots from Academy ($125 +tax) during the winter.  I wear steel toed Georgia Giant shoes in the summer.  $98 on line from Georgia Boots.  I would wear the shoes year round but the steel toes freeze my pinkies, and they are not offered without the steel toes.

I have always been Red-Wing user until their price got out of sight.  Wolverines pull on is what I use now.  Fits great, only when pulled off in the evening, my socks come off with the boot.

Had a real cowboy tell me years ago, "when you buy a new boot, buy it a little snug.  Pour a whole bottle of rubbing alcohol in one boot at a time.  Pour out and then put the boots on and wear it for the day.  It molds the boot to your foot.  Unbelievable fit!  Also it ruins your first pair of socks.  Never would bleach clean, but inside the boot, no one sees them anyway. 
thtdon tubegreen.gif said:
I love this place.  One can put just about any question out there, and many will come forth with answers and opinions.  Who would have thought that we would be talking about shoes? 

Bigbob said:
Guess we see it as another tool necessary to do our jobs. As long as no one starts talking about how cute they look with their uniform. Or how well they match the truck. Lol
Larry Lange said:
Hoffman boots.... Made in the USA, kinda bulky and heavy....they offer a non steel toe version, EXTREMLY well made, very warm, and 100 percent water proof! Id recommend them to anyone!
Raddamant said:
I swear by my Dr. Martens. I'm a light guy (140 pounds wearing steel toe boots and insulated bibs) and can get 16 months if I replace the insole once. When they start to wear, I'll buy a new pair and leave the old pair for summer use only. The new pair will be warmer and have more traction for the winter months.

Also, it makes a HUGE difference if you condition the leather! Double or perhaps triple the life span sometimes. Also, a little superglue in the major dings/cuts/scrapes goes a long way. It doesn't look tacky if you keep the leather looking shiny! I have a coworker who uses a liquid-rubber steel-toe saver. He likes it, but I haven't tried it yet.
George Geissinger tubered.gif said:
For years I have worn a slip-on ankle height shoe/boot sometimes referred as a foundry shoe with elastic on the sides. I like them because quick on and off to dump dirt or whatever out. The idea was so a foundry could kick them off if they got hot stuff in one. They use to be easy to find in a good shoe reasonable. Shoe companies have gone the way of cars companies , less of them with a cheaper product. I used to buy two ar three pr at a time from I believe Knapp . Last time the price went DOWN $30 + but when I looked they now came from INDIA not USA.  Can you say junk.!!
I bought a pr from a local place were the guy lied to me about quality. When the soles went bad I couldn't go anything with them because they were glued together like a sneaker and stuffed with paper. Lots of the ones I see advertied in the tool books are a glued on sole so I am still looking for a good product in a large size, another problem.
Greezy328 said:
Sportsman Guide....best deals on the planet except if theres no store in ur area, then ya gotta order online....
unknown member said:
I wear Danners . and i get about 7 months out of them.
GreenwayTowing said:
I am on my 3rd pair of Redwings (17yrs total). After being resoled and lasting over 5 years the initial price + resole the cost is pretty low after that. Once they don't look all that good they get shuffled to hard work duty, farm work, etc. A quality boot if you are on your feet is the only way to go.

My concern now however is that Redwing does not make a whole lot of boots in the USA anymore. I may have to check out Hoffman Boots.
Greenway Towing, Inc.
Todd aka Toad
"Car Croaked Call The Toad"
Jef said:
I tried on a number of boots over the last couple weeks after my timberlands wore out after a year of heavy use. I needed something lighter then the average boot, still steel toe and comfortable since we all make a living in them. I ended up at Sears with their DeWalt D57091 steel tow hiker boot, as pictured here

They weight about half what my non steel toe timberlands did, good cushioning all around, fairly water resistant and very good traction on ice/slippery decks.

Only downsides so far are they are manufactured in China and the laces do not stay tied for some reason. I have some doubts as to how well they will hold up, but only time will tell.
Ralph Robles said:
I love my Oakley tactical boots. Waterproof comfy and very light.
www.transportcars.com                                       (815)354-7601
Borotow tubeyellow.gif said:
I wish I could find a boot that is light, and lasts, with comfort. I use Red Wings, Timberline, Wolverine, all just get out of shape, gross looking and very hard  in short order. Mine also get covered in paint over spray. Historically if I can get 3-4 months of comfort out of a boot its a lot. They cost me a lot yearly. I usually buy two pairs at a time and alternate days or wet dry etc and they still fail, and my feet hurt. I take good care of my feet too, always go to the podiatrist, use orthodics when required and I still can't keep a boot very long. I am not unusually heavy either (vary from 225-235). I may look into Hoffman, actually never heard of them. I tried Knapp, I tried knapp special soles for concrete (two shot I believe) and they were comfortable but lasted only a few months as well. Would keep buying them but our Knapp guy retired and no one comes around anymore. Ron, what is the great aversion to Red Wings if you dont mind my asking?
Al Campbell
Boro Collision & Towing
Bigbob said:
I went and bought the magnum stealth force a month ago from a local police and fire supply store. Already they look like I've had em a year. Supposed to be water proof but still feel damp once in a while. Still not soaked like my old boots though. The side zip does help get me out the door quicker when called in middle of night.
rlc4523 said:
I hardly ever see you guys talking about Georgia brand boots...... I buy the georgia logger with gore-tex and 3m thinsulate lining. I get about 1 1/2-2 years out of them and I can wear them all day long winter or summer. I am pretty hard on them and they work great. I get them from 180.00-220.00 depending on if I catch them on sale or not. After about a year they start leaking a little but thats usually because the sole is starting to seperate. No need to waterproof them cause if you do you clog up the gore-tex and then they don't breathe. Any GOOD boot is worth its price regardless of the brand.
drew crew said:
Keen boots for winter/snow boot all the way light wight, warm, and water proof. Other wise Red Wing Boots, for other times, i put toe armor on the toes for more protection and last longer.
marktows said:
I bought a pair of MatterHorn Boots out of PA last year. $375. The first pair of boots that made it more than 6 months with me. Granted I am in the trucks, out of the trucks, under the repair lifts, under the trucks, fixing the moving trucks we own, running crew on the moving trucks in a pinch. Im gonna get them resoled, restiched in one spot, and see if I can get another year out of them.
Scott Burrows tubegreen.gif said:
2412 Men's 8-inch Boot (insulated, only one that keeps my feet warm);
4473 Men's 8-inch Boot (with the "fireman's zipper) for the rest of the year.
American made (at least for a while longer);
They last for YEARS!
George Geissinger tubered.gif said:
I saw on a listing during my search that over 90% of the shoes sold here are made overseas.
RaymondAutoRepair said:
Cabelas  warranties their boots for life.  they have replaced three pair for me @ no charge when the toe wears out. goretex water proofing is great and insulation in winter is nice. steel toe or non steel toe.  I own two pair and switch every other day so inside of boot is always dry when I put them on. Have never worn out a sole on one yet , always the toe. ( from kneeling down when performing hookups )   best deal I Have ever found!!!!!!!

DennisJ Raymond Life is as good as you make it don't let others ruin it for you.
Tiggor said:
just bought my first pair of ROCKY's ,very comfortable light weight, waterproof, and the came in extra wide, composite toe. I usually blow out the side walls long before the bottoms. Hopefully the extra wide will eliminate this problem
Bob Miller
Fetch said:
I'm in the market for a new boot again, my last 4 (?) pairs have been Caterpillar Confine 6". At $190 a pair, they last me about 1 year. It seems all my boots last about a year, regardless. I guess I'm just not good to my boots! When I worked at the dealerships, I'd buy Dafoe steel toed boots. They were relatively cheap ($65) and lasted about as long as anything else. I just didn't like them because they felt like wearing wood blocks.
Jef said:
An update on the "DeWalt" boots, I wore them for 3 months before the tread was smooth on the bottom and the seems started to split. Most of the wear was in good weather without much abuse.
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