There are over 65,000 oil fields in the world — and all of them are necessary to ensure our cars, trucks, and planes get to where they need to go. And the oil field workers are the ones keeping those rigs running.
That’s why you need the best oil field boots to keep up with the demands of working in such a tough job. If you work at a rig, the responsibility not only requires you to stand on your feet all day, but you could be pouring lots of liquid on your feet as a result of your job.
That’s why you need boots that are waterproof and durable but still comfortable enough to wear all day. We’ve picked ten of the best boots to help make the most of your time in an oil field.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Choice — Ever Boots “Ultra Dry” Men’s Premium Work Boots
- Best Premium Product — Carhartt Men’s 8″ Energy Waterproof Industrial Boot
- Best Value Product — Caterpillar Men’s Threshold Waterproof Industrial Boot
For more in-depth and fleshed out reviews on each of the shoes, keep reading.
What You Need When Working in an Oil Field
There are oil fields all over the world, ranging from the Middle East, Russia, the top part of South America, and spanning up the United States into Canada. Every field can be different based on its location and country it’s in, so it’s hard to say what to expect.
Different jobs need to be accomplished in an oil field. Perhaps the dirtiest job is the drill operator, which is the job of actually extracting the raw oil from the ground.
Being a drill operator often means working in a dirty, noisy, and slippery environment. Just take a look at this video if you’ve never seen people operate an oil rig before. The pipe connection you see in the video is only one of the many dirty jobs that’s needed in a drill operator.
Drill operators sometimes work 12-hour workdays for 14 consecutive days of work. While most drill workers get an equal number of days off, the job still demands a lot from workers while they’re in the field.
While necessary to keep the fossil fuel-dependent machines running, drill operators face a large number of injuries on the job, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Texas is the largest employer of drill operators in the United States, and it’s subsequently the state associated with the most frequent fatal drill operation injuries.
Therefore, it’s crucial to make the most precautions to reduce your risk of injury if you’re a drill operator in an oil field. That includes ensuring you have the best gear to reduce potentially fatal slips and falls.
Gas Plant Operator
Gas plant operators work with extracting natural gas so that humans can use it. Such operators adjust the temperature, vacuum, pressure, flow rate, and other characteristics of the gas to ensure it travels throughout the extraction process without an issue.
In short, they have complete control over the units that are needed to keep a gas plant running. This job requires a good bit of chemistry and math, in addition to getting their boots on the ground and ensuring every extraction machine works as it should. This could mean lots of walking around to inspect the equipment as well as pouring over heady calculations in an office.
Well-testing is an entry-level job in an oil field. It requires workers to test the flow rate, salinity, pressure, and other necessary specifics of a well before the material is extracted and sent to a refinery. There’s a lot of details a company wants to know about their wells, so it’s up to the well-tester to document and keep track of it all.
Well-testers travel between well and work with other people to determine the specifics of each well. These people are typically an operator, an assistant operator, and a supervisor.
While well testing sounds like an easy job — just writing down a lot of details for each well — it usually requires a lot of heavy lifting. In addition, well testers have to worry about weather conditions and being away from home for long periods. The mental and physical stress of the job can take its toll. However, well-testing is a crucial aspect of oil extraction.
Rig managers oversee the rig operators to ensure everyone is safe and that all the equipment is working correctly. This could mean filing stacks of paperwork or being in the field with all the machinery to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Members of the drill team tend to look up to their rig manager for safety training, leadership, and conflict resolution among personnel and operational quarrels. Having excellent leadership skills is crucial for effective rig management.
You have to be in the oil field for about five years before getting considered for rig management. However, making it to rig management typically means less manual labor and more oversight, but it also means more responsibility. If something goes wrong, you’re the one who has to speak for it.
In the oil field, floorhands are essential for ensuring the working conditions are clean, and the tool remains in top shape. You’re also expected to help out with any task and run equipment where it needs to go.
Floorhands keep drill floorings and tools arranged in a logical sequence for anyone who may need it. They’re also responsible for keeping the tools clean and tidy. Floorhands must also help and change the Derrickhand and Roustabout properly.
When needed, floorhands assist in running air hoists, pipeline spinners, or iron roughnecks. These people also carry out organized, preventive upkeep on the drilling devices. The driller or Derrickhand could also ask you to carry out other tasks, such as mixing mud, cutting a drill line, and preparing casings.
In all, you assist in the specialized jobs of the oil field, such as rigging up, running casing, nippling up, or whatever else is asked of you — all while keeping the tools and equipment clean.
As you can tell, that requires you to run a lot in case someone asks you to do something.
How to Stay Safe While Working in the Oil Field
Always Be Alert
With all the large machinery in the oil field, there are a lot of moving parts. Accidents can happen when you least expect them and without warning. Therefore, it’s crucial that you remain alert, cautious, and focused when working on an oil rig.
There are lots of quickly moving, falling, or flying material. Watch what the more experienced workers do, as they have perfected the art of working on a rig without harming themselves. Still, be sure you’re using your head and stay cognizant. You don’t want to trip or bump into another person out of sleep deprivation or a clouded mind. That’s how serious consequences occur.
You’ll be educated and safety trained before you start any job in the oil field. Pay attention during safety training and educate yourself on common dangers even after training finished. When you keep your eyes open and are mindful of yourself, others, and potentially dangerous equipment, you drastically reduce the chance of an accident.
Repair and Replace Machinery Quickly
When you see something isn’t right, notify the rig manager immediately. Broken or faulty equipment is more likely to act up in unusual ways, which can increase the chance of someone getting hurt. While broken machinery can delay the rig’s workflow, it is essential that you ensure all the machinery runs smoothly before resuming work.
Don’t keep defective equipment a secret. It’s not a testament to your work ethic to persist past what’s safe. Inform someone who can fix the equipment immediately to avoid any risk of injury.
Only Use Equipment You Know
Sometimes the job needs to be done, and the person who usually does it isn’t there. There can be a myriad of reasons as to why that’s the case, but the outcome is clear: inexperienced people shouldn’t touch machines they don’t know.
The reason is apparent. When you don’t know how to operate a machine, you put yourself and others at risk if you mishandle it. But sometimes, the job needs to be done on a moment’s notice, and the most trained people aren’t there.
Even in that case, don’t risk it. Call the rig manager over, as they’ll either have the experience of using that machine or know how to proceed without someone with that experience. Either way, you shouldn’t be using equipment you’re not trained on, even if there’s a lot of pressure to continue as you do.
Follow All Safety Rules and Guidelines
We get it. Sometimes following arbitrary rules that don’t seem like they’re doing anything to improve safety can be annoying. Who wants to keep doing them when it’s faster just to cut a few corners and continue.
While it may be tempting to skip past the rules, always follow them. They’re there for a reason — to help keep you and others safe.
Before beginning your job, take the time to read through any safety regulations your company offers. After reading the rules, follow them. Keep copies of the rules near where you can frequently see them, and review them often.
While working at an oil rig can never be 100% safe, you can do your part to know how to minimize personal risk to you and those around you as much as you can.
Get the Best Protective Gear
You should be shielding your body from potential injury as best you can. This means wearing proper eye protection, hard hats, and long pants.
If you work in colder environments, wearing garments with insulation is also vital. Cold-related injuries, such as frost snip or frostbite, can also be dangerous.
And, of course, perhaps the most essential article of clothing you need to consider is the pair of shoes you wear. Your work boots should be durable and slip-resistant, as working at an oil rig means walking over lots of liquids. They should be able to keep their grip even on wet, unsteady ground.
The shoes you wear should also be water-resistant because of all the liquids you’ll be working around. While wet socks won’t necessarily lead to injury, it’s uncomfortable to wear and could lead to blisters and sores on your feet.
Therefore, the work boots your wear while working in the oil field are the foundation for proper safety. If you can’t trust your feet to get you from point A to B without an issue, you can’t be 100% sure that you’ll get through the day unharmed.
Due to how vital your work boots are while working in an oil field, we’ve listed some of the ten best boots below.
Read Also: Best Winter Work Boots
Best Oil Field Boots Review
First up on the list is the Wolverine Men’s Floorhand Waterproof Work Boot. These boots are expected to go up to mid-calf, so they protect your legs, ankles, and feet from debris or moisture.
The upper is made from 100% leather. Though you’ll have to condition your boots every week (depending on how wet they get), leather is notorious for being abrasion resistant and long-lasting. The high-quality leather construction is also what makes these boots waterproof, keeping your feet dry no matter what a rig throws at it.
Your toes are also protected with the sturdy steel plate at the tip of this boot. It’s durable enough to protect your feet from damage but light enough not to feel like you have to drag your feet to walk around.
The Wolverine Men’s Floorhand Waterproof Work Boots are kept together with robust cement construction, so these boots aren’t going to come apart any time soon. Overall, these boots are lightweight while still solid enough to withstand the harsh conditions found in an oil rig.
Most importantly, these boots have a secure slip-resistant tread that keeps you stable even while working on slippery conditions. To reduce the risk of falls while working on an oil rig, we think these Wolverine Men’s Floorhand Waterproof Work Boots can keep you safe and dry while out in the oil field.
- The bottom treads are slip-resistant and made from durable rubber.
- These boots are made from 100% waterproof leather.
- The lightweight cement construction ensures your shoes don’t feel heavy after wearing them for a couple of hours.
- If you submerge the boot for too long, users find that water leaks in. Therefore, they’re not incredibly waterproof.
For another high-quality pair of leather work boots, check out the Georgia Boot Athens Moc Wellington Boot.
Part of the Athens Collection, these boots are made from a waterproof leather upper and suede panel and moc-toe design. They’re fully designed to be work boots, so they have a steel safety toe and electrical hazard protection.
They also have the Georgia Waterproof System, which ensures your feet remain dry yet breathable. Air can always get in while water and mud stay out. These boots also have pull-on straps on the side to facilitate putting on and taking off these boots.
What’s one of the best features of these boots is the advanced memory polyurethane (AMP) footbed. It has dual layers of polyurethane on the bottom layer to maximize cushioning as well as memory foam, so the footbed molds to the shape of your foot. These feet will feel comfortable enough to wear all day.
Not only that, but cushioned EVA midsole provides anatomical support and absorbs some of the shock of every step you take. The anchor disk technology keeps your feet comfortable and stable. The shoes are guaranteed to stay together thanks to the combination of cement glue and stitches holding these boots together.
Last but not least, the bottom tread is rugged and made from durable rubber. It’s gripped enough to keep your balance on wet or oily surfaces. For another pair of excellent work boots, consider getting the Georgia Boot Athens Moc Wellington Boot.
- The cushioned and supportive interior makes these boots wearable for 12+ hours.
- The cement and stitched construction ensure these boots won’t separate at the sole.
- These Georgia Boots are waterproof and will keep your feet dry at an oil rig.
- Leather dries out when moistened frequently, so these boots have to be conditioned quite a bit to keep the leather from drying out.
Leather is an excellent material to make work boots out of. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but the material is naturally strong while keeping water out. That’s why lots of work boots are made from leather, and that includes these Wolverine Men’s Buccaneer Work Boots.
The uppers are made from 100% full-grain leather, which guarantees that these boots will keep your feet dry and protected from moisture. The synthetic sole is textured and grooved so that it can hold your balance even on a moist substrate.
The mesh lining manages the moisture exiting these boots, but it’s not supposed to let water into the footbed. The mesh lining further facilitates the waterproofing endeavors of these boots.
The multi-shock contour welt construction absorbs some of the shock from every step you take while ensuring your feet remain comfortable enough to walk around all day. That’s right — these boots banish foot fatigue while keeping your feet dry and cool.
The footbed’s insole is fully removable, so you can take it out to wash it from time to time. With all the hard work you put in at the oil rig, you’ll probably have to do so frequently. But the footbed is so easy to remove and insert that you should have no problem doing so.
Finally, these boots have stainless steel protection at the tip of the boot. If the oil company you work for requires you have shoe safety such as steel toes, these boots check that box.
The slip-resistant rubber outsole keeps an even grip on a variety of substrates, even wet or oily ones. When working hard on around a wet oil rig, the last thing you need is an ill-timed fall. Thanks to these rugged rubber outsoles, you’ll remain upright and stable even on the trickiest ground.
- The slip-resistant sole on these Wolverine Men’s Buccaneer Work Boots keeps your balance — even on unsteady or wet surfaces.
- The full-grain leather upper is waterproof and long-lasting.
- Not only is the footbed comfortable, but the insole is fully removable for easy cleaning.
- These boots run big, so you might have difficulty finding the right size.
Carhartt is a company known for its reliable, long-lasting outdoor gear like hiking boots and outdoor apparel. We were skeptical about seeing if their industrial work boots would hold up to the same standard of performance and were pleasantly pleased to know that they did.
The upper is made from leather and rubber, making these boots both stylish and waterproof. The advanced footbed delivers a highly comfortable and supportive feel while wearing these work shoes. The Ax Suede top cover material proves 30% of this shoe’s grip, which helps to reduce fatigue and foot slip.
The different layers of foam also provide unique wearing experience. They help prolong the amount of time you wear these boots by changing the compression and rebound abilities of these boots for the better.
These waterproof capabilities of these boots make them sturdy enough to keep your feet dry while working in the rain, in muddy conditions, and even an oil rig. The shoe’s construction keeps your feet dry and also waterproof, so these boots can handle whatever the oil rig throws at them.
And yet, these shoes remain breathable, so they’re not like rubber boots. They actually allow air to flow throughout the upper without letting water in.
For high-quality boots that are comfortable, safe, and waterproof, we endorse these Carhartt Men’s Energy Industrial Boot.
- These boots are waterproof.
- The interior design of the footbed reduces the shock, provides anatomical support, and reduces foot fatigue.
- The sturdy outsoles retain their grip even on a wet substrate.
- Since there are no pull tags on the boots, they can be challenging to pull on.
Do these boots actually keep you as “ultra-dry” as they claim to do? What with the gusseted tongue, we wondered if the shoes could actually allow water to trickle in past the tongue and onto your socks.
However, it appears that these Ever Boots Men’s Work Boots do indeed help keep your feet dry. The leather suede upper absorbs the material. Since suede is a somewhat grippy material, it keeps the water from pooling against the material. Water runs along the sides of the boots and prevents them from penetrating the leather upper.
The speedy hooks and back loop allows you to get these boots on quickly and easily — no more fumbling and awkwardly gripping the collar as you tug them on. These shoes are made for hiking, so they’re lightweight and incredibly comfortable to wear all day. Since they’re waterproof, their construction makes them excellent to wear at an oil rig.
They can be used for heavy-duty days in the field without slips, falls, or water leaks. The comfortable insole reduces the chances of getting blisters or foot pain from wearing these boots. While they don’t have steel toes for protection, the agility these boots give you can keep you quick on your feet so you can work faster and get the job done quicker.
The company claims that these shoes run big and are a half size bigger than Timberlands, so keep that in mind when purchasing these boots.
- These boots are comfortable enough to wear all day.
- They have hooks and a back loop to make putting on and taking off these boots easy.
- These boots have a highly textured and gripped bottom to help you keep your balance on both wet and dry surfaces.
- These boots don’t have a steel toe, so they might not stand up to safety standards your company employs.
Danner Men’s Super Rain Forest Work Boots are made from 100% full-grain leather uppers. Along with the GORE-TEX liner, these boots are 100% breathable and comfortable to wear.
They’re made in the USA, which matters to some patriotic customers but arbitrary to others. The hand-crafted stitch construction ensures these shoes have the utmost stability and longevity, as well as increased stability with every step you take. The upper will stay attached to the tread for years to come — even after withstanding the demands of the oil rig.
The 200G Thinsulate keeps these boots lightweight but insulating as well, which is perfect for those working in oil fields in colder climates. These boots are 8 inches tall from the arch, so they protect your feet all the way up to your ankle and part of your calf.
While these boots don’t have a composite steel toe to protect your feet, they do have plenty of ankle padding to keep that important joint safe. Thanks to the stitching on these boots, they can be recrafted at the Portland facility.
Danner is yet another company with an excellent reputation. The company is known for its high-quality work boots, as well as casual, hunting, and hiking boots. Danner doesn’t disappoint its customers, and the same goes for the Super Rain Forest 200 Gram Work Boot.
For a high-quality boot that’s worth the cost, we think these Danner boots will get the job done.
- The triple-stitching not only keeps the upper connected to the sole but allows these shoes to be recrafted at the Portland factory.
- These boots are comfortable and lightweight.
- The sturdy bottom sole keeps its grip on both wet and dry environments.
- These boots take a while to break in. Some customers claim it took about two months before these shoes were comfortable.
Yet another pair of work boots on this list with 100% leather uppers. We think the leather is such a common material because it’s affordable yet what makes these boots last as long as they do. Synthetic material, cotton, or canvas can’t compare when it comes to longevity.
The same is true for these Caterpillar Men’s Threshold Industrial Work Boots, but the leather is supplemented with textiles. The waterproof membrane also forbids moisture from creeping into the footbed and wetting your socks. And yet, the textile and leather allow some airflow, so your feet don’t feel like they’re wrapped in cellophane.
The rubber sole is profoundly textured and designed to withstand both wet and dry conditions without at least a slip. These ankle-high boots aren’t as tall as other boots, which can be useful if you don’t want to feel encumbered by tall boots. If you work a less rigorous job, such as rig manager or well-tester, you can enjoy the heightened agility shorter boots give you.
These boots take some time to break in, but they feel incredibly comfortable when they do. And yet, the break-in period keeps blisters and hot spots to a minimum. The cushioned footbed on these boots makes the shoes incredibly soft and pleasant to wear.
The insole is also removable, so you can take it out to wash after a hard month of work or remove them altogether to add your insole. For a quality pair of shoes from a quality company, check out these Caterpillar Men’s Threshold Waterproof Industrial Boots.
- The leather and textile uppers are both breathable and waterproof.
- The gripped sole forbids slips and falls, even on wet surfaces.
- These Caterpillar boots are incredibly comfortable to wear thanks to the cushioned footbed.
- Some customers are concerned that these shoes aren’t as waterproof as the company claims.
These are another pair of hiking boots we feel can work well for an oil rig. The reason? These boots are insulated, lightweight, waterproof, and are comfortable enough to wear all day.
The waterproof mesh upper allows only air to flow in. The Hydroshield membrane keeps the shoes waterproof, which is what keeps your feet both dry and warm during walks in the mud, snow. Wet conditions from an oil rig also don’t stand a chance.
The rubber toe cap provides some protection from external debris or other harsh things falling on your feet. The rubber outsole was designed to keep hikers upright when walking on unsteady ground, but we think it will help you keep your grip when working on a wet substrate as well. The tread grabs onto the surface as if the water wasn’t there, giving you the best traction.
The ankles pads protect your ankles from bumps or other damage, and the moisture-wicking mesh lining ensures your feet remain comfortable throughout your time wearing these boots. No matter where you are — on top of the mountain or in the thick of an oil rig, your feet will stay dry, warm, and comfortable.
In fact, these boots are designed to withstand temperatures colder than -25°C. We know that will be a major relief for those working the oil fields in Alaska and the upper parts of Canada. Not only that, but the lightweight and sturdy insole are both comfortable to wear and distribute your weight throughout the shoe to reduce the stress on your joints.
A mix of both fashion and performance, these shoes are a great choice for working oil rigs in colder climates. You don’t sacrifice the grip, comfortable footbed, or waterproofing you need by using a hiking boot as your oil field boot.
- Though they’re hiking boots, they are waterproof and keep your feet warm in frigid temperatures.
- These boots are waterproof and cushioned.
- The tread is highly gripped and keeps you slip-free even on slick conditions.
- These boots lack a steel toe, which could go against your company’s safety ordinances.
These boots from Wolverine are made from 100% leather and textile to keep your feet both comfortable and dry. The leather and textile resist water, so they’re great for moist conditions like an oil rig.
These boots have to pull tabs to make putting on and taking off these boots easier. In addition to that, they are designed to be safe from electrical hazards.
Vibram lug outsole on these boots facilitates the grip on unsteady surfaces and keeps you upright — even when gravity wants nothing more than to pull you down. The Ortholite footbed feels comfortable enough to wear all day. It’s soft and cushioned and designed to reduce foot fatigue.
For a boot designed with oil riggers in mind, we recommend you check out these Wolverine Men’s Drillbit Oil Rigger Wellington Work Boots.
- These are boots designed with oil riggers in mind.
- The 100% leather and textile uppers are waterproof.
- The Ortholite footbed made these boots comfortable to wear all day.
- Many customers say these shoes run small, and can thus be uncomfortable.
Last but not least, these boots from Caterpillar are made from 100% leather for maximum durability. Though the bottom is made from synthetic material, it keeps its grip and ensures good quality traction even on moist surfaces.
The ankle cut boot has a steel toe for maximum safety. Not only that, but they’re long-lasting and incredibly durable to wear every day at a physically demanding job like oil rigging. The upper is stitched to the sole, boosting durability.
The laces are thick and tight, ensuring they keep a tight knot across your boots. They even have hooks for easier foot security.
For another quality pair of boots from a well-known construction company, check out these Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Work Boots.
- The soles have high traction.
- The top is made from durable leather.
- The upper is stitched to the sole so that it won’t separate.
- The internal padding wears down after a few months of use, according to some customers.
We’ve covered a lot of ground with the best oil field work boots to wear. The ten on this list all perform exceptionally well, but the below three have stuck out to us.
Best Overall Choice — Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot
Cost-effective, safe, water-resistant, and slip-resistant. What more can we say — Caterpillar is a company that knows how to deliver a high-quality product without a high price tag. These shoes provide everything you need for an oil field work boot without breaking the bank.
Best Premium Product — Carhartt Men’s Energy Waterproof Industrial Boot
While expensive, we think the extra cost is worth it. These boots are incredibly durable, comfortable to wear, and again comfortable enough to wear all day. They’re a little pricey, but if you can afford it, we think the boot’s performance makes up for the extra money.
Best Value Product — Ever Boots “Ultra Dry” Men’s Premium Work Boots
These Ultra Dry boots were ultra-dry. The boots are waterproof, comfortable enough to wear all day, and extremely long-lasting. These boots are reasonably priced too, so you’re not breaking the bank by buying these boots.
They’re a good choice for those wanting more agility on their feet without heavy boots weighing them down. Though they don’t have a steel toe cap, thus minimizing their safety protection, these boots are a great all-around choice to wear on an oil rig while on a budget.
There you have it — ten of the best oil field boots to wear to work. No matter what your job is in the oil field, you do an essential role of keeping our economy running. The excellent job you do starts with the boots you wear.