6-Inch vs. 8-Inch Work Boots: Safety, Comfort, Flexibility, and More

There are many factors to consider when shopping for work boots, such as the material, design, and height of the boot. You may be surprised at how much a few more inches can affect boot functions. It’s because height determines a boot’s airflow, ankle support, flexibility, and level of protection.

The two common boot heights are 6 and 8 inches. At first glance, there is not much difference beyond what is already said in the name, 6-inch boots and 8-inch boots. However, once you dig deeper, you will find the whole world of differences between the two.

In this article, we’ll do a detailed comparison of 6-inch and 8-inch work boots, along with tips for choosing the right ones for your job requirements. In short, 8-inch boots have more protective properties and are less flexible, and are slightly heavier. But what protection features exactly? Dive in to find out more.

How to know the heights of the boots

The height of a boot is measured from the mouth of the boot to the bottom of the heel. You can always tell the height by reading product labels or measuring them with a tape measure. Another useful tip is to count the number of eyelets to know the height of the boot.

In general, 6-inch boots have 7 to 8 pairs of eyelets, and 8-inch boots have 8 to 9. If the shoe uppers have a lace-to-toe construction (boots that lace from the top almost to the tip), you should add 2-3 pairs of eyelets.

If you already have a pair of work boots that you enjoy, take the time to take accurate measurements to determine their height. That’s the easiest way to know what the boot height is for you.

8-Inch vs. 6-Inch Boots: Flexibility and Comfort

Flexibility: The short and quick answer is that 6-inch boots provide more flexibility. The low neckline makes it easier for you to put on and take off your shoes. You can wear these boots to the office with a suit, then wear them to outdoor work or even a night out. These go well with just about everything in your wardrobe. From my point of view, they are an excellent versatile option, you can do almost anything with them. However, remember that a 6-inch boot is only good for lighter manual jobs, heavy-duty jobs require 8- or 10-inch boots.

Weight: Depends on safety features, but in general, 8-inch boots are heavier. If you’re new to heavy-duty safety work gear, wearing heavy work boots all day can lead to leg pain, back pain, or other serious symptoms like repetitive strain injury and plantar fasciitis. 6-inch boots will help you slowly get into the zone.

Air circulation: It is easy to see that the lower part of the neck allows better air circulation. However, in the 8-inch boots, designers add vents near the arches of the feet to improve airflow. If you’re concerned about the breathability of the boot, be sure to look for the vent hole features when purchasing. The heights do not affect the breathability of the boots much, it is mainly about the materials.

Comfort: Both styles of boots offer the same level of comfort, as long as they are the right size and fit for you. For example, if you have wide feet, opt for boots with wide square or round toes. If you experienced plantar fasciitis before, know that the work boots are specially designed for plantar fasciitis on the market. Other than that, to maximize comfort, here’s how your work boots should fit when you try them on:

  • The heel: When you try on new boots, the heel feels a bit stiff, this is normal. Since the nature of leather is to stretch over time, new boots will loosen up and fit your heel better after a couple of wears. On the other hand, when walking in old boots, you should never experience heel slippage.
  • Toes: When standing, the toes should lightly touch the boots, not push against them.
  • Width and instep: Even with new boots, the width and instep should fit. The wrong width and instep can cause your feet to constantly rub against the boot, leading to chafing and blisters.

Due to the safety features, work boots can be uncomfortable. You should improve your comfort by wearing thick socks, heel pads, heel pads, or even inserting an extra cushioning insole if needed.

6-Inch vs. 8-Inch Boots: Safety

These two styles of boots have many similar safety properties. For example, a steel or composite toe cap to prevent injuries from falling objects, a mid-size or full-size shank to protect feet from punctures, a heat-resistant outsole, etc. These characteristics vary according to the final purpose of the footwear. boots. Product labels and descriptions will tell you exactly what those boots are all about. So read them carefully to make sure they meet the requirements of your job. Remember that safety is the reason we wear work boots.

In addition, these boots offer different levels of safety in:

  • Ankle Support and Protection: The 6-inch boots give you decent ankle support and protection, but not as much as what you’ll get with the 8-inch. If you experience ankle health issues, 8-inch boots are best. Also, those who have to stand and walk for long hours should opt for 8-inch boots. Otherwise, 6-inch boots are a great option for everyday wear.
  • Weather protection: If you work in wet and humid conditions (wood industries, frozen cargo, frozen food factories,…), this safety feature is crucial. Both styles of boots can be waterproof as long as they are made from waterproof materials. However, due to the higher collar, 8-inch boots provide more protection and warmth for the feet. Also, when you walk on wet and uneven ground, water and other liquids have less chance of getting into your shoes through the mouth of the boot.

As a general rule, 8-inch work boots provide better protection for your feet. They are designed to offer extra security against all kinds of dangers in the workplace. If your job involves heavy equipment like chainsaws, angle grinders, and other heavy machines, we recommend 8 or even 10-inch work boots to ensure safety.

What boots are for your work

The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) published strict standards for footwear in the workplace. Footwear with toe protection must be worn at all times in hazardous workplaces. Protective safety toe boots must meet these requirements: leather uppers, oil, and slip-resistant soles, with an impact resistance rating of 75 and a compressive strength rating of 75. Before buying safety boots work, whether they are 6 or 8 inches, you must make sure they meet these requirements.

1. Construction workers

Being a construction worker, you’ll find 6-inch composite toe boots more convenient when working on commercial construction sites. It is because they are light, flexible and mobile while providing the necessary protection. Most foot injuries on construction sites are due to punctures and compression. Therefore, the turtleneck is not mandatory. For construction workers, we recommend 6-inch boots with a toe cap and shank.

2. Registrars

As a lumberjack, you regularly have to deal with falling objects, flying debris, or scrapes from the wood. That’s when the turtleneck comes in handy. 8-inch boots will help support your ankle when walking on uneven ground and carrying heavy loads. Plus, in wet conditions, the high collar that sits snugly around the ankle will lock out all the moisture. Sometimes even 8-inch boots aren’t enough for loggers, consider taller boots if needed.

3. Oil Rig Workers

When working in the oil industry, you will need safety toe boots that are waterproof and more importantly oil resistant. The number one injury on oil rig jobsites is slips and falls. The three most used materials to make non-slip soles are rubber, ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Look for these sole materials when you need safety boots. Boot heights don’t really matter here. But if you work offshore, the weather will be cold most of the time, 8-inch boots can offer more warmth and protection.


There you go! All the differences between 6-inch vs. 8-inch work boots. Designers always have their reasons for designing a certain style. Learning about the properties and purposes of styles will help maximize your potential every time you wear safety boots.

We hope that you have collected enough information to choose the most appropriate footwear for you. Leave a comment if you have more questions. We are more than happy to help. Hope to see you then!

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