Lace-up Versus Pull-on Work Boots

Should You Get Lace-Up or Pull-On Work Boots?
Do You Need Help in Deciding Whether Lace-up or Pull-on Work Boots Are Better for You? Discover the KEY Differences Between Lace-up & Pull-on Work Boots to Ensure Your Safety. Continue Reading…
Lace-up Versus Pull-on Work Boots

When making the crucial decision between lace-up and pull-on work boots, take into consideration their various features and ensure that the boots you select are suitable for your work tasks and environment.

Typical workplace hazards include trips, slips, falls, and burns.

Don’t get conned into being a victim of these because you purchased the wrong work boot!

Global Market Insights asserted that the USD 9.50 billion global industrial safety footwear market size is expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate of over 6.5 percent from 2021 to 2027, owing to an increasing emphasis on worker safety in the construction and industrial industries.

For your own safety, its instrumental to know which work boot is best suited for you in this massive world of safety footwear.

I tried to crack a carpentry joke that woodwork. I think I nailed it.

Avoid getting a nail through your foot at work by learning which boot is best for your job!

In this article, we’ll shed light on:

    Our editorial group at MyBestWorkBoots goes all out to bring you industry headlines of the highest caliber.

    Accordingly, we’ve put together this professional review of lace-up vs. pull-on work boots.

    Let’s get started!

    Basic Definitions

    What Are Pull-on Work Boots?

    Pull-on work boots are work boots without laces, primarily intended for workers who require the convenience of pulling their work boots on and off. 

    Their features include simplicity; they are to put on and take off, requiring very little time.

    Their design gives them a suitable shape and size for a proper fit around the foot.

    These boots are made from genuine leather, synthetic leather, nylon mesh, and foam, making them strong, sturdy, long-lasting footwear.

    What Are Lace-up Work Boots?

    Lace-up work boots are a type of work boot that has lace material to alter the right fit and grip on the foot.

    Because the shoelaces go through the lugs of your boots, they provide excellent ankle support for your feet.

    They are tough and long-lasting work boots.

    These boots are particularly popular among construction workers and individuals who work outside.

    They are composed of full-grain, high-quality leather, rubber, and fabric in some cases.

    Lace-up boots increase productivity, look extremely professional, are highly durable, and can occasionally reduce the fatigue workers incur daily while on the job.

    Pull-on Versus Lace-up Work Boots


    How Do Pull-on Work Boots Fit?

    Pull-on work boots have a more general fit than a specified or tailored fit.

    Unless you modify them, these boots are usually not made for anyone.

    Because of their no-lace nature, it is difficult to ensure a suitable fit with pull-on work boots.

    Furthermore, if you choose the incorrect pair, you will undoubtedly experience discomfort and anguish.

    After a while, they begin to lose their original shape, even though manufacturers are continuously striving to improve the quality of these work boots to create the best designs that fit your feet.

    How Do Lace-up Work Boots Fit?

    Lace-up work boots have a great snug fit due to the laces on these boots that can be adjusted to your fitting requirements effortlessly.

    Adjusting the laces can tighten your boots, providing greater snugness, or loosen them, providing more space.

    These boots are quite durable.

    Tying the laces can be inconvenient at times, but they can provide improved comfort and control in the long run.

    Lace-up boots keep dirt and debris off your feet.

    They are intended to provide superior heel support and reduce your chance of injury.

    If your boots become out of shape over time, you may still alter them to fit you properly with the help of the laces.

    What Are Lace-up & Pull-on Work Boots Used For?

    Both lace-up and pull-on work boots are used for specific professions and work environments.

    What you intend to use your work boots for will ultimately determine whether lace-up or pull-on work boots are right for you.

    This isn’t about lace-up work boots being superior to pull-on work boots or vice versa.

    What Are Lace-up Work Boots Used For?

    Lace-up work boots are used for work done by most workers, regardless of industry or job, whether they are van or truck drivers, warehouse employees, construction workers, plant operators, and everything in between.

    Lace-up work boots are excellent for anyone who works indoors and in dry weather.

    A lace-up pair of boots is also required if you require ankle support. In this case, they’re far superior to pull-on boots.

    What Are Pull-on Work Boots Used For?

    Pull-on work boots are used for work done in moist conditions, and for workers who require the convenience of taking them on and off.

    When it’s wet and raining outdoors, it is recommended that you wear a pair of pull-on boots as opposed to lace-up work boots.

    Yes, the slip-on boots will be less comfortable, but they will keep your feet dry.

    This work boot style is ideal for farmers and those who work in the oil and gas industries.

    This is also a wonderful choice for those who work in construction and are exposed to a lot of mud or concrete pouring.

    Pull-on Versus Lace-up Work Boots

    How Can Lace-up & Pull-on Work Boots Be Compared?

    Lace-up and pull-on work boots can be compared according to their:

    • Convenience to wear
    • Protection
    • Traction
    • Ankle support
    • Maintenance
    • Style
    • Boot construction
    • Comfort
    • Size
    • Price
    • Fit retention

    Let’s explore each of these in more detail.

    Convenience to Wear

    Pull-on work boots are very convenient to wear because they are simple to put on and take off.

    Because these boots do not have laces, you may effortlessly slide your feet inside them and pull them off when you no longer need them.

    These boots are ideal for people who work on oil rigs.

    Rigger boots are all pull-on work boots.

    They have a versatile appearance and may be worn with formal and casual attire.

    These boots outperform lace-up boots in terms of convenience and ease of use when putting them on and taking them off multiple times.

    Don’t forget

    Lace-Up work boots are less convenient to wear because they take time to put on.

    To put these boots on, you must bend or kneel to reach your feet and knot the laces to secure your feet.

    Users have to spend time putting on lace-up boots.


    Lace-up and pull-on work boots can be compared according to the protection they offer different workers from specific injuries.

    What Are the Safety Features of Pull-on Work Boots?

    The safety features of pull-on work boots protect the wearer against falls, electric shocks, punctures, and injuries.

    Because these boots don’t have laces, you’re less likely to trip by getting stuck on things that the laces could get snagged in.

    They are resistant to both oil and water.

    The only disadvantage of these boots is that dust or dirt particles might enter and make your feet uncomfortable because they are usually loose around the legs.

    And that’s not all

    When you want to protect yourself from toxic chemicals that could get inside the boot and cause you damage, you’d usually choose a pull-on boot.

    Pull-on work boots also have toe protection and electric hazard preventions.

    What Are the Safety Features of Lace-Up Work Boots?

    The safety features of lace-up work boots protect the wearer with toe protection, electrical hazard prevention, and other features to keep them safe as well, similar to pull-on work boots.

    Lace-up work boots also protect the wearer from debris getting into the work boot, making them safer to wear.

    Just be careful not to get caught in the laces and trip or fall as a result.

    The main difference is that pull-on work boots provide better protection when working in damp circumstances, filth and muck, whereas lace-up work boots provide superior ankle protection.

    Pull-on Versus Lace-up Work Boots


    Pull-on and lace-up work boots provide varying degrees of traction.

    Pull-on Work Boots

    Pull-on work boots always provide better traction for your feet, reducing the likelihood of tripping or falling while working.

    Lace-up Work Boots

    Lace-up work boots have less traction, placing your feet at risk of becoming entangled, causing you to fall and sustain injury.

    If the laces on your boots are too long and loose, they can become entangled in items lying around your workplace, resulting in a variety of accidents.

    Ankle Support

    Pull-on and lace-up work boots offer different levels of ankle support.

    Pull-on Work Boots

    Pull-on work boots fall short of providing adequate ankle support for your feet due to the fact that they have a generic shape that cannot be adjusted to your particular foot shape.

    Lace-up Work Boots

    Lace-up work boots provide significantly superior ankle support, allowing your feet to be sturdy and comfy.

    What gives lace-up boots the upper hand when it comes to ankle support is that their laces allow for them to be adjusted according to your unique fitting requirements.


    Pull-on and lace-up work boots require different maintenance measures.

    Pull-on Work Boots

    Pull-on work boots are by far the easiest boots to maintain. These boots allow your feet to breathe!

    While still snug, they provide a little more airflow and, as a result, they have less bad odor.

    They’re also more water-resistant so there’s less likelihood of liquid seeping into your boots that you then need to clean up.

    Lace-up Work Boots

    Lace-up work boots require more maintenance.

    This is because lace-up boots provide less ventilation for your feet, resulting in increased sweating and odor.

    This is manageable if you wash and spray your boot regularly.

    The cleaning process for lace-up work boots is also more extensive than with pull-on work boots, requiring you to remove the laces, wash them, and then re-lace your boots.


    Which boot is more fashionable between pull-on and lace-up work boots is up to you.

    You can choose either of them depending on your taste.

    Some people enjoy the look and feel of pairing jeans with a nice pair of pull-on work boots.

    Others want to feel more urban and like lace-up work boots because they are more informal and may be worn outside of the workplace.

    Boot Construction

    Both pull-on and lace-up work boots are made from a wide range of materials, which is great because it provides you with an array of options to choose from.

    At some point, pull-on and lace-up work boots were only available in rubber, but now they are made of a variety of different materials, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC), leather, and a leather-nylon blend.

    The trick is to remember

    The only slight difference between these two boots is that lace-up work boots are mostly constructed of various sorts of leather.

    Leather is a preferable material for work boots to be made out of.

    Leather not only has a high-end, elegant appearance, but it is also tough and durable, especially when properly cared for.

    At the same time, leather has an elastic property that allows it to adjust to your feet over time while also helping to regulate temperature because it is a breathable material.

    Its breathable quality enables you to avoid excessive perspiration during the heat.

    Pull-on Versus Lace-up Work Boots


    When it comes to which is more comfortable between slip-on or lace-up work boots, it really depends on what you’re using them for, although there are some points to consider when making your decision around comfortability.

    The comfort of the boot varies according to the material that it is made out of.

    A rubber boot is slightly more comfortable than a boot made of PVC because it is not as stiff as the PVC.

    On the other hand, leather slip-on work boots are much more comfortable.

    They have a midsole and an insole, making them more comfortable than rubber or PVC boots.

    The comfort of your boots can also be improved by investing in some high-quality insoles to wear with them.

    It is recommended that you replace your insoles every 3-4 months.

    It’s that simple

    Another point to mention is that having the option to tighten the boots up and make them fit your foot snugly is likely to make you feel less fatigue at the end of your work shifts.

    In this way, lace-up work boots are considered to be more comfortable than slip-on boots.

    Pull-on work boots are considered to be more comfortable than lace-up boots when putting them on and taking them off because of their convenience.


    Both pull-on and lace-up work boots have different sizes when you wear them.

    While pull-on work boots generally have a wide sensation when you put them on, lace-up style work boots feel tighter or more secure on the foot.

    Pull-on work boots also typically provide a lot more space around your foot and toes.


    The brand’s name and popularity usually determine the price of a pull-on work boot or a lace-up work boot, as well as the material used, where the work boot is manufactured, safety features, and similar factors.

    Whereas a pull-on boot can cost anywhere from $25 to several hundred dollars, a good pair of lace-up work boots should cost between $70 and $80, with prices ranging up to a few hundred dollars.

    Fit Retention

    Pull-on work boots have less fit retention as they don’t keep their shape like lace-up work boots.

    They will lose their snugness over time, so you’ll need to buy an insole for these boots, or replace them totally if they no longer fit. 

    Buying an insole for your work boot is a terrific idea because it can give a much-needed layer of cushion to assist you during the day.

    Here is how they differ:

    Lace-up work boots have better fit retention as they are firmer and keep their fit for longer periods.

    You can adjust them by tightening the laces once they’ve loosened.

    This is noticeable if you experience heel slippage or an unexpected surplus of space within the boot.

    These are unquestionably the best in terms of fit retention.

    Pull-on Versus Lace-up Work Boots

    Strengths & Weaknesses

    The strengths and weaknesses of pull-on and lace-up boots are that pull-on work boots are convenient and protective but provide insufficient ankle support.

    Whereas lace-up work boots are protective and provide ankle support but could be tripping hazards and lack proper ventilation.

    Strengths of Pull-on Work Boots

    The strengths of pull-on work boots are their convenience, protection, and style.

    Putting these boots on and taking them off is a breeze.

    They are often tall to provide additional protection. These boots come in a variety of styles.

    Another strength of a pull-on work boot is that the wearers’ chances of tripping or falling are reduced because these boots don’t have laces.

    These boots are the best choice for oil rig employees.

    Pull-on work boots are renowned for their ventilation technology; it is significantly better for your feet and can help prevent foot odor.

    Pull-on work boots are waterproof since they feature less stitching and lace holes.

    Strengths of Lace-up Work Boots

    The strengths of lace-up work boots are their fit, style, and ankle support.

    One strength of lace-up work boots is that they are guaranteed to fit snugly, because they are adjustable, they provide the optimum comfort and stability for your feet.

    Another strength of lace-up work boots is that they come in a variety of styles and designs.

    Lace-up work boots provide superior ankle support.

    Even if they lose their shape, these boots will last a long time.

    Weaknesses of Pull-on Work Boots

    The weaknesses of pull-on work boots include safety, ankle support, and shape.

    Because of the gaping collars, they may not always provide adequate insulation and safety for your feet.

    Pull-on work boots are incapable of supporting your ankles.

    Another weakness of pull-on work boots is that they eventually begin to lose their shape.

    Pull-on work boots are not resistant to punctures.

    Weaknesses of Lace-Up Work Boots

    The weaknesses of lace-up work boots are their lack of convenience and their tripping hazard and ventilation.

    These boots are inconvenient to wear. It takes time and effort to put on and take these boots off.

    Lace-up work boots are a tripping hazard.

    If the laces on your boots are too long or hang out, you have a higher probability of tripping and falling while working.

    These boots’ laces may need to be replaced over time.

    Lace-up work boots have an inadequate ventilation system.

    These boots might cause your feet to sweat, leading to foot odor.

    When to Choose Pull-on or Lace-up Work Boots

    Know when to choose pull-on or lace-up work boots to maximize their respective features and uses.

    When Should You Choose Pull-on Work Boots?

    You should choose pull-on boots if you’re someone working in agriculture, farming, gardening, welding, and, most notably, an oil rig.

    People in these professions do not have the time to fuss over lace adjustments or ties.

    Because these boots do not have laces, it’s less likely that you will experience spills of toxic chemicals on your feet if you work in the chemical industry.

    This lace-free design provides added protection.

    When Should You Choose Lace-up Work Boots?

    You should choose lace-up boots if you work in fields with metal particles, shattered glasses, sand, sparks of flame, fiberglass, and so on.

    These boots completely wrap your feet, preventing debris from falling inside them.

    These boots also provide superior foot stability for persons who stand or move about at work.

    Pull-on Versus Lace-up Work Boots

    Are Lace-up Boots Safer Than Pull-on Boots?

    Lace-up boots are far safer than pull-on boots because they allow you to customize the fit of the boots to your liking, whether you prefer a tight or snug fit.

    Whereas with pull-on boots, you must settle for the shoe’s existing fit because they have no laces!

    The laces give the boot a firm grip on the feet, preventing them from moving forward, backward, or to the right or left.

    If pull-on boots are too loose, there is a risk of the heel coming out of the boot when walking, leading to an accident due to falling or tripping.

    Common Questions

    What Should I Look For When Purchasing New Lace-up or Pull-on Work Boots?

    Can Lace-up and Pull-on Work Boots Be Worn Both Indoors & Outside?

    Is It Okay to Wear Lace-up or Pull-on Work Boots in the Winter?

    In Conclusion

    Now that we’ve investigated the differences between pull-on and lace-up work boots, you should be certain which of these is best suited for you.

    Each one of these boots is unique to its specific function, when deciding between them be mindful of what you intend to use your work boot for.

    Whether you decide on a lace-up or a pull-on, your safety and comfort should never be jeopardized. When considering any of these work boots, keep your safety in mind as a top priority.

    The important thing to keep in mind is that the best boot for you is one that your job requires and that can offer you the most protection for your feet.

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    James Blake

    Written by
    James Blake
    Work Safety Expert

    James has made it his mission to find the top boots on the market.

    He’s passionate about matching the right boot to the right application because different boots are a perfect fit for different uses.