As an arborist, wearing personal protective equipment is mandatory. There are lots of risks you expose your body to when you ignore even the most basic safety precaution. One of these protectives is the chainsaw boots.
For other jobs, you can underestimate the importance of a pair of safety boots. But when it comes to tree surgery with a chainsaw, it could mean the difference between a life-altering, minor, or a serious injury.
The shoes also keep you comfortable and stable throughout the whole operation. Not any chainsaw boots will do for you. You need the best chainsaw boots which have certain distinguishing features as you will learn in this products review.
Best Chainsaw Safety Boots Reviews
The Viking Footwear Class 2 Chainsaw boot is one of our top choices for chainsaw boots. This pair of boots offers frontal protection in the likely event of a chainsaw cut. It’s not only protection from the saw that you are kept safe from. These boots also absorb shocks from tree logs that might accidentally drop on your feet.
Made from 100% rubber, the shoes stay crack-free, comfortable, offer excellent shock absorbency, and extended usage period. The boots upper are made from Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) blended with Natural Rubber (NR) for longevity.
This rubber is resistant to chemical abrasion. Also, the upper is lined with cotton canvas on the inside for high absorbency and user comfort.
The heels of the boots are air-cushioned to protect your ankle and Achilles tendon from external shocks and impacts. The collar of the boots is made with a rubber lace and lined with a reflective strip for visibility in dimly lit conditions.
Nitrile Rubber (NBR), known for its slip resistance, is used to make the lug sole for this pair of boots. It keeps your feet still whenever you are on the move. These boots have downsides too. Their narrow top cuffs harden the task of putting them on and off.
The Rock Fall RF328 chainsaw boots are made from Kevlar. We think at this point, we all know just how tough and sturdy Kevlar is, more so in the provision of protection from external forces. Falling logs, bulletproof vests, and chainsaws cuts are just but a few examples.
One of the features that we think stands out from these boots is the crush and shock resistance property of the toe cap. A steel cap at the toe area acts as the protective shield from these adversaries. These boots are actually class 3 certified to provide sufficient user protection.
In addition to the toe cap, the midsole is another comforting feature. This midsole is composed of a composite that shields your foot from sharp objects that may penetrate the boots from below. Multiple layers of Kevlar line the boot for added abrasion resistance.
A Vibram grip outsole works to your advantage when climbing onto ladders. The safety boots securely grip onto the ladder, eliminating slips when working at heights. Ball bearing eyelets ease the process of pulling the laces through them when tying them up.
Let’s agree that these features are of little help if the boots are uncomfortable. To counter for this, the footbed is made absorbent and given an excellent moisture wicking ability for optimal breathability. In spite of, the shoelaces are quite flimsy.
The ARBORTEC Scafell Lite Chainsaw Boots is the latest chainsaw boots out of Arbotec’s line of footwear. This new product features a new 4 density sole unit plus a midsole system crafted from a composite material.
These construction materials impart longevity, reduced weight, flexibility, and stability to the safety boot. Even more impressively, the boots have a class II safety certification, meaning it is able to protect you from chain speeds of up to 24 meters per second (54 Mile Per Hour, 4724 Feet Per Minute).
Also, the Scafell chainsaw boots are fitted with a range of other features aimed at easing your tree work profession. It features a steel toe cap for taking off the sting from your toes in case a heavy object falls on your foot.
While the midsole is puncture-resistant, it is also flexible enough to provide a smooth foot transition in every step you make. A Vibram sole generates sufficient traction either on slippery grounds or when you climb ladders for those dangerous overhead works.
Combining breathability and waterproofing is another feature we like about these safety boots. It makes them easy on the feet, more so when working for extended periods out in the woods. In efforts to stifle puncturing, the boots are too rigid and heavy for some users.
If you are willing to pay extra for the best chainsaw boots, the Viking Footwear Bushwacker is a good choice too.
They are suitable for use in any type of weather since they are waterproof. Apart from being resistant to water splashes, these boots are also usable with ice-studs when the weather becomes extreme, particularly in winter.
A slip-on design eliminates the need for a laced up closure system that takes time to tie up. Plus, an ankle and heal support system reduces the instances of you experiencing ankle roll-over. Adequate arch support reduces fatigue amounts when you stay out for long.
Do you often work near power lines? If you do, then the electric shock resistant outsole might be your best bet for protection from electric shocks. It cushions against electric voltages of up to 18 kilovolts.
As for the chainsaw chain protection, it is classified under class 3 chain protection. This means you stay safe, provided the chain speed doesn’t exceed 28 meters per second. Moreover, the grade 1 steel plate fitted at the toe box ensures you can kick into objects without being pinched.
How To Select The Best Chainsaw Boots
Having the best chainsaw boots gives you exhaustive protection from chainsaw cuts, sharp objects, falling logs, cold temperatures, and slippery working environments. Moreover, if you insist on the best quality, your feet get additional support thus preventing ankle rolls.
Chainsaw boots are a must-have, that’s a fact. However, getting the right pair that matches you and your needs is another complication altogether. Below are the features to keep in mind if you are to end up with the best chainsaw boots.
1. Steel Toes Caps
There is not a two way about this one. Your chainsaw boots must have a steel casing at the toe box. So, as you go about your shopping, tick off all the boots without the toe cap from your list.
The reason why we always insist on having the toe cap is down to their importance when it comes to offering protection from falling objects in the woods. Even though the steel increases the weight of the boots, the shielding it does compensate for this minor setback.
Also, since steel is a good conductor of heat, the boots would become very cold after a short while if worn in a place of icy temperatures.
In recent times, other alternatives to steel are being used such as alloy and composite toe caps. The former is lightweight but is less reliable in handling high compressive forces. Composites, on the other hand are also light, but provide the least amount of protection.
Whichever choice you opt for, check that the boots’ toe caps meet or exceed the EN 1SO 20345:2011 safety standard. If so, then the toe cap withstands 200 joules of force and up to 15KN stationary force pressure. If the toe cap doesn’t, then you shouldn’t spend your money on it.
2. Class Of Protection
Not all chainsaw boots are made equal. They have varying degrees of protection, which to a certain degree determines how trusting you should be of the safety equipment. That is why the shielding are categorized into three classes.
Most of the times, these classes are indicative of the chain speeds that they are resistant against, or can successfully bring to a halt or not. First, class 1 safety boots can stop chain speeds of up to 20m/s.
On the other hand, class 2 is certified at 24m/s while class 3 stops chainsaws spinning at a maximum of 28m/s.
While conventional wisdom often dictates that a class 3 chainsaw boots would be more expensive than a class 1, that is not the case. In fact, we are always surprised to find some class 3 boots being cheaper than class 1.
So, find the best product that matches what you are willing to spend, for any given class and chain speeds you want protection from. This factor is also dependent on the type and speed rating of the chainsaw you often use.
3. Chainsaw Boots Legislation
A chainsaw is one of the most dangerous tools out there. It’s even worse when mishandled or the occasional accidents that cannot be avoided happen. For these reasons, the safety boots must meet certain regulations before being deemed good enough for a specific or general purpose.
These boots usually mitigate the risks such as mechanical, thermal, ergonomic behavior and slippage among others. Currently, the EN ISO 20345:2011 is the most commonly used safety standard legislation in place.
It is in regards to the amount of a dropping or stationary force that the boot has to absorb while keeping you comfortable.
However, there are other requirements that the boots must meet, including:
- Requirement for toe cap testing
- Inclusion of a penetration resistant midsole
- Resist static electricity and posses a heel that is energy absorbent
- Uppers have to be waterproofed
- Water-resistant outsoles
- Rubber construction
- Cleated boots
- Up to 3000C heat resistance
4. Fit And Comfort
Fit and comfort of the chainsaw boots are two factors that go hand in hand. If you wear uncomfortable shoes that are too tight for you, it is probable that you would develop bunions, corns, and blisters.
And if you have any existing health condition, then it would be aggravated when you wear tight-fitting boots. That being said, what you need are boots that are considerably lightweight so that you don’t feel too fatigued and sore after a couple of minutes.
If you are planning to be on rugged terrain for long, make arrangements to have ergonomically designed boots for alleviating fatigue.
These types of boots also work to reduce joint pains and arches in other parts of your body.
If you are buying your boots online, it is prudent that you ascertain that they are of the right size. Otherwise, if you are making the purchase from a retail store, then it would be more sensible to try them on before paying.
Even though online retailers indicate the sizes of the boots, take a couple of minutes to sieve through the comments and reviews to see how accurate the sizing is.
You would also know whether the boots run narrow or wide during the time of wearing them, and how long it takes to set in.
5. The Durability Of The Boots
Part of the package that qualifies chainsaw boots as the best in durability. For these footwears to last you long, the materials used have to be generally of high quality. Being served for long is a nicety to have.
Even though some buyers rely on brand names for an indicator of durability, it is sometimes not a good idea to do so.
Again, to be sure, take a quick peek at the reviews on the experiences previous buyers have hard. Any rational buyer is usually quick in pointing out a chainsaw boot that falls apart within months of making a purchase.
6. Working Environment
The weather in which you work also determines the best chainsaw boots for you. Extremely cold places require boots that are well insulated. However, too much insulation is not good either as your feet will heat up fast, thus becoming uncomfortable after a while.
Also, bear in mind the hot conditions in summer since you will have to wear the boots when that time arrives. For slippery terrains, look for outsoles with slip-resistance properties. In work situations with numerous climbing, ankle support is necessary.
And if you are a professional wood arborist who works for extended hours, then consider looking for slightly lightweight boots. In doing so, remember not to compromise on the protective mechanisms against snapped chains or dropped chainsaws.
7. Your Budget
It is not always true that a costly product is a high-quality item. You can still find better quality without breaking the bank in doing so. Consider the quality, durability, and safety features included in the design.
Also, have into consideration the previous features as you make comparisons between the different brands. What you require is a perfect balance between the pricing, prevailing features, and what your needs are.
8. Ease of Cleaning
We rarely find a tree surgeon who looks neat after rounds of tree felling. If it’s not mud, it is sawdust, tree sap, and lots of weird grime and grease. Failure to clean these off the boots immediately after you are done gradually damages the boots.
Ease of cleaning differs from brand to brand, with some being machine-washable. Others require you to use some sort of brush or sponge to wash off the dirt. Depending on how much time you usually have after felling trees, opt for boots that you are comfortable washing.
That’s all. Our review and buying guide of the best chainsaw boots. We hope it has been both enlightening and helpful in seeking for ways of protecting yourself from the lurking dangers.
Among the 4 products that we have reviewed, we believe you will get the best good boots, with some even having a class 3 safety classification. Despite the high quality of the other 3. In our opinion, the Viking Footwear Class 2 Chainsaw Boot is the overall winner.
The rubber from which they are made from is resistant to most of the foreign substances that the boots are likely to get into contact with. Even better, the boots have both Achilles and ankle protection cushioning at the heels.