Pull On Boots vs Lace Up Boots | Features Comparison

Pull On Boots vs Lace Up Boots

The pull-on boots vs. lace-up boots debate has always been around when it comes to safety footwear. However, when it comes to work boots, finding the right pick for you is more than just a matter of style and convenience.

What a lot of people might not know is that the overall design of your work boots can also affect your safety and performance. This is why it’s crucial to pay attention to what these two have to offer. Consequently, you can make the right choice for you when it comes to boots.

Talking of choices, here are examples of pull on and lace up boots:

In This Article

To help you choose the right work boot type, we’ve noted all of the important points about lace up and pull on boots. Then we’ve laid them down side by side so you can easily pit them against each other. This way, you might just be able to find the work boot type that will match your needs and requirements.

There are a lot of considerations when it comes to choosing the best boots for you. With our guide, you will not only be able to choose the best boot style for you, but you will choose one that will contain all the other features that you look for in comfortable footwear.

Pull On or Lace Up Work Boots?

It’s easy to see that pull on and lace up boots are two very different types of shoes. This is why choosing between them can be fairly simple if you just intend to use them for casual wear. You just choose which one appeals to you better and then look for a pair that’s comfortable, durable, and suits your budget. This shouldn’t be the case for work boots, though.

Work gear footwear has very specific requirements. So you can’t just choose between lace ups and pull ons on a whim. How do you take a pick, then? Here are a few factors that can help you make the right choice:

Pull on or Lace up boots?
Pull ons usage

When to Use Pull On Boots

Often recommended for agriculture, farming, gardening, and welding jobs. Pull ons are the best picks if you often need to take your shoes off and put them back on quickly. The fact that you just need to squeeze your feet inside and pull it on and off makes these shoes very convenient to wear. There’s no more fussing with lace adjustments and ties with these shoes. Pull ons are also great options if you work in environments where laces can get caught or spilled on by dangerous chemicals. Their laceless design will give you streamlined protection. Overall, the main benefit for most people is the convenience of getting them on and off fast. They tend to make for very flexible and comfortable work boots, as you don’t have to stress every time you need to remove them.

Lace ups usage

When to Use Lace Up Work Boots

While lace ups have some extra material hanging about that can be considered as tripping hazards, they’re still better options in certain circumstances. They’re highly recommended for those who come in contact with metal fragments, shattered glass, fiberglass dust, sand, and even sparks from open flames. As they’re designed to completely enclose your feet, they can prevent dangerous debris from falling inside your boots. If your work involves a lot of standing and moving around for long hours, you should also consider lace ups more closely. They tend to offer better foot stability than pull-ons. Therefore, they can be great options in several instances. However, it is not always possible to simply categorize these boots into two categories. There are many different varieties of each boot that offer many different features and functions. Everything from waterproof boots, to traction options, to different arch supports, and more. Pull-on and lace-up may just be one of their many features. Read on to find out more about the different features offered.

Key Features Pull Ons Lace Ups
Convenience Y X
Good Fit X Y
Safety Y Y

Pull On Boots vs Lace Up Boots: Breaking It Down

The basics above may already have helped you distinguish the differences of pull ons and lace ups. But there’s a good chance that they didn’t get to paint the complete picture. While they might have pointed out a few key features about the two types of work boots, it’s likely that they’re not enough to help you decide which one will suit your needs.

We’ll get into the details of what sets pull ons and lace ups apart below. This round up of key work boot features should help you decide which one will cater to your needs better.

Breaking it Down

Feature #1: Convenience

Most folks who need to wear work boots do tough jobs. They’re often subjected to heavy manual labor that even the smallest things that can make their daily lives simpler and easier are appreciated. This is why convenience is an important feature people look for in work boots. How do pull ons and lace ups fare in this regard?

Pull on Boots

Pull On Boots:

Convenience is inarguably the stand out feature of pull-on boots. The fact that they’re very easy to put on and take off is definitely one of its major selling points. Their design makes them very easy to wear as you don’t have to bend or crouch down to reach your feet and put them on. You can even just stomp these shoes on and that’s it. You don’t really have to struggle with these boots when it comes to wearing them. Taking them off is also the same thing. Sure, you might still need to contort your body a little to take them off but that’s nothing. Toeing them off is always an option as well. So there’s really no complication when it comes to wearing these shoes. If you’ve ever had a heavy duty pair of work boots, you know that lacing them up can be an ordeal in itself. With pull-ons, you don’t have to worry about this, and can get right to work instead. Another convenient thing about pull on boots is that they’re versatile in terms of appearance. They can be worn with both casual and formal outfits in most instances. Hence if you’re looking for a pair of work boots that will give you some wiggle room when it comes to your work outfits, this is a nice pick. No need to worry as much about whether your boots match your outfit.

Lace up Boots

Lace Up Boots:

Lace up boots aren’t necessarily complicated to put on, it’s just that pull ons are way easier to wear. In some cases, depending on your waist size and flexibility, putting on lace up boots can be quite complicated. You’ll have to bend down and actually reach your feet to secure them on your feet, and not everyone can do that. It will also take longer for you to put on and take off a pair of lace ups than a pair of pull ons. Since you have to fuss about the laces, you can expect that these shoes will take up some time to wear.

Winner: Pull ons. They don’t require a lot of effort to wear. Therefore, they can be the best options if you usually need to put on and take off your work shoes several times throughout the day.

Feature #2: Fit

The fit of a work boot is also a crucial feature that you should pay close attention to. It can make or break your performance because it affects your comfort and stability. If your work footwear doesn’t fit right, it won’t feel comfortable. If it’s too tight, there will be soreness and pressure points. It will definitely hurt a few hours after you clock in. This is not an ideal situation to be in if you do manual labor. If your feet are swimming inside a too roomy pair of shoes, then you won’t have enough control over your movements. Both instances can then keep you from doing your best in accomplishing your tasks. You’ll be too distracted if your feet are in pain. Your shoes can also put you in danger if they’re too loose or roomy. The best advice we can give for finding a proper fitting pair of boots is to measure your feet. You need a boot that is the proper size, but you also need a boot that is the proper width. Knowing all these dimensions can make picking a boot a lot easier. When it comes to fit, which type of boot will be a better choice? Let’s take a look:

Pull on Boots

Pull On Boots:

The best pull ons are designed to follow the contours of your feet and fit you nicely. By choosing the right size, you can be sure that these shoes will feel snug on you. Hence, you can move in them all day long without a hitch. However, pull ons can eventually lose their shape over time. Toeing them off or pulling them out can deform the heel area after a while. This is particularly true for certain materials. So expect them to feel looser as they wear out. They also hardly ever fit snugly on the calf area. Most manufacturers use general measurements so some people end up with a gaping opening at the top of their boots. Others, however, might not even be able to squeeze their legs in them. Both are notable issues because they can put your foot safety at risk and make the shoes unusable. In terms of comfort, however, they can be just as cozy as lace up boots. With a good outsole and a pair of nicely padded insoles, your feet can feel like you’re walking on cotton all day long.

Lace up Boots

Lace Up Boots:

Lace ups offer a better and more consistent fit. As you can easily tighten and loosen the laces, you can also customize how well the shoes are attached to your feet. This gives you the freedom to get the exact snugness you want to get which can also help ensure your comfort and ease of movement. So while the laces may be more of a hassle to put on, you do get the benefit of a better fit. Unlike pull ons, even if lace up boots bend a bit out of shape after a while, you can still adjust them to fit you nicely. The laces can give you superior control in this regard. The laces also help better seal your feet and keep debris out. This can keep your feet safe from stuff that could fall inside your boots. They also guarantee a more secure fit for wearers. The laces won’t just tie the shoes down on your feet, but they are also often designed to provide better heel support. This design usually helps lock your heels in place, giving you a steady footing and lowering your risks of injury.

Winner: Lace up boots. The secured fit shoe laces can provide is more suitable for a lot of occupations that require employees to wear work boots.

Feature #3: Safety

As every pair of work boots require a certain amount of protection, it shouldn’t be surprising that safety is also an important consideration when choosing between laces or no laces work boots. This might actually be the most important point to consider since safety should always be your top priority when shopping for this kind of footwear. Which one can offer you more protection? Both pull ons and lace ups have nearly the same amount of foot protection. Both can be equipped with the same amount of toe and outsole safety features. However, there are also a few ways that these boot designs affect your foot safety. So you should also take these factors into consideration. We’ll discuss them in detail below. However, like any boots, sometimes the safety features are determined by other parts of the boot. This includes whether it has a rubber sole for slip resistance, whether it is resistant to heavy materials being dropped, and whether it provides ample ankle support. Both varieties of boot can be bought with these features included. So both boots can be good safety boots, it just depends on which model you end up buying.

Pull on Boots

Pull On Boots:

These safety shoes can have heavy duty construction that can protect you from falls, electrical hazards, and puncture injuries. But they might not always be the best option if small debris showers are common occurrences at your work site. These small items can fall inside the opening left on top of your boots. As not all pull ons have snug-fitting collars, this can be a serious problem for a lot of wearers. Pull ons can minimize tripping hazards, however. Without laces flailing about, you don’t have to worry about them getting caught in low-hanging corners and protruding stuff. This can then lessen your odds of falling because of your shoes.

Lace up Boots

Lace Up Boots:

These shoes , however, have several safety features. As mentioned above, its customizable fit can make them easier to wear. They can also secure your feet and keep debris from getting to your feet which makes them all the more safer to wear. Their only downside is laces tangling up. They can entangle in corners and protruding things which can then trip you and cause falls. They can also dip in chemicals which can burn and damage both your shoes and your skin. The good thing, however, about these drawbacks is that you can do something about them. Tying your laces in a way that will prevent the excess material from hanging about is a good way to prevent both issues. Also ensure that your shoe laces are in the proper length so that they aren’t especially loose, which would present a tripping hazard.

Winner: Tie. Both can offer great foot protection. They also have their own dangers. So making the right choice is mostly a matter of choosing the right type of work boots that suit your work conditions better.

Final Recount:

Pull On Boots: 2 Lace Up Boots: 2 Both lace ups and pull ons have their own benefits and drawbacks so choosing between them is really up to what your occupation needs.

Pros & Cons

Pros & Cons
Pull ons

Pull ons

  • Very easy to put on and take off
  • Available in different designs
  • No laces to get caught on stuff so tripping hazards are minimized
  • Available in very tall varieties that can provide additional leg protection
  • Gaping collars make some models in capable of providing enough warmth or safety
  • Lacks ankle support
  • Can eventually lose shape
Lace ups

Lace ups

  • Can better guarantee a secure fit
  • Promises better foot stability
  • Will let you customize its fit which guarantees better comfort
  • Available in various styles and designs
  • Takes longer to put on and take off
  • Might need lace replacement from time to time
  • Laces can get caught on stuff and cause various kinds of hazards

Making the Choice That is Right for You

As you have seen from this article, both of these boots have features that present various pros and cons of each. You still might be wondering how you can make a choice that is best for you.

For this choice, keep in mind that both boot options come in several varieties and styles. So if you have any particular concerns about safety, style, or comfort, you could probably find a variant of either boot that meets your needs. Aside from the differences mentioned above, both boots are great for a variety of purposes.

That is why, as our top recommendation, we would say that you should just choose the boot that you think looks best. It really is that simple. Both of these boots have their own stylistic appeal, and you should pick which one you like the most and go with it. They can both be quite comfortable, and more than ideal for a workplace setting.

So unless your job has special requirements that mandates the use of one of these styles of boots, we think you should pick the boot you think you look best in. After all, looking good helps you feel good too.


It’s easy to see why a lot of people find themselves torn when choosing between pull on boots vs lace up boots. Their differences may be glaring but they also both offer great benefits.

To find the right pair for you, however, you have to know what your job requires and the conditions it will subject you to. This way, you can tell which of the two will serve you better and protect your feet adequately while doing your tasks.