Lug soles are a type of outer sole found on heavy-duty and utility shoes such as hiking boots or work boots. They are thick and designed with deep indentations to improve stability and traction. The pattern of these soles varies to include V-shaped and diamond shaped indentations. They are most frequently found on boots, including fishing, hunting, logging, hiking, and work boots.
Most lug soles are made of rubber, some may be PVC injected, and they are generally slightly wider than the perimeter of the shoe. Though they offer improved traction and stability and can be ideal for hunting, fishing, or work boots, it can be difficult to find the right combination of additional features. That being said, lug soles are often one of the best types of outer soles for utility shoes or boots.
Though boots with this type of sole can feel heavy other types of soles, such as logger soles, often feel heavier. One drawback to either type of sole is the tendency to accumulate mud in the deep indentations. They can be messy and difficult to clean, but this is a small price to pay for added traction and stability. If your work situation warrants oil resistant soles, you can find work boots with lug soles, as well as other types, offering this feature.
Several different manufacturers, including Chippewa, Red Wing, and Rocky, offer utility shoes with lug soles as well as a variety of other outer soles. The best way to find a boot with the right features for your needs is to try them on. Comfort is the number one factor for determining an appropriate work boot.
Before you begin shopping for utility shoes, determine the features you need your boot to have, including waterproofing, insulation, and safety features such as steel toe and slip-resistance. There are several models from many manufacturers that offer variety in features and pricing. To get the most value out of your shoe, be sure to check the stitching and the insole in addition to comfort and features.