CAT Threshold Work Boot Review | Why They’re So Inexpensive

If you’ve ever spent any time on a job site or working in a warehouse or shop setting you’ve undoubtedly seen, used or heard of CAT (Caterpillar Inc) heavy equipment. It might have been a forklift, backhoe, excavator, asphalt paver, and the list could go on, because they make pretty much anything you could need when it comes to heavy equipment — including boots to work in them. 

Not everyone knows that CAT offers a full line of work boots and workwear that attempt to embody the same durability the brand has become known for in the heavy equipment world.

The purpose of this review is to find out if they succeeded.

Some of the things we’ll cover in this review are: Are CAT Threshold boots good? Are CAT boots durable? How are CAT boots made and are they comfortable? We found that while they’re not as durable as welted boots, they’re great value for what you’re paying. More in our summary below. 

Light Weight, Steel Toe
CAT Men’s Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot

Lightweight, shock absorbant, waterproof, and made with surprisingly high quality leather, the CAT Threshold is a versatile all rounder.

Check Amazon Check CAT's Site
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
10/01/2023 01:12 pm GMT

cat threshold boots

CAT Threshold Boot Pros and Cons 

If you’re in a hurry, here are the pros and cons of these boots.


  • Affordable 
  • Lightweight for a steel toe boot
  • Runs wide 
  • Good arch support
  • Toe and heel bumpers


  • Glued/cemented build is not the most durable; you’re unlikely to get more than a year or two of hard wear 
  • May run a little too wide for people with narrow feet
  • Not very waterproof; lasted two minutes in water before leaking
  • Steel toe can heat up or get chilly in extreme weather

cat threshold boots work review


How Were the Boots Reviewed?

I’d like to briefly share with you a little about myself and my work environment. By day I’m a sheet metal fabricator and welder. This means I’m always on my feet: sometimes I’m standing in front of a CNC brake all day and on others I’m balancing on one foot while using the other to operate a pedal for a tig welder. My boots are frequently exposed to various hazards such as sharp objects, sparks from welding, and various chemicals we use in the shop for things like soldering.

All right, enough about me! Let’s talk about these boots!

cat threshold boots tall

CAT Threshold Boots Quick Specs

I know many of us don’t have a lot of free time on our hands, so I’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of specs and features you can quickly look over to see if these boots will work for you.

Safety ToeYes, Steel toe ASTM rated
Slip ResistantYes
Electrical hazard ratedYes, open circuits up to 600v in dry conditions
Soft ToeYes, Soft toe option available
Wide widthYes, Comes in wide widths
Boot Height6 inches
Country of OriginMade in Bangladesh
ColorsBrown or Black
Price$109.95 ($104.95 without steel toe)

cat threshold boots in shoebox

How Are the CAT Thresholds Made?

This is my favorite part of every review I write. I’m a bit of a boot nerd, and I love to dig into how a boot is made because it can quickly become obvious if a boot is built to last or if it’s overpriced junk. In this part of the review we’ll take a look at the leather, boot construction and a few other things about this boot to see how well they are made.

1.1 Leather Quality 

The leather quality is decent on the Threshold boots and what I would expect from a boot at this price point. It’s very much a plain Jane, brown, nubuck leather and I’d say it looks to be around 2mm thick, which is on par with some of the other cheaper work boots I’ve reviewed.

CAT does note that the leather is made at a Leather Working Group (LWG) Gold-rated tannery. If you didn’t know, LWG certified tanneries use more sustainable and environmentally friendly processes when they make leather. When leather is very cheap, it’s fair to assume that it’s from a tannery that isn’t exactly industry leading with its environmental practices, so I like that CAT made sure to include this information.  

cat threshold boots sole

1.2 Outsole

The outsole is a combination of rubber and of what CAT calls their ERGO midsole, which they tout as being 30% lighter and more shock absorbing than an EVA midsole

As far as the rubber part of the outsole goes, it seems durable so far and is shaped more like a hiking boot than a more traditional work boot with a taller heel or wedge sole. It does have a slight heel, but if your employer requires a boot with a defined heel, I’m not so sure the heel on the Thresholds will meet that definition. It’s probably best to check with your employer before purchasing if you’ve got heel requirements

1.3 Cemented or Welted?

These boots are not welted or able to be resoled. They are cemented construction which is generally considered the least durable construction for work boots. However, cemented is more flexible and lightweight than welted boots, it’s more common on waterproof boots, and it’s to be expected on a work boot as inexpensive as the Thresholds.

But after two weeks of wear in a shop setting, I already have a bit of delamination at the toe of the left boot (below).

cat threshold boots delaminating at toe

1.4 Lace to Toe Design

Why lace to toe? A lace to toe design allows for a more secure fit around the ball of the foot and adds more structure to the toe box, which helps prevent you from over flexing your toes. Given the generous toe box space these boots have, which we’ll discuss in a bit, it’s easy to see why they chose a lace to toe design.

1.5 Toe and Heel Bumpers 

They do have rubber heel and toe bumpers that are sewn around the toe box and heel area. These are very helpful at extending the life of the leather and in all honesty, the outsole will probably fall off before the upper gets trashed to the point you can’t wear the boots anymore.

are cat boots waterproof

1.6 Waterproof Liner

CAT doesn’t really get into any specifics about the waterproofing tech the boots have, other than to say that the seams of the waterproof liner have been sealed to ensure your feet stay dry. I’m sure it’s probably similar to the Hawx Legion or Timberland Boondocks I recently reviewed.

When I decided to put the waterproof liner to the test. I filled my sink with water and placed the boots inside. Unfortunately they began to fill with water within 2 minutes and were completely soaked through. While waterproof liners aren’t fool proof, I would expect them to stay dry longer than two minutes. The fact it failed so quickly is a little disappointing.

Is the CAT Threshold Comfortable?

They are very comfortable. Honestly, I was really surprised that they were so comfortable. I’m on my feet all day, so comfort is key for me.

Below, I’ll talk about a few things that stood out to me in terms of comfort.

cat threshold boots Toe box width

2.1 Toe Box

Coming in at a generous 4.1 inches, the toe box gives plenty of wiggle room. Not only is it roomy, but CAT used a more anatomically shaped safety toe cap compared to many of their competitors, which means I didn’t feel the toe cap rubbing against the side of my big toes at all. I would like to note that CAT does offer the Threshold in a soft toe configuration too, which can be selected from the same product page as my steel toe version.

2.2 Insole 

The insoles are pretty comfortable as well. The removable insole is a foam polyurethane insole that has small holes throughout it, which I suspect is there to help circulate air and help prevent your feet from sweating. The non removable insole looks like it could be either EVA or Poron. Either way, regardless of what both the removable and non removable insoles are made from, the combination of two makes for a very comfortable boot.

cat threshold boots insole

2.3 Arch Support 

Arch support is fairly good and my moderately high arches haven’t had an issue with the Thresholds so far. Normally I like to use the heel to toe drop measurement as a reference to help show the amount of arch support one could expect from a particular boot. However, with the outsole design it makes the boots seem pretty flat but rest assured these boots have fairly good arch support. The removable insole also has some arch support built into it as well.

2.4 Boot Weight

Coming in at 2lbs 1.3oz, the CAT Threshold is on the lighter for a steel toe work boot. It’s also fairly well balanced and doesn’t feel like all the weight is in the front of the boots unlike other steel toe boots I’ve worn.

cat threshold boots weight

2.5 CAT Threshold Sizing, Fit, and Break In 

As far as fit goes, they run true to size. You should be fine ordering your Brannock size in them. Width wise, however, they run wide. Some might even say they feel a bit sloppy, but I don’t personally mind because it keeps me from being able to feel the safety toe, and the lace to toe design allows me to lace up tight enough to keep my feet from sliding around. Note that the shoes are available in extra wide widths.

There is absolutely no break in period for the CAT Threshold boots. CAT designed them to be comfortable right out of the box so you can wear them to work on day one without issue.

cat threshold boots

CAT Threshold Boot Safety Features 

In this part of the review we’ll briefly cover a few of the safety features that many employers who are sticklers for safety regulations require.

3.1 Steel Toe

The Cat Threshold comes with an ASTM compliant steel safety toe. While some guys prefer them to non-metal composite toes, it’s worth noting that steel toe boots tend to make your feet cold if you live and work in colder environments and they heat up in hot environments. You can always purchase the non-steel toe version of these boots if you prefer. 

3.2 Shock Resistance 

CAT states that the Threshold protects from up to 600 volts on an open circuit in dry conditions.

3.3 Slip Resistance

The CAT Thresholds are rated for slip resistance as well. If you work in wet, muddy or icy conditions you may want to consider these boots.

cat threshold boots flexible

CAT Threshold Boot Price

  • $109.95
  • $5 cheaper for soft toe

The CAT Threshold is a very affordable boot coming in at the price of $109.95 for the steel toe and $104.95 for soft toe.

Amazon prices fluctuate a ton, but at the time of writing this article, the CAT Threshold was on sale at Amazon for $85.32.

Light Weight, Steel Toe
CAT Men’s Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot

Lightweight, shock absorbant, waterproof, and made with surprisingly high quality leather, the CAT Threshold is a versatile all rounder.

Check Amazon Check CAT's Site
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
10/01/2023 01:12 pm GMT

Who should buy the Cat Threshold?

  • People looking for cheap boots
  • People who prefer the feel of hiking boots or sneakers 
  • People with wide feet
  • People who are required to have a steel toe boot 
  • People who need boots that are ASTM rated for electrical hazards

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Cat Threshold?

  • People who prefer a more traditional boot build: these look and feel closer to sneakers
  • People who work in very hot or very cold environments may not like the steel toe’s temperature absorption
  • People who want very durable boots, these probably won’t manage two years of hard wear 
  • People who need waterproof footwear, these leaked after a few minutes
  • People with narrow feet

cat threshold boots forklift

Final Thoughts

In closing, I can honestly say that I like this budget friendly boot. It has some obvious shortcomings in terms of build quality but for what it is, I really liked it and found it to be a comfortable boot to wear all day. Obviously, it’s no Pacific Northwest boot or even a Red Wing or Thorogood but for what it is, it’s good enough. You probably won’t make it two years in them with heavy use, but the value is still so solid that I’m comfortable recommending the CAT Threshold boots.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the CAT Threshold have a steel toe?

Yes, the CAT Threshold has an ASTM Compliant Steel Toe (ASTM F2413-18), but there's also a soft toe version that's $5 cheaper.

Where is the CAT Threshold boot made?

The CAT Threshold is made in Bangladesh.

Is the CAT Threshold waterproof?

Yes, the CAT Threshold's construction has sealed seams and a liner that leaves it fully waterproof — we filled the boot with water just to test.

Is the CAT Threshold rated for electrical hazards?

Yes. The CAT Threshold's Electrical Hazard Protection is rated to protect against open circuits up to 600 volts in dry conditions (ASTM F2892-18)

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Adam is a sheet metal fabricator and welder who also moonlights as a boot reviewer. After years of wearing cheap boots and shoes that killed his feet, Adam decided he wanted the best work boot he could find. This led him to scouring the internet but little did he know, his deep dive into the world of boots would ignite a passion for writing about and reviewing boots.

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