The most popular and trusted work boot from Caterpillar after the 2nd Shift is Diagnostic. CAT made it clear and straightforward. The affordable solution for troubled feet. You can pick more premium boots from our list of all category best ones.
Update 2020: Slightly better recommendations from users this year. Still popular, no doubt.
Table Of Contents
- Types Decoded
- In-depth Review and Analysis of Caterpillar Diagnostic Boots
- Remarks and Suggestions
- Better for
- User, Expert and Trade Recognition
- Price vs. Durability
- Water, Chemical and Spill Proof
- Slip Resistance
- Toe Box and Safety
- Break-in Time and Fitting
- Electrical Hazard
- Fashion and Presentable
- Breathable and Insulation
- Leather, Upper, Lace, and Heel
- Tongue, Collar, and Weight
- Insole, Midsole, Shank and Arch Support
- Outsole, Construction and Sewing
- Anti-odor and Cleanable
- Warranty, Return and Post Purchase Service Policy
- Brand Faith
- Special and Uncommon Features
- Editor’s Boost
- Close Alternatives
- Posts of the same feather...
‘Diagnostic’ and a Little Pinch of History
We are getting more and more subject oriented. If we go 400 years from now, back then boots were just boots, period. Then it all started when students and scholars from Oxford began wearing a significant build which eventually got the name, Oxford Shoe. Cowboys in the wild west used to wear specialized boots. Mostly pull-ons.
If you look just 100 years back, there was no such thing called work boots except the pull-ons. People used to wear the same boots or shoes for military services, jaw-dropping hard jobs, dwelling around in the abundance of nature or to meet others in the newly built town streets and pubs.
Then came work boots, they branched out, and we almost lost track of the right properties we need.
Caterpillar came to inherit the legacy. They designed a pair of boots that focus only on comfort and anatomical safety of the feet. That’s all because we are gaining weight on an average by generations if not by decades. We have the chance to focus on less life-threatening issues like foot deformities; we are now bound to work mostly on irregular surfaces like oddly plain floors. Concerns like plantar fasciitis are rising at an alarming rate.
Specific Issues of CAT Diagnostic and ERGO
So, why’s the name Diagnostic boot here, again?
By the name and stature, these boots mean to provide:
- Extra comfort,
- Lightweight attached to the legs,
- The right balance of the feet and
- Prevention to presumed ongoing deformities or foot-hurdles like flat foot issues.
As Cat Footwear claims, their “ERGO Collection boots are anatomically accurate to enhance stability, flexibility and maximum comfort.”:
There are three Diagnostic boots
Diagnostic HI S3 Boots
We do not exactly recommend this particular product. Why?
The cheapest (a fraction of a difference to be honest) one with fewer features. Simply put, you should not go for it even if you do not need the features. What it lacks? Slip resistance, waterproofing, gel insert and maybe insulation too!
All down only for five bucks?
We think this Hi S3 is not meant to be sold. This is nothing but a bait which would make your feet, “I’m winning! I’m getting so much more by going for the next upbeat model which is the one named “Diagnostic Hi Waterproof” type of stuff.
We don’t think it’s a good idea to cut so many features. It makes little sense.
Diagnostic HI Waterproof Work Boots
Roughly for about five more dollars, ‘a significant number of integrated values.
This one is the boot you may want to purchase if you do not require electrical hazard and steel toe as well as the ASTM measures.
Diagnostic HI Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boots
Five more and BAM! You’ve got everything the Diagnostic can offer.
The last two are worth buying. And we will talk about the later ones, not the original pair.
Let’s dig down deeper to see whether or not they really do something extra for us:
In-depth Review and Analysis of Caterpillar Diagnostic Boots
ShoeAsk points: 85 out of 100
Editorial Recommendation: Very high, mostly for the price, features, and popularity
Remarks and Suggestions
We’re lucky at last! Not another pair shipped out of China. These are from a bay nearby though; Vietnam.
Let us ensure you at first- the boots perform more or less as advertised. They are comfortable, affordable and lightweight. You can go for them if this is your budget range. Otherwise, yes, there are better boots around at a higher stake. You can read about our process of recommendations.
But hey! It’s better to go through the specs first:
People feel comfortable wearing them at work during the summer and winter. Yes, Diagnostic is not the best option if it is freezing out there. That’s when you will need more insulation because they are 200g.
User, Expert and Trade Recognition
Caterpillar Diagnostic created a crowd of fans as did other trusted boots:
“The boots are great in any weather. The best boots I have ever owned. Going to buy another pair.”
Experts and old crews would tell you to stay with Timberland, Wolverine, Danner, Red Wing or Keen. People know CAT and recognize them well, even feel better wearing CAT on their boots, but it will take time and enhanced durability to get on the list of elites for Caterpillar boots.
Let us get it right, those brands are better and cost higher than CAT (it depends on the brands and features).On the other hand, CAT is not bad, not at least like the crappy ones falling apart after one or two couples of months. Let’s go through a user evaluation:
“I have owned 2 pairs of Craftsman steel-toed boots, and one pair of Timberland steel toed boots (each pair cost about the same as these boots) and each pair lasted several years with no issues until I simply wore out the soles of the boots. For the price of these boots I expected the same quality.”
Price vs. Durability
Durability is always a pain for our editors here at ShoeAsk! But somehow we love to get it correct for you.
Some of the buyers say they lasted for four years. It definitely should not become an example or reference point for you. Several other reports say these did not last as little as three to four months.
We would say, they can serve for two years at best:
“I’m on my second pair; the first pair lasted over 2½ years.”
You should expect them to last for a year (not with fingers crossed!).
If you are an abuser, we understand that. Many of us try to take care of the boots, but time does not permit. Seven to eight months is good for rough workers lacking the care time.
Is it worth the lifespan?
Yes; things wear out and 7 to 15 month’s comfy service period is better than many. And you can get more for a better budget.
Yes, they are comfy. The best possible comfort out of this pair? Adding two insoles will do the rest of the magic in case you need it. This is something official which we thought would help judge the genre:
“Diagnostic Hi is specifically designed to support the natural movement of your foot, and is anatomically correct to enhance stability, flexibility, and comfort.”
No more concrete-dwelling sore feet. (Further reading on comfort)
Water, Chemical and Spill Proof
CAT Footwear waterproofing system is good enough.
“This boot delivers what it speaks. Keeps my feet dry even in the wettest muddy conditions.”
There is a non-waterproof version, in case you stumble upon it.
They have a good grip over sloppy surfaces. The outsole resists slip, oil, water, heat, and abrasion.
Toe Box and Safety
Wide toe box. They reinforce the toe surface with a hardened layer which is made of rubber or rubber-vinyl composite. A badass abrasion resistance. There are soft and steel toe versions. Steel toe version has all the features and more.
Break-in Time and Fitting
These seem to run about a half-size larger for men, maybe sometimes one size; but then on hot days when your feet sweat there is a bit of room to minimize that. It requires a small break in time, 1-3 days.
You can have an electrical hazard which comes with the steel toe version.
Fashion and Presentable
They look nicer than the most work boots, but surely are not meant to be worn in parties or occasions like that.
Breathable and Insulation
Nylon mesh lining ensures better breathability. You can get 200 grams of Thinsulate.
Leather, Upper, Lace, and Heel
Waterproof full-grain leather upper keeps feet dry and protected. The leather is high-tech abrasion resistant.
The leather may crack in some points after a certain period. Diagnostics have adequate heel support.
Tongue, Collar, and Weight
The padded tongue is not big. Sometimes bigger tongues tend to turn into disturbing elements. The collar is wider, thicker and it looks so comfy!
There is no doubt that it is lightweight. Imagine you’ve just finished a day-long work and walking through the isles feeling deadweight on each of your feet- that’s not gonna happen in this case.
Insole, Midsole, Shank and Arch Support
Removable EVA foam insert with gel technology. There’s good arch support, and these are better for flat foot issues as described by a user:
“I’m flat footed and they are really comfortable. I wear them for about 10 to 12 hours a day at work.”
These have steel shanks, ensuring better sturdiness. They did a lot of work in the midsole.
Outsole, Construction and Sewing
Rubber non-slip outsoles are of good quality which is called SRX.
Their flexible cement construction provides enough support and comfort. The upper is sewn pretty well.
Anti-odor and Cleanable
These are somewhat odor-controlling because of all the extra room you get all around your feet, and everything including the gel insole is perforated. Getting good breathability means getting odor a bit controlled. But they do not treat the boots for antibacterial properties.
Warranty, Return and Post Purchase Service Policy
1-month warranty is not much at all. Yes, they offer an extensive period of after purchase service. 1 year is an excellent period of time!
You can return them if unworn within 45 days.
People trust Cat Footwear. There are negative comments on the brand. Reliable goodwill is building up slowly. For more info on brands, you can read this bold post.
Special and Uncommon Features
- These are fantastic at anatomical comfort.
- Low price.
- High popularity.
30 day warranty is not plenty at all. The beautiful shoelace eyes are surface-mounted. They look solid, but there are a couple of repeated complaints, “just pulled out of the leather.” and, “ Examining the rivet, I see it literally broke off.”
These boots are up to the mark for most of the requirements, but they fall short in some prerequisites. So, 3 out of 5 on the house. These boots are good, worth buying as we said earlier, but they could have been better. These are better for somebody with foot difficulties or overweight. For others, these are still good to go.
Caterpillar Men’s Hydraulic Mid Cut Steel Toe Boot
(No waterproofing. They’re puncture resistant, electrical hazard, and steel toe)
KEEN Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot
(Steel toe, insulated, waterproof, puncture resistant and electrical hazard)
Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot
(Steel toe, insulated, waterproof, slip resistant and electrical hazard)
Different and Uncommon
men’s timberland pro® pit boss 6″ steel toe work boots
( No waterproofing, traction on all surfaces, electrical hazard and steel toe)