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Indestructible Shoes Review: I Tried Their Best Styles

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David has been covering men's style and grooming topics for The Adult Man as a writer and photographer since 2020. We asked David to sum himself up in four sentences, and here it is. Serial learner. Aspiring wordsmith. Bourbon enthusiast. Jack of some trades. Read full bio.

Last Updated: Feb 23, 2024
16 min read
Indestructible Shoes Review Model Lacing up J3 with blue jeans

If you’re a working man you’ve probably noticed that you have very few options when it comes to protective footwear that actually looks good. Steel-toed boots provide protection, but can be heavy, uncomfortable, ugly, and expensive.

Indestructible Shoes claim to deliver a solution to this problem with a wide selection of footwear that’s lightweight, steel-toed, breathable, durable, and slip-resistant, and stylish to boot.

We tried their Ryder Black and J3 Black shoes to see if they adequately protect from workplace hazards without sacrificing style and comfort.

Sturdy can be stylish
The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: Indestructible Shoes
Indestructible Shoes

Bottom line: Indestructible Shoes fill a unique market niche where every day footwear and protective, steel-toed boots combine. Their use of high quality, durable materials and a wide selection of aesthetically pleasing shoe styles make these a great choice for the style conscious working man who needs footwear that can keep up.

Ratings: The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service
  • Stylish shoes with a wide selection of styles
  • Made with high-quality materials military-grade kevlar and heavy-duty steel
  • Lightweight and breathable shoe designs
  • Perfect for a wide variety of work environments that require foot protection
  • Lengthy order fulfillment and delivery time

I’m well acquainted with the limited options working individuals face when it comes to protective footwear. 

After my sophomore year of college I took a job at the local dump since I hadn’t landed an internship elsewhere, and steel-toed boots were a requirement for the job. 

I consider myself a pretty stylish guy, and having to face a summer of working with literal garbage while working in the classic yellow, chunky steel-toed boots just added insult to injury.

Manual labor for 8 hours a day on your feet is no joke, and those heavy leather boots certainly did a better job than anyone would want when it came to insulating stinky, sweaty feet. 

Although the job turned out to be an enjoyable experience and similar to being on an episode of Storage Wars every day, my day-to-day experience certainly would have been improved by more comfortable, breathable, and stylish protective footwear. 

If only I had known about Indestructible Shoes back then. 

What Is Indestructible Shoes?

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Indestructible was founded by Eric Nguyen, a working man who was frustrated by work shoe options. Perfectly viable work shoes existed in the categories of steel-toed, slip-resistant, and sneakers, but he felt that no single shoe hit all three criteria at the same time. 

In this market hole Mr. Nguyen saw an opportunity to make the world’s most versatile work footwear, and he took it. 

Featured in publications like Futurism and The Military Times, Indestructible promises on-brand footwear that’s made from military-grade kevlar, has European steel in the toe, and is puncture and flame-resistant. That’s quite the lineup.

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Best of all, this full package of footwear protection weighs less than a pound, is breathable, and looks stylish. 

Indestructible recommends their shoes for construction and labor jobs, hiking, military and security personnel, and the restaurant industry. 

With such a wide range of use cases I was a bit skeptical that you could walk on a bed of nails, deliberately smash your toes with a sledgehammer, and comfortably go on a hike, so I decided I’d need to test some of their flagship shoes myself. 

Things to Consider Before Buying

Indestructible Shoes J3 Black boots being put on from side

The decision to buy Indestructible Shoes largely comes down to how much you dig their sleek profile compared to the rugged aesthetic of traditional protective footwear. 

The boots and work shoes you wear are often much more than just a pragmatic exercise in proper foot protection. If you’re specific about the coffee you drink, the truck you drive, the beer you chug, or the deodorant you wear, you’re probably specific about the boots and protective footwear you purchase as well. 

I know plenty of guys who prefer the look and feel of the classic chunky, yellow steel-toed boot over a sleek and technical option, in which case Indestructible’s offerings aren’t likely to be attractive. 

That being said, if you’re looking for a steel-toed shoe that looks and wears like a sneaker while providing enough protection to run across Middle Earth, drop a ring in Mount Doom, and come back without so much as a thought for the safety of your feet, Indestructible likely has the pair you’re looking for.

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Apart from the robust protective qualities of Indestructible’s footwear, their aesthetics and stylish looks are a huge selling point for the brand. 

They’re also easy on your wallet in many instances. The majority of their shoes retail for $160, but most can be found for less than $100 due to a semi-permanent sale. 

Overall, the decision to buy Indestructible Shoes is largely personal preference. If you’re after a fully-protective work shoe that looks like a sneaker or provides military-grade tactical performance, Indestructible is a great place to start your search.

Indestructible Shoes

Indestructible Shoes fill a unique market niche where every day footwear and protected, steel-toed boots combine. If you’re looking for comprehensive protection in a sleek package that’s light, breathable, stylish, and easy on your wallet, Indestructible is a great place to start.

Shop Indestructible Shoes

My Hands-On Review

Indestructible Shoes J3 Black and Ryder Black from above 1

Eager to jump off a ledge and onto a bed of nails while taking a power saw to my toes, I grabbed two pairs of Indestructible’s flagship shoes: the sneaker-inspired Ryder Black and the J3 Black boot.

It’s worth noting that these shoes ship from China, and total delivery time took about four weeks. Not ideal, especially in the day and age of two-day shipping, but these delays are evidently due to supply chain disruptions. 

If it makes you feel any better, they offer free shipping, easy returns, and a 30-day money back guarantee.


Indestructible Shoes shoebox from front on white background

The shoes arrived in nondescript boxes that tightly sleeved the actual shoe box. There’s nothing particularly special about the shoe boxes, but they feature Indestructible’s branding and are smaller than you might expect, considering they’re housing high-top boots.

Both pairs of shoes were neatly packaged inside with the typical protective paper and smelled like new shoes, which should be expected but it’s never too safe to assume. 

Ryder Black

Indestructible Shoes Ryder Black tread detail

First Impressions

The Ryder Black is designed to be an all-in-one work shoe that perfectly balances protection, comfort, and style. 

While they’re not particularly stylish in my eyes, I can appreciate the effort to make these look like everyday use sneakers. What they may lack in style, however, is certainly made up for in comfort and protection.


These shoes start on a base of military-grade material that’s puncture-proof, flexible, and slip-resistant. Straight out of the box, I noticed how flexible and durable the sole felt. The shoes moved like they’d been worn in for several months before I even laced them up. 

For being puncture-resistant, the sole is remarkably flexible and grips to slippery surfaces well. The sole also has a springy composition which, along with the cushioned midsole, goes a long way in being shock absorbent. 

My shoe of choice for several years was a high-top Converse All-Star, which is basically a thick sock on a plank of rubber. In other words, no shock absorption. Compared to my old Converse, the Ryder Blacks are practically Moon Shoes. 

Construction Quality

Indestructible Shoes Ryder Black from above

The upper portion of the Ryder Black is constructed from a military-grade kevlar flymesh material, which provides maximum breathability and durability while being remarkably lightweight. 

Rather than having typical shoe construction with a tongue and flaps with eyelets, the Ryder Black features a sock flymesh construction, meaning there isn’t a distinct tongue. I found that this makes the shoe much easier to slip on and off, and since the flymesh is flexible, it’s quite comfortable.

No more straining and awkwardly hopping on one foot to squeeze your foot into a too-small opening.

Indestructible Shoes J3 Black boots walking from side

The laces and eyelets that are built into the sock upper help to achieve a snug fit, which is obviously important for keeping your feet protected. If you’re the kind of guy that hates tying his shoes (or never learned), you can purchase the Ryder Blacks with no-tie shoelaces that simply pull and cinch to tighten. 

If I hadn’t already known it was there, I’m not sure I would have felt the European steel toe at the front of the shoe. The sleek construction hides this toe armor well, and it’s positioned within the shoe to cover my toes without smashing them together. 

Fit and Sizing

I did notice that my pinky toe was just slightly outside the protective cover of the steel, but that could just be me having weird toes. Evolutionary scientists suggest that our pinky toes will disappear with time, anyway, so if I end up ahead of the curve, so be it.

Indestructible Shoes Ryder Black shoes detail from the side

Despite the European steel being light and the shoe weighing less than a pound in total, the steel toe is the heaviest component of the shoe by a long shot, which makes them slightly imbalanced towards the front. 

This does nothing to affect comfort or wearability in the long run, just something I noticed that took a bit to get used to compared to the other shoes and boots I own.

Regarding sizing, the Ryder Blacks stay true to standard sizing apart from that slight issue I had with the steel toe. I typically wear a men’s 9.5 or 10, and these fit just as well as my other shoes. 

Break-in Period

Indestructible Shoes Ryder Black back detail

I didn’t experience any notable break-in period with the Ryder Blacks. I slipped the shoe on, laced it up snug, and was shocked by how easy it was to bend the toe and walk around without having to train leather into a specific crease.

I’m impressed by how comfortable and easy to wear these shoes are right out of the box. I suppose my standards are low, between Converse All-Stars and chunky, heavy leather steel-toed boots, but I think anyone would be comfortable wearing these for a full day of work on the very first day of wearing them.

As far as reviewing their protective ability, I’m taking Indestructible’s word for it. Their site is bursting with images of guys running over their feet with cars, hitting their feet with sledgehammers, walking on beds of nails, and taking power saws to their toes. 

I dropped a stack of books on my toe and didn’t feel a thing, so I’m pretty comfortable saying that these shoes provide ample protection where it’s needed. 

Indestructible Shoes J3 Black boots being worn from front

Lastly, these shoes passed the OSHA ASTM F2413-18 Certification, which is a comprehensive test for impact resistance, compression resistance, and puncture resistance. In other words, these shoes live up to the brand promise of being pretty much indestructible. 

Oh and did I mention that they’re fire resistant? No foot barbecues for you.

J3 Black

Indestructible Shoes J3 Black boots from above on white background

First Impressions

The J3 Black boot is somehow even lighter than the Ryder Black shoe. It features classic boot construction with a high top, thick tongue, and padded collar. If you like the added support and feeling of a work boot, the J3 Black will probably be up your alley.


Similar to the Ryder Black, the J3 Black has a puncture-resistant sole made from a military-grade material that will keep you safe from workplace hazards. The sole of the J3 Black is a bit more stiff than that of the Ryder Black, but still flexes and bends nicely. 

Compared to the Ryder Black, the J3 Black seems to have better grip, with a rubberized sole similar to the lug on heavy-duty work boots. 

Indestructible Shoes J3 Black boots being put on from side 1

The J3 Blacks also offer shock resistance, like the Ryder Blacks, but to a lesser extent. Don’t get me wrong, these boots are remarkably comfortable straight out of the box, but don’t offer the same bounce in the midsole as the Ryder Blacks. 

These boots also come standard with an upgraded insole for additional comfort, which includes a heel cup, 3D arch support, and breathable mesh for airflow. 

Construction Quality

These boots’ uppers are made with a similar military-grade kevlar flymesh material, which is light, breathable, and comfortable from the moment you start wearing them. Part of me wondered if there was a bulletproof feature to these boots as well, given that bulletproof vests are made out of kevlar. They’re not, don’t get any ideas.

If they were bulletproof, I’m sure Indestructible would have a video of some dude shooting himself in the foot, literally, and walking away without injury. 

Indestructible Shoes J3 Black boots from front detail shot

I was slightly surprised by how thick the tongue of the J3 Black is—you could probably cut that thing out and use it as a pillow. Its construction reminds me of the padded tongues you find in high-top basketball shoes, which provide comfort and protection from collar chafing while making quick, sudden movements.

The tongue ends up tying tightly under the laces to stay snug against your shin, which remains comfortable for hours of use. 

I’m a big fan of the black mesh on black rubber, as well, which gives a sleek look to these durable boots.

Fit and Sizing

Indestructible Shoes J3 Black boots from side detail

I have fairly wide feet, so sometimes the toe boxes on boots can be a bit too snug. The J3 Black provides ample room for my wide toes and foot ball, but the steel toe seems to cramp the toe box slightly.

The widest part of the boot is directly underneath the ball of my foot, as you’d expect, and then the toe tapers quite a lot to the front of the shoe. The steel toe is fit in there, but due to the angle of its placement my pinky toe once again ended up outside the toe box and slightly pressed against it. 

I found this to be slightly irritating for longer use cases and hikes, but again, could just be the shape of my feet. 

Like the Ryder Black, the J3 Black stays true to standard sizing. Order you standard shoe size and you should have no issue with Indestructible’s sizing.

Compared to my yellow steel-toed boots of old, the J3 Blacks have a much more tactical, streamlined feel. Not that I would need to, but these boots feel like I could run quickly and at duration without getting uncomfortable or being weighed down by clunky construction.

Break-in Period

Indestructible Shoes J3 Black boots walking from side 1

Like the Ryder Blacks, I didn’t experience a notable break-in period with the J3 Black boots. I suspect this is due to the kevlar flymesh material used in the upper, which flexes and breathes from the start, unlike heavy leather. 

Our Favorite Work Socks
Camel City Mill Lightweight Wool Work Sock

My Dad is a builder and I got these for him after he kept complaining to me that all his socks gave him blisters and sweated up his feet. The good news? He loves them and now he won't stop talking about socks. The bad news? Now he won't stop talking about socks.

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The rubber sole also flexes nicely, and combined with shock resistant soles these boots could easily be worn straight out of the box and all day without discomfort.

Indestructible Shoes J3 Black

With their sleek black military grade fly-mesh and lightweight construction, Indestructible's J3 Black boots bring a stylish element to the usually rugged world of protective work boots---while still offering the protection you need to get down to business safely.

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What Do Other Reviewers Say?

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Reviews for Indestructible Shoes, and the J3 Black and Ryder Black in particular, are overwhelmingly positive. Thousands of reviewers love the lightweight construction, immediate comfort, and comprehensive protection these shoes provide at an affordable price. 

Enthusiasm for these shoes went as far as hundreds of reviews saying Indestructible shoes are the only work shoes they’d be buying going forward. 

Of the negative reviews I could find, several customers seemed to have a similar issue where the steel cap was slightly tight around their toes, leading to discomfort in long use cases. Other negative reviews cited the Ryder Blacks being a bit narrow, and others complained about the long shipping times.

These complaints were few and far between, however, with the vast majority of reviewers giving five stars and happily reporting a comfortable and protective work shoe.

Indestructible Shoes

Indestructible Shoes fill a unique market niche where every day footwear and protected, steel-toed boots combine. If you’re looking for comprehensive protection in a sleek package that’s light, breathable, stylish, and easy on your wallet, Indestructible is a great place to start.

Shop Indestructible Shoes

Indestructible Shoes Alternatives


Ariat 21
The ARIAT WorkHog

Ariat is one of the best-known manufacturers of Western boots in the United States. 

Their work boots are made with extra attention given to the insoles, so you can work long days and go the extra mile when you have to in comfort. Whether it be steel toes or waterproof leather, Ariat has the boots you need in signature Western styles.

ariat workhog boots for work

I’m a big fan of their WorkHog leather boots, which combine a classic Western profile with modern soles.

Ariat WorkHog

Chainsawing trees, roping cattle, dropping a cinderblock on your foot: the Ariat Workhog can take it all.

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Ariat also offers slick Western boots for more formal occasions or going out on the town. With a huge variety of styles and colors there’s a pair of boots to make any guy feel confident. 

For a stylish boot with that rugged, Western style that’s perfect for a trip to the local watering hole, I’m a big fan of their Midtown Rambler.

Ariat Midtown Rambler

Like a well-loved pair of dancing shoes but built with the rugged durability of a work boot: the Mid Town Rambler are a stylish ankle boot that's a good fit for the races and Saturday date night.

Check Price Read Our Review

Milwaukee Boot Co.

Milwaukee Boot Co 5

If you lean towards biker and rock’n’roll styles more than Western, Milwaukee Boot Co. has a great selection of tough boots for you to check out. 

I’m a big fan of how different their boot styles are compared to typical work boot manufacturers, and a personal favorite is the Juneau, their biker boot.

Milwaukee Boot Co 11

While the Juneau doesn’t have a steel toe, it’s made with premium leather and has a Goodyear welted outsole that ensures it’ll stand up to the toughest working conditions. 

If you need a tough pair of boots that make a style statement, check out what Milwaukee has to offer.

Milwaukee Boot Co. Juneau

This Goodyear welted engineer boot is a beefy riders boot. Made with full grain leather and a custom rubber lug sole, it's got durability and style for miles.

Check Price Read Our Review


Taft Dragon 3.0 back and front on white background

Looking for a more classic, sleek leather work boot? Taft has them in spades, and is also known for its more formal boots with flashy styles.

My personal favorite, the Dragon 3.0, features the classic work boot profile and is made with heavy, Waxed Commander Suede leather that can take a beating and still look good. 

Taft Dragon 3.0 lacing boot with watch

These uppers are attached to a super durable Ridgeway sole through a Goodyear welted construction, which ensures that they’re waterproof. 

Each pair of Taft’s Dragon 3.0s is handmade in Spain, and offers some serious style and durability that will only look better the more you wear them. 

Taft Dragon 3.0
(Get 10% off with code TAM10)

Made with waxed suede leather and a sturdy Goodyear welt, the new Taft Dragon is a big improvement on past iterations and a beast of a boot with a slim, sleek profile.

Check Price Read Our Review

My Thoughts Overall

What I Like

  • Both pairs of shoes I tried were immediately comfortable out of the box and felt like I could have worn them for a full day without discomfort.
  • High quality and lightweight materials are used in the construction of these shoes, like military-grade kevlar and European steel.
  • Both pairs of shoes have a shock-resistant sole, which helps distribute weight evenly across the whole shoe.
  • The shoes are lightweight and sleek, unlike most clunky work boots.
  • They’re easy on the wallet, with each pair costing less than $100.

What I Don’t Like

  • They have long shipping and fulfillment times.
  • The steel toe in the J3 Black is a bit small.

Who is Indestructible for?

Indestructible’s work shoes are for anyone who feels limited by the typical offering of protective work footwear. Those who want a combination of comprehensive protection, light construction, and sleek, slip-resistant footwear will be well served by the switch to Indestructible.

These shoes are well-suited for those looking for stylish and performant footwear in the military, construction and labor jobs, security personnel, and the restaurant industry.

The Verdict

Indestructible fills a niche market of work footwear that’s protective, breathable, slip-resistant, and stylish. Their shoes have an impressive lineup of certifications and durable characteristics, like puncture-resistance, compression-resistance, fire-resistance, and impact resistance. In other words, these shoes live up to their name for indestructibility.

Straight out of the box the shoes are remarkably comfortable, largely due to an upgraded insole which provides extra padding and 3D arch support. 

Best of all, if you’re on a budget and don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for traditional steel-toed boots, you can pick up nearly any pair from Indestructible Shoes for less than $100

If you’re looking for comprehensive protection in a sleek package that’s light, breathable, stylish, and easy on your wallet, Indestructible is a great place to start.

Indestructible Shoes

Indestructible Shoes fill a unique market niche where every day footwear and protected, steel-toed boots combine. If you’re looking for comprehensive protection in a sleek package that’s light, breathable, stylish, and easy on your wallet, Indestructible is a great place to start.

Shop Indestructible Shoes


Are Indestructible Shoes Waterproof?

Not all Indestructible Shoes are waterproof, but they do have some waterproof products, like the CamoX shoe.

Are the Indestructible Ryder Shoes non-slip?

The Ryder shoes from Indestructible are non-slip, like all of Indestructible’s footwear offerings.

Do Indestructible Shoes have a warranty?

There is no lifetime warranty for Indestructible Shoes.