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The Best Workwear and Gear That Actually Holds Up

If the DIYer in your life has all the tools he or she needs, think about giving them some new workwear or safety equipment this holiday season.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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1Courtesy Carhartt

Carhartt Insulated Safety Cuff Work Gloves

Nothing’s worse than trying to finish a project with cold hands. The durable cotton duck outer shell on these Carhartt insulated work gloves keeps your hands warm while providing much-needed knuckle protection. But the best thing about these gloves? They allow for easy movement, keeping you productive on the jobsite.

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Duluth Trading Company Flannel Shirts

A good flannel shirt is a three-season staple for workwear, and it’s hard to beat Duluth Trading Company’s flannel shirts and men and women. Warm and rugged, comfortable without being constricting, the durable poly-cotton blend provides a winning combination of insulation, breathability and softness. The DIYer on your list will really appreciate the armpit gussets that give them the freedom of movement to reach the highest nails and paint the tightest corners. The company makes a few different styles and fits with a wide range of sizes and colors in each, so pick up a few. Pair them with these fleece jackets or fleece vests for optimal warmth.

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Patagonia All Seasons Hemp Canvas Work Apron

Whether you’re in the shop and the sawdust is flying or cleaning out a barn, a heavy-duty apron is a practical addition to anyone’s outfit. An abrasion-resistant blend of industrial hemp, organic cotton and recycled polyester provides Patagonia’s apron with an extra layer of protection from splinters, nails and other unforeseen hazards waiting for you. A plethora of pockets, including drop-in pocket over the chest and two deep wells at hip level, hold all the tools and gear needed to get the job done.

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While you’re at it, take a look at our guide comparing Patagonia vs North Face for all the perks and differences.

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3Courtesy Amazon

Pioneer Ripstop High Visibility Bib Pant

The double-stitched and heat-sealed seams on Pioneer’s safety pants will keep you warm and dry on the jobsite. It’s available in yellow or orange, and the neon glow colors provide supreme visibility.

“Having these on I can lay in snow for 30+ mins and not feel a thing,” writes one Amazon reviewer. “(I) definitely would recommend this to anyone who has to work outside in the cold for any length of time.”

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4Courtesy Dickie's

Duck Insulated Coveralls

The lining on these insulated overalls provides an extra level of protection and comfort. Side entry pockets, zip-close chest pockets and a back pocket offer ample storage. Reviewers on dickies.com attest to its “heavy duty installation,” with one reviewer writing that while more expensive than other products, it’s “worth the investment.”

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5Courtesy Amazon

CQR Men’s Tactical Pants

If lightweight and durable is your style, these work pants by CQR are the way to go. These pants repel dirt, liquids and other contaminants. See why more than 20,000 Amazon reviewers gave these pants 4.5 stars.

“These pants did great blocking the cold wind, keep in mind they don’t keep you warm as there is no insolation,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “I love having lots of pockets and there are many to choose from.”

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Dovetail Christa DIY Performance Pant

Nobody should have sacrifice comfort for durability when it comes to workwear. That’s what great about the Christa DIY performance pants from Dovetail. They fit like sweatpants, but with double-layered knees and a tough-as-nails blend of stretchy modal and recycled polyester fabric, they hold up to the rigors of the job site. There are seven pockets and a hammer loop too.

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6Courtesy Amazon

Copper Fit Work Gear Heavy Duty Insoles

The dual layer anti-shock foam in Copper Fit’s work gear insoles provide maximum impact absorption and all-day comfort. They feature a supportive cup heel and arch support.

“I threw out the (insoles) in my shoes and added these,” an Amazon reviewer writes. “After a couple of days of getting used to them, it’s like magic. My feet feel better than ever.”

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7Courtesy Carhartt

Carhartt Super Dux Cold Weather Vest

For cool but not quite freezing fall and early winter days, Carhartt’s super dux vest keeps you warm and comfortable. The large pockets in the front will keep your hands warm and hold all your important small belongings. Sizes range from small to 3XL. There’s only one color (coffee) and it’s best worn Sith layers.

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8 Courtesy Amazon

Thermal Work Boot Socks

Don’t put up with cold feet. The reinforced heel of these thermal work boot socks provide durable comfort and support on even the coldest winter days. They’re made from high bulk acrylic yarn and feature moisture control to keep feet dry as well as warm. They fit shoe sizes 6 through 13.

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9Courtesy Amazon

Timberland Waterproof Ankle Boot

The full-grain waterproof leather uppers and rustproof speed lace hardware on these Timberland work boots keep your feet dry and warm. The rubber sole also protects your feet from sharp objects puncturing through. Color options include black, wheat and medium brown. More than 37,000 Amazon reviews give it 4.5 stars.

“These boots fit well, wear well, look good and are better than boots I have paid twice the price for,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “These boots are comfortable right out of the box and wear better than any I’ve had and are half the price of others I’ve had.”

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10Courtesy Amazon

Steel Spur Kit with Big Buck Pads

These big buck pads feature plenty of padding to keep your legs comfortable, and a steel insert to keep them safe from contact. The two straps provide a secure fit second to none.

“The gear is top quality and well worth the price,” writes one Amazon reviewer. “There’s no shin pressure or discomfort with this kit.”

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Alex Shoemaker
Alex is an avid DIYer but had little experience before purchasing his first home in 2019. A Family Handyman subscription was one of his first purchases after becoming a homeowner, and he's been hooked ever since. When he’s not working, he can be found fixing up his 1940s Florida home or relaxing on the beach with his family.