Madera Sugar Pine Company loggers in caulked boots in the Sierra Nevada (1927)

Caulk boots or calk boots[1] (also called cork boots, timber boots, logger boots, logging boots, or corks)[2] are a form of rugged spike-soled footwear that are most often associated with the timber industry.[3] They are worn for traction in the woods and were especially useful in timber rafting.[4] These boots were part of the traditional lumber worker's basic equipment, along with axe, peavey and crosscut saw.[5][6][7]

Caulk boots are distinguished by their soles' steel spikes (calks) added for traction. They are typically made of leather or rubber uppers extending over the ankle, with a thick rubber sole. Ceramic calks are also available and have been reported to be less prone to wear and damage than steel.[8] In spite of their cost (often more than $400, as of 2015), caulk boots are usually the preferred footwear of experienced forest workers because of improved safety by reducing slips, trips, and falls when workers are traversing through logging slash, especially during wet weather.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "Logging Operations", OSHA
  2. ^ "Straight to the Point: What Are Those Spiked Boots?". The Nature Conservancy in Washington. 2017-02-16. Retrieved 2023-11-11.
  3. ^ "Women and Timber: The Pacific Northwest Logging Community, 1920–1998: Glossary". Center for Columbia River History. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2021-07-20.
  4. ^ Willis, John (May 6, 2019). "These boots were made for working". Canadian Museum of History. Retrieved 2024-01-16.
  5. ^ "7771-2508-MTDC: Crosscut Saw Manual". Retrieved 2024-01-16.
  6. ^ Moore, Sam (2000). "Rural Heritage - Cant Hook or Peavey?". Retrieved 2024-01-16.
  7. ^ Thompson, Scott (May 17, 2019). "Lumberjack Tools of the 1800s". Retrieved 2024-01-16.
  8. ^ a b "Discovery Study on Footing and Footwear in the BC Silviculture Sector| BC SAFE Silviculture Program" (PDF). January 31, 2015. Retrieved 2023-11-11.