When it comes to hazardous occupations, roofing has to come in as one of the most hazardous. Working on a slanted, uneven work surface designed from smooth material, it is perfect for dispensing with rain, reflecting sunlight, retaining heat from inside - as well as causing injury or possibly death to the roofer who doesn’t have his wits about him.
But such a lucrative career doesn’t have to be so life-threatening. With the proper safety equipment such as a harness, a ladder, some heavy-duty gloves and proper work boots, you can give yourself the best chances of surviving serious injury from slip hazards, loose debris, rickety ladders, flimsy decking and poorly constructed skylights.
A decent pair of work shoes is a roofer’s best friend, they cannot be overlooked. A good work boot is not only comfortable and flexible but can also withstand the most extreme sunlight and the heaviest downpour, resisting frost and providing that life-saving grip during gale-force winds.
But which brands can you rely on when it comes to having a dependable work boot for roofing? What features and functions does a solid work boot have that can make you cling to the roof like a bird? How many dollars will a decent work boot be looking to set you back?
Well, hang onto your roofing hats, because we have compiled a list of some of the most durable and cost-effective roofing boots available on the market, along with a buyer’s guide that contains some do’s and dont’s to consider when buying a work boot as well as some frequently asked questions.
So grab your helmet and ladder and let’s get stuck into the list of some of the best roofing boots on the market!
Top 5 Best Work Boots For Roofing
OUR TOP PICK
First, we have a work boot that comes very highly rated by thousands of users on Amazon - you can’t go wrong with this tried and tested model. It is built with Goodyear Welt technology from tough 6-inch leather that will give you that extra durability when working out in all types of weather conditions - introducing the Wolverine Men’s 6-Inch Work Boot.
This boot is sealed at the seams, meaning that no water will be getting in or out! The outsole is made of thick rubber, which makes it extra resistant to both wet weather and extra humid conditions. If you want a long-lasting construction boot, then the Wolverine will certainly do its best not to let you down on those tricky adobe flats.
But what about the traction? Well, the outsole is completely slip-resistant, with thick grooved lugs underneath to help the boot cut into those slippery and slanted roof slats. The outsole is also resistant to oil, which will be ideal if you are using grease or other oily materials.
The price - the boots are remarkably affordable considering the number of features they possess. You can pick up a few pairs of these in case you want some spares for the future.
The seams are utterly sealed, so they won’t take on water during light or heavy showers. The lacing system also goes up to the ankles, meaning you can tie it tight so water won’t be taken on through the opening.
Made from durable leather material, you can be sure that you’ll have a pair of Wolverines in your work cupboard for years to come.
Larger users have complained about cracks appearing on the outsoles after only a few months of use.
Next up we have another boot renowned for its sturdy construction and streamlined design, with an all-rubber two-color outsole that provides that assured grip that roofers will be counting on when they’re working tens of feet above ground in particularly dicey conditions - introducing the Rhino 60S21 6-Inch Steel Toe Work Boot.
With premium-quality leather uppers, the Rhinos give your toes and feet all the space they need to maneuver, promoting circulation, which is important if you’re working in the same position for hours and hours on end.
These boots conform to industry-standard safety regulations, the leather and rubber composite built to withstand electrical hazards and chemical waste. These boots also lace right up to the ankle, giving you that full foot coverage.
- The padded inside of this shoe makes it one of the more comfortable on this list, again, very important if you’re going to be prone in the same positions for a long period. The collar and tongue are also padded for extra stability.
- The price - once again, we have a boot that will not break the bank. This is perfect for roofers who are simply trying out different pairs to see which one suits their work best.
- These shoes come in a range of colors that will compliment the style of most work apparel.
- With a thicker sole, this is one of the heavier brands of boots on our list, which might put off roofers who want that extra flexibility when it comes to moving across an uneven surface.
This next pair of work boots come from a world-renowned brand that has been producing boots for campers, hikers, fishermen, construction workers and mechanics for decades, and these boots are no exception to their exceptionally high standards of design - introducing the Timberland Pro Men’s Barstow Wedge Work Boot.
These boots have a full welt build that means the seams are stitched tightly, making them resistant to water, oil and chemical waste. The upper in the shoe is made from durable leather, which will aid moisture wicking.
These Timberland’s go all the way up to the ankle, with an EVA midsole that promotes stability and comfort for those who anticipate roofing in treacherous conditions. The toughness of the outer shoe means that it can withstand the most extreme temperatures - you won't find this boot cracking in heat, molding in water or splitting in the intense chill.
The wedge in the sole allows the roofer to better feel the surface beneath his feet, which is essential if you’re concentrating on the job at hand and need your boots to act as an early warning system for when things start to go awry.
The support of comfort that these boots offer makes them far less susceptible to the stresses and strains of other work boots.
With premium full-grain leather, you can count on these boots to withstand all types of weather and temperatures.
The inside is as comfortable as the outside is durable, you can stand and work for hours in these things without getting blisters.
Our next brand of boot is relatively little-known but is certainly no slouch when it comes to providing the roofer with the holy trinity of features - durability, stability and traction. With a patented Cougar Paw Sure Grip, which combines both cell density and tensile strength, you can be certain that you’ll be clinging to most roofs like a limpet - introducing the Cougar Paws Peak Performer Roofing Boots.
Fashioned from smooth grain leather, the Cougars are both anti-stain and heat-absorbent, giving you that nice and cozy feeling on the inside and a pristine look on the outside. You can replace the precision-engineered grips on the sole when you feel they become too worn, making this the only boot on our list that can be upgraded without the need of a boot repair store.
The sole contains state-of-the-art heat absorption pads that won’t be cooking your feet on that baking hot day, the traction grip pads ensuring that you can finish the job you set out to do.
This shoe is purpose-built for roofing, the reinforced toe segment will mean that you won’t have to worry about dropping a hammer on your foot. The inside of the boot is padded with moisture-wicking material for added comfort.
The traction strength of the sole is second-to-none, with anti-slip technology that conforms to industry regulated safety standards.
The price - this shoe comes at the more expensive end of the work boot range, which might put off roofers who anticipate burning through numerous boots very quickly.
This boot doesn’t fare particularly well on metal roofs.
Finally, we have a boot maker that crops up time and time again on the lists of best work boots for mechanics, carpenters and roofers - and for good reason! This is an extremely durable work shoe made from oil-tanned genuine leather that won’t lose its stylish appearance even after multiple uses - introducing the Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6-Inch Work Boot.
Utilizing the Goodyear Storm Welt technology, you can guarantee that come rain, shine, sleet or snow, your roofing boot will come out with flying colors.
The inside is also enviably comfortable, with a cotton drill vamp in the inner sole, helping absorb moisture and eliminate odors, which is useful if you're working all day in hot and sweaty conditions. You can count on a solid performance from you and your boot with the Thorogoods.
With a Christy Blown Rubber Wedge outsole, you won’t slip on adobe slats or rain-slicked concrete roofs. When it comes to all-out storm-busting boots, these are the best on our list.
With a Dual Density Ultimate Shock Absorption Footbed, you can guarantee that this boot will give the maximum amount of responsiveness, which will be critical in preventing stress on your ankles and legs, giving you that bounce that helps a roofer navigate particularly uneven surfaces.
The price - once again, these boots have a hefty tag attached to them, although when it comes to a quality all-weathers work boot, you’ll be hard pushed to find an option that is both better and cheaper.
Best Work Boots For Roofing Buying Guide
When shopping for the work boot that will help you scale the toughest of roofs, there are a few features that are essential in ensuring the maximum safety, protection, flexibility and durability. Here are some of the properties you should be looking for in your next work boot.
Do They Cause Roof Damage?
Usually, roofers are hired to repair larger structural problems that occur. However, when you’re finished with a job, you ideally want to secure repeat business. Boots that cause superficial damage to a roof will affect your reputation as a roofer and might cost you your next paycheque.
Make sure that the lugs in your soles are made from thick rubber and don’t do too deep, as these are two guaranteed ways to damage a roof.
Are They Comfortable And Supportive?
Ankle and leg fatigue are two of the biggest occupational hazards for a roofer. Stabilization on slanted surfaces usually occurs in the feet and ankles and prologued off-kilter standing can increase the likelihood of trauma in these areas.
Ideally, you want a boot that has a high degree of augmentation in the insole and around the ankle.
Can It Withstand All Weathers?
Baking heat, ice, frost, wind and rain are just a few of the weather conditions that a roofer has to face. Make sure you have a shoe that has a combination of water-proof and oiled leather, to avoid both damp in the foot and splitting from intense heat.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Biggest Hazards In Roofing?
Here follow some of the most frequent hazards you’ll find on a roof:
- Tripping - tree branches, wet leaves, loose masonry, loose adobe slats, spanners, hammers and other tools are all trip hazards on a rooftop.
- Weather - ice, rain, snow, sleet, gale-force winds and overwhelming heat can all cause serious issues for a roofer.
- Roof ergonomics - each roof will differ in the angle of its slope and its specific architectural design, posing a variety of hazards for the roofer. You’ll want a boot with the best traction that can handle even the sharpest inclines.