Best Shoes for Roofing Work – Complete Guide in 2019

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best roofing shoes

Roofing can be a tough job that requires durable clothing and footwear to make the work easier.

Problems can quickly arise when inadequate shoes are worn, which can be dangerous due to the likelihood of slipping.

To lower the chances of this happening, roofing shoes are built to withstand steep inclines while being comfortable at the same time. They’re also popular to wear as ordinary working boots, with some having the ability to protect the wearer from electric shocks.

Listed below are ten of the best shoes for roofing, along with a Buyer’s Guide for additional context. Out of the ten, the top two choices are shown in conclusion.

Best Shoes for Roofing in August, 2019

ImageProductDetails
editor's choice

Thorogood

Thorogood 6" Moc Toe

  • Height: 6 inches
  • Material Leather
  • Sole: Polyurethane
  • Electrical Hazard Protection: Yes

Read our Review

for Metal Roofing

Red Wing

Red Wing Heritage

  • Height: 6 inches
  • Material Leather
  • Sole: Synthetic
    • Electrical Hazard Protection: No

Read our Review

Flexible

Irish Setter Work Boot

Irish Setter Work Boot

  • Height: 6 inches
  • Material Leather
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Electrical Hazard Protection: Yes

Read our Review

nice look

Lace-To-Toe

Thorogood Lace-To-Toe Roofer Boots

  • Height: 5 inches
  • Material Leather
  • Sole: Synthetic
  • Electrical Hazard Protection: No

Read our Review

Joint Support

EVER BOOTS

EVER BOOTS Tank

  • Height: 7 inches
  • Material Leather
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Electrical Hazard Protection: No

Read our Review

breathable

Timberland PRO

Timberland PRO

  • Height: 6 inches
  • Material Leather
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Electrical Hazard Protection: Yes

Read our Review

Waterproof

Georgia

Georgia Men's Work Boot

  • Height: 6 inches
  • Material Leather
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Electrical Hazard Protection: No

Read our Review

For Wide Feet

Skechers

Skechers Utility Boot;

  • Height: 3-1/2 inches
  • Material Leather
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Electrical Hazard Protection: No

Read our Review

antiskid

Caterpillar

Caterpillar Shoes

  • Height: 6 inches
  • Material Leather
  • Sole: Synthetic
  • Electrical Hazard Protection: No

Read our Review

Heavy-Duty

KEEN Utility Work Boot

KEEN Utility Work Boot

  • Height: 6 inches
  • Material Leather, Rubber
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Electrical Hazard Protection: Yes

Read our Review

Keep Yourself Safe With These Specialty Shoes Built For Roofing And Construction

Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6″ Moc Toe – Best Roofing Shoes For Comfort

Thorogood Men's American Heritage

The Thorogood American Heritage Moc Toe is a tan-colored roofing boot that doesn’t feel like boots at all.

Which is surprising, considering the fact that the exterior is specifically designed to handle all sorts of rough conditions.

No matter if the weather is hot or cold, rain or snow, these boots will keep you safe from easy slips and falls.

If you take the time to carefully choose the correct size, it’s possible that the Thorogoods could last you several years without breaking.

Pros
  • The feel is unique to boots, almost similar to wearing house shoes
  • Comfort is not sacrificed for weakness, with the outer material being built to last long
  • Will adjust to the wearer’s foot in less than a week
Cons
  • The toe box on each shoe could possibly be wider or narrower than the other

Red Wing Heritage – Best Shoes for Metal Roofing

Red Wing Heritage

The Red Wing Heritage Classics are designed for people who like the strength of standard work boots but hate the bulkiness of their frames.

On first glance, you’ll notice how there’s not out padding along the tip of the shaft. It’s not uncomfortable though, socks will do an excellent job of preventing the edges from rubbing against your upper ankles.

They also won’t slide when you’re on a roof. And the soles can come off once they age, which could potentially double the product’s lifetime.

Pros
  • The outer sole is replaceable and comes off without any effort
  • Doesn’t slide when on smooth or coarse surfaces, including rooftops
  • If the material is properly maintained, its resilience will go well past a year
Cons
  • May feel uncomfortable when first worn until they gradually adjust

Irish Setter 83605 – Pefect Roofing Boots For Flexibility

Irish Setter review

The Irish Setter 83605 Work Boots are dark brown and built from a thick layer of leather.

Speaking of the build, they’re very durable and shows a high degree of craftsmanship.

The break-in time is a little long and may take about a week to fully adjust. If you’re settled on these boots, wear them immediately so they’ll be “familiarized” quickly.

In the end, you will find them to be among the comfortable work shoes you’ll likely wear for a long time.

Pros
  • While the break in time may be slow, the boots will fit snug as time passes
  • It’s laces are an exceptional quality that makes the boots tie and untie with haste
  • No irregularities to be found on the exterior; stitching and scratch marks are nonexistent
Cons
  • In its initial onset, the break in period would likely irritate anyone with sensitive feet

Thorogood Men’s American Heritage Lace-To-Toe Roofer Boots

Lace-To-Toe Roofer Boots

The Thorogood Lace-To-Toe Roofer Boots are funny in a way that makes them ideal for working and casual wear.

They almost resemble canvas sneakers but are completely safe to wear in the hazardous working conditions of a roof. The break-in time is very short; the shoes should be ready to wear in only a couple of hours.

Do pick your size carefully, however, as the boots will look cartoonish if bought in a size that’s too large.

Pros
  • Molds to feet immediately, break-in time isn’t required
  • Has a distinct, rare appearance that’s unlike most boots of the same type
  • If the boots aren’t worn for construction purposes, should go many years without taking on damage
Cons
  • If bought in the wrong size, the boots will appear clownish
  • The upper portion of the toe box may rub against the top foot area, which has the potential to cause blisters

EVER BOOTS “Tank” Men’s Soft Toe Oil Good Shoes For Joint Support

EVER BOOTS Tank

Some people have feet that seem to make boot laces loosen up, no matter how tight they’re tied.

The Ever Soft Toe Oil boots have a lacing system that goes all the way up to the top, giving the wearer more room to everything from unbinding while you’re on the roof.

There’s also lots of ankle support and flexibility. Yet the seams might be a little uneven on the inside, which could result in discomfort if it touches your toes.

Get size with more width if you’re foot is wide, and this issue is less likely to happen.

Pros
  • Can brace the ankle well due to how high the laces will go
  • When the shoes touch any surface, particularly surface consistency found at construction sites, they stick without slipping at moderate inclines
  • Real leather assembly that smells nice and keeps away odor
Cons
  • Seams near the tip may dig into the big toes, especially in people with wide feet

Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss – Best Roofing Shoes For Air Flow

Timberland PRO

The Timberland Pro Pitboss is a great boot for anyone that likes their pair to stay clean.

If you’re a roofer, you know that maintaining clean boots is important, as too much dirt on the outside, particularly around the tread, can cause grip problems.

They are easy to clean, and grim won’t stick to the surface or bottom if used on a rainy day.

They also won’t become brittle if used in conditions that fluctuate from hot to cold. But they are on the narrow side, so get them a little wide if you’ve tried previous editions before.

Pros
  • The color is dark brown and helps them look pristine, even when stained
  • Does not chip or peel when touching hot pavement or other rugged settings (including rooftops)
  • Sweating will be kept to a minimum
Cons
  • Width is noticeably narrower than editions from years past

Georgia Men’s 6” Wedge Work Boot – Best Roofing Boots For Water Protection

Georgia Boot Wedge Work Boot

The Georgia Wedge Work Boots have a beautiful leather assembly that’s waterproof and long-lasting.

If you maintain them well, they will get you through multiple roofing jobs unabated.

And the soles feel very soft, nothing will get in your way or feel too tight on the inside. But while they are waterproof, they may not handle well on completely wet rooftops.

They won’t slip initially but might lose traction at a fast pace. If you’re looking for boots that will be worn in casual settings more so than a work environment, the Georgia brand should be well served.

Pros
  • Boots life can go up to two years or even longer, well-made leather material
  • Soles are soft, and no irregularities to are found in the roof of the inside that could come into contact with the toes
  • Relaxing enough to wear on the job and as ordinary casual footwear
Cons
  • Doesn’t grip well to hills and other inclined surfaces that are wet

Skechers Men’s Mariner Utility BootIdeal Product For Wide Feet

Skechers Men's Mariner Utility Boot

Skechers is mostly known for their high-quality sneakers, but they also make boots. The Mariners are low, having a shaft that measures less than four inches.

The bottom tread is very thick but grips well, and will help you stay in place while roofing. The biggest disadvantage is the tongue, which doesn’t move at all.

Flexibility is low as a result, and its stiffness won’t help your feet become relaxed any quicker. Anyhow, those needing a temporary boot for roofing but don’t a hard break-in would be pleased with the Mariners.

Pros
  • The low top will fit great on people with very wide feet and/or heavy frames
  • Laces up fast and won’t come out from the tongue when walking (if tucked in)
  • Has a heavy duty tread with large “teeth” that offer good support on irregularly-shaped rooftops
Cons
  • The tongue cannot be adjusted
  • Extremely stiff before break in is complete

Caterpillar Men’s 2nd Shift 6″ Plain Soft-Toe Work Boot Perfect For Wet Surfaces

Caterpillar

The Caterpillar 2nd Shift Boots are great for people with sensitive feet and give good padding support in the interior.

Rain and dust won’t enter on the inside either, keeping the feet at acceptable temperatures that won’t induce sweating.

Although a rarity, some pairs may have imperfections on the inside that touch the toes, which could irritate your feet until the pair is broken in.

But the 2nd Shift remains an ideal but for anyone that like thick padding in their roofing boots.

Pros
  • Waterproof quality that doesn’t allow liquids to percolate through the outer leather
  • Doesn’t skid when walking over angled surfaces
  • Every portion of the boot that touches the feet is padded, more so near the ankles and upper foot
Cons
  • Leather pieces along the inner boots are not smooth and may require cutting (to avoid them scratching the toes)

KEEN Utility Milwaukee 6″ – Best Heavy Duty Roofing Boots

KEEN Utility deetails

The Keen Utility Milwaukee Boots are Steel Toe and the proper choice for people that work in heavy-duty construction environments, such as those that require a hard hat.

The tread is strong, but the added combination of toe protection will help prevent foot injury on top of slips.

They will also protect against electric shocks, blocking currents from grounding or traveling further than the boots themselves.

You’ll have to get used to their bulkiness though, and will feel a bit heavy on roofers that aren’t well adjusted to wearing steel toe boots.

Pros
  • Different from a typical boot, its shape will not warp with age
  • The soles remain in good shape no matter how worn the rest of the shoe becomes
  • Easy to clean with any standard leather cleaning product
Cons
  • Clunky construction that’s weighted and may leave the feet fatigued until break-in is done

Best Boots for Roofing – Buyer’s Guide

Like any construction job, roofing has its risks, most of which can be minimized by having the right tools and accessories needing to complete any assigned duty. Footwear plays a big part in this.

You’ll want to know as much as you can about your next roofing shoes. To help you understand them better, read through the Buyer’s Guide below and take the information into consideration as you shop online.

Grip and Incline

The biggest challenge to roofing is steep inclines to which workers must adjust to. Without the right shoes, it can become quite hazardous. If the roof is very steep, professional assistance is highly recommended. Regardless, your shoe’s grip should be of high quality. Traction along the treads will keep your feet firmly planted to the roof’s material, and make you walk more confidently as you work.

Roofing shoes are synonymous with thick, rubber treads that prevent the wearer’s weight from moving when in an awkward stance. The thicker the tread, the more protected you’ll be from unpredictable slip-ups. Furthermore, take note of the sun itself, as roof temperature could melt the bottoms as time passes. This is a problem with low-quality brands but tends to affect those with a thinner grip more.

Lacing

Without a strong lacing system, it won’t matter how well your grip holds to the roof because you’ll be too busy re-tying them as you work! Your shoelaces should always be dense and go through loops without sacrificing too much slack at the end.

You also don’t want too much room after you tie them. This can get a little tricky, and you may end up needing a separately-purchased pair of laces if those provided aren’t adequate. Simply put, your laces should be easy to tuck in once tied, which can only be possible if they’re not very long or too short.

Most of the shoes given in the reviews do not have any problem with this. Still, remember to examine the lacing system if you get frustrated with loose and/or short laces easily. The last thing you want to do on a roof is become sidetracked.

shoes for roofing choice

Roofing versus Ordinary Shoes/Boots

Regular boots may have decent traction at the bottom but are typically very heavy, bulky, and aren’t always great on flat, slippery surfaces.

Roofing shoes are synonymous with thick, rubber treads that prevent the wearer’s weight from moving when in an awkward stance. The thicker the tread, the more protected you’ll be from unpredictable slip-ups. Furthermore, take note of the sun itself, as roof temperature could melt the bottoms as time passes. This is a problem with low-quality brands but tends to affect those with a thinner grip more.

Because of this, you could even wear them for tasks outside of roofing. Winter weather comes to mind. And while ice is something that can cause anyone to slip on, no matter the shoe, roofing footwear brands should minimize the annoyance from happening on a regular basis.

Stiff on the First Try

Break in time is probably one of the least likable aspects to roofing shoes. Many brands will take anywhere from a few days to a week or more before adjusting to the wearer’s feet. This is due to the construction of the shoes themselves. Most of them are built with high-quality leather that protects the feet like a boot but allows room for simultaneous flexibility.

The best way to achieve this level of comfort is for the consumer to “shape” the shoe interior on their own. So while you might notice medium to sometimes harsh stiffness when wearing roofing shoes on the first few tries, don’t worry. Once broken in, you’ll find them much more comfortable than your typical boot.

However, this isn’t always a problem, there are roofing shoes that are comfortable to wear straight out of the box.

Weather Protection

Weather can have a big effect on the level of traction given in roofing shoes, especially if the grip’s not very good. If you live in a rainy or cold climate that receives winter weather, it’s imperative that you check the product’s description to know if the shoe material is waterproof and slip-proof.

Or at the very least, water resistant. Working on a wet roof can be difficult when it rains. Like some automobiles, water on a surface can drastically change the footwear slip resistance, and make grip minimal to of no use at all. On a good note, most roofing shoes do feature these protections. Yet it’s still a good idea to be sure before finalizing a purchase.

Airflow and Sweating

Having extensively gone over the tread and grip strength of roofing shoes, what is there to say about their breathing qualities?

From the looks of many brands, you would think they’re not very good in this department. This is inaccurate though, most roofing footwear won’t make your feet profusely sweat, seeing as you’ll likely be in the sun during most of your work. They release heat well and allow air to flow through tongue portion and shaft.

Things can get a little hot around the sole though, which is to be expected since the grip creates more energy that results from holding your weight from toppling over. If your feet do sweat easily, consider getting roofing shoes with a low height or padded tongue.

How Easy they can Be Cleaned

Roof work should never be done in dirty roofing shoes. Before you begin your duties, be sure that no mud or debris clinging to the tread’s bottom.

Some shoes appear to have more issues with this than others, whereby grime and dirt stick to their material easier. It’s hard to tell which are harder to clean though, but roofing shoes with deeper treads may take longer for you to clean.

The issue mainly comes from having more gaps at the bottom, which pave the way for sediment to stick in between the teeth of the shoe. If you buy a roofing shoe that has a jagged tread, be sure to clean them as often as you can. Patterns that are smaller and shallow might be easier to stay clean but should be examined before work commences as well.

Conclusion

Out of the ten roofing shoes reviewed in the article, there’s two that carry the highest level of recommendation.

But make no mistake, all of them are great products and should last you for a long time without needing a replacement pair. They’re the best of what you’ll find anywhere else. Nevertheless, the Thorogood American Heritage Moc Toe and Red Wing Heritage Classic Boot will both last a long time, feel outstanding once adjusted, and provide excellent grip and slip resistance to any surface that touches it.

If you’re having a hard time choosing which to buy for yourself, you’ll be satisfied with either of these two brands. But if you need something that’s beneficial to a specific attribute, look into the other roofing shoes shown.

The only thing needed once that’s finished is to get ready to make your roof work a lot easier!

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Mark Young

Mark Young

Hi, I am the main redactor of ToolsDuty. I hope my guides will help you to choose the best tools for your purposes.
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