12 Best Metal Roofing Shoes of 2022 (Stability, Traction & Comfort)

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Last Updated on September 30, 2022 by Todd

Choosing the best metal roofing shoes for metal roofs can be tricky. Metal roofs are extremely slippery by default and you need appropriate footwear and good traction to keep you from slipping.

There are so many different options out there, and if you’re a beginner, it can be really hard to choose the right pair of shoes.

After weeks of research, comparisons, and reading tons of reviews, we’ve found the best metal roofing boots available on the market. We will share with pros and cons, top features, and everything you need to know.

This article is a long one, so if you’re in a rush, take a look at our top choices below or use the table of contents to navigate to the part you’re interested in.

Quick Answer:

Benefits of Metal Roofing

Almost 1 million metal roofs are installed in America every year. More and more homeowners choose metal for their roofs, sidings, or both.

Longevity is the most common reason why people consider metal roofing. A metal roof or metal siding can last a lifetime.

They are easier to maintain, they’re environmentally friendly, hail and fire-resistant, and more cost-effective in the long term. You get all that plus a gorgeous-looking roof. Who wouldn’t want that?

So, if you’re a professional roofer, expect to install lots of metal roofs in the future. Metal roofs are unsafe to walk on, they’re very slippery, and proper slip-resistant footwear is required.

A metal surface is sleek by default, and oil residue, heat, dirt, pollen, or moisture can make it even more slippery.

I’ve almost fallen off of a metal roof thinking it was clean, however there was thin layer of dust pollen. I lost my footing very fast.  Paul from Alpha Rain

This article is for everyone who needs to walk on metal roofs. home adjusters, home inspectors, gutter installers, cleaners, chimney sweepers, estimators or solar installers, and others.

Before climbing on a metal roof, make sure to clean your boots from any dust, dirt or small rocks. Wipe your shoes with a damp cloth and allow them to dry before getting up on the roof.

What to Look For in Metal Roofing Shoes

Slip-Resistant Outsole

The outsole of your metal roof boots must provide good traction and grip to keep you from slipping. The bottoms of your shoes must feel like they’re sticking to the metal surface, giving you good balance and a secure and safe feeling.

Rubber is the perfect material for a non-slip outsole.

Rubberized outsoles are light, pliable, and soft – perfect for insane traction even on wet surfaces.

One of the best-rubberized technologies is Vibram, MAXwear Wedge, Contagrip, etc.

Flat Sole

A flat-soled shoe will help you find your balance and give you more stability on a steeper pitch.

Flat soles are far better for walking on metal roofs. They “stick” really nice and give good secure support.

Weight

You need to look for lightweight shoes that will not slow you down and, at the same time, will protect the rooftop surface.

Heavy work boots with rigid soles can produce damage to the metal surface.

BEST ROOFING SHOES FOR METAL ROOFS REVIEWS


1. Best Overall: Merrell Moab 2 Vent

The reasons we chose these shoes as our favorite metal roofing shoes:

  • affordable price
  • lightweight
  • Vibram outsole (slip-resistant)
  • durable
  • very comfortable
  • breathable upper material

The outsole is designed to give superior traction. These Merrells are made to withstand hiking conditions on rough terrain, high-pitched roofs, wet slippery rocks, and muddy surfaces.

On a metal roof, the sole should feel like it’s sticking onto the metal surface, providing the grip you need. This is the vented model, which we recommend for hot summers. The vent version is breathable and allows air to flow to keep your feet fresh and dry.

They make a wide range of models, from shoes and boots, low-cut and mid-cut, ventilated and waterproof, to fit every need. For lower temperatures, go with the mid-cut waterproof version.


2. Runner-Up: Reebok Nano 9

We recently introduced the Reebok Nano 9 shoes to our list, and they’re one of our favorites. With a new technology named “Flexweave,” the uppers are designed to be unbelievably flexible and comfortable.

The midsole provides cushioning and shock absorption. The outsole is made of soft rubber, making them an ideal choice for slippery metal surfaces.

Slip-resistant, highly durable, and flexible, these shoes will give you the best performance.

People who tried them said they’re better than Cougar Paws.

3. Best Ankle Support: Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boot

Weighing only 448g, it’s surprisingly lightweight for a boot, it has a cool design, and this new line comes with improved traction for downhill.

It performs great on sleek surfaces and steep roofs due to the high-traction Contagrip rubber outsole. The mid-cut construction allows for good support and comfort around the ankles.

It has a thinner underfoot, making it more lightweight, but it is not a negative since you get added comfort and protection.

They are available in different versions: from waterproof to vent and low-cut.


4. Best for Wet Conditions: Xtratuf Full Rubber *Alaska’s Favorite

We found that many industrial roofing contractors from Alaska use these boots because they perform extraordinarily well on wet metal rooftops.

As long as they’re clean, they “stick” really good to a high-pitched roof. They’re also very comfortable to wear 12 hours a day, seven days a week. If it’s freezing outside, wear them with thick wool socks.

Make sure to take all the safety measures before getting up on a wet metal roof. Get your harness, safety ropes, brackets, and fall protection systems ready.


5. Best Professional: Thorogood American Heritage Boots

Thorogood is one of the most trusted brands in the work footwear industry.

They’re professional boots specifically designed for workers to give comfort, support, and premium traction.

The boots are made to last with 100% full-grain leather and are made to withstand harsh roofing conditions. The leather is extremely sturdy yet comfortable and soft. The break-in process is an easy one and pretty fast.

The most unique thing about these shoes is the MAXwear Wedge Sole.

In the past, Thorogood used Vibram Christy Sole. But they wanted something better and successfully designed their own outsole: MaxWear wedge soles.

Max Wear outsoles last 20-30% longer than Vibram, are softer, lighter, more flexible, and extremely slip-resistant.

All these features make them one of the best shoes for walking on metal roofs without slipping.


6. Top Pick for Cold Weather: Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Boot Waterproof

Super comfortable, with Vibram and slip-resistant outsole (one of the “stickiest” types of outsole), with leather/mesh uppers. They are very light, grippy, and durable.

The design offers good ankle support, and the waterproof feature will keep your feet warm in colder temperatures.

They’re breathable due to the mesh uppers allowing your feet to breathe without making them sweat.

Like many good hiking shoes, they are designed to withstand extremely harsh conditions like rough terrain, mud, slick wet rocks, and steep surfaces.

If they perform so well in those difficult environments, they should perform great on metal roofs.

Perfect for anyone climbing roofs, from roofers to solar installers and gutter cleaners. They stick on metal surfaces and have secure traction. They are available in low-cut, mid-cut, waterproof, or vent versions.

If you’re looking for the best traction on metal roofs, these Merrells won’t let you down.

7. Best Comfort: Danner Men’s Mountain 600 Hiking Boot

An overall handsome boot that comes in 3 different colors: blue and grey, brown and red (as in the picture), as well as blue and yellow. The SPE Vibram’s midsole adds extra comfort and stability to keep you balanced on steep & weird angles.

Vibram Fuga and MegaGrip compound is an extra security measure to give a premium grip & traction on wet, muddy, dusty, or dry surfaces.

The boots are very durable and made to last years. They are made in the USA, and the craftsmanship quality is fantastic. The overall construction of the boot is solid, and it won’t come apart or wear down easily.

People say they’re light and the comfort is superior, you can wear these all day long, seven days a week.

They may need a bit of break-in, but most of the time, they’re comfortable from the moment you put them on. Definitely a great non-slip pair of boots.


8. Best Value: Salomon X Ultra Prime Hiking Shoes

Another pair of roof shoes great for walking on metal surfaces is the Salomon X Ultra Prime hiking shoes, which also fit into the best bang for the buck category.

They come at a pretty affordable price with overall great quality. The design is low-cut, with breathable durable uppers, and the outsole is Contagrip for superior grip on difficult surfaces.

This model is well-built, and they’re comfortable from the moment you put them on, needing almost no break-in time. The laces stay tied in place, the shoes are lightweight, so you won’t damage the metal sheets.


9. Best Budget: Ever Boots “Ultra Dry”

They tick all the boxes a roofing shoe must have: lightweight, flexible, anti-fatigue, insulation (optional), rubber sole, and full-grain leather.

The boots are very comfortable and keep your feet warm on really cold days.

They come at an affordable price but don’t feel cheap at all. Great for metal work since these boots are slip-resistant.


10. Best Overshoes: Korkers 3-in-1 Tufftrax

If you already have your own favorite pair of work boots and you don’t want to buy another one, there is a solution called “overshoes,” also known as “cover shoes” or “sandals.”

Overshoes give you the option of interchangeable outsoles. They securely fit onto your existing work boots frame, so you have different soles.

Soles options include soft rubber, medium-density composite sole, or spiked rubber outsoles. these offer a simple 3-in-1 system that allows you to easily and safely change the outsoles for different surfaces.

The system comes with one soft foam outsole. Does NOT come with three outsoles. The other spiked rubber and composite outsoles must be purchased separately.  They work great on metal roofs, even in wet conditions.

Read Full Review: Korkers Shoes Review


11. Popular Choice but Pricey: Cougar Paws – Performer Boot (redesigned sole)

One of the most popular roofing boots is this Performer Boot from Cougar Paws. It performs well on all surfaces: both metal and asphalt.

The smart thing about these boots is that the outsoles can be replaced easily once they wear out.

They are very durable and made for roofers by a roofer named Dan Cougar. He developed the brand in 1996 and definitely knows what types of shoe roofers need.

The grip is awesome, even on the steepest roofs. We read about workers wearing these on 9/12 to 12/12 pitched roofs and say they feel safe because of the “sticky” grip of the outsole.

The lacing system is well thought out. Besides the standard shoelaces, they also feature a secure strap to add extra protection. Ankle mobility and support are comfortable, flexible yet tight, and fit.

12. Cougar Paws Steel Walker Boots

Cougar Paws brand created some magnetic roofing shoes intended for metal roofs. The model is called The SteelWalker Boot. They have a magnetic outsole to give you a secure grip when walking on a steel metal roof. They stick to the metal and grip nicely.

Important: Steel Walker Boots are made entirely for STEEL rooftops. They are not intended for aluminum surfaces.

Conclusion: If you do metal roofing, go for rubber-soled shoes, with flat bottoms and make sure they’re lightweight. Wearing appropriate footwear for the job is only the first part of taking care of your safety. Of course, you need to add some extra security measures like safety ropes, harness, brackets, anchors and fall protection systems.

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2 thoughts on “12 Best Metal Roofing Shoes of 2022 (Stability, Traction & Comfort)”

  1. I have not tried them at work yet, but my first opinion is that they’re extremely comfortable, featherlight, look great, and do not feel like they have a sword toe cap. They also nearly do not look like steel toe shoes. I am sure the soles will start to flatten out after many weeks and months but for now, they’re as comfortable if not more comfortable than some of my handling shoes.

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