shoes metal roofing

Choosing the best roofing shoes for metal roofs can be really tricky. Metal roofs are 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, I’ve found the best shoes for metal roofing available on the market. I’ll share pros and cons and what were the criteria for evaluating my top picks.

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


ImageModelTop FeaturesPricePurchase
Merrell Moab 2 VentBest Overall & Best Bang for The Buck. Vibram TC5 Sole.$$Check on Amazon
Salomon X Ultra PrimeRunner-up: Great Contagrip Traction, Comfort, Breathability.$$Check on Amazon
Xtratuf Performance SeriesThe best for wet conditions: Alaska’s Favorite.$Check on Amazon
Thorogood American HeritageProfessional Supreme Quality, Durability with MAXWear Wedge traction.$$$$Check on Amazon
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTXLightweight, comfort excellent stability, and superior Contagrip.$$$$Check on Amazon
Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Boot WPGreat for Cold Weather. Comfortable and great Vibram traction.$$$Check on Amazon

Welcome to 2018, where metal roofs are more popular than ever. Almost 1 million metal roofs are installed in America every year. More and more homeowners choose metal for their roofs, or sidings, or both.

→ Why Metal Roofs?

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

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 slippery and you need to take some safety measures.

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

Anyone walking on metal rooftops should be really careful. Not only roofers get up on roofs. Home adjusters, home inspectors, gutter installers, cleaners, chimney sweepers, estimators or solar installers, always have to climb and walk on roofs. This article is for everyone who needs to walk on metal roofs.

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

! 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. Never walk on a metal roof with wet footwear.

* * *

What to Look for in Shoes for Metal Roofing

√ Slip-Resistant Sole

Since metal roofs are very slick, the outsole of your shoes 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, a secure and safe feeling.

Rubber is the perfect material for a non-slip outsole. It is light, pliable and soft, the perfect combination for an insane traction even on wet surfaces. One of the best-rubberized outsoles are Vibram, MAXwear Wedge, Contagrip etc.

√ Flat Sole

Shoes with flat soles give good support and stability. A flat soled shoe will help you find a nice balance and will give you more stability on a steeper pitch. Flat soled shoes are far better to walk on metal roofs, they “stick” really nice.

√ Lightweight Shoes

You don’t want to damage the roof. If you wear heavy work boots with rigid soles you have big chances to damage the metal roof. To avoid that to happen, you should wear light shoes with soft, flexible, rubberized sole.

Ok, so now you know what criteria we used to evaluate the best roofing shoes for metal roofs. Let’s get into the list.


1. The Best of The Best: Merrell Moab 2 Vent

Merrell is probably the most popular brands out there known for creating high-quality, durable, and slip-resistant hiking footwear.

The reasons why we chose these shoes as our favorite are: affordable price, lightweight, Vibram outsole (slip-resistant), durable, very comfortable and breathable.

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

On a metal roof, the sole should feel like its 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, 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.

Check on Amazon!

2. Runner-Up: Salomon X Ultra Prime Hiking Shoes

As you can see, we love to recommend hiking shoes for metal surfaces. That’s because they’re all designed for extended comfort with anti-slip technologies.

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

They come at a pretty affordable price with an overall great quality. The design is low-cut, with breathable and durable uppers, 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 roof.

Check on Amazon!

3. Top Pick for Wet Conditions: Xtratuf Full Rubber *Alaska’s Favorite

These boots are designed to withstand rough wet conditions. If you work somewhere with lots of rain, cold and moisture, these boots are the perfect choice for you.

We found out that many industrial roofing contractors from Alaska are using these boots cause they perform extraordinary 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 7 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.

Check on Amazon!

4. Top Pick for PRO shoes: Thorogood American Heritage Boots

These Thorogood Boots represent high-quality, style, extra traction, durability and safety.

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

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

The boots are made to last and withstand the 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 to make something even better and successfully created: MaxWear wedge soles. Max wear outsoles should last with 20-30% longer than Vibram, are softer, lighter and are extremely slip-resistant.

All these features make them perfect for walking on metal roofs without slipping.

Check on Amazon!

5. Top Pick for Mid-Cut Design: Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boot

Our favorite mid-cut shoes for metal roofs is definitely this Salomon Ultra 3 Mid GTX model.

With the only 448g, it’s surprisingly lightweight for a boot, it has a fierce design and this new line came 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 a good support and comfort around the ankles.

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

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

Check on Amazon!

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

This is the boot mid-cut, waterproof boot version of the Merrell MOAB 2 line.

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

The waterproof version and the fact that they’re mid-cut offer a good ankle support while keeping your feet warm in colder temperatures.

But they’re still breathable, due to the mesh uppers it still allows your feet to breathe without making them sweat.

As many good hiking shoes, they are designed to withstand extremely harsh conditions like rough terrains, mud, slick wet rocks, steep surfaces. If they perform so well in such difficult environments, they should perform excellently on metal roofs.

You might like:

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

If you want more info, check out our latest in-depth article on the best hiking shoes for roofing in 2018.

Check on Amazon!

7. Waterproof & Full-Grain Leather: Danner Men’s Mountain 600 Hiking Boot

Another great option is this Danner 600 Boot. The uppers are made of full-grain leather (super resistant), the sole is Vibram Fuga and they’re waterproof protected.

An overall handsome boot that comes in 3 different colors: blue and grey, brown and red (as in the picture), blue and yellow. The midsole is SPE Vibram which adds an extra level of comfort and stability to keep you balanced in 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 quality of the craftsmanship is indeed fantastic. The overall construction of the boot is solid and it won’t tear apart or wear off easily.

People say they’re light and the comfort is superior, you can wear these all day long 7 days a week. They need a bit of break-in time, but for most of the time, they’re comfortable from the moment you put them on. Definitely a great non-slip pair of boots.

Check on Amazon!

8. Popular Choice: Cougar Paws – Performer Boot (redesigned sole)

One of the most popular roofing boot is this Performer Boot from Cougar Paws. It performs really 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, 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.

Check on Amazon!

9. Affordable & Decent Quality: Ever Boots “Ultra Dry”

These Ever Boots are an affordable option that also comes with a surprisingly good quality for the price.

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

The boots are actually 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.

Check on Amazon!

10. *Cougar Paws Steel Walker Boots*

Cougar Paws brand created some roof boots 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 actually stick to the metal and grip really nice.

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.

# Bonus Tip

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

Overshoes give you the option to interchangeable outsoles. They securely fit onto your existing work boots frame so you could add then different soles. Like soft rubber, medium density composite sole or spiked rubber outsoles.

Our Recommendation for Overshoes is Korkers TuffTrax 3-in-1 IA5300

Korkers Overshoes (link to Amazon) offers a simple 3 in 1 system that allows you to easily and safely change the outsoles for different surfaces.

The system comes with 1 soft foam outsole. Does NOT come with 3 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]


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