metal roofing shoes

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Choosing the best metal roofing shoes for metal roofs can be really 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

Welcome to 2019, 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.

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 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, for 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 on the metal surface, giving you good balance, a secure and safe feeling.

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

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

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

Flat Sole

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

Flat soles are far better to walk on metal roofs, they “stick” really nice and give a 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

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

The reasons why 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 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.

2. Runner-Up: 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 and low-cut.

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

These boots are designed to withstand severe 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.

4. Best Professional: Thorogood American Heritage Boots

These Thorogood Boots offersuperior-quality, beautiful style, extra traction, durability, and protection.

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 with 100% full grain leather and made to 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 something better and successfully designed their own outsole: MaxWear wedge soles.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

6. Best Comfort: 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.

7. Best Value: 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 metal roof shoes great to walk on 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 sheets.

8. Best Budget: Ever Boots “Ultra Dry”

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

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 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.

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

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

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” also known as “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.

Soles types options: soft rubber, medium density composite sole or spiked rubber outsoles.

It 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.

Real Full Review: Korkers Shoes Review

10. 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.

11. 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 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.

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