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Picking the right roofing shoes for shingles can be a time-consuming and a nerve-racking process. There are so many models out there and if you have no idea what to look for in a roofing shoe, you’ll end up with some slippery, uncomfortable shoes that will tear off in a few days.
As always, we made some good research and we picked our favorite shoes and boots for asphalt shingles. If you want to read how we got to our top choices, check the section below the picks.
There’s nothing worse than walking on a shingle roof with slippery shoes. Safety comes first and you should take all the safety measures before going up on the roof. When it comes to climbing steep roofs you need slip-resistant, sturdy, durable, and comfortable shoes.
Roofing is a physically demanding job. Asphalt shingles are very harsh on the outsoles and uppers of your shoes or boots. You need solid-constructed shoes with soft yet sturdy soles, durable uppers, that are comfortable and provide secure ankle support.
The following shoes are a great choice also for home inspectors, adjusters, solar installers, roof cleaners, estimators and for anyone else who needs to walk on a roof.
Best Roofing Shoes for Shingles
1. Best Bang for The Buck: Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator
These Merrell hiking shoes are one of our favorites and we recommend them to anyone.
MOAB models are well thought and designed to withstand wet, rough, muddy, steep and slippery terrains. The outsole gives you the feeling that it practically sticks to the roof surface.
In terms of comfort, they are extremely comfortable from the moment you put them on the first time. Merrell brand always improves and updates its technology for extra comfort and traction.
This model is one of their most popular line of MOAB (Mother-of-all-boots). It’s available in both vent and waterproof version. The ventilator version is more breathable and it allows air to flow in and out, keeping your feet dry and refreshed.
They also make hiking boots that have a more secure ankle support and are a good choice for colder temperatures.
If you’re roofing in summer, then these are an ideal option for you. They’re affordable and we didn’t really find any negative things about these shoes. If you want to the comfort to the next level, add some SuperFeet insoles to enjoy the best cushioning.
2. Best Professional: Thorogood American Heritage
Thorogood is one of the most popular, trusted and respected brands in the world, that is known for high-quality work footwear, produced in the United States of America.
This American Heritage model performs admirably on roofs. The traction is insane and that is because of their new sole: MAXwear Wedge.
Thorogood used to use Vibram Christy Cream wedge soles, because of their slip-resistant technology in dry and wet conditions. However, they wanted something even better than Vibram and after years of studying and testing they created their own sole named: Thorogood Polyurethane MaxWear Sole.
MaxWear lasts with 20-30% longer than Vibram outsoles. Besides that, a MaxWear wedge sole is extremely slip-resistant (even on wet surfaces), flexible, soft, sticky and ultra-comfortable.
The upper is made from full-grain leather which is sturdy enough to outlast the rough conditions on the roof, and at the same time, it’s very comfortable and soft to give your ankles enough flexibility.
3. Best Splurge: Red Wing Heritage Classic Moc
Red Wing is one of the most prestigious and trusted brands in the workwear industry.
They are known for extremely high-quality and handsome leather boots, durability and brilliant comfort.
Their products are handcrafted in the United States by skilled and talented craftsmen and craftswomen.
One thing is clear: Red Wings are not cheap. To get such superior quality you need to pay a higher price. For roofers, a pair of Red Wings is the kind of present they’d want for Christmas.
These classic boots (style 1907) come with a flat rubberized outsole that provides you with a solid grip on steeped shingle roofs. The sole will give you the traction you need and because it’s flat you’ll have more stability.
They’re also lightweight, so you could walk safely on the roof without causing any damage to the shingles. The uppers are made from a sturdy yet comfortable copper leather. The boots are made to withstand the rough asphalt shingle roofing conditions.
The only downside, which is a downside only for a week or two, is that they take a longer time to break-in. This process can be painful for the first few days. It is recommended to oil them and wear some thicker socks during your first wears.
But once you pass the breaking in process, they’re extremely comfortable and will fit you just right to give you a flexible yet secure fit.
You might like: Best Red Wing Roofing Boots (Reviewed)
4. Best Lacing System: Thorogood Roofing Boots Lace to Toe
One of the most popular models out there for roofing shoes is the classic lace-to-toe model made especially for roofers.
The outsole is the MAXwear wedge, the best option for slip-resistance, comfort, traction and grip on dry, dusty, wet and steep surfaces.
The shoes are made with roofers in mind, and the most interesting thing about these boots is the triple stitching and double layered leather on the sides. They wanted to increase the longevity of the boots by adding sturdy layers of leather on the sides to withstand the harsh contact with the shingles.
The outsole is replaceable, so whenever it wears out you can replace it easily without having to buy a new pair. The shoes are made to be worn all day long while providing with extra comfort and cushioning.
The lace to the system is very smart and something unique about these boots. It’s great having the possibility to tie the shoes to fit you perfectly from the toe all the way up. This way you’ll have a snug, secure and comfortable fit for the unique shape of your feet.
The leather is breathable and you can wear these during a hot summer without having to worry about sweating and blisters.
5. Best Value: Irish Setter 83605 Work Boot
Irish Setter is a brand owned by Red Wing. The quality of their products is really high, and surprisingly they come with a much more affordable price than Red Wings.
This model 83605 is one of the most popular work boots out there.
The upper side is made of full-grain trout brook leather, which is known to be extremely durable, yet comfortable and flexible once its broken in. We like the color choice: white rubber sole and nice brown leather with some beautiful stitching.
The shoes come with premium cushioning so they are really comfortable to wear all day long. It features triple stitching for extra longevity, they can last you a good year of hard roofing. The grip is great on asphalt and metal.
The leather breaks-in really fast, without any pain. If you want to increase your productivity at work, these Irish Setter work boots are a smart choice.
6. MegaGrip & Comfort: Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boot
Hiking shoes are one of the best options out there for any roofing work.
They are made to withstand extremely difficult terrain, muddy, wet, rocky, steep and slippery surfaces.
So it is safe to say that if they perform excellently in such difficult circumstances, they’ll do a fantastic job on roofs. Danner came with a perfect model for hiking that is comfortable, fashionable, durable, waterproof and that’s lightweight.
The outsole uses the latest technology: Vibram Fuga and MegaGrip compound. This adds extra traction and makes the shoes super “sticky” on wet surfaces. You can safely wear these on asphalt shingle roofs, and on metal roofs.
The upper part is very resistant and made to last. They’re waterproof but don’t make your feet sweat. The flat sole is designed to give a secure footing and better balance on different awkward angles.
People hike in these dozens of miles per day and say they’re extremely comfortable and the cushioning is fantastic. The break-in period is painless and happens fast.
You might like: Best Hiking Shoes for Roofing in 2020
7. Best Budget PRO Boot: Ever Boots Ultra Dry
An affordable and top-rated model is Ever Boots Ultra Dry, which comes with everything a good roof shoe should have: leather, rubber outsole, waterproof, lightweight.
The upper is made of full grain leather, which is very durable and doesn’t rip or tear off easily. It is waterproof insulated, and at the same time, it is very breathable so your feet could be moisture-free and dry.
The traction is decent due to the rubberized sole, and it performs well on metal roofs as well. The boots will give a nice ankle support which will help with the balance and stability of your footing.
The breaking in time lasts around a week or two, so make sure to wear thick socks and oil the boots before the first use. After that, they’re really comfortable to wear all day long.
8. Best Steel Toe: Timberland PRO Pit Boss
Timberland is one of the most trusted brands for work boots.
This model is part of the PRO collection and comes with well-thought features made to help the hard-working people.
The upper is a high-quality leather, that can last you years.
It’s a bit thicker so it could withstand the brutal roofing conditions. But even if the leather is thick and sturdy, they break-in really fast, and they’re pretty comfortable.
For the best use, you should oil them and use a leather conditioner to help the leather be softer and more comfortable especially around the ankles.
The sole is rubber and it provides you with excellent traction while giving you a nice stability on an asphalt roof.
A thing we didn’t like: insoles are not comfortable. The shoes are great but the insoles don’t make them justice. We recommend you to replace the existing insoles with your own favorite insoles.
9. Best with Replacement Pads: Cougar Paws Roofing Shoes
If you’re a professional roofer, contractor or estimator, you probably already know about Cougar Paws.
The brand is extremely popular and makes some really great boots for roofing.
Because they are built with roofing in mind, they have some really smart and practical features like replacement pads.
When the outsole of a Cougar Paws boot wears out, you can simply replace it yourself with another brand new sole. This saves you time and money.
In terms of grip and comfort, the shoes are known for their extra traction on high pitched roofs. They are really comfortable to be worn 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The ankle support is secure and comfortable, and the lacing system comes with a practical strap to ensure a tight and snug fit.
10. Cheap Pick: Vans Skate Shoes
We had to insert a budget choice into our list.
We chose Vans because they seemed to be extremely popular among roofers and they provide a decent grip due to the rubberized outsole.
However, don’t expect much in terms of durability and ankle support. They wear out pretty fast, and you’ll have to buy a new pair every week or month.
Like other cheap roofing shoes, they are good to wear if you have a limited budget and you don’t spend 12 hours on the roofs every day.
What to look for in Roofing Shoes
When you’re walking on a roof, you need good traction to keep you from slipping or in the worst case from falling and injuring yourself. The outsoles of the shoes you wear should feel like they’re “sticking” to the roof.
Whether if you need footwear for asphalt, metal or cedar roofing, traction is the most important thing to consider in a shoe. For metal and asphalt shingle roofs you can get the best grip by wearing flat rubberized outsoles. For cedar roofs (link to our article), you need shoes with spikes. That’s why it is important to learn about your safety on the roofs, before getting up.
Work boots should be extremely comfortable 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. Comfort comes with high-quality materials from the outsole, midsole, upper. Comfort also comes with good ankle support, breathability, well fitting and a secure lacing system.
The cushioning is very important when it comes to boots. The insoles play a huge part in the level of comfort provided. And most of the times, the shoes come with some standard average insoles that are OK, but not perfect.
That’s why many people choose to acquire their own favorite insoles with shock absorption, extra cushion, gel comfort technologies. Usually, they’re pretty easy to replace so it’s a hassle-free process that can change your whole experience and make you experience the ultimate comfort.
Durability matters when it comes to shoes you wear every day on rough work conditions. Roofing is a harsh job and it’s physically demanding.
A roofer must carry weights while bending, squatting, kneeling all the time. The roof surface is rough on the shoes and if you’re wearing poor-quality footwear, it will tear-off, break-apart and wear off very fast.
Footwear for roofers should be well-built shoes, with extra stitching, leather uppers and high-quality outsoles that can outlast your work environment.
A heavy pair of boots can damage the roof and nobody wants that. Plus, carrying that extra weight is extremely uncomfortable and will reduce your speed and productivity. You need roofing shoes that are lightweight. We paid close attention to this aspect and we chose only the lightest models out there.