roofing-shoes

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Roofing shoes are critical to your comfort, safety, and job performance. But the process of choosing the right pair can get overwhelming. There are so many brands out there and so many important factors to consider.

We spent hundreds of hours researching, reviewing and comparing shoes from all the top brands like Thorogood, Red Wing, CAT, Timberland, and Merrell, to help you choose your next perfect pair of roofing shoes.

Below you’ll find our favorite 21 picks, each reviewed for performance. At the end of the article, we’ve put a thorough buying guide with all the features to consider when buying new roofing shoes.

Quick Advice:

  • Outsole: slip-resistant, rubberized (eg. Vibram, MaxWear), flexible, flat (for metal and asphalt roofing) or with cleats (for wood roofs, ice conditions)
  • Midsole: should provide shock-absorption and add extra protection
  • Insoles: extra cushioning and comfort technology
  • Weight: should be lightweight, a heavy pair will slow you down
  • Upper Material: look for soft yet durable and breathable materials (leather is a great choice)
  • Ankle Support: you need good support for extra stability and good balance on steep inclines
  • Good Lacing System: for a better and a secure snug fit
  • Overall Quality: for extra durability go with a rugged, well-constructed shoe with a sturdy stitching

Safety Note: before climbing on a roof, make sure you took all the safety measures: wear a body harness, use safety ropes and fall protection systems. If you want to know more about rooftop safety, check out our latest article on how to secure yourself on a roof.

Best 21 Roofing Shoes Reviews


1. Thorogood Men’s American Heritage

Best professional option.

thorogood roofing shoes
Image Source: Zappos

After weeks of research, we believe that Thorogood American Heritage is the best professional option on the market. This model is very popular among roofers because of its superior quality.

The uppers are made of full-grain leather, which is the highest-quality leather you can buy. The full-grain is rugged, durable and at the same time breathable.

The comfort is also superior offering great cushioning with ultimate shock-absorbtion footbed and Poron cushion insole.

The Polyurethane MaxWear Wedge gives all the traction you need on the steepest inclines. It’s flexible, soft yet durable and it does not wear off easily.

The boots are extremely durable and perform really well on both asphalt and metal roofs. They also come in Steel Toe version, plus in a plenty of color variations.


2. Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator

Best value for money.

merrell moab vent
Image Source: Zappos

If you’re looking for the best value for money, then Merrells are a great choice.

The Merrell Moab 2 (Vent) shoes are very comfortable, slip-resistant, breathable, and made to last. Usually, they’re used for hiking to perform on difficult and steep terrains.

The Vibram TC5+ outsole is superior-quality, non-slip, and extremely durable. You’ll see in front of the shoe an extra protective rubber toe cap – that adds extra comfort and durability.

The “Vent” stands for “Ventilation” and it means that the model is made from a breathable material keeping your feet dry and fresh in hot temperatures.

Ideal for metal roofing and asphalt roofing.


3. Thorogood Lace To Toe Roofers Boots

Best lacing system.

If you are a roofer, then you definitely are familiar with these popular Thorogood Lace to Toe roofer boots.

Their lacing system is practical and unique, giving you that tight and secure feeling from your toes up to your ankles.

Besides the good lacing method, they come with thick genuine leather, extra comfort, and slip-resistant outsoles – all these make them one of the best shoes for roofing.

This model comes now with MaxWear Wedge Outsoles (better than Vibram): give a rugged grip, flexible, soft, and rugged.

Read full review: Thorogood Roofer Boots Review


4. Red Wing Heritage Classic

Best splurge.

red wing work boots
Image Source: Zappos

If you want to be envied by your work colleagues, then get yourself a pair of classic Red Wings.

They are not only fashionable, but they are also very practical.

Come with their own rubber outsole with Traction Tred technology, that gives you a sticky grip on slippery surfaces.

The uppers are 100% durable leather, water-resistant and able to withstand abuse.

Cons: They run small, so make sure you choose the right size before purchasing them.


5. Xtratuf Performance Series for Men

Best for wet conditions | MEN

If you live in a place of the world where you have a lot of rain, humidity, and cold temperatures – these boots might be your next favorite thing.

Contractors from Alaska use Xtratuf footwear on metal roofs and are extremely satisfied.

The shoes perform really well on slippery surfaces, providing fantastic grip even on wet surfaces.

Another great thing is that they come in a wide variety of colors, sizes and styles (low-cut to high-cut).


6. Xtratuf Performance Series for Women

Best for wet conditions | Women

The Xtratuf Performance Series for Women are an ideal choice for working in wet and slippery conditions.

The full rubberized design gives an excellent traction on steep metal roofs.

Easy to put on and extremely comfortable to wear all day long.


7. Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Boot

Great ankle support

merrell waterproof
Image Source: Zappos

This is the boot version from the same line you saw above: Merrell Moab 2.

The boots design is mid-cut, providing better ankle support than the low-cut version. They’re an ideal choice to wear in a cold day.

The newly released lines 3 are also great, but are a bit more expensive.

This pair is lightweight, extremely comfortable, with slip-resistant Vibram outsoles.

You will see them in many variations: waterproof (good for cold weather), vent (good for summer, super breathable), and low-cut style too.

The price is reasonable and they fit as expected. Perfect for metal roofing and for asphalt roofing as well.


8. Timberland PRO Barstow Wedge Sole

Best for comfort

timberland barstow
Image Source: Zappos

With the one and only Timberland Anti-Fatigue Technology, these timberlands are one of the most comfortable roofing boots out there.

The wedged sole will give you the traction and the friction you need even on a wet roof.

The toe room is quite wide, to give room for your toes and raise the level of comfort.

Safe to say that they are excellent for wide feet.


9. Irish Setter Red Wing Work Boot

Electrical hazard protection

Image Source: Zappos

If you’re looking for an all-in-one boot that can offer comfort, quality and protection, these Irish Setters tick all the boxes being one of the best roofing boots out there.

hey come with the following features: heat resistant, electrical hazard protection, waterproof, safety toe.

The outsole is very durable, uppers are made from full grain leather.

Irish Setter is a brand owned by Red Wing, so expect the quality to be fantastic.


10. Danner Bull Run Work Boot

USA quality

danner bull run
Image Source: Zappos

Danners are handcrafted and stitched in the USA. The boots are known for their high-quality leather and its durability.

The leather is hard to break-in and you’ll experience some pain during the first wears.

But once you pass the first weeks, they are extremely comfortable and durable to withstand the harsh roofing work conditions.

Cons: The break-in process is painful and it takes a few weeks.

Read full review: Danner Bull Run Review


11. Red Wing Heritage Round Boot

Best for wide feet

What’s special about these boots is the round toe design. It’s meant to give extra room to your toes and that makes it perfect for people with wider feet. The round toe design increases comfort.

They’re made of an extremely high-quality leather which is durable to last you hard seasons of roofing. Red Wing is one of the most respected brands known for its high quality work footwear.


12. Ever Boots Ultra Dry

Best budget roofing boots

If you are looking for some good and cheap roofing shoes, then Ever Boots might be the perfect choice for you. They perform really well on every roof surface, including on metal roofs!

We were pleasantly surprised that these work-boots are very practical and quite durable.

They are made of leather, fit as expected, are lightweighted, waterproof and the outsole is made of a rubberized material (non-slip). On top of that, the best thing about them is the affordable price.


13. Timberland PRO Soft Toe

Great ankle support

timberland pro pit
Image Source: Zappos

Timberland PRO line is made for hard and physically demanding jobs.

They designed this model to resist in tough conditions while keeping comfort at maximum. They meet ANSI safety standards and come with outsoles that are slip-resistant, oil-resistant and abrasion-resistant.

The sole provides increased traction, the good ankle support and cushioning decreases foot fatigue.


14. Caterpillar Work Boot

Pain free break-in process

cat work boots
Image Source: Zappos

The CAT brand makes one of the best work boots in the world for almost all the industries.

This model is made from full-grain leather that provides durability and comfort.

These Caterpillar shoes perform really well on rooftops, the outsoles are rubber slip resistant and people say that they work well even on metal surfaces.

Also, breaking in process is quick and pain-free.


15. Cougar Paws Performer Boot

Replaceable outsole pads

Obviously, we couldn’t leave out Cougar Paws. You simply cannot go wrong with these boots, they are made for roofers by a roofer, and provide a sticky grip and traction.

The outsole pads are replaceable, meaning that you don’t have to buy a new pair of shoes every time the soles wear off.

This model provides comfort, durability and that safe feeling on steep roofs.


16. Thorogood American Moc Toe

Beautiful design and superior comfort

If you’re looking for a high boot design, you might want to check out these attractive Thorogood American Moc Toe.

Classy, professional, durable, extremely comfortable, they come with fiberglass shank and MAXWear Wedge Outsole which is also oil and slip resistant.

MAXWear Soles from Thorogood compete with Vibram and they are longer lasting, more flexible and provide better traction.


17. Keen Utility Milwaukee Work Boot

Protective rubber toe cap

keen boots
Image Source: Zappos

The rugged design is what stands out with these boots. Keen is a respected brand making practical work-boots for almost any work industry.

The uppers are 100% leather, the midsole features a dual density EVA footbed which adds comfort and impact -absorption.

The outsole is slip and oil resistant. On the plus side, the boots offer electrical hazard protection.


18. Wolverine Moc ToeWork Boots

Great for seasonal use

wolverine shoes
Image Source: Zappos

People seem to either love or hate these Wolverine Shoes.

They fit into a middle category between professional shoes and regular. Overall are good looking, comfortable and well-constructed.

They don’t last as much as Thorogood, but you can safely rely on them for some seasonal roofing jobs.

The upper material is full-grain leather is durable and makes these roofing boots perfect for asphalt roofing.

Cons: The size runs big.


19. Chippewa Plain Toe Boot

Superior design and comfort

The Chippewa boots are a bit vintage-looking, and come with a superior quality.

With Vibram Christy Wedge Outsole, you’ll benefit from a sticky grip on roofs.

They are made from 100% leather which is breathable and will allow air to flow in and out. This can maximize your work productivity in a hot day.


20. Georgia Wedge Work Boot

Great for steep roofs

Georgia roofing shoes
Image Source: Zappos

Georgia boots are a classic choice. You’ll benefit from Goodyear Welt construction with strong stitching allowing you to resole the boots without compromising the uppers.

The upper material is 100% SPR leather which stands for “Soft, Premium, Comfortable”.

The rubber outsole is designed for slip resistance and it is almost flat giving good stability and extra balance.

The reviews are mostly positive and they fit as expected.


21. Skechers USA Utility Boot

Good for asphalt roofing

These Skechers Mariner low shoes have an interesting design and people seem to love them on shingles.

They provide decent traction and the rubber sole gives you a safe feeling on wet surfaces.

They are not recommended for metal roofing since the sole is not flat and you could lose your footing easily.


BUYING ADVICE

roofer shoes

Before buying roofing shoes, you need to know on what type of roof you’ll be working. Roofs can be made from all kind of materials like metal, asphalt, clay, slate, concrete, wood. And all these different types of roofs require different types of shoes.


For Metal Roofing

Steel Metal Roof

A metal roof is extremely slippery by default, especially if it’s wet or covered with dust, oil residue or pollen.

On metal surfaces, you will need boots or shoes with rubberized flat outsoles. They will give the best grip and traction even on a wet metal roof.

Also, you will need soft soled and lightweight shoes. Heavy and rigid work boots can damage the roof surface very easily and at the same time, can slow you down.

If you’re looking for footwear to walk on metal roofs, check out our latest article on the best metal roofing shoes.

For Asphalt Roofing

Asphalt Shingle Roof

For walking on asphalt shingled roofs, you need slip-resistant, comfortable and very durable shoes.

Asphalt shingles are extremely harsh on the outsoles and the uppers of the boots. If you choose a low-quality sneaker, chances are they will fall apart in days.

Go with full-grain leather, one of the most resistant type of leathers, that is made to last you a very long time.

For Cedar Roofing

To walk on cedar roofs you will need some shoes with spikes that will give you good traction and stability.

We recommend overshoes equipped with cleats that are sharp enough to give a great grip, but not too sharp to penetrate and damage the shakes.

In our guide on how to walk on cedar roofs, we recommend STABlicers as the best overshoes for wood roofing.

After you identified the roof type, you need choose a pair of shoes that will keep you comfortable and productive all day long. Professional shoes are more expensive, but they do offer a superior quality and can last you years. Here are the key factors you need to look for in a roofer shoe.

Outsoles and Traction

The outsole is the most important feature to consider when choosing roofing shoes. It should be slip-resistant and give enough added traction to keep you from slipping off the roof.

The best outsoles for metal and for asphalt are made or rubber. There are many technologies designed to provide superior grip. Good examples are Vibram, ContaGrip, MAXwear, Red Wing Sole.

Also, look for flat soles. They will give a better stability and help you keep your balance.

Roofing is physical demanding, and most of the work involves squatting, bending and staying in difficult positions.

That’s why you need a flexible sole that can allow your feet to flex as much as you need without breaking or compromising comfort.

Comfort

You need a pair of shoes that you can wear comfortably all day long. Some roofers work 12 hours a day, and on weekends.

You need to look at the midsoles and the insoles to be designed for extra comfort with shock-absorption and anti-fatigue technology.

At the same time, the upper material should feel like something is hugging your feet. The leather feels really nice, although it might take a few days until it breaks-in.

In hot temperatures, it’s important to avoid swollen and sweaty feet. You need shoes made from a breathable material that allows air to flow and keep your feet dry.

Materials

  • Synthetic Nylon, Mesh, Canvas: are very breathable but are not protective or durable.
  • Suede Leather: a type of full-grain leather but with a softer finish, made to make it more flexible, breathable, softer and lighter. It is durable and it offers decent protection
  • Full-Grain Leather: the toughest and most durable leather. It is not as breathable but it is made to last and withstand harsh abuse.

Good Lacing System

Go with boots that can lace up nicely to make the shoes fit your exact feet shape.

You need a tight, snug and secure fit with laces that remain perfectly tied on.

The quality of the laces is important. Make a good knot to assure you’re not going to trip over your own shoelace.

Conclusion:

These were our favorite roof shoes picks. Hope we helped you choose your next pair. If you have any suggestions or if you feel like we have missed something, comment below.

Happy Roofing!

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