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Last Updated on October 1, 2022 by Todd
Wearing the right roofing clothes increases your productivity and keeps you going all day long. The clothes you wear should be functional, durable, extremely comfortable, and made from high-quality, breathable, and sturdy materials.
We will teach you how to choose the best work clothes for the job and recommend a few products that we love: roofing pants, shirts, shoes, gloves, roofing knee pads, and more.
At the end, we share some clothing tips like how to stay cool while roofing in summer, what materials are the best for roofing in winter, and more.
Quick Safety Tip: Stay away from frayed and tattered clothing to avoid getting your clothes caught on ladders, materials, tools, or equipment. This will reduce the risk of injuries or accidents.
Our guide for roofing work clothes starts with roofer pants. Roofing is a harsh job and requires the toughest work pants you can find. A proper pair of pants should be sturdy, made to last, and at the same time, they should be comfortable, flexible, and breathable.
Roofing involves kneeling on rough surfaces, lifting heavy materials, climbing, and bending. Roofers are always in direct contact with the roof. So they need to wear pants that won’t tear easily, and that can protect your knees.
When you are wearing work pants all day long, sometimes over 12 hours a day, and often in hot weather, you will appreciate comfortable clothing designed for your work environment.
A comfortable pair of pants are made from cotton and maybe from cotton mixed with a blend of spandex for extra flexibility. Cotton is the best material you can choose for your work pants. It allows air to flow in and out and keeps sweat and heat away.
Padded roofing pants are something roofers always look for, this is why many pants have double knee features to add additional protection and comfort so you won’t hurt your knees when in contact with the roof.
In this article, we also talk about knee pads, an alternative to double-kneed pants.
The best roofing pants are functional and will have extra tool pockets, hammer loops, and reinforced knees. Based on our experience and some research, we found you some fantastic work pants that we would recommend:
Carhartt Men’s Cotton Ripstop
Made of 100% cotton, these roofer pants come with great breathability and comfort.
Carhartt is a favorite brand in the work clothing industry, well-known for its durable and high-quality products.
These pants are made to last due to tough cotton ripstop fabric, made for rough conditions, and to prevent rips or tears.
This model is a relaxed-fit version, allowing you the flexibility you need and a little extra space.
They come with double-front construction to increase durability, don’t shrink after being washed, and come with plenty of pockets, straps, and loops for your tools.
They are available in multiple colors: brown, green, black, and more.
Wrangler RIGGS Men’s Ranger Pants
These pants are one of the most popular work pants out there, they have everything you need.
Made of 100% Cotton Ripstop (same fabric as the Carhartt pants), have seven different pockets, reinforced knees, and reinforced loops. They are built to resist abuse and provide the ultimate comfort.
These pants are perfect for roofing since they’re extremely durable and seem like nothing will tear or rip them.
The smart way the pockets are placed makes them very practical. People say the pants are good for anything from climbing towers, roofing, hiking, hunting, heavy-duty outdoor work, gardening, plumbing, and more.
They won’t shrink, and their relaxed fit design provides enough room to move around, bend, and squat comfortably.
Red Kap Double Knee Work Pants
Red Kap is another excellent brand of construction roofing apparel.
That’s why we recommend these pants for those working in rough conditions who want a comfortable, long-lasting, and practical pair of pants.
The pants are made from 100% cotton, with double knees for extra durability against tears and wear.
Are very comfortable to wear 10 hours a day, coming with an ideal mix of materials designed to increase mobility, allowing you to kneel easily and bend without discomfort.
They also come with heavy-duty pockets and loops to keep your tools secure. The only negative thing is that the price is higher than the models above.
A workwear shirt must be comfortable and keep you cool and dry.
Nowadays, many brands have their own recipe for success, blending the fabrics and making the t-shirts moisture-wicking, stain-resistant, durable, and comfortable.
The shirts you wear while roofing in summer should be made from cotton and maybe a blend of cotton/spandex/polyester, as long as cotton is primary.
Even when it is hot outside, it is recommended to wear long-sleeved shirts for extra protection. However, not many roofers love this idea, and many choose short-sleeved shirts.
Related: 25 Best Roofing Tools in 2022
During winter, you should go for long-sleeved shirts with a high amount of wool content (we recommend Merino Wool). Wool is the best material to wear during cold temperatures because it keeps you warm and at the same time it doesn’t make you sweat.
Carhartt Men’s Short Sleeve 100% Cotton
Carhartt is one of the most respected brands out there for workwear products.
This T-Shirt is comfortable, made entirely from cotton, doesn’t shrink after washing, and the most important thing: wicks the moisture away.
The shirt is made to last, and the color will not fade.
Sizes run a little large, so the shirt will be a bit loose if you get your normal size.
Carhartt Men’s Long Sleeve
This is a long-sleeved model of the Carhartt shirts. The material is soft, and the cotton fabric feels smooth on the skin.
The shirt is longer to keep your back covered while bending or squatting on the roof.
It features a generous left pocket. If you wear this in summer, the material will keep you cool and dry because of its breathability feature.
Wrangler RIGGS Long Sleeved Shirt
This shirt is made from 100% cotton and is durable and able to withstand the harsh conditions you find on the roof. RIGGS means durability and comfort.
The shirt looks sturdy but also gives you the comfort and breathability you need during summer. It doesn’t shrink noticeably and should last you a long time.
KNEE PADS FOR ROOFING
Your knees need extra protection given by double-knee pants or knee pads.
Kneeling, bending, and squatting on harsh roof surfaces can be rough on your knees.
If your pants don’t provide enough protection for your knees, then you should wear knee pads.
Note: Stay away from knee pads with plastic faces: they don’t provide good grip and may scratch some roof surfaces.
Choose knee pads designed for heavy-duty work that are comfortable to wear, have gel cushioning, and come with slip-resistance features.
NoCry Flooring and Roofing Knee Pads
We recommend these roofer knee pads designed especially for roofing and flooring projects.
They come with non-slip leather pads that won’t slip, mark or damage the roof.
Ideal for easily scratched surfaces and steep or flat roofing.
Comfortable, durable, and easy to adjust.
Picking the right pair of roofing shoes can be tricky and time-consuming. It is very important to wear shoes that will keep you safe and prevent you from slipping or falling.
You need to pay attention to the following:
- The outsole should be made from rubber for extra traction & grip. Vibram and MAXWear wedge are our favorites.
- The uppers should be made from durable materials, like leather.
- They should be comfortable.
- They should provide good ankle support to maximize flexibility.
- They should have a good lacing system.
- Lightweight is a must.
Our blog writes a lot about shoes and recommends only the best models that perform excellently on roofs.
Because not all of us can afford to buy professional roofing boots, we also share affordable models that are great for roofing, like skate shoes, hiking, and trail shoes. We divided our picks into cheap, affordable, and professional.
Thorogood American Heritage | Professional
These beautiful Thorogood boots are perfect for roofing, they are comfortable, durable, and non-slip.
They come with a slip-resistant MAXwear Wedge outsole that gives traction and grip even on high-pitched roofs.
The boots are made from high-quality leather built to withstand rough roofing conditions. Thorogood is one of the most respected brands in the work footwear industry, and they handcraft their products in the United States.
Merrell Moab Vent Hiking Shoes | Best Value
Hiking shoes are a popular footwear choice for roofers and are more affordable than professional leather work boots.
These Merrells are an ideal choice for roofing on metal and asphalt. The sole gives excellent grip and traction. The uppers provide ideal ankle support; overall, the shoes are extremely comfortable to wear for a long time.
Hiking shoes are built for harsh terrain, wet and rocky surfaces, and steep surfaces.
This is why it is safe to say they are also great for climbing roofs. The outsole of these Merrells is Vibram, which is one of the best for traction and grip on slippery surfaces. Are made to last and are available in low-cut, mid-cut, vent, and waterproof versions.
Converse Chuck Taylor Sneakers | Cheap
Many roofers wear Chuck Taylors because they are cheap, provide decent ankle support, and the outsole is made of a rubber that provides decent traction.
These sneakers won’t last you long. They wear out pretty fast, especially if you’re doing asphalt roofing. This is why we were quite surprised to see that these models are so popular among roofers, contractors, and home inspectors.
BEST ROOFING GLOVES (updated )
You need a good pair of gloves to protect your hands from injuries, burns, or cuts. Some prefer bare hands, some prefer gloves.
You need comfortable roofer gloves that won’t wear out easily, and that can withstand roofing.
At the same time, you need high-dexterity gloves that won’t get in your way or decrease your productivity. Atlas, MaxiFlex, and NoCry brands manufacture some of the best gloves. They are great for roofers.
Maxiflex Ultimate Work Gloves
We highly recommend MaxiFlex work gloves. They are premium quality, ultra-thin for extra dexterity, and 360 degrees breathable.
The breathability is fantastic. The blend of materials allows air to flow from the back and the front of the hand.
These roofing gloves also last longer than other brands, making them perfect for roofing jobs.
We recommend MaxiFlex gloves for asphalt roofing and NoCry (link to Amazon) gloves for metal roofing. Check our latest article about gloves to see the full reviews and our favorite picks.
Related Article: Best Roofing Gloves 2022
Other brands like Mechanix or Ironclad manufacture gloves built to last and are suitable for any type of rough work. The dexterity is not as good though. They’re primarily made to provide protection.
Ironclad makes gloves for heavy-duty, general utility, and provides a useful online sizing chart to help you order the right size. They come with leather reinforcements and knuckle protection. They are also machine washable.
BEST ROOFING TOOL BELT: OCCIDENTAL LEATHER
Another important part of roofing work clothes is the tool belt. Even though many pants come with handy pockets, straps, and loops, if you are a professional, you know a tool belt is irreplaceable.
And if you want the best of the best, we recommend Occidental Leather Tool Belts. Everyone who’s been in the construction industry very long will know about Occidental Leather. It is a respected brand known for its extremely high-quality leather products.
Occidental Leather 5089 LG Seven Bag Framer
Occidental Leather bags and tool belts are all made from premium full-grain cow leather, treated carefully with blends of special oils and waxes.
Their products are built in the United States of America. This belt is extremely comfortable and practical.
It is designed with a smart hand-specific system, the tool bag holds the tools you access with the right hand (hammer, knives, pencils, etc.), and the fastener bags hold the tools you access with the left hand such as nails and others.
It features 23 pockets and tool holders and comes in various sizes and models.
Related Post: Best Tool Belts for Roofing 2020
How To Stay Cool While Roofing in Summer
Stay away from 100% Polyester
The first rule when buying roofing work clothes to wear in summer is to stay away from 100% Polyester. It is not breathable and doesn’t allow sweat to evaporate.
Therefore, wearing 100% polyester clothes is uncomfortable when you’re roofing in hot temperatures. Polyester t-shirts will stick to your body and will hold in perspiration.
The best fabric to wear in summer is 100% cotton, which is breathable, allows air to flow, and keeps you cool and dry.
Drink plenty of WATER, not sodas
It can get unbearably hot when it’s summer and you’re roofing. Hot temperatures and long-term exposure to the sun can be dangerous for your health if you don’t take care of yourself by wearing appropriate clothing and drinking plenty of water.
You’re losing a lot of water when exposed to heat. So you need to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Stay away from sugary sodas. They make things worse, they’re not healthy, they’re full of sugar and they don’t stop your thirst.
Go for Light Colored Clothes
You should wear light-colored clothes during extreme heat because light colors reflect light, and don’t absorb it like dark colors do.
Always choose light-colored shirts and pants when roofing in summer.
Sunscreen with SPF 50 or Higher
Wearing sunscreen protection is a must for anyone. Especially for roofers who are always exposed to the sun. Staying in the sun increases cancer risk, wrinkles, and premature aging.
Protect yourself by applying sunscreen every day. Choose a cream with SPF (sun protection factor) of 50 or higher, so you can be sure you are being protected from the sun.
How To Stay Warm While Roofing in Winter
Choose Wool for Wintertime
Roofing in winter requires special equipment and clothing. You need to keep yourself warm by wearing insulated boots, jackets, pants, gloves, and shirts that can keep you warm and cozy.
When you’re buying roofing clothes for winter, make sure to choose ones made from high-quality Wool fabrics.
Wool is a great fabric for winter because it keeps you very warm and at the same time because its breathability doesn’t make you sweat.
Thank you for reading our Ultimate Guide To Roofing Work Clothes, we hope we helped you choose the best clothes that will keep you cozy, productive and comfortable.