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Best Shoes for Roofing 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

roof repair

Excellent traction is critical when roofing. Your daily shoes or work boots are not your best choice. Their tread design doesn’t give you the most contact with the roof’s surface.

There are shoes and boots made specifically for roofing. What do you look for, and how do you decide which ones are for you? We have reviewed a bunch of them for you and made a list of five that will meet your needs. We’ll give you a quick rundown of each, and a guide on what to look for when shopping, to help you decide where to start your search.

Our Favorites Compared

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Irish Setter Men's 83605 Irish Setter Men's 83605
  • Rubber sole
  • Heat-resistant outsole
  • Removable polyurethane insole
  • Second place
    Thorogood Men’s American Heritage Lace-To-Toe Thorogood Men’s American Heritage Lace-To-Toe
  • 100% leather
  • Synthetic soles
  • Removable insoles
  • Best Value
    Third place
    EVER BOOTS “Ultra Dry” EVER BOOTS “Ultra Dry”
  • Waterproof leather
  • Rubber soles
  • Insulated linings
  • Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent
  • 100% suede leather and mesh
  • Synthetic soles
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Timberland PRO Men’s Barstow Timberland PRO Men’s Barstow
  • Leather
  • Rubber insole
  • Anti-fatigue technology
  • The 5 Best Roofing Shoes

    1. Irish Setter Men’s 83605 Work Roofing Boot – Best Overall

    Irish Setter Men's 6" 83605 Work Boot

    The Irish Setter Men’s 6″ 83605 Work Boot has a 100% waterproof leather body and a thick rubber sole that meets electrical hazard safety standards. The leather outsole is also heat-resistant to act as a barrier between you and the hot tar with which you’re working.

    The body of the boot has six-inch laces fed through brass eyelets to keep them snug and secure. The opening at the top of the boot is 13.5 inches. The shaft is 5.5 inches from the arch of the foot to the top, and the heel measures 1.5 inches. The boot insole is polyurethane and is removable if you need to take it out for any reason.

    The Irish Setter 83605 does tend to run smaller than other boots, so you may want to try them on before buying. If you purchase them online, consider getting a size larger than you’d typically get. The only thing that could improve this shoe would be steel toes to protect against injury.

    Pros
    • 100% waterproof leather
    • Rubber sole
    • Heat-resistant outsole
    • 5-inch shaft
    • 5-inch heel
    • 5-inch opening
    • Six-inch lace-up with brass eyelets
    • Removable polyurethane insole
    Cons
    • Run small
    • No steel toes

    2. Thorogood Men’s American Roofer Boots

    Thorogood Men's American Heritage Lace-To-Toe Roofer Boots

    The Thorogood Men’s American Heritage Lace-To-Toe Roofer Boots are 100% leather with thick synthetic soles. They have 5.25-inch shafts from the arch to the top of the boot and removable insoles.

    These boots do run large, so you’ll want to try them on in a store or purchase one to two sizes larger than you usually wear. We also found that the inside linings wear through quickly by the little toe. When the lining is gone, it leaves your toe rubbing against the rough side of the leather.

    Pros
    • 100% leather
    • Synthetic soles
    • 25-inch shaft
    • Removable insoles
    Cons
    • Run large
    • Toes wear through quickly

    3. EVER BOOTS Waterproof Work Boots – Best Value

    EVER BOOTS "Ultra Dry" Men's Premium Leather Waterproof Work Boots

    The EVER BOOTS “Ultra Dry” Men’s Premium Leather Waterproof Work Boots give you the best quality boots for the money. They have 100% leather waterproof bodies, and thick, durable rubber soles. They also have insulated linings to keep your feet dry and warm in cold, damp weather.

    These boots run about half a size small, so order appropriately. We found that our feet got hot and sweaty because these boots aren’t very breathable. They’re secured with laces that feed through eyelets, but they fall out of the boots quickly.

    Pros
    • Waterproof leather
    • Rubber soles
    • Insulated linings
    Cons
    • Run half size larger than other boots
    • Eyelets come off easily
    • Not breathable

    4. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe

    Merrell Men's Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe

    The Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe is made of 100% suede leather with an outer mesh, and a thick synthetic sole. The body material of these shoes is very breathable to help keep your feet from sweating. They also have closed-cell foam tongues to keep out loose debris or moisture from damp days.

    The Moab 2 has fewer eyelets than other Merrell model boots. The soles and bodies are both very stiff and don’t allow a ton of movement. They also don’t have much padding on the insoles, and the arch supports are too high for anyone with flat feet to wear comfortably.

    Pros
    • 100% suede leather and mesh
    • Synthetic soles
    • Closed-cell foam tongues
    • Breathable mesh lining
    Cons
    • Fewer eyelets than older models
    • Insoles don’t have much padding
    • Arch support too high for flat feet
    • Very stiff

    5. Timberland Men’s Barstow Wedge Work & Roofing Boot

    Timberland PRO Men's Barstow Wedge Work Boot

    The Timberland PRO Men’s Barstow Wedge Work Boot is 100% leather with a rubber insole. It features anti-fatigue technology to keep your feet feeling fresh all day long.

    These boots are heavier than many other roofing work boots, and the soles wear down quickly. They’re also heavier and bulkier than standard work boots. We found that they run narrow, too, so you’ll want to adjust your size accordingly.

    Pros
    • Leather
    • Rubber insole
    • Anti-fatigue technology
    Cons
    • Run narrow
    • Heavy
    • Soles wear quickly

    Buyer’s Guide

    Many people wear everyday shoes or work boots when replacing a roof. Roofing boots have solid soles with defined ridges for an excellent grip, so you don’t slip and slide around.

    When stripping old shingles off a roof, you’re left with a relatively smooth surface with a lot of debris on it, any of which can be slippery. Shoes or boots that are worn frequently for working in your garage, garden, or just around the house, will have worn-down tread. Worn tread means they won’t grip as well as they could, making slipping possible. Roofing boots are your safest choice.

    Shoes or Boots?

    Everyone has a preference for shoes or boots when working on a roof. There are advantages to both.

    Shoes

    • Offer better arch support
    • Low body type allows better mobility
    • Breathe better to keep feet cooler

    Boots

    • Offer better ankle support
    • The high sides limit movements
    • Varying levels of breathability
      • Leather: have some ability to breathe, but can’t keep feet warm if they get cold
      • Synthetic: materials with mesh are more breathable but not as durable as leather

    Shoes offer more arch support than boots, but boots provide ankle support that low body shoes can’t.

    What to look for

    Traction

    Excellent traction is the most important feature of roofing shoes. The number one injury in roofing is from falling. The soles should be thick rubber with aggressive tread. The tread should be thinner than standard work boots. They’ll give you more surface contact with the roof for the best grip.

    Durable body

    Shingles are abrasive and will wear away at your shoes over time. Leather is thick, providing a barrier between your foot and any harsh elements. It’s also strong enough to momentarily handle the high heat of hot tar, to give you time to take the boot off before tar hits your foot.

    Shock resistance

    It isn’t unusual to have transformers on a roof or power cords that hang low over it. Whenever you’re near a live wire, electrocution is a possibility. Shoes with thick rubber soles will keep you grounded and limit the amount of electricity that reaches you.

    Note: For your safety, never work on a roof when there is active lightning in the area.

    Secure enclosures and fit

    People often choose convenience over safety. When roofing, never wear slip-on or Velcro shoes. They slip off too easily. Your boots should fit your feet snugly and have laces that tie them securely in place.

    Comfort

    It takes a long time to reshingle a house. You’ll be on your feet for hours, so it’s essential to wear boots that fit your feet comfortably. They should have enough cushion and arch support to keep pain away. They also need to fit appropriately to keep them from moving around, causing blisters or other painful issues.

    Other work gear we have reviewed:

    Conclusion

    We usually take our feet for granted. We use them every day and don’t realize how important they are until one gets hurt and doesn’t function as it should. Wearing comfortable roofing shoes or boots will help keep your feet in tip-top shape.

    We have given you some guidelines of things to consider when buying roofing boots, and reviewed some of them to help you narrow down your search. Now the decision is up to you. Just make sure that they’re comfortable to wear for an extended period, and offer the necessary traction.

    1. Irish Setter Men’s 6″ 83605 Work Boot – Top Pick
    2. Thorogood Men’s American Heritage Lace-To-Toe Roofer Boots – The Runner-Up
    3. EVER BOOTS “Ultra Dry” Men’s Premium Leather Waterproof Work Boots – Best for the Money
    4. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
    5. Timberland PRO Men’s Barstow Wedge Work Boot


    Featured image credit: bluelightpictures, Pixabay

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