The Best Welding Works Boots in 2021 - Reviewed To Withstand Welders Jobs
Welding is both one of the most rewarding and punishing jobs. When working with the hard material of steel and other metal objects, things really get hot quickly and the work environment becomes hazardous, fast.
Having the right protective equipment is pretty much welding 101, but proper protective work boots is often overlooked.
No welder wants sparks, molten metal or hot steel fillings burning holes through their boots, so we decided to write this for the safety of your precious feet. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the special requirements that the best welding boots should have, as well as reviews of the top seven pairs for handling the job.
Important Considerations for Welders
Hazardous Work Environment
As a welder, you’re faced with more hazards than most. From electrical shock and extreme heat to dangerous welding sparks and embers, an average day on the job can leave you venerable if you’re not properly equipped and you need to keep your feet safe. That means you need the right type of boots for your specific job.
Electrical hazards are one of the most common and preventable dangers that welders come up against on the job. So, just to be safe, it’s a good idea to look for work boots that are compliant with electrical protection standards. This way, if there’s an open circuit or live wire laying around on the floor, your shoes can stop the shock before it causes any harm.
Hot sparks and molten material are two things that all welders are very well acquainted with. Without the proper protective features, you can find yourself constantly replacing laces or even entire pairs of boots. We’re going to talk more about this shortly.
Welding Boots With a Steel Toe
One final consideration that doesn’t solely apply to welding jobs is the need of a safety toe. Welding environments typically have some heavy equipment laying around, or even falling objects that can fall and damage your unprotected toes. Do yourself a favor and look for boots with safety toes just so you can have that added peace of mind.
Without a doubt, when it comes to safety toes, steel is the toughest and most reliable material to turn to. Contrary to popular belief, steel caps are actually just as efficient to protect your feet from electrical shock as their nonmetal counterparts.
These puppies are the bread and butter of welding footwear protection to keep your feet safe. While not the most visually appealing (usually), the metatarsal guard provides an extra layer that folds over top the laces. Once they’re secured down, you’ll have reliable protection from flying sparks and molten material so your laces remain intact, and your feet stay burn free.
Not only do they protect your feet from damaging heat, but they also protect your upper foot from any heavy objects that may land on your feet. Most of the work boots that we cover in this guide will come standard with metatarsal guards, but for the ones that don’t, you can always buy an attachable pair.
One notable drawback to the metatarsal guard would be the comfort factor. Having an extra steel plate on top of your foot that isn’t always the most flexible can cause some discomfort unless there’s extra padding but they do contribute to keeping your feet safe.
What good will all of the protection in the world do if your boots can’t handle the heat? Given that welders deal with extremely hot temperatures, it’s important that your shoes are equipped with heat resistant features.
Tried and true leather on top of having great water resistant properties also happens to be the best material for standing up against fiery welding hazards. That being said, the thicker the leather, the better the protection which helps keeping your feet safe.
Since we’re on the topic of leather, it may be a good idea to replace the existing laces with leather ones for added durability. Even with a high quality metatarsal guard, some portion of the laces will be exposed and prone to burning. Leather laces will have you covered.
You’ll also want to make sure that the soles are able to withstand high temperatures. Just like the rest of your shoe, the soles are exposed to high heat and will literally melt if you forego this easily overlooked feature.
Long Lasting Comfort
It’s not uncommon when welding to stand in one spot for a prolonged period of time. If that’s not bad enough, when you do walk around you’re usually on concrete or some other extremely unforgiving surface that’s ready to sap the happiness from your tired feet.
The comfort you need starts with the soles and goes all the way through to the inside of the boots. Proper soles are going to be your first line of defense against the continuous jarring impact from hard surfaces and mitigate the shock.
Midsoles are the next layer, and responsible for giving each step the needed support and energy return to last all day on the job. If you’ve ever experienced the slightest hints of foot fatigue setting in, then you know just how miserable it can become if uncontrolled.
The last line of defense and probably the most important is the insole. These typically removable inserts can come in all shapes and sizes, but all aim to keep your feet feeling supported and comfortable. From arch support and cushioning to moisture wicking, quality insoles will pay for themselves time and time again.
Soles of the Welder's Boots
Aside from what we touched briefly on above (heat resistant and high comfort levels), having the right soles is an extremely important factor for welders. Thick, durable soles with decent tread are only the start of what you should be looking for.
Depending on your work environment, you may be faced with less that dry conditions consisting of water, oil, or even chemicals. A slip resistant feature is a staple for almost all work boots, but having oil and chemical resistance are a great plus too.
In addition to the safety toe being electrical hazard compliant, the soles of your shoes should be nonconductive and dissipate any potentially harmful shocks from reaching you. Check with your employer to see if there are any specific safety requirements for your footwear.
Thickness and quality tread will keep you firmly grounded and protected. Welders are often exposed to sharp objects that run the risk of puncturing soles and damaging the wearer's foot. Treading will make sure that you can grip any surface so you can keep a steady hand with whatever tools you’re using.
Waterproof and Breathability
Of the two, the most important feature that you’ll want to look for is breathability. Welding jobs no doubt get hot, and when that heat transfers down to your feet, you’re going to need a way for the sweat to get out.
Breathable mesh lining and insoles are the best way to go. These two features will ensure that fresh air gets in and your hardworking feet stay dry. One material that has stood the test of time is waterproof leather.
Waterproof technology is a good measure to have in place if you work in wetter environments. Nothing is worse than having soggy feet while you’re on the job with no way to remedy the problem.
Full Review of Best Waterproof Work Work Boots.
Risks of Not Wearing Safety
Boots While Welding
Welding is a uniquely hazardous occupation. Most welding accidents involve electricity, burns or sparks with the welder’s vision most at risk. Welding also releases toxic chemicals. When inhaled over a long period of time, these chemicals can lead to serious respiratory and brain function issues later in life. Welding also poses risks for the rest of the body, including the feet.
Not wearing the proper footwear when welding can lead to following serious injuries:
Welders don’t stand in one position and work on one part for an entire day. Welders are active workers who are constantly required to drag and lift heavy objects but this lifting also means a chance of falling objects. Apart from the strain on welders’ knees and backs, lifting heavy objects opens up the risk of foot injury. Not wearing the proper protective footwear leaves welders vulnerable to a devastating crush injury that can affect your mobility for life.
A welder may work down at floor level instead of hoisting parts up to a comfortable working height. Sometimes it’s not possible to move a part and so the welder is forced to crouch in an uncomfortable position for a long period of time. Wearing footwear that is not sturdy and does not provide adequate ankle protection can lead to injury. A sprained knee or ankle could have you laid up for weeks.
Slip, Trip or Fall
Badly-fitting boots with poor traction and inadequate support could also cause you to slip, trip or fall at work. Slips, trips and falls account for a huge number of workplace injuries across all sectors. For welders, this is particularly dangerous are you could fall onto another welder’s work area, a recently welded part or other hazard. Most welders recommend wearing boots with laces as pull-on boots are usually too loose.
Slip Resistant Features
Looking for work boots with a rubber sole can help protect your feet especially working with molten metal like steel which welders do often. A rubber sole is a type of synthetic sole built to offer traction and made for different types of surfaces. A synthetic sole is both durable and can be moulded into different shapes depending on the boots design.
Most vibration-related injuries come from the use of high-powered machinery and affect the hands and arm. However, not wearing the proper safety footwear increases the chance of vibration-related injury. Your entire musculo-skeletal system can be put under strain by vibration. Wearing boots with superb traction and thick rubber soles that absorb impact, you can minimize the negative effect of working with heavy machinery and therefor falling objects.
Reviews of the Best Welding Footwear
Timberland PRO Men’s 40000 Met Guard 6” Steel Toe
If there was ever a way to sleekly build a metatarsal guard onto a pair of boots, Timberland Pro has done it. These dominating Timberland Pro boots give off a striking appearance thanks to the dark reinforced leather built for withstanding extreme use.
The heat, abrasion, oil, and slip resistant rubber soles (type of synthetic sole) give you a firm protective base to stand on, and the Kevlar stitching provides extra heat resistance and longer wear life. You’ll notice that the met guard is made with a breathable underbelly and comfort features that prevent fatigue. They also have a steel shank for added protection.
The Timberland Pro's comfort system will ensure that each step is met with support and cushioning that lasts all shift long. With a steel toe and a steel shank that meets both impact and electrical hazard safety standards, the number of features packed into these easily make them a top choice.
- Great ankle support with the laces
- Quality arch support
- Laces protection
- Long lasting durability
- Strong Steel Toe
- Fair price
- Heavy design
- Boot sizes can be tight. Possibly order a size larger
Caterpillar Men’s Assault Work Boot
Caterpillar pulled out all of the stops when building these welders boots. Wrapped in durable full grain leather, they’ve done a great job at incorporating a heavy duty heat and puncture resistant metatarsal guard.
The Goodyear welt construction and safety compliant steel toe top off the durability features to ensure they’re long lasting footwear. Lacing eyelets run all the way up to the top of the boot for a secure fit while the padding gives you extra comfort.
Understanding that the welders work environment can get a bit toasty, they’re been built with excellent comfort features that also wick moisture away. However tough the conditions, these boots were built to give you a combination of confidence and comfort.
- Secure and supportive fit
- Steel Toe
- Long lasting soles
- Wide metatarsal protection
- Padded collar provides added comfort
- Goodyear welt construction
- Eyelets are prone to breaking
- Metatarsal guard can press into shins
- Lacks long term durability
Dr Marten’s Ironbridge Steel-Toe Met Guard
When you first see these Dr Martens, they have heavy duty written all over them. One of the immediate standout features is the thick soles entrenched with deep tread patterns for maximal grip on all kinds of surfaces.
The sole is joined to the waterproof full grain leather body with Dr Marten’s signature yellow stitching, while the rest is reinforced for extra durability. The extra wide met guard does a great job at entirely covering the laces on the lower and mid parts.
As we get into the Dr. Martens, ankle padding ensures comfort and security, and the footbed provides ample cushioning with moisture control. Your toes will have wiggle room and safety with the protection of a quality welding boots steel toe.
Dr Martens are a serious contender.
- Slip resistant soles
- Superior full foot protection
- Good Breathability
- Lightweight design
- Quality waterproof leather (but not full)
- Comfort features need upgrading
- Soles are prone to breaking down
- Long break in period
- Lack of durability in the long term
Michelin Work Boots Men’s Sledge Steel Toe Metatarsal
The reliable Michelin tire brand decided to take a stab at welders work boots and did not miss their target. Starting with the multilayered soles, they’re excellent at absorbing the initial impact of walking on hard surfaces, and incorporate some aggressive treading.
Both the steel toe and the metatarsal guard are impact and electrical hazard compliant, giving you the confidence you need on the job. Flexible yet durable full grain leather along with the direct attach sole give you the freedom to move without restrictions.
The midsoles and insoles of these boots are high-quality with great full foot support so you feel just as good at the end of the day as you did at the beginning. They’re not going to be the cheapest boots on this list, but they’re definitely top contenders.
- Roomy middle section for wide feet
- Great arch and heel support
- Quality traction on all surfaces
- Secure ankle area prevents rolling
- Toe area can be a bit narrow
- Soles are prone to separation
- Heavy build
- More expensive
Rocky Duty Men’s Paraboot
These boots have an almost tactical feel and look to them. A tall 10-inch design ensures that you have protection that goes halfway up your calf. They’ve incorporated a side zipper to make the process of getting them on and off a breeze.
The slip resistant and oil resistant rubber outsole come with a built in stabilizer to return precious energy to you with each and every step. While the toe doesn’t offer any kind of protective toe cap, it is made from a polishable material to give you a sharp and professional look. Rubber outsoles can be a good feature when researching.
Full grain water resistant leather completes the outside of this shoe as we take a look internal contoured footbed. Whether you’re standing for hours or walking back and forth along unforgiving concrete, your feet will be taken care of.
- Easy on and off
- Superior ankle support (height, laces, and zipper)
- Flexible with little to no break in
- Professional polished look
- High design provides extra protection from sparks, flames, embers
- Thin leather lacks durability
- No metatarsal or toe protection
- Heel area prone to causing blisters
- Zipper is known to break
Caterpillar Men’s Revolver Pull-On Steel-Toe Boot
For a sleek and basic looking set of pull-on work boots that can take a beating, these will fit the bill. Minimal stitching and full grain leather wrap and provide a solid waterproof base to keep you dry in wet conditions.
The lace free design eliminates the need for a bulky metatarsal guard which helps to keep them light on your feet. A durable slip resistant rubber outsole offers some pretty deep tread patterns, and the steel toe will still keep you protected heavy steel beams you may be working with.
Along the inside, your feet will be met with comfortable breathable mesh lining that works to keep the cold and moisture out. For pull-on boots, these will handle most all of your welding jobs with features like the rubber outsole for a very reasonable price tag. It’s easy to see why we’ve selected them as some of the top welding boots.
- Light on your feet
- Tough puncture resistant soles
- Good insulation (if cold weather applies to you)
- Strong Steel Toe
- Little to no break in period
- Lack of arch support
- Stitching prone to splitting
- Waterproof features are sub par
Ariat Men’s Groundbreaker Pull-On Work Boot
Ariat decided to take these boots old school with a little Western flare. The stylish design starts with Ariat’s own oil and slip resistant Duratread rubber outsole which were built to withstand rigorous, constant use day in and day out.
After that, between the steel shank and 4 different layers of comfort features, your feet will feel like they’re walking on clouds. The leather and flexible rubber outsole have just enough give to not restrict your movement, and also stave off fatigue.
Pull-on tabs along the sides make them fast and easy to slip on and get out the door. Finally, they’ve got a built in 90-degree heel area that provides greater support and comfort. Whether for work or casual wear, you’ll be feeling good in these Ariat’s.
- Very affordable
- Tall design keeps debris out
- Steel Toe
- Comfort features great for hard surfaces
- Stylish design
- Rubber Outsole
- Run a little tight
- No metatarsal protection
- Leather is prone to scuffing
- Steel shank is stiff
Revealing the Best Footwear for Welders...
By now, you’ve got a pretty good idea as far as what to look for in the best welding boots, and some top products to choose from. The footwear that stood out to us the most and hits almost all of the feature checkmarks is the Timberland PRO Men's 40000 Met Guard 6' Steel Toe Boot.
The Timberland Pro is impact, electrical, abrasion, oil, and slip resistant and compliant. With soles that can withstand temperatures of up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and the metatarsal guard built with comfort in mind, these boots are the equivalent of wearing fortresses on your feet.
Wrapping it up with the signature Timberland 24/7 Comfort Suspension system, you can be sure that they will keep you feeling comfortable and happy no matter how long the day. You can’t go wrong with these welders work boots which give you both confidence and comfort.