Thanks to my line of work as a professional welder for many years, I can fully appreciate the importance of a sturdy, comfortable, and protective work boots designed especially for welding applications. The right welding boots will provide you multiple layers of necessary protection against injury while also being hard wearing and comfy.
In this blog, I evaluate my picks of the top welding boots that I have had the pleasure of testing. I will go through the various pros and cons of each pair of shoes I evaluate, so you won’t have to do the arduous task of sifting through the heaps of confusing information available online.
Before I proceed with my views on the very best welding boots available in the market, I would like to give you my ultimate guide for buying steel toe welding boots that will offer you the right combination of protection, comfort, and durability.
Buying Guide for High-Quality Welding Boots:
Equipped with the information I provide in my guide, you will be able to make a knowledgeable decision that will save you money and buyer’s regret in the long term.
One of the most critical considerations that stem from the fact that heat and splatter emission is a part of every welding project. These emissions can cause injury and damage to your garments and shoes. Therefore, whenever I am shopping for welding boots, I consider heat and burn resistant levels.
Steel toe shoes are made especially for welding applications with unique materials like neoprene, heat resistant premium leather, and heat resistant soles. Additionally, welding boots, also made from materials, prevent heat transfer to protect your feet.
Materials like outer rubber soles and double density PU provide additional heat resistance.
Personally, when considering heat resistance, I look for a resistance level of up to 300 degrees Celsius or higher. You might find that steel toe boots with a higher level of heat resistance are heavier, which can be a good indication that your shoe will provide reasonable protection against injury and damage.
The quality of construction is another fundamental consideration that will impact the durability and support your boot can provide. Welding shoes are specialized footwear with a built that differs from that of regular everyday shoes. I avoid boots with large eyelets, prominent tongues, and any places where the molten metal can get stuck and cause problems.
High-Quality welding boots have sturdy stitching. I prefer Kevlar thread due to its heat resistance and high durability.
When shopping, you might want to consider welt construction, which is for welding footwear, you will inevitably come across the term welt construction. Welt is a piece of leather double-stitched between the upper and the shoe sole, which increases endurance and sturdiness.
In contrast, welding footwear without welt stitching is generally lighter, cheaper, and more comfortable.
Lace or Pull-on
Before purchasing your steel toe shoes, you must understand your preferences regarding lace or no lace options. Both types of boots have their advantages and disadvantages, which you should consider before buying.
Let us look at the safety aspect first. Lace welding boots that have exposed laces exposed laces have a risk of burning or becoming untied. On the other hand, pull-on boots provide coverage to ankles and a part of the calves, they are simple to put on and take off, and without the laces and eyelets, there are places for the motel mental to get trapped and cause damage.
However, lace-up welding shoes can provide a comfortable, custom fit, which many people prefer. If you go with the lace option, make sure that you have them tied and secured or have metatarsal guards that cover the laces.
Waterproofing of welding boots can be especially helpful when you are working in wet conditions, which can be both dangerous and uncomfortable. The most common ways of waterproofing work boots are by using a water-resistant material like leather or using a hydrophobic coating on the shoes that prevent water from soaking into the boots.
Steel Toe Top
Although you may not require a steel toe working boot for welding applications, boots with a metal cap on the toes can provide an added layer of protection from heavy objects falling on your foot and causing an injury.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration require employees to have steel toecap shoes in working settings for safety and protection from injury. Ideally, the steel caps should cover the complete toe section. When choosing steel toe caps, there is a choice between composite toes or metals toes. Composite toecaps eliminate the risk of electrical conductance; they are also lighter and more comfortable to wear.
I suggest going for the steel toecap welding boots because you shouldn’t compromise on safety to save money.
The quality of the sole and its longevity, in particular, is an important consideration, especially for safety during work. High quality, well-made welding boots have sturdy thick soles for safety, with excellent traction, so you don’t slip and cushioning for your feet that allow you to be comfortable during long hours at work.
Going for thick sole welding boot might seem expensive in the beginning, but they will save you money in the long run by resisting wear and tear, as well as punctures and holes that compromise your safety. Rubber sole boots provide exceptional durability, comfort, and traction.
Comfort and Support
A common mistake that I find many welders repeatedly making when choosing welding boots is to ignore comfort and support. When purchasing your work boot, think about the long hours you will have to work, be on your feet and the different conditions you might be working in, all these situations you would need to be protected and comfortable.
Firstly, study the breathability of the boots, which will allow air to flow in and out of the shoe so your feet will remain the right temperature and prevent sweat accumulation. Secondly, consider the fit and cushioning. Boots with a cushioned insole that contour the curvature of your foot allow blood to circulate while providing comfort.
Thirdly, go for shoes that are lightweight because you will be wearing them a lot, and you don’t want footwear that will weigh you down, or cause discomfort while walking and working.
5 Best Welding Boots Review 2020
Caterpillar is one of the most trusted work boot brands in the world, and its Second Shift work boots are an excellent example of why the brand is so famous. The versatile welding boot features the Goodyear welt construction, which includes 100 percent full-grain leather, steel toe, and a sole with slip-resistant.
For excellent breathability, these boots have a nylon lining with a Climasphere treated insole that will prevent your feet and the shoes from smelling bad after a long day of work and continued use.
In addition to the protection and durability they provide, the Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boots are good looking enough that you can comfortably wear them in everyday life without hesitation.
My only issue with these welding boots is that they aren’t as comfortable as some other choices on my list.
- Steel-toe provides excellent protection
- Removable PU Sock Liner
- Oil-resistant traction outsole
- Anti-slip outsole
- Subpar quality of laces
- Comfort can be improved
Dr. Martens is widely trusted for its range of the best work boots for welders. Professional welders design Dr. Martens welding shoes for professional welders. That is why if anyone asks me to recommend them the best welding boots brand, Dr. Martens is always on my list.
When I’m on the run, and I want to quickly slip-on welding boots that will not only offer me the utmost protection but will also be comfortable throughout the day, Dr. Martens – Men’s Icon 2295 Steel Toe Heavy Industry Boots are always my top choice.
Dr. Martens Men’s Icon 2295 Welding boots are made with 100% leather. But the features make these welding boots one of my most favorite include: air-cushioned PVC, Antibacterial Smartmask, Ankle protector padding, and Steel toe caps.
So, if you want the best welding boots steel toe, I highly recommend the Dr. Martens Men’s Icon 2295 Steel Toe Heavy Industry Boots for their durability and comfort.
- 100% leather
- Steel toe caps
- Durable PVC outsole
- Water-, oil-, and heat resistant
- Electrically safe
- ANSI/OSHA approved
- No Kevlar stitching
If you are fashion conscious like me and you want your welding boots not only to protect your feet and provide you utmost comfort throughout the day but also look stylish! Then you will surely love the Thorogood GEN-FLEX Work Boot.
With its Composite safety toe caps, you get the same protection as steel toe boots. Additionally, the Composite safety toe caps are non-mantellic, corrosion-resistant, transmit less cold, and weigh less, so these will last you longer and offer more comfort than steel toe boots.
Thorogood Men’s GEN-FLEX Welding Boots are 100% non-metallic. Therefore these boots are lightweight and comfortable for all-day wear. Thorogood GEN-FLEX Work Boots are designed with all-day foot comfort as the top priority; thus, they are my go-to work boots.
When it comes down to choosing the best welding boots for all-day wear, Thorogood GEN-FLEX Work Boots are an excellent choice. However, if you want these boots to last you ages, you have to clean them and store them properly after use.
- EVA Cushion Flex Insole
- Durable Rubber Insole
- Comfortable to wear
- Multi-directional traction lug outsole
- Oil-, water-, abrasion, and slip-resistant
- Composite safety toe caps
- Requires proper, regular cleaning
Thorogood is hands down my ultimate favorite welding shoe brands because it offers a range of welding shoes that are suitable for different working conditions.
If you are a professional welder and having a durable shoe with steel toe protection is your priority! Then, you will become as big of a fan of the Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6″ Moc Toe Boot as I am!
I have tested these boots in various working conditions. Although I was not impressed by its protection against cold conditions, still the level of comfort and shock resistance is unmatchable.
If you want a pair of good looking welding shoes that provide excellent foot protection, I would highly recommend these welding boots to you.
- Tobacco Oil-Tanned, full-grain leather
- Fiberglass shank
- Excellent Shock Absorption
- High-end craftsmanship
- Steel Toe Protection
- Removable and comfort cushion insole
- MAXWear Wedge slip-resistant outsole
- Electric shock-resistant
- Not water-resistant
- Not suitable for cold weather
If you usually work in hot and sweaty conditions as I do, then you will adore the ROCKROOSTER Slip-On Work Boots. I have tried tons of welding boots, but I have never been so impressed by the comfort of any other slip-on work boots as I am with ROCKROOSTER Slip-On Work Boots.
The amazing Anti-fatigue Comfort Technology Footbeds by Coolmax Technology provides insulation and keeps the moisture away from your feet. Thus your feet remain dry and cool even while working it the hottest conditions.
The ROCKROOSTER Welding Boots are made with Poron Xrd Support fabric that makes these boots highly breathable, lightweight, and comfortable. These welding boots are also water-resistant, slip-resistant, and anti-static. Some people have reported sizing issues, so remember to choose the size carefully.
- COOLMAX Technology
- PORON materials with micro-ban technology
- Contoured footbed for utmost comfort
- Waterproof- and Slip-Resistant
- Non-slip TPU Outsole
- Memory Foam Insole
- Size issues
There are a ton of welding boots available in the market! However, it is always essential to choose welding shoes based on the level of comfort and protection that they provide. I have shared my top 5 favorite welding boots that I have tried and tested for months and years. I hope that this welding boots review helps you find the best value for money welding shoes. Good luck!
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I buy welding boots with laces or without laces?
Standard laces are usually not fireproof. So, I would never recommend you to buy welding shoes with standard shoelaces. However, you can use Kevlar or rawhide laces as they do not only last longer, but they are also fire resistant.
You should also make sure that your welding boots have a metatarsal guard as it will not only protect boot’s laces, but it will provide additional protection to your feet from getting splatter in your boot.
Welding boots without laces are also an excellent option. However, they offer little support and less comfort as compared to welding boots with lace.
How can I take care of my welding boots?
I cannot recommend you enough to take care of your welding boots because when your welding work boots are in good condition, they do not only last longer, but they are also comfortable to wear and great to look at.
I highly recommend you to clean your boots regularly by wiping with a stiff brush to remove any mud that might be on them, wash them with soapy water, and let them air dry. It is also important to condition them after drying. I prefer using oil-based treatments such as redwing and Sno Seal.
You should never use harsh chemicals on your welding boots or dry them with high heat. To speed up the drying process, you should remove the insoles before washing your welding boots.
Why do my feet hurt even if I wear my welding boots for a short period?
A good pair of welding boots shouldn’t hurt your feet even after wearing them for the entire day. If your feet feel sore after wearing it for a short period, then you need to ensure that:
- You are wearing a correct size for your foot
- The boots are not worn out or over widened
- They are not too narrow for your foot
- Your insole is placed correctly