Upon a roof, you need to be confident that your shoes are not going to let you down. One misplaced step and your employment, let alone your health, are at risk. That’s why roofing shoes come with several safety features such as customized tread designs for extra traction.
Some roofs can be slick with oil and pose a serious health risk. That’s why roofing is one of the most dangerous jobs. You cannot turn up in a regular pair of sneakers.
Every second on the roof needs to be spent doing your job, not worrying about the wrong shoes. Even if they are roofing shoes they should be comfortable and provide the right support. If not, you need to get a new pair.
Finding appropriate shoes for roofing can be a challenge in itself. Out in the open, you need shoes that can cope with the elements and still provide sure footing. We have found some pairs that come equipped for the job with some extra features too.
Best Shoes For Roofing Reviews
Best For Slippery Conditions: Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
Hiking up steep terrains and working on roofs both involve potentially slippery conditions. That is why the Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe is well placed for anyone working on roofs. Obviously, the vent stands for ventilation which comes from breathable material.
For working on roofs you will want to know how these will protect you too. How about Vibram outsoles which have excellent grip?
There is also a closed-cell foam tongue to prevent debris from getting in then keeping moisture away.
Durability and versatility come from suede leather uppers. You can also be assured that after a hard, hot day your shoes won’t stink the place out thanks to the odor-resistant lining.
There is even a safety rubber toe cap to keep your toes protected. These are ideal for asphalt and metal roofing and with 5mm lug depth, you have the traction you can rely on.
Best For Waterproof Protection: Carhartt Men’s 6″ Energy Black Waterproof Composite Toe Industrial Boot
When on a roof you have a great view of the incoming weather. Clouds turning grey and heavy with rain should not prevent you from doing your job.
A bit of rain should not be a worry if you are wearing the Carhartt Men’s Energy Black Waterproof Composite Toe Industrial Boots.
These come with Storm Defender, a waterproof breathable membrane to protect your feet from wet weather. A Ground Force rubber outsole then brings traction, grip, and flexibility.
Carhartt has also done its research; 120,000 3D foot scans have resulted in an advanced footbed and unmatched fit. Not only will the boots be comfortable with two different foam layers but they come with AX suede top cover material that provides 30% more grip.
They also perform in dry conditions to provide secondary protection against electrical circuits up to 18,000 volts.
Best For Versatility: Thorogood American Heritage 6” Moc Toe Work Boots For Men
Many roofers can claim to be jacks of all trades. Whether on a roof or in construction, as a carpenter or engineer, even working on a farm. Thorogood American Heritage Moc Toe Work Boots come with a ‘job-fitted’ design to create an iconic pair of boots for so many jobs.
As well as roofing you could use these as a plumber, engineer, or mechanic. Any job where you can expect a tough shift in lousy conditions.
On a roof, you are there to do a job and you should expect some protection. That is where the MAXWear Wedge comes in. Built to meet electrical hazard safety standards, it is also slip-resistant on wet and oily surfaces.
Dual-density polyurethane also provides shock absorption underneath your heel and ball and great comfort. The heels are also capable of withstanding an application of 18,000 volts, good to know.
Best For Ankle Support: WOLVERINE Men’s Overpass 6″ Composite Toe Waterproof Work Boot
A twisted ankle can put you out of work for months. Don’t let the injury happen with the WOLVERINE Men’s Overpass Composite Toe Waterproof Work Boot.
A 5” shaft going up from the arch up the ankle equates to comprehensive support and protection. The overpass is also designed to be breathable and waterproof to keep your feet dry.
Innovation technology works for your feet and includes a removable Ortholite cushioned footbed. You would be wise to keep that in such is the comfort you will get.
The boots are also flexible and made to bend with you from a flexible contour welt design. All these extra features pack a lot in yet they remain lightweight, even the toe cap is carbon max.
Best For Heat Resistance: Irish Setter Men’s 6″ 83605 Work Boot
Hot air rises and working on a roof can mean bearing extremely hot conditions. You need to be able to move freely and not worry about the soles of your shoes melting.
Having to pull your shoes out from the roof could knock you off balance for a painful fall. The Irish Setter Men’s 83605 Work Boot comes in with a heat-resistant rubber-EVA outsole to remove that worry. Able to withstand temperatures of up to 475°F, your feet should be protected even on pavements and concrete.
You shouldn’t worry about slipping either with Traction Tred providing great grip. The full-grain leather is handcrafted for that extra touch of quality too. Then there is an outsole that means ASTM electrical hazard standards for that secondary layer of protection.
These boots are ideal in summer yet provide all-round protection to keep you safe on a roof.
Extreme Grip And Traction
If there is a single factor that should prove defining for roofing shoes it is the traction. For one of the most dangerous jobs out there, you need to be assured that your shoes will keep you in place. Especially on particularly sloped or slippery roofs where the danger is increased.
This is where the outsole becomes the most important feature of roofing shoes. They should be made of rubber EVA for great grip and traction.
The outsole is the part of the shoe with the most contact with the roof itself hence requires the most interrogation. A non-slip outsole is crucial to begin with and without it, there is an increased risk of danger.
The thread can differ and provide different types of slip resistance. An outsole with a thin thread design can bring outstanding grip due to an increased contact area. For maximum traction, deeper lugs are more suitable for roofs strewn with debris.
Surprisingly, you may not even need boots. Tennis and basketball shoes are also designed with slip resistance in mind for several outdoor conditions. Skateboarding shoes are also designed to grip an asphalt surface underneath.
Also, consider hiking boots and those used in CrossFit as they are designed to deal well with slippery surfaces.
The material in your roofing shoes is an important factor in helping you choose. Leather is ideal as it is tough, durable, and highly unlikely to rip. Providing protection should be foremost yet leather is also flexible and breathable too.
Another practical material for roofing shoes is suede as it does not rip at all easily. A combination of leather and suede is also a good option to look out for. There is also canvas which lacks protection yet excels at breathability and flexibility.
Working in heavy shoes can take its toll on a long day. They can also damage the roof which is worth considering.
The best roofing shoes should be lightweight yet remain comfortable. That comes from the choice of materials such as rubber or plastic for the outsole. You can expect a lot of material to go into your roofing shoes but if it is constructed well it should still remain lightweight.
Strong Support And Fit
Your roofing shoes should look out for you and prevent work-related injuries. This should mean your feet are securely kept inside the shoes.
A safety lacing system and secure fit should mean that once the shoes are fastened you should not be taking them off. The laces need to remain in place and support your feet to keep you upright and balanced.
A pair of undone laces could become a trip hazard and on a roof that could prove highly dangerous. You may even consider swapping the laces for a sturdier pair that you can rely on not to come undone.
A good idea is to get your feet measured before buying a pair of roofing shoes. This should help you identify which features for your shoes you should pay close attention to. These can include a heel clutching system or extra arch support.
You may also have flat feet or higher arches which need to be taken into account. Removable orthotics are also a good feature to consider as well as your own insoles.
For all that security, your roofing shoes should also be flexible to move with you. That usually comes from a rubber EVA or plastic outsole that adapts to the shape of your feet and their movements.
Further support and balance come with a shaft running from the arch of your feet all the way up the heel and ankle. Ensuring that you don’t suffer a twisted ankle should not come at the cost of a lack of mobility.
Your roofing shoes should be stable to prevent strains but not wholly restrictive.
Your roofing shoes should be a great fit as the wrong size or a slipping heel can prove dangerous. As you can spend hours on the roof, the shoes need to be comfortable and breathable.
Opting for synthetic material to wick away moisture and foam cushions for comfort. Good quality socks are also a good investment to look after your feet inside your shoes.
There should not be any reason to take off your roofing shoes during the day. Especially while on the job. Preventing rubbing to prevent blisters is also crucial and plasters will only be a short-term fix to a potentially big problem.
If in any doubt at all simply take them and take a few days to break them in.
Roofing can be a job that involves long days with few breaks included. Being on your feet all day means finding a pair of shoes that feel naturally comfortable.
Looking after your ankle and your arches can prevent long-standing aches and pains. Foam cushions will provide formidable support and complement the shape of your feet. Soft, breathable material will also ensure that your feet remain dry and comfortable by letting air pass through them.
Considering how unpredictable the weather can be, the upper layer of a roofing shoe is imperative to its durability.
Being exposed to the elements and possible corrosion each day is a danger on its own. That’s why the best roofing shoes are usually made out of leather as the material is renowned for wicking away moisture.
Other good materials for durability include synthetic and nylon for the upper layers as these are built to last. Keeping the moisture and any debris out of your shoes is crucial to their durability. You should also look out for long-standing brands you can trust for peace of mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Differences Are There Between Regular Shoes And Roofing Shoes?
Few regular shoes offer as much traction and grip as those made for working on a roof. Several roofing shoes also come with electrical hazard protection, toe caps, and extra ankle support. However, just like regular shoes, they should be durable, comfortable, and come with foam cushions included.
Which Materials Are Best For Roofing Shoes?
Durable and waterproof materials such as suede and leather, or a combination of both, are great for roofing shoes. A lot of outsoles are made from rubber EVA for greater grip and traction. Innovative thread designs and deep lugs also make the difference for roofing shoes.
Is There A Safe Way To Walk On A Roof?
Wearing the best shoes for roofing is the first step to ensuring you walk on a roof safely. Having the right training for the job and experience walking on a variety of roofs also helps. Without the best shoes, you will not feel confident upon a roof anyway.
Check that the soles of your shoes are clean of mud and dirt and clean them at the end of each day. With a firm grip from your shoes, you should not be distracted too.
Keeping your area free of obstacles and other workers is a good precaution too so you can walk calmly. You should walk on a roof slowly and always check where your next step is going.