There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to the right work boot. You want to be safe, comfortable, and also look good.
After trying out many different boots, I found the Timberland Pro 53530 to be the best steel-toed work boot on the market.
But, what’s best for me might not be best for everyone. So, I’ve put together a list of the overall best work boots out there. Each brings something different to the table, whether in style, comfort, or price.
I’ve broken down their strengths and drawbacks for your convenience. All will protect your feet during your busy days of welding.
Read on to find out which welding boot will be the best for your feet.
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This work boot has a lot going for it. It is a waterproof steel-toed boot that has an antimicrobial lining and metatarsal shield, and the moisture-wicking tech will keep you dry. It is among the lightest weight options on the list, meaning you can wear it for long hours without feeling fatigued.
The leather and rubber sole is both resistant and comfortable.
If you work in a high-traffic environment, you don’t have to worry about slipping in someone else’s mess. You don’t even have to worry about slipping on your wet shoes when you walk inside after the rain.
Like most Timberland products, this is well-constructed welding footwear. They are lightweight but will provide outstanding protection for your feet.
Dr. Martens Men's Ironbridge MG ST, the second-best steel toe welding boots on this list, have 100% full-grain leather uppers and are oil- and water-resistant. The sole is slip-resistant, and the metatarsal guard is designed to follow the shape of your foot while offering protection comfortably.
The Dr. Martens Ironbridge has a safety toe cap as well as a metal metatarsal guard. These heavy-duty boots are made with the option to get them with Electrical Hazard insulation. If your workplace requires EH insulation, make sure you buy the correct item.
They are a very comfortable pair of welding boots. But, if you require inserts or dislike the Smartmask rubber sole, it is removable. Some wearers remove it for more room, as these welding boots can run narrow. More room can also improve blood circulation and overall comfort.
These work boots provide you with all the protection you need – steel toe and met guard – while being one of the most comfortable choices.
They are light and adapt to your feet while being resistant and durable. In fact, the materials and construction on these shoes ensure that they last much longer than others.
This includes the insoles, which provide very efficient support.They are also removable, but their support quality doesn’t deteriorate with time, so you probably will not need to change them.
This Thorogood Men’s boot is a good-looking, comfortable shoe. The shock-absorbing footbed is extremely comfortable but also removable if you need your own inserts.
The metal toe cover will keep your toes safe while welding, but this boot does not have a metatarsal guard. The rubber sole is slip-resistant, and the heels can withstand up to 18,000 volts for about a minute, with your feet getting zero current. These welding boots are made for safety in dangerous workplaces.
Though safe and highly durable, these heavy-duty boots don’t have much in the way of insulation.If you live in a cold-weather area, you may want to look elsewhere. However, they are roomy enough to wear with a thick sock. These shoes are also not waterproof.
These USA-made lace-up boots are 100% leather with a fiberglass shank and slip-resistant outsole. But if you need boots for welding in a variety of conditions, you may want something else.
Tested to meet or exceed the latest ASTM compression and impact standards, this welding boot has it all. Like the previous two, this is a lace-up steel-toed boot with a metatarsal guard. The guard is built into the boot rather than attached at the top like some other models- you don’t have to worry about it separating.
The thick leather uppers attach by welt construction to the rubber sole by super-strong and heat-resisting Kevlar stitching. This handcrafted boot is tough enough for welding.
These welding boots are made with comfort in mind. The memory foam insoles and wider toe box make this boot comfortable to wear with minimal break-in.
Compared to the Timberland Pro, they’re on the heavy side at 5.58lbs. If you work very long hours or want to wear these after work, they may be too heavy. These boots are not waterproof, and the laces that come with them aren’t very durable.
These pull-on welding work boots are made from premium, full-grain leather coated with Timberland PRO Ever-Guard for added water and heat resistance. These steel-toed safety boots also have electrical hazard protection.
These welding boots are crafted with a steel shank for structural support. Their open-cell polyurethane footbed makes for a very breathable boot and overall drier feet. They are also moisture-wicking and treated for antimicrobial control. Welding is sweaty work, and if smelly feet bother you, then these are the boots for you.
The dual-density polyurethane outsole has an aggressive tread design with great slip resistance. On top of that, each boot is just about 2pounds. Though not the lightest on this list, they are also not the heaviest.
The RockRooster Pull-On work boots provide comfort and an easy-on, easy-off design fit for various situations. The steel toe cap on these welding boots conforms to American Standard ASTM F2413. The Full-grain leather uppers are high-quality, resistant to water, and durable.
The rubber outsole provides a decent grip, though others on this list seemed more stable to me. They also come with static and anti-static control. This is the ESD (electrostatic discharge) standard, used for cleanroom, dusty workspaces, etc.
Rock Rooster’s steel toe welding boots come in a wide width. Since steel-toe boots tend to feel snug, this is a useful feature. These RockRoosters are also among the cheapest boots on the list.
These 100% leather Caterpillar lace-up boots have many features to make this boot an excellent choice. The 6-inch shaft offers excellent support. The quick-lacing on the shaft will be helpful when running late or making adjustments throughout the day.
The oil-resistant outsole will protect you with excellent grip, and the steel toe is, of course, necessary for any welder.
The mesh lining makes these welding boots very breathable, and the climasphere insole should keep foot odor to a minimum. If you know you’re on your feet in a hot workspace for many hours, then this boot will feel amazing.These steel toe welding boots don’t look too different from any other boot, despite having all of the safety features. You won’t look like you’re on the job when you wear these out of the workplace. The only real complaint I have is that the laces seemed weak. But of course, those are easily replaceable. Since these are also among the cheaper options on this list, it’s really not a big deal.
These steel-toed boots are OSHA compliant and offer resistance to water. The comfortable sole is resistant to fat, oil, acid, and fuel. These boots also provide electrical hazard insulation. You can wear these steel toe work boots, welding, at the garage, or really any factory floor.
These lace-free pull-on welding boots are especially ideal if you don’t want to be bothered with laces or are worried about tripping or even your laces catching fire. The boot’s opening measures 15” around so will fit most people’s legs.
While the toe box may be too narrow for some people, the footbed conforms to your foot’s natural shape making these increasingly comfortable to wear over time. If you need your welding boots every day, these will mold to you perfectly.
The Revolver pull-on welding boots offer full-grain leather uppers, Goodyear welt construction, and a T3 rubber outsole. The footbed is made from PVC, adding comfort and resistance.
These steel-toe welding boots are also insulated against electric shocks and are OSHA-compliant. They can protect you from fire and heat as well, so they are one of the most complete in the market in regards to safety. The fact that they have no laces is another advantage because laces are what tends to catch fire first if there is a spark.
The Caterpillar Men’s Revolver pull-ons are also very breathable and easy to move in. They measure 14 inches at the opening and are easy to pull on and off with the handles up top. This steel toe work boot is made extremely sturdy and high-quality.
The Ironbridge is a lace-up boot from Dr. Martens with a steel toe that meets or exceeds ASTM standards. These are a good pair of welding boots that will keep your feet safe. Some versions, but not all, include electrical hazard protection. If you need this, make sure you are buying the right product.
The Dr. Martens men’s Ironbridge has an incredibly effective outsole. It is slip-resistant against both water and oil. And like all Dr. Martens, these have a distinctive style to them that’s easy to see.
The full-grain leather uppers make for easy wearing all year round (with the right socks). These are water-resistant, not waterproof, welding boots. Consider this for your circumstances.
The Ariat Sierra pull on steel toe welding boot is constructed with maximum durability for the harshest conditions while being comfortable and fashionable.
This pair of welding boots offer the most interesting look on this list by far – they look more like cowboy boots than a pair of work boots. With the high-quality leather, you’ll feel stylish in and out of the workplace.
They also promise great comfort due to their unique sole design and construction. The insoles are removable in case you need to change them for your own custom ones, though if not, you probably will not need to change them out for new ones in a long time.
These welding boots are waterproof, puncture-proof, heat-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and pull-on. All of this makes them one of the most practical options out there.
These steel-toed boots offer ASTM toe protection. They are heat, oil, slip, and abrasion-resistant while providing electrical hazard protection.
The Timberland Pro 4000 upper is made with 100% Ever-Guard leather, waterproof and heat-resistant. The rubber outsoles also offer resistance to oils, water and heat, and include, making them great welding boots.
The steel shank and padded leather collar on this pair of boots provide increased support and comfort for a welding boot. They are fairly lightweight compared to other boots on this list which will greatly decrease your fatigue.Like most breathable boots, they are not waterproof. But the Goodyear welt construction will provide some water resistance.
Buying Guide for Welding Work Boots
You might have an employer that requires specific welding boots for your workplace. If you don’t and you’re sussing it out yourself, there’s a lot to think about when looking for the best welding boots. First, consider your own needs.
Of course, safety should be your top priority, but if you’re picking a welding boot that meets a welder’s requirements, that shouldn’t be a problem. You know how long you’re on your feet, and you probably already know what you value in your everyday footwear.
A lightweight pair of boots might be the most important thing for people who feel their feet dragging by the end of the day. The heaviest toe cap might be more important if you want to ensure that you protect your feet from heavy objects.
Maybe you don’t like getting sweaty feet, so the most breathable option will be important. Consider if you need fully waterproof boots in your workspace. Do you want to find boots that will look good in and out of the office if you’re on the go?
How much you need to spend will vary by how much you need to wear hazard-safe boots. Are you welding full-time? Part-time? Recreationally? The least expensive boots on this list could last you years if you’re only wearing them on the weekend. If you’re wearing them for hours in harsh environments, you’ll want to invest in the sturdiest options.
Remember your regular shoe needs, and then consider the different protective options when looking for the best welding boot.
Should I Get Work Boots With Laces?
Some people in more dangerous environments will recommend against work boots with laces. Things can splash onto them, sparks can fly, they can untie, and you’ll trip. I haven’t had these problems and find them more comfortable to work long hours in. And, of course, you can always buy lace guards.
I think the best welding boots are adjustable. Laces can be adjusted on the go, tightened, or loosened depending on what’s bothering you. I find they give overall less fatigue than a pull-on option. Suddenly feeling like you don’t have enough support? Great, tighten up the laces on your boots. You can also adjust them for the thickness of the sock you’re wearing.
Should I Get Pull-On Work Boots?
Pull-on welding boots are great because you won’t have any of the mentioned lacing problems. The smooth surface means full protection from sparks and splashes. My main problem is that they won’t be a great welding boot for working long hours unless they have a perfect fit.
As I said, being able to adjust laces throughout a long day is ideal. But you should pick what’s best for you. If you try on a pair of extremely comfortable pull-on boots, then you shouldn’t have a problem. It comes down to personal preference and lifestyle. The best welding boots will be comfortable for you.
Heat and Burn Resistance
Most work boots will provide you with heat resistance to be compliant with safety standards. However, not all work boots are the same, and welding boots come with their own needs. For welding, the optimal equipment has 300 degrees Celsius or higher. Kevlar stitching also help with this.
Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant
Waterproof boots will fully protect you from the elements and keep your feet dry in all conditions. Stand in a puddle, ford a river, you’ll have dry feet. The main drawback is the technology that seals out moisture makes waterproof boots that aren’t very breathable.
The best welding boot doesn’t necessarily have this feature. Not everyone will need fully waterproof welding work boots. If you’re planning on wearing your boots outside your dry workplace, it’s a good feature to have. If you weld mostly on-site, laying pipeline, for example, and may encounter the elements, then you should consider fully waterproof boots.
Water-resistant boots will keep your feet dry under a lot of conditions. Wear them in light rain, even quickly step in and out of a shallow puddle, and you’ll probably be fine.
Some materials, like leather, usually offer some amount of water resistance on their own. Fully waterproof leather isn’t a given, but some boots will come coated with hydrophobic substances. If they don’t, you can buy a waterproofing spray and add it yourself.
Types of Safety Toes
Though I’ve mostly talked about steel toes, you may come across a welding boot with other toe features. Let’s talk about them a little bit.
Steel: Steel-toed boots meet all compression standards. For a welding boot, steel is ideal. Steel is the heaviest steel toe material, but because of its strength, it requires less overall material (it’ll be less bulky) to meet safety standards.
A steel safety toe will, of course, activate metal detectors. Though, generally, you can wear these safely – check especially for Electrical Hazard rated boots if you are unsure – it is possible that there is some risk if the toe is damaged. On a different note, they’re rigid, so some people find them uncomfortable.
Alloy: These metal alloys are more expensive than steel and much lighter and will give your boots a slimmer profile. Like a steel toe cap, metal detectors will notice them. They are usually inexpensive.
Carbon fiber: They are lighter-weight than the other options, strong, and somewhat less bulky for your boots. These are not made of metal, so you don’t have to worry about metal detectors.Composite toe: They are made from a compound of non-metallic materials. These are lighter than others but may need more material for the same protection. This makes your toe box bulkier. It is also less resistant than metal. This is why the heavier steel toe cap for welding boots is preferred, though as they are not made from metal, they are another useful option if your work requires you to pass through metal detectors regularly.
Metatarsal Guard (Met Guard)
These guards protect damage to the middle part of your foot; the toe guard only protects your toes. The best welding boots are boots with metatarsal guards.
Some met-guards may be integrated within the boot’s uppers while others are external, so you place them over the metatarsal zone of the shoe. Some of these external ones are made from metal or other materials that also provide protection from potential hazards such as sparks.
When buying the ideal steel toe welding boot, you should notice the kind of construction you’re getting. This doesn’t matter as much in a regular pair of boots, but you need something that will hold up.
Goodyear (Stitched) Welt
Goodyear welt construction creates a tightly crafted boot that is water-resistant and wearable for years to come. The welt is a strip of leather, rubber, or plastic that runs along the outsole's perimeter. This makes your shoe easily resoleable in addition to the added water resistance.
In welding boots, kevlar thread is usually used instead of the usual threads for stitching. These are much more heat-resistant.
This method usually means taking the upper leather and gluing it directly to the outsole. This is a quick and effective method of making a shoe but doesn’t offer much longevity.
However, this method is what’s used in most athletic shoes. As you might know from your sneakers, this means a lightweight, fairly durable, and comfortable construction. The Caterpillars on this list use this method.
Most welding work boots’ outsoles will be slip-resistant and repel things like oil or water. Because of how heavy they are and the material's resistance, they will usually offer some amount of protection against heat, electrical, and puncture hazards even without an official rating.
If you’re on a hazardous job site, you’re going to want to carefully look at the different protections your boots provide. Depending on your needs, these are the designations you should look for on your welding boots:
EH = Electrical hazard
PR = Puncture resistant
SD = Static dissipative
CD = Conductive properties
Again, you may not need all of these protections on the welding boot you buy. But remember, It’s always a good idea to be as safe as possible.
Shop around and consider your own needs. Not every boot on this list has every feature. If you know you need EH properties, that will eliminate some options right away. If you’re often out in the elements, find a waterproof boot. If you have (or want to avoid) foot problems, pick the boots with the most support, comfort, or removable insole. The best welding boots you can find will be the best for you.
But in my opinion, the Timberland PRO Men’s 53530 8” Met Guard Steel-Toe Boot offers the best all-around protection. They have everything on the list, are lightweight and good for long hours, and will protect you from any welding-related hazards.
If that sounds like what you need, you can go and purchase them here.