Roofing is a high-risk activity, and if you’ve ever been on top of a roof, you’d agree that finding your feet up there is a difficult task.
It is as difficult as it is dangerous so you’ll surely need all the protection you can get to make sure you stay safe.
Investing in footwear that is designed to tackle the unique obstacles you’ll be exposed to gives you the confidence to work.
There are many factors to consider when picking roofing shoes, such as traction, breathability, weight, grip, durability, ankle flexibility, comfort, and protection.
Even at that, trying to find out the best shoes for roofing may seem difficult. Most people make choices based on personal preferences: that won’t just cut it.
We have saved you the stress of reviewing hundreds of different brands and styles. Here is a compilation of the 7 best roofing shoes you can consider to buy today.
These hand-picked non-slip shoes offer a solid grip on asphalt, shingles, slate, metal roofs or any other roofing surface.
Best Shoes For Roofing
1. Thorogood Men’s American Heritage Lace-To-Toe Roofer Boots
Thorogood boots are designed with your safety in mind.
The Thorogood Men’s American Heritage Lace-To-Toe Roofer Boots are designed with oil-tanned leather which makes them look chic and stylish, fitting in as fashionable work shoes.
Constructed by, and for USA union workers, there’s no doubt that these shoes will meet your everyday roofing needs. They are made using advanced technology and top quality materials which ensure your safety.
The oil-tanned leather exterior is as soft as it is rigid and durable.
It is flexible and fit for any rugged duty during roofing and construction, providing additional comfort and support.
The outsole is made of top-quality Vibram layering, a rubber base.
Thorogood Men’s American Heritage provides a firm grip on every surface is it mud, grease or grass.
For your comfort on the job, the shoe includes a cotton vamp lining that keeps your feet cool and dry while providing support.
The light-weight fiberglass shank is made to provide arch support. You can wear these boots for long hours, and your feet won’t get sore.
There’s also a portion of comfort cushion that stays in shape regardless of how long you’ve worn the shoes.
Seam-reinforced rivets are used to hold the shoe together, offering durability.
Also featured is a removable shock-absorbent footbed that has been tested and proven to provide maximum support against impact and shock. This feature sets it apart from the rest.
- Oil-tanned leather for durability and flexibility;
- Waterproof leather;
- Vibram layered rubber outsole for good traction;
- Lightweight fiberglass shank for arch support;
- Removable shock-absorbent footbed for impact and shock-absorption;
- Poron 4000 comfort cushion for support and comfort;
- Cotton vamp lining for breathability;
- The sole is repairable.
- It is not suitable for hot tar roofing;
- Sizes are not suitable for wide feet;
- They are expensive.
There’s no better way to stay safe at a construction site than in a pair of Thorogood Men’s American Heritage Lace-To-Toe Roofer Boots. Even though they are pricey, these boots are worth the buy.
2. Cougar Paws Men’s Estimator Roofing Boot
When you’re thinking of heavy duty boots that will keep you from falling but instead keep your feet looking stylish, think Cougar.
The Cougar brand has been tested and trusted as one of the very best roofing shoes in town, and it keeps living up to expectation. Owned by a roofer, Cougar is in the best position to make good roofer shoes.
The cougar paws estimator boot provides all the features you’ll need in a roofing boot: comfort, firm grip, and style.
The mix of leather and nylon on the exterior ensures breathability even in the hottest weather conditions, and this makes it perfect for the roof. It features an under-sole pad that absorbs heat and keeps your feet from feeling hot.
An extra safety layer in compliance with the ASTM standards for safety is present for protection from slips. The redesigned outsole provides a firm grip while you’re out on the roof.
The interior lined with cushioning material that gives you a comfortable feel and the lace-up ensures a snug fit. The outsole or cougar paw pad is replaceable, allowing you to customize it to suit your needs.
- Leather and nylon upper for durability;
- Cushioned interior for comfort;
- Lace-up for a snug fit;
- Removable pads for heat absorption;
- Redesigned outsole for good traction;
- Replaceable outsole for customization.
- The sizes run larger than the regular shoe size;
- They take a while to break in;
- Often break off on the heel.
These Cougar boots are perfect for roofing not only because they have the required features, but also because they made from a roofer’s perspective.
The major drawback with this pair is their size which runs larger than standard sizes. This is not a significant issue as you can order a pair that’s a ½ inch to 1 inch smaller and you’ll be fine.
If in doubt, use this shoe sizing chart to determine your exact size before making that purchase.
3. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
These boots are not made explicitly for roofing, but they are, as many would agree, the “mother of all boots” – little wonder they can fit into this space.
Even construction workers looking for shoes for working and walking on concrete find this pair of shoes merely irresistible.
The Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe is designed to grip the slippery and rough nature of hiking trails, so we thought, “If they are suitable for hiking, what makes them less suitable for roofing?”
It turns out that the design of these shoes is made to fit any roofing or construction site with ease.
Made from 100% suede leather, Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent shoes are as flexible as they are durable. The mesh upper allows for proper ventilation, keeping your feet clean and dry. It features bellows and closed cell foam tongue that retains moisture and debris out.
There’s a molded nylon arch shank for support, and a protective rubber toe cap to keep your toes safe from impact and puncture.
The Moab 2 also features a breathable mesh lining that functions to keep your feet aired inside the boots.
The synthetic sole capped with a Vibram TC5+ outsole for a firm grip, layered with an EVA contoured footbed for comfort and support and an air cushion in the heels for shock absorption.
Merrell’s Moab 2 is an all-in-one safety boot designed to keep you comfortable on the job.
- 100% suede leather for durability and flexibility;
- Mesh upper and mesh lining for breathability;
- Bellow and closed-cell foam tongue to keep moisture out;
- Rubber toe cap for impact and puncture protection;
- Vibram outsole for good traction;
- M Select Fit Eco+ blended EVA contoured footbed for support and comfort;
- Nylon Arch shank for arch support;
- Heel air cushion for shock absorption and stability;
- Lightweight shoes;
- EVA midsole for stability and comfort;
- Lace-up for a snug fit.
- The sizes run large;
- May not be fit for people with flat feet;
- They take a while to break in.
The Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent made for hiking, but as their description indicates, they are more than suitable as shoes for roofing.
They’re not expensive, and they’re durable. If you are looking for a pair of multipurpose boots, you should look into these.
Are you a big guy looking for shoes with a wide toe box that you can use on the roof while nailing away? Check out this list of excellent footwear.
4. KEEN Utility Men’s Detroit Mid Steel Toe Work Boot
Keen is known for designing high-quality safety shoes that stand the test of time. The Keen Utility Men’s Detroit Mid Steel Toe Work Boot is an all-time classic from Keen.
This shoe exceeds all the safety standards and remains among the best for walking on the roof.
The exterior made of pure waterproof nubuck leather that makes the shoes suitable for winter jobs. The nubuck leather, in turn, bestows a unique shine that makes it desirable as an everyday work boot.
Its sole made of rubber, and there is a layer of oil- and slip-resistant outsole for optimum support and traction.
Keen includes right and left asymmetrical steel toes in these boots for protection against impact, pressure, and puncture. The waterproof breathable membrane ensures that your feet are dry all day long.
Working on slippery jagged surfaces is a demanding task, and that’s why Keen includes a Dry-Lex footwear lining, a torsional stability shank and an oil- and slip-resistant non-marking outsole for optimal support.
For extra comfort, there is a replaceable dual density EVA footbed and a CleanSport NXT(TM) natural odor protection.
There is also a reflective webbing for visibility and safety. The Keen boot design technology provides optimum protection for roofing.
- 100% Waterproof nubuck leather for water resistance and durability;
- Rubber sole for the shock- and impact-absorption;
- Torsional stability shank for midfoot support;
- Waterproof breathable membrane for optimal ventilation;
- CleanSport NXT(TM) for odor control;
- Reflective webbing for safety and visibility;
- Removable dual density EVA footbed for support and comfort;
- Oil- and slip-resistant outsole for firm footing;
- Steel toes for protection from impact and compression;
- Dry-Lex footwear lining for moisture absorption.
- The sizes tend to be narrow;
- Replacement insoles are not readily available;
- Take some time to break in.
The Keen brand is known for excellence and innovation in the footwear industry, and these boots are no exception. The Keen Utility Men’s Detroit Mid Steel Toe Work Boot is the ideal pair of boots for any roofer.
Customers have tried and tested this boot, and it has not been found wanting. If you’re looking to buy a new pair of roofer shoes, make sure the Keen Detroit Workboot is top of your list.
5. Timberland PRO Men’s Barstow Wedge Work Boot
Timberland pro barstow wedge incorporates the Timberland Anti-Fatigue Technology which makes it the best boot to reduce stress.
These boots offer optimal comfort and safety as well as style to the user. They are designed to put you first when it comes to safety and protection.
Made with full grain waterproof leather, Timberland PRO Men’s boots offer you the protection that lasts for a lifetime. The wedged sole provides a firm grip and sufficient traction to keep you going even on wet surfaces.
The outsoles are specially made to provide optimal safety on the job. They include a mechanical bond, an EVA shock-absorbing midsole, and antimicrobial odor control to ensure your total comfort.
If you’re thinking of safety standards, these boots meet all the ASTM safety and electrical hazard protection standards, making them top of the list when it comes to rooftop safety.
So even if you are installing electrical or solar panels on a wet roof, be assured that you’re 100% safe.
The anti-fatigue technology provides maximum support while ensuring moisture absorption and breathability. There’s nothing better than having this pair of boots watch your back as you work your job.
- 100% full grain water resistant leather for durability;
- EVA midsole for support and comfort;
- Wedged sole for optimal traction;
- ASTM and electrical standards compliant;
- Lace-up for safe fitting;
- Rubber sole for shock absorption;
- Anti-fatigue technology for maximum support, moisture absorption, and breathability;
- 5-inch shaft height for ankle support and stability.
- Take a while to break in;
- They are heavy;
- Sizes run large; you’ll have to order half size smaller boots to get your fit.
So far, Timberland footwear has continued to maintain the integrity it is known for, and the Timberland Barstow wedge is not left out.
These shoes would pass for everyday safety boots on construction sites as well as roofing boots.
The downside, however, is that they take a while to break in, but once broken in they can last a long while, meeting your safety demands.
Want more versatile everyday work boots? Take your pick from any of the 15 best work boots for men in 2021
6. King Rocks Men’s Boots Work Shoes
These shoes designed for slippery surfaces and concrete: they work even better on rooftops.
They are made with Pitstop water-repellent leather which bestows upon them durability and a perfect shine. Not only do they protect you from water, but they also serve as safety boots for different weather conditions.
For instance, since trying to fix a broken electrical line high up there requires deft, a linesman’s working boots must be non-slip, firm, yet very comfy. This shoe packs all those attributes and even more.
The King Rocks Men’s Moc Toe Construction Boots Work Shoes feature a lining in the interior for breathability. The boots are well-ventilated and spaced to keep moisture out and air in.
This feature also provides warmth during winter and keeps your feet dry.
The outsole, made of non-marking rubber, provides a firm grip and support against accidents and hazard. These shoes offer superior comfort and safety as you move from roof to roof doing your job.
Aside from the non-marking outsole, there is also a removable cushion insole that provides support and comfort for the feet.
The best feature of this shoe is that it maintains its stylish look regardless of its multi-functional safety duty; you can also wear these shoes to work, and head out afterward to meet friends, without looking out of place.
- Pitstop water-repellant leather for protection safety and durability;
- 6-inch shaft for ankle support and flexibility;
- Goodyear Welt construction for durability and safety;
- Mesh lining for breathability and warmth during winter;
- Non-marking wedge outsole for good footing;
- Removable cushion insole for comfort;
- Polyurethane sole for shock absorption.
- Sizes run larger than regular sizes for other boot types;
- They require a while to break in;
- They are heavy.
Aside from the long break-in time and larger sizes, the Kings Rocks Men Moc is one of the best pairs of work shoes you can buy. They are durable and are a good value for money.
7. Cougar Paws Peak Performer Roofing Boots
Just like other Cougar footwear, the Cougar Paws Peak Performer
Roofing Boots designed with the best roofer footwear technology.
The exterior is made of leather/nylon, which provides durability and protection.
It includes an absorbent removable outsole pad that protects from the heat on the roof by absorbing them.
The jagged outsole also provides a firm grip on the roughest and most slippery surfaces, providing safety and stability.
The combination of nylon and leather on the upper part of these boots provides breathability and moisture control.
The Cougar Peak Performer exceeds the ASTM slip-resistance rating; you can wear these shoes on oily, greasy and wet surfaces, and remain safe.
This pair features a lace up for a tight fit and high ankle support, as well as a bootstrap for extra safety. This means men with flat feet working on roofs can use it too.
The Cougar Paw pairs offer optimal protection, safety, and comfort.
- Leather/ nylon upper for durability and flexibility;
- Ankle-high shaft for ankle support and stability;
- Bootstraps and lace-ups for close fitting;
- Removable heat-absorbent outsole pad for heat absorption;
- Leather and nylon upper for breathability and moisture control;
- ASTM slip-resistance standard compliant;
- Cushioned midsole for comfort and support.
- The sizes run larger;
- The hooks that strap up the laces often pop off;
- Quite heavy.
Cougar places a priority on the best footwear for roofers, since a roofer owns the company. So, when it comes to safety and comfort on the rooftop, you can trust Cougar to deliver.
What to Consider When Buying a Shoe for Roofing
Choosing a pair out of the hundreds of roofing shoes available is a tedious task, considering all the manufacturers claim to have produced the best in roofing footwear.
Be that as it may, for you to make the best choice, you should know what features of roofer shoes you should have as well as the type of material used for their construction.
We know that this can prove stressful for you, so we have carefully provided a detailed description of the essential features for an ideal roofing shoe.
Here are some features to look out for when searching for the best shoes for roofing:
The material from which the shoe constructed is an important feature to consider when choosing the right pair of roofer boots.
Full grain leather most preferred because of its flexibility and moisture-absorption properties.
If you work during the summer, or in hot climates generally, you should look out for shoes that mix leather and synthetic materials, such as nylon or go for synthetic material alone.
This is to allow for breathability, as leather alone will not provide enough airflow.
This is the most important feature for safety. The shoes should have a firm grip on surfaces and rooftops. The outsole of the best roofer shoe should provide excellent traction on steep, rough and slippery surfaces.
It would be best if you were careful when choosing, so you don’t buy shoes with spikes on their outsole, as they damage rooftops.
Comfort should be your top priority when looking for roofing shoes. Remember, you may have to stand in those pairs for as long as 8-12 hours a day.
So, it is paramount to have a pair of shoes that provide you with optimum comfort.
It would help if you chose a pair with good cushioning; this will keep you from feeling pain and also provide the required shock-absorbance.
Arch support is an important feature that every good roofer pair must possess. Long hours of standing will mount pressure on your feet and arch. You need a pair of shoes with excellent arch support that will prevent you from experiencing pain.
This also helps to prevent injuries and keep you away from the podiatrist.
Many roofers tend to be mistaken in this aspect as they buy cheap shoes in a bid to save money but end up losing a lot more instead.
Durable roofer shoes may be pricey, but they are worth every penny. They are investments that will serve you for a long time.
It is essential to look out for roofer boots with all the features you need. The right roofer boots should be ASTM-complaint, have a firm grip, be made with durable materials, and provide the necessary support.
Some shoes have lace-ups, boot-straps and heel shafts for a snug fit to prevent accidents.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do you walk on a roof safely?
A: Make sure you are a trained professional, otherwise, it is best to hire a trained professional.
Wear your ideal roofer shoe. Keep your shoe soles free from mud and dirt. Mark the area you are working on to keep people away and prevent objects from falling on them.
Stay away from slate and tile room and keep power cords away securely tied with to a bungee rope.
Q: Are metal roofs slippery?
A: Yes, metal roofs are slippery and are the most dangerous surfaces to walk on. You have to make sure you fully guarded with the boots that have the best traction before you walk or work on metal surfaces.
Q: Is it safe to walk on a wet roof?
A: No, walking or working on wet roofs is an unsafe practice that can lead to injuries.
Q: What are the best boots for roofing?
A: The best boots for roofing are expected to be comfortable, have sufficient arch support, excellent traction and ultimately provide safety to the user.
Our recommendation for the overall best boots that provide all of this is the Keen Utility Men’s Detroit Mid Steel Toe Work Boots.
Q: Can women work on roofs too?
A: Absolutely. Here is a list of women work boots that can help keep ladies safe and secure while working on roofs.
The best shoes for roofing will provide the necessary comfort and support needed to ensure your safety and keep your feet safe and stable. We have hopefully taken your troubles away by providing you with this list. Good luck!
- Is There A Good Roof Shoe?, by Contractortalk