BLACK FRIDAY WELDING DEALS

Best Welding Boots

A good pair of boots is a must-have for any working person. If your spine works as a pillar for your body, then your feet are the foundation. They have to be well protected, but also feel very comfortable, especially if you’re going to spend a large portion of the day standing.

If you’re welding, you’re constantly exposed to hazards such as sharp metal objects, flying sparks and spatter, and so on. For this reason, the best welding boots must satisfy a few criteria.

What Makes a Good Welding Boot?

A steel or composite toe cap will protect your feet from injury in case you drop a heavy piece of metal. A metatarsal guard is also an option you should consider, although it’s not really a necessity.

The sole of the boots must be very tough and hard to puncture, but also electricity and slip-resistant. Water resistance is not always an option in welding boots, but that’s because they’re usually made of full grain leather which is resistant to sparks and spatter.

Comfort is an absolute necessity. Welding is a job that requires you to be on your feet all the time, and if your shoes aren’t comfortable, not only will you get fatigued quickly, but it can also take focus away from your work, which leads to a bad overall product.

I have made two separate lists of the best welding welding boots you can find, depending if you prefer laced or pull-on boots. You should keep in mind that sparks and spatter could possibly burn through a lace, which can leave you with a loose shoe for the rest of the day.

There’s also a bonus product at the bottom of this article, which can be very useful to make your welding boots last longer. It’s a pair of full-grain leather covers for your boots, which, I must admit, are rather silly looking, but still really practical.

Laced Welding Boots

As I mentioned already, the laces could easily burn up and break apart from the extreme heat of spatter, and even from long exposure to sparks, so consider buying an extra pair of laces which you can keep in your shop or toolbox at all times. Also, here’s a tip on how you could skip tying your boots.

Here are five of the best welding boots with laces.

Overall Best: Thorogood, Men’s American Heritage

I just love American Heritage’s brave design – it’s called a MocToe and you can see why. I’m sure many will disagree with me on this, and the thing is, I’m not a fan of moccasin shoes either, but I think it looks great on a boot, especially on the tobacco oil-tanned model.

The full-grain leather is held together with a Goodyear welt construction and then sewn on Thorogood’s trademark MAXWear wedge outsole. The outsole is extremely durable and tough and additionally offers electrical hazard protection. There’s also a fiberglass shank to keep the boot from deforming, but it’s flexible enough so it doesn’t feel stiff.

The insole is another impressive feature of this boot. The Poron cushion is not only very comfortable, but it’s also shock-absorbent. Beneath the insole is a layer of memory foam which provides incredible comfort.

The way Thorogood advertises the comfort of their boots is very creative. They say the people that make the boots know a thing or two about working on your feet. Genius!

Between your foot and the steel toe cap, there’s more than one layer of protection to prevent your toes from even noticing where the edge of the steel cap is. The inner lining is very soft yet durable, and it’s also moisture-repellent.

The overall quality of these boots is top-notch. The leather is thick and highly reliable, but so is the threading the boots are stitched with. It’s triple-threaded where it should be, and the single stitching on the toe part is made from a thick, durable thread.

The fact that the tongue and eyelet strips are made of one piece of leather means there’s no chance of anything getting through to your feet. However, the laces could have been better. Sparks will definitely destroy these laces very quickly, so buy yourself some extra laces if you choose these as your welding boots.

Something really worth mentioning is that they’re completely made in the USA by union workers.

Pros:

  • Very durable;
  • Very comfortable;
  • Slip-resistant;
  • Heat-resistant;
  • Beautiful design;
  • Made in the USA.

Cons:

  • Not water-resistant;
  • Laces aren’t too durable;
  • A bit pricey.

Runner-Up: Caterpillar, Men’s Second Shift

Cats are a classic when it comes to work boots. They have been around for almost a century now, and are a go-to pair of boots for many working-class citizens. This model is one of their best sellers. Just like the pull-on pair of Cats on this list, this is a “no-nonsense” pair of boots that comes at a reasonable cost considering the quality.

They have a classic work-boot design, completely covered in full-grain leather to wick off sparks and spatter and give you great protection. The distinct padded collar keeps the boot snug around your shin, but it’s also very soft and feels nice and comfortable.

The Goodyear welt construction will provide you with maximum durability and flexibility, and the sole it’s attached to is designed to be slip-resistant and shock-resistant. Inside the sole, there’s a steel shank that will keep the boot from bending too much, and it will also keep your ankle stable.

For toe protection, these welding boots come with a steel cap, which you can’t even notice because there are layers under it to prevent your toes from rubbing on the steel. The boots come with a PU sock liner that not only provides comfort but also wicks away moisture to keep your feet dry.

The lining is made of a nylon mesh which is breathable and it also releases moisture into the outer layers of the boot. The sole is quite comfortable but it’s not great compared to some of the other boots on this list. It’s very tough, which makes it durable, but it’s a bit too hard if you’re going to be standing on your feet all day.

The laces of these boots are probably their weakest link. They’re not too durable, and they don’t do great against sparks. I’ve owned a pair of Cat’s Second Shift, and one of the laces broke after about a week. The laces I replaced them with lasted way longer. This shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but still, it’s something to keep in mind.

Pros:

  • Very durable;
  • Steel shank for extra stability;
  • Slip-resistant;
  • Heat-resistant;
  • Affordable;
  • Looks great!

Cons:

  • Not waterproof;
  • Insoles are a bit too hard;
  • Laces aren’t too durable.

Best Value-for-Money: Iron Age, Men’s Ground Breaker

These boots with metatarsal protection are the least expensive pair on this list. This doesn’t at all mean they’re cheaply made. In fact, they look more durable than a lot of high-end brands out there.

These work boots are made of thick full-grain leather which will wick away any sparks or spatter coming their way. The metatarsal guard is a great feature because it will protect your whole foot from injury, and it will also keep the laces safe from hazards, so they will last longer.

Iron Age’s Ground Breakers feature a Goodyear welt construction and everything is sewn together with Kevlar stitching. The outsole is made of slip and electricity-resistant rubber that is tough and not easy to puncture.

The insoles of these welding boots could use some improvement, though. They have a nice heel wedge but overall they’re not too comfortable. Luckily, it’s removable so you can replace it with another one, or you can just put an extra layer of gel because they’re quite roomy inside.

The nylon mesh fabric that the inner lining is made of has moisture-wicking properties that will help keep your feet dry. There are a few layers of protection between the lining and the steel toe cap to prevent the edge of the steel from rubbing on your feet. They also feature padded collars for a snug fit around the shin.

Overall, I think this is a great pair of boots for welding, especially considering they cost half the price of high-end brands. Except for the not-so-comfortable insoles, another small issue is that the sizes run very big, so order 1 or 1.5 size smaller than usual.

Pros:

  • Very durable;
  • Metatarsal guard;
  • Slip-resistant;
  • Heat-resistant;
  • Great value-for-money.

Cons:

  • Not the most comfortable;
  • Not waterproof.

Best Metguard: Timberland, PRO Men’s 53530, 8″

The Timberland Pro with a metatarsal guard are a serious pair of welding boots. They are made from Ever-Guard leather which is not only very tough and heat-resistant but also waterproof.  

The uppers are sewn on the sole with Kevlar stitching along with a Goodyear welt, which further improves the work boots’ durability. The toe and heel have an extra outer layer of tough leather that keeps these spots from wearing out too quickly.

The sole conforms to ASTM F2413-11 standard for slip, heat, and electrical hazard resistance. It’s also a very comfortable and sturdy sole, which features a steel shank for increased durability and stability. Padded collars provide a snug fit around your shins to keep the boots from moving around too much.

The insole is made from a dense, open-cell, polyurethane footbed which is covered with an antimicrobial, breathable fabric. The inner lining is made from the same fabric, so it will keep your feet dry and healthy.

Although the metatarsal guard is water-resistant and does a good job of protecting your feet, it seems that it’s not that well-made. More than a few users have reported it rips off after only a few months of heavy use. This is quite a disappointment if you’re going to pay around $150 for a pair of boots for welding.

All in all, this is a great steel-toe work boot that’s quite comfortable, waterproof, and slip and abrasion-resistant. However, the fact that the metatarsal guard doesn’t last too long takes them off the top of this list.

Pros:

  • Durable;
  • Comfortable;
  • Metatarsal guard;
  • Kevlar stitching;
  • Waterproof;
  • Slip-resistant;
  • Heat-resistant;

Cons:

  • Metatarsal guard not too reliable;
  • A bit pricey.

Metguard Runner Up: Dr. Martens, Men’s Ironbridge

The Dr. Martens Ironbridge metatarsal guard work boots are as tough as they look. They are designed to withstand anything you throw at them and are sure to keep your feet as safe as possible. The leather they’re made of is water-resistant and very soft to the touch.

Dr. Martens’ trademark sole is known for its comfort, and this one is no exception. The see-through, air-cushioned PVC is super comfortable, flexible, and slip-proof. This doesn’t apply when it’s cold though, because the PVC hardens and loses its properties.

The sole and the leather uppers are sewn with a Goodyear welt construction which, along with the Kevlar stitching, seriously extends the life of these steel toe welding boots. You’ll never know there’s a steel cap there, as it has a wide enough fit and isolation so that it doesn’t rub against your toes.

Unfortunately, this is not the case if you have extra broad feet, because these boots are quite narrow. There are also no half sizes either, and I think this is the only real issue with this pair of welding boots.

The trademark anti-bacterial Smartmask cushioned insole is very soft but also shock absorbing and underneath it, there’s an extra layer of foam as well. The collar and tongue are padded and the lining is made of moisture-wicking, synthetic fabric.

There’s one more potential drawback: some users have reported getting a faulty pair that ends up wearing out too quickly. This doesn’t seem to happen too often, but it is still something you should be aware of.

Pros:

  • Quite durable;
  • Very comfortable;
  • Waterproof;
  • Kevlar stitching’
  • Metatarsal guard;
  • Slip-proof;
  • Heatproof;

Cons:

  • No wide or half-size options;
  • Sole loses grip in cold temperatures;
  • Faulty items have been reported.

Pull-On Welding Boots

I really prefer pull-on boots over laced ones. The easy slipping on and off is super important for me, not because I’m too lazy to tie my shoes, but because I really enjoy taking them off whenever I’m taking a break, or worse, if I get an itch in my foot. If you agree with me on this, here are five of the best pull-on welding boots for you to consider.

Overall Best: Ariat, Men’s Workhog

I really enjoy cowboy boots so I had to put at least one pair on this list. Ariat is actually the first company to combine athletic shoe technology and cowboy boots. So style and comfort are guaranteed. The materials used are of really high quality, and the price is there to prove it.

These work boots are made of rich brown leather sewn together with triple stitching. The leather is water-resistant and the inside lining has moisture-wicking properties. This will keep your feet dry and safe.

What really keeps your feet safe are the composite toe cap and the metatarsal guards. This is the only pair of pull-on welding boots on this list that features metguards and I think that’s a big advantage. It’s not uncommon for a heavy piece of metal to fall on your foot and possibly cause a serious injury. The bones in your feet are very thin and fragile, and there are also tendons that can get damaged easily.

The rubber sole provides great slip and electric current resistance, however, it is not very heat-resistant. It’s quite sturdy though, so it’s not easy to puncture through it. There’s a compressible EVA midsole for shock absorption, and then a footbed made of gel which provides extra absorption and heel stability.

On the back of the boot, Ariat has included a feature they call the U-turn, which allows your foot to slide in more easily, and also keeps that part of the boot from bending and breaking. The straps on the top of the boot are also very helpful for quickly slipping the boots on.

The only real drawback I can think of about these boots is the tight fit around the toes. Consider getting a wide size if you don’t want a tight fit in that area. And I should mention that this is the most expensive pair of pull-on welding boots on this list, but honestly, I think they’re worth it.

Pros:

  • Very comfortable;
  • Very durable;
  • Waterproof;
  • Metatarsal guards;
  • Easy slip-on;
  • Heatproof;
  • Slip-proof;
  • They’re cowboy boots!

Cons:

  • A bit pricey.

Runner-Up: Timberland, PRO Men’s Powerwelt

This is probably the most comfortable pair of work boots on this list. The Powerwelt features Timberland’s PowerFit comfort technology, and they’re so confident in it, that you can return them within 30 days if you’re not satisfied.

The lining inside is very soft and comfortable, but it’s not too thick, so consider wearing thicker socks, especially in winter. The fact that the lining is thin means that there’s a chance of it ripping after a few months of heavy use. Keep in mind that this won’t necessarily make the boots unwearable.

The matte, dark leather that covers your foot area is Timberland’s Ever Guard leather, which is treated for higher abrasion and heat resistance. But because this is full-grain leather, these welding work boots aren’t waterproof. On the bright side, welding is mostly done indoors in a shop or a factory, so this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

Because of constant bending, the area around the steel toe tends to wrinkle and break on most boots, but with the soft, full-grain leather this is not likely to happen with this pair.

The sole is made from very durable, slip and abrasion-resistant rubber. Not only that, but the rubber is very heat-resistant and has an ASTM F2413-11 certificate for protection. The thread is triple stitched around the foot, so the boots should last quite a while.

The steel toe will protect your toes, but the rest of your foot remains unprotected. If the Powerwelt also featured metatarsal guards, they would have been the perfect pair of welding boots that money can buy.

Pros:

  • Very comfortable;
  • Very durable;
  • Slip-resistant;
  • Heat-resistant.

Cons:

  • Not waterproof;
  • No metatarsal protection.

Most Affordable: ROCKROOSTER, Work Boots for Men

I really like this design because of the elastic bands on the sides. When a work boot has a tighter fit around my ankle and shin, I feel more agile and that really improves my mindset. When you feel good while working, it really reflects on your project.

The design of these pull-on boots is a bit dull, but the black-colored ones I can get used to. The boots are made of full-grain leather, so they’re not waterproof, but the leather is thick and heat-resistant. The rubber tip of the boot is quite tough and will not wear out easily.

The same goes for the sole – it has a see-through layer of TPU plastic, which is very tough, heat and current-resistant, but releases static from your body. Under that layer, there’s a very comfortable footbed that’s anatomically designed, and the insole is made of memory foam to provide you with a custom fit. You will get no fatigue from wearing this pair of welding boots.

There are three different-sized lines right above the heel part of the boots. They’re a part of a piece of rubber that is designed to prevent that part of the boot from bending and breaking. That is one of the most vulnerable parts of any boot, and once it breaks, it tends to rub your Achilles tendon and cause bleeding. So needless to say, I love this feature as it sidesteps any pain.

The inside lining of the boots is not only soft and breathable but it’s specially designed to release moisture to keep your feet dry on those long, sweaty days. Between the lining and the steel toe cap, there are 2 more layers that make sure your foot doesn’t rub off the edge of the steel.

There is a small design flaw, however: the leather ends where it’s stitched to the rubber tip of the boot, instead of going over the whole steel toe cap. This means that if the stitchings where the leather and rubber meet breaks, your foot can get exposed. Make sure you treat the stitchings with beeswax to make them more resistant and durable.

Pros:

  • Snug fit, but not too tight;
  • Very comfortable;
  • Heel support for durability;
  • Slip-resistant;
  • Heat-resistant;
  • Very affordable.

Cons:

  • Not waterproof;
  • Design flaw – may expose your foot after a while.

Best Value-for-Money: Dr. Martens, Men’s Icon 2295 Steel Toe

When you look at these Dr. Martens’ boots, you immediately notice they look thicker than the other boots on this list. And the reason for that is the padded ankle support that surrounds the boot. This also offers a snug fit, but without feeling so tight that it’s uncomfortable.

The tumbled, water-resistant leather they’re made of is thick and most importantly, heat-resistant, which makes them a great pair of boots for welders. They also feature Dr. Martens’ trademark air-cushioned PVC sole which is not only comfortable but also slip-resistant and conforms to ASTM standards.

The sole isn’t the only reason these work boots are so comfortable. The EVA footbed is very thick yet soft, so you can wear them the whole day without feeling any strain on your feet. The inside lining is quite durable and the heel support is very sturdy, so you will not feel any itching or poking while wearing them.

Another trademark feature these boots possess is the steel toe which will protect your toes from any accidents. The stitching is double-threaded, with a very strong fiber. If treated right, it will last you many years.

A drawback that some users have experienced is the leather at the toe wearing out after only a few months. Although this is not a common issue, you may want to consider using some type of protective coating. Tuff Toe would be a good option for this. Another issue that keeps coming up is the toe area seems to be a bit too tight for some. 

Pros:

  • Very comfortable;
  • Ankle support;
  • Waterproof;
  • Slip-resistant;
  • Heat-resistant.

Cons:

  • Front of the boot tends to wear off quickly;
  • Toe area might be too tight for some.

Most Reliable: Caterpillar, Men’s Revolver

They may not look like much, but the simple design of Cat’s Revolver means there’s not a lot that can go wrong with them. Cat advertises them as “no-nonsense” boots and that’s exactly what they are.

The full-grain leather they’re made of may not offer great water resistance, but that’s not a big deal, because they offer resistance from heat, sparks, and spatter, which makes them some of the best welding boots in this price range.

The threads are triple-stitched where they’re supposed to be, and if you rub them with beeswax, they will withstand sparks for many years. The pull handles are very sturdy and super helpful. The sole is made from slip-resistant heavy-duty rubber that conforms with the ASTM F2413-11 standard for impact, traction, and electrical hazard protection.

Between the outsole and insole, there’s a PVC layer for extra durability and penetration protection, and the steel toe will protect the front of the foot and toes. Inside the boots, there’s nylon lining to make it more comfortable, but it’s not too thick. Thicker socks are a must when wearing these work boots.

Like most leather boots, these require some breaking in before they really feel comfortable. If you get the size right, by the end of the first week of wearing them, they should adapt to your foot and you will be able to wear them non-stop without feeling uneasy.

Pros:

  • Simple yet practical;
  • Very durable;
  • Slip-resistant;
  • Heat-resistant.

Cons:

  • Not waterproof;
  • No metatarsal protection.

Bonus Item: QeeLink, Leather Boot Covers

If you have a pair of boots that you really like, but you don’t want to ruin while welding, then these boot covers may be a good solution. I admit they look kind of silly, but if you’re going to be working in your shop, and don’t really care about the look, go ahead and buy them.

They’re made from thick split cowhide which will protect your boots from sparks, spatter, and other hot objects that could damage boots made from softer leather. You will also protect your laces, which as I’ve mentioned before, can get destroyed by sparks within a few days.

Their design is very well thought out. They’re “one size fits most” with a velcro strap and an elastic band that goes underneath your boot. The spots where one layer of leather meets the other are riveted to increase their durability.

Nothing more can be said about this product – they work well enough, and if you’re not satisfied with how they fit, or for some reason you don’t like them, you can return them for a full refund.

Pros:

  • They will protect your boots;
  • Very affordable.

Cons:

  • They look kind of silly.

Buyer’s Guide

Laced or Pull-on?

This is really a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer laced boots because they provide a more snug fit or because of the way they look. Others (like me) prefer pull-on boots because they’re easy to put on and take off, which is great when taking a break, but also because you don’t burn through laces. In the end, it’s up to you to decide for yourself.

Water Resistance

Welding and water don’t go well together, mainly because water is a great conductor, and welding machines have a high voltage. Of course, there are exceptions, like working in a shipyard, or a dock. But if you’re mostly going to weld in a shop, water resistance isn’t really a necessity.

Comfort and Support

If you have ever had a job that requires you to stand on your feet most of the day, you know what a pain it can be. Comfort is an absolute necessity for work boots. If you can’t bear wearing a pair of boots all day, you have to try different insoles first, and if that doesn’t do the trick, just go ahead and buy a different pair.

Price

The difference between the most expensive pair on this list and the cheapest one is a bit over $100. Because work boots are of such great importance, if you can afford the more expensive pair, go for it. Your feet will be forever grateful.

Safety Toe Cap

If you’re going to work with metal, a steel toe work boot is a must. I’ve had a load of about 400 lbs fall on my toes, breaking the first two. Not only does this hurt like crazy, but you might have to wear a cast and you won’t be able to work for at least a few days.

There are also composite toe caps which are just as good and they weigh less than steel. If they meet the required safety standards, don’t hesitate, your toes will be safe.

Metatarsal Guards

Metatarsal guards are a really smart feature. They protect the bones in your foot, which are very thin and fragile, but also the tendons which can suffer serious injury and could put you out of work for a while.

Because most of the boots on this list don’t feature met guards, here’s an option for some aftermarket upgrades.

Sole Construction

The soles of a welding boot must be slip and electricity-resistant. They should also be thick and hard to puncture because stepping on nails, screws, and other pieces of sharp metal is simply a part of the job. Another good feature would be heat resistance, because you could step on hot metal or a used-up welding rod, and although that won’t necessarily burn your foot, it will ruin the sole.

Best Welding Boots: Conclusion

That was a lot of boots with a lot of different features. Here’s a quick reminder of why these are the best welding boots in my opinion.

My favorite laced work boots are the Thorogood American Heritage, and for many reasons. First of all, they look great. I would seriously wear these as a fashion choice. They’re very durable, made from high-quality materials, and will last at least a couple of years with heavy use. The comfort may be their best feature. You’ll feel literally no fatigue after a full day’s work.

The Cat’s Second Shift represents a timeless steel toe work boot – you simply can’t go wrong with them. If you’re looking for a lower-priced metguard steel toe boot, the Iron Age Ground Breaker is a perfect choice.

If you have a bit more money to spend on a pair of metguard boots, then go either for the Timberland PRO, 53530 or the Dr. Martens, Ironbridge. They’re simply more comfortable, and will probably last a bit longer.

If you’re like me and prefer a simple, pull-on pair of work boots, then the Ariat, Workhog would be the best choice. These cowboy boots feature profound quality, incredible comfort, and a sleek look. If cowboy boots aren’t really your thing, then the Timberland PRO, Powerwelt would be a good replacement.

The ROCKROOSTERS are not only the most affordable pair of pull-on steel toe boots, but they’re also comfortable, they look great, and they provide a snug fit.

I hope this helps clear things up so you can now decide which pair of welding boots best suits your needs.

FAQ

What type of footwear is recommended for welders?

Leather is a must. It’s the only material that can successfully protect your feel from sparks and burning spatter. A steel or composite toe is just as important because welding is a business where dropping heavy pieces of metal is a common occurrence.

Electrical hazard protection is a smart option because welding machines use high voltage which can be deadly. Water resistance shouldn’t be a priority unless you work on docks, shipyards, or any other job near water.

What are the most comfortable work boots?

On this list, probably the Thorogoods followed by the Timberland Powerwelt.

What kind of boots do ironworkers wear?

Tough boots for tough people. But in all seriousness, a job that includes so many health hazards really requires a pair of steel-toe boots that can protect your feet.

What should you not wear when welding?

Everything but leather is a bad idea. Welding can cause serious burns and cuts, and if you hurt your foot, it may disable you from working for at least a few days. The tougher the materials you cover yourself with, the better.


About Pierre Young

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Hey, I'm Pierre Young a qualified AWS Certified Welder. I got into welding in 2009 as a side hustle. Ever since then, I've been doing all kinds of welds - both for business and pleasure. While immersing myself in this wonderful hobby, I've learned from hands-on experience what welding gear works and what doesn't. Welding Headquarters is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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