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There are many wearable clothing and accessory products on the market that will keep you safe from welding sparks, heat, flames and hot liquid metal.
Most welders know the value of a welding helmet, welding gloves, a welding jacket, apron or bib and welding sleeves. While all of these are designed to protect the upper body, don’t forget about your feet.
Ordinary shoes won’t do the job for welding. If you wear athletic shoes, the rubber soles are too thin and won’t protect your feet from sharp metal objects piercing the soles.
Additionally, the upper shoe is often made of a synthetic of cotton material, which will burn fairly quickly if subjected to arc sparking or flame.
If you wear a lace up oxford type shoe, it will leave your ankle exposed to flame and heat and the leather will be too thin to protect your feet from the impact of a heavy object.
The best work boots for welders or welding shoes will protect your feet from sparks, corrosive or toxic materials on floor surfaces and hot molten metal spills as well as the impact of heavy falling objects.
By Gregory Sanders: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding welding boots available for those who are interested in protection for your feet. The best 4 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best boots for welding currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.
Best Welding Boots Available On The Market
1. Dr. Martens Men’s Steel-Toe Met Guard Boot
Dr. Marten’s is a great boot that is extremely durable and can stand up to the most intense wear and tear.
Comfortable, water- resistant, with a moisture wicking lining that keep feet cool all day.
For the price, this is one hard-working boot.
Weight - 38 ounces.
Sizes - available in up to 14D.
Dr. Martens Men’s Steel-Toe Met Guard Boot Pros
Dr. Martens Men’s Steel-Toe Met Guard Boot Cons
2. Timberland PRO Men’s Metguard Steel-Toe Boot
The Timberland PRO Metguard Steel-Toe Boot is a comfortable work shoe as it has a hinged and asymmetrical metatarsal guard and the boot conforms to your foot for a natural fit.
Waterproof, and impact resistant with a heavy-duty sole, this boot will keep the foot protected.
Weight- 6 pounds.
Size - available in sizes up to 15 2E.
Timberland Pro Men’s Metguard Steel-Toe Boot Pros
Timberland Pro Men’s Metguard Steel-Toe Boot Cons
3. Rocky Duty Men’s Modern Paraboot
The Rocky Duty Men’s paraboot is actually a combat military boot that is rugged and provides some protection for the foot.
Does not have the heat resistant or puncture resistance of lower priced welding boots but is a good boot for light duty.
They can be quickly repaired and reverted back to their original hardness.
Weight - 1 pound.
Size - available in sizes to 15D.
Rocky Duty Men’s Modern Paraboot Pros
Rocky Duty Men’s Modern Paraboot Cons
4. CATERPILLAR MEN’S ASSAULT WORK BOOT
These CAT work boots have everything you could want for protection and wear.
Sturdy, durable with high heat resistance, slip resistance and impact resistant.
Comfortable and durable, these boots are exactly would you would expect from Caterpillar.
Weight - 5 pounds.
Size - available in sizes up to 14D.
Caterpillar Men’s Assault Work Boot Pros
Caterpillar Men’s Assault Work Boot Cons
Important Qualities in Welding Boots or Welding Shoes
Welding involves exposure to hot substances and corrosive or toxic materials. Avoid synthetics of any kind around welding - if they burn the fumes are toxic, and the molten plastic can stick to your skin and burn you. The sturdier boots are made of leather.
A welder’s feet can be exposed to electrical hazards, thus non-conductive footwear should be worn and covers are encouraged. Non-conductive welding shoes or welding boots should be designed to reduce the potential for electric shock when the soles are exposed to open circuits of 600 volts or less under dry conditions.
Heavy objects such as welding carts or gas tanks might roll or fall onto a welder’s foot, thus impact-resistant footwear is desirable.
A basic element of any quality safety footwear is a steel toe, sometimes called a steel cap. This cap should cover the toes’ full length from the tips to beyond the natural bend of the foot.
A welder works with sharp metal objects that could pierce the uppers or soles of ordinary shoes, thus a cut- or pierce-resistant material in footwear is a necessity. The footwear should have reinforced, flexible metal soles or inner shoes.
Working around hot molten metal that might splash onto ankles or feet makes a heat-resistant footwear critical for welders. The first ingredient to look for in heat-resistant footwear is leather material, which provides the best protection against heat.
The next is the construction. Shoes or boots should be made so that hot metal cannot lodge in crevices made by eyelets, tongues or other parts.
The best work boots for welders or best shoes for welders will be a quality boot or shoe that fits properly. To ensure that a welding shoe or welding boot has the proper fit:
Some Optional but Useful Accessories
Accessories that are beneficial for protecting the feet from sharp objects and molten metal can be a great investment for those involved in welding.
Leggings protect the lower legs and feet from heat hazards such as molten metal or welding sparks. Safety snaps allow leggings to be removed quickly.
Metatarsal guards help protect the instep area from compression and impact. Made of steel, aluminum, fiber or plastic, these guards may be strapped to the outside of shoes.
Toe guards fit over the toes of regular shoes to protect the toes from impact and compression hazards. They may be made of steel, aluminum or plastic.
Combination foot and shin guards protect the lower legs and feet, and may be used in combination with toe guards when greater protection is needed.
Speed lace systems or elastic side panels. The key to protection from corrosive or toxic chemicals is being able to get out of the boots or shoes as fast as you can when you're splashed.
You want a shoe that has a speed-lace system, pegs that laces go around. Shoes with elastic side panels, such as a molder's shoe, can be removed even more quickly.
The best work boots for welders are boots that will still be comfortable after hours spent standing on your feet on concrete welding.
Brands that resist heat, can take a sharp piece of metal to the sole or the upper and can handle molten slag landing in the leather are the best.
It is worth the price to invest in quality protective welding boots or welding shoes that make your job more comfortable.
1. What kind of footwear are recommended for welders?
Welders are advised to wear non-conductive boots, also known as EH boots. Electrical hazard shoes and boots are purpose-built to protect workers from any open electrical circuit with a voltage less than 600 volts in dry conditions.
2. Why do welders wear cowboy boots?
As with any other piece of protective welding gear, this is a sizable investment. The welding boots you need must be rugged and durable while also protecting you from hazards such as fire, slipping, and electrocution.
3. Are composite toe boots good for welding?
To that end, the answer is YES! Protect your feet while welding with a composite toe. The boots are constructed entirely of non-metallic materials such as Kevlar, carbon fiber, and fiberglass. These safety toes are generally more comfortable and resistant to temperature changes.
4. WHAT CLOTHES TO WEAR WHEN WELDING?
To protect the neck, wear long-sleeved shirts with buttoned cuffs and a collar. Dark colors act as a reflector of light. Avoid collecting sparks or hot metal in shirt pockets by taping them shut or covering them with flaps. Pant legs must be cuffless and extend past the tops of the boots.
5. Are rubber boots good for welding?
While all of these are geared toward protecting the upper body, do not forget about your feet. Regular footwear is insufficient for welding. If you are wearing athletic shoes, the rubber soles are far too thin to protect your feet from being pierced by sharp metal objects.