Welding Boots Review: Welding Protection For Your Feet

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.

Welding boots 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.

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.

Pros

  • Leather construction and double stitched for durability.
  • Synthetic non-conductive sole.
  • Water resistant with a ballistic mesh padded collar.
  • Plus Circle
    Electrical hazard protection and slip resistant.
  • Plus Circle
    Has a metatarsal guard and steel toes.
  • Plus Circle
    Moisture wicking lining.

Cons

  • Sole can be a little too soft and subject to melt in high temperatures.

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.

Pros

  • Leather construction, metatarsal guard, waterproof.
  • Rubber sole is abrasion, slip and oil resistant.
  • Steel Toe with toe guard.
  • Plus Circle
    Goodyear welt construction features kevlar sewing thread on welt.
  • Plus Circle
    Built to surpass the ASTM safety standard for impact, compression resistance and metatarsal impact.

Cons

  • Stitching on the back of the boots can sometimes not be as durable as other brands.
  • Minus Circle
    Boots are heavy.

3. 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.

Pros

  • Full grain leather construction.
  • Slip resistant rubber outsole and steel toe.
  • Electrical hazard protection.
  • Plus Circle
    Climasphere lining keeps foot comfortable and dry.
  • Plus Circle
    CAT metatarsal guard protects feed from impact and resists chemicals and heat.

Cons

  • Outer steel metatarsal tongue can be uncomfortable.
  • Minus Circle
    Eyelets can be prone to breakage.
  • Minus Circle
    Boots are heavy.

4. 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.

Pros

  • Leather construction with rubber sole.
  • Water resistant with patented toe cap.
  • Lace-up closure extends to 10” tall.
  • Plus Circle
    EVA contoured, cushioned footbed.
  • Plus Circle
    Zipper side to make it easy to put on and take off.

Cons

  • Leather is a little thin.
  • Minus Circle
    No metguards.
  • Minus Circle
    The side zipper is not a huge time save, as the zipper does not go down far enough to allow your foot to slip in and out easily.

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. 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.

quality welding boots

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:

  • Check for quality materials and construction;
  • Use the fitting process to determine correct size, remembering to measure both feet;
  • Walk in the shoe and make sure it fits comfortably and adjusts to the foot, with little "break-in" time needed;
  • check
    Make sure there is sufficient foot clearance at the steel toe; and
  • check
    Ensure that the shoe fits the foot's arch from heel to ball, which helps provide appropriate toe room.

Some Optional but Useful Accessories

using a welding boots on a jobsite

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.

Conclusion

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.

This post was last updated on August 8th, 2018 at 01:17 pm

About the Author Gregory

Hi, my name is Gregory! I have been welding practically all of my life and love it. As I have gotten older I have started to weld less and less, so in order to continue my love for welding I created this website. I like to write about my experiences and help you all become welders. I hope that you enjoy the site!

Leave a Comment:

Add Your Reply