Top 12 Best Work Boots For All Sorts Of Roofs (Metal, Slate, Clay, Asphalt, Cedar)

Hey there. Welcome to our best work boots for roofers round-up review for 2021 (updated for 2022).

In A Rush?!

Overall, The Best Pair Of
Work Boots For Roofing

We’ve put together a list of the top 12 popular work boots for roofing and our #1 recommendation based on what we’ve found in our research is the Merrell Moab boot

To bring you this article we’ve researched over 43 websites, looked at 50 different work boot brands and models and we have read dozens of customer reviews and feedback for each make of boot that made the cut, as well as a few that did not.

Overall we’ve spent over 65 hours looking into all of these work boots for roof work to bring you the most important information for each boot. 

In this article, you’ll learn about which are some of the newest and most rated roofer’s work boots. What kind of roof type are they good for, plus some things to consider before buying your new roofing boots. And much more

So keep reading. There’s a lot of good info in here…

You can jump straight into the roofing work boots reviews section or go to the Q&A section first (if you want to learn more about this)

Our list of the top 12 most popular work boots for roof work

Here’s a quick comparison table if you’re curious about which work boots I’ve included in today’s round-up.

They’re listed in no particular order. So the last one on the list is no worse than the first one. Just find the right one for the type of roofing work you’re doing or the type of roof you have to work on.

1. Merrell Moab

  • Vibram sole
  • Leather + textile
  • Soft toe

Breathable Hiking Work Boots For Roofers

2. Steel Blue

  • Heat resistant sole
  • 100% leather
  • Steel toe

Great Boots For
Commercial Roofing

3. Timberland PRO

  • EH Rated
  • 100% Leather
  • Steel toe

Best Steel Toe Work
Boots For Roofers

4. Thorogood

  • Wedge sole
  • 100% leather
  • Soft toe

Good Roofer Boots For Working On Flat Roofs

5. Rhino

  • Rubber sole
  • 100% leather
  • Soft toe

Good Cheap Boots
For Shingle Roofs

6. Danner

  • Vibram Dry Ice Sole
  • Leather + Gore-Tex
  • Soft toe

Gore-Tex Tactical
Boot For Roofers

7. COFRA

  • Heat resistant
  • Leather
  • Composite toe

Good Work Boots For Working With Hot Tar

8. Red Wing

  • Vibram mini lugs sole
  • 100% leather
  • Soft toe

Made In The US
Boots For Roofers

9. Chippewa

  • Vibram outsole
  • 100% leather
  • Soft toe

Rugged Leather
Roofing Work Boots

10. Ariat

  • Duratread outsole
  • 100% leather
  • Soft square toe

Wester Style
Roofing Work Boots

11. G-star

  • Rubber outsole
  • 100% leather
  • Soft toe

Fashionable Roofing
Work Boots

12. Cougar Paws

  • Velcro pads system
  • 100% leather
  • Soft toe

Best Roofing Boots For Steeply Pitched Roofs

Reviewing 12 good roofing work boots with a non-slip sole for good grip

Before I go into the round-up since I’m a safety-conscious person and I’m a dad as well I just want to remind you how important it is to go home EVERYDAY, IN ONE PIECE.

None of these work boots will guarantee your safety in case of a slip.  Each type of roof will present you with different conditions and different reasons for becoming slippery.  

A bit of dust on a metal roof, or maybe a bit of slime on a shingle roof can potentially make you slip … and God knows what happens.

For that reason, if you appreciate your life, in addition to these great roofer boots use a good fall protection system or harness as well.

Ok, dad 🙂 , with that said, here are some of the most popular boots for roofers.

my colleagues John and Ryan working on a metal roof wearing a pair of slip-resistant roofing work boots.

1. Merrell Moab

Good Hiking Boots For Roofing


Hiking and working on a roof are very similar in some ways and that’s probably why many of you roofers out there like to wear these Merrell hiking boots whilst working on a roof.

Maybe one of the reasons roofers like them is because of the rubber Vibram outsole that comes with these boots. The lugs are not that deep (only 5mm) which allows the boot to have more contact with the floor and grip it properly.

I can see how these could be a good option for roofers working on metal and asphalt roofs.

They’re also good if you work in hot summer fixing people’s roofs or installing new ones since they have a breathable mesh lining.

Additionally the upper has textile panels that allow the air to flow in and out of the boot easier.

This is another soft toe boot on today’s list. On one hand, is great for comfort since the boots lighter than a safety toe boot but you can’t wear it if you are on a project that requires a safety toe.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Vibram outsole
  • Air cushioned heel
  • Breathable panels

CONS

  • No safety toe cap option

2. Steel Blue

EH Rated Boots For Metal Roofs

My buddy John is using these steel-toe work boots to work on commercial metal roofs.

He’s walking on metal beams and metal sheets all day long and the rubber sole helps keep him on his feet since they provide premium slip resistance capabilities.

Being on a metal roof, the hazard of getting electric shocks when getting in contact with a live exposed electric wire increases.

That’s when these types of boots are helpful for a roofer because these Steel Blue boots are electrical hazard rated so they offer a secondary layer of protection against accidental contact with live services.

They’re a very comfortable pair of work boots, the leather is not that stiff so you won’t need weeks to break them in.

Adding to the comfort is the side zip that helps take these boots off and put them on very and fast.

PROS

  • Steel toe cap
  • Side zip
  • Rubber sole
  • Non marking sole
  • EH Rated

CONS

  • Being a tall boot it won’t be too comfortable if you work on steep roofs.

3. Timberland PRO Direct Attach

Roofer Boots With Non-Marking Sole

This is one of the most popular work boots for construction professionals in general. But what makes them a good boot for roofers is the fact that their soles won’t leave ugly rubber marks on the new roof you’re working on.

This is important for many contractors out there since leaving marks on the membrane or the metal sheets of a roof you’re about to install or of an existing one, will not make the client very happy.

In terms of safety features, you’ll be glad to know that these Timberland PRO work boots are slip-resistant due to their MaxTrax tread keeping you safe up on that roof.

Can be used for metal and shingle roofs with the condition that the roof is not too steep. Not only for safety reasons but also because for steeper roofs you want something less bulky.

They came with a steel toe cap and a soft toe box so you can choose between safety and non-safety toe which both have their pros and cons.

PROS

  • Safety & Soft toe cap
  • EH rated
  • Patented slip resistant sole
  • Water resistant leather

CONS

  • Not the most comfortable boots if you need to bend and flex a lot on the roof.

4. Thorogood Heritage

Lace To Toe Roofer Work Boots


One of the most beautiful roofers’ work boots in this round-up (if you do care about that).

These boots have received a lot of praise not only because of how they look but especially about how comfortable they are.

These Thorogood boots are great for cedar and asphalt roof shingles.

My personal recommendation is to not buy boots that have this type of sole (wedge sole instead of rubber sole) because they become slippery very easily when a bit of water or dust is present.

This becomes even more important depending on how steep the roof you’re working on is. If the roof is flat then you don’t have to worry that much, they’ll be a good option.

Even though you can’t compare it to a sneaker, these roofer boots are very light and flexible.

PROS

  • Great looking
  • Good grip when weather is dry
  • Goodyear welt
  • Fiberglass shank

CONS

  • Wedge soles are not as durable as rubber soles so these will wear out faster than other option in this list

5. Rhino

Inexpensive Roofing Boots
(Less Than $100)


If you’re after a no-nonsense affordable pair of work boots for your roofing job then you have to go with these Rhino work boots.

The best thing about this (apart from the price) is the outsole. It’s made out of rubber and provides a good grip on all sorts of roofs: cedar, slate, clay, metal, etc.

That’s because the rubber is quite soft which is good on one hand for traction and non-slippery capabilities but on the other hand, they’re less durable and will wear out faster.

So with this one, you’re sacrificing durability to have more safety up on that roof.

And since they’re not that expensive you can go through 2 of these per year and still be cost-effective since the price of 2 pairs of these is the price of 1 pair of a more well know footwear brand.

It’s more comfortable than other boots in this round-up as well since it’s less bulky and doesn’t go over your ankle allowing you to bend, flex and crawl on the roof with ease.

These are non-safety toe work boots, by the way, so you won’t be able to wear them in some projects.

PROS

  • Excellent grip
  • Comfortable
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Flexible

CONS

  • The sole is not as durable as other roofing boots in this round-up

6. Danner GTX

Marine Corps Style Boots For Roofers


For all of you, Danner fans out there I chose these boots for you for mostly two reasons. Their non-marking slip-resistant outsole and their Gore-Tex upper construction.

As we’ve mentioned already, roofers love to wear sneakers over work boots mostly because of the agility factor.

But if you have to wear boots these are pretty good because the Gore-Tex mixed with leather makes them quite flexible for being a boot.

And that will allow you to bend and flex easier without becoming annoying or painful during a whole 10-hour shift on a roof.

Build originally for the United States troops you can bet your money these Danner work boots will perform very well in terms of being poot through the abuse a roofer put their boots through.

These boots will perform very well on asphalt roofs and metal as long as the pitch is not too high.

PROS

  • Flexible
  • Breathable
  • Gore-Tex upper
  • Non marking sole

CONS

  • They don’t come with a safety toe option so you won’t be able to wear them on all sites.

7. COFRA

Great Roofer Boots For Hot Tar


Ok, maybe they’re not the best-looking work boots in this round-up but if you’re up on the roof working with hot tar and walking on hot surfaces these COFRA work boots are what you need.

These boots were originally designed for road workers laying asphalt to protect their feet from the high temperatures they were exposed to. Now, they’re used by several tradesmen including roofers, welders, and more.

The leather on these boots is durable and it can resist high temperatures and what I personally liked about them is that they have a met guard as well.

The met-guard will not only protect your feet in case you’re dropping a membrane roll or an asphalt roll on your feet but will also protect you when handling the hot tar. It’s easy to scoop some melted tar and drop a little bit on your boots.

In this case, the met-guard will protect you from burning your skin and also from damaging the laces of your boot.

Anyway, they have some really good features and you must check them out if you’re working on flat roofs installing or repairing asphalt roofs using hot tar, gas torches, etc.

PROS

  • Flame & heat resistance
  • Fireproof seams
  • Puncture resistant
  • Excellent traction
  • Composite safety toe

CONS


8. Red Wing Iron Ranger

Made In The US Roofer Boots


These bad boys are probably the most expensive work boots that made it in today’s round-up. There’s no need to talk about Red Wing as we all know their boots are top quality.

These are no different. The leather, the stitching, the outsole…all you have in this boot is made to last for years. So if durability is what you’re after get these Red Wings.

When I’ve asked roofers what model they liked from Red Wings, they’ve mentioned this Iron Ranger and the Red Wing 1132. This last one is a cowboy boot used by some roofers in the Texas area.

The Iron Ranger comes with a Vibram sole with mini-lugs to provide some traction and grip whilst you’re up on the roof.

You better stay on low pitch roofs with these Red Wings since they come with a bit of a heel and that could make you slip since there’ll be less contact between the boot sole and the roof tiles.

PROS

  • USA made
  • Vibram outsole
  • Steel shank for support

CONS

  • Doesn’t come with a steel toe cap option

9. Chippewa

Vibram Gumlite Sole Roofing Boots


Here’s another roofer work boot that’s made to last.

Most people leaving a review about these Chippewa boots said they’ve had the boots for at least a couple of years before breaking down or needed to replace their boots.

If you’re after a pair of high quality leather boots that are good for roofing and don’t want to pay the high ticket to get a pair of Red Wings, these are an excellent alternative.

They fit very well according to most reviewers and but one thing you have to keep in mind is that these are pure leather. Even lining is made of leather.

That means you’ll need some time to get used to the boots and it might even require some breaking in. So make sure you order them ahead of time otherwise you’ll suffer if you need the boots for work tomorrow.

I always have a bottle of mink oil around not just to maintain the boot’s leather but because it helps to soften the leather as well.

PROS

  • USA made
  • Vibram outsole
  • Removable cushion insert
  • Arch support
  • Durable

CONS

  • Tough leather (which is good for durability) but it might create some hot spots or make it uncomfortable untill breaks in

10. Ariat

Cowboy Boots For Roof Work


I have to be honest with you. I wasn’t sure if I should include these boots in the round-up or not.

Simply because western boots or cowboy work boots are not ideal footwear for most roof jobs.

Having said that, after talking to a few roofers some of them have mentioned they were using these types of boots when doing standing steam, TPO and hot asphalt as well.

So if you like your western style boots you can have a go at these Ariat work boots. My recommendation would be to use them only on flat roofs though.

When it comes to safety and comfort, these Ariat boots going to meet all expectations. It comes with a square toe that makes it roomier. Good option if you’re a roofer with wide feet.

It also comes with extra metatarsal protection. Always helpful when you drop your tools on your feet by accident.

And in terms of slip resistance and grip for staying safe whilst working on that roof, these Ariat come fitted with a Duratread outsole which offers a good grip on asphalt shingles.

PROS

  • Suare toe
  • Slip resistant rubber sole
  • Easy to put on and take off

CONS

  • You might like the western style boots but these are not the most comfortable option as a roofer

11. G-star Raw

Stylish Roofing Work Boots


These bad boys look so good I’d have a hard time putting them through the abuse a roofer put its work boots day in day out.

Maybe these are a great option if you own a roofing company and you do more office client work than being with the boys and girls up on the roof.

These look very professional so if you want to impress your next client, these will definitely attract some eyes and at the same time inspire confidence and professionalism.

Not only that, but they can keep you safe from slipping when you do site visits since they feature a slip-resistant rubber sole.

If the boots are not available on Amazon, you can check to see if you can get these or similar models on the G-star online store:

PROS

  • Stylish look
  • Rubber outsole
  • Repairable

CONS

  • Not too many size options available

12. Cougar Paws

Great Work Boots
For Steep Pitched Roofs


The Cougar Paws are probably the most talked-about roofing work boots in the industry. There are many reasons why that’s the case.

One of those reasons is the type of sole these boots feature. The sole on this particular model, The Cougar Paws Performer, uses a Velcro system to attach some foam pads that will provide unbelievable grip and traction on some of the steepest roofs out there.

These boots have been tested on roofs with a 12/12 pitch max and apparently, they can take measurements and they could make it work for steeper pitches.

These pads will work on most types of roofs including shingles, plywood, wood shakes, felt, and slate. NOT GOOD FOR METAL ROOFS!

For metal roofs, they have a different model called Steel Walker. These boots’ soles have magnets integrated that can help you stay “glued” to any metal surface.

Both of these Cougar Paws roofing boots are excellent for roofers but they have a few cons that you must know about.

For example, the pads on the Performer model wear out quickly so be ready to spend some money on replacement pads. Also, you have to be VERY CAREFUL where you’re walking with these boots.

That’s another con of these boots. Both the Velcro system and the magnets system soles are very sensitive and can be easily damaged leaving you with an unsafe and unwearable boot.

On the positive though, most roofers that tried these boots have said these are a lifesaver when working at heights on steep roofs, probably the best work boots for roofers.

PROS

  • Extremely safe
  • Excellent grip on all roofs
  • US patented sole system

CONS

  • Need pads replacements
  • Soles can be damaged easily
  • A bit expensive

What You Must Know Before
Buying Work Boots For Roofing


Even if you’re an experienced roofer you will learn something from the following section.

What are the best type of boots for roofing

Based on what I’ve learned from my buddies on site and talking to some awesome roofers out there, you can’t say there is A BEST type of boot for roofers.

That’s because there are a few different types of roofs and those roofs as well are made from different materials. And that requires a different type of boots.

Here are some characteristics of the best boot for roofing jobs:

  • Ideally, the boot height should not exceed 4-5 inches.

    4-5 inches tall is just below your ankle. A boot that’s below the ankle is better for a roofer since you’re going to flex, bend, crawl a lot up on those roofs.

    And you want your ankles to be free to move in an agile manner. A taller boot is better for ankle support of course but these are great for flat roofs, avoid them on steep roofs.
  • The boot sole should be made of rubber.

    The softer the rubber, the more grip you’ll have. Avoid stiff rubber soles, especially on high pitched roofs.

Are hiking boots good for roofing?

Yes, some hiking boots are actually great for working on the roof. The boot we’ve picked as being the best overall for roofing is in fact a hiking boot: Merrell Moab 2.

Not all of them are good for roofing of course. For example, avoid those hiking boots that have deep lugs.

Those are great for off-road traction but having such deep lugs will make you slip easily on any roof.

Tennis shoes vs boots roofing

If you’ve been working as a roofer for any length of time you’ll know that most roofers prefer sneakers and tennis shoes when working on the roof.

And I get it. Tennis shoes are very lightweight compare to working boots. You have a better feeling of where you’re foot is at all times.

You can move more freely when walking on shingles and many times the traction is much better due to the soft rubber soles most of these shoes have.

But in most cases, in terms of safety, you’ll be better of wearing boots instead of sneakers.

Most important features of a work boot for roofers

Don’t buy work boots just because they look cool, I’ve done that and most of the time was a bad decision. When you buy work boots you have them according to the hazards you’re expecting to see in your line of work.

Steep roofs, slippery surfaces, hot surfaces are some of the dangers you’re dealing with when you’re up on the roof. Look for some of these features to stay safe up there…

Anti slippery outsole

It’s paramount to get a good pair of slip resistance work boots. The sole needs to be made out of rubber since that’s the best material for anti-slippery soles.

Also, the harder the rubber is, the least slippery is going to be. If you work a lot on steeply pitched roofs then avoid boots with hard rubber and go for more soft rubber soles.

The hard sole is good for asphalt flat roofs but the soft rubber soles are good for all of them.

The downside is that it will wear out faster making you either replace your work boots or resoles them. Either way, you’ll spend more money going for soft rubber but you’ll be safer.

Chemical-resistant

Not all of you will need this but it’s a great feature to have if you’re doing a lot of flat roof installations where you’re dealing with hot tar and other dangerous products.

Anti puncture

This feature was always important for me since I work in construction and there are always some screws, nails, sharp stones, or glass laying around. Especially if the site is messy and people have no consideration.

Well, in that case, I want to make sure I have some protection that will avoid any of the above-mentioned penetrating my insole all the way into my feet.

Toe protection

When you’re working on steep roofs I think toe protection is the last of your worries. But in some cases, especially if you’re doing flat commercial roofs it’s going to be helpful for sure.

Steel toe cap boots usually are havier than composite toe cap boots but they are also less bulky than boots with a composite toe cap.

Comfort

When you’re up on that roof all you want in terms of comfort is the ability to move freely and be able to flex easily, especially on steeply pitched roofs.

Gore-Tex material is very flexible and also the leather once is broken in and all the boots in this round-up feature one or the other (some boots even both).

What’s the best place to buy a good pair of roofing work boots?

You can buy your favorite pair of work boots at your local store but I believe the best place to buy roofing boots is at the online stores. 

For the simple reason that you can access lots of brands and models from the comfort of your home. Plus the delivery, many times is free.

It’s even better if you buy on Amazon since they have a program called Try Before You Buy that allows you to try a few different boots before you actually buy them.

Here are a few stores you might be familiar with:

  • Amazon
  • Payless
  • Sears
  • Walmart

Final words on this roofing work boots round-up

One of the most important things to take away from this article is that your boots must have a good rubber outsole in order to give the best protection whilst you’re up on that roof.

In this round-up, I’ve included lots of different boot models in order to show you what type of boots roofers like to wear based on what type of roof you’re working on.

And for the last time today, I want to remind you that none of these boots will save your life in case of a slip or stepping in the wrong place…

…but a harness will! Use it in conjunction with these boots. That way you’ll make sure you go to work to make money but also that you get home safe in one piece so you can spend it!

Prefered Roofing Boots For
Low To Moderate Pitched Roofs


Team Members Working On This Page

Adrian – Construction Professional & Editor

Construction Professional, driver, crane operator, cleaner, head chef … these are just some of the jobs I did in the past. Working in all these different environments taught me that having good footwear to protect your feet from different dangers at work IS PARAMOUNT for any worker! On this website, I aim to share all my knowledge and personal experience in dealing with different footwear and foot care issues, and hopefully, you can get something out of it. Enjoy!

Jessica Flynn
Jessica Flynn – Writer And Researcher

Love technology, going to the beach, taking care of my body, and writing (amongst other things). You’ll see my face around here a little bit since I’m responsible for part of the research and writing of some of the articles you’re reading on BestForMyFeet.com. I hope you’ll find our content helpful and enjoyable! See you around, thanks for reading!