Top 12 Best Welding Boots (With Metatarsal Protection)

Hello and welcome to our best work boots for welders review round-up for 2021 (updated for 2022).

In A Rush?!

a pair of Iron welders boots from the brand Ariat. These are the editor's choice when it comes to which boots are the best for welders.

Overall The Best Leather
Work Boots For Welders

We’ve put together a list of the top 12 most popular work boots for all sorts of welders and our #1 recommendation based on what we’ve found in our research is the Ariat Catalyst H20

To bring you this article we’ve researched over 28 websites, looked at 44 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 welders 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 welding work boots, also we’ll dive a bit deeper into each brand and model, pros and cons, and much more…

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

You can jump straight into the welders 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 best safety work boots for welders

Here’s a comparison table where you can quickly learn a bit more about which work boots I’ve included in today’s round-up.

1. Ariat Catalyst

  • External Met-Guard
  • 100% leather
  • Composite toe

Best Slip-On Welders Boots

2. MICHELIN Sledge

  • External Met-Guard
  • 100% leather
  • Steel toe

Best 8″ Lace-Up
Boots For Welders

3. Timberland Excave

  • External Met-Guard
  • 100% leather
  • Steel toe

6″ Lace-up Welding Boots

4. KEEN Vernon

  • External Met-Guard
  • 100% leather
  • Steel toe

Made in The US
Welding Boots

5. Iron Age

  • External Met-Guard
  • 100% leather
  • Steel toe

Low Budget Welding
Work Boots

6. Oliver 65 Series

  • Internal Met-Guard
  • 100% leather
  • Steel toe

Best Rigger Boots
For Welders

7. Danner Steel Yard

  • External Met-Guard
  • 100% leather
  • Steel toe

Welder’s Safety Boots
With Steel Shank

8. Portwest Steelite

  • External Met-Guard
  • 100% leather
  • Steel toe

Cheap Work Boots
For Welders

9. Thorogood

  • External Met-Guard
  • 100% leather
  • Steel toe

Work Boots For Welders With Wide Feet

10. Dr. Martens

  • External Met-Guard
  • 100% leather
  • Steel toe

Stylish Work Boots
For Welders

11. COFRA

  • External Met-Guard
  • 100% leather
  • Steel toe

Welding Work Boots
With Heat Shield

12. Red Wing

  • Internal Met-Guard
  • 100% leather
  • Steel toe

Internal Met-Guard
Welding Boots

Welders boots reviews: 12 most popular metatarsal boots for welding

Now that you know which boots have made it into the list of the best welders boots, let’s check out each one of them individually a bit more in-depth and learn more about them.

a person welding two pieces of metal together whilst wearing protective gear such as welding helmet, gloves and welding boots.

1. Ariat Catalyst

Lightweight Composite
Toe Boots For Welders

Ariat is not necessarily the first brand that comes to mind when looking for boots for welders. You might think of cowboy and western-style work boots instead…

…but this pair of Ariat pull-on work boots are well known in the welding community.

Many welders liked this boot because it comes with a composite toe cap which makes it lighter than steel toe work and that’s always appreciated, especially if you have to do a lof miles walking up and down.

Not only that but welders have appreciated the met-guard in these boots as well.

It’s an additional safety feature that will help protect your feet from items that could fall on your feet or even heat from sparks produced by welding or cutting!

These are waterproof work boots so you’ll stay dry if you have to work in the trenches or in sewers. They come with a side zip which makes them very comfortable when it comes to taking them off and putting them on.

Even though the Velcro straps are a good idea since you can adjust the boots to your feet better, there is a concern that they might wear out too fast. You’ll still be able to use the boots but you’ll use the custom adjustment the Velcro straps were providing.

PROS

  • Met guard
  • Composite safety toe cap
  • Waterproof
  • Metal zip

CONS

  • Some users would’ve loved these boots to be taller than 8 inch.

2. Michelin Sledge

Comfortable Work Boots For Welders

In my opinion, these Michelin work boots are the best-looking welding boots in this round-up.

Not only do they look great in terms of the color of the leather, the cool-looking outsole, and the overall design, but they are also very comfortable once you break them in.

No more worries about dropping the hammer and other tools on your feet since you’ll be very well protected with the steel toe cap and the external metatarsal guard that come with these boots.

We know you should not mix water and electricity but if you happen to do welding where those two are present it’s good to know that these boots are electrical hazard rated.

This will add an extra layer of safety between your feet and the elements.

Most of you prefer pull-on boots especially when you’re doing foundry work and welding but these Michelin boots are a great option for welders if you want to go for lace-up boots instead.

PROS

  • Steel toe cap
  • Comfortable
  • Rugged
  • EH rated
  • Kevlar stiching

CONS

  • The laces and the boot might get damaged since the met guard doesn’t cover the whole front of the boot

3. Timberland Excave

6″ Steel Toe Work Boots For Welders

If you don’t like Wellington-type work boots then you have to check out these 6-inch Timberland PRO work boots.

They’re more comfortable than the taller boots in this roundup since will allow you to bend and flex easier without bothering you at the ankle and shin area.

On the other hand, the boots that go a bit over the ankle will protect your ankles better. This Timberland welder’s boot has an 8-inch version that you can check out here if you want.

In addition to the meta guard, these boots come with a steel toe cap as well providing you with even more safety features to make sure you go home safe at the end of your shift.

In terms of comfort, these boots come with a PU footbed that provides a lot of cushioning which is an added bonus for welders since you’re on your feet all day.

The outsole is abrasion and heat resistant. Also, it’s a non-marking outsole which is great if you don’t want to leave marks on other contractors’ work.

PROS

  • Steel toe cap
  • Cushioned footbed
  • Non marking sole
  • Kevlar stiching

CONS

  • Nice boots but according to some users these are not the most durable boots

4. KEEN Utility Vernon

Welder’s Steel Toe Boots
Made In The US


These KEEN work boots are a good fit for welders not just because of the wide metatarsal guard protection but also because of the Kevlar thread.

The meta guard will protect both your feet and the boot itself from welding sparks and items that can fall on top of your instep. And the Kevlar thread will expand the lifespan of your boot by making the stitching more resistant to abrasion, heat, and sparks.

One of the things KEEN is well known for is their asymmetrical safety toe caps in work boots.

These caps are designed to provide a more anatomically correct toe design which simply means the toe box has more the shape of the foot rather than just a square or a round toe box.

This provides a roomier box for your toes and makes a better boot for welders with wide feet.

If you’re looking for a slip-resistant work boot, let me tell you that this KEEN welder boot meets or exceeds ASTM non-slip testing standards so you don’t have to worry about slipping, just focus on welding!

PROS

  • Kevlar stiching
  • Heat resistant
  • Steel toe cap
  • American made

CONS


5. Iron Age Groundworker

Budget Option For Ocassional Welding


If you’re on a budget these Iron Age welding boots are one of the cheapest work boots in this round-up.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on some expensive work boots if you’re just going to use them occasionally whilst you’re doing some little welding jobs here and there.

They come with some good features that will help you stay safe and comfortable at work but for less money.

The fact that has a steel toe cap will allow you to work on all job sites (if you don’t know, not all sites will allow you to work if your boots aren’t safety-toed).

These Iron Age welding boots are resistant to chemicals and oils especially good if you need to weld pipes where dangerous liquids might be present.

They’re not fully waterproof though. They’ll keep the water and other chemicals away for a little bit but I wouldn’t recommend you soak your feet and remain there for too long.

The soles on these work boots are well made of Vibram heat-resisting rubber very helpful if you’re around welding sparks, hot metals, etc. It will keep your feet safe and the boots won’t break easily.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Steel toe cap
  • Heat resistant sole
  • Goodyear welted
  • EH rated

CONS

  • Not waterproof and it seems to be a bit heavy according to a few users

6. Oliver 65 Series

Waterproof Leather
Welding Work Boots


If you have to do a lot of welding, cutting, and gouging outdoors exposed to the elements these pull-on work boots are a great option for you since they’re waterproof and chemical resistant too.

These bad boys are made with SPR leather which makes them 10 times tougher than the normal leather.

This is great news for welders because the boot can withstand the punishment you guys are putting it through when welding. The leather can survive welding sparks, hot materials, hot slag, and flux, etc.

This doesn’t mean it won’t get damaged, it will as with everything in life, but it will take longer.

The sole is slip-resistant in case you have to walk and work on greasy or oily floors and also is heat resistant up to 572 °F (300 °C). This last one is another great feature for welders, especially if you have to step in hot slag and other hot stuff.

Overall, great work boots for both small welding shop owners and big industrial sites welders.

PROS

  • Heavy duty leather
  • Heat resistant sole
  • Metatarsal guard
  • Steel toe cap
  • Puncture resistant

CONS

  • Not as flexible as a 6-inch boot

7. Danner Steel Yard

Welding Work Boots With Steel Shank


This brand has been around for a while so they don’t need any introduction. It’s a brand you can trust when it comes to quality and comfort.

Danner says these Steel Yard boots for welders are “tough as nails” as durability goes. The boot can be put through a lot of abuse and still perform great.

Part of that ruggedness is due to how the boot is built. First, Danner used full-great leather for the upper and then they’ve stitched the upper to the sole using the Goodyear welt method.

This will not only help the boot last longer when compared to cemented sole boots but also help avoid water and moisture coming into the boot.

Also, these Danner work boots come with an internal steel shank that will provide you with more stability and long-lasting support especially when you’re welding standing on ladders or stairs.

PROS

  • Slip resistant soles
  • Goodyear welt
  • Steel shank
  • Steel toe cap
  • 90-degree heel

CONS

  • Not waterproof (but they can resist a little bit of water)

8. Portwest Steelite

Welding Met Guard Boots
For Less Than $50


Ladies and gentlemen, being a welder is a great job for many reasons, one of them being that a welder is being paid good money for his/her skills.

I’m sure most welders will be happy to throw a few hundred bucks at a pair of reliable and comfortable boots for work.

But for whatever reason, you don’t have the budget or simply don’t want to spend more than $50 on a pair of boots for welding, then check out these Portwest boots.

It comes with a steel toe cap, puncture resistant steel midsole, dual-density sole, PU cushioned midsole, met-guard, so I’d say you get a lot of great features for this money.

Additionally, according to the manufacturer, these boots have a heat-resisting outsole which is always a bonus for a welder.

It seems like the boots come only in small sizes which are great for lady welders out there or men with really small feet.

All looks good with these boots but keep in mind that you’re getting what you’re paying for.

PROS

  • Dirt cheap
  • Steel toe cap
  • Anti puncture midsole
  • Slip resistant sole
  • Heat resistant sole

CONS

  • Don’t expect to be super comfy or super durable (good boot for an apprentice on the budget though)

9. Thorogood Work One

Wide Work Boots For Welders


This is quite a rare work boot from Thorogood. I’m saying that because you can’t really find it in too many stores. In my research, for this round-up, I’ve seen these boots only on Amazon and a couple of eBay.

Anyway, this boot is great for welders not just because it has the metatarsal guard but also because the outsole on these bad boys is heat resistant.

They come with a Vibram outsole which is great for durability but be aware that if you do a lot of welding and cutting outdoors these boots might not be for you simply because the sole is quite flat.

They have no lugs therefore you won’t have any traction on uneven ground and rough terrain.

The tongue is gusseted all the way up so no water, debris, and even sparks from welding can come into your boot.

PROS

  • Made in the US
  • EH rated
  • Fiberglass shank
  • Steel toe cap
  • Heat resistant soles

CONS

  • Limited supply (not too many sizes available)

10. Dr. Martens Ironbridge

Welding Work Boots
With Steel Met-Guard


Doc Martens making work boots? Yep, if you’re a fan of Dr. Martens now you can have a pair of work boots from this brand.

They’re a good fit for a welder’s shop. Dr. Marten’s famous PVC air-cushioned sole is resistant to oils and alkali but not that good for hot surfaces.

If you’re doing anything industrial where there’s a lot of hot slag that you might step into then these are not recommended since the sole is not heavy-duty or heat resistant.

Steel toe cap protection plus the external metatarsal protection will help keep your feet safe in case you drop something heavy whilst maneuvering gear at work.

Additionally, the met-guard is there to prevent sparks and other things from getting into your boots or burning the laces when wleding or cutting.

These boots look great in terms of design and they’re also very comfortable right out of the box. You might want to go one size up since the toe cap in these boots seems to be a little too tight.

Overall it’s a solid work boot with great safety features.

PROS

  • Steel toe cap
  • Comfortable outsole
  • No break in period
  • Oil & acids resistan sole
  • External met-guard

CONS

  • The sole is too soft for heavy duty welders

11. COFRA

Fireproof Seams Work
Boots For Welding


Ok, you might look at these boots and say: “meah” . Although they’re not the best-looking work boots on today’s list these bad boys are quite tough especially when you’re working in hot areas.

Contrary to the Dr. Martens soles I’ve mentioned above that are too soft for industrial welders these COFRA work boots are better equipped to protect your feet whilst cutting, welding, and walking on hot surfaces.

You’re going to be able to use these boots in most environments since they come with a composite toe cap and as we all know you can’t work in some jobs sites if your boots are not safety toed.

Insulated thermic insole, puncture-resistant plate, breathable waterproof leather upper … not a bad boot at all for the money!

PROS

  • Heat resistant
  • Puncture resistant
  • Composite toe cap
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • If style is important to you, these are not the most stylish work boots out there (but they’ll keep you safe)

12. Red Wing Supersole

Internal Met-Guard Boots For Welders


Red Wing is one of the brands most welders will turn to when looking for a new pair of boots. I mean, these are well-done boots, quality materials, and made in the US.

If you don’t like to have the laces of your boots exposed to sparks from then this pull-on boot is what you’re looking for. This boot is a be a better option as well if you don’t want to deal with the external met-guard we’ve seen in some other boots in this article.

Red Wing uses ForceShield inside these boots to act as metatarsal protection for your instep.

This material offers grat impact absorption at the same time as being more flexible and comfortable than met-guards in other boots we’ve seen.

The Red Wing Supersole will offer you better stability and comfort due to its fiberglass shank. I’d rather have a metal shank in my boots but being fiberglass will make the boots slightly lighter.

This is an 11-inch tall work boot and this is great not because it will keep sparks out of your boots but also because if you need to weld inside trenches will keep the mud and dirt out of your boots too.

PROS

  • Internal metatarsal shield
  • Steel toe cap
  • Waterproof
  • EH rated
  • Made in the US

CONS

  • A bit on the expensive side and you can’t buy it online

All you need to know about
safety work boots for welding

Let’s start with some of the features you’ll want to see in a good pair of work boots for welding purposes. These are going to be very helpful especially if you’re an apprentice and not sure what to get for your job.

Most important features of a work boot for welders

1. Metatarsal guard protection

One of the most important features, if not THE most important one in this line of work is metatarsal guard protection. This could be an external guard as we’ve seen in the Michelin Sledge model or an internal one as we’ve seen on the Oliver or the Red Wing models.

This will not only keep your feet safe from whatever tools you could drop on your feet, but also will add an extra layer of protection between your skin and welding sparks or melted metal.

So make sure no matter what boot you go for, it comes with metatarsal guar protection!

2. Fire resistant

This is not applicable for all of you out there, but depending on the type of welding you’re doing and the environment you’re working in, you might want to consider a boot that’s fire-resistant or at the minimum heat resistant.

3. Toe protection

Just because you have a met guard protection it doesn’t mean your toes are going to be safe from being crushed by something heavy rolling over them.

You need to have some kind of safety toe cap protection. Nowadays you can choose between:

4. Anti puncture

Another thing that might not apply to all welders is the need of having a puncture-resistant outsole. If you’re in a small fab shop things are usually tidier, less hazardous.

But if you work in big industrial sites, working closely with other contractors things can get messy pretty fast.

Screws on the floor, sharp stones, exposed galvanized pipes, and other sharp objects could easily put you in bed for weeks or even months.

That’s why I suggest looking for a puncture-resistant outsole if you’re going to work in such an environment.

5. Anti slippery and traction

Again, depending on where you’re going to perform your welding activities, you’ll have to choose the right type of sole for the type of environment you’ll be working in.

Working in a small fabrication shop where usually the floor is nice and flat and probably made of concrete?

Then make sure to buy work boots with a flat sole, no aggressive lugs should be present in those soles.

On the other hand, if you’re working a lot outdoors, in open trenches, etc go for boots with Vibram outsole or similar that have aggressive deep lugs. These will provide you traction when working through mud and soil.

6. Kevlar stiching

If you didn’t know, Kevlar is the material used to make bulletproof vests. So you can imagine is a quite tough material.

Well, footwear manufacturers have started to use this material to stitch work boots used by workers that are dealing with high temperatures, like welders for example.

It’s not a must of course but if you find boots with this feature you’ll know the boots will last longer in your type of environment.

7. Comfort

And last but not least is the comfort of your boots. If you’re like me, you probably spend a minimum of 10 hours on your feet so trust me, do not try to cut corners and save money when it comes to comfort.

That’s a false economy!

Some boots are going to be quite stiff and hard to break in especially if they’re made 100% of leather. Also the thicker the leather, the longer will take to break in.

But if the boots don’t feel good from day one send them back and get another pair, maybe get a different size.

It’s easy to do that nowadays especially with programs such as the Prime Try Before You from Amazon where you can try a few items before you actually pay for them. Pretty cool.

What’s the best place to buy welders’ safety boots?

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

Here are a few stores you might be familiar with:

  • Amazon
  • Zappos
  • Payless
  • Sears
  • Walmart

Good boots for welders: The takeaway

There isn’t a boot that I can say is THE best for welders but as I could see from this the ones I’ve selected for this round up you can choose the one that most fits your job and environment.

You must check the section above where I share with you what to look for in a good pair of boots for welders so you make sure you’re going to be protected whilst doing your job.

Best All Around Safety
Boots For Weders


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Victor Adrian – Editor And Webmaster

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!