Best Welding Boots – Reviews & Buying Guide

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Strong, comfortable safety boots are a must-have for every welder.

Whenever you’re working in a shop or industrial environment, you need protection.

Heavy tools or parts can fall on your toes, or maybe a pallet will set down in the wrong spot.

Welders also have to worry about burns from welding spatter, grinding debris and molten blobs.

We’ve evaluated a lot of boots to narrow your selection to these great choices.


A quick comparison

Product
Image Product Details
Timberland PRO Boondock
Timberland PRO Boondock

Waterproof

Rubber covered toe

TPU soles

Dr. Martens Icon 2295
Dr. Martens Icon 2295

Leather and steel

Electrical safety

No laces

Caterpillar Revolver
Caterpillar Revolver

Pull on - no laces

Slip resistant

Heavy build

KEEN Milwaukee 6
KEEN Milwaukee 6"

Left and right toes

Locking lace hooks

Covered heels and toes

Timberland PRO 8
Timberland PRO 8" MetGuard

Metatarsal/lace shield

Waterproof

Polyurethane insoles

Thorogood 8
Thorogood 8" MAXWear

All day comfort

Electrically resistant

Fiberglass shanks

Best Steel Toe Welding Boots With Reviews

Here's a list of the best boots for welders we found on the market:

1. Timberland PRO Boondock Safety Toe Welding Boot

Timberland PRO Boondock Safety Toe Welding Boot
  • 100 percent leather
  • Composite safety toe
  • Molded rubber toe cover
  • Anti-fatigue technology
  • TPU soles

Pros

  • Known as durable boots
  • Comfortable for long shifts
  • Oil resistant soles
  • Designed for harsh environments
  • Replaceable insoles

Cons

  • Heavy boots
  • Exposed lacing

Overview

The Timberland PRO Boondock 6 Inch boot has always been a favorite of workers in rugged conditions. Pipeliners, construction workers, linemen and others swear by the all-day comfort of these waterproof boots. They’re made of 100 percent leather for fireproof quality and feature a composite safety toe for crush protection.

There’s a rubber cap over the outside of the toe on this design, great for limiting the amount of felt impact when you stub your toe or drop a big wrench on your foot. One issue with this boot as far as welders are concerned is the fact that the laces are exposed, which can become a fire hazard or just be an irritation with the laces taking frequent damage. If you really like the Timberland PRO Boondock 6 Inch, one solution for this is a set of welding spats to cover the top of the boots.

Many owners feel the Timberland PRO welding boots are heavy, but also frequently say the weight is worthwhile because these boots are so comfortable. These boots are known for comfort even for very long shifts and grueling work schedules.


2. Dr. Martens Men's Icon 2295 Steel Toe Welding Boots

Dr. Martens Men's Icon 2295 Steel Toe Welding Boots
  • Steel toes
  • Leather construction
  • PVC soles
  • Electrical hazard resistant
  • Padded ankle area

Pros

  • Tall leg proection
  • Waterproof
  • Wellington style
  • Insulated
  • Industrial design

Cons

  • Toe leather wears quickly
  • Not English made

Overview

For a good, heavy set of pull-on Wellingtons, Dr. Martens Men’s Icon 2295 Steel Toe Heavy Industry Boots are just the ticket. Doc Martens have always been favorites in welding shops, automotive and other industrial settings. These have genuine steel toes and all-leather construction. Thick, heavy lugged soles are made of PVC, designed for traction with aggressive tread.

One of the nicest features on these Dr. Martens Icon 2295 Steel Toe Boots is the heavy, thick padding strip that covers the ankles. This is a much-loved feature by owners, who often cite cases when this padding saved them some pain. Some owners didn’t like the short lifespan for the leather covering the steel toe. These aren’t the famous English-cobbled boots that made the legend. They’re imported from China. High quality boots, but Doc Martens are famous for impeccable British craftsmanship.

For welders, the best feature of Dr. Martens Men’s Icon 2295 Steel Toe Heavy Industry Boots is that they are ANSI certified resistant to elecrical hazards, a nice feature when you playing with lightning all day. They’re also insulated, very comfortable and have no laces to catch fire.


3. Caterpillar Men's Revolver Pull-On Steel Toe Welding Boot

Caterpillar Men's Revolver Pull-On Steel Toe Welding Boot
  • All leather construction
  • Rubber soles
  • Steel toes
  • Nylon liner
  • Slip resistant

Pros

  • Resist 14,000 volts
  • Goodyear welt design
  • Steel shank
  • Long-wearing boots
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Need to buy insoles
  • Inconsistent sizing

Overview

The Caterpillar Men’s Revolver Pull-On Steel Toe Work Boot is a very popular design on construction sites and with electrical workers. The pull-on style is great for welders because there are no laces to catch fire or snag on metal around the worksite. In addition, they protect from up to 14,000 volts in a dry setting.

These boots have steel toes and full leather construction. They use the Goodyear welt system to attach the soles to the uppers and the Caterpillar Men’s Revolver Pull-On Steel Toe Work Boot feature steel shanks in the arches, though some users report that the shanks are narrow and can be uncomfortable after a lot of hours on a ladder.

With lightweight construction, a nylon inner lining and rubber slip resistant soles, the Caterpillar Men’s Revolver Pull-On Steel Toe Work Boot is known for long life and good service. Owners frequently say the insole is pretty hard and recommend buying orthopedic insoles. The main complaint with this boot centers around sizing issues, with many owners saying they run large, others saying they run small and a similar proportion saying they’re sized properly.


4. KEEN Utility Men's Milwaukee 6" Steel Toe Work Boot

KEEN Utility Men's Milwaukee 6
  • Toes for left and right
  • All leather construction
  • Steel toes
  • Rubber toe cap
  • Electrical hazard protection

Pros

  • Comfortable rubber soles
  • Metal lace hooks lock down
  • Removable dual density EVA insole
  • ToughTec abrasion resistant leather
  • Fabric lining

Cons

  • Soles can squeak
  • They’re heavy

Overview

One of the notable design features of the KEEN Utility Men’s Milwaukee 6″ Steel Toe Work Boot is that there are specific toe shapes for each side, shaped specifically to fit the left or right foot instead of both toes being straight. This a truly thoughtful design feature and explains why Keen Milwaukees are some of the favorite boots among the construction and building trades.

The KEEN Utility Men’s Milwaukee 6″ Steel Toe Work Boots have other great features like heavy nylon fabric covering over both the heels and toes on these boots, as well as rubber toe coverings to lessen impact when striking the boots or kicking something into place. Locking metal lace hooks are nice, but boot laces can represent a hazard on the job as a welder. They’re a magnet for sparks, spatter and grinding embers. On the plus side of the welding needs, these boots are designed for electrical hazard resistance.

ToughTec leather uppers have been treated for extra abrasion resistance and KEEN Utility Men’s Milwaukee 6″ Steel Toe Work Boots are fully lined inside with fabric and have rubber soles for extra comfort.


5. Timberland PRO 53530 8" MetGuard Steel-Toe Welding Boots

Timberland PRO 53530 8
  • Rubber soles
  • 100 percent leather
  • Steel safety toes
  • Impact resistant toe covering
  • Goodyear welt construction

Pros

  • Thick polyurethane insoles
  • Oil and Slip resistant traction
  • Kevlar stitching
  • Metatarsal guard/lace covering
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Heavy boots
  • Don't breathe well

Overview

The Timberland PRO Men’s 53530 8″ MetGuard Steel-Toe Boot comes with a shield to protect your metatarsal arch. An added bonus for welders is that the shield also covers the laces, protecting from hazards like spatter, blobs and sparks. These boots come with thick polyurethane insoles, a real plus when you spend long days on your feet. These are steel-toed boots with rubber soles and Goodyear welt construction.

These are 100 percent leather boots and the Timberland PRO Men’s 53530 8″ MetGuard Steel-Toe Boot comes with a rubber-like impact covering over the toes and heels, sewn in extra layers. This helps hold off the major issue with most steel-toed boots, where the leather wears off over the steel toes within a short time from kneeling and leaves the steel exposed, which can be a hazard if they come in contact with an electrically hot lead or molten metal.

The Timberland PRO Men’s 53530 8″ MetGuard Steel-Toe Boot drew complaints from some owners for their weight and many thought they just didn’t breathe well enough. Timberland makes the 53530 MetGuard with Kevlar stitching and they’re also waterproof.


6. Thorogood 8" Moc Toe MAXWear Wedge Safety Toe Boots

Thorogood 8
  • Steel safety toes
  • Fiberglass shanks
  • Shock absorbing footbed
  • MAXWear soles
  • Moccasin toe deflects impact

Pros

  • Oil-tanned leather construction
  • Thick, comfortable Poron insoles
  • Breathable design
  • Electrically resistant to 18,000 volts
  • Long-wearing boots

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Exposed laces

Overview

These boots use a moccasin toe design. The curved and edged shape of a moccasin toe deflects impact and reduces wear. The Thorogood 8″ Moc Toe MAXWear Wedge Safety Toe Boot is a classic workplace design. MAXWear sole material is a special rubber formulation that’s famous for the length of time they wear.

The Thorogood 8″ Moc Toe MAXWear Wedge Safety Toe Boot is also known for a short or even non-existent breaking in period, a real plus with any tall boot. They’re electrical hazard resistant up to 18,000 volts. They’re not waterproof and the laces are exposed, but these boots are still worth taking a look at because of the two-stage impact resistant footbed and thick insole combination.

Many owners mentioned that these boots breathe well, are very comfortable when you’ve got long days and loved the protection around the ankle. Fiberglass shanks protect your arches with more flex than steel, making them easier on your feet. The Thorogood 8″ Moc Toe MAXWear Wedge Safety Toe Boot is a high quality boot worth taking a look at. You can always use welding spats to cover the laces.


Buyer’s  Guide

When you’re busy with a welding machine, you need boots that are more robust than your average work boot. What kind of shoes do welders wear? Like any other protective gear when you’re welding, this is an important investment.

You’re frequently standing, moving and walking for long periods of time. Flying objects are always a possibility. You’ve got tripping hazards, things like ragged pieces of steel that can cause puncture wounds and there are still the hot stuff and high power electricity to consider.

If your feet and legs aren’t properly supported or you have to hobble to get through the day, it’s your back that pays the price. Long periods standing can lead to painful feet, disrupting your lifestyle choices.

These are the factors to consider when choosing work boots for welding.

Safety Features

Consider these safety features on your welding boots:

  1. Toe protection – with steel or composite reinforcement to protect from smashing and impact.
  2. Arch reinforcement – with composite, fiberglass or steel shanks for long periods standing and for protection from impact or puncture.
  3. Are the welding boots metatarsal guard design? Padding, shields and armor for the top arch of the foot are a good idea in most shop environments.
  4. Heel reinforcements
  5. Ankle armor or padding
  6. Does the boot extend up the calf for additional stability and protection?
  7. Non-slip treads
  8. Laces have to be covered. If you prefer a boot with exposed laces, you should cover them with welding spats.

Built for Longevity and Durability

With a lot of harsh factors, ruggedness is very important to the longevity and effective protection of your welding boots. They need to be made from durable materials like leather, rubber, PVC, Kevlar, Nylon and heavy fabrics. Materials need to be layered, interleaved, lock stitched together.

All-day Comfortable

Your boots need to be comfortable so you will wear them. It doesn’t matter how nice they are if they’re uncomfortable or painful and you can’t wear them. Thick insoles, inner padding, fabric lining and lightness make your boots easier to wear. Rubber or flexible synthetic soles make boots easier on your feet over long periods and frequent walking.

Reinforced toes of steel or composite material can pinch, rub or irritate your feet at the edges of the reinforcement. If they have shanks in the arches there’s more support to make it easier to stand on ladders. Watch for extra padding around the ankles or on inner metatarsal guards that will keep your boots from sliding on your feet and causing blisters.

Special Design Features

  • Overlayments: Layers on the outside of the boot that help to deflect impact and diminish wear. These might be applied to the toe, heel, or along the joint between uppers and soles
  • Shaping and Curves: Certain shapes like moccasin toes naturally deflect impacts by their curved shape and reinforced edges. The shape of the soles and the shafts of the boots matter, too.
  • Coverings and Shields:Some boots have a covering for the laces to prevent them snagging or being cut, burned or otherwise damaged. They also improve metatarsal protection of your feet. Welding spats that cover the calves and boot tops can also give you this protection.

Conclusion

Looking at the considerations covered and checking actual performance over long periods in tough environments, we’re going with the Timberland PROs as the best combination on this list. These boots have lots of loyal repeat buyers who wear them over long periods. They’re reasonably lightweight, praised for comfort and most buyers feel they’re well worth the price.

Dr. Martens Men's Icon welding boots are favorites on every construction site and so are the Caterpillar Men’s Revolver Pull-On Steel Toe Work Boot. Both are resistant to electrical hazards, have a pull-on design that eliminates lace hazards, protects calves and adds stability.

The Thorogood 8 Moc Toe MAXWear Boots is a great boot if you prefer the moccasin toe design and They have long-lasting soles with electrical resistance to 18,000 volts.

Don’t compromise with your boots. Buy the highest quality, best suited boots you can afford. You won’t regret the decision.

Related safety reads:

Welding shirts – Our top picks

Best welding knee pads

Welding pants – Our favorites overall

 

About Jeff Grill

Jeff Grill hails from Long Island, a 118 mile stretch of land that starts just off the coast of Manhattan and stretches deep into the Atlantic ocean. He has always been interested in welding from an early age and has the cuts and bruises to prove it as he set out to work with a variety of metals.

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